Key & Compass presents:
Gun Mute
by C.E.J. Pacian

Gun Mute is a TADS 3 interactive fiction game and is © 2008 by C.E.J. Pacian. At the 2008 XYZZY Awards, it won the Best Puzzles award and was a finalist in nine other categories. Gun Mute was also tied for 22nd place in the 2011 edition of the Interactive Fiction Top 50 of all time.

In this sci-fi western, you play as Mute Lawson. To quote the game:

Sheriff Clayton has Elias. He's hanging him at noon. It looks like you're going to have to shoot some people.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Version 6 of the game.


RadiationPlains RockyHill Corral SaloonFront Saloon TrainStation ChurchofWrathzor Graveyard DerelictReactor PollutedSlums Under-taker's BackStreet TownCentre UndertheGallows LifelessPark RowdyJuanita'sSaloon b b b b f f f f f f f f f f f f b b b b b b b f f f

Note that this game doesn't use compass directions for moving the protagonist. It's always either FORWARD (F) or BACK (B).


Radiation Plains

Note that until you drink, you won't know where you need to be going.

> about. credits. instructions.

> x plainswoman. x spear. x sticks. x pot.

> drink liquid. (+1)

For most of this game, you are topless and barefoot.

> x me. x jeans. x belt. x shooter. x bullets.

> f.

Rocky Hill

One of the few peaceful locations in the game.

> x town. x reactor.

> f.


Sue and Hank aren't going to shoot you right away. Not until you draw your own gun.

> x Sue. x Hank. x shacks. x robot. x trough.

> draw. shoot Sue. (+1) shoot Hank (+1)

> reload. x Sue. x Hank.

> f.

Saloon Front

Deputy Gene gives you a chance to duck behind something before he shoots. Note he has a shotgun; he'll have to reload after shooting twice.

> hide behind tractor. x Gene. (Now's your chance!)

> stand. shoot Gene. (+1)

> reload. x Gene. x shotgun. x tractor.

> f.


Rowdy Juanita is a friend and a terrible shot. You just need to disable her.

> x Juanita. x tables. x bar. x beams. x chandelier.

> shoot chandelier. (+1)

> x Juanita. x crystal. take it. (+1)

> kiss Juanita. (+1)

After taking the crystal, Juanita will soon escape from under the chandelier and start cleaning up the place.

> reload. f.

Train Station

Gatling Gun Fiona has some serious firepower, but her device has one weakness.

> x Fiona. hide.

> x turret. x hoses. x tank.

Her turret is overheating. This is your chance to do something.

> stand. shoot hoses. hide.

> x signs. x tower. x bolts.

> stand. (+1; she runs away)

> reload. f.

Church of Wrathzor

> holster gun. (Say it ain't so, Joe!)

> hide. draw. stand. shoot window. (+1)

> x Joe. x pews. x pulpit. x windows.

> reload. f.


> hide. x Mickey. x eye. x headstones.

> stand. shoot eye. (+1)

> x Mickey. reload. f.

Derelict Reactor

This is a tricky one. Earl is a good leaper, so you have to give him literally nothing to stand on.

> x Earl. hide. x panel.

> x catwalk. x bolts.

Wait until he's just shot an arrow:

> z. z. z. stand. shoot bolts. (Earl jumps to the roots.)

> hide. x roots. x canister.

> stand. shoot canister. (Earl jumps to the girder.)

> hide. x girder. x pipeline.

> stand. shoot pipeline.

> hide. stand. shoot pipeline.

> hide. stand. shoot pipeline. (+1. Earl falls into the slime.)

> reload. x slime. f.

Polluted Slums

> x shacks. x garbage. listen. f.

Atomic April appears when you try to go forward. And there's nowhere to hide here.

Note that you must shoot at April herself first, to ruin her balance, before making your sustained assault on her brain.

> x April. shoot April.

> shoot brain. shoot brain. shoot brain. shoot brain. (+1)

> x April. x river.

> reload. f.


Solemn Gertrude is a bit creepy, but she's a friend. Let her measure you.

> x Gertrude. x window. x coffins. (+1)

> x garbs. x floor. x suit. z. z. z.

Gertrude finally asks if Fiona is okay.

> nod. (+1)

> f.

Back Street

Gun-Run Raoul is the fastest draw around. Exhaust his arsenal by hiding behind everything in sight.

> x Raoul. x guns. hide behind stall. hide behind cart.

> hide behind table. hide behind fence. hide behind tree.

> z. (+1; he runs away)

Make sure your gun is fully loaded.

> x shooter. f.

Town Centre

Sheriff Clayton, as the final boss, would like to monologue first, and he will as long as you don't start shooting things.

> x sheriff. x Elias. x bot.

Sheriff asks if he's the bad guy.

> nod. x noose. x lever.

Sheriff asks whose side you're on. Yours?

> shake head. x gallows. x buildings. x trapdoor.

Sheriff says it's your move.

> shoot noose. shoot lever. (+2)

> shoot sheriff. g. g. g. (+1)

> reload. (The bot decides it's time to leave.)

> x sheriff. f.

Under the Gallows

> x Elias. kiss him. (+1)

Lifeless Park

We're now in epilogue territory. Time has past. We even have more clothes on.

> x me. x stetson. x suit. x overcoat.

> x Elias. kiss Elias.

> point to me. (Elias kisses you.)

> x Raoul. x Fiona. x Gertrude. x corpses. x people.

Elias can provide some comments if you point at anything else.

> point at Raoul. point at Fiona.

> point at Gertrude. point at corpses.

> point at town. point at people. point at shooter.

> point at hat. point at suit. point at coat. point at belt.

Eventually, go forwards one last time:

> f.

Rowdy Juanita's Saloon

> x bot. x your glass. take it.

Juanita wants to make a toast to love. Elias asks if you agree.

> shake head. (+1. You drink to the dead, instead.)

*** THE END ***



Have you tried:



Gun Mute by C.E.J. Pacian
Released: 2008

Developed using the TADS 3 language and library by Michael J. Roberts. Eric Eve also deserves a mention for his excellent TADS 3 tutorials.

Extra special thanks to my lovely beta-testers: George Oliver, Terry Cavanagh and Konstantinos “Gnome” Dimopoulos.

Additional thanks for bug and typo reports courtesy of ColorfulNumbers, Inane and Nillo, plus some issues I spotted on the ClubFloyd transcript.




In several moves, you have scored your-score of a possible 20 points. This makes you ranking.

Your score consists of:


Thank You to my Patreon supporters

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