Key & Compass presents:
Aunts and Butlers
by Robin Johnson

Aunts and Butlers is a web browser interactive fiction game written with HTML and Javascript and is © 2006 by Robin Johnson. It was entered in IF Comp 2006 where it took 16th place. At the 2006 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist for the Best NPCs and Best Individual NPC awards.

In this amusing game inspired by the works of P.J. Wodehouse, you play as the Hon. Ampersand Fodge. Although you're of the upper classes, you're also quite strapped for cash, alas. So when dear old — and rich — Aunt Cedilla comes to call, you'd best be on your extra-top form.

"Butler?" No, you don't have a butler, never had a butler, and never intend to have a butler. Why do you ask?

This solution is by David Welbourn.


Map 1: House and Bickering

TheNorth u out d u d in Belowstairs Top ofstairs Scullery Yourbedroom TheDivide Servants'quarters Lobby Drawingroom Bridle-way Gaolcell Frontporch Leafypath Policestation Outsidepolicestation Villagegreen Outsidestation Railwaystation Platform

Map 2: The North

TheDivide TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth Rag-and-bone yard TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth TheNorth

Map 3: Servants' Network

u out u d Servants'quarters (to Miss Kitty'sboudoir,but only forthe cowboy) u d w d Aunt'sflat OldmaidTowers Belowstairs Office Starship Cave Londonstreet Northwestservicecorridor Northservicecorridor Northeastservicecorridor Tavern Deville,TX Westservicecorridor Servants'Hall Eastservicecorridor Embalm-er'schamber Treasurechamber Roof Southwestservicecorridor Southservicecorridor Southeastservicecorridor Mill Shake-spearein Glove Joustingfield


Drawing room

> x me. w. s.

Front porch

> x aunt. take suitcase. (She won't let you take it.)

> n. w.

Servants' quarters

> x trunk. open trunk. say password. (Hm. Not quite right.)

> x tailcoat. take it. wear it.

> e. s. (+3)

Front porch

> i. x suitcase. x bottle.

> n. u. s.

Your bedroom

> drop suitcase. take IOU. read it. take letter. read it.

> x bed. x table. x mirror.

> n. d. e.

Drawing room

> take cup. x cup.

> x armchair. x piano. play piano.

> w. w. n.


> fill cup. (+3)

> s. e. u. s.

Your bedroom

> open suitcase. (+4)

> x urn. open urn. shake urn. break urn. (+3)

> x ash. take ash. put ash in cup. (+3)

> x cup.

> n. d. e.

Drawing room

Incidentally, until Aunt Cedilla gets her "tea", she won't let you leave the house.

> give cup to aunt. (+3)

She tells you that "your master" must go to the railway station and meet cousin Virgule.

> remove coat. ask aunt about me. ask aunt about Virgule.

> w. s. s.

Village Green

This location is the effective center of town.

> s. s.

Railway station

> x posters. s.


> wait. wait. wait. wait. (+4. Virgule arrives.)

> x Virgule. x gun. ask Virgule about shotgun.

> ask Virgule about aunt.

> n. n. (The station is now closed forever.)

Outside station

> n.

Village Green

Virgule runs off, eager to shoot a pheasant. Don't bother to look for him.

> w. w.

Police station

CAUTION: Don't wear the hat.

> x Plank. x paperwork. x box. look in box. (+3)

> x hat. take hat.

> give IOU to Plank. (He tears it up and eats it.)

> give letter to Plank. (+3. He tears it, eats one half, and drops the other.)

> take letter. read it. ("Ampersand, I'm leaving you. Everything")

> e. e. n. n. e.

Drawing room

> give hat to aunt. (+3. She accepts it and puts it on.)

> wait. wait.

Virgule enters and shoots at the hat, killing Aunt Cedilla.

> x body.

Then Plank walks in, Virgule claims you did it, and Virgule runs off.

> wait. wait.

Then you hear a polite cough and you now have a silver bell.

> ring bell. (+3)

A butler walks in, tells Plank that you were elsewhere while he murdered Cedilla, so Plank takes the butler away instead of you.

> x bell.

> w. s. s. w. w. n. (+4)

Gaol cell

The butler greets you and gives you a pigeon that'll lead you to Alf.

> x butler. x pigeon. ask butler about Alf.

> s. e. e. ne.

Leafy path

> read signpost.

> n. n.

The Divide

If you don't have the pigeon with you, it's not safe for you to go north past this line.

> x line. n.

The North (several locations)

This is a maze-like area with several deadly randomized dangers. Stay on the path where the pigeon directs you and you'll be fine. But also, remember your path, since you'll have to retrace your steps later to get out again.

> w. n. n. n. e. s. (+3)

Rag-and-bone yard

Alf reads the pigeon's message and asks you to lead him to the butler. Alf's presence also saves you from the randomized dangers of The North, but again, only if you stay on the path directly to the way you came in.

> x Alf. x haggis. take haggis.

> n. w. s. s. s. e. s.

The Divide

> s. s. sw. w. w. n. (+3)

Gaol cell

Alf frees the butler. The butler leaves to bury Aunt Cedilla; Alf follows him.

> s. e. e. n. n.


Alf is now here. He will now start to wander in the house, looking for things to steal (such as the teacup). The butler's in the drawing room, but head west instead.

> w.

Servants' quarters

> z. (Wait until Alf is here.)

> ask Alf about password. (+3. The trunk opens and Alf runs away.)

> d.

Below Stairs

The butler joins you down here.

> x portraits.

> ask butler about aunt. ask butler about trunk.

> ask butler about password. ask butler about Virgule.

> ask butler about the north.

> s. w. n.

Oldmaid Towers

> x notice. (Strict dress code.)

> u. (A doorman stops you; you must be dressed to the "nines".)

> s. e. se.

Servants' Hall

This is the hub of a network of service corridors. Although all these areas can be completed in any order, for the purposes of this walkthrough, we'll start from the north and go clockwise. We're looking for things to wear.

> n. nw.


Incidentally, the dial only makes the room hotter, never colder.

> x typist. x typewriter. x dial. turn dial. (+4)

> take tie. x tie.

> se. ne.


This is an obvious parody of Star Trek and Commander Scotty.

CAUTION: Don't just give the haggis to Fatty. He'll eat it and you'll be stuck.

CAUTION: Don't stay too long after you've taken the collar; you will be killed if you're still there when the ship explodes.

> x button. x machine. x collar.

> x circle. x Fatty.

> put haggis in circle. (+3)

> push button. (+3. Fatty disappears.)

> take collar. out. s. ne. ne. (+4)


> x flower. take flower. (+3)

> sw. sw. e.

East service corridor

> x patterns. e.

Embalmer's Chamber

The embalmer wants you to put your organs into the jars!

> x embalmer. x jars. x sarcophagus.

> talk to embalmer. ask embalmer about me. put organs in jars.

> e. ("The inner sanctum isn't for slaves.")

> kill embalmerorpush embalmer. (+3. He's now in the sarcophagus.)

> e.

Treasure chamber

> x cufflinks. take cufflinks.

> w. w. w. se. se.

Jousting field

> x knight. x lance. take lance.

> give lance to knight. (+3)

> x knight. (+3. You receive a handkerchief.)

If you didn't get a hanky right away, wait as many turns as necessary until the knights joust. There doesn't seem to be a way to rush it along. Usually, a single turn of waiting is enough, but in one session I had to wait eight turns to get the hanky.

> x hanky. nw. nw. s. s.

Shakespeare in Glove

> x gloves. take gloves. x Shakespeare.

> n. n. sw. sw.


> x window. open window. (+4)

> n. (+3)

You are catapulted onto the roof by a waterwheel.


Note that if you take too long up here, you'll fall off the roof anyway.

> take stovepipe. (+3)

> x stovepipe. d.

Servants' Hall

> w. w.

Deville, TX

> x tavern. x wagon. w.


> x pianola. x spittoon. x cowboy. x jerkin.

> u. (A young lady stops you.)

> spit. (The cowboy wakes and runs upstairs to Miss Kitty.)

> u. (No, that'd be too rude.)

It might seem you've make a mistake and lost your chance at the jerkin, but no. Go back outside.

> e. (+4)

Deville, TX

The jerkin falls out of an upper window.

> take jerkin. e. e. nw. w. n.

Oldmaid Towers

To dress to the "nines", you need to wear nine spiffy things:

> wear jerkin. wear tie. wear coat.

> wear cufflinks. wear hanky. wear collar.

> wear flower. wear gloves. wear stovepipe.

> u.

Aunt's flat

> x poodle. x bone. take bone. show bone to poodle.

> x window. x railway.

> open window. throw bone at window. (+5)

Unfortunately, there's no feedback in this location that you're doing the right thing by leaving the half letter here.

> take will. x will. drop letter.

> out. s. e.

Northwest service corridor

The butler gives you a card, saying a gentleman is waiting for you in your drawing-room.

> x card. (+1)

> n. u. e. e.

Drawing room

A solicitor tells you that you've inherited everything from your aunt. The butler congratulates you and offers champagne.

*** GAME OVER ***




All games end with GAME OVER, but the game can end in different ways.

Winning ending:

Losing endings:

You can make the game unwinnable if:

† The butler stops your first attempts at these actions.

Note: An unusual bug can occur if you try returning to the spaceship after it exploded; it still appears to be there. Worse, when the game ends any other way, you get the vacuum of space ending immediately after the other ending.



You have completed percentage of this adventure.
The London Illustrated News describes you as ranking.


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