Key & Compass presents:
Jacks or Better to Murder, Aces to Win
by J. D. Berry

Jacks or Better to Murder, Aces to Win is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 1999 by J. D. Berry. It was an entry in IF Comp 1999 where it took 10th place.

In this short game of intrigue, you play as the venerable A, the highest-ranking member of your religion's Hierarchy. During a formal service at a remote holding, you sense a conspiracy to eliminate you is underfoot, and you note that the speaker is rambling, deliberately delaying the service's natural end. You must act, without breaking protocol, or you'll likely soon be dead.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.


d u blow reed at speaker Court-yard C'sOffice D'sOffice SecretQuarters Anteroom Sanctuary Inside Front ofBuilding



> x me. i. x ring. (Has one dose of contact poison, non-lethal.)

> x speaker. (+2; he hasn't looked at you once)

> listen to speaker. (+2; he's definitely stalling)

> x congregation. x altar. x windows.

> x carpet. x pillars.

> x balcony. (+2; see an arrow)

> x chair. (has rack of service materials)

> x rack. x service materials.

> x songbook. x dogmabook. x bead. x reed.

> take bead. take reed.

> put bead in reed. pour poison on bead.

You must have found at least two suspicious things before you're willing to act on them.

> blow reed at speaker. (+5)

You quickly take charge, taking the speaker to the back room and locking the door behind you with your authority.


> x E. search E. take message. read message. (+2)

> x window. (+2)

> x monks. (they shun red)

> ne.

D's Office

Nothing noteworthy here.

> sw. nw.

C's Office

> x weapons. x crossbow. take it. (+2)

> x maps. x armor. x paraphernalia. x objects. x flowers.

> x furniture. (+2. You find secret passage downwards.)

> d.

Secret Quarters

> x robe. x cloak.

> take robe. (+2. You want the red one)

> wear robe. w.


> shoot large monk. (+5)

> search monk. take knife. x it.

> look. (Exits are east and southeast.)

> se.

Front of Building

> x stonework. x doors.

> n.

The voice of the B of district H stops you. His allies are the ruthless B of L and the faux-bumbling B of W. You turn to face them.

CAUTION: You only have two free turns. L will stab you three turns from now if you don't act.

> x H. (A weasel in an A's garb.)

> x L. (Bitter woman. Even as an A, she'd be unhappy.)

> throw knife at L. (+10)

L dies. As H whimpers, you retrieve your knife. You stab H. You tell W to remember and leave. He does.

> x H. x L.

> n. (+14)


*** You have won ***





In response to CREDITS:

Dedicated to my wife Sue and son Daniel.

Thanks to my B's on this project, Sharon Berry and Greg Berry (AKA my sister and brother) for keeping their plots against me to a minimum. "Interesting..." ;-)

My appreciation to
Graham Nelson for "Inform"ing us
Stephen Granade for running this show
An interactive fiction writer to be named later





You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 50, in several turns.

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