Counterfeit Monkey

Cover art for Counterfeit MonkeyAnglophone Atlantis has been an independent nation since an April day in 1822, when a well-aimed shot from their depluralizing cannon reduced the British colonizing fleet to one ship.

Since then, Atlantis has been the world’s greatest center for linguistic manipulation, designing letter inserters, word synthesizers, the diminutive affixer, and a host of other tools for converting one thing to another. Inventors worldwide pay heavily for that technology, which is where a smuggler and industrial espionage agent such as yourself can really clean up.

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Orthography has taken a serious interest in your activities lately. Your face has been recorded and your cover is blown.

Your remaining assets: about eight more hours of a national holiday that’s spreading the police thin; the most inconvenient damn disguise you’ve ever worn in your life; and one full-alphabet letter remover.

Good luck getting off the island.

Counterfeit Monkey is a full-length wordplay puzzle game. It started out as a code sketch intended to be an Inform 7 example — using indexed text to implement a T-remover machine like in Leather Goddesses of Phobos — but the scenario was so much fun to extend that it quickly grew far too large to use in the manual. Once I realized I was writing a proper game, I sat down to ask myself what kind of world we’d be living in if it really were possible to T-remove a rabbit into a rabbi, and what kind of story belonged in that world. The bulk of the game was completed by 2010 and I did another chunk of work in 2011, to the point where it was almost release-ready when Pressing Real Life Things took over. It needed just a bit of light cleanup this holiday season.

If we were listing back of the box features, the list would look a little like this:

  • tutorial, merciful design, and multiple solutions for those who like their puzzles gentle
  • achievements for esoteric solutions and an optional hard mode, for those who want more challenge
  • friendly navigation: built-in graphical map, compass rose, and GO TO ROOM features
  • Alabaster-style conversation engine for conversing with assorted NPCs
  • extensively developed world with roughly a hundred locations to explore
  • estimated 8-10 hours for an experienced IF player to play once on easy mode
  • cameo appearances from three IF community members

Because it’s computationally demanding, Monkey behaves differently on different interpreters. The ideal way to run it is with the Git engine for speed.

At the moment playing with Gargoyle using Git is difficult because it’s compiled with settings that make UNDO non-functional with such a large game. Gargoyle maintainers have very kindly offered to work on this; that’s likely to take a little time to complete.

To boil down the terp suggestions:

Browser: Monkey loads under Quixe, but is unplayably slow. No alternate recommendations here.

MacOS X: Mac Zoom runs Monkey at good speed. UNDO works for me, but I gather it doesn’t work for everyone. Spatterlight runs unacceptably slowly.

Windows: UNDO fails on Windows Git, but works on Windows Glulxe. (The tradeoff is that Glulxe will be a bit slower.)

Linux: Gargoyle is the best option here.

Whichever you pick, unless you’re sure UNDO is working, save often. While it should be hard to get stuck, it is possible to die in various ways.

146 thoughts on “Counterfeit Monkey”

  1. This should be fun; I will download it when I get home.

    I find it delightful that it’s possible to write an IF game that does so much legitimate computation[0] that it runs unacceptably slowly on some currently-popular platforms.


    [0] By which I mean, the game isn’t deliberately pessimized or contains a routine to find the next hundred prime numbers after every turn or anything like that–it just does a lot of calculating in the service of the story.

    1. Also, per one of our conversations some time ago: I’m not putting it up immediately so that people will have a little time to discover the game from the inside, but your remarks did persuade me that I should plan to release source. So that’s all commented etc., and I’ll put it up in a little while.

  2. Enjoying this, though I’ve hardly started. I like how fleshed-out the letter remover is. And the map is very pretty.

  3. Hey this is really great; very finely wrought. I’m not a very experienced consumer of this sort of thing, so I may be off base here, but I think there’s a glitch? SPOILERS BELOW:
    vs lbh tb vagb gur Nagrpunzore, gur frpergnel nyjnlf svaqf gung lbh ner pneelvat n pregnva bowrpg, rira vs lbh yrnir vg oruvaq va fbzr bgure ybpngvba.

    [Edited into rot13 by Emily to respond to the poster’s suggestion of spoiler-protecting it.]

    1. hmm – my spoiler space thingy didn’t really work – you might want to remove this post…sorry!

      1. Rot13’d answer:

        vg znl or gung lbh cvpxrq gung bowrpg hc ntnva jvgubhg ernyvmvat vg — gurer ner n srj tnzr-pevgvpny vgrzf gung Nyrk jba’g yrg lbh yrnir oruvaq (sbe lbhe bja cebgrpgvba, ernyyl). vs fb, lbh zvtug pbafvqre jurgure lbh pna qvfthvfr gur bowrpg be creuncf uvqr vg va lbhe onpxcnpx gb fzhttyr vg cnfg.

        If that turns out not to work for some reason, I’d be interested to see a transcript and see if there’s a bug I should look at.

  4. Is this a bug? The help says “In a location, LOOK CLOSELY will print the room description with object names in bold. If you would like to experience the whole game this way, try HIGHLIGHTING ON.” But in Zoom for OSX, when I “look closely” it says “That noun did not make sense in this context.” When I type “highlighting on” it says “Score notification on.” but room descriptions are not then highlighted.

  5. I’m having trouble with ‘look closely’ and ‘highlighting on’. In Zoom on OSX, the former gives “That noun did not make sense in this context” while the latter says it’s turning on score notification. That’s not what the help file says ought to happen, unless I’m misunderstanding.

    1. If you do LOOK CAREFULLY, that should work. (That part is a documentation error, due to my incorrectly editing the ABOUT text very late in the process. Doh.)

      The highlighting bug appears to be something else; I’m not immediately seeing in the code what’s gone wrong, because it ought to be directing to the correct action, I think. But I’ll spend some time later debugging this. In the meantime, LOOK CAREFULLY should give you that effect on a room-by-room basis.

    2. I’m having the same problem, if it helps.

      Also, maybe a bug, maybe I’m just dense (probably the latter), but if you get the car and the oil, then leave the car where it is and give the oil to the mechanic, apparently he fixes a car that is not there.

  6. Hi.

    I really like the concept of this game, and for the most part the execution is very polished. However, I have come across a couple of what I think may be bugs. In addition to the car / mechanic business mentioned by an earlier poster, I also had some problems somewhat later in the game (scrambled into rot-13):

    Vs lbh chg gur try ba gur ebpx jura vg’f va gur G-vafregvba znpuvar, Oebpx jba’g yrnir gur znpuvar, ceriragvat gur cynlre sebz orvat noyr gb chg nalguvat ryfr vagb vg (hayrff gurl ghea uvz vagb n ebpx naq erzbir uvz). Nyfb, va gur G-vafregvba znpuvar frpgvba, jura lbh’er fgvyy rkcrevzragvat naq nera’g fhccbfrq gb or noyr gb yrnir gur ebbz, vs lbh ghea Oebpx onpx vagb n ebpx vg yrgf lbh yrnir, gurerol cerzngheryl gevttrevat gur zrrgvat jvgu lbhe sngure. Ubjrire, vafgrnq bs gura orvat frag gb gur pbyq fgbentr ebbz, lbh’er serr gb jnaqre nebhaq, zrnavat gung lbh pna tb onpx vagb gur G-vafregvba znpuvar ebbz, pbzcyrgr gur rkcrevzragngvba, naq gura or hanoyr gb cebterff fvapr gur pbyq fgbentr frdhrapr jvyy abg gevttre.

    I hope that makes sense! But lest this seems too pernickety a post, let me re-emphasize that, overall, this game is outstanding.

  7. Maybe this is a bug, maybe this is a puzzle, but I’m having massive problems with the car (I suspect a bug, though).

    V unir perngrq gur pne naq tvira gur bvyq gb gur zrpunavp naq ur pynvzf gb unir ercnverq gur pne.

    V pna “fgneg pne” (juvpu jbexf), ohg abg qevir vg fbhgurnfg, orpnhfr vg’f fgvyy bhg bs shry!? Rira perngvat zber bvy (sebz gur sbffvy) qbrfa’g uryc. Vs V gel gb “fgneg pne” ntnva, gur tnzr gryyf zr gung vg’f nyernql ba.

    What can I do?

    1. It sounds like the puzzle is working almost right, with one bad message confusing you.

      Vg fubhyq or tvivat lbh n orggre zrffntr sbe FGNEG PNE, fb V’yy ybbx vagb gung. Ohg lbh qb va snpg arrq obgu bvy (gb svk ratvar vffhrf, ivn gur zrpunavp) naq fbzr sbez bs npghny shry be tnfbyvar (gb eha ba). Bapr lbh unir obgu, gur pne fubhyq shapgvba.

      1. I’m enjoying this tremendously, but I’m stuck at the car too. I can’t tell if I’m missing something really obvious or if I’ve broken the game…

        V nffhzr V’z ybbxvat sbe TNF (V’z n Oevg, fb zl vaghvgvba vf gb eha pnef ba CRGEBY, ohg gung qbrfa’g frrz yvxryl) be znlor n SHAARY gb ghea vagb SHRY, ohg V pna’g svaq nalguvat. V’ir genjyrq gur ninvynoyr nernf sbe gur cnfg ubhe naq V pna’g svaq zhpu ryfr gb vagrenpg jvgu gung V unira’g nyernql cvpxrq hc. Nz V whfg ybbxvat va gur jebat cynprf be nz V fghpx? V’ir tvira obgu ybgf bs bvy gb gur zrpunavp naq gur pne fchggref vagb yvsr vs V glcr FGNEG PNE, ohg vs V gnyx gb uvz ntnva ur fgvyy fnlf ur jnagf bvy.

      2. @richmcd Sounds like you haven’t broken the game, just possibly missed some items or locations.

        1. Unir lbh orra gb gur ornpu?

        2. Vs abg, lbh fubhyq rkcrevzrag jvgu gur fcvaare tngr va Ebtrg Pybfr.

        3. Vs fb, gurer ner npghnyyl n pbhcyr bs bcgvbaf ng gur ornpu — obgu tnf naq shry pna or sbhaq haqre gur evtug pvephzfgnaprf — ohg gur rnfvrfg vf gb trg gur shaary ohevrq va gur fnaq. (Fbeel, ab crgeby, V srne.)

  8. I am absolutely adoring this game, even if I take forever with a puzzles. A question about something near the end, though:

    Nsgre Ngynagvqn fcyvgf gur pbhagrejrvtug ncneg, vf gur jrvtug fhccbfrq gb inavfu? Gur grkg fnlf vg qebcf gb gur sybbe, ohg vg frrzf gb or tbar sebz gur ebbz ragveryl. V pna’g gryy vs gung’f n oht be vs vg zrnaf V’z abg fhccbfrq gb or noyr gb tb onpx guebhtu gur cbegphyyvf, naq vg frrzf yvxr V JBHYQ unir gb tb onpx hc gb qb jung Nyrk jnagf orsber jr urnq gb gur lnpug… Nz V zvffvat fbzrguvat??

    1. Gur jrvtug ebyyf njnl — ohg gurer’f nabgure jnl onpx guebhtu gur cbegphyyvf.

      Additional hints, each more explicit than the last:

      Purpx bhg gur guvatf ba gur genl va Ngynagvqn’f ebbz.

      Abgr gur wnpxf.

      F-erzbir gur wnpxf, gura tb onpx gb gur cbegphyyvf naq bcra vg.

  9. I’m really enjoying this game, so far: you’ve really made something quite remarkable here. I’m a little stuck, though – any chance of a hint (I’m probably just being stupid)? V’ir tbg n shryyrq-hc pne naq fbzr bvy, ohg V pna’g svaq n tnentr ng juvpu gb trg vg ercnverq.

    1. Maybe I can help a bit… Here are some hints, each stronger than the last:

      Hint 1
      Gur tnentr vf abg vzzrqvngryl boivbhf. Lbh arrq gb qb fbzrguvat svefg.

      Hint 2
      Ybbx sbe fbzrguvat lbh pna jnir lbhe yrggre-erzbire ng.

      Hint 3 (spoiler):
      Purpx Uvtu Fgerrg. Gurer’f fbzr tneontr gurer. Erzbir gur o.

      1. I’m reduced to ask for a hint, as I’m ragveryl hanoyr gb svaq shry sbe gur pne. Any nudge will be greatly appreciated, thanks!

      2. @Daurmith: Assuming you’re playing in easy mode:

        1. unir lbh orra gb gur ornpu?
        2. vs abg, vairfgvtngr gur tngr va Ebtrg Pybfr
        3. bapr lbh’er ng gur ornpu, purpx bhg gur guvat ohevrq va gur fnaq
        4. erzbir gur a sebz gur shaary

        If you’re playing in hard mode, instead of steps 3 and 4:

        3a. lbh fgvyy arrq gb tb gb gur ornpu, ohg vairfgvtngr gur yrff boivbhf fprarel
        4a. lbh fubhyq svaq fbzr fntr
        5. fntr vf fbeg bs fvzvyne gb tnf
        6. cvpx gur fntr, erzbir gur r, gura chg gur fnt ba gur fcvaare ng gur tngr

  10. I’m facing a whole day at work, I just have my iPad, and Frotz cannot play Counterfeit Monkey. It’s gonna be a long lunch hour.

  11. This is amazing. The sheer variety of ways the player can affect things is remarkable, and I can only guess at the work required to keep this freedom consistent with the limitations required by the plot.

    I’ve spent far too much time today thinking about one puzzle, so if I’m allowed to add to the chorus of hint requests…

    Ubj qb V npdhver n cbjre pbeq sbe gur cebtenzznoyr qnvf? V gubhtug V zvtug or noyr gb pbaireg gur PUNEQ/PNEQ jvgu gur uryc bs gur ibjry-nqinapvat ohpxrg, ohg V pna’g svaq n jnl bs qbvat fb, naq V’z thrffvat gurer’f n fbyhgvba gung hfrf bayl bowrpgf gb unaq va gur Ohernh’f onfrzrag.

    1. Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying it. Two nudges, the second more direct:

      Gur rdhvczrag fgbentr ebbz pbagnvaf hfrshy guvatf bgure guna gur ynzo tenahyngrf.

      Unir lbh gevrq chggvat fbzrguvat va gur hzynhg chapu?

      1. Thank you very much! I suspected there might be a simple solution I’d overlooked.

      2. There aren’t alternate solutions at the moment, but V unq nffhzrq (vapbeerpgyl, vg nccrnef!) gung crbcyr jbhyq svqqyr jvgu gur hzynhg chapu whfg gb svaq bhg jung vg qvq. (Zl orgn-grfgref qvq fb, ohg gurl jrer orgn-grfgref, fb znlor gurl svtherq cynlvat jvgu nyy gur gblf jnf na boyvtngvba.) V’z guvaxvat bs nqqvat na nygreangr ebhgr gb rnfl zbqr naq univat gur pheerag fbyhgvba or gur bayl fbyhgvba va uneq zbqr.

  12. I’m having a really great time so far! The game has exactly the kind of mellow, exploratory gameplay that I love about IF in general and your works in particular, and of course it has your usual engaging story and high level of polish. And the map is stunning; definitely my pick for feelies-of-the-year.

    One thing that I found very frustrating was qlvat sebz gur cvyy jura V gevrq n fvzcyr “gnxr nyy.” Since apparently Zoom does not support undo, I had to restore; since every time I save it takes 60 seconds or more (with some chance of the interpreter crashing altogether) and I hadn’t been in any dangerous-seeming places, it had of course been some time since my last restore. So that was a bit of a bummer and something that felt like a bug to me; at least, it seemed a bit unfair to take that meaning of the verb in that context, especially compared to the generally fair tone of the rest of the game (and indeed, your games in general), and so probably unintended.

    1. Yeah, sorry — that was overzeal on the parser’s part; you can probably guess how it’s *meant* to work, and I just didn’t have the right checks in there.

      I’ll try to fix that for next time; also, Ben Cressey has kindly built me a new Mac Gargoyle with bigger cache sizes for Git, so I’m going to play with that this evening, and am hoping soonish to have interpreters that will run the game a little faster and with reliable UNDO.

      Glad you’re otherwise enjoying it, though!

  13. Great game! Though I found a few bugs. At least, I think they’re bugs. Rot13-ing the whole post below; though the spoilers are relatively minor, since some of these could give away a few early puzzles, and I figure it’s easier to just convert the whole thing back and forth.

    Svefg, vs lbh genafsbez gur pbqrk va gur zhfrhz jvaqbj zber guna bapr (vagb n pbq be na bqr), vg fhqqrayl vfa’g vafvqr gur zhfrhz jvaqbj nalzber, rira gubhtu gur pbqr jnf. Vs lbh yngre ghea vg onpx, vg’f gerngrq nf fgvyy vafvqr gur zhfrhz jvaqbj ntnva ertneqyrff bs jurer lbh ner, naq qbrfa’g nccrne va ebbz qrfpevcgvbaf jura qebccrq.

    Frpbaq, vs lbh trg nyy gur fghss lbh’er fhccbfrq gb arrq gb cebprrq cnfg gur cnex, ohg gura ghea gur cynaf vagb n cna (V svtherq orggre fnsr guna fbeel naq qvq vg va beqre gb uvqr gurz), Nyrk jba’g erpbtavmr gung lbh unir lbhe fghss naq jba’g yrg lbh pbagvahr. Gheavat vg onpx yrgf lbh tb ba, bs pbhefr.

    Guveq, lbh pna cvpx hc gur qrcyhenyvmvat pnaaba va gur urkntbany gbjre naq jnyx bss jvgu vg. Tvira vgf qrfpevcgvba, V fhfcrpg vg’f zrnag gb or sne gbb ynetr sbe guvf.

    Sbhegu, guvf vf irel zvabe, ohg vs lbh rknzvar gur gho jvgu gur zbabpyr, vg trgf n cvat vaqvpngvat gung vg’f hanygrerq, rira gubhtu vg’f npghnyyl n ghor.

    Svanyyl, juvyr obgu irel zvabe naq cebonoyl abg fgevpgyl n oht: Rira jura V gel gb zbqvsl fbzrguvat jvgu n gvtugyl-obhaq zbqvsvre ol glcvat vgf shyy zbqvsvrq anzr, gur reebe srrqonpx sebz gur tnzr fgvyy vzcyvrf gung gur zbqvsvre vf orvat sbeprq va havagragvbanyyl. Gung vf, vs V glcr “jnir f-erzbire ng lryybj ohvyqvatf” va gur svefg ebbz, V trg na reebe zrffntr nobhg ubj “ohvyqvatf” vf gbb gvtugyl obhaq gb vgf zbqvsvref naq pna’g or punatrq frcnengryl. Guvf vf fyvtugyl pbashfvat jura V rkcyvpvgyl nggrzcgrq gb vapyhqr gur zbqvsvre.

    (Va gung pnfr vg’f cnegvphyneyl onq, obgu orpnhfr gur erfhygvat “lryybj ohvyqvat” vf n frafvoyr erfhyg, fb gur sbeprq vapyhfvba bs gur ‘lryybj’ zbqvsvre vfa’g jung’f znxvat vg snvy gb jbex, naq orpnhfr gur cerfrapr bs gur orvtr ohvyqvatf zrnaf gung gur cynlre unq gb fcrpvsl lryybj nyernql, fb orvat vasbezrq gung gurl pna’g zbqvsl gur ohvyqvatf jvgubhg vapyhqvat gur jbeq ‘lryybj’ znxrf ab frafr. Cebonoyl vg fubhyq or tvivat gur “…abg cbjreshy rabhtu” reebe. Znlor fvapr gung cnegvphyne pnfr vf va gur svefg ebbz — naq vg’f fbzrguvat V guvax n ybg bs crbcyr ner yvxryl gb gel, fvapr uvtu-cbjre qrcyhenyvmngvba vf zragvbarq va gur vageb — vg fubhyq or fcrpvny-pnfrq gb tvir n zrffntr gung znxrf gur qrivpr’f yvzvgngvbaf zber rkcyvpvgyl pyrne; gur ovg nobhg lryybj ohvyqvatf pbashfrq zr n ybg naq jnf bar bs gur irel svefg guvatf V fnj. Vg gbbx zr n srj zbzragf gb ernyvmr gung gur cnefre jnf nffhzvat gung V’q ragrerq “ohvyqvatf” jvgu ab dhnyvsvre naq gung vg jnf tvivat zr n ercyl cerzvfrq ba gur vqrn gung gur nqqvgvba bs “lryybj” jnf na hajnagrq nhgbzngvp vapyhfvba gung jnf vagresrevat jvgu fbzr bgurejvfr-ernfbanoyr punatr V jnf nggrzcgvat.)

    1. Okay, that was a daunting amount of rot13, but yeah, that all makes sense. Some of it is more addressable than other bits, but I’ll see what I can do. (Specifically, it’s not always as easy as I’d like to find out from Inform exactly what the player typed to refer to a particular object, in order to find out whether I should use that textual information to modify the response given. There may be some things I can hack in, though; We Shall See.)

      Er, if I credit you for reporting these issues, do you want to be credited as “Yglorba”? If you’d like something else but don’t want to paste here, feel free to email (

  14. Also, trying to go north from the Crumbling Wall Face simply repeats the room description; it should probably give some sort of message about the barrier or dangerous drop-off.

  15. Oh my gosh, this is so much fun. I’m not finished yet, and in fact I am here to ask for a hint, but first I will finish expressing my gratitude.

    Playing Counterfeit Monkey partially fulfills my childhood fantasy of living in an Ellen Raskin book. Or maybe the closest novel to this game is Ella Minnow Pea, which is also about letter-removal, and takes place on a small island ruled by a dogmatic government (though that is really where the similarities end). Anyway, I love stories where the world’s internal logic revolves bizarrely around wordplay. I also love the genre of game which includes this game and Savoir-Faire and Suveh Nux and All Things Devours, which have what you call systematic puzzles or a consistent puzzle mechanic. It’s been said before about those other games, but it deserves to be said again about this one: just messing around with the system is as much fun as using it to solve the puzzles. I have spent half the game fooling with the remover for no reason, which I suspect is what every other player does. You’ve said that games built around a single consistent mechanic are an obsession of yours – I am glad you’re obsessed with them, because the result is great games.

    Okay, enough praise. Time to beg for a hint. Here’s where I’m stuck:

    V nz gelvat gb trg gur vaivgngvba sebz Cebs. Jngrefgbar, juvpu V tngure jvyy erdhver fubjvat uvz na bowrpg gung vf qrevirq sebz nabgure bowrpg jvgu n yrjq ubzbalz. Gur bayl enpl-ubzbalzrq bowrpg V unir orra noyr gb svaq vf gur zrzoref, juvpu V pna ghea vagb n zrzore, ohg abguvat ryfr. Cebs. Jngrefgbar, jura fubja gur zrzoref, erfcbaqrq jvgu “Lrf, ohg ubj gb znxr vg fbzrguvat vaabprag?”

    V unir orra gelvat gb qb whfg gung, jvgu ab fhpprff. Yrggre-erzbiny naq zveebevat jba’g jbex, fb V guvax V arrq gb hfr gur flagurfvmre. Vs V unq n fuvc, V pbhyq gel gb znxr “zrzorefuvc,” ohg V pna’g svther bhg ubj gb znxr n fuvc. (V fgnerq ubcrshyyl ng gur fuevzc gnvy sbe n ybat gvzr.) “Zrzorefuvc” jbhyq nyfb jbex vs V unq n uvc, ohg V unira’g orra noyr gb znxr bar bs gubfr rvgure (gubhtu V nz gur cebhq bjare bs na nezcvg). V gubhtug V unq fbyirq vg jura V sbhaq gur onaq naq gevrq gb znxr “onaqzrzore,” ohg V thrff gung jnf gbb zhpu bs n fgergpu.

    Fb rvgure gurer vf n flagurfvmrq jbeq hfvat “zrzore(f)” gung vf ryhqvat zr, be V arrq gb svaq fbzr fhttrfgvir bowrpg bgure guna “zrzoref,” be znlor V arrq gb fbzrubj oernx vagb gur Rglzbybtvpny Erirefvat Punzore, gubhtu gung frrzf cerggl hayvxryl.

    Just a gentle hint is all I ask. (If that’s not possible, though, bring on the sledgehammer.)

    1. 1. gurer ner frireny bcgvbaf urer. gur zrzoref *pna* or ghearq vagb fbzrguvat zber vaabprag, gubhtu gurl’er n ovg zber qvssvphyg guna n pregnva bgure anhtugl-fbhaqvat vgrz lbh pna trg sebz gur pybpx

      2. vs lbh hfr gur pbpx, gurer ner n ahzore bs fvzcyr nqqvgvbaf lbh pna qb jvgu gung

      3. vs lbh hfr zrzore be zrzoref, vg znl vagrerfg lbh gb xabj gung gur flagurfvmre jvyy vagreyrnir yrggref sebz gjb jbeqf nf ybat nf gurl nccrne va beqre

      4. gurer vf na vgrz qrevirq sebz gur pbng gung pna or nqqrq gb gur zrzoref fhpprffshyyl

      5. png + zrzore = pnzrzoreg

      1. > These are some great ideas, but I am stopped in each one of them by the letter-remover’s inability to make living things.

        Vaqrrq, lbh arrq gb svaq n jnl nebhaq gung.

        Vs lbh qba’g unir ng yrnfg n trareny vqrn bs jung lbh arrq gb qb gb svk vg, lbh unira’g rkcyberq gur havirefvgl ohvyqvat pnershyyl rabhtu lrg.

        If you need more hints, in increasing order of spoilerness:

        Svefg, ner lbh noyr gb qb nofgenpgf lrg? Gung’f zhpu rnfvre.

        Tb qbjafgnvef, gura gb gur fbhgurnfg, naq gnyx gb gur gur cebsrffbe va gurer. Ur’yy uryc lbh jvgu gung. Cnl nggragvba gb jung ur fnlf.

        Nppbeqvat gb uvz, gurer’f n znpuvar va gur ebbz cnfg gur xrlpneq qbbe juvpu pbhyq yrg lbh ranoyr gur perngvba bs yvivat guvatf. Ohg ur jba’g qb vg sbe lbh sbe rguvpny ernfbaf, naq lbh pna’g fgrny uvf xrlpneq.

        Pna lbh trg n xrlpneq fbzrjurer?

        Fvapr lbh unir gur flagurfvmre, guvf fubhyq or rnfl.

        Ohg lbh nyfb arrq gb cebqhpr fbzrguvat ybhq rabhtu gb qvfgenpg uvz.

        Abj gung lbh pna perngr nofgenpgf, vf gurer nal nofgenpg abha lbh pbhyq znxr gung ercerfragf fbzrguvat glcvpnyyl ybhq?

        Bar bcgvba vaibyirf fbzrguvat lbh trg sebz gur pnsr arne gur havirefvgl.

        Erzbir gur j sebz gur jenc gb cebqhpr enc.

    2. FWIW I (not quite done yet, but nearly) found this one of the more confusing puzzles. The wording led me to believe that gung gur Cebsrffbe jnagrq fbzrguvat gung unq orra genafsbezrq
      sebz avpr gb anhtugl hfvat gur ubzbalz cnqqyr. Nsgre nyy – ur vf
      tvivat n cncre ba ubzbalz funzr, abg pbzcbhaq-jbeq funzr. Naljnl
      V fgehttyrq jvgu gung sbe n ybat gvzr naq gura whfg qrpvqrq gb
      genafsbez rirelguvat V pbhyq guvax bs hfvat anhtugl jbeqf naq frr
      vs fbzrguvat fghpx. Gung fpnggrefubg nccebnpu jbexrq cerggl
      dhvpxyl, ohg lrnu – V jbhyq fnl guvf pbhyq or nyyhqrq gb n ovg
      orggre znlor? Hayrff V whfg zvffrq gur cbvag, juvpu bs pbhefr vf
      gbgnyyl cbffvoyr.

      1. Hmm. Did you cevag bhg uvf qensg qbphzrag, nyybjvat lbh gb frr jung ur fgvyy arrqrq va uvf cncre? Vs fb naq vg jnfa’g pyrne rabhtu, znlor V arrq gb jbex ba gur qrfpevcgvba zber, ohg gung jnf vagraqrq gb cebivqr n fgebat uvag bs jung ur jnf gelvat gb nppbzcyvfu.

      2. Yes, I did, but it’s been a while and I don’t have the text in front of me now with which to offer any further comment – I’m stuck in the bowels of the umm government building. As I say, I may just have missed an obvious clue, but it might be worth it to review that and see?

  16. I posted to the hint thread but I figured I’d also post here.

    V’z gelvat gb tnva ragenapr gb gur Ohernh. V unir gur vaivgngvba sebz Jngrefgbar, naq n cnff, sbe gung’f jbegu. Ohg V pna’g svaq nalguvat ng nyy gb qb ng gur Ohernh. V pna tb rnfg sebz Ebghaqn gb gur rkuvovg, be tb fbhgu gb gur Nagrpunzore. Ohg nf fbba nf V ragre gur Nagrpunzore V’z vzzrqvngryl neerfgrq. Jung nz V fhccbfrq gb qb jvgu guvf uneq-rnearq vaivgngvba? V pna’g rira fubj vg gb nalbar…?

    1. lbh arrq gb znxr fher gung n) lbhe nccrnenapr zngpurf gur cnff nccrnenapr naq o) lbh’er abg ivfvoyl pneelvat nalguvat vyyrtny (lbh znl arrq gb fgnfu vg va lbhe cnpx be bgurejvfr qvfthvfr vg)

  17. Another bug. Entering the roundabout in the car (automatically entering the car, that is, using a ‘w’ command) after having fast-traveled the monument green and then manually heading back west. I got the following error message:

    *** Run-time problem P25: Attempt to choose a blank row in a table with none left: table “Table of prefinished tasks’.

  18. I’ve beaten the game now, but I was never able to grfg gur g-vafregre’f fgnovyvmngvba. Nothing I tried seemed to work.

    Can you tell me whether I have the item(s) I need?

    “Jr ner pneelvat gur sbyybjvat rffragvnyf: lbhe G-erzbire (hctenqrq gb unaqyr navzngrf naq nofgenpgf), n onpxcnpx, n synfu qevir, n zbabpyr, n ebyy, fbzr Bevtva Cnfgr, n cna (ernyyl gur fzhttyrq cynaf va qvfthvfr), naq n gho bs erfgbengvba try.

    Jr ner nyfb pneelvat na nezl, n onyypbpx, n onaq, n onaqnan, n pbng, n pebff, n sbvy, Thvqrobbx gb Natybcubar Ngynagvf, Uvfgbel bs gur Fgnaqneqf Eribyhgvba, fbzr vax, n wvtfnj, n wbggre, n xrlpneq (juvpu bcraf gur fznyy qbbe), n yrnsyrg, n yrggre, n yvzr, Yvirf bs gur Yrkvpbtencuref, n znc bs Fynatbivn, n zht, n cnff, n cvyy, n engr, n evat (juvpu bcraf gur fgheql veba tngr), fbzr fntr, n fperjqevire, fbzr fperjf, n fubccvat ont, n fgvpx, n fjngpu, n jvt, n jbeq, naq n jenc.”

    1. Lbh qb unir jung lbh arrq, gubhtu vgf pheerag sbez vf cerggl sne sebz gur sbez gung lbh jbhyq svaq hfrshy.

      Gur CVYY jvyy qb guvf sbe lbh.

      Znxvat CVYY -> CV -> V tvirf lbh fbzrguvat lbh pna g-vafreg gb znxr rvgure VG be GVG (gur oveq, anghenyyl).

      Gurer ner frireny bgure bcgvbaf gung lbh pbhyq unir oebhtug va jvgu lbh; be, vs lbh znantr gb ernpu guvf cbvag pneelvat abguvat gung pna or znavchyngrq nccebcevngryl, Oebpx jvyy ghea bhg gb or pneelvat fbzrguvat gung vf hfrshy vag uvf ertneq. Fb, oneevat ohtf, guvf gnfx fubhyq nyjnlf or qbnoyr.

  19. V’ir pbzr npebff n oht jurer va gur pbyq fgbentr ebbz, chggvat try ba gur ebpx qbrf abguvat (ab vagrecergre erfcbafr, whfg n arj cebzcg).

    I’m not sure what’s triggering this bind; is there any way to get around it?

    1. V unir bar bgure ercbeg bs gung unccravat, naq V’z npghnyyl va gur zvqqyr bs vairfgvtngvat vg evtug abj; V’z abg fher lrg jung gevttref vg gb tb jebat, fb V qba’g xabj bs n jnl gb pvephzirag vg vs lbh’ir tbggra vagb gung cbfvgvba. Vg fubhyq or cbffvoyr gb svavfu gur tnzr va n qvssrerag jnl; gung’f n cnegvphyneyl erterggnoyr oht, gubhtu, orpnhfr vg haqrephgf lbhe qrpvfvba-znxvat. Fbeel :(

      1. This may not be much consolation to you, but this struck me as a sufficiently distressing bug that I’ve done a release 2 that deals with it and the highlighting bug. (Other bugs to be quashed anon.)

      2. Thanks for releasing the new version! I actually wound up replaying it with little pain (and in fact it was fun to retrace my steps).

        I’m encountering some unexpected behavior later in the game now, which may or may not be a bug and may or may not be critical:
        Jura V gel gb sver gur nantenz tha ng Ngynagvqn’f evsyr, jvgu rirel jnl bs ersreevat gb gurfr bowrpgf gung V pna guvax bs, V trg gur erfcbafr “V pna’g frr jung lbh’er gnyxvat nobhg”. Rknzvavat gur evsyr naq tha vaqrcraqragyl, va gur fnzr jnl V’ir ersreerq gb gurz va pbzovangvba, fhpprrqf.

        I suppose I’d appreciate a hint in any case.

      3. Hmm, it appears that I can get it to work with the exact phrasing “sver ng evsyr jvgu nantenzzvat tha”.

    2. Hi Emily. Loving this game. But I have the same problem Chris had. I realise that you’ve fixed it in a new version, but Zoom won’t let me open my current save in that new version and I’d prefer not to start again from scratch if that’s possible.)

      But I’m a bit confused by your comment that it should be possible to finish the game in another way. Do you mean that there’s another way to solve the game from my current predicament other than the one that the parser won’t acknowledge (i.e. nabgure jnl gb trg bhg bs gur pbyq fgbentr ebbz bgure guna ol chggvat gur try ba gur ebpx gb oevat onpx Oebpx?) Or do you mean I need to use an earlier save or use undo (i.e. sebz orsber V raqrq hc va gur pbyq fgbentr ebbz) (in which case I’m out of luck, though replaying this game is no bad thing.)

      1. Wait, there’s a different way? My experience of that room seemed maybe also a bit buggy, in a slightly different way: ertneqyrff bs jung V glcrq (V gevrq obgu “k furyirf” naq “ernq abgvpr”), gur erfcbafr jnf nf vs V’q chg try ba fbzr bowrpg va gur ebbz (gur grkg nobhg oevrsyl pbairefvat jvgu gur Vgnyvna-fcrnxvat jbzna, naq univat ure eha vagb gur unyyjnl naq trg fubg). V sryg onq nobhg vg, ohg V gubhtug gung V unq ab pubvpr va gur znggre.

      2. Gung’f qbja gb gur frpbaq oht V erzbirq ynfg avtug — vs lbh jrag vagb gung ebbz jvgu pregnva bgure perngrq punenpgref, gurl pbhyq gevttre gung rirag jvgubhg lbhe pbbcrengvba.

  20. Oh thanks so much. And now I’ve worked it out (but V pna frr jul lbh qba’g jnag gb sbepr crbcyr gb qb guvf bar.)

  21. Minor bug that only shows up in hard mode this time.

    The “tomes” in the gift shop are supposed to become “dusty tomes” in hard mode, I assume; but they don’t seem to be flagged as strongly-affixed. As a result, when I try to remove one of the letters from the word “dusty” (d, u, or y), it says the device buzzes, unable to create anything called “tomes”. I assume that what’s really supposed to happen is that the tomes are meant to have ‘dusty’ affixed to them now, and I’m meant to get eg. unable to create “usty tomes”

    Also, they’re listed as dusty dusty tomes on the room description; I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not.

    (It’s also unable to manipulate them in other ways, which I assume is intentional but the failure messages are probably giving the wrong reason — they didn’t immediately appear buggy because they mention the device maybe not being powerful enough, but I think they’re supposed to mention it being strongly-affixed dusty tomes instead.)

    1. Oops, that wasn’t supposed to be a reply. But on that note: yeah, I noticed that the tomes, fossil and twig had new adjectives affixed compared to easy mode, but that these modifiers aren’t in bold when highlighting is on. Presumably this is related to the above issue.

  22. In the drinks lounge:

    > wave m-remover at Mark
    The letter-remover finds no m in Mark.

    (This is in hard mode on version 2, if that matters.)

    1. Congratulations, you managed to make yourself (or something that contained you) into an inanimate object! It’s anyone’s guess whether anyone will ever come along and turn that object back into you. (This is essentially a death ending.)

  23. This is an absolutely fantastic game. It’s everything I love about word-puzzle games and so much more. I’m afraid I’m going to have to chime in with a hint request also, though. I’m stuck ng gur cneg jurer V’z gelvat gb erfphr gur grrantref. V’ir znantrq gb fgrny gur bssvpre’f evsyr, ohg arvgure ratntvat va n fvta/fvtarg jne abe fubbgvat uvz frrzf gb jbex.

    1. unir lbh gnxra n tbbq ybbx ng ubj gur grrantref ner xrcg va cynpr?

      znlor gurer’f fbzrguvat lbh pbhyq qb jvgu gur evsyr gurer jbhyq or zber hfr.

      gel fubbgvat gur gerr gb juvpu gurl’er unaqphssrq.

    1. Vs fur’f whfg qvfnezrq, lbh jnag gb qrsrng ure ragveryl.

      Bs pbhefr, gur nantenzzvat tha qbrfa’g nssrpg ure.

      Ohg fur zvtug or punatrq ol nabgure vgrz gung’f qrsvavgryl va gur ebbz.

      Jung zvtug gur evsyr qb?

      Vs lbh’ir punatrq gur evsyr ol nantenzzvat, try vg jura vg trgf va ernpu. Gura ghea vg ba Ngynagvqn.

  24. Thanks for making this, Emily. The narrator is very well done, and the game is accessible enough to be played casually. I’m going to enjoy this.

    1. Another little bug:

      Jura lbh’er va gur Tnyyrl bs gur Lnpug, “ernq arjfcncre” jvyy ernq gur arjfcncre pyvccvat, vs lbh’er pneelvat vg, engure guna gur arjfcncre ba gur gnoyr. Nyfb: V shyyl rkcyberq gur lnpug naq qvqa’g svaq nalobql, fb jurer qvq Oebpx nccrne sebz nsgre V jnf qbar ernqvat gur arjf?

      I’ve just finished (100 out of 100). Fantastic game, although I’m not sure that the last few scenes are necessary (once I’m done, I’m done, right?). Anyway: thanks again for it; I’ll be sure to blog about it soon.

      1. Re possible bugginess:
        Er gur arjfcncre, V’yy arrq gb svk gung. Er Oebpx, zl guvaxvat jnf gung vg pbhyq or rkcynvarq nf uvz univat whfg pbzr onpx nobneq; vg qvqa’g frrz arprffnevyl gb erdhver rkgrafvir rkcynangvba, znlor? Ohg creuncf vg qbrf, vs lbh sbhaq vg pbashfvat.

        Re the ending:
        Bapr lbh’er qbar, gurer ner ybgf bs enzvsvpngvbaf gb jung lbh’ir qbar, naq V jnagrq ebbz gb ybbx ng gubfr n yvggyr; naq nyfb gb tvir gur cynlre n punapr, vs qrfverq, gb svyy va gur vzntr bs jung Naqen’f yvsr jnf yvxr naq jung jnf gur yvxryl vzzrqvngr shgher sbe gur cebgntbavfg. (Lbh pna raq gung fprar nf rneyl be yngr nf lbh yvxr ol ernqvat gur arjfcncre, nf lbhe Tbny sbe gung fprar vaqvpngrf.) Ohg va nal pnfr, gur fvghngvba ng gur raq vf abg haceboyrzngvp: Nyrk qbrfa’g arprffnevyl jnag gb or fghpx va gung obql, vg’f abg thnenagrrq gung rirelguvat vf nyy cresrpgvba naq yvtug onpx ba gur vfynaq (punatrf bs tbireazrag ner glcvpnyyl zrffl naq pbzcyrk), naq gura Naqen’f eryngvbafuvcf gb ure perj ner yvxryl gb punatr gbb. Naq V sryg yvxr gur fgbel arrqrq n yvggyr fcnpr gb npxabjyrqtr gur tbbq naq gur onq va jung whfg unccrarq, rira vs vg jnf whfg n srj gheaf.

        Bs pbhefr, abar bs gung jbexf dhvgr nf vagraqrq vs lbh pna’g raq gur svany fprar jura lbh jnag gb qb fb orpnhfr bs gur arjfcncre pyvccvat trggvat va lbhe jnl. Ohg vg vf ng nal engr gur vqrn.

      2. [I tried to post this yesterday, and for some reason it didn’t go through, so there might be a duplicate at some point?]
        The ending also left me a little.. jryy, “bsschg” vf gbb fgebat; vg’f zber yvxr gur frafr bs inthryl abfgnytvp ybatvat gung, va ernqvat Rzvyl’f erfcbafr, frrzf gb or jung lbh vagraqrq. Zbfgyl, V jnf yrsg jvgu n frafr bs jbeel gung gurer jnf fbzrguvat V pbhyq unir qbar gb uryc Nyrk n ovg zber, fvapr gur “k zr” erfcbafr vaqvpngrq gung Naqen’f yvsr jnf gnxvat bire zber guna n snve onynapr. V gevrq gb svaq gur synfu qevir jvgu Nyrk’f erfrnepu, ubcvat gung vgf qrfpevcgvba jbhyq tvir na vaqvpngvba gung jr jrer fgvyy cynaavat gb pneel uvf cynaf bhg, fbzrubj, ohg pbhyqa’g svaq vg. Nyfb, V unq n zbzrag bs urnegoernx jura V unq gb yrnir zl phgr chccl oruvaq va Ngynagvqn’f punzoref, gubhtu V’z gryyvat zlfrys fur’yy gnxr pner bs vg. Nyfb, bar zber zvabe oht: chggvat try ba zlfrys va Oebpx’f punzore tnir gur byq “zvtug nppvqragnyyl hafgvpx bhefryirf zrffntr” — V trg gung znlor jr ab ybatre jnag gb or frcnengr, ohg creuncf gur jbeqvat fubhyq or fhogyryl qvssrerag?

  25. This is the most fun I’ve had with a work of IF in a while! Afraid I also have a hint request, though:

    Ba uneq zbqr, jurer V unir arvgure gur jenc abe gur crney, V pna’g svther bhg ubj gb znxr n fbhaq sbe qvfgenpgvba checbfrf. V gubhtug nobhg gelvat gb znxr gur puneq vagb na ‘nq’ gb pbzovar jvgu gur onyy sbe n onyynq, ohg gurer’f ab beqre va juvpu V pna erzbir yrggref naq znxr gung jbex. Jung nz V zvffvat?

    1. unir lbh orra orarngu gur genc qbbe?

      bar bs gur vgrzf gurer pna or erivfrq vagb n guvat gung znxrf fbhaqf

      lbh’yy arrq gb or noyr gb cebqhpr nofgenpgf svefg, gubhtu


  26. Oh my.

    Okay, so this does happen to push all the right buttons to appeal to my particular tastes—wordplay, simulationist puzzles with multiple solutions, occasional flashes of the absurd (like the zbax pbecfr obaarg), etc.—but I strongly suspect it of being a brilliant masterwork of IF by more objective standards, too. It’s thoroughly engaging both as a narrative and as a set of puzzles at the same time, from beginning to end. The relationship between Alex and Andra as two people sharing a body takes the inherent oddness of the player–parser interaction and turns it into an essential part of the story. The setting and all the characters are fully imagined, with glimpses of backstory everywhere you care to look. The mechanic of orthographic transmogrification follows its own internally consistent logic, and its ethical implications are given due consideration, although never in an obtrusive way. The marriage between content and medium is perfect: this is a story that can only be told by having the reader interact with the world be means of text.

    So naturally I did my best to see if I could break it. I hope there’s not too much duplication of already-reported bugs in what follows; I did skim through the previous comments, but I didn’t read through them entirely thoroughly.

    1. Things that I think I should be able to make (or which should at least give amusing failure messages instead of generic ones)

    Guvf bar znqr zr srry yvxr Neguhe Qrag:
    > jnir e-erzbire ng grne
    Lbh erfrg gur qrivpr gb e. Gur qrivpr ohmmrf, chmmyrq. Vg vf hanoyr gb perngr nalguvat
    erpbtavmnoyr pnyyrq “grn”.

    Guvf fubhyqa’g unccra va n tnzr jurer lbh pna ohl n tvzyrg ng n one:
    > jnir e-erzbire ng teva
    Lbh erfrg gur qrivpr gb e. Gur qrivpr ohmmrf, chmmyrq. Vg vf hanoyr gb perngr nalguvat
    erpbtavmnoyr pnyyrq “tva”.

    > jnir j-erzbire ng jrvtug
    Lbh erfrg gur qrivpr gb j. Gur qrivpr ohmmrf, chmmyrq. Vg vf hanoyr gb perngr nalguvat
    erpbtavmnoyr pnyyrq “rvtug”.
    (Ohg V znqr cv! Naq gung’f abg rira engvbany!)

    > jnir r-erzbire ng jrvtug
    Lbh erfrg gur qrivpr gb r. Gur qrivpr ohmmrf, chmmyrq. Vg vf hanoyr gb perngr nalguvat
    erpbtavmnoyr pnyyrq “jvtug”.
    (Rira jvgu gur erfgevpgvba ba navzngrf yvsgrq.)

    Bu, naq vs V pna ghea gur nezl vagb Nzl, fubhyqa’g V or noyr gb ghea gur pebff vagb Ebff?

    Rkcrevzragvat jvgu frk naq qehtf:
    > chg gneg ba qnvf
    Lbh chg gur gneg ba gur cebtenzznoyr qnvf.
    > frg fjvgpu gb ubzbalz
    Lbh tvir gur fjvgpu n fgebat gjvfg naq ghea vg gb fjnc ubzbalz.
    > ghea ba yrire
    Gur cebtenzznoyr qnvf tbrf erq, gura qvzf ntnva. Nccneragyl vg pna’g svaq n ubzbalz gb
    svg gur gneg.
    > gnxr gneg
    Lbh gnxr gur gneg.
    > chg cbg ba qnvf
    Lbh chg gur cbg ba gur cebtenzznoyr qnvf.
    > ghea ba yrire
    Gur cebtenzznoyr qnvf tbrf erq, gura qvzf ntnva. Nccneragyl vg pna’g svaq n ubzbalz gb
    svg gur cbg.

    2. A confusing problem with implicit actions

    Va Gnyy Fgerrg, V gevrq gb oyvaqsbyq zlfrys jvgu rvgure gur onaqnan be gur fuerq, naq xrcg orvat gbyq gung vg qvqa’g znxr frafr gb chg ba be gnxr bss n qvfthvfr va sebag bs bgure crbcyr. Ohg fheryl gur tnzr qvqa’g guvax V jnf gelvat gb jrne gur onaqnan nf n qvfthvfr? V svanyyl svtherq bhg jung jnf tbvat ba: V jnf nyernql jrnevat gur jvt (orpnhfr V unq abgvprq gung gur cubgb ba gur cnff unq ybatre unve guna Nyrknaqen), naq gur cnefre vzcyvpvgyl gevrq gb gnxr bss gur jvt va beqre gb chg ba gur oyvaqsbyq.

    3. Objects in containers

    • V pna’g ernpu gur pbqrk va gur zhfrhz jvaqbj, ohg V pna chg erfgbengvba try ba vg vs V ghea vg vagb n pbqr (be n pbq).

    • Ubj ovt vf gur ohpxrg ba gur trarengbe fhccbfrq gb or? Vs V chg gur pbng vagb vg, V pna ghea gur pbng vagb n pbg (juvpu vf gbb ovt gb yvsg, fb V pna’g gnxr vg bhg naq chg vg onpx va ntnva gb frr vs vg jbhyq ghea vagb n phg).

    • Vs V chg fbzrguvat va gur rzcgl pbssrr phc, vg’f fgvyy pnyyrq na rzcgl pbssrr phc: “Va gur rzcgl pbssrr phc vf n wne bs pnivne.” (Vs V qba’g, gura vg’f na “rzcgl pbssrr phc (rzcgl)”.)

    4. Fun with adverbs

    N guveq cbjre fhccyl vf ybpngrq rnfg bs urer, naq vf pheeragyl fuhg qbja, yrnivat gur
    rnfgrea ebbzf qnex.
    > ghea ba guveq cbjre fhccyl
    (Nqireof ner nyzbfg arire arprffnel. Ergelvat gung nf “ghea ba guveq cbjre “.)

    V jnfa’g npghnyyl gelvat gb ghea ba guveq cbjre va n fhccyr znaare, ohg gunaxf sbe gelvat!

  27. Finished, eventually. It was excellent!

    A few comments:

    Most of the time when somebody helps us, we can thank them with “thank NAME”, so it’s odd when this results in an error message, such as with the “onegraqre”.

    I had problems putting on the “onaqnan” because I was wearing a “jvt” and the game wanted to take that off first. I think someone has mentioned that already.

    I found it hard to keep track of what I was wearing. Is this shown anywhere? I expected either examining myself or listing inventory would say. Similarly, I found it hard to keep track of which objects were *not* in my pack.

    I was caught out that the contents of the “onpxcnpx” are visible unless you close it. It didn’t seem like the sort of container that would be easy for people to look into.

    This one near the end made me think something was broken: Vs V unir gur oebxra pbzcbaragf va zl vairagbel, “chyy yrire” qbrfa’g bcrengr gur cebtenzznoyr qnvf – vafgrnq vg whfg fnlf “abguvat boivbhf unccraf”. “chyy ovt yrire” jbexf vafgrnq. Vg’f abg pyrne gung guvf vf qhr gb chyyvat gur jebat yrire.

  28. Really love the game so far. Excellent writing and a really cool gimmick. Pretty stuck early on, however, in part because the people only say their lines once (in terms of narrative, a welcome break from the infinitely parroting npcs perhaps, but annoying when you can’t remember some important details!) I feel a little silly for getting stuck so early on, but I’ve not played all that many IFs before.

    Per the apparent convention, Rot13’d situation is as follows:

    V arrq gb trg zl onpxcnpx sebz gur pvarzn naq gur erfg bs zl orybatvatf sebz gur ybpxre, ohg arvgure frrz gb or sbegupbzvat. Abar bs gur acpf frrz gb jnag gb fcrnx gb zr nal zber.

    Va zl vairagbel V unir: gur ghor naq erzbire, fbzr nyr, na nez, na rry, gur thvqrobbx gb natybcubar ngynagvf, n zrzore naq n crn.

    zl zrzbevrf ner znxvat lbhe ybpx, ubj jr tbg urer naq ubj vg fgnegrq jvgu oebpx (gur ynggre bs juvpu V’ir nccneragyl ernq gb pbzcyrgvba).

    V’ir fpnerq bss gur tvey jvgu gur nez (fbzrguvat V srry n ovg thvygl abj…) V pna ybbx va gur cnpx ohg abar bs gur vgrzf frrz gb or bs vagrerfg.

    V erzrzore gur ubfgry nggraqnag gnyxvat nobhg gur o-vafregvba gb znxr n oybpx, juvpu V nffhzr V’yy trg ng fbzr cbvag, ohg pna’g trg nal zber vasb bhg bs gurz.

    Jung nz V zvffvat? Gunaxf sbe gur uryc va nqinapr!

    1. Oh god, don’t worry I just worked it out. Stupid stupid stupid old me. (It was the guvpxrg all along…)

      1. Re that other thing:

        Vs lbh unir gur onpxcnpx abj, gel gur zbabpyr ba gur ybpx va gur ubfgry.

        Ybbxf yvxr vg hfrq gb or fbzrguvat ryfr.

        Gung zrnaf lbh pbhyq hfr erfgbengvba try ba vg.

        Gbb onq lbhe yvggyr ghor bs try vf arneyl rzcgl.

        Pbaireg GHOR -> GHO. Gura CHG TRY BA YBPX.

      2. You know, I could’ve sworn I tried that, and I’m sure I thought of it at some point. Thanks! (can’t reply to your post directly for some reason)

  29. Ok, this feels like a really dumb question: Is the hard mode documented anywhere other than in your post on this site? I didn’t see it anywhere in the in-game help menu tree, including the “Commands specific to this game” section, and the game itself doesn’t seem to mention it during the opening scenes when it can still be used. Are HARD and EASY considered standard IF commands?

  30. This game is delightful! But I seem to have encountered a bug:

    Jura V ragre gur ebhaqnobhg gb uryc gur grrantref, gur tnzr fgbcf. Vs V gel gb yrnir gur pne, V trg gur zrffntr “V pna frr na bssvpre znxvat uvf jnl orgjrra gur pnef naq fgbccvat ng gur snxr barf. Znlor jr’q orggre pbaprny bhe pne orsber jr yrnir vg — jr znl arrq gb znxr n dhvpx trgnjnl yngre”. Ohg vs V gel gb punatr gur pne vagb fbzrguvat ryfr orsber V trg bhg bs vg, V qvr. V pna ghea bss gur pne naq bcra gur qbbe — V whfg pna’g yrnir! Gur pbzznaq V’z hfvat vf “trg bhg,” juvpu jbexrq rneyvre va gur tnzr.

    This is a bug, not a puzzle — right? Thanks!

    1. Nope, that’s a puzzle.

      Lbh’ir erpragyl npdhverq fbzrguvat gung urycf pbaprny snxr bowrpgf sebz gur nggragvba bs gur nhgubevgvrf.

      Hfr gur bevtva cnfgr ba gur pne orsber trggvat bhg.

      1. Hehe, I also became convinced it was a bug. (Especially because I encountered an actual, minor bug there.) On the one hand, I felt pretty dumb once I read a hint. But on the other, since it is literally the only place I got stuck in the entire game, and I don’t think it’s even really supposed to be much of a puzzle, so much as a tutorial for the stuff in question, you might consider tweaking the wording to make it clearer what’s going on.

        Oh, and the minor bug: Glcvat “tb gb ebhaqnobhg” ercynlf gur jubyr grkg bs lbh qevivat naq gura cnexvat.

  31. So, I can’t actually find the pne. I can find several of the things you need for it to run, but I can’t for the life of me find the thing itself. Hint?

      1. Oh… Thanks. I picked that up a while ago, then turned it into a card, then turned it back to try to give it to the farmer. Great game, even for someone who’s never really played an IF before.

    1. Heh. Yeah, Bee did start out as Andra’s backstory. At this point (divergent family trees, Bee becoming a lot more serious, some endings of Bee that don’t wind up in the right place) it’s more like they’re two universes over from being the same person. But yeah.

  32. hi! this game is amazing. i would like to also ask for a hint — this is my first IF game, and I don’t know if I’m trying to do something not allowed or if I got my syntax messed up.

    Va gur gva uhg (svfu znexrg), V pna rknzvar gur gnecnhyva-pbirerq znffrf. Jura V rknzvar gur znffrf, vg fnlf gung gurer’f n “Gurer’f n synggvfu nern jr pbhyq cebonoyl fpenzoyr bagb.” Qrfcvgr gelvat “fpenzoyr bagb synggvfu nern”, “tb gb synggvfu nern”, “whzc bagb synggvfu nern”, abguvat vf erpbtavmrq. Pbhyq V trg fbzr uryc jvgu gung?


  33. Hello, some help would be much appreciated. This is my first IF, which may become very apparent when you read the following:

    V nz va gur Havirefvgl, gelvat gb hfr gur erpynzngvba znpuvar. V hfrq gur cnffjbeq gb fgneg gur pbzchgre, ohg abj V pna’g svther gur pbeerpg jnl gb vagrenpg jvgu vg. Vs V pubbfr nal bs gur svir bcgvbaf vg orrcf naq fnlf gung vg vf abg bar bs gur ninvynoyr pubvprf. Gur erpynzngvba znpuvar vf pybfrq. V unir ab vqrn jung gb qb. Unir V zvffrq fbzrguvat?

    Thank you! Wonderful game.

    1. This isn’t really a spoiler at all, so I’ll leave it in plain text: to pick a numbered option on a computer interface in this game, any of TYPE #, PICK #, CLICK #, SELECT # should work, where # is whatever option you’re trying to select.

      If you can tell me what you were trying that didn’t work, I’ll see whether it’s something I can implement as an additional synonym, though. Verb-guessing is not one of the intended forms of wordplay…

      1. Wow, thank you for the speedy response. I was trying “choose option #” and “select option #”. I was confused because the game reacted like I was using the right command but the wrong option. Thank you again! Love your game.

  34. Hello, thanks for the amazing game! I’ve been playing for several days. I am not moving very quickly at it, but I’m getting there…

    Since there is no forum for the game yet I too must ask for help!

    Zl tbny vf gb svaq gur qebc. V’ir tbar gb gur Ohf Fgngvba naq Pbairavrapr. V’ir ghearq gur nfu vagb nf naq cnfgvf. Guvf nyy frrzf gb or cbvagyrff. V srry hapregnva vs gurer ernyyl vf n pyhr sbe zr urer.

    Gb erivrj zl rkcrevrapr trggvat urer: V jnf gbyq V fubhyq purpx n qebc.

    V tb purpx gur qebc. Gur zbabybthr fnlf, “guvf ubyr’f gur qebc.”

    Abguvat nccneragyl hfrshy vf va gur ubyr. Vg frrzf yvxr gur zbabybthr fubhyq puvzr va urer jvgu jurgure V guvax gur nfu ubyqf n pyhr be V arrq gb tb fbzrjurer ryfr! Univat ab ernpgvba gb gur zvffvat qebc zrffntr znxrf zr jbeel V’ir whfg snvyrq gb vavgvngr n cebzcg.

    If you have a hint to correct my course, I would be grateful.

    I also hit big trouble if I pick up the item in question. Apologies if this has already been noted/fixed, but I get:

    >y ng nf
    Vg nccrnef gb or na nf, n Ebzna pbva bs irel ybj qrabzvangvba. (Lbhe xabjyrqtr, abg zvar. Fubhyq V nfx ubj lbh xabj fhpu guvatf?) Vg vf znqr bs pbccre naq unf gur yrggref F P fgnzcrq ba bar fvqr.

    >gnxr nf
    Jr cvpx hc gur nf.

    >y ng nf va zveebe
    Juvpu qb jr zrna, gur 1) nf be gur 2) nf


    1. A couple of things. One, there is a thread for the game on the interaction fiction forum, here, so you can use that too as appropriate.

      Second: You’ve gotten yourself into a slightly confusing situation because

      Lbh nyernql unq na nf — gur bar Yran gbffrq gb lbh — jura lbh pnzr vagb gur onguebbz. V fhfcrpg gung znl or guebjvat bss fbzr bs lbhe haqrefgnaqvat bs jung’f unccravat.

      That said:

      Gur nfu naq gur vzzrqvngr ivpvavgl fzryyf yvxr yniraqre.

      Jung ryfr unf unq n fgebat yniraqre fzryy yngryl?

      Oebpx hfrq bevtva cnfgr ba gur nfu, fb rira ybbxvat ng vg guebhtu gur zbabpyr jba’g fubj lbh jung vg ernyyl vf.

      Gel try ba vg naq frr jung unccrarq.

  35. Can anyone give me a hint on how to get past the temporary barrier? I’ve examined everything but I can’t find the code.

    1. Preliminary comment: As Emily noted above, there’s a fairly active hint thread for Counterfeit Monkey at the forum, here:

      Regarding the temporary barrier:
      The code puzzle functions, in part, as sort of introductory training it how to think in this particular game. Increasingly explicit hints:

      1) Lbh nera’g ybbxvat sbe n pbqr, lbh ner ybbxvat sbe fbzrguvat gung pna or genafsbezrq vagb n pbqr jvgu gur yrggre-erzbire.

      2) Gur arrqrq vgrz vf va gur fnzr ebbz nf gur grzcbenel oneevre.

      3) Va pnfr lbh zvffrq vg va gur qrfpevcgvba, gur E-erzbire pna or frg gb nal bgure yrggre lbh arrq vg gb erzbir.

      4) Gur arrqrq vgrz vf va gur zhfrhz.

  36. Sorry if this has been addressed, but I’m not reading the rot13ed stuff and changelogs to avoid spoilers, so I have no way of knowing…. Anyway, in release 2, is


    supposed to do anything? It’s giving me a blank response right now.

    …actually my guess is that this question betrays a profound ignorance of how a wvtfnj works.

    1. vg fubhyq jbex nf ybat nf gur wvtfnj vf ghearq ba; vs vg’f abg cebqhpvat n zrffntr, V guvax gung’f gvrq va jvgu nabgure oht gung unf fvapr orra nqqerffrq (gubhtu V pna qbhoyr-purpx gung yngre). vs lbh’er gelvat jvgu gur fjvgpurq-bss wvtfnj, znlor gel gheavat vg ba naq gelvat ntnva?

      gung nffhzrf, bs pbhefr, gung lbh unir gur gbby naq abg gur chmmyr.

      1. gung nffhzrf, bs pbhefr, gung lbh unir gur gbby naq abg gur chmmyr.

        Yes, it would, wouldn’t it? Well, the blank response is probably a bug, so at least I haven’t completely wasted your time.

  37. So this is probably irrelevant to gameplay, but I’m curious:

    Jung ner gurfr gbzf V nz ohelvat zlfrys haqre? Pngf? Qehzf? Jul fb ohyxl?

  38. Has anyone figured out a guess for what Andra’s real name is? The only real hint I could find was in the ending where you [ghea lbhefrys va gb fnir Nyrk. Lbh raq hc fragraprq gb vanavzngvba, naq ” gur ynfg guvat lbh abgvpr vf gur rkrphgvbare frggvat gur qvny bs uvf yrggre-erzbire gb P.”]*

    I’ve been racking my brain to think of a name that [is one C away from the name for an inanimate object. Possibly one that could also be simply converted to “Andra”.]

    Am I thinking along the right lines here, or is this not something meant to be figureoutable?


    1. gur P-erzbire vf abg orvat hfrq ba Naqen, ohg ba gur punve va juvpu fur’f frngrq — n pbzzba zrgubq bs vanavzngvat crbcyr jubfr anzrf nera’g bgurejvfr ihyarenoyr

      1. Ahh! Thank you. Not as big a mystery as I’d thought, but it’s good to know.

        Also, an excellent game.

  39. I was just starting the game and saved it (using Gargoyle on Linux Ubuntu). How do I load my save file to start from where I stoped? Thank you, and congratulations on this amazing game!

  40. I try to depluralize everything, so here’s a bug from the Outdoor Cafe:

    > use s-remover on umbrellas
    We reset the device to s. The device buzzes, puzzled. It is unable to create anything recognizable called “umbrella”.

  41. Excellent game. Hope it’s not too late to ask for help.

    Vs V’z ernqvat gur ZbaxrlChmmyr fbyhgvbaf evtug, gb trg gur cnff, V unir gb punatr NF > CNFGVF > CNFGF > CNFF.

    Fb V’ir chg gur erfgbengvba try ba gur NF naq tbggra gur CNFGVF, ohg V pna’g frrz gb hfr gur v-erzbire gb punatr gur CNFGVF gb CNFGF.

    V trg gur zrffntr: “V thrff lbhe qrivpr gurer whfg vfa’g gharq gb ervsl nofgenpgf.” Vf guvf n oht pnhfrq ol fbzrguvat V’ir qbar ryfrjurer, be vf gurer fbzr fgrc V’ir zvffrq gung jvyy nyybj zr gb znxr nofgenpgf?

    1. This is not a bug. Your device has some limitations on it, and those are meant to be there. I’m not sure what MonkeyPuzzle is, but it sounds like you might be reading hints for a part of the game that you haven’t gotten to yet. You might want to try to make progress elsewhere in the game before you return to this line of thinking. (I will refrain from saying more to avoid spoiling things.)

  42. Hi. This is such a wonderful game! But I did notice an unusual implementation error.

    Playing on a Mac, using Zoom, I am not able to pick up the synthesizer from the University. I am, however, able to pick up the plexiglas case the synthesizer is in. In this way, I am able to carry the synthesizer with me throughout the game. I’m guessing this wasn’t intended…

    1. It sounds as though you’re a release or two behind, maybe? This bug was fixed in Release 3, I believe, and we’re now on Release 4. (If you’re still running into it despite playing one of those later releases, let me know and I’ll see what’s up.)

  43. On the off chance you’re still interested in bug reports three years after the fact – walking out on Alex’s mother immediately after restoring will give you a warning prompt, but will succeed anyway.

    1. I think this is something related to changes in version 5, in fact, and it’s on my radar to fix — one can get the game into a strange state by half-undoing a fatal action.

      1. Ooh, quick response! :p

        There sees to be a few errors of this type, actually – in particular, it’s possible to make the all, get killed by it, and then keep it later, which of course breaks things because the all can’t be targeted.

        (While I’m at it – making the passage in the Bureau synthesizer buries me under its bulk.)

        Are the previous versions available anywhere?


      2. Not that I know of in an accessible place. I only recently realised the issues with this version, and it’s high on my list when I get some spare time, but it may still be a little while because of various travel obligations.

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