partial solution

Domicile was written in Inform for the 2003 Annual Interactive Fiction Competition and is © 2003 by John Evans. This solution is based on the Competition version, and is by David Welbourn.

Some opening remarks:

North of House
n↑↓w n↑↓e
(north room
End of
(west room
Foyer to Not-So-
Grassy Field
s↓↑w s↓↑e
South of House

Map 1: The Green House

[West of House]

The outside setup of the house is a homage to Zork, and like in Zork, you can walk around the outside the house, eg: you can go north or south from the west or east sides, and go west or east from the north or south sides.

>about. bugs. credits. i. x clothes.

>x keyring. x key. x letter.

>x house. x door. x mailbox. open it. x leaflet.

>unlock door with key. put key in ring. open door. e.


This room is somewhat useless.

>x skylight. n.

[The House]

"The House" is an unfortunate name for this room, which only makes sense when it's practically the only room in the house. Something like "House Center" or "Center of House" would be more appropriate, especially when it gains several rooms on every side of it later in the game.

The pedestal's intricate designs invited a closer examination, but unfortunately, weren't implemented.

>x pedestal. s. w. s.

[South of House]

No windows are implemented.


[East of House]


[Stone Circle]

It's a bit confusing having two sets of symbols here. One set of symbols is on the ground, within the stones as a separate object. The other symbols are on the altar but can't be examined (except by looking at an image file that was, oops, missing).

>x altar. x statue. x stones. x symbols.

>take head. w. s. w. e. n.

[The House]

>put head on pedestal.

So, that created three new doors (north, west, and east), removed the pedestal completely, and put the head in the Dusty Den to the east. Despite what the game says, the north door has a serpentine symbol on it, and the west door has an angular symbol on it. Those two doors begin locked, and have no keyhole (so keys won't work).

When you first look at a new design, you remember it as a spell. The southeast door appears when you learn your first spell. You can CONCENTRATE to see which spells you know. You can DRAW a spell only on specially pre-treated surfaces, enchanted canvases, as it were. You can also ERASE a surface to remove your spell from that surface. You won't know what a spell does until you successfully draw it.

Plus, (sigh) there are no hints for letting you know what you can draw on, and in fact, there aren't very many valid things to draw on, so random drawing on everything isn't likely to expose a pattern. However, if you were told to be on the lookout for smooth things with traces of markings on them, you might recognize the tree (which you haven't seen yet) as a valid drawing surface. Maybe.

>x west door. x design. angular. concentrate.

>x serpentine. x east door. x southeast door.

>open east door. e.

[Dusty Den]

Alas, nothing here is implemented except the statue (which is now untakeable for no obvious reason), a phone, and a bronze key. The phone should be a source of information or clues, but doesn't do a good job of it yet. The Den is also a good place to drop junk you think you don't need anymore, like the letter.

>x statue. x phone. x key. take it. put it in ring.

>take phone. ask phone about house. ask phone about pire.

>drop letter. w.

[The House]

The southeast door is one-way, at least until you get the silver key later. Unfortunately, you have little choice except to go through it at this time.

>open se door. se.

On the
River Gate
By the
nw→to On the
Cliff at
sw→to Cliff at
Forest's Edge
Forest Gully
in Forest
Up a
Inside the
|enter house↑↓out
Foothills by
the Plain

Map 2: Forest and Plains

[Not-So-Grassy Field]

Although the dirt is important later, it's not actually implemented. And although you were in a GREEN house before, this board represents a collapsed WHITE house connected magically to it. I wish to emphasize that there are two houses involved here. Restoring the white house can be done simply by picking up and dropping the board somewhere, even in new locations. You can't drop the board everywhere, though; there has to be room for a house, for example.

WARNING: The southeast exit from the green house won't work if the white house doesn't exist! You can easily make the game unwinnable by not re-creating the white house before you return to the green house.

Also: the door back into the house is locked; you cannot return by this route without the silver key.

>x circle. x board. take it. drop it.

>x house. x door. n.

[River Gate]

Neither the river nor its gate are implemented. Just a nymph and a piece of cloth here. The cloth is a magic item for the house, although there's absolutely no way to know that. The nymph hints that she'd be happier at a less controlled water location, but says very little else.

>x nymph. x cloth. take it.

>ask nymph about nymph. ask nymph about water.


[By the River]

This is where you learn the 'wavy' spell.

>x stone. s.

[Forest Gully]


[Cliff at Forest's Edge]

I have no idea what the chair's for. It's too small to sit or stand on. If you take it back to The House and drop it, it will disappear forever, which is maddingly unuseful.

>x chair. n.

[On the Concrete]

Would you believe that the concrete platform is significant? Not that there's any way to tell, of course, especially since it isn't implemented any better than the river or forest are.

The pillow is, like the cloth, another unassuming magic item.

>x pillow. take it. s. sw.

[Clearing in Forest]

Here's that tree that I said was important. You can't climb the tree, but you can go up.

>x tree. u.

[Up a Tree]

The moss is yet another secret magic item.

>x moss. take it. d. s.

[Large Clearing]

I'm not sure, but I think the point of this location is to give you a place near the tree where you can drop the board.


[Hill Summit]

Although you can go most directions from here, only north and east are useful. The railing and paint can are two more magic objects. The eagle pattern in the grass is yet another spell.

>x pattern. x railing. take it. x can. take it. e.

[Foothills by the Plains]

These creatures aren't talkative, but one inside the house will talk to you. You can "enter house" but can't "go in".

>x creatures (or house). ask creatures about house. enter house.

[Inside the Moving House]

The Voice of the Rkan is one of the more interesting characters in the game, and at least knows more than two or three topics.

>x tapestries. x old creature. ask old about creatures.

>ask old about house. ask old about journey.

>ask old about beaches. ask old about hell.

>ask old about forest. ask old about plains.

>ask old about hills. ask old about desert.

>ask old about pire. out. n. n. n.

[Clearing in Forest]

Time to try some magic. You can draw any of your four spells on the tree, but only the ones from the house will help you just now. Either the angular or serpentine spell will create a one-way conduit back to The House. Awkwardly, you must use "enter tree" to use it.

draw angular on tree. x tree. enter tree.

[The House]

No way to guess this: you want to put magical objects IN either the angular or serpentine circles on the doors. (Not on the circles. Not on the doors. Only IN the circles.) This would be things like the cloth, moss, pillow, railing, and paint can. Putting one of the first three in place removes the circle from the door, and links the now unlocked door to a new room.

WARNING 1: Even though a circle disappears when you put a magical token object on it, THE CIRCLE IS STILL IN SCOPE IN YOUR MIND! Therefore, it's possible to put a second item on the circle, and completely lose the first room!

WARNING 2: Removing a magic object from its home room will remove the room from the house. You and the object will be punted back to The House, and the door will be restored to its original locked and decorated status so you can put it back or try a new object.

The railing and paint can open up accesses to the upstairs and downstairs, which doesn't change the door's connection at all. The upstairs is empty, and the downstairs is dark, so they're not very useful yet, but it doesn't hurt to add them right away. Also, these two additions are permanent; there's no way to get the railing or paint can back.

Oh, also, when the Arboretum is created with the moss, every room in the house gets a little houseplant, but the plants are just scenery.

>put railing on angular. put can on angular.

>put moss on angular. put cloth on serpentine.

>open west door. w.


The Arboretum is filled with choking yellow mist, preventing you from getting any of the room's goodies. The important thing is to examine the new sinuous symbol/spell, and then get rid of the mist.

Unfortunately, leaving the door open doesn't help, and you can't open a window. And there's no place to draw/cast the eagle/wind spell here. What you need to do is yet another one of those things that's impossible to guess: go draw the sinuous spell back on the tree, creating a conduit for the gas to escape over several turns.

>x sinuous. e. open se. se.

[Not-So-Grassy Field]

I'm going to move the white house to south of the tree, so our front and back doors are closer together, as it were.

>take board. sw. sw. s.

[Large Clearing]

>drop board. n.

[Clearing in Forest]

The time it takes for the mist to seep out might be variable. Wait as long as it takes. The sinuous spell seems to create only a one-way, mist-only, conduit which you can't use. Lucky for you that such a spell with those exact properties and limitations was set up in that room, eh?

Incidently, how does the angular spell now work to get back to The House when it's no longer on its door? Does this make any sense?

>x tree. rub tree. draw sinuous on tree. z. z. z. z.

>rub tree. draw angular on tree. enter tree. w.


The papers are quite remarkable in their lack of hard information. They tell you nothing useful at all. The scrap has angular markings; you might connect them to the Rken, whose tapestries also had angular markings (not to be confused with any other angular markings, of course).

CAREFUL: Don't use 'take all'; you don't want to pick up the moss until you've taken everything else interesting first.

>take silver key. x it. put it in ring.

>x papers. take papers. x papers.

>take scrap. x it. take moss.

[The House]

I'm dropping the moss and the papers in the Den to get them out of the way, then putting the Bedroom where the Arboretum was.

>e. drop moss. drop papers. w.

>put pillow in angular. open west door. open north door.


What do to, when an evil vase won't let you do stuff? You'll need to break it, but you can't do that just yet.

You entered by going west from The House, but return by going north? Yet another bizarre feature of this game.

>x bed. x sheets. x curtains. x dresser. x vase.

>w. take vase. hit vase. n. n.


Some items in here have faint symbols on them too; these are more magic tokens, but this time for the altar out in the back. The knob is also magical but in a different way; it acts like the board, even though it doesn't say "drop me" on it. I assume the knife will cut something in the game, although I'm not sure what yet.

The back door is locked, and has a loose step, although you can't refer to it. None of your keys will unlock it.

>take magnet, knob. x knife. x magnet. x knob.

>x table. x fridge. open it. take egg. x it. close fridge.

>x counter. x cabinet. open it. take salt. x it.

>x door. open door. s. s. w. s. e. e.

[Stone Circle]

>put salt on altar. enter circle.

to Stone

Map 3: Salt Flats

[Salt Flats]

>x stones. x symbols. w.


The wavy spell creates water.

>x dino. x humanoid. x obelisk. ask humanoid about dino.

>draw wavy on obelisk. z. z. z. z. x coat. e.

[Salt Flats]

>enter circle.

[Stone Circle]

>take salt. drop it. put egg on altar. enter circle.

in→to Stone

Map 4: Castle Amnos

[Question Room]

>x goat. x woman. x rose. x stones. x symbols. n. s.


>x furnace. open it. close it. x fire. n.

[Question Room]

Neither the goat nor the woman respond to much, making the name of the room somewhat ironic. We must read the author's mind even deeper than we have been already. Even similar commands like "tell woman about symbols" or "woman, follow me" aren't understood.

>tell woman about stones. enter symbols.

[Stone Circle]

The woman should emerge from the circle after you. Then she'll head west towards the main road.

>z. w. s. w. w.

[End of Driveway]

>take rose. e. s. e. e.

[Stone Circle]

>take egg. drop it. put rose on altar. enter symbols.

to Stone

Map 5: Hell

[Sphere Room]

No, I don't understand it either. It's as if the story got spliced with a key chapter missing. When you take the shards (of whatever it is), you learn a new magical skill: contain. The shards themselves aren't kept.

>x shards. x demon. x water. x stones. x symbols.

>ask demon about shards. ask demon about hell.

>take shards.

[Stone Circle]

Note that the rose now links the circle to a new location.

>spells. enter symbols.

to Stone

Map 6: Your Place of Power

[Center Room]

This region is all about the "four elements": earth (west), water (north), air (east), and fire (south). This isn't spelt out as well as it could be, but surely you're getting used to that by now? The arcane circle on the smooth wall isn't a spell like every other design in the game, but it does act as a container.

>x stones. x symbols. x smooth wall. n.

[Cavernous Room]

When the cavern is full, the surface disappears.

>x surface. d. draw wavy on surface. z. z. z. z. (until the cavern is full of water)

>d. x water.


Logically, you're submerged underwater now, but nothing gets wet, waterdamaged, and you can breath just fine here. You'd hardly know there's water here.

>x armor. take it. wear it. x water. u. s. e.

[Air Room]

>x pipes. listen. e.

[High Room]

The eagle spell is for wind. Bug: the white gem is still in your inventory.

>x hole. look in hole. draw eagle on armor. contain armor.

>look. x gem. x armor. rub armor. take gem. put gem in hole.

>drop gem. w. w. w.

[Fungus Room]

Both the soil and fungi are significant, yet you can't refer to either.


[Dank Cave]

Note that the fungi glow because you were near them.

>e. e. enter symbols.

[Stone Circle]

>w. s. w. e. n. open se. se. s. e. enter house.

[Inside the Moving House]

Remember when we got the scrap from the Arboretum? It's a claim slip.

>give scrap to voice. i. x pincushion. x needle.

>take needle. show pincushion to voice. show needle to voice.

>out. n. n. take board. drop it.

>unlock door with silver key. put silver in ring. open door. in.

[The House]

>s. w. s. e. e.

[Stone Circle]

>take rose. drop it. put needle on altar. enter symbols.

to Stone

Map 7: The Ancient City

[Ancient City]

Perhaps you need a lightsource to go up?

>x pipe. x man. x junk. l. x ball. take it.

>ask man about man. ask man about yellow.

>ask man about city. x stones. x symbols.

>take junk. x stairs. u. enter symbols.

[Stone Circle]

>drop pincushion. w. s. w. e. n. e.


The vase breaks into shards. Were they the shards we took from Sphere Room? Unlikely. The vase was pink and the other shards were green, but still, one does wonder.

>throw ball at vase. w.


>x cabinet. open it. x thermometer. take it.

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

[Stone Circle]

>take needle. drop it. put thermometer on altar. enter symbols.

to Stone

Map 8: Incandescence


I can only assume that the symbol at the apex of the dome is supposed to give you a spell that creates light. Unfortunately, that just doesn't happen. Which, I think, is a bug that prevents you from completing the game.

>x sun. x stones. x symbols. x dome. enter symbols.

[Stone Circle]

>take thermometer. drop it. put magnet on altar. enter symbols.

—.....— Snowy
Darknessto Stone

Map 9: Arctic Area

[Snowy Wilderness]

Oddly, there's no problem wearing the coat over the armor or vice-versa.

>wear coat. x stones. x symbols. w. w. w. w. w. w. w.

[Arctic House]

>x icicles. take icicle. in.


Although it's possible to go through the basement of the green house to the Arctic House without light; the reverse trip is not possible. The icicle will start to melt once you reach warmer places.

>out. e. e. e. e. e. e. e. enter symbols.

[Stone Circle]

>take magnet, egg. put egg on altar. enter symbols. s.


I know what you're thinking. We're got a river of water, a cavern of water, and a spell that creates water in this game. And we have to use an icicle for this puzzle?

Also, how does one use the fork to make it do anything?

>put icicle on fire. look. take fork. x fork.

The fire should have re-ignited by now. So now, do this:

>contain fire.

[Question Room]

Oops, the entire Forge is now gone? I hope I don't need it later.

>x red gem. take it. enter symbols.

[Stone Circle]

>drop magnet. w. s. w. e. n. se.

[Large Clearing]

The step is yet another altar item. And the door goes to the Kitchen.

>take board. drop knob. x door. x step. take it. x it.

>open door. unlock door with bronze key. put bronze in ring. open door.

>in. out. take knob. n. n. ne. n.

[River Gate]

When you tell the nymph about water, you're telling her about that cavern you filled. That's where the nymph goes from here. Apparently, that increases the "water" power on that side of the magical real estate.

>tell nymph about water. sw.

[Not-So-Grassy Field]

>drop board. unlock door with silver key. put silver in ring.

>open door. in. s. w. s. e. e.

[Stone Circle]

>take egg. drop it. put step on altar. enter symbols.

enter garage↓↑outin↓
Garageto Stone

Map 10: The Steppes

[Steppes] (east)

>x stones. x symbols. w.

[Steppes] (west)

Did a room name and description get clobbered? And just try to get a conversation out of either of these two. It's the same problem you had in Question Room.

>x garage. x bird. x being. enter garage.

>tell being about concrete.

Yes, yes, I know. We're gone beyond read-author's-mind and into read-author's-source-code territory. Hardly fair.

>take being. drop knob. unlock door with bronze key.

>put bronze in ring. open door. push being in. out.

>take knob. e. enter symbols.

[Stone Circle]

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

[On the Concrete]

>drop knob. unlock door with bronze. put bronze in ring.

>open door. in. push being out. x cyborg. x packet. smell seeds.

>tell cyborg about concrete.

>in. s. s. w. s. e. e. enter symbols. w.

[Steppes] (west)

>give seeds to bird. show cup to bird. x cup. enter garage.


Somehow, the act of entering the garage transfers ownership of it to you. Why doesn't the game tell you things like that?

>x door. out. e. enter symbols. w. s. w. e. n. n. out.

[On the Concrete]

Of course, the cyborg's gone off elsewhere.

>take knob. se. take board. sw. sw. s. s. e. enter house.

[Inside the Moving House]

>tell old about salt. out.

[Foothills by the Plain]

Cool. The white house gets the garage, and the creatures carry their own house into it. Wait a minute. Does this mean that the Rken own the garage now?

>drop board. unlock door with silver key. put silver in ring.

>open door. in. se. take board. drop knob. unlock door with bronze.

>put bronze in ring. open door. in.


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

[Stone Circle]

>take step. drop it. take salt. put salt on altar. enter symbols. w.


>drop board. enter garage. enter house.

[Inside the Moving House]

Um, we're here in the desert, guys. Why don't you leave the garage? (This puzzle is broken. You're supposed to drop the board and create the white house at Salt Flats, but that doesn't work.)

>tell old about desert. out. out.


>unlock door with silver. put silver in ring. open door. in. se.

>take board. e. enter symbols.

[Stone Circle]

>take salt. drop it. take rose. put it on altar. in.

[Center Room]

>put red gem in smooth wall. w. w.

[Dank Cave]

>fill cup. e. e. n. d.


>x nymph. ask nymph about water. u. s. in.

[Stone Circle]

>take rose. drop it. take step. put it on altar. in. w.

[Steppes] (west)

The blue packet of seeds should be planted at Dank Cave. But light will be a problem.

>show cup to bird. x seeds. smell seeds. empty cup. e. in.

[Stone Circle]

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

[Foothills by Plain]

Swapping the board for the knob...

>take knob. n. n. drop board. n. enter tree.

[The House]

>s. w. s. e. e.

[Stone Circle]

take step. drop it. take rose. put it on altar. in. w. w.

[Dank Cave]

The trick here is to not trigger both sets of fungi with your presence. Entering via the east room will turn them both on, but entering via the kitchen will only turn on one.

Now, near as I can tell, I've powered up all four branches of this area, gaining me diddly squat as far as I can tell.

>plant seeds. drop knob. unlock door with bronze.

>put bronze in ring. open door. in. out. plant seeds.

>look. x cabbage. take knob. e. e. in.

[Stone Circle]

>w. s. w. e. n. open se. se.

[Large Clearing]

>take board. drop it. n. n. ne.

[Not-So-Grassy Field]

>fill cup. sw. sw. in.

[The House]

>s. w. s. e. e.

[Stone Circle]

>take rose. drop it. take step. put it on altar. in. w.

[Steppes] (west)

>show cup. x green seeds. e. in.

[Stone Circle]

>w. s. w. e. n. open se. se.

[Large Clearing]

>take board. n. n. ne.

[Not-So-Grassy Field]

Hm. How to ripen the plants? Despite the nearby river, despite the fact that I have both armor that can spout water and a soil cup in my inventory, I have no obvious way of bringing water to these plants. If that's what they need.

>plant seeds. x plants. take plants.

And this, boys and girls, is where I'm stuck. C'est la vie. Further digging at the TXD dump suggests that these plants are as grown as they can get, and these plants somehow enable you to ask the voice on the phone in the home dimension about the house, and thus learn that you now have the ability to teleport to any object in the game that you've seen. Uh-huh.

There are several problems with your new teleporting ability, though. First, the verb to teleport is "visualize", not "teleport". And nothing in the game tells you this verb! Second, the ability to teleport is flawed. It certainly doesn't work on all objects you've seen, and there's been no testing to see if the object still exists or is in a place that's connected to the game's active areas. Thirdly, this ability is gained so close to the end of the game, you have little reason to use it. I know of no puzzle that requires you to use the teleporting ability.