Key & Compass presents:
Best Gopher Ever
by Arthur DiBianca

Best Gopher Ever is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2018 by Arthur DiBianca. It was an entry in the Main Festival of Spring Thing 2018.

In this charming game, Alfred P. Owl, the mayor of Fairview, greets you and begs you to help all the anthropomorphic animals in town with all their very serious problems. Of course, you'll help them. You're the best gopher ever.

Note that this game uses a very limited set of commands and you won't ever need to EXAMINE anything.

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

Map of Fairview

NorthEnd ofWalnut TimmitPool(Asp) NorthEnd ofWillow Drugstore ClutteredHouse FloralHouse WalnutRoad Alley FootlightTheater OutsideTheater(Hen) Zoltan'sRestaurant Comfort-able House(Yak) ClutteredYard(Cat) Neat Yard(Dog) Maple St.Inter-section WestSide ofRubble Maple St.Rubble(Cow) MapleStreet MapleStreet MapleStreet AnotherBridge LittleOak Park(Bat) Museum(Rat) NorthSide ofBridge Court-house OutsideLab Laboratory(Ram) Bridge(Ant) SmallHouse Classroom4A (Emu) JuniperLane JuniperInter-section Empty Lot Empty Lot CorncobLane CorncobLane(Pig) End ofLane Play-ground AzaleaStreet OutsidePostOffice PostOffice(Bee) Cul-de-sac PrimroseStreet PrimroseStreet End ofPrimroseStreet Fox's Auto-motive(Fox) ToolEmporium(Doe) TownEntrance(Owl)

The game map opens up by quadrants:


IMPORTANT: You have a very limited command set in this game; they are listed in the response to HELP:

- You can always SAVE, RESTORE, RESTART, or QUIT.

- You can move around with N, W, E, S.
- You can LOOK (L) or WAIT (Z).
- You can TALK (T).
- You can GIVE an item you're holding.

- Type INVENTORY (I) to see what you're carrying.
- Type MAP (M) to check your map. (Type MAP HELP for more info.)
- Type STATUS (ST) for a status report, including a list of unsolved problems.

Note this means you won't be examining anything. Also you will automatically take anything you ought to take.

Also, you'll need to enter commands one at a time.

Town Entrance

Owl asks you to help at least five of the town's residents.

> help.

> i. (carrying nothing)

> map. n. e.

End of Primrose Street

You take a white umbrella.

> w. w. n. e.

Corncob Lane (by pig)

Emily Pig wants the key to her suitcase.

> t. e. n.

Small House

You take a tiny key.

> s. w.

Corncob Lane (by pig)

> give key. (+1. She gives you a quarter)

> t. w. n.


The bridge isn't safe. Werner Ant is trying to fix it but needs a hammer.

> z. (He gives you a five-dollar bill.)

> t. s. s. w. n.

Empty Lot

You take an old hubcap.

> s. s.

Tool Emporium

Janice Doe has hammers for sale and wants some red hoof polish.

> t. t.

> give bill. (You buy a really good hammer.)

> n. e. n. n.


> give hammer. (+1)

> z. z. z. z. z. z. (The bridge is now safe to use.)

> t. n. n. e.

Maple Street (middle)

You take an unsharpened pencil.

> e. n.

Comfortable House

Herman Yak gives you his business card and wants something for his cup of hot water.

> t. (He can't or won't speak.)

> s. w. w. n.

Outside Theater

Cornelia Hen has forgotten what she wants.

> t. t. give card.

> w. (No, you need a ticket.)

> e.

Zoltan's Restaurant

You take a dinner plate.

> w. n. e.


You take a bottle of purple hoof polish.

> w. s. s. w.

Maple Street Rubble

Barbara Cow needs a hard hat.

> t. give card. e. s. w.


Tobias Rat wants Five Round Things.

> t. give hubcap. (He gives you some earplugs.)

> give quarter. (He gives you a hand mirror.)

> give plate. (Rat gives you a teabag.)

> give card.

> e. n. e. e. n.

Comfortable House

> give teabag. (+1. Yak gives you a ticket.)

> s. w. w. n.

Outside Theater

> give ticket. (Hen gives you a ticket stub and lets you enter.)

> w. w. w. s.

Maple Street Intersection

> s. (You can't get past the stream of oil.)

> e. s.

Little Oak Park

Violet Bat is complaining of noise, but you don't hear any noise.

> t. give earplugs. (She's too far away.)

> n. w. w.

Neat Yard

Henrietta Dog wants something back from her neighbor.

> t. n. (It's locked.)

> w.

Cluttered Yard

Jack Cat wants some shade.

> give umbrella. (Now he needs something to attach it to his chair.)

> t. give card.

> n.

Cluttered House

You take an orange frisbee. Take it to Rat:

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


> give frisbee. (Rat gives you a pair of garden shears.)

Return to Dog:

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

Neat Yard

> give shears. (+1. She unlocks her front door.)

> t. give card. n.

Floral House

You take a large speckled egg.

> s. e. n. n.

North End of Walnut

> w. (The gate to the Ostracod Estate never opens.)

> e.

Timmit Pool

Simon Asp wants some food.

> t. give card. give egg. (+1)

That's five animals you've helped so far. Go to Owl:

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

Town Entrance

> t. (Owl gives you a motorcycle helmet, and asks you to keep helping the animals.)

> t. give card.

> n. w. n. e.

Corncob Lane

> give card. w. n.


> give card. n. n. w.

Maple Street Rubble

> give helmet. (+1. Cow shuts off an oil valve.)

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


Professor Hubert Ram needs a 33-ounce oscillating prosistor.

> t. t. give card.

> w. s. e.

Empty Lot

This appears to be a dead end with nothing in it.

> w. s. e.

Post Office

Meg Bee needs a mail bag.

> t. t. give card. w. w. s.

Fox's Automotive

Willard Fox needs a Jenkins-head screwdriver. He gives you a ten-dollar bill to buy one for him. He also tells you about a path between the empty lots.

> t. give card. (Learn that Yak used to sell luggage.)

> n. e. n. w. w.

Classroom 4A

Mrs. Rosina Emu can't find her glasses. They're on top of her head.

> t. (She won't let you talk in her classroom.)

> give card. (She can't read it without her classes.)

> give mirror. (+1. She finds her glasses.)

> give card. s.


You take a plastic hula hoop.

> n. e. n.


You take a luggage coupon.

> s. e. e. e. s. s.

Tool Emporium

> give bill. (Doe sells you a screwdriver.)

> i. (She sold you a Jarvis-head screwdriver. You need a Jenkins.)

> give screwdriver. (No returns.)

> give card.

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


> give hoop. (+1. Rat gives you a furrowed metal cube.)

> e. n. e. e. n.

Comfortable House

> give coupon. (Yak gives you a suitcase.)

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


> give cube. (+1)

> z.

You can now give Ram objects to transform. Some of the new objects are more useful than the old ones, and some you shouldn't change at all. Every object has one alternate version which you can change back by simply giving it to Ram—while his machine is working.

After every third object you give to Ram to transform, the machine will run out of juice and you'll need to wait several turns for it to charge up again.

> give screwdriver. (It's now a Jenkins-head screwdriver.)

> give suitcase. (It's now a duffle bag.)

> give polish. (It's now red.)

While the machine is recharging, run to Bat quick! This machine was making the high-pitched noise that's bothering her!

> w. n. n. e. s.

Little Oak Park

Bat should now be within reach.

> give plugs. (+1) give card.

> n. w. s. s. e.


> give pencil. (It's now sharpened.)

> w. s. s. e.

Post Office

> give bag. (+1. Bee gives you a roll of packing tape.)

> t. w. w. s.

Fox's Automotive

> give screwdriver. (+1)

> t. (He tells you that if he keeps talking to Hen, she eventually remembers what she's forgotten.)

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

Cluttered Yard

> give tape. (+1)

> t. e. e. n. e. e. e.

Outside Theater

> t. t. t. t. t. t. t. t. t. t. t. t. t. t. (She wants a pencil!)

> give pencil. (+1)

> t. s. s. s. s. s. w. s.

Tool Emporium

> give polish. (+1)

Now that you've helped 15 animals, return to Owl:

> n. e. e. s. (+1)

Town Entrance

Owl gives you a randomly-chosen reward. And now it's time for you to leave Fairview. You can't return to the lab and transform your prize.

> t. s.

*** You have gotten a lot of exercise! ***



These are my suggestions:


Main characters:

Background characters:



List of Altered Object Pairs


The STATUS command combines the functions of a SCORE command and a TASKS command:

(You have been playing for several turns. So far you have helped list-of-helped-animals.)

This is followed by a list of tasks yet to be completed.

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