Mystery Mansion: Plan of attack   Leave a comment

Usually I write posts after I’ve had a play session, but this time I’m doing one before. I’m at the point I need a serious push to make progress and this is the point where it helps me to step back and make a plan of what I plan to investigate and how.

For an old-school adventure, this step is necessary to me. Some insights I have difficulty seeing from the close, avatar-in-the-game-world perspective. The best example from Zork was how I realized I forgot to test my magic boat on a particular portion of water, hard to notice while running around individual rooms but easy to see while studying the map.

General tasks

  • Create a partial (maybe not move-by-move) walkthrough covering what order I want to tackle potential tasks. Should I kill the vampire first? Or make a beeline for the mazes which have torches which will burn out with time? Maybe I should try to catch the killer first thing?
  • Search each room carefully for secrets. It’s starting to look like every potential item, even the scenery, is important.
  • Finish map of garden — does wolf have a “patrol path” or some system?
  • Figure out what’s going on with BRIBE system
  • Muck about with magic words some more


  • Cold corridor timing. Always seems to be fully open and closing when starting to go down it — is it possible to trigger that, wait until it closes, and then enter just as it starts opening so there’s more time?
  • Door in roof. Poke open with something long? Secret catch in room?

Loose objects

  • Experiment with talismans — protection from particular attacks? magic spells on right action?
  • Try searching for items and people with parrot and globe
  • What’s oil for? Try on random creaky places.

A final note on ports: I worked out how to save games in the James Garnett port: SUSPEND. So I’m playing mostly his version 19.4 now. There’s only one save game slot, but I’m repeating my system I used with Zork and storing multiple files with the mighty power of DOS batch file programming.

Posted May 9, 2011 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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