The year is 1696. You play as Ranil Kuami, a young black man who, until recently, was a sailor on the pirate ship "Dagon". Because you dared to speak out about something strange you saw in the sea, Captain Davids ordered you tied up and set adrift in a lifeboat. What did you see? What is Davids' secret? And how will you survive this?
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.
You wake, bound and gagged in a lifeboat. It's raining.
> manual.(Press 'N' several times to page through the manual; press 'Q' when you're done.)
> xyzzy.(For the credits sequence.)
During the next few turns, your attempts to act are ignored as you begin to remember what happened.
> z. z. z.(A small island appears.)
> x island. x me. note 1.(Knife in boot!)
> x boots. x knife.
> i. who am i.(Flashback: How you became a sailor.)
> note 2. note 3.
> x rope. x gag. x cloth. x rain.
Okay, let's get serious about escaping our bondage. Note that while your arms are tied, you can only hold one item at a time.
> remove boots. take right boot.
> empty right boot —or— shake right boot.
> drop right boot. take knife.(+1)
> cut rope with knife. g. g.(+1)
> remove cloth. remove gag.
> x gull. x mist.
There's no oars or paddles, so you'll have to swim for it. To reach the island safely, you must travel light. Keep only your knife and talisman.
> x clothes. remove clothes. drop clothes.
> jump in water —or— swim.
CAUTION: If you try to swim to shore with either your clothes or boots, you'll drown.
Chapter One: Of Dark Things and Midnight Places
Shore (east end)
Cutscene: Dreaming on the Island shore.
> take knife. x talisman.(Flashback: How you got the Talisman.)
> touch talisman.(Cutscene: The Vision from the Talisman; lose some Sanity.)
> note 4.
Check yourself out:
> x me. x ring.
> x hair. x dreadlocks. x pubic hair.
> x head. x face. x eyes. x nose. x mouth. x ears. x neck.
> x body. x skin. x arms. x hands. x legs. x feet.
> x genitals. x ass. x nipples.
And look around you before you go explore the island:
> x sand. x rock. x sea.
> x spires. n.
> x gap. ne.
> x waterfall. enter waterfall.(Cutscene: The Search for Ranil.)
The waves aren't touching the sand; lose some Sanity.
> x sand. w. n. n.
> x reef. x water. d.
> x tunnel. in.(A current prevents you.)
> u. s. s. w.
> x lava. n.
> x hole.
> s. e. e. se. sw. s. sw. w.
Shore (west end)
> nw. u.
The sun hasn't moved in an hour; lose some Sanity.
> x sun. x lava. x bridge. w.
> x crab. x spire. e. n.
> x ocean. x crack. e. d. ne.
CAUTION: Don't go northwest from here; you'll fall into lava and die.
> sw. nw. nw.
> x altar. x blood. x pool.
> touch mass. eat mass. note 5.
> up —or— x mass.
A giant eye looks at you; lose some Sanity. Panicking, you dive into the pool, swim to the end of a tunnel to where the "Dagon" is anchored.
Quartermaster Jones is charging at you. Run!
As far as I know, you can't escape Jones. You can't fight him. You can't hide from him. And there's nowhere you can run to where Jones can't follow. But run anyway.
> se. sw. s. sw. w. nw.
> u.(That would take too long!)
Jones catches you, ties you up, then starts to carry you back to the ship.
> x Jones. talk to Jones. x rope. z. z. z. z. z. z.
When Jones reaches here, he stops to hogtie you. Cutscene: At Quartermaster Jones' mercy.
Chapter Two: A Rough Whimper of Insanity
Cutscene: In the Hold; +4 points. Then you dream...
You have no real agency in this dream setting. Try whatever actions you want.
> w. x clouds. x rock. z. z. z. z. z.
Eventually a tentacle grabs your throat.
> x tentacle.(You lose some Sanity; the dream ends.)
Someone's given you air, and you're lying down now. You hear Davids ask you to talk to him.
> talk to Davids.(Davids removes your blindfold and gives you some water.)
> x Davids. talk to Davids.(This opens a conversation menu.)
The menu items aren't numbered. Press N or the down-arrow key to change the focus to the next menu item. Press P or the up-arrow key to go to the previous item. Select an item by pressing ENTER.
You have two possible endings; I'll list one possible conversation traversal for each.
> "What the hell were you doing?"
> "You were not! You were kissing me!"
> "I love you too, Patrik."
> You answer his kiss.
Unfortunately, Jones and two other seamen see this. Jones knocks out Davids and you with a cosh. Cutscene: Davids gets a whipping. Now Jones starts to whip you.
*** You have completed the preview ***
> talk to Davids.
> "Untie me right now, damn you!"
> "Stop that! Stop fondling me!"
> "After what you've done to me? Ha!"
He unties you and gets clothes for you. As you dress, Jones jumps on Davids, but you warn Davids in time. Davids sidesteps, Jones falls, and you kick Jones unconscious.
*** You have completed the preview ***
H. P. Lovecraft is quoted on the game's title screen.
Willy Brandt is quoted at the beginning of the Prologue.
"The Necronomicon" is quoted at the beginning of Chapter One.
Nine Inch Nails is quoted at the beginning of Chapter Two.
Ranil Kuami is the player-character, 23, black, born in Suriname. Your slave name was "Edgar". Until recently, you were a sailor on the "Dagon".
Patrik Davids is the captain of the pirate ship "Dagon". Paradoxically, although he wants you dead when the game begins, he has quite different feelings for you at the end of this preview.
John Jones is the quartermaster of the pirate ship "Dagon". He's a strong brute who seems to take great pleasure in torturing you.
Other crewmembers assist either Davids or Jones, obeying their orders.
A seagull flies above the lifeboat.
A crab can be found at Land's End.
A mass squats ominously in the gigantic cave.
Seen in flashbacks:
Your parents "Henk" and "Katrin" Kuami, although those weren't their real names. Your father's name is John.
The young Master.
The man you killed in combat and took the talisman from.
Tsathoggua. In flashback, Davids says "Tsathoggua awaits his sacrifice."
You have died
if you try to swim to the island while wearing or carrying your clothes or your boots (death by drowning),
or if you try going northwest from Hot Tunnel (death by falling into lava),
or if you try to kill the mass in Gigantic Cave (death by being eaten alive).
You have completed the preview after your conversation with Davids in the Ship's Hold. There are two ways this can go:
You accept Davids' romantic advances, and while the two of you kiss, you are both assaulted and captured by Jones. Jones whips Davids, then he starts to whip you.
You reject Davids' romantic advances, so he instead unties you and brings you clothing. While getting dressed, you're able to warn Davids of Jones' attack. Davids sidesteps, Jones falls, and you kick Jones unconscious.
Footnotes are unlocked/referenced by the following actions:
who am i.
After the "Flashback: How you became a sailor" cutscene, which itself is triggered by who am i.
Losing sanity for the first time; for example, after the Vision from the Talisman.
eat mass in the Gigantic Cave.
Footnote Redisplay can be toggled on and off via the SETUP menu.
some clothes. You're wearing them. Once you've freed yourself, remove and drop your clothes in the lifeboat. If you're wearing or carrying your clothes while swimming to the island, you'll drown.
a talisman. You're wearing it. It will start glowing when you reach the island. Touching it while it's glowing will give you a vision; then it stops glowing. Jones will take the talisman from you when he captures you.
your boots. You're wearing them. Once your headache has passed, remove your boots and they'll become your left boot and your right boot. Your right boot contains your knife. Take your right boot, shake it, and drop it. Now you can take your knife. Leave the boots in the lifeboat. If you're wearing or carrying your boots while swimming to the island, you'll drown.
a knife. It's in your right boot. Remove your boots, take the right boot, shake the boot then drop it. Now take the knife. Cut the rope three times to get free. Note that the knife floats in water. You will lose the knife when Jones captures you.
a leather rope. Initially tying your hands behind your back. Cut the rope with your knife three times; only useless shreds will be left.
a cloth. It's holding the gag in your mouth. After you've cut the rope with your knife, you can remove the cloth. You'll toss it into the water. (I don't know why Ranil doesn't just keep the cloth to replace his missing headband.)
a gag. It's in your mouth. Remove the cloth first, then the remove the gag. You'll throw it away.
rope. It's tying you hand and foot after you're caught by Jones. Either you'll get Davids to untie you or you'll still be tied up when this preview ends.
Although not mentioned by the inventory command, you also have:
a gold ring. It's in your left ear.
your head. Examine your eyes, nose, face, mouth, ears, and neck.
your hair. Examine your dreadlocks and pubic hair.
your body. Examine your chest, arms, hands, legs, feet, genitals, ass, skin, and nipples.
Cutscene sequences can be triggered by your actions and in-game events. You can rewatch these sequences via the command MOVIE or MOVIES. Movie Autoplay and Movie Replay can be toggled on and off via the SETUP menu.
Flashback: How you became a sailor
Trigger: WHO AM I.
Summary: At a plantation, you are about to get your slave brand. You witness the murder of your parents, then you shoot their killer, and escape. At a harbor, you befriend a sailor who then takes you to his captain.
Flashback: How you got the Talisman
Trigger: Examine the talisman.
Summary: You took it from a dead foeman in mid-battle.
Dreaming on the Island shore
Trigger: Going north to the island from the ocean.
Summary: You remember how you were tied up and put in the lifeboat, what Davids said, and what terrible form you saw in the sea.
Note: It's unanswered why you didn't die from the poison that Davids forced you to swallow.
The Vision from the Talisman
Trigger: Touching the talisman once it starts glowing.
Summary: Surrounded by crimson, you fall. Then tentacles from the ground pull you under.
The Search for Ranil
Trigger: Enter waterfall at Scenic View.
Summary: From Jones' viewpoint, you discover Ranil's lifeboat is empty and that an island nearby. Davids is concerned about Ranil. Jones wants to torture Ranil.
At Quartermaster Jones' mercy
Trigger: Jones carrying you to Reef Formation.
Summary: Jones hogties, gags you, takes your talisman. In the cargo hold, he ties you to a pillar, changes your gag, and blindfolds you.
In the Hold
Trigger: Jones carrying you to Ship's Hold.
Summary: Bound, gagged, blindfolded, you fail to get free. Then something hits your head.
Davids gets a whipping
Trigger: Accepting Davids romantic gestures during the conversation in Ship's Hold.
Summary: Jones whips Davids, but gets no reaction. Jones has Davids put into the lifeboat.
Sanity is reported in the status bar. You begin with 100 Sanity. Disturbing events reduce your Sanity; how much you lose seems to be randomly determined.
Lose some Sanity when you see the Vision from the Talisman.
Lose some Sanity when you see the sun hasn't moved in an hour at Volcano Rim.
Lose some Sanity when you see the mass's eye open at Gigantic Cave.
Lose some Sanity when you see the waves aren't moving at Sandy Shore.
Lose some Sanity when the tentacle chokes you during your dream at the beginning of Chapter Two.
Gain 1 Sanity at the end of any turn, by random chance.
I can only speculate what happens when you lose all your Sanity. There aren't enough disturbing events in this preview game to reduce your Sanity to zero.
I also note that attempts at suidical actions are negated throughout the game, on the grounds that you don't really want to do such things. I speculate that in the complete game, if your Sanity gets quite low, perhaps suidical actions would then be permitted.
Sanity notification can be toggled on and off. Use the SETUP command to display the setup menu.
You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 100, in several turns.
1 point for getting the knife.
1 point for freeing yourself.
3 points for surviving the trip to the island.
1 point for actually reading "ABOUT".
4 points for getting off the island the hard way.
As far as I can tell, only 10 points can be earned in this preview version.