In this game, you play as a writer, waking up after hearing something downstairs. You and your wife Eleanor soon discover there's been an intruder and her paintings are infected! You'd better find your pen and enter the stories to find out what's happened. Meanwhile, Eleanor begins a new painting to trap the intruder in.
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.
WRITE IN ISLANDS BOOK to go to Your Rock in the sky islands.
WRITE IN NOTEPAD to go to Looking into the Sphere.
STOP to stop writing and leave a book's world.
Map 2: Goblins' mine
Map 3: Forest
Note that for the final step in the forest maze, you must examine the moss if you want to reach the river.
Map 4: Pyramid
Map 5: Sky Islands
NOTE: This game doesn't support ask NPC about SOMETHING. Instead, use ask NPCforSOMETHING.
You hear something downstairs.
> x me.(You're not dressed properly.)
> s. d.
The paintings look wrong somehow? Note that whenever you look at a painting, you feel inspiration but need "further stimulation for your senses".
> x paintings.
> x mine painting. x forest painting. x pyramid painting. x islands painting.
> x mine book. x forest book. x pyramid book. x islands book.
> x cupboard. x futon.
> z.(Wait until Eleanor is there.)
> x Eleanor.("My paintings have been INFECTED!")
Eleanor says to look at a picture to get attuned, then use your pen to write words in the books. Enter the story and find what's been done.
Eleanor sets up an easel.
Eleanor puts a canvas on the easel. She's going to make a trap. Meanwhile, explore your home and pick up everything that's not locked down.
> u. n.
> x seashell.(It has birdsong.)
> take it.
> s. w.
> x toilet. x sink. x bath. x musician.(awaits instructions)
> e. e.
> x pen. take it.
> x notepad. take it.
> x jar. take it.
> x toy. take it.
> x work desk. x chair. x shelf.
> w. d. e.
> x volumes. x bowl.
> x sphere. take it.
> w. w.
> x table. x portraits. x chairs.
> x surface. x implements. x machines.
> x battery. take it.
> w.(No; it's dark.)
> x table. x shadows.
> u. e. e.
Now explore each of the storyworlds represented by the paintings and books. You can do them in any order, but this walkthrough will do them in the order presented. Which means we'll do the goblin mine first.
For each storyworld, you need to first examine its painting, then increase your inspiration twice by touching, smelling, or hearing something relevant, then write in its book with your pen.
> x mine painting.(Inspiration begins.)
> play toy.(Inspiration increases.)
> smell fungus.(Inspiration increases more. You can now write in the mine book.)
> write in mine book.
You're now an elf in the goblins' mine.
Stairway to Surface
Although stairs are here, you can neither go up nor down from this location.
> x me. i. x skull. x rubble. x pit.
> take rubble.(You can only hold the rock for a turn.)
> put rock in pit.
The noise attracts the goblins, and they now glare at you.
> give skull to goblins.(This placates them.)
> x goblins. n.
> x beds. x blanket. take it.
This room is incomplete, as if you haven't written this part of the story yet.
> e. e.
> x ladder. take ladder.
> n. n.
> x idol. x goblins. listen.
> lean ladder on idol. u.
Top of the Idol
> x crack. jump.
With the blanket's aid, you float to...
> x drummer. x robe.
> listen.(You got it. You leave the story.)
You now have a music sheet.
> i. x sheet.
Continue with the forest storyworld next. For forest-based inspiration, you need to hear birds and feel leaves.
> x forest painting. listen to seashell.
> x diagram. x leaves. touch leaves.
> write in forest book.
You are now a dwarven botanist in a forest.
> x tent. x me. i. x trowel.
> w.(No, that's for leaving the forest.)
Amidst the Trees (gooseberries)
> x birds. x gooseberries.(unripe)
> listen to birds.("orth!")
Amidst the Trees (bluebells)
> x bluebells. listen to birds.("Teast!")
Admist the Trees (daffodils)
> x daffodils. listen to birds.("orth!")
Admist the Trees (brambles)
> x brambles. listen to birds.("Mouth!")
Admist the Trees (wasp nest)
> x wasp nest. listen to birds.("orth!")
Admist the Trees (thick moss)
You must examine the moss here, otherwise going south won't take you to the river.
> x moss.(It only grows on north sides of trees.)
> listen to birds.("Mouth!")
By the River
> x log. take log.
Edge of the Field and the Grey Tree
Nothing is actually here. This location is unfinished.
> n. n.
Edge of the Field
> x tree. x pods. x rocks.
> climb tree.
Atop the Rugged Tree
> x sun. x pods.
> drop log.(The pods explode. Fun!)
> d. e.
> x remains. dig.(You get a vibrating orb.)
You leave the story.
You have another music sheet.
> i. x sheets.
Continue with the pyramid storyworld:
> x pyramid painting.
> open jar. listen to silence.
> close jar. shake sphere.
> write in pyramid book.
> x me.(non-physical)
> i. x box. x rod. x gloves. x circle.
> n. e. n. n.
Hm. Another incomplete room.
> s. e. e.
It's important that you first know there are robbers in the pyramid before trying to collect the tools you'll need to scare them away.
> e.(You hear tomb robbers.)
> w. s. s.
> x shadows.(Can't see in them)
> wear gloves.
> touch shadows.(You find a roll of bandages.)
> x bandages. wear bandages.(You wrap them around your face.)
> n. w. w. n.
> x king. x treasures.
> s. w.
> x servants.(Two are sleep; one is half-awake.)
> x shroud. take shroud.(You need the servant's permission.)
> talk to servant.(Stronger method needed)
> take rod. smite servant.(He wakes.)
> talk to servant.(He gives his shroud to you.)
> wear shroud.
Wearing both bandages and shroud, you have a suitably frightening outfit. Return to the robbers:
> e. e. n. e. e. e.
The thieves flee, screaming, leaving a strange machine.
> x machine. listen to machine.(Got it.)
You leave the story.
You have a third music sheet. Onto the last painting, the islands one:
> x islands painting.
> drop battery. take battery.(inspiration grows)
There's a flower bowl in this room, but it isn't mentioned at all! Oops.
> x flowers. smell flowers.
> write in islands book.
> x me. x stuff. i.(carrying nothing)
> x crew. x wreck.(has a spring-loaded cannon)
> talk to crew.
They want your help fixing their ship. They agree to give you their cannon if you find a power source and some buoyant material for them.
> u. u.
> x rod. take rod. e.
> x clouds. x blue. x yellow. x pink. x green.
The blue, yellow, and green clouds are all too thin to take.
> take pink clouds.
> w. w.
> x rainbow. x pot.
Yet another incomplete location.
> e. e. d. d.
> give rod. give cloud.
The crew fix their airhip, thank you and leave, leaving the cannon behind for you.
> x cannon.(To use it, FIRE something.)
> take cannon.
> u. u. n.
> x dragon. talk to dragon.(That would be very unwise.)
> fire pot.(The dragon goes after the pot.)
> x treasure. open box.(It plays music: Got it.)
Now that you have four music sheets, Eleanor tells you to put "him" into her new picture.
> x picture. x sphere picture.(New inspiration.)
> u. w.
> give music to musician.(He plays them. Now you know the composer and can write him into your passages.)
> e. d.
> write in notepad.
Looking into the Sphere
You're here as yourself and have all your normal inventory.
> talk to culprit.(He wanted you to finish your stories.)
> x culprit.(He's dressed as a bard, but has no instrument.)
You return to bed with Eleanor. You'll work on your stories tomorrow.
*** Zzzz... ***
In the main world:
You are a writer, but you've been having trouble finishing stories lately.
Eleanor is your wife and a painter. She's also in charge of the kitchen.
The player-character in the story worlds:
In the mine story, you are an elven spelunker visiting a goblin mine.
In the forest story, you are a dwarven botanist.
In the pyramid story, you are an undead sorcerer loyal to your king.
In the islands story, you are some sort of sky creature with gangly limbs. One floating rock is your home.
Other characters in the story worlds:
Goblins are busy working in their mine. You think they're digging for iron ore.
A goblin drummer in a strange yellow robe is drumming almost mechanically.
Birds flying above you in the forest helpfully tell you which way to go if only you'd listen to them.
Servants in funeral shrouds sleep in the servant's chamber.
Your king rests inside his sarcophagus, hidden from your sight.
Thieves have invaded the pyramid, but they're certain to be superstitous and cowardly.
The crew want your help fixing their airship. They need a power source and some buoyant material.
A silver dragon languidly reposes on his rock, surrounded by treasure.
A bard has invaded your home in an unorthodox attempt to get you to finish your stories. You and Eleanor trap him inside a sphere in a new story.
From part of the response to HELP:
Thanks to Graham Nelson (and others) for Inform 7.
Thanks to Conrad Cook, Jeff Pankratz and Leandro Ribeiro for testing.
Please send any feedback to email redacted. This game may be freely distributed, but not sold or otherwise used for profit without the written permission of the author.
The writer's inventory
a seashell. It's on the dresser in your bedroom.
When you listen to it, you hear birdsong. This is one of two inspirations you need before you can write in the forest book (with your pen); the other is feeling the leaves in the landing.
a quill pen. It's on the work desk in your study.
You need it to write with, particularly when writing in each of the books in the gallery, but also when writing in the notepad.
a notepad. It's on the work desk in your study.
Since it's a blank book, you'll be able to use it with Eleanor's new painting to create a trap for the intruder.
After you've given all four music sheets to the musician in the bathroom, you now know the composer of the music well enough to write him into a book. Take the notepad to the gallery, and assuming Eleanor has finished her new painting, write in the notepad (with your pen) to capture the intruder.
a jar of silence. It's on the metal shelf in your study.
Open the jar and listen to the silence. This is one of two inspirations you need before you can write in the pyramid book (with your pen); the other is shaking the sphere of grave dust.
an executive toy. It's on the metal shelf in your study.
Play with it. This is one of two inspirations you need before you can write in the mine book (with your pen; the other is smelling the fungus in the library.
a battery. It's on the work surface in the kitchen.
Take it. The shock you receive is one of two inspirations you need before you can write in the islands book; the other is smelling the flowers in the dining room. If you already have the battery, you may need to drop it and take it again.
a sphere of grave dust. It's on the wooden shelves in the library.
Shake it. This is one of two inspirations you need before you can write in the pyramid book (with your pen); the other is listening to the silence inside the jar.
a sheet of music or some music sheets. There are four sheets you need to acquire.
Acquire a sheet from the mine book in the gallery. To enter the mine book's storyworld: first examine the mine book, then play (with) the executive toy and smell the fungus (in the library), and finally write in the mine book with the pen. As the elf, make your way to the drummer's circle and listen.
Acquire a sheet from the forest book in the gallery. To enter the forest book's storyworld: first examine the forest book, then listen to the seashell and touch the leaves (on the landing), and finally write in the forest book with the pen. As the dwarf, make your way to the dead field and dig with the trowel.
Acquire a sheet from the pyramid book in the gallery. To enter the pyramid book's storyworld: first examine the pyramid book, then listen to the silence inside the jar and shake the sphere of grave dust, and finally write in the pyramid book with the pen. As the sorcerer, make your way to the antechamber and listen to the machine there.
Acquire a sheet from the islands book in the gallery. To enter the islands book's storyworld: first examine the islands painting, then take the battery (from the kitchen) and smell the flowers (in the dining room). As a sky-creature, solve problems until you can open the dragon's music box on the dragon rock.
Finally, look at Eleanor's new painting, the sphere picture, then give your collection of four music sheets to the musician in the bathroom, who'll play them for you. You now know the intruder, the composer of the music, well enough that when you write into your notepad (with your pen), you'll capture him.
Note that the books in the gallery would normally be takeable, but since you need them near their respective pictures, you won't take any of them.
The dwarven botanist's inventory
a trowel. You're carrying it.
In the dead field, dig with the trowel to obtain the vibrating orb.
a rotten log. It's by the river.
If you take it to the top of the rugged tree and drop the log, you can make the seed pods below explode! This doesn't really accomplish anything, but it's fun to do.
a vibrating orb. You acquire it when you dig with the trowel in the dead field.
You will automatically leave the forest book's storyworld when you acquire the orb, since the sound it makes is what you were looking for.
The elven spelunker's inventory
a chameleon skull. You're carrying it.
When the goblins burst into the stairway and surround you, show or give the skull to them. It works as a polite diplomatic greeting, and you're now free to walk further into the mine.
a chunk of rock. At the stairway to surface, try taking the rubble there to acquire a chunk of rock.
The rock is very heavy. You only have one turn to do anything with it before you have to put it down.
Put the rock into the pit. The noise will attract the goblins, and they will open the blocked western tunnel to get to you.
a loose blanket. It's in the sleeping quarters.
When at the top of the idol, jump. The blanket will act as a hang glider, letting you float down into the drummer's circle.
a long ladder. It's in the equipment room.
In the cave chamber, lean the ladder on the idol. Now you can go up to the top of the idol.
The sorcerer's inventory
a sorcerer's box. You're carrying it.
Just hold onto it. The rod and gloves inside it are more important, though.