In this surreal game that may be just a dream, you fall out of the sky into a park, but instead of waking up, your left arm falls off. Nearby, you find the beautiful Architect, her face made of flowers, indisposed with a large weevil lodged in her brain. Later, you learn that the Expert, the Engineer, and the Farmer have not been seen in ages, their fates unknown. The absence of the Expert is particularly troubling, since with her vast knowledge, she could quickly fix the land's ills.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.
SPOILERS AHEAD. Reading a walkthrough prematurely can sometimes diminish one's enjoyment of an interactive fiction game. Please make an honest effort to play the game before reading this walkthrough.
> x tangle.(You remember riding a dog up a hill and falling off.)
Whenever you take a globe, you pick up a random Lost Dream.
> x globes. take globe.(heavy!)
> i. x lost dream. drop it.
> x pit. x stones. x trees. x cliffs. x tower.
> x pavilion. in.
> x woman.(The Dream Architect sleeps with a weevil in her brain.)
> x weevil. take weevil.(Too far inside for your fingers.)
> x mail. x bookshelves.
> take all.(You take all seven books.)
Awkwardly, examining a book in the gauzebo acts like attempting to read the book to the woman.
> x vermilion. x bronze.(This one is locked.)
> x mirrors. x posters. x blueprints. x ceiling. x rug.
> x table. x drawings.
> x vermilion. x chartreuse. x ecru.
> x zaffre. x gamboge. x oxblood. x bronze.
> take globe. e.
Note: You must first examine the canal or dock to "find" the bale before using the crane; otherwise, using the crane will just swing its arm around aimlessly.
> x dock. x crane.(Needs something heavy in the socket.)
> x bale.(several slim books lashed together.)
> put dream in socket.(It fuses.)
> use crane. x bale.(You find one dry volume.)
> i. x mauve book.
> look. x mass. x bay. x island.
> x people. x monument. x guard. x rotund man.
> ask guard about statue. ask guard about prism.
> ask guard about expert.
> x fountain.(You see a shopper with a basket of books.)
> ask shopper about basket. ask shopper about fountain.
> x fabric. take it. wear it.
Within the Folds of the Market Cloak
> x girl. x kit.(She wants 2 poems for it.)
> x woman. x ink.(She wants 1 poem for it.)
> x fellow. x sieve.(He wants 4 poems for it.)
Buy the medical kit and the ink.
> give vermilion to girl.
> give chartreuse to girl.(You obtain the kit.)
> give mauve to woman.(You obtain the ink.)
> remove cloak.
> s. in.
> x kit. open it.
> x forceps. x bandage. x scalpel. x vial.(No details to any.)
> take weevil with forceps.(A cloud emerges.)
> x cloud.(It's the dream of a bridge.)
> use ink.(You take a quill and draw the bridge; a new dream emerges.)
> x dream.(This one is of a hat.)
> cut thread.(with the scalpel; you now have a hat.)
> x hat. wear hat.(It attaches to your head.)
> out. n. ne.
The bridge that you drew in the gauzebo is now here.
> x beggar. x cup. x canal. x bridge.
> ask beggar about bridge.
> ask beggar about expert. ask beggar about tower.
> ask beggar about architect. ask beggar about eccentrics.
> ask beggar about engineer. ask beggar about farmer.
> ask beggar about island. ask beggar about vault.
In this walkthrough, we'll decline to play the beggar's game. Feel free to play it if you wish, but don't expect to gain anything if somehow you manage to win his game.
> ask beggar about coin. no.
> e. e. ne.
While the beggar obviously would like to have this broom, don't give it to him right away.
> x broom. take it. x rack.
> x machines. u.
> x man.
He's the Sartorial Engineer and thinks (because of your hat) that you're an errand-runner from the Expert. He wants you to fetch a propeller from a geometric lecturer in Night Town. To get around a time problem, he gives you a crystal key and says to use the Clock Smock.
> d. w. s.
> x safe.(It has a complicated lock.)
> unlock safe with key. open safe.
> x smock. x vest. x suit. x gown.(Only the smock is described.)
> take smock. wear smock.
> n. sw. w. w. sw. w.
> x sequin. take it.
> x smock. x sunface. push sun.(Night falls.)
> x ladder. u.
> x band. x major.
> ask major about propeller.(He needs you to play the flugelhorn. Yes?)
> yes.(Eventually a woman arrives to claim it.)
> i. x knowledge.
> ask major about propeller.(If you want it, he needs something else long to flip.)
> give broom to major.(You get the propeller in exchange.)
> x propeller.
The lecturer is juggling an octahedron, hexahedron, tetrahedron, and a sphere.
> x lecturer. x students. x octahedron.(Can you climb them?)
> x hexahedron. x tetrahedron. x sphere.
> ask lecturer about propeller.
> ask lecturer about octahedron.(She gives you a cerulean book to go buy more polyhedra for her.)
> x cerulean book.
> u.(You can't go high enough.)
> x bell. x archway.
> w.(The bell rings and the arms seize you until you step back.)
> x clapper.(Any way to muffle it?)
> use bandage.
> x ghoul.(It just wants to rest.)
> x coat of arms.(The motto means "unlock books".)
> x sword. x axe. take axe.(The ghoul stops you.)
> x skeleton key.(It could open almost any lock.)
> ask ghoul about sleep. ask ghoul about book.
> give bronze book to ghoul.(It sleeps.)
> take skeleton key.(using the scalpel to cut the key's cord)
> take axe.
> unlock bronze book with skeleton key.
> open bronze book.
> read it. g. g. g. g. g.(You'll read more later.)
Awkwardly, "chop skeletal arm" doesn't work.
> take skeletal arm.(using the axe)
> x it. take bandage.
> u. e. d.
You now see a vendor here.
> give cerulean to vendor.(No, he wants an arm or leg!)
> give skeletal arm to vendor.(He gives you a pair of baubles.)
> i. x icosahedron. x dodecahedron.
> u. w.
> give icosahedron to lecturer. give dodecahedron to lecturer.
> x stars. x pablum. x people. taste pablum.
> d. e. d. push moon.
> e. s. in.
> read bronze.(The Dream Architect wakes!)
> g.(You read the end of the story.)
> ask woman about herself.
> ask woman about expert.(She tells you how to navigate the northern alleys.)
> i. x secret.(Go west with a focused purpose.)
> out. e. n. n. w.
You must have the secret from the Architect to successfully go west from here to the tower. Without the secret, you'll just get lost.
Outside the Corinthian Tower
> x tree. x sunbeams.(Like strings in a harp.)
> x tower. x door. read plaque.("Play, friend, and enter.")
> play sunbeams.(The door opens.)
> ask cat about expert.
> x rug. x cat. u.
> x tables. x arrays.(Gap for an ethereal sieve.)
> ask cat about sieve.
> x tools. u.
Tower Living Room
> x cushions. x paintings. x photographs.
> x woman. i. x fate. u.
> x staircase. ask cat about staircase.
> u.(You return to...)
Down from here returns you to the roof. But let's return to the Architect:
> s. e. e. s. s. w. in.
> tell woman about fate.
She says we need a new Expert: you! She asks you to ask the Book Farmer about the seedling.
> ask woman about farmer. ask woman about engineer.
Before you can visit the Farmer, you must deliver the propeller to the Engineer.
> out. n. ne. e. e. ne. e. u.
> give propeller to man.
They build a boat coat for you. Also, you need to fetch the latest Handbook from the island.
> x coat. remove smock. wear coat.
> d. w. sw. w.
The coat becomes a boat around you as you enter the canal, and becomes a coat again when you leave the water.
> d. s. s.
> x greenhouse. x workers. x fields. x pots. x patch.
> x farmer.(He asks if you're looking for work.)
You're given a fork and do weeding. The workers give you a chapbook.
> i. x fork. x malachite book.
> ask farmer about handbook.(He gives you one.)
> x handbook.
Note: The Farmer's response about the Seedling won't be that informative unless you previously told the Architect about the Ancient Expert's current condition.
> ask farmer about seedling.(He needs pure liquid starlight.)
> ask farmer about expert.
Return to the Engineer:
> n. n. u. e. ne. e. u.
> give handbook to man.(You get a book for your wages.)
> i. x titian book.
Now, go visit the north end of the canal:
> d. w. sw. w. d. n. n.
> x woman. x trees.
> ask woman about axe.(She'd pay her last poem for another axe.)
> give axe to woman.(She gives you a book, then uses the axe to free a man from a tree. They leave.)
> i. x taupe book.
Deep in the Mangrove Swamp
> x water.(You see roots and bones.)
This is a dead end. But now that you have four poetry books, go back to the market and buy a sieve.
> s. s. s. u. w. sw. wear cloak.
Within the Folds of the Market Cloak
> give taupe to fellow.
> give titian to fellow.
> give malachite to fellow.
> give cerulean to fellow.(You get the sieve.)
> remove cloak. w.
> remove coat. wear smock. push sun. u.
> give fork to major.(You get the broom back.)
> w. u.
> take vial. use sieve.(The response is missing.)
> x vial.(It's filled with starlight.)
> d. e. d. push moon. e. ne.
> give broom to beggar.(He thanks you.)
> remove smock. wear coat. d. s. s.
> give vial to farmer.("Welcome, Young Expert.")
> z.(Your head has been replaced with the Seedling. You must return to the Tower.)
> i. x ritual. x seedling.
Return to the tower.
> n. n. u. w. n. w. w. n.
As you enter, you remember a tool is hidden under this rug.
> look under rug. take wand. x wand.
There is some unfinished business to do in Rhomboid Square, which you can now accomplish with this wand.
> s. e. e. s. sw.
I found it difficult to guess the wand's syntax. I found no way to also fix the fountain with it.
> touch prism with wand.(You free the man. He and his daughter leave.)
> ne. n. w. w. n. d. d.
> take woman.
> x ritual.(You're to put the body in the deepest swamp water.)
> u. u. s. e. e. s. e. d. n. n. n.
Deep in the Mangrove Swamp
> drop woman.
*** The End ***
Challenges and Diversions
Did you end the story by escaping the dream boldly?
...by losing your self while wandering in dreams?
...by becoming one of the Eccentrics yourself?
Can you complete the game without removing any of your limbs?
Can you find a way to replace all of your limbs?
After wearing the Seedling of Knowledge, did you set matters aright in Rhomboid Square?
Did you manage to beat the bridge-sweeper at coins?
Did you read all 7 poems?
Did you read the full tale of Azra Borealis (ie, before and after healing the Dream Architect)?
Did you try drinking the pure starlight?
The Four Eccentrics:
The Dream Architect is in the Gauzebo. Normally, she creates things from dreams, but a weevil has burrowed into her flowery head, incapacitating her.
The Sartorial Engineer is in his workshop in the Hat Vault. He builds clothing with unusual properties, and he has a bird-like head.
The Book Farmer in on the island called Novalis Opus. He grows books, and his head is a typewriter.
The Ancient Expert is in her bed in Corinthian Tower. She's the repository of much knowledge, but she's now a withered plant and unable to do anything but moan.
A guard in Rhomboid Square guards the crystal monument which contains an baker imprismed for the crime of doggerel.
A shopper in Rhomboid Square sits by the fountain.
A smiling girl, a tall genial woman, and an elderly man have items for trade within the Market Cloak.
A bridge-sweeper in the Shabby Neighborhood can't work because he needs both a bridge and a broom to sweep it with!
A drum major is conducting an entire marching band on the balcony. The major will use anything baton-like as a baton.
A lecturer in the Salon is teaching a crowd of students about polyhedra by juggling them.
A vendor in Wild Night is selling some trinkets.
An anxious woman in the Mangrove Swamp wants an axe so she can free a man inside a tree.
The workers in the Hat Vault assist the Engineer.
The workers on the island, Novalis Opus, assist the Farmer.
People on the Starlit Roof are trying to taste the pablum dripping from the stars above.
A weevil has burrowed into the Dream Architect's head.
A ghoul in the Cryptcove just wants to sleep.
A cat in the Corinthian Tower will help mentor you in your new role as the Expert.
Birds outside the Tower enjoy the music you make by playing the sunbeams like a harp.
You remember riding a dog before falling into the park.
The story of Azra Borealis is told in the bronze book. She's also known as the Girl Who Talks To Trees.
Examining this knowledge tells you what you must do with the Ancient Expert.
your head. You're wearing it.
Don't do anything with it. You cannot remove it.
During the course of the story, the bowler hat will become attached to your head, and later, the Farmer will replace your head with the Seedling of Knowledge.
a right arm, a left arm, a right leg, and a left leg. You're carrying your left arm and wearing your other limbs.
Wear the left arm. Note that all your limbs are detachable.
You can wear at most two arms at a time. Replace any missing arms with either the axe or the skeletal arm. CAUTION: Without any arms, you cannot pick up anything.
You can wear at most two legs at a time. Replace any missing legs with either the broom or the weeding fork. CAUTION: Without any legs, you cannot walk.
While you can give any of your limbs to either the drum major or the vendor to get the propeller or polyhedrons respectively, it's better to give the substitute limbs to these people.
a market cloak. It's the gray fabric in Rhomboid Square.
Wear the fabric to enter "Within the Folds of the Market Cloak". Remove it to return to the Square.
a bowler hat. In the Gauzebo, after using the ink, cut the thread of the Architect's newest dream with the scalpel to acquire a bowler hat.
Wear the hat. It attaches itself to your head and makes you look like the errand-runner that the Engineer was expecting. If you visit the Engineer without wearing the hat, he just shooes you away out of his workshop for not being an employee or an employee out of uniform.
a broom. It's in the Hat Vestibule.
If necessary, you can wear the broom as a leg substitute.
Give the broom to the drum major to get the propeller.
Later, give the weeding fork to the drum major to get the broom back.
Give the broom to the bridge-sweeper in the Shabby Neighborhood. He can make the best use of it.
a Clock Smock. It's in the crystal garment safe in the Storage Room.
Wear it. When you enter Dusty Afternoon, the smock self-activates, showing both the time and a sunface button. Push the sun face to transform Dusty Afternoon into Wild Night, and the sun face into a moon face. Press the moon face to return to Dusty Afternoon.
a Boat Coat. In the Workshop, the workers give it to you when you give the propeller to the Engineer.
While wearing it, the coat becomes a boat whenever you enter the canal. Travel on the canal to reach both the island in the south and the swamp in the north.
a weeding fork. In Novalis Opus, the farmer gives it to you when you answer his question, are you looking for work, with a yes.
If necessary, you can wear the fork as a leg substitute.
Give the fork to either the drum major or the vendor to get the broom back or the polyhedrons respectively.
a West Vest. It's in the crystal garment safe in the Storage Room.
You can wear it, but you don't need it. While you wear it, the only direction you can travel is west.
a Bicycle Suit with Wheels and Shelves. It's in the crystal garment safe in the Storage Room.
You can wear it, but you don't need it. While you wear it, you pedal everywhere.
a Gown Chair. It's in the crystal garment safe in the Storage Room.
You can wear it, but you don't need it.
an axe. It's in the Cryptocove, part of the coat of arms, and guarded by the Ghoul.
Give the bronze book to the Ghoul. Now the Ghoul sleeps, and you can take the axe.
In the Archway, take a skeletal arm, chopping it off with the axe. You may only take one of the arms.
If necessary, you can wear the axe as an arm subtitute.
In the Mangrove Swamp, give the axe to the anxious woman. She'll give you the taupe book of poetry in exchange.
a skeletal arm. It's in the Archway attached to the archway itself.
Lost Dream of something. These are the globes in the park. They're heavy, but you can take one at a time.
At the wharf, put a dream into the socket of the crane. Don't forget to examine the canal to note the bale floating in it. Now you can use the crane to take a bale of books out of the canal and onto the dock.
CAUTION: You can crash the game by doing something foolish like putting two globes, one at a time, as dreams, into the pit, then entering the pit, taking a dream, then trying to "drop all dream". But, of course, you'd never do anything as crazy as that. Why would you? Why would anyone? Forget I said anything.
a sequin. It's in Dusty Afternoon.
I found no use for the sequin. I think it's just a clue that a night life is nearby.
a bottle of ink. A tall genial woman within the folds of the Market Cloak will trade this to you for one poetry.
In the Gauzebo, after removing the weevil with the forceps, you'll see a cloud which is a dream of a bridge. Use the ink to make the bridge real; there is now a bridge extending east from the Shabby Neighborhood.
a quill. You take a quill from the Gauzebo automatically when you first try to use ink there.
Give both polyhedra to the lecturer in the Salon. Now you can climb the arch of geometric figures that lecturer is juggling all the way up to the Starlit Roof.
a bladed propeller. The drum major on the Balcony gives it to you in exchange for the broom (or anything similar) that he can use as a baton.
Give the propeller to the Engineer in his workshop. He and his workers use it to build a Boat Coat for you.
a skeleton key. The insomniac ghoul in the Cryptcove wears it on a cord.
First, give the bronze book to the ghoul to put him to sleep. Then cut the cord with the scalpel to get his key.
The skeleton key unlocks the bronze book, but the command to do it is "open bronze book", not "unlock bronze book".
an ethereal sieve. An elderly fellow within the folds of the Market Cloak will trade this to you in exchange for four poetry.
On the Starlit Roof, while directly holding the empty vial, use the sieve to fill the vial with starlight.
If you examine the arrays in the Tower Workroom and ask the cat about the sieve, it's clear that the sieve belongs there, but I was unable to discover what syntax returns the sieve to its proper place.
vial of pure starlight. On the Starlit Roof, while directly holding the empty vial, use the sieve to fill the vial with starlight.
You know you need the starlight when, after visiting the Expert and telling the Architect about her, you ask the Farmer about the Seedling he has been cultivating.
(By the way, if you drink the starlight (you'll need two attempts to actually do it), you'll have an experience that you won't remember, and you'll wake up somewhere like the North End. But you'll still have the vial and the sieve and can refill the vial.)
On Novalis Opus, give the vial of starlight to the Farmer. He'll welcome you as the Young Expert and replace your head with the Seedling.
the Expert's Wand. When you first enter Tower Floor while wearing the Seedling, you remember that a tool is hidden under the rug.
Look under the rug and take the wand.
In Rhomboid Square, touch the prism with the wand to free the imprismed man.
the Ancient Expert. She's in the Turret Bedroom.
You should not take her until you're the Young Expert, wearing the Seedling.
According to the ritual, take her to Deep in the Mangrove Swamp and drop her there.