Pytho’s Mask Walkthrough

Since a couple people have asked for it, I went back and worked out a walkthrough for Pytho’s Mask. It’s an old game and shows its age in quite a few places (not least in the fact that, at the time I wrote it, “The Order of the Phoenix” wasn’t associated with the best-selling children’s fantasy series in the history of Muggle studies). And conscious genre exercise as it is, there’s a lot here that I wouldn’t write this way now; the gender politics are a bit too Barbie. But there’s dancing and fencing and stuff, along with some goofy banter and a host of inexplicable Borges references.

Note: for conversation options you only need to type in the letter (A, B, etc.). The walkthrough notes what these options correspond to purely in order to help you find your place. The walkthrough also includes a lot of optional conversation that is not vital to winning the game but that does help explain the story fully.

X MINISTER
A – “Have you seen the comet before?”
A – “Who sails it?”
A – “What does mythology say of the comet?”
A – “Even a brief example would interest me, I’m sure.”
A – “Are there other stories about the comet?”
B – “Are there any old stories about the Kings?”
B – “What happened between the Earth woman and the king?”
C – “Are there any old stories about the Moon?”
TOPIC MOON
A – “How long ago did you join the cabinet?”
A – “Is there dissension in the cabinet?”
TOPIC CABINET
A – “Why did the Prince leave the cabinet?”
B – “What do you think of the Earth minister?”
TOPIC CABINET
A – “What do you think of the Court Physician?”
A – “What do you think is happening to the king?”
A – “It was a pleasure speaking to you.”
LOOK
I
X PURSE
OPEN PURSE
X GOLD
X SILVER
X CAPE
X CARD
X RING

*** Now we try the sun court ***

EAST
X KING
TALK TO KING

*** We can’t go north yet, but it’s worth checking out the barrier ***

X FOOTMAN
N

*** Instead, let’s head south to the games room***

S
X TABLE

*** Avril will insult us ***

A – Thank you for rescuing me there.
A – I am Soteria. Of the family of Basili.
A – He was a good man.
A – Can nothing be done for the king?
A – It was a pleasure speaking to you.

*** Now the Queen’s Hall ***

W
X CURTAIN
LOOK BEHIND CURTAIN
WEST

*** Something seems to be going on back there, but we’re supposed to be looking
for the Physician… ***

X PHYSICIAN
TALK TO PHYSICIAN
A – This is a charming party, really.

*** Hm, sounds like he’s not that chatty. Maybe he
doesn’t trust us. Better identify ourselves. ***

SHOW RING TO PHYSICIAN
A – What is it that the King is dying of?
B – An enemy? Who? Someone in the Cabinet?
A – The Moon Minister tells me the Prince left the Cabinet…?
A – Were the Prince’s arguments reasonable, do you think?
A – Do you think the Prince might be the King’s enemy?
A – Why was the Earth Minister so often gone?
A – What do you think of the Earth Minister?
A – Do you know where the Minister of Earth is?
A – How long ago did the Earth Minister join the Cabinet?
A – Who was the previous Earth MInister?
A – What do you think of the MInister of the Moon?
A – What do you know about Avril?
B – How old is Avril?
A – Who were you before you became Court Physician?
B – Have you met any other Androgynes?
A – It was a pleasure speaking to you.

*** So it seems that the king has an enemy, and Avril might know something
about the Moon Minister ***

E
TALK TO AVRIL
TOPIC MOON MINISTER
A – What do you think of the Minister of the Moon?
B – How long ago did the Moon Minister join the Cabinet?
TOPIC EARTH MINISTER
A – Do you know where the Minister of Earth is?
TOPIC PRINCE
A – Any idea where the prince is?
A – Did you know the Queen?
TOPIC KING
A – What is happening to the King?
A – Can anything be done for the King?
A – Have you seen anything done to Kings before?
TOPIC REVERSAL
A – What’s this about the comet? Why is tonight so important?
B – What do you know about the Order?
A – No? Then what — pardon me — are you doing now?
B – It was a pleasure speaking to you.

*** And since we’ve been warned about Valkir… ***

X VALKIR
TALK TO VALKIR
TOPIC PRINCE
B – You are close to the Prince?
C – But what is he like?
D – I assure you I have no designs on the Prince.
A – I rather imagine I shall remain single.

*** …at which point Valkir leaves and Avril intervenes… ***

A – I don’t really know Lord Valkir.
A – Secrets of what kind?
A – You think someone else is involved in the disorder tonight?
TOPIC VALKIR
A – What makes you say Valkir is at the heart of the disorder?
B – What do you mean, Valkir is subtle?
B – If Valkir is evil, why haven’t you said anything?
A – Lord Valkir is dissatisfied?
TOPIC GOODBYE
A – It was a pleasure speaking to you.

*** So it seems Valkir is a problem and probably one of the ministers is
involved. And we’ve been told the Prince is hanging out in the Square Garden,
for whatever that’s worth. As for the Earth Minister, we haven’t met her yet.
Those are both probably things we could investigate. ***

N
W
W
A – Are we acquainted?

*** Pick your choice of rude remark here — it doesn’t matter. For purposes of
the walkthrough, we’ll say…***

B – Is that your real hair?

*** Whereupon we wind up dancing with the Prince… ***

A – I’m honored to be asked to dance, but why?
A – A more arrogant remark I have yet to hear.
B – Why not the girl you were with?

*** Somewhere in here we should notice someone heading north… ***

X PRINCE
A – What toast?
A – I was given an invitation, not a booklet of instructions.
Z
LOOK
N
TALK TO FOOTMAN

*** Hmm. ***

GIVE GOLD COIN TO FOOTMAN

*** (It doesn’t actually matter which denomination we use here.) ***

N
X BOOK
READ BOOK
A – You shouldn’t be here!
A – Are you going to tell me who you really are?
B – This is absurd. We spoke only for a few hours.
A – You talk prettily…
A – Do you not trust me?
A – I do understand.
Z
LOOK
X VOLUMES
G

*** You can examine and read the individual books if so inclined.
It’s not mandatory, but the book entitled Hollow Earth gives a bit more
mythological backstory about the cosmology here. ***

READ NATURE
READ VIGILANCE
READ HEALING
READ BREAKING
READ REVERSAL
READ TOAST

*** That seems ominous. ***
*** Also, we still haven’t ever met the Earth Minister. ***

S
W
W
W
X DOOR
W
X VEILED WOMAN
X DARK-HAIRED MAN
TALK TO VEILED WOMAN
TOPIC CARDS
A – Can you tell fortunes?
TOPIC PRINCE
A – What do you see for the Prince?
TOPIC VALKIR
A – What do you see for Lord Valkir?

*** Hmmmmm. ***

TOPIC ME
A – What do you see for me?
TOPIC EARTH MINISTER
A – What do you see for the Earth Minister?
A – What do you see for the Moon Minister?
A – What do you see for the Court Physician?
TOPIC AVRIL
A – What do you see for Avril?
TOPIC KING
A – What do you see for the King?
A – It was a pleasure speaking to you.

*** Continuing past the fortune-teller… ***

S
TALK TO MAID
B – What are you doing here?
A – Have you overheard anything here?
GIVE COIN TO MAID
A – Have you overheard anything here?
A – Did you see who it was the Earth MInister was speaking to?
B – What is that dripping sound?
A – It was a pleasure speaking to you.

*** It’s looking pretty bad for the Earth Minister, but we still don’t
know what the plan is exactly. ***

IN
TALK TO EARTH MINISTER
C – You’re all alone here.
A – And you feel some special need for safety?
A – What is the importance of the comet?
B – Bringing chaos doesn’t sound at all positive.
TOPIC PRINCE
A – What is the prince like?
TOPIC MOON MINISTER
A – What do you think of the Minister of the Moon?
TOPIC EARTH
B – What does the Earth Minister do?
A – Can you tell me any old stories about the role of Earth?
A – What did the early explorers find?
A – Any other stories about the Earth?
LOOK
LISTEN
A – How often does the comet appear?
TOPIC GOODBYE
A – It was a pleasure speaking to you.

*** So something to do with a potion… and the maid mentioned that the
co-conspirator was going to look it up in the library. ***

OUT
OUT
E
E
TALK TO PRINCE
TOPIC VALKIR
A – I met your friend, Valkir.
TOPIC PRINCE
A – What was your boyhood like?
A – It’s nice to have so much free time.
A – The secret room in the library?
A – Which book is it?
TOPIC EARTH MINISTER
A – Do you know where the Minister of Earth is?
A – I heard you left the Cabinet.
B – What do you think the Earth minister should have been doing?
A – Why couldn’t the Earth Minister have been doing more?
A – Is it possible that that is true?
B – Did you try speaking to her about this?
A – It was a pleasure speaking to you.

*** Continuing on our way back to the library… ***

E
E
N

*** The volume “on the aboriginal inhabitants of the moon” should be visible;
if not, X VOLUMES until it is. NB that it’s not necessary to do this bit in
order to complete the game, so its being a little obscure isn’t the end
of the world. ***

X ABORIGINAL
GET IT
IN
GET PAGE
GET GLOVE
READ PAGE
X GLOVE

*** Uh oh. Sounds like something our ally the Physician might know about. ***

OUT
S
S
TALK TO PHYSICIAN
SHOW PAGE TO PHYSICIAN
A – What do you make of this word leche?
TOPIC POTENT
A – What if someone were trying to poison the King?
A – I think the plot is to poison the King at the toast.
A – Can you help me get into the dining room?

*** Okay, time to dress up. ***

N
W
W
W
UNLOCK DOOR WITH KEY
S
S
OPEN CUPBOARDS
WEAR OUTFIT

*** To the dining area! ***

N
E
X GOBLETS
X KING’S GOBLET

*** This is the point where we get to make a choice — by switching the king’s
goblet with someone else’s. We know that the Earth Minister is definitely
guilty, so we might as well try her… ***

SWITCH KING’S GOBLET WITH EARTH MINISTER’S GOBLET
B – I only came because I heard this was a good view.

*** Here you can type whatever you like, but it will come out as DRINK ***

GET SWORD
ATTACK VALKIR
A – I learned from my father.
A – He was set upon by ruffians!
ATTACK VALKIR

*** And now the epilogue. ***

A – Of course
A – Why couldn’t you have told me who you were to start with?
A – How did you become involved with the Order of the Phoenix?
A – So you became the masked man?
A – And so you found the Order of the Phoenix?
A – It must have been, if it was anything like my own training.
A – I became a member of the Order because of my father.
Z
KISS PRINCE (If you’re so inclined)

or

Z
B – I’m sorry, I — I can’t.

15 thoughts on “Pytho’s Mask Walkthrough

  1. Pingback: In which I am less useful than I’d like | Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling

    • IFDB per se doesn’t house this kind of thing. I’ll upload to the archive, but it’ll take a little while to work its way through the archive system, so in the meantime this seemed a more accessible home for it. (And for now, this blog post *is* linked from IFDB.)

  2. Thank you for making this! I very much enjoyed the game. The guide got me past where I had been stuck (silly mistake on my part) and was generally helpful. I did deviate and side with the antagonists instead of following it at the end, though, which was interesting.

    Thanks again.

    • Oh, excellent! I was trying to reconstruct how to get the alternate ending, but I couldn’t actually find it. I’m glad it’s accessible, though. Maybe I was just misremembering how to get there.

      • I got it by having Soteria cozy up to Valkir, whom I preferred to the prince. She kissed him during their conversation on the terrace, and he asked her to trust him. I then just waited the toast out, and Valkir and Soteria gained power in the epilogue. That’s the alternate ending you mean, yes?

      • Yup, that’s the one. I think I didn’t actually go so far as to kiss Valkir — that’s probably my mistake. Just mad flirting isn’t enough to get there.

  3. I played into the game rather often, but only recently took the time to get to the end. The very first time I bought my way into the library; later I learned the proper way. When I look, and take one of the books, I always end up with another book than I took. And I did discover the secret room, of course, but didn’t know what to do with it. I don’t think I ever met someone there or found a glove in the at least ten times I read through all the books there. Maybe I’ll have to replay it once more according to your walkthrough.
    Oh – and what about the mystery of the elusive dripping sound? Listening didn’t work, and it remained invisible too.

      • X MINISTER
        A – “Have you seen the comet before?”
        A – “Who sails it?”
        A – “What does mythology say of the comet?”
        A – “Even a brief example would interest me, I’m
        sure.”
        A – “Are there other stories about the comet?”
        B – “Are there any old stories about the Kings?”
        B – “What happened between the Earth woman
        and the king?”
        C – “Are there any old stories about the Moon?”

        All of the above works all right, then the game moves swiftly to the end of the conversation without any of the other subjects opening up for further discussion. This leaves me wondering what exactly I got from IFDB.

      • Tested this with the Play Online version (which should be keying into the same file that is downloadable, I believe) and it worked fine. You do have to actually type TOPIC MOON (for instance) — that’s a command, not a header. If that wasn’t the point of confusion, however, I’m not sure what’s likely to be wrong.

      • You do have to actually type TOPIC MOON (for instance) — that’s a command, not a header.
        Ah, I didn’t know that. Thank you very much. Now I’mma back to the game.

  4. There seems to be a bug dancing with the Prince. I can’t stop dancing with him! It shows I’m talking to him, but there are no A, B, C, D options to speak to him with. The status bar is wide, but shows no options for topics.

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