Gateway of the Ferrets is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2019 by Eric W. Brown (as "Feneric"). It was a participant in the 2019 Interactive Fiction Advent Calendar event.
In this one-room puzzle game, you find yourself on a semi-circular ledge with two ferrets (Sugar and Cinnamon), a kibble dispenser, and a strange imposing pedestal. The only possible way to escape is through a locked gateway with a perplexing readout.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.
Ledge by the Gateway
First, examine everything but the pedestal:
> x Sugar. x Cinnamon.
> x door. x wall. x readout. ("◯ ÷ | ≈ ? . ? ? ? ?")
> x dispenser. x chasm. x island. x bridge. x dirt.
Now examine the pedestal in detail:
> x pedestal. x writing. x mesh.
> x east platform. x west platform.
> x hole. x trim. x switch. x lever.
Now feed and pet both ferrets. Feed them first to gain their trust, then pet them so they get to know you. Then pet them again so they can really know you.
> push button. x kibble. give kibble to Sugar. pet Sugar. g.
> push button. give kibble to Cinnamon. pet Cinnamon. g.
Now that they know you, you can give them some commands, and if they can do what you ask, they will do it. But first we need to discuss the puzzle that's here. Ahem:
So let's put Cinnamon to work first:
> Cinnamon, dig dirt.
> x knob. turn knob. g.
> x readout. ("?.1???")
> Cinnamon, climb mesh. (He's now on the east platform.)
> Cinnamon, jump. g. g. g. g. g. g. g.
> x readout. ("3.13?3")
> Cinnamon, climb mesh. (He climbs down.)
> Sugar, look in hole. g.
> x readout. ("3.1313")
> Sugar, enter trim.
> Sugar, pull lever.
> x readout. ("3.1413")
> Sugar, push switch. g. g. (Loud click!)
> x readout. ("3.1416")
> Sugar, out.
Open the door and celebrate. By the way, if you pet the ferrets enough times, they will allow you to pick them up and hug them.
> push door. dook. sing. dance. xyzzy.
> push button. give kibble to Sugar.
> push button. give kibble to Cinnamon.
Alas, the only way to win is to leave.
*** You win! ***
The response to ABOUT is:
Gateway of the Ferrets is by Eric W. Brown, a.k.a. Feneric. It is part of the 2019 Interactive Fiction Advent Calendar and fits into the overall Planescape setting. It was written in loving memory of the real Cinnamon and Sugar, two fine ferrets who in life were much like they are described here. I miss them both immensely.
My thanks go out to Rhianon P. Brown, Michael D. Hilborn, Naomi Hinchen, and Andrew "Zarf" Plotkin for play testing this game. Their repeated efforts to both solve things and break things helped make it better.
If you've not played parser-based interactive fiction before (or you get stuck) you may want to try typing "hint".
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