Key & Compass presents:
by Adam Perry

Spellbound is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2016 by Adam Perry. This game was entered in IntroComp 2016 where it won 1st place.

In this wordplay game, you play as a graduate student of the Institute of Orthographic Studies. Professor Spruce has given you a mission: find all 26 (twenty-six!) letters out in the wilderness of Phoenicia!

(Note: In the IntroComp release, you will obtain somewhat fewer than 26 letters.)

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


Map 1: Phoenicia Forest

Institute ofOrthographicStudies West Wall WestEntranceto PhoeniciaRuins EastEntranceto PhoeniciaRuins East Wall Aleph City WesternEdge ofPhoenicia Clearing LakePhoenicia WesternPhoeniciaForest EasternPhoeniciaForest Deep WithinPhoeniciaForest KoboldWarren West RuinsUnderground East RuinsUnderground d u u d A, E, T R C S G

Map 2: Phoenicia Underground

WestEntranceto PhoeniciaRuins EastEntranceto PhoeniciaRuins West RuinsUnderground West RuinsCorridor GrandStaircase East RuinsCorridor East RuinsUnderground Pit UndergroundCity ofPhoenicia Thorough-fare Amphi-theater Plaza GreatHall Market Owlbear'sLair u d Y K d take O u spellsea


Institute of Orthographic Studies

> about.

> x me. i. x case. x frame.

> spell tea. (+1)

> x prof. talk to prof.

> s.

Aleph City

> x streets. e. ne.

West Wall

> x cyclops. spell ate. (+1)

> x archway. x ruins. x vines. climb vines.

> e.

West Entrance to Phoenician Ruins

> x R. take R. (+1)

> d.


We'll need light to see down here.

> u. w. s. e.

Lake Phoenicia

CAUTION: You can't take the C yet.

> x log. x crocodile. x C.

> w. s.

Western Phoenicia Forest

> x trees. x elephant.

> spell rat. (The elephant runs north.)

> n.


> spell rat. (+1. The elephant runs east.)

> e.

Lake Phoenicia

> take C. (+1. With the elephant here, the crocodile stays distant.)

> w. s. se.

Deep Within Phoenicia Forest

> climb tree. s.

Kobold Warren

> x kobolds. take G. (They want to see magic.)

> spell aceorspell act. (+1)

> take G. (+1)

> x sticks. take stick. x stick.

> x fire. spell rag. x rag. tie rag to stick.

Unfortunately, tar isn't what your almost-torch needs, so we must explore more.

> n. ne.

Eastern Phoenicia Forest

> x waterfall. x river. x outcropping.

> take S. (A leprechaun grabs it first!)

> x man. talk to man.

There's three ways to deal with him, choose one:

Let's continue:

> n.

East Wall

> x hole.

Hm. You can't get past the hole here. Return to the warren:

> s. sw. s.

Kobold Warren

> spell gas. x torch. light torch. (+1)

> n. nw. n. n. e. d. e.

West Ruins Corridor

> take O.

You are surprised by a woman entering from the east with her own alphabet case and letter frame. She reacts first and you fall into a PIT.


> spell sea. (+1)

You escape the pit and you've also dealt your new rival a setback, wherever she is now.

West Entrance to Phoenician Ruins

> d. e.

West Ruins Corridor

> x mural. x pit. e.

Grand Staircase

> x staircase. e. e. u.

East Entrance to Phoenician Ruins

This is the other side of the hole you first saw at East Wall.

> d. w. w. s.

Underground City of Phoenicia

CAUTION: Don't take the four-letter frame if you want to explore the city!

> save. x buildings. x four.

> s. s.


> x fountain. x benches. w.


I don't know what we'll employ against the mole. Maybe RACE or RAGE?

By the way, the letter here is the Y, confirmed by TAKE Y.

> x mole. x letter. take letter. (The mole is in the way.)

> se.


> x stalls. ne.

Great Hall

> x contraption. x lever. x platform. x rails. x hatch.

> stand on platform. pull lever. (You hear gears moving, but the device doesn't work.)

I assume that in the full game, we'll SPELL KEY and unlock the hatch with it, then SPELL GEAR and put the gear into the hatch to fix the lift device.

> sw. s.

Owlbear's Lair

I'm guessing SPELL CAGE might help us here in the full game?

> x owlbear. n. n. n. n.

Underground City of Phoenicia

If you're done exploring, feel free to take the frame.

> take four. (+1)

Take this opportunity to play with the four-letter frame. Avoid spelling plurals like CATS or TEAS; the game will chide you against being greedy.

> spell arse.

> spell cage. x cage. spell cart. x cart.

> spell case. spell cast.

> spell gear. x gear.

> spell race. spell rage. spell rate. spell rats.

> spell sage. x sage. eat sage.

> spell sate. spell scar. spell scat.

> spell sear. spell seat. spell stag.

> spell star. spell star. spell star. spell star.

> spell tear. spell tsar.

To end the intro, go south into the city with the four-letter frame:

> s.

*** So long for now ***

> amusing



The response to AMUSING after winning:

Did you try...

The author recognizes and apologizes for the ambiguous nature of letters and spelling words in this game (for example, to whom the spelled word should apply, or what physical actions are involved in arranging letters from the alphabet case into a letter frame). Certain concessions were made in the name of keeping things simple for both player and author as well as creating an entertaining game out of a rather ridiculous premise. I hope you have enjoyed your time in Phoenicia. Please direct your praise, complaints, and suggestions to email redacted or @hoursgoby on Twitter.

Thanks so much for playing!






So far, you have the following accomplishments to your name:

  1. served tea
  2. satiated a cyclops
  3. discovered the letter R
  4. scared an elephant
  5. discovered the letter C
  6. impressed a group of kobolds
  7. discovered the letter G
  8. discovered the letter S
  9. assembled a lit torch
  10. escaped a pit
  11. acquired a four-letter frame

You have earned a total of this-many points in several turns, granting you the rank of ranking.

The rankings are:

The maximum score in the IntroComp version is 11 points.


The main gimmick of the game is spelling words out of the letters you collect. You cannot use a letter twice in the same word unless you have two of that letter in your alphabet case. For example, you may not SPELL TAT to give yourself a nifty tattoo at the start of the game. You are further restricted to words that exactly fit any of the letter frames you have.

Note that you can also DISMISS items that you SPELL, although this isn't a necessary action in the IntroComp version.

As you may expect, most words that you can spell have no in-world effect, and many items you create are automatically dismissed. You also cannot have two of an item in play at the same time. Usually you'll be told to use the item you already have, or it will be summoned to your location if it's not with you. Attempts to spell plurals (or words that the game thinks are plural) will be rebuffed with a "don't be greedy" message.

On the other hand, many words that normally have no useful effect in most situations may be very useful in specific situations, particularly if another character or creature is present.

Three-letter words (known useful ones are in boldface):

Four-letter words:

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with