Key & Compass presents:
A Flustered Duck
by Jim Aikin

A Flustered Duck is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2009 by Jim Aikin. It was entered in Spring Thing 2009 where it took 1st place.

You play as Elliott, a pig-boy. It starts when Granny Grabby orders you to get Mabel the duck down from the roof. You try, but a series of unfortunate events ensue ending with Mabel swallowing the diamond ring you planned to give to Suzette! You need to get that ring back, but how?

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


Map 1: The Main Map

(lockedandbarred) d u u u u in w (via Bessie) (via Bessie) (via surfboard) Granny'sFarm-house Maze ofCrystal d d d out Lost inthe MistA PathThroughthe Marsh TwistedForest BesidetheWindmill MustyPassage BehindtheWindmill MoonMistIsland Edge ofthe Marsh StrangeRoad In theWindmill Otter'sDen Loft PigWallow WindingRoad BarrelYard Barn Farmyard IvoryTower TackRoom Roof Lane LongRoad Edgeof theOrchard Main Hall In theVolks-wagen HigginsHardware RepairShop BeforePontificalDoor FloweringMeadow Foot of aBridge MarketStreet At theGate BridgeApproach CandyStore Seam-stressShop Pharmacy BeyondtheGorge PleasantRoad Insidethe Hut WoodedCurve

Map 2: Granny's Farmhouse

d (to Granny'sBedroom) Farmyard Lane u Granny'sCellar BackPorch Granny'sKitchen Granny'sParlor FrontPorch FrontYard

Map 3: Maze of Crystal / Blundering Around in the Dark

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 2 3 4 GrassyHillside 1 Edge ofOrchard


In this game, when you take something for the first time, you will also automatically examine it if you haven't examined it already. Also, the game helpfully puts extra items into your gunny sack when you're carrying too much. Those are plusses.

However, the game will usually force you to explicitly take things from the sack before you use them in any way. The verb SHOW is an exception to this rule, so I prefer to SHOW something to someone instead of using GIVE in this game.

Note also that if there's only one character present or you've already started a conversation with someone, you don't need to use their name in an ASK command with them.


Note: You'll be unwilling to go north, east, or southeast until you've captured the duck.

|::| about. credits.

|::| take box. x Mabel. x Granny. x me. i. x boots.

|::| ask Granny about Mabel. ask about Granny.

|::| x ladder. x pump. x mud. x chickens.

|::| w.


You'll need the ladder to go up to the Loft.

The sack is your player's holdall. You'll automatically put items into the sack when you need to.

|::| take sack. take turnip. take bucket. s.

Tack Room

|::| x junk. (+1. Hoop found.) take hoop.

|::| n. e.


|::| take duck. (with net: the hole in the net is too big)

|::| fix net. (Need someone else to do that.)

|::| give net to Granny. (Hm. Not her.)

|::| take ladder. w.


|::| drop ladder. u.


|::| x hay. search hay. (+1. Saddle and bridle found.)

|::| take saddle. take bridle.

|::| d. e.


Try to capture Mabel several times until she finally leaves.

|::| take duck. g. g.

Eventually, Mabel flies away. Granny demands you get her back, then stomps into the house.

|::| e.

Back Porch

|::| x window. x sill. e.

Granny's Kitchen

Granny won't let you go east or down from here. Or open the drawer.

|::| x iceboxorx sinkorx stove.

|::| x tv. x ears. x cord. x counter. x drawer.

|::| w. w. se.


|::| x trees. n.

Front Yard

|::| x weeds. search weeds. take pumpkin. w.

Front Porch

|::| w. x window. (shut)

|::| open window. w. (+1)

Granny's Parlor

|::| x furniture. x sideboard. open it. (+1)

|::| take postcard. x stamp.

|::| x plates. close sideboard.

|::| x table. take penny.

|::| e.

Front Porch

|::| close window. e. s. e.

Long Road

Mabel flies north when you enter.

|::| x trees. n. (You need to ride, not walk.)

|::| w. nw. n.

Pig Wallow

|::| x Bessie. x pigs. pet Bessie.

|::| put harness on Bessie. put saddle on Bessie. (+1)

|::| ride Bessie. s. se. e. e.

At the Edge of the Orchard

The orchard is a crystal maze. Bessie is unwilling to enter it, and I imagine you'd rather return not enter the maze at this time as well.

|::| x crystal.

|::| w. s.

At the Foot of a Bridge

You cannot fight or bribe the troll. You'll need to find another way across.

|::| s. (A troll stops you.)

|::| ask troll about troll.

|::| w.

Flowering Meadow

Note: The surfboard doesn't fit in the car.

|::| stand. tie Bessie to car. (+2)

|::| x flowers. x crevice. x berries. x car.

|::| x rack. x surfboard. in.

In the Volkswagen

|::| x seat. search seat. (+1) take penny.

|::| out.

Flowering Meadow

The surfboard is electric and needs a battery. And although you can carry the surfboard around with you, it's best to just leave it here after you've examined it thoroughly.

|::| take surfboard. x it. x panel. open it.

|::| x circuitry. x white button. x black button.

|::| x recess. close panel. drop surfboard.

|::| untie Bessie. ride Bessie. e. e.

Market Street

|::| x rosebush. stand. tie Bessie to bush.

|::| take penny. (Bessie eats roses from the bush.)

|::| n.

Higgins Hardware

|::| x Fifi. x Howard. (+1. He rushes out to attack Bessie.)

|::| e.

Repair Shop

|::| x bench. x equipment. w.

Higgins Hardware

|::| x tools. (+1. Find fan.)

|::| take fan. s.

Market Street

|::| ask Howard about rosebush. ask about Fifi.

|::| sw.

Candy Store

|::| x jar. (3 jellybeans for 3 cents)

|::| x Carolyn. x register. x jellybeans.

|::| ask about jellybeans.

|::| take penny. g. (Repeat until you have all three pennies together.)

|::| buy jellybeans. (+1. You get the jar too.)

The jellybeans become separate items after you buy them collectively.

|::| take jar. ne. se.


|::| x bottle. x jars. x tub. x man. x scales.

|::| ask about Granny. (His and her sons are going into business together.)

|::| ask about whiskey. (Helps with her rheumatism.)

|::| ask about crystals. (He tells you he closes his eyes in the orchard.)

|::| buy crystal. take crystal.

|::| ask about orchard. ask about duck.

|::| ask about himself. ask about stamps.

|::| show postcard to man. (He'll trade any chemical for the postcard.)

|::| ask about berries. give postcard to man. (He gives you the plant food.)

|::| x plastic bottle.

|::| tell man about duck. (He tells you about a healing potion he used to have.)

|::| ask about wizard. ask about troll.

|::| nw. s.

Seamstress Shop

|::| x Suzette. x cloth. x table. x dummy.

|::| x machine. x books. ask about herself.

|::| show net to Suzette. (+1. It's fixed.)

|::| x net.

|::| ask about books. ask about father.

|::| ask about Fifi. (She hates the dog as much as you do.)

|::| ask about Carolyn. (She says Carolyn's been seeing Ned the doorman.)

|::| ask about doorman.

|::| n. e.

At the Gate

The Greek letter on the arch is, of course, π (pi).

|::| x gate. x letter. x statue. (has ring)

|::| n.

Before the Pontifical Door

|::| x man. x stool. ask about institute.

|::| n. (He won't let you past to bother them.)

|::| ask about himself. ask about Carolyn.

|::| ask about pontificators. x ears.

|::| take fan. turn on fan. point fan at ears.

|::| turn off fan.

|::| s. w.

Market Street

|::| untie Bessie. ride Bessie. w. n. n.

Winding Road

A man tells you a duck flew past, north or northeast.

|::| x man. x marigolds. ask man about duck.

|::| ask about himself. ask about Gilroy. ask about valley.

|::| stand. take marigolds. ride Bessie.

|::| n.

Strange Road

By the way, Bessie won't go west from here into the marsh.

|::| x windmill. x tree. x marsh.

|::| stand. tie Bessie to tree. e.

Beside the Windmill

|::| x blades. in.

In the Windmill

|::| x millstone. x gear.

|::| x trapdoor. x hook. x ring.

|::| put pumpkin under stone. (+2)

|::| x pulp. take seeds.

|::| nw. ne.

Behind the Windmill

|::| x gate. x barrels. quack.

|::| open gate. (locked) climb gate. (nope.)

|::| nw. w. w. n.

Twisted Forest

|::| x trees. listen. s. w.

Lost in the Mist

|::| take fan. turn on fan.

A Path Through the Marsh

|::| x pools. w. (+2)

MoonMist Island

|::| x vine. take vine. (A mist woman stops you.)

|::| x woman. ask about vine. ask about woman.

|::| point fan at woman. g. g. (+1)

|::| take vine. (+1) e. e.

At the Edge of the Marsh

|::| turn off fan. x vine. untangle vine. (Can't.)

|::| e.

Strange Road

|::| untie Bessie. ride Bessie. s. s. s. w.

Flowering Meadow

|::| stand. tie Bessie to car.

|::| open fan's panel. take battery.

|::| open surfboard. put battery in it.

|::| push white button. (It hovers and points east.)

|::| turn board. (It still points east.)

|::| push black button. (It falls to the ground.)

|::| push white button. get on board.

|::| lean right. (Now it's pointing southeast.)

|::| lean right. (Now south.)

|::| lean forward. (+4)

Beyond the Gorge

|::| stand. push black button.

|::| take battery. put battery in fan.

|::| e. n.

Bridge Approach

|::| x animal. x man. (That's the wizard mentioned earlier.)

|::| ask man about himself. (Zarbolphung the wizard is out of troll repellant.)

|::| ask about repellant. (He needs marigolds, pumpkin seeds, and crystal.)

|::| ask about animal. ask about mustache. ask about toes.

|::| show marigolds to man. show seeds to man.

|::| show crystal to wizard. (+2)

He offers to let you take one thing from his basket as a reward. You cannot actually take any bottle but the little glass one, though.

|::| look in basket.

|::| x little glass bottle. take it.

The wizard finishes his potion making, summons his mount, and they leave to the north, repelling the troll.

|::| s. s.

Wooded Curve

|::| x hut. x garden. x fence.

|::| w.

Inside the Hut

The cobra is only interested in animate things. The fan doesn't count.

|::| x cobra. x brown box. x table.

|::| e. n. n. n. e. n.

Higgins Hardware

Fifi won't escape the jar the way she escapes the sack.

|::| take jar. take all from jar.

|::| take Fifi. put Fifi in jar. (+1)

|::| put jar in sack. (This step is so Howard doesn't notice you taking Fifi away.)

|::| s. w. s. s. s. w.

Inside the Hut

|::| show Fifi to cobra. (+2. Both leave.)

|::| take hatbox. open it. x hat.

|::| e. n. n. n. w.

Flowering Meadow

|::| pour plant food on bush. (+1)

|::| take bucket. pick berries. (You fill the bucket.)

|::| untie Bessie. ride Bessie. e. n. w. nw.


|::| stand. e. e.

Granny's Kitchen

Note that Granny is unwilling to make pie without her whiskey, and she's unable to make pie without the ripe berries.

|::| show whiskey to Granny. (+1)

|::| show bucket to granny.

|::| ask about pie. (+2)

|::| z. (Repeat waiting 14 turns until Granny has finished making the pie and has closed her eyes.)

|::| d.

Granny's Cellar

|::| x table. x puzzle. (It's of Sistine Chapel ceiling.)

|::| push puzzle. u.

Granny's Kitchen

|::| tell Granny about puzzle. (+1)

|::| open drawer. take knife. (+1)

|::| take pie. (+1)

CAUTION: If you try to ride Bessie while carrying the pie openly, Bessie will soon throw you off and eat it.

|::| take hat. put pie in hatbox. close hatbox.

|::| w. w.


|::| ride Bessie. se. e. s. e. e.

At the Gate

|::| stand. tie Bessie to ring. n.

Before the Pontifical Door

|::| show hat to man. (He would like it, ...)

|::| give hat to man. (...but won't take a bribe.)

|::| s. w. sw.

Candy Store

For this to work, you must have tried to give the hat to the doorman earlier.

|::| show hat to Carolyn. (She comes with you and closes her shop.)

Market Street

|::| e. n.

Before the Pontifical Door

Carolyn convinces Ned to take the hat, and now he'll let you past anytime.

|::| n. (+2)

Main Hall

|::| x men.

|::| uorne.

Ivory Tower

|::| x man. x table. x blindfold. x view.

|::| ask man about himself. (He's Peter Profundis.)

|::| ask about institute. ask about blindfold.

|::| open hatbox. take pie. put pie on table.

|::| push pie. g. g. (+1. He drops his blindfold and runs away with the pie.)

|::| take blindfold. d. s. s.

At the Gate

|::| untie Bessie. ride Bessie. w. w. n. e.

At the Edge of the Orchard

Unfortunately, there's nothing here to tie Bessie to.

|::| stand. wear blindfold. e.

Blundering Around in the Dark (several locations)

|::| ne. n. n. e. (+2)

Grassy Hillside

|::| x picnic. x people. x leprechaun. x violin.

|::| ask fiddler about violin. ask about himself. ask about scroll.

|::| ask for fiddle. (He hands it and its bow to you.)

|::| play fiddle. (+1. He gives the scroll too and leaves.)

|::| read scroll. (You don't know how!)

|::| w. w. (You're back at Edge of Orchard)

At the Edge of the Orchard

Bessie has returned to the Pig Wallow. Go back there and get her.

|::| w. w. nw. n.

Pig Wallow

|::| ride Bessie. s. se. e. s. e. e.

At the Gate

|::| stand. tie Bessie to ring. w. s.

Seamstress Shop

|::| ask Suzette about scroll. (+1. She gives you a rune book.)

|::| read book. (You can now read runes.)

|::| read scroll. (+1. You can now play the violin well.)

You're starting to carry a few too many things.

|::| put book in sack. take bow. g.

|::| play violin. (Suzette is impressed.)

|::| n. e.

At the Gate

|::| untie Bessie. ride Bessie. w. w. n. n. n.

Strange Road

|::| stand. tie Bessie to tree. w. n.

Twisted Forest

|::| take vine. drop it.

Assuming you're still carrying both the violin and bow directly:

|::| play violin. (+1. The trees untangle the vine.)

|::| take vine.

|::| s. e. e. se.

In the Windmill

|::| tie vine to ring. tie vine to hook.

|::| d. s.

Otter's Den

|::| x otter. x sunglasses. x vest. x cap.

|::| x satchel. look in satchel.

|::| x Pez. x ashtray. x tile. x magazine.

|::| x table.

|::| ask otter about rules.

|::| x bear. x helmet. x spear. x shield. ask otter about bear.

This shell game is randomized. You will probably need to play at least three times before you'll win. That means you must be willing to forfeit three items. In this walkthrough, we'll forfeit the jellybeans, but you can give the turnip, the hatbox, the blindfold, or other things instead if you'd rather. Just don't give away anything you'll need later! For example:

|::| play game. point at center. show pink jellybean to otter.

|::| play game. point at center. show purple jellybean to otter.

|::| play game. point at center. show yellow jellybean to otter.

But eventually, sooner or later, you'll win:

|::| play game. point at center. (You won! You can pick one of his items.)

|::| ask otter for blue cap. (+2. It's a funnel.)

|::| se. (+2)

Barrel Yard

Note that you can't open the gate from this side either.

|::| x duck.

Shuffle your inventory so you're holding the potion, knife, net, and funnel directly. This will make the rest of this go much more smoothly.

|::| take potion. take knife. take net. (Should already have the funnel too.)

|::| take duck. (Using the net.)

|::| put funnel in beak. open potion. (We didn't have to open the other bottle!)

|::| pour liquid into funnel. (Not "in" funnel. "Into". You remove the funnel.)

|::| cut Mabel with knife. (+5. You have a gore-covered ring.)

You can't re-take Mabel at this point.

|::| x ring.

|::| put net in sack. put glass bottle in sack.

|::| nw. n. u. nw. w.

Strange Road

|::| untie Bessie. ride Bessie. s. s. w. nw.


|::| stand.

|::| wash ring. (+1. Mabel returns. Granny guesses she's happy.)

|::| take red box. put ring in red box. close red box.

|::| ride Bessie.

|::| se. e. s. e. e.

At the Gate

|::| stand. tie Bessie to ring. w. s.

Seamstress Shop

|::| give red box to Suzette.

*** You have won ***






Here are the game's credits:

"A Flustered Duck" was written using the intriguing and powerful Inform 7 programming language. Many thanks to Graham Nelson for creating Inform 7, to Emily Short for her tireless support of I7 users (even when we're annoying), To David Kinder for the Windows Inform IDE and Andrew Hunter for the Macintosh Inform IDE, to Andrew Plotkin for Glulx, and to the denizens of the newsgroup for providing swift and useful answers to my innumerable technical questions.

Copious thanks are also due to the authors of the various Extensions used in the game, principally to Eric Eve, Emily Short, and Jon Ingold. (For a complete list, type "version".)

The hard-working beta-test team for "A Flustered Duck" included, in alphabetical order, Radical Al, Michael Coyne, Molly Geene, Jeff Liu, and Reiko Yukawa. Without their industrious efforts and boundless patience, the game would have been a real mess. Needless to say, any nasty little snarfles that remain are due to my failures, not theirs. If you should spot anything that looks like a bug, I'd appreciate it (and other players would too!) if you'd copy a big chunk of the output (if possible, back to the last time you took inventory) and email it to me at



Clothing and Wearables
Other Stuff


You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 53, in several turns.

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

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