Key & Compass presents:
by Richard Develyn

Arborea is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2022 by Richard Develyn. It was an entry in IF Comp 2022 where it took 15th place.

In this arboreal/ecological themed game, you begin in a simulated vast forest generated by Program Arborea. You have a gourd with markings on it. Your goal is to retrieve the kernel, whatever that is.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 12 of the game.

SPOILERS AHEAD. Reading a walkthrough prematurely can sometimes diminish one's enjoyment of an interactive fiction game. Please make an honest effort to play the game before reading this walkthrough.


Map 1: Center of the forests

The GreenHills ofEngland The PineForests ofScandinavia TheHimalayanMountains An Islandin theCaribbean Vast Forest(+ up a tree) The Palm TreePlantations ofIndonesia The AmazonBasin The TallgrassPrairies ofMissouri The Vast Plainsof theSerengeti

Map 2: The Green Hills of England

JoustingArena ElizabethanFestival(west) ElizabethanFestival(north) ElizabethanFestival(south) ElizabethanFestival(east) The GreenHills ofEngland VastForest

Map 3: The Pine Forests of Scandinavia

FuneralShip Mist-shroudedIsland FuneralShip Edge ofLake LakeViewpoint The PineForestsof Scand. Temple ofUppsala VastForest out launch out u d in in d u

Map 4: The Himalayan Mountains

Enlight-enmentMaze TheHimalayanMountains VastForest DarkHarem Elephantin theCavern Cavernof theDemon d u u u u d d d d

Map 5: An Island in the Caribbean

PirateShip MedicineHut Tavern PirateShantyTown An Islandin theCaribbean VastForest GeneralStore out in

Map 6: The Palm Tree Plantations of Indonesia

IndonesianSimulationRoom ProcessingPlant VastForest Palm TreePlantationsIndonesia PlantationsProcessing PlantationsEntrance Roofof theOutlet "Palmface"Outlet d 🐎 🐎 take kernel climb ladder u

Map 7: The Amazon Basin

TreeHouse At the topof theBulldozer VastForest Eco Camp AmazonBasin "TreeQuarry" BeneaththeBulldozer d d go under bulldozer u climb bulldozer d u out

Map 8: The Tallgrass Prairies of Missouri

VastForest Up aPoplar TallgrassPrairiesMissouri Prairie: ByPrison Prairie: ByBurningCrosses Prairie: ByChurch Prison in climb rope (or)climb ladder out

Map 9: The Vast Plains of the Serengeti

VastForest Inside aBaobabTree Vast Plainsof theSerengeti Plateau WateringHole Savannah Grassland out n in bravely s

Map 10: The Simulation Rooms

WoodlandsSimulationRoom MissouriSimulationRoom ScandinavianSimulationRoom HimalayanSimulationRoom CaribbeanSimulationRoom AmazonianSimulationRoom IndonesianSimulationRoom ProcessingPlant EnglishSimulationRoom SerengetiSimulationRoom d u put kernel in receptacle u takekernel d (win!)


Vast Forest

> help. x me i. x gourd. (It has eight markings.)

> x acorn. (from "oak trees")

> x crab. (from "mangrove")

> x mystic. (relates to "fig tree")

> x fluff. (from "poplar" or "cottonwood")

> x palm leaf. (from "palm tree")

> x cone. (from "pine trees")

> x frog. (from "rainforest")

> x upside-down tree. (a "baobab")

> x trees. climb tree.

Forest (up a tree)

You're prompted to LOOK FOR particular trees.

> look for oak. (+5. Oaks are to northwest)

> look for mangrove. (That's west.)

> look for fig tree. (That's northeast.)

> look for poplar. (That's south.)

> look for palm tree. (That's east.)

> look for pine trees. (That's north.)

> look for rainforest. (That's southwest.)

> look for baobab. (That's southeast.)

> d. n.

The Pine Forests of Scandinavia

> x Viking. x hall. x trees.

> ask Viking about mead hall.

> ask Viking about himself.

> u.

Lake Viewpoint

> x lake. x ship. x island.

> x archer. x campfire.

> ask archer about ship.

> ask archer about himself.

> ask archer about island. (Yggdrasil there.)

> ask archer about Yggdrasil.

> ask archer about Odin.

> ask archer about campfire.

> d. d.

Edge of Lake

> x lake. x ship. in.

Funeral Ship

CAUTION: Don't launch the ship right now. The archer will shoot a fire arrow at the ship and you'll die in the flames.

> x body. x axe. take it.

> out. u. s.

Vast Forest

> x trees. (Summary table of what you've seen so far.)

> se.

The Vast Plains of the Serengeti

> x sun. x vultures. x baobab. x crack.

> in. (+1)

Inside a Baobab Tree

> x mask. take it. wear it. (can't)

> out. e.


CAUTION: If you turn on the floodlight right now, you'll attract angry poachers.

> x truck. x floodlight. x fireflies.

> d. (no: too dark)

> w. se.


CAUTION: When the rhino charges, you must retreat or else. Keep your visits near the rhino short.

> x rhino. (It sees you.)

> open sacks.

> search dung. (+1; you find a plastic card.)

> nw.

The Vast Plains of the Serengeti

> x card. (too dirty)

> s. (You won't approach the lions.)

But note the hint about the Masai doing it bravely. It's very unusual for an interactive fiction game to require adverbs in a command, and even more rare that the adverb must be the first word in your command, but it is what it is.

> bravely south.


CAUTION: Keep your visits near the lions short.

> cut antelope. (+2; with the axe; you get venison)

> n.

The Vast Plains of the Serengeti

> x venison.

> nw. n. d.

Edge of Lake

> wash card. x pass. (The photo doesn't look like you at all.)

> u. s. e.

The Palm Tree Plantations of Indonesia

> x toy. take it. pull string.

> x trees. x tables. x baskets. x kernels.

> e. (no, not by foot)

> w. ne.

The Himalayan Mountains

As soon as you arrive, the man asks "Cha?" or "Tea?"

>> yes


>> yes

After the man has served you your cup of sweetened tea, you can look around and talk to the man. If you try to leave with the teacup, the man snatches it out of your hand first.

> x man. x cup. x trolley. x bowl. x teapot.

> x fig tree. x monkey. x statue. x figs.

> x sign. ("Up to Enlightenment, Down to Darkness")

> drink tea.

> ask man about buddha. ask man about tea.

> ask man about himself. ask man about enlightenment.

> ask man about monkey. ask man about gourd.

> ask man about me.

> give cup to man.

This next bit of business requires precise timing.

> z. (Wait until the man asks "Cha?" or "Tea?" again.)

>> yes


>> no

> drink tea.

"Sugar?" (he asks again)

>> yes

> take cube. (+1. The man takes back the cup, then leaves.)

> x cube.

> u.

(Enlightenment Maze)

This area is randomized and each "room" has a name of the form NUMBER of SOMETHING. Pay attention to the numbers; only the first number of a room counts. An incomplete list of these room names are:

You also hear a voice in your head whisper a number. The whispered number always begins with 108.

You must walk to rooms whose numbers divide (without remainder) your current whispered number. 108 can be divided by 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, and 18. When the whispered number is 1, you gain an inner light and automatically return to Himalayan Mountains below.

Because the possible rooms you can walk to are completely randomized, there is no guarantee that you can solve this puzzle on any attempt. If you make a mistake or go down, this puzzle resets, and the whispered number is 108 again.

> norworeors. (Repeat as appropriate until this puzzle is solved.)

The Himalayan Mountains

> i. (Note that you now have an inner light.)

> climb tree.

In a Fig Tree

> x mountains. x fig. x macaque.

> give toy to macaque.

> take fig. (+1; the macaque angrily throws the toy)

> d.

The Himalayan Mountains

The macaque is now following you. You no longer need the toy unless the macaque gets the fig fruit and returns to the fig tree with it.

> sw. nw.

The Green Hills of England

Whichever horse you give the sugar cube to is the horse you can ride later. Oddly, the game will assume that your gender matches the horse's gender.

> x caravans. x stallion. x filly.

> give sugar to stallionorgive sugar to filly. (+1)

> n.

Elizabethan Festival (south)

Sadly, you will never be able to buy a meat pie.

> x tents. x pies. x basket. x actors.

> e.

Elizabethan Festival (east)

> x actors. z. (Repeat waiting until the actor who plays Falstaff changes costumes, leaving his normal costume here.)

> x costume. take it. (+1)

> w. n.

Elizabethan Festival (north)

> x Queen. x Drake. x potato. x yeoman.

> ask Drake about queen.

> ask Drake about festival. (or about pies)

> ask Drake about potato.

> ask Drake about Spanish Armada.

> n. (no: need invitation from queen)

> give fig to Drake. (+2; he gives you an invitation)

Drake enters the royal pavilion tent, followed by the monkey.

> x invitation.

> w.

Elizabeth Festival (west)

You can't rescue the monkey yet, but I need you to visit this location before entering the jousting arena because of a finnicky bit with the scoring.

> x ladies. x monkey. x chain.

> e.

Elizabethan Festival (north)

> n. (+3. The yeoman takes your invite as you enter. The gourd cracks a little.)

Jousting Arena

> x knights. x crier. (Something falls at your feet.)

> x stands. (A squire grabs up the random knight part.)

> x royal box. x spectators. x fence.

The crier announces a new pair of knights.

> z. z. (The squire declines to pick up a severed head.)

> take head. (+2)

> x head. x gourd.

> s. s. s.

The Green Hills of England

> mount stallionormount filly. (whichever you gave the sugar to)

> se. sw.

The Amazon Basin

CAUTION: If you go down into the crater while the bulldozer is operational, the bulldozer runs over you!

> stand.

> x rainforest. x bulldozer. x crater.

> climb bulldozer.

At the top of the Bulldozer

> x driver. x ignition.

> x music player. x volume. (at 3, can go from 1 to 5)

CAUTION: Don't turn the volume directly to 5 from 3! If the volume changes by more than 1 at a time, the driver notices you and you will fall to your death!

> turn volume to 4. turn volume to 5.

CAUTION: It's only safe to turn off the ignition when the volume is at 5.

> turn off ignition. (+2)

> d.

The Amazon Basin

> go under bulldozer. (+1)

Beneath the Bulldozer

> cut cables. (+1; with the axe)

> out. d.

"Tree Quarry"

> x girl. x parka. ("Rhino Warriors")

> ask girl about herself.

> ask girl about bulldozer.

> ask girl about rainforest.

> ask girl about parka (or about Rhino Warriors).

> give card to girl. (+2; you get the parka)

> wear parka.

> nw.

Eco Camp

> x man. x ladder. x house. x rainforest.

You must be wearing the parka in order to ascend the ladder here. If you try to use the card here, the man can't see it.

> u. (+3)

Tree House

When you first enter here, you hear a crack from the gourd.

> x gourd. (frog picture cracked)

> x book. take it.

> d.

Eco Camp

> take ladder. (+1)

> se. u.

The Amazon Basin

> mount horse. ne. s.

The Tallgrass Prairies of Missouri

> stand.

> x moon. x flames. x poplar. x noose.

> take noose. climb poplar. (no: too smooth)

> lean ladder. (+1)

> u.

Edge of Prairie (up a Poplar)

> x large building. (may be a church)

> x small building. (may be a prison)

> untie noose.

> d. s.

Prairie: By Burning Crosses

> x crosses. e.

Prairie: By Church

> x church building. x windows.

> x doors. open doors. (can't: barred inside)

> x tower. x handles.

> tie rope to handles. (+2)

> w. w.

Prairie: By Prison

> x prison. x window. x moon.

> x door. open door. (locked)

> e. n.

The Tallgrass Prairies of Missouri

> take ladder.

> mount horse. n. e. e. (+1)

Palm Tree Plantation (Processing)

> x building. x keypad.

> e.

Palm Tree Plantation (Entrance)

Note the name "Palmface".

> x store. x gate.

> dismount. s. (locked)

> lean ladder against store. (+1)

> climb ladder.

Palm Tree Plantation (on the roof of the Outlet)

> x skylight. x orangutan.

> dance. (The orangutan is still sad.)

> climb ladder.

Palm Tree Plantation (Entrance)

Leave the ladder here.

> ride horse. w.

Palm Tree Plantation (Processing)

> dismount.

> look up Palmface in book. (random 4 digits)

> enter 1ST-DIGIT on keypad.

> enter 2ND-DIGIT on keypad.

> enter 3RD-DIGIT on keypad.

> enter 4TH-DIGIT on keypad. (+2)

> n.

Processing Plant

> x machinery. x oven. x compressor. x washer.

> x cupboard. open it. x can. take it.

> put venison in oven. close oven. (+1)

> take venison. x it.

> s. ride horse. w. w. w.

An Island in the Caribbean

> stand.

> x walkway. x swamp. x river. x sea. x sun.

> x hut. x fetishes. x pots.

> in.

Medicine Hut

> talk to woman. (gain her trust first)

> give mask to woman. (+1. She thanks you.)

> x potions. x zzzzzz.

> ask woman about herself.

> ask woman about hut.

> ask woman about zzzzzz.

> ask woman about pirates.

> ask woman about overseer.

> ask woman about mangrove.

> ask woman about Africa.

> take zzzzzz. (She suggests instead that you bring a receptacle with liquid; she'll add a few drops.)

> out. w.

Pirate Shanty Town

> x tavern. x store. x ship. x plank.

> s.

General Store

> x goods. x gunpowder. x owner. x wife.

> ask owner about gunpowder. (sold to pirates)

> ask owner about pirates.

> ask owner about medicine woman.

> ask owner about store. ask owner about goods.

> ask owner about himself. ask owner about wife.

> ask owner about tavern. (He'll open it later.)

> ask wife about gunpowder. ask wife about goods.

> ask wife about pirates.

> ask wife about medicine woman.

> ask wife about store. ask wife about tavern.

> ask wife about herself. ask wife about owner.

> n. n.

Pirate Ship

> x pirates. x pantaloons.

> x overseer. x whip. x basque.

> x cannon. x fuse.

> take fuse. (no: overseer stops you)

> ask overseer about pirates.

> ask overseer about herself.

> ask overseer about whip.

> ask overseer about cannon.

> ask overseer about tavern.

> ask overseer about ship.

> ask overseer about store.

> ask overseer about medicine woman.

You must have the jerry can for this to work:

> clean ship. (+2)

All the pirates and the overseer leave for the tavern.

> take fuse.

> s. w. (+3; the gourd cracks)


> x pirates. x overseer. x owner. x wife. x rum.

> give costume to owner. (+2)

> x clothes. take key.

> e.

Pirate Shanty Town

> unlock store door with key. s.

General Store

> take gunpowder. (It's too heavy to lift, but you can push it.)

> put fuse in barrel. (+1)

Push the barrel all the way to the burning crosses. Leave the horse outside the medicine hut for now.

> push barrel n.

Pirate Shanty Town

> push barrel e. g.

Vast Forest

> push barrel s. g.

Prairie: By Burning Crosses

CAUTION: You did tie the rope to the church door handles earlier, yes? You don't want an angry mob investigating this explosion.

> light fuse. (+1)

> push barrel w.

Prairie: By Prison

Don't stay where the barrel is!

> e.

Prairie: By Burning Crosses

> z. z. (+3; explosion to west)

> w.

Prairie: By Prison

Two young black men leave the prison and run away.

> in. (+3; the gourd cracks)


> x man. x window. talk to man. (He mimes an egg.)

> give gourd to man. (He shakes it and returns it.)

> shake gourd.

> out. e. n. n. n.

The Pine Forests of Scandinavia

The Viking won't accept the venison unless it's cooked.

> give venison to Viking. (+1)

Temple of Uppsala

> listen. look under head table. (+1)

> x Ragnar. x horn. take horn. fill horn. (with mead)

> x Vikings. x woman. x maidens. x dogs.

> x head table. x food. x barrels. x tables.

> w. s. w. in.

Medicine Hut

> take zzzzzz. (+1; you put some drops into the horn)

> out. e. n. u.

Lake Viewpoint

> give horn to archer. (+1; he gives horn back then falls asleep)

> x archer.

> d. d. in.

Funeral Ship

> launch. (+2)

> out. (+3; gourd cracks a little)

Mist-shrouded Island

> x tree. x raven. x skulls.

> drop head. (+2. The raven eats an eye and the head animates.)

> take head.

> in. launch. out. u. s. w.

An Island in the Caribbean

> mount horse. e. nw.

The Green Hills of England

> stand. n. n. w.

Elizabeth Festival (west)

The head must be animated for this to work. If it's just a normal decapitated head, the ladies are too jaded to care.

> drop head. (+2; the head scares the ladies away; the monkey joins you.)

> take head. (You don't need the head anymore, but its random quips can be entertaining.)

> e. s. s.

The Green Hills of England

> ride stallionorride filly. (as appropriate)

> se. e. e. e.

Palm Tree Plantation (Entrance)

> stand. climb ladder. (+2)

Palm Tree Plantation (on the roof of the Outlet)

The depressed macaque and the depressed orangutan wander off together.

> d. (+3; the gourd cracks a bit)

"Palmface" Outlet

> x cupboards. open cupboard. take shampoo. x it.

> x shelves.

> u. climb ladder.

Palm Tree Plantation (Entrance)

> ride horse. w. w. w. ne.

The Himalayan Mountains

> stand. d.

Dark Harem

Your inner light lets you see in here.

CAUTION: After three contiguous turns in their presence, the horny women will attack and eat you... unless you can distract them.

> give shampoo to women. (+1; they now ignore you)

> x stone. x women.

> d.

The Elephant in the Cavern

> x elephant. (It's Girimekhala.)

> x lantern. x cloth.

> ignore elephant. (+1)

> take cloth. (The elephant disappears.)

> d.

Cavern of the Demon

> x demon. (The Mara)

> x stalactites.

This next action is clued by the pose of the Buddha statue seen above, but looking up Mara on Wikipedia will also clue you in:

> point to earthortouch ground. (Mara disappears.)

> d. (+3; the gourd cracks, and you're back at...)

The Himalayan Mountains

> ride horse. sw. se.

The Vast Plains of the Serengeti

> dismount. e.


> put cloth on floodlight. turn on floodlight. (+3; The frightened poachers run towards the hungry lions.)

> e. (+3. The gourd cracks a bit.)

Watering Hole

There's nothing you need to do here except visit and get the three points for fully exploring the Serengeti region.

> x Girimekhalaorx huge elephant.

> x dead elephant. x hole.

> w. w. ride horse. nw. s.

The Tallgrass Prairies of Missouri

> dismount. s. w. in.


This won't work unless all eight markings on the gourd are cracked, and also, you must have shaken or listened to gourd earlier.

> give gourd to man. (He mimes crushing the gourd, hands it back, then leaves.)

> out. e. n. ride horse. n. e. e.

Palm Tree Plantation (Processing)

> dismount. n.

Processing Plant

> put gourd in compressor. close compressor.

> x kernel. take kernel. (+5)

The processing plant, all of your inventory, and the kernel you were about to take fade away, leaving you standing in the ...

Indonesian Simulation Room

> x tables. (or chairs, oven, compressor, gates)

> x washing machine.

> x basket. open it. x robe. take it. wear it.

> x orangutan. x monkey. x game. (has kernel inside!)

> w.

Amazonian Simulation Room

> x man. x girl.

> x deskorx posters.

> x money box.

> n.

Scandinavian Simulation Room

> x barrels. x Vikings. x preacher. (was Drake before)

> w.

Missouri Simulation Room

> x black guyorx white guy.

> x crosses. x extinguisher. take it. (They won't let you have it.)

> e. s. s.

English Simulation Room

> x queenorx dancersorx musicians.

> x maypole.

> dance. (A demonic girl puts a thorny garland on your head, She's now dancing with you and also following you.)

> x garland. x dancer.

> n. e. u. (+1)

Himalayan Simulation Room

As you enter, the dancer sees the blue demon assaulting a coffee machine, then chases him to the east. You won't see either of them again.

> x woman. x man. x machine. x slot. x dispenser.

> hit machine. (+1: a coin falls out)

> x coin. take it.

> e.

Caribbean Simulation Room

> x lockers. x locker. x whip. take it.

> w. n.

Woodlands Simulation Room

> x door. x receptacle. x tree. x man. x keys.

Talking to the man reveals that he likes alcohol.

> ask man about tree. ask man about keys.

> ask man about me. ask man about himself.

> s. d. d.

Serengeti Simulation Room

> x vulturesorx rhinoorx sacks.

> x cage. x lock. x lions.

> u. w.

Amazonian Simulation Room

> put coin in box. (The girl pins a pin to your robe.)

> x pin.

> e. d.

Serengeti Simulation Room

> unlock lock with pin. open cage.

> whip lions. (They go upstairs.)

> u.

Indonesian Simulation Room

The lions chase the primates out of the room.

> take game. (Too heavy, but pushable.)

> push game west.

Amazonian Simulation Room

> push game north.

Scandinavian Simulation Room

> push game west.

Missouri Simulation Room

The men drop the fire extinguisher to play the game.

> take extinguisher.

> extinguish crosses. x crosses.

> take cross. x cross.

> e. (+1)

Scandinavian Simulation Room

As you enter the room while wearing the robe and garland, and carrying the cross, the preacher guiltily drops his bottle and leaves.

> take bottle. x bottle.

> s. e. u. n.

Woodlands Simulation Room

> give bottle to man. (+1)

> take keys.

> s.

Himalayan Simulation Room

> hit machine. (+1: The maintenance men from the Missouri room arrive to fix the machine.)

> d. w. n. w.

Missouri Simulation Room

> unlock game with keys. open game. take kernel.

> e. s. e. u. n.

Woodlands Simulation Room

> put kernel in receptacle.

The simulation ends for real this time. Congratulations!

*** The End ***



In England:

In Scandinavia:

In the Himalayan Moutains:

On a Caribbean Island:

In Indonesia:

In the Amazon Basin:

In Missouri:

In the Serengeti:



This is the response to CREDITS:

Play Testers: Michael Russo, Vivienne Dunstan, Christopher Merriner, Peter M.J. Gross.

Cover art by

There is also a FEEDBACK command that tells you how to get in touch with the author.


All endings end with the epitaph The End, but only one end is the winning ending.

These are the known losing endings:

The winning ending is achieved when, in the Woodlands simulation room, you put the kernel in the receptacle. The simulation ends and you are congratulated. Finally, there's a short poem and some author notes.


Initial item
English items
Scandinavian items
Himalayan items
Caribbean items
Indonesian items
Amazonian items
Missouri items
Serengeti items
Endgame items
Honorable mentions

These items are either characters who may follow you or things that you can push from one location to another.


This is the response to SCORE:

You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 100, in several turns.

The command FULL or FULL SCORE lists how you earned points. Points are awarded as follows:

Points can be deducted as follows:

Unfortunately, the game gives no options to see your full score when you win the game.

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