Key & Compass presents:
by Conrad Button and ButtonWare, Inc.

Castaway is a MS-DOS text adventure game written with some version of BASIC (probably) and is © 1986 by Conrad Button and ButtonWare, Inc.. (Conrad Button is also known as Conrad Knopf.) This former shareware game was billed as a Level 1 (Introductory) game for players with little to no experience with text adventures.

In this introductory game, you start adrift in the Coral Sea near a deserted island. You were the first mate of a cargo ship until it sank, but now you're a castaway. You have two goals: get rescued and find as much treasure as you can before you go.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on the former shareware release of the game. I used DOSBox to play this game in 2021.

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


Map 1: Intro and Island Edges

(win!) u u Northwest Cornerof the Island Northeast Cornerof the Island CoralSea WaveCrest FogBank NearBeach WestBeach LargeCaveMouth SmallCaveMouth HighRidge ShelteredCove Southwest Cornerof the Island Southeast Cornerof the Island Caves Island Interior d go ship d

Note: Specific location names are not used in the game. The names of locations on these maps are my own invention, based on the room descriptions.

Map 2: Island Interior

Pool SeedStore PriestChambers TempleRoof SmallClearing BurialGrounds InsideHut WeaponsStall ToolMaker'sShop WorshipRoom Altar Jungle(parrot) Jungle(jaguar) Knoll CityGates StoneCourtyard TempleEntry u u n u d Southwest Cornerof the Island d go pool go altar d u

Map 3: Caves

RockChamber PurpleGrotto Site ofCave-in LongPassage CrystalGrotto WhiteCavern SaltCavern GlitteringCavern GreenGrotto WhiteCavern u u d d LargeCaveMouth SmallCaveMouth

General Notes on ButtonWare Games

For all ButtonWare text adventure games, you should know the following:


After several introductory screens explaining how to play and about other ButtonWare games:

Coral Sea

> exa boat. (empty)

> i. (You are carrying nothing.)

> e. e.

Fog Bank

> exa fog. e. e.

Your life boat is destroyed when you reach the beach.

West Beach

> n.

Northwest Corner of the Island

> push boulder. look. (A small patch of white sand has been revealed.)

> exa sand. dig sand. (You need a spade.)

> e. u.

High Ridge

> exa ship. d. s.

Sheltered Cove

Leave the drift wood here for later.

> exa wood. s.

Southeast Corner of the Island

> exa box. open box. exa box. get matches.

> w. u.

Jungle (with parrot)

> exa parrot. n.

Small Clearing

> exa pool. go pool.


> get necklace. u. s. e.

Jungle (with panther)

> n. (Panther blocks you.)

> e. n.

Inside Hut

> exa basket. open basket. exa basket. get torch.

> s. u. n.

Weapons Stall

> exa stall. (You find a spear.)

> get spear.

> e.

Tool Maker's Shop

> get axe. n.

Seed Store

> get seed.

> s. s. e. n.

Worship Room

> exa idol. get ruby. n.

Priest Chambers

> exa levers. (red, white, blue, black)

> u.

Temple Roof

> exa altar. go altar.


> get dagger.

> n. d. s. s. w. w. d. w.

Jungle (with panther)

> throw spear. (Panther dies.)

Leave the spear. You won't need it again.

> n.

Burial Grounds

> get spade. exa graves.

> dig graves. (wait a bit in real time)

> look. exa skeleton. get bracelet.

> s. w.

Jungle (with parrot)

Note: GIVE SEED doesn't work. That acts like dropping it.

> feed parrot. (using the seed. The parrot says "blue white black red".)

> drop seed.

> e. e. u. e. e. n. n.

Priest Chambers

> pull levers

tell me the first color? blue

now which color? white

the color of the third? black

the final color? red

Something falls from a hidden ceiling compartment.

> look. get robe.

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

Large Dark Cave

> light torch. (It's now a burning torch.)

> drop matches.

> e. n. e.

Purple Grotto

> get scrolls. read scrolls. (Tells you what to do at the boulder.)

> s.

Salt Cavern

> get key. n. e.

Site of Cave-In

The timber is blocking the way south.

> chop timber. (with axe)

> drop axe.

> s.

Glittering Cavern

> get diamonds.

Return to the boulder:

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

Northwest Corner of the Island

> dig sand. (wait a bit in real time)

> drop spade. look.

> unlock chest. (with key)

> drop key. open chest. exa chest. get gold.

> e. u. w. w. w.

Green Grotto

> get jade. e. n.

Crystal Grotto

> get emeralds.

Return to the cove:

> s. e. e. d. s.

Sheletered Cove

> light wood. (with torch)

After a few moments of real time, you now see a roaring fire and a passenger ship at anchor.

> go ship.

There is some very loud and annoying music to celebrate your win.

Congratulations, Adventurer, you have been rescued from Pango Tonga and are sailing for home!

Of the 10 treasures on the island, you have found 10 of them.

You have a perfect score. You are hereby awarded the rank of LEVEL 2 ADVENTURER!





In lieu of a credits section, I'm including this copyright notice which is a small part of the README.TXT file that comes with the game:


(c) Copyright 1986 ButtonWare, Inc.
(c) Copyright 1986 Conrad Button
- All rights reserved -

You are granted a limited license to use Castaway and South America Trek. It may be used or copied only in accordance with the terms of this license outlined in the section "Restricted Permission to Copy".

Information on this disk is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment on the part of ButtonWare, Inc. ButtonWare may make improvements and/or changes to this disk or to the product(s) and/or the program(s) described in this disk at any time.

This product could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically made to the information herein. Such changes may be incorporated in new editions of the publication.

Castaway and South America Trek are trademarks of ButtonWare, Inc.



You have an carrying capacity limit of 13 items.


You never need to pick up containers, just get any items inside them. You can't close any container; CLOSE isn't a valid command-verb.


Make sure you're carrying all ten treasures when you go ship to leave the island and win the game.


There is no score during the game. At game's end, when you board the ship, your score is just how many treasures you have out of 10 possible treasures.

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