Gargoyle Castle: Stuck   8 comments

I haven’t written a “stuck” post in a while. This is because a lot of my latest points-of-stuckness were accompanied by reasons to think the game was playing unfair, so I resorted to hints / walkthroughs / poking at source code / etc.

Even though Gargoyle Castle hardly has an expansive or intelligent parser, and even though I’m still missing 4 of the needed 10 treasures, I’m not quite giving up yet. Part of this is because I was able to leverage the trash-on-the-floor-deducts points trick (I mentioned it in my last post about this game) to my advantage.

Specifically, if I dump every item I can find into one room (with a few in my inventory), I have a deduction of 9 points, and there are 9 items in the room. So it appears I have found every object in the game, and all that remains is to transform them into treasures somehow.

This isn’t absolutely the case — maybe a treasure object gets “created” somewhere — but that doesn’t happen anywhere else in the game. Also, the ability to reference “non-objects” in room descriptions is very limited; in the “throne room” there is a plaque that’s readable


but otherwise, I haven’t found any instance like this in the game.

Here is the complete object list:

an unrolled scroll
a lighter
a faintly lettered cloth
a bottle full of polish
a coiled rope
a mound of trash
a garden trowel
some greenish ice
some glowing coals
an antique shovel
a tulip bulb
a lit flashlight
an open funerary urn
some very, very heavy armour

You can turn the “greenish ice” into “thawed water” using the coals. I’m not quite unthawing it yet because the hot coals can be carted around with the funerary urn, suggesting that maybe it’s important to the thaw the water somewhere specific. (After the water thaws, the coals become cold and can be carried around without any help.)

I can try to PLANT BULB but anywhere I’ve attempted it gives me the message “I DON’T HAVE EVERYTHING I NEED.” This is while holding the trowel, shovel, and thawed ice.

Also, here are the treasures I’ve found, in case any come into play:

a huge ruby
a complete Gutenberg bible
a shimmering ring
a crystal bird locked in a cage
a Tiffany lamp
a platinum smoking pipe

Here are the verbs that seem to work, although this may not be a complete list. (Note that ATTACK and HIT and similar words are unrecognized.)


Finally, I should note I seem to be able to visit the VICIOUS GREEN AND PURPLE GARGOYLE that killed me last session, as long as I’m wearing the heavy armour. I am able to pick it up and walk around with it. I haven’t been able to get any reaction out of it yet.

You’re welcome to post theories or even spoilers, but mark which is which, and use rot13 to encode spoilers; I’m going to try struggling a bit longer.

Posted February 22, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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8 responses to “Gargoyle Castle: Stuck

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  1. Of course, immediately after I post this I figure one of the treasures out. (The one having to do with the gargoyle.)

    Nsgre lbh fnsryl zrrg gur tnetblyr juvyr jrnevat nezbe, lbh pna GVR TNETBLYR juvyr ubyqvat gur ebcr naq vg orpbzrf “sevraqyl” naq pbhagf nf n gernfher.

  2. This is just speculation, but can you hold the cloth over the coals to see if the heat makes the letters readable? (Like invisible ink.) Or maybe try burning it with the lighter if that doesn’t work?

    • The cloth starts as a “fuzzy cloth” before you rub a “dull ring” with it. You can then READ CLOTH and get “IN THE CLOSET, DUMMY” (which is a hint as to where to use the scroll).

      Still was a good chance there was more to see there, so I tried various forms of heating the cloth (including the coals) and no dice. Good thought, though.

  3. Question: you mentioned in your post before this one that you were able to dig everywhere outside – I think you said everywhere that was “reasonable.” Can you dig anywhere inside? Or otherwise UNreasonable?

  4. Another thought: Items in the Pit of Garbage room don’t give you negative sloppiness points, right? So might there be another item hidden in the Pit of Garbage room itself?

  5. Pingback: Gargoyle Castle: Finished! | Renga in Blue

  6. Pingback: Forbidden City: Stuck | Renga in Blue

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