Key & Compass presents:
Ferryman's Gate
by Daniel Maycock

Ferryman's Gate is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2020 by Daniel Maycock. It was a participant in IF Comp 2020 where it took 23rd place.

In this game, you play as a kid who recently moved from New York to west Georgia to live in the manor house that your family inherited from your eccentric great uncle, Osmond Ferryman. You soon learn that your uncle was obsessed with commas and how to use them correctly. You also learn that he may have hidden a secret inheritance just for you!

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

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


Map 1: Ground Floor and Outside

ForestPath In theForest TheGardenWall BenchNook ReflectingPool Beneaththe Oak SecondFloorLanding Rose Bed By theConservatory DiningRoom Parlor Conservatory Kitchen SmallBathroom Foyer(by stairs) UtilityCloset Den MusicRoom Foyer(by frontdoor) Library FrontLawn UtilityCloset(Desc'd) Driveway In theForest u d 3 3 jump u (to highway)

Map 2: Second Floor

Enchant-mentRoom Butler'sRoom EmptyRoom MapRoom Parents'Bedroom Harriet'sBedroom SpareRoom WestHallway WestHallway WestHallway SecondFloorLanding EastHallway EastHallway EastHallway WestBathroom HouseKeeper'sBedroom EastBathroom Charlie'sBedroom YourBedroom Foyer(by stairs) d u d u

Map 3: Underground

Hades Crypt BlackGate Tunnel4 ReflectingPool Tunnel3 Tunnel(holes) Tunnel Trap2(mist) Tunnel2 Tunnel Tunnel1 UtilityCloset UtilityCloset(Desc'd) Cavern b r r r r r r e forward d b left b left b left left b left n left b b b push 3


Your great uncle, Osmond Ferryman, died a month ago. When you were nine, he gifted you a book of Hopkin's poetry. Years later, he paid for a month-long tour of Europe in exchange for letters, one of which he returned a copy with corrections.

Your family inherited everything. You moved into his manor in west Georgia and headed for his library.

This walkthrough will begin by first exploring the ground level and the outdoors, followed by exploring the upstairs rooms. Then we'll assess our situation and decide on our next moves.


> x poetry. read it. SPACE (You acquire a letter that falls out and read it.)

The letter is from your uncle to you, telling your there is a secret to be learned. His first clue is: "Read the signs once, twice, or thrice, / and dig where is the comma splice."

> x shelvesorx library books.

> x window. x lawn. x armchair. x table.

> take book.

> n.


> take comma. x it. read it. read preface.

> read chapter 1. (re comma splice)

> read chapter 2. (re introductory words, phrases)

> read chapter 3. (re sentence interruptions)

> read chapter 4. (re unnecessary commas)

> x fireplace. take plate G. read it.

> w.

Utility Closet.

This closet is actually a secret elevator, but this walkthrough won't try to use it until after we've completed a basic tour of the house and grounds.

> x panel.

> e. s. w. w.

Music Room

> x piano. x radio. e. n. w.

Small Bathroom

Nothing obviously interesting here.

> e. n.


> x father. x sofa. x fireplace. x table.

> w.

Dining Room

> x table. x rug. s.


> open fridge. take plate I. x it. read it.

> close fridge. x table.

> n. e. e.


> take shovel. x mother. x plants.

> ask mother about plants.

> w. n.

Rose Bed

> x roses. x sign. ("As flower withers and falls, so shall the wealthy perish.")

> e.

By the Conservatory

> x Charlie. (Your younger brother.)

> x sign. ("The body needs a meal and a bed, but the spirit a book and a garden.")

> talk to Charlie.

> ask Charlie about plate. (you must trade for it)

> ask Charlie about garden. ask Charlie about father.

> ask Charlie about trade. ask Charlie about Rudolf.

> n.

Beneath the Oak

> x sign. ("Storms are few where trees grow old.")

> x oak. w.

Reflecting Pool

> x sign. ("Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?")

> x pool. take plate D. read it.

> w.

Bench Nook

> x sign. ("The sluggard is a fool, but so is he who never rests.")

> x wall. x bench. x bushes. x magnolia. x branch.

> jump. (You vault to...)

The Garden Wall

> x hole. take plate F. read it.

> w.

In the Forest (northwest)

> n.

Forest Path

> x sign. ("Walls make gardens possible, things flourish only within their proper boundaries.")

> dig. (with shovel; you acquire a copper box.)

> x box. open it.

> x rhyme. (Same as in utility closet, but also directing you to select the sentence free from error.)

> x copper key.

> e.

In the Forest (southeast)

> x leaves. (You see a steel plate.)

> x steel plate. (You don't see it.)

> search leaves. (You acquire a steel plate.)

> i. read plate A.

> w. n.

Front Lawn

> x grass.

> n. n. u. e. n.

Bedroom (Parents')

> x bed. x armoire. s. s.

East Bathroom

Nothing interesting here.

> n. e. n.

Bedroom (Harriet's)

> x window. x hedges. x Harriet. x bed. x dresser.

> ask Harriet about Charlie. ask Harriet about manor.

> ask Harriet about Nancy. ask Harriet about Rudolf.

> ask Harriet about uncle. ask Harriet about boyfriend.

> ask Harriet about Mom. ask Harriet about Dad.

> ask Harriet about clothes.

> s. s.

Bedroom (Charlie's)

> x coyote. x dresser. open it. take flashlight.

> n. e. n.

Spare Room

> x bed. x wardrobe. open it. x coats.

> take plate L. read it.

> x mouse. take it.

> enter wardrobe. (You visit Narnia.)

> s. s.

Your Bedroom

> x bed. x dresser. open it.

> take plate C. read it.

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

Map Room

> x table. x maps. x paint. (Words in faded paint and comma-shaped holes.)

> read words. ("Whatever you bind (1) on earth (2) shall be bound (3) in heaven (4) and (5) whatever you release on earth (6) shall be released (7) in heaven.")

> x hole 4. (It's a keyhole.)

> s. w. n.

Empty Room

> x desk. (four drawers)

All four drawers are locked.

> s. s.

House Keeper's Bedroom

> talk to Nancy.

> ask Nancy about plates. ask Nancy about house.

> ask Nancy about Rudolf. ask Nancy about uncle.

> n. w. n.

Butler's Bedroom

Rudolf orders you to leave.

> s. s.

West Bathroom

Nothing interesting here. Return to Charlie:

> n. e. e. e. d. n. n. e.

By the Conservatory

> give mouse to Charlie. (He gives you his plate.)

> i. read plate H.

> ask Charlie about mouse. ask Charlie about Nancy.

> s.


> ask mother about Nancy. (She thinks Nancy secretly loves Rudolf.)

> ask mother about Rudolf. (She thinks Rudolf is sad inside.)

> w.


> ask father about house.

> ask father about Rudolf. (He won't let anyone else clean or dust the music room.)

> ask father about mother. ask father about Harriet.

> ask father about Charlie. ask father about uncle.

> s. s. w.

Music Room

> play piano.

> turn on radio. turn off radio. (You only turn up the volume.)

Rudolf will soon arrive here to fix the radio. While he's busy with that, you can visit his bedroom without interference.

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

Butler's Bedroom

> x table. take plate E.

> read plate E. ("Here you must leave all of your doubt behind, and here extinguish fear.♄")

Return to the music room:

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

Music Room

> ask Rudolf about piano. ask Rudolf about music. (He prefers classical composers.)

> ask Rudolf about plates. (He wants them.)

> ask Rudolf about uncle. (He says uncle thought of himself as a gatekeeper.)

> ask Rudolf about Nancy. (invaluable)

> play piano. g. g. g. g.

> e. n. w.

Small Bathroom

> flush toilet. (You have an adventure in Hogwarts, then return to West Bathroom.)

West Bathroom

XYZZY can be used once from anywhere.

> i. x wand. wave wand.

> xyzzy.

At End Of Road / Inside Building / In A Valley / At Slit in Streambed / Outside Grate

> SPACE (Keep pressing any key to auto-enter commands until your adventure in the original Adventure concludes by dropping you onto your own bed.)

Your Bedroom

Return to the Utility Closet:

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

Utility Closet

> put key in keyhole. push 3. SPACE

Utility Closet (Descended)

> x panel. (key and keyhole have disappeared)

> e.

Darkness / Cavern

> turn on flashlight.

> take plate B. read it.

> take silver box. open it. (has small key and note)

> read note. (Key is for desk drawers, but one drawer is cursed.)

Also, this house holds portals to many worlds, which explains why you were able to visit Narnia, Hogwarts, and Adventure.

> w.

Utility Closet (Descended)

> turn off flashlight. push 3.

Utility Closet

> x panel. (The copper key and keyhole are here again.)

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

Empty Room

The bottom right drawer is the cursed one; its sentence has a comma splice.

> unlock top right with small key.

> take plate K. read it.

> unlock top left with small key.

> take papers and medallion.

> read papers. (The first time, you read a scrap of paper instead.)

> x papers. read papers. (This time, you find and read a fragment.)

> x medallion. ("♂ ♄ ♇")

> unlock bottom left with small key.

> take comma key. x it.

> s. e. n.

Map Room

> put comma key in hole 4. (staircase is revealed)

> take comma key. u.

Enchantment Room

> take plate J. read it.

> x guide.

> x red chest. ("MARS")

> x white chest. ("SATURN")

> x black chest. ("PLUTO")

> x silver chalice. x gold chalice.

Okay, this is how I evaulated the plates:

Mars ♂D KB Gred chest
Saturn ♄E LA Iwhite chest
Pluto ♇C JF Hblack chest

Do the unbinding to get the map:

> open all chests.

> put plate B and plate G in red chest.

> put plate A and plate I in white chest.

> put plate F and plate H in black chest.

> close all chests.

> put medallion in gold chalice.

> x silver chalice. take all from it.

> x cave map. (choose-your-own-adventure style!)

> open all chests. take all from red.

> take all from white. take all from black.

Return to the underground:

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

Utility Closet

> push 3. e.


> turn on flashlight.

> x map. (Step 1 is east.)

> e.

Tunnel 1

Step 2 is YES, go right:

> right.

Tunnel 2

Step 3 is NO, go left:

> left.

Tunnel 3

Step 4 is NO, go left:

> left.

Tunnel 4

Step 5 is YES, go down, but left is to The Crypt?

> left.


> x holes. x bones. back.

Tunnel 4.

> d. SPACE

Black Gate

> take iron key.

You should ignore the gate, but if you must enter it, make sure you save your game first.

> save.

Black Gate

> unlock gate with iron key. forward.


> back. (or any other direction)

A voice calls you a fool and you enter the realm of the forsaken dead.

*** The End ***

> restore

Black Gate

> back.

Tunnel 4

> back. (You fall into water and surface in...)

Reflecting Pool

> out. turn off flashlight.

Return to the enchantment room:

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

Enchantment Room

Now to bind the iron key.

> open all chests.

> put D and K in red.

> put E and L in white.

> put C and J in black.

> close all chests.

> put iron key in silver chalice.

> put medallion in gold chalice. (The iron key vanishes.)


A deep voice welcomes you as "Gatekeeper".


You tell no one about what happened.

*** The End ***






Credits appear before the game proper:

Special thanks to those who played a draft of this game. Their feedback helped me improve the game in a number of ways.

Playtesters: Steven C, Micah E, Natalia F, Haley M, Genevieve N, Abby R



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