You play as someone who has been sentenced to death in the Pit of the Condemned for your crimes. The Pit is an abandoned underground city stripped of value, inhabited only by a huge Beast who kills all intruders. Above the Pit, spectators eagerly wait to see how you'll die. But if you are lucky and clever, perhaps they will watch how the Beast dies instead.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.
⬜ indicates an open door that can be closed and locked with the right key.
Unfortunately, I cannot write a specific walkthrough for this game because of its randomized features. Instead, I will discuss some strategies.
First, you are trapped in an abandoned city with a Beast who will seek you out and kill you immediately if it ever enters your location or if you enter its location.
You always begin in Grand Square, in the center of the map.
The Beast begins (I believe) in one of four randomly-chosen locations: Royal Hall, Gallows Hill, cathedral sanctuary, or drill yard.
The Beast moves when you move or wait. It also moves when you listen, take inventory, or attack.
The Beast does not move when you look, examine, take, ask, tell, or use "help". Those actions consume no game time.
The Beast will head directly to Grand Square at first, to kill Iza at 12:04 pm. Sorry, but there's no way to save her. The Beast will then try to head directly to you, if it can sense where you are. If you head away from it and head downward into the lower level, you have a reasonable chance of losing it for a time.
Be cautious that you don't end up trapped in dead-end locations; never enter dead-ends if the Beast is nearby.
Be alert to the Beast's changing location, so that you never end up walking towards where he is.
The only way you'll ever get a glimpse of the Beast and still manage to stay alive is if you're at Upper Market Square and the Beast is at Grand Square; the road slopes downward from Upper Market. Of course, you'll need to run away from the Beast if you want to stay alive.
Second, you cannot fight the Beast directly. There are no weapons in the Pit of the Condemned to help you. However, you can set up to three traps if you can find the right tools.
The bridge at ravine crossing can be weakened by using the saw there.
The spike trap in the treasury can be set by using the wire there.
The stones in the rancid sewer can be turned into a fire trap by using the tinderbox there.
If the Beast triggers any one of your traps, you win the game.
Note that you will never trigger any of your traps yourself. A small mercy.
Third, the tools (saw, wire, and tinderbox) and three keys are randomly placed in the city. Four of six items will be beside dead bodies, and the last two items can be found only by searching the junk in the tinker's shop.
CAUTION: Don't search the tinker's junk if the Beast is anywhere near you. The search is noisy and takes time, giving the Beast a chance to block your escape from the shop.
Be aware that the keys won't be much use to you. One key unlocks the officers' quarters, but it's a dead-end and there's usually nothing helpful in there; you cannot win by locking yourself into it, and it's utter folly to think you'll be able to lock the Beast in there. And the doors for the other two keys are already open when the game begins. Sure, you might be able to close and lock a door in the Beast's face, and good luck with that, but really, it's simpler to just run away and not risk having any locked doors blocking your path later on.
Fourth, the easiest way to lure the Beast to a trap is stay beside it and yell. If the Beast doesn't respond because it's too far away to hear you, you may need to wander away a little, yell again, and head back to your trap.
Fifth, remember that examining the scenery takes no game time. Feel free to examine everything you find. There's not a lot to see, but there is some stuff here and there, like crypts, signs, bones, and dead bodies.
Several scenery items strongly suggest that an alien race used to live in this city, which makes the city somewhat interesting in its own right.
There is no deep secret to learn about the aliens. Learning about the aliens will neither help you defeat the Beast nor help you escape their city.
If you'd rather just explore the city instead of playing the game, the special command walking sim removes the Beast from the game. You'll need to restart the game to bring the Beast back.
This is just one example of one of my play sessions showing how the game might go from start to finish.
The game begins at 12:00 pm.
> x magistrate. x guard. x elevator. x me. x iza.
> x door. x hole. x spectators.
> ask iza about beast. ask iza about pit.
> ask iza about iza.
The guard stops me. The elevator leaves. A gong sounds.
Pay attention to which direction the roar is. I hear a roar to the west, so I'm going the opposite direction, east.
Lower Market Street
> x stalls. e. s.
I hear Iza die.
> d. s. e. w. s.
I found the officer and his key here. I don't hear the Beast anywhere.
> x bones. x tools.
> x officer. x key. take key.
> n. w.
> x skulls. w.
> x sarcophagus. w. w. w. u. n.
> x bridge. n.
> x targets. x dummies. w.
> e. n. n.
> x fountains. x plinths. x pieces. e. e.
I now hear noises some way away to the east. I shall backup and head down again.
> w. d.
I found the tinderbox and adventurer here.
> x adventurer. x tinderbox. take tinderbox.
> se. se. e.
> x stones. x fungus. use tinderbox.
The fire trap is set!
> yell.(I hear a distant roar from the west.)
> z. z. z. z.
The beast arrives and triggers the trap.
*** The beast is defeated! ***
The beast is your foe in the Pit. No one knows exactly what it is, only that it hunts its victims and kills them quickly. You cannot kill it directly. You must instead set a trap then lure the beast to it.
Iza is a female human also condemned to die in the Pit. Because of her twisted ankle, she can't walk. The Beast will kill her very quickly.
A magistrate is in the elevator in the Grand Square. He says nothing, and is probably only there to make your execution official.
A guard is also in the elevator and physically prevents you from re-entering it.
Spectators are watching from above the city. You can see them from the Grand Square and from the air vent.
There are also a few dead bodies in random locations:
A skeletal officer has the the officer's key.
An uneaten carpenter has the saw.
A dead adventurer has the tinderbox.
A fallen convict has a wire or a cell key or a barracks key.
The former inhabitants of the city seem to have been aliens; their skulls and bones are not quite human in shape, etc.
Your mind on other things, you blunder into the same room as the beast! Its dark fur seems to draw in the light, picking out its bright claws and fangs. For a moment you hope it won't see you, but that doesn't last long: your eyes meet for an instant and then it's all over. if you enter the room where the beast is.
A storm of dark fur, the beast catches up with you, its claws and fangs the only distinct features in the poor light. Your death is quick, if not as clean as the magistrate hoped. if the beast enters the room where you are.
The beast is defeated!
if the beast enters the ravine crossing when the bridge trap is set,
if the beast enters the treasury when the spike trap is set, or
if the beast enters the rancid sewer when the fire trap is set.
an officer's key. It's found in a random location with the skeletal officer. This key unlocks the door between the common room and the officers' quarters.
a saw. It's found in a random location with the uneaten carpenter. Use the saw at the ravine crossing; the bridge is now a pitfall trap!
a tinderbox. It's found in a random location with the dead adventurer. Use the tinderbox in the rancid sewer; the stones are now a fire trap!
wire. It's found either in a random location with the fallen convict or by searching the junk in the tinker's shop. Use the wire at the spike trap in the treasury; the spike trap is now repaired and armed!
a barracks key. It's found either in a random location with the fallen convict or by searching the junk in the tinker's shop. It can lock and unlock the barracks door between Grand Square and guard room. The barracks door is already open, though.
a cell key. It's found either in a random location with the fallen convict or by searching the junk in the tinker's shop. It can lock and unlock the cell door between the dungeon and the air vent. The cell door is already open, though.