Key & Compass presents:
Escape from the Arboretum
by Robbies Dog

Escape from the Arboretum is a TADS 2 interactive fiction game and is © 2002 by Robbies Dog.

In this sprawling old-school puzzle game, you play as a resident of the Arboretum, which is a decaying city district cut off from the rest of world, fit only for hippies, zombies, and other disgusting creatures like yourself. Your goal is "to contact an outside force and escape the evil mind-numbing powers of the Arboretum."

This solution is by David Welbourn.


Map 1: Main Map

in themagicalgarden in a caveunderthe field reardeck in themagicalgarden in afield cabin(sleepingbit) on thepatio under thestairs in abedroom cabin(galley) back roomof shop in themeditationroom hippieskitchen the poolroom landing ofChestnut-ville in aswirlinggrey mist by canal frontdeck insideshop hippieslivingroom insideelectricityshop in agrey fog bycanal by acanal outsidecornershop outsidea pub outsideno. 13Chestnutv. outsidenumber 21 outsideelectricityshop junctionin theroad outsidea church in achurch by acanal(ducks) beergarden in loungeof localboozer insidepublicbar hallway outside aprivateresidence on aroad insidenumber 44 in anallotment backgarden in thelavatorium back roomof theboozer a smallstairwell livingroom in afireplace outside aprivateresidence kitchenof no. 44 in thebedroomof no. 44 in anallotmentshed in a dogkennel kitchen outsidetoilet garden in agarden in agardenshed in asmallalcove inside ahollowtree trunk garden(fridge) up atree RainForest in a denserainforest in anAncientTemple in aclearing in a caveunderthe field in acrypt in thepub cellar cellar in achimney furthercellar secretroom undera temple d d d u d d w u d d jump (wearingboots) landing u u u d u d u u u d e u

Map 2: Upstairs of Number 21

in theattic frontbedroom in anairingcupboard landing shorthallway bathroom backbedroom on thekitchenroof hallway u d d u


Important notes:

living room

You begin empty-handed, waking up in a drab living room.

> x sofa. search it. (+5)

> take coin. x it.

> x fireplace. x board. take board. (Need tool.)

> x door. open door. (Stairwell revealed.)

> w.

a small stairwell.

We'll need a lightsource before going down.

> smell. e. s.


All the cookers in the game are the same; if you've seen one, you've seen them all.

> x mould. x cooker. x cupboard.

> open cupboard. look in it. x biro. take it.

> x door. x window. open door. (locked)

> n. n.


By the way, this hallway is a good central location for dropping unwanted items. I won't be doing that in this walkthrough, though, because I already know what I need when.

Missed opportunity: you can't write on the wallpaper with the biro.

> x wallpaper. x table. u.


> x trapdoor. u. (Out of reach.)

> n.

front bedroom

Caution: Wearing the cardigan doesn't automatically take it first.

> x cardigan. touch it. take it. wear it. s. s.


> x cabinet. x mirror. open cabinet. look in it.

> x can. read it. take it. ("FLEA-GONE")

> x battery. take it.

> x suite. x grime.

> n. e.

short hallway

> x curtain. x door. open door. n.

in an airing cupboard

> x shelf. take torch. x it. read it.

> put battery in torch.

> turn on torch. (Nothing. Must be broken.)

> take battery. drop torch.

> s. s.

back bedroom

You won't find anything under any of the beds in this game, but I wanted you to see the message.

> x hippy. x bed. look under bed.

> x window. open window. s.

on the kitchen roof

> x dish.

> n. n. w. d. n.

outside number 21

> x sign. x doorbell. push doorbell.

> w.

outside no. 13 Chestnutville

> x sign. x objects. take object. (fleas)

> spray fleas (with spraycan). (+10)

> drop can. n. n.

in the hippies kitchen

These biscuits are the only food you can eat in this game, so keep them with you so you never starve!

> x biscuits. take it.

> x debris. search debris. x socket. (switched off)

> n.

on the patio

We'll skip the garden to the north during this first visit.

> x patio. s. w.

in the meditation room

> x lump. smell lump. take it.

> e. e.

the pool room

> x table. n.

under the stairs

> x box. (Can insert a leccy card.)

> x ladder. take it.

> s. u. n.

in a bedroom

> x bed. take stamp. x it.

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

outside a pub

> x post-box. s.

inside public bar

> x tables. x stools. s.

in the back room of the boozer

You don't need the toilet paper or the dart-board, but take the roll anyway.

> x roll. take it. x board. n. w.

in the lounge of your local boozer

You can read the magazine without taking it.

> x tables. x stools. x magazine. read it.

> s.

in the lavatorium

> x toilet. use toilet.

> take leaflet. x it. read it.

> write on leaflet (with biro). drop biro.

> lick stamp. put stamp on leaflet.

> n. w. s.

in the back garden

> x dog. throw roll at dog.

> s. (Dog blocks you.)

> n. e. e. n.

outside a pub

After you post the stamped and addressed leaflet, a parcel will appear in the hallway of number 21.

> post leafletorput leaflet in post-box. (+10)

> w.

outside a small corner shop

> x sign. read sign. ("Vlads Mini-Market" etc.)

> n.

inside shop

CAUTION: Don't give the coin to the zombie. He'll take it and you'll get nothing for it.

However, if you give the cardigan to the cold zombie, he'll look the other way when you take the loaf.

> x zombie. x chain. x collar.

> give cardigan to zombie. (+5)

> x shelves. x loaf. take loaf.

> x door. (locked)

> s. w.

by a canal

CAUTION: If you just go west or jump from here, you'll drown and die.

> x water. x canal.

> e. e. e. e. s.


> x parcel. take it. open it. (It's too tightly sealed.)

> u.


The attic is too dark to see in just yet, but we'll leave the ladder set up for us later.

> lean ladderoruse ladder.

> e. s.

back bedroom

> give lump to hippy. (+5)

> x necklace. wear it.

> ask hippy about necklace. ask hippy about aliens.

> kick hippy. (+5)

> n. w. d. n. e.

outside an electricity shop

> x shop. n.

inside an electricity shop

> x notice. x bell. push bell. read slip.

> x machine. put coin in slot. (+5)

> eat biscuit.

> take card. x card. ("A.E.E. a fivers worth of leccy")

> s. s.

outside a private residence

You'll never open this door.

> x door. knock door. (No one answers.)

> n. e.

at a junction in the road

Ignore the church for now.

> s.

on a road

> x lamppost. x sign. read sign. ("NO LITTERING")

> x bin.

> s.

outside a private residence

> x brick. x bin. open it.

> look. x scissors. take it.

> open parcel (with scissors).

> x boots. wear boots. jump. drop scissors.

> x rubbish. search it. (No.)

> n. e.

inside number 44

> x slug. x junk. search junk. (+5)

> take machete. x it. read it.

> s. (Slug blocks you.)

> x slime. drop it.

> u.

in the bedroom of number 44

You don't need this underwear, but feel free to take and wear the pants if you really want to.

> x bed. x pants. smell pants.

> d. w. n. n.

in a grey fog

The fog and mist locations are a mini-maze that you can ignore. It exists to block the only normal exit from the Arboretum, so of course, you'll never be able to get past it.

> n.

in a swirling grey mist

Yeah, let's get out of this mist and head back to the canal now that we have sweet Acme Spring Boots.

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

by a canal (east bank)

Your boots make jumping safe here:

> jump. (You leap across to...)

by canal (west bank)

> n.

by canal (northwest bank)

> x barge. read barge. ("THE ARBORETUM QUEEN")

> e.

on the front deck of a barge

You don't need the plant pot if you get the dog bowl later.

> x pot. look under pot. take key. x it.

> n. n.

in the cabin of a barge (sleeping bit)

CAUTION: If you take the cork, the cabin starts to fill with water! Don't do it unless you've got everything else off the barge first. Sinking is not a timed event, however; the barge only disappears the instant you disembark.

> x bed. x cable. read cable. take cable.

> x cork. n.

on the rear deck of a barge

> x bowl. take it.

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

by a canal (southwest)

> x ducks. give loaf to ducks. (+10)

> s. s.

in an allotment shed

> x carpet. unroll carpet. look.

> take bottle. x it. read it. (napalm)

> n. n. n. jump. e. e. e. e. s. s. s.


> unlock door (with chrome key).

> open door. drop key. s.

garden (entrance)

> x plants. cut plants (with machete). (The plants are too tough.)

> throw bottle. (+10. That works.)

> look. e. n.

outside toilet

There doesn't seem to be any purpose for this location apart from being amusing.

> x spider. x toilet. sit on toilet. fart.

> s. e.

in a garden shed

> x shovel. take it.

> w. w.

garden (by fridge)

CAUTION: Ignore the sparkly something inside the fridge. It's a trap! If you enter the fridge, you die! Stay out of abandoned fridges, kids!

(Of course, you probably shouldn't be throwing bottles of napalm around either. Just sayin'.)

> x fridge. s.

Rain Forest

> cut plants (with machete). (+10)

> drop machete. s.

in a dense rain forest

Note: You can't climb the tree while wearing the Spring Boots.

> x tree. remove boots.

> climb treeorup.

up a tree

> x vine. pull vine. (+10)

> in. w.

in a small alcove

> x shelf. x figure. take it.

> e. s. d. wear boots. s. w.

in an Ancient Temple

> x altar. push altar.

We can't explore further without light, so let's get some.

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

inside shop

I have no idea how we're supposed to know that the zombie might be interested in the wax figure.

> give figure to zombie. (+10)

The zombie eats the wax figure, breaks his chain, gives you something, then leaves.

> i. x lamp. put battery in lamp.

> wear lamp. turn on lamp. (yay, it works)

Now that you're equipped with both the shovel and the lamp, it's time to run around the map. Go to the patio first:

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

on the patio

> dig patio (with shovel).

> look. x bones. take bones.

> n.

in the magical garden

This is another tiny two-room maze that you can ignore by just going east.

> e.

in a field

> x circle. dig circle (with shovel). d. e.

in a cave under the field (east)

> x machine. x display. x slot. x socket.

> drop cable. (We'll use it here later.)

Now to the dog:

> w. u. w. s. s. s. s. w. s. w. w. s.

in the back garden

CAUTION: Don't give the bowl to the dog; he'll just chew it up.

> give bones to dog. (+10)

> s.

in a dog kennel

> x crowbar. take it.

You're hungry again and also now sleepy. Eat a biscuit and find a bed:

> eat biscuit.

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

back bedroom

> get on bed. sleep.

Now to the fireplace:

> stand. n. w. d. s.

living room

> take board (with crowbar). (+10)

> e. u.

up a chimney

CAUTION: Going further up the chimney is fatal!

> x ledge. take brass key. x it.

Next: attic.

> d. w. n. u. u.

in the attic

> x trunk. unlock trunk (with brass key).

> open trunk. drop brass key.

> look in trunk.

> x stake. take stake.

> x cloth. read cloth.

You need the stake, but not the cloth. Time to visit the cellar:

> d. d. s. w. d.


> x cone.

> x wall. break wall (with shovel). (+5)

> look. s.

further cellar

> x door. x yale key. take it.

You'll never get this steel door open, but you don't need to. The other side of the door is in the pub cellar. We might as well go look at it:

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

in the pub cellar

> x door.

Okay, so that was pointless, but I'm trying to be thorough. The yale key is for the back door of the corner shop:

> u. n. n. w. n.

inside shop

> unlock door (with yale key). open door. drop key. n.

back room of shop

> x shelves. x lead. take it.

Finally, it's time for the church:

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

outside a church

> x gravestone. read it.

> dig grave (with shovel). (denied)

> e.

in a church

> x pew. x tapestry. push tapestry. (+10. Stairs down revealed.)

> d.

in a crypt

> x walls. x coffin. x corpse.

> kill corpse (with stake). (+10)

> look in coffin. x dust. taste dust. (salty)

> put dust in bowl.

> x hat. take hat. wear hat.

Now revisit the slug:

> u. w. w. s. e.

inside number 44

> throw dust at slug. (+10)

> x slug. (The slug is dead.)

> drop bowl. s.

kitchen of no. 44

> x table. x screwdriver. take it.

> x bicycles.

You can now get the satellite dish:

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

on the kitchen roof

> unscrew dish (with screwdriver). (+10)

> take dish. x dish.

Back to the temple for one last thing:

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

in a secret room under a temple

You need to be wearing the silly hat in order to understand what the relief says.

> x pedestal. x crystal. take crystal.

> x relief. read relief.

Head back to no. 13 and get the strange machine working:

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

under the stairs

> put leccy card in box. (+5)

> x display. ("some leccy")

> s. w.

in the hippies kitchen

> plug lead in socket.

> turn on socket.

> n. n. e. d. e.

in a cave under the field (east)

> plug lead in machine. plug cable in machine.

> drop dish. plug cable in dish.

Wearing the necklace helps you read the display.

> x display. read display. ("Insert identification key")

> put crystal in machine. (+10)

> read display. ("Transmission in progress")

> w. u. (+20)

Congratulations you have managed to Escape the Arboretum.







You have an inventory limit of ten items, not counting worn items. Items are listed here in the order they were acquired (or able to be acquired, if untaken) in this walkthrough.


In several turns, you have scored your-score points out of a possible 200.
This gives you a rank of ranking.


Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with