Bloodless on the Orient Express is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2011 by Hannes Schueller. It was an entry in Ectocomp 2011 where it took 1st place.
In this short game, you play as a gentleman vampire traveling to Paris via the Orient Express. You emerge from your coffin and soon learn that the train is stuck in a snow drift and behind schedule. Although help is on the way, your deep thirst can't wait. You must drink blood as soon as possible.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.
You awake hungry. Are you in Paris yet?
> about. stand. open coffin.
> stand. x me. i. x suit. x cape.
> x coffin. x crates. x large crate. (locked)
> x door. e.
Snow! The train is caught in a snow drift.
> x calendar. x records. x bags.
> w. ne.
> x man. open shades. (The man stops you.)
> bite man.
Alas, he is also a vampire and stronger than you. You're now dead forever.
*** Drained (Ending 3/4) ***
> out. n.
> x nuns. x crosses. bite nuns. (Crosses prevent you.)
> s. nw.
> x father (or mother, son, daughter).
> x snail. open cage. take snail.
> out. w. nw.
Two men here are having an argument.
They are Professor Saxton and Doctor Wells. Saxton has a fossil stored in the locked crate in the luggage van.
> x Saxton. x Wells.
> ask Saxton about fossil. (He drops the key.)
> take key. out. e. e. e.
> unlock crate with key. open crate.
You find a prehistoric ape-man with an alien mind who sucks your own brain dry.
*** Dawn of a new super monster (Ending 4/4) ***
> w. w. w. ne.
> x mirror. x bed. x pyjamas.
> x tin. x net. x comb. (You don't need these items.)
> look under bed. (You find a bag.)
> x bag. open bag. x book. (It's a recipe book for escargot.)
> take book.
> out. w. n.
> x jute bag. open it. x garlic.
> take garlic. (Its smell prevents you.)
> x stove. x burner. x pan. x table. x oil. x plate.
> s. w. n.
You can only examine things in this location. If you try to do anything else, the conductor shuffles you out.
> x body. x detective. x conductor.
> x desk. x pen. x paper.
> s. w.
> x shovel. x boiler. open it. x water.
> x tender. x coal. x whistle. x scarf.
> take scarf. take coal.
> e. e. n.
> wear scarf. take garlic. (You manage it.)
> put garlic in pan. put snail in pan. put oil in pan.
> put coal in burner.
> turn on stove. (You plate the food and take the plate.)
> i. x meal.
The detective is here, attracted by the smell. You're also now unwilling to leave this location.
> give plate to detective.
He eats the meal then makes a speech to everyone. The shady man panics, attacks, then dies, his blood spilling everywhere!
> drink blood.
Someone drives a stake through you as you drink.
*** Staked (Ending 2/4) ***
> x shady man. (Save the blood somehow!)
> put cape on shady man —or— put cape on blood.
The cape absorbs the blood, which you drink later in private.
*** Minor inconvenience which can't spoil your vacation (Ending 1/4) ***
The response to ABOUT or CREDITS:
Bloodless on the Orient Express has been written by Hannes Schueller (
email redacted) as an entry to the ECTOCOMP 2011. The rules state that not more than three hours must be spent for a game's implementation (not counting preparation time). If you feel this game is underimplemented, buggy, missing "modern conveniences" or generally short, please keep this in mind. Also due to the three-hour-rule, the game has not seen any serious testing. Bug reports, transcripts and any other kind of feedback are therefore welcome!
The implementation strategy I went with in order to stick to the time limit was to first program all the barebone game logic required to finish the game with the best ending. So, in any case, I would have an enterable game for the competition. This took about two hours. So I spent the remaining hour fleshing the locations out as much as possible. Of course, this is still not on the level I'd usually go for with "unlimited" time resources. Nevertheless, I believe there is some funny optional stuff in there now.
Ending 1 is the winning ending. Endings 2, 3, and 4 are losing endings.
This walkthrough is provided free of charge since the work it's based on has less than fifteen locations. Please consider it a thank you for your support!
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