Key & Compass presents:
The Ascent of the Gothic Tower
by Ryan Veeder

The Ascent of the Gothic Tower is a Glulx interactive fiction story written with Inform 7 and is © 2014 by Ryan Veeder.

In this story, you play as someone who wants to find a way into the gothic tower and get to the top. You find its architecture both graceful and severe, the most beautiful thing in this city.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the story.

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

Map 1: Tower and Grounds

d u 🪑 u d d d d d d 🪑 🪑 ParkingLot Entrance18 Alcove Entrance17 Entrance19 Hill Bridge Lawn BasementHallway Mainten-ance Room Entrance20 Bottomof theStairs CozyPlace FirstFloorLanding SecondFloorHallway ThirdFloorHallway FourthFloorHallway FifthFloorHallway SixthFloorHallway Top oftheStairs FirstFloorHallway SeventhFloorHallway Archway TheTower Loft d u u u u u u in


Map 2: Tunnels

DRIEDOUT (locked) (end ofdiary) u Dead end Dead end Dead end StretchofTunnel T-inter-section Four-wayInter-section Dead end T-inter-section Four-wayInter-section T-inter-section Dead end Four-wayInter-section T-inter-section StretchofTunnel T-inter-section T-inter-section T-inter-section Dead end TunnelAccess (readdiary)


This story is essentially a walking tour with a few optional elements to it. Your main goal is to get to the top of the tower. The only required things you need to do on the way there is to read the diary, and don't annoy the custodian.


> i. x photocopy.

> x kids. x tower. x sun.

> x streetlamps. x bridge.

> x west hill. x east hill. x ginkgo.

Do you want to talk to the kids? You don't have to, but you can.

> greet kids. ask kids about tower.

> show photocopy to kids. bye.

Let's continue.

> w.


> x river. (The guy keeps walking and is gone.)

> x birds. x tower.

> w.


> x woman. (She cycles away.)

> x rack. x trees.

> w.

Entrance 19

> x building. x door. x window. x photograph.

> open door. (can't)

> sw.

Entrance 20

> x door. x window. (see red EXIT sign and orange rectangle)

> x bushes. (hole to what's beyond)

> open door. (can't)

> s.

Cozy Place

> x benches. sit on bench. x sky.

> x weeds. x flagstones.

> n. ne. nw.

Entrance 18

> x door. x window. (see red EXIT sign and orange rectangle)

> open door. (can't)

> n.

Parking Lot

> x tower. x rosettes.

> x fence. climb fence.

> s. sw.

Entrance 17

> take quarter. x it.

> x graffito. x sidewalk.

> x door. x window. x painting.

> open door. (can't)

> s. (no, too dark and you could get lost.)

> ne. d.


> x butts. x sign. x door.

> s. (You hesitate.)

> s. (A couple college kids emerge before you reach the door.)

> s.

Basement Hallway

> x lights. x camera. (dusty)

> x maintenance door. x maintenance window. (see lockers)

> e. (can't)

> s.

Bottom of the Stairs

> x nook. enter nook. take dollar. x it.

> out. x stairs. x B.

> u.

First Floor Landing

> x door. x window. (see vending machine, bench)

> out.

First Floor Hallway

> x machine.

Buy a nut roll, but don't eat it.

> put dollar in machine. push D3.

> take all from hole. x roll.

> n. u.

Second Floor Landing

> take notebook. x it. ("DIARY")

> read it. (You hesitate.)

> read it. (You'd prefer to find somewhere nice to sit to read it.)

> x door. x window. (see trophy case, "HLOHOWSKYJ & ASSOCIATES")

> x case. x lamp. s. (locked)

> u.

Third Floor Landing

> x door. x window. x TV.

> u.

Fourth Floor Landing

> x door. x window. x plant.

> u.

Fifth Floor Landing

> x door. x window. x janitor.

> u.

Sixth Floor Landing

> x DRIEDOUT. x window. (dark)

> u.

Top of the Stairs

> x huge window. x pinnacles. x crockets.

> x escutcheons. x arches.

> x skinny window. (see two portraits)

> s.

Seventh Floor Hallway

> x portrait. x plaque. s.


> x arch. x keystone. x photocopy.

> x door. x window. (more stairs)

> s. (You hesitate.)

> s. (You hear footsteps approaching down the stairs.)

Wait here a few turns.

> z. z. z.

A custodian arrives, and smiles politely at you.

> greet man. (He slows down.)

> ask man about tower. ask man about beast.

> ask man about Emery. ask man about food.

> give nut roll to man.

> bye.

Follow the custodian down the stairs:

> n. in. d.

Sixth Floor Landing

The man stops to clean the graffiti.

> z. z. ask man about driedout.

> d. d. d. d. d. d. n.

Basement Hallway

> z. (Repeat waiting until the custodian arrives.)

> ask man about camera. z. z.

The custodian will invite you into the maintenance room if you gifted him the nut roll.


Maintenance Room

You have three turns to examine things before the custodian gives you a baseball cap and shooes you out.

> x lockers. x shelves. x desk.


Basement Hallway

> x cap. wear it.

Run all the away up the tower:

> s. u. u. u. u. u. u. u. s. s. s.

You reach the top room of the tower.


> x window. (blinds closed; lever in frame)

> pull lever. (It snaps off.)

> x whiteboard. (nothing on it)

> x easel. x table. x office chair. x door. (alarmed exit)

> sit on office chair. read diary.

You start reading about the author and Kerianne entering a sewer grate next to the construction site on the hill.


Stretch of Tunnel

My strategy for what to write with the chalk is to use three-word phrases that all begin with the same letter, using a different initial letter each time, but feel free to write whatever you like. If you backtrack, whatever you wrote will decay as it fades over time.

> x Keri. (pea coat and green scarf)

> write ask about antique.

> s.


> write battle brown bear.

> e.

Four-way Intersection

> write count candy corn.

> e.


> write drink dainty daiquiri.

> s.

Stretch of Tunnel

> u. (That exit was locked)

> write enjoy easter egg.

> s.


> write find firefly forest.

> s.

Tunnel Access

> x machines. write get giant gemstone.

> e.

You hesitate because of the alarm sign, but Keri says to look closely at the door. There's no wires, only a lying sign.

> x door. open door. SPACE

You close the notebook.


> stand. x small door.

> w. (You hesitate, then remember what the notebook said.)

> w.

The Tower

Looking at the lawn heralds the arrival of the moon. Looking at the moon ends the story.

> x city. x parking lot. x river. x bridge.

> x lawn. x people. throw quarter. x moon.

*** The end. ***





This is the response to CREDITS:

Thanks first of all to Amos B. Emery.

Thanks to Simon Carless for commissioning this game. Thanks to beta testers Richard Bardle, Emily Boegheim, Ashley Cardamone, Mr. Carless aforementioned, Hannah Carr-Murphy, Caitlyn Harris, Caroline Hlohowskyj, Toby Ott, Heidi Poe, Jenni Polodna, Matthew Zimmermann, and Zach.

Parts of this game's source were adapted from engrave.c from NetHack 3.4.3.

Finally, thanks to the developers of Inform 7 and its many extensions. Good grief, you guys. Nice work.



Food items can be purchased from the vending machine on the first floor hallway. This is an optional exercise.


Money can be inserted into the vending machine on the first floor hallway in order to buy one or two of the items for sale.

Other items
Diary author's items

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