Key & Compass presents:
Guttersnipe: Carnival of Regrets
by Bitter Karella

Guttersnipe: Carnival of Regrets is a Quest interactive fiction game and is © 2017 by Bitter Karella. It was an entry in the Spring Thing 2017 event's Main Festival where it won the Alumni's Choice Ribbon. It is also the first game in a series of games based on the author's Guttersnipe webcomic.

In this game set in the 1920s, you play as Lil' Ragamuffin, the toughest urchin in Garbagetown DC. You're enjoying a roasted shoe deep in the forest with your rat pal, Percy, when a stranger named T.I. Urge gives you a golden ticket for his Carnival of Regrets where you can eat all the food you want. Percy has some doubts about all this, but you figure it can't hurt to check the place out.

This solution is by David Welbourn.


Map 1: Carnival

in out (after talkingto T.I. Urge) Garbageheap Officetrailer Barracks Dressingroom Mess Mailroom Infirmary Insideouthouse Outsideouthouse Animalpens Clownalley Clownalley Clownalley Clownalley Clownalley Pennyarcade Cage Animalpens Snakehouse Wackyphotobooth Pennyarcade Milkbottlegame Aviarycontrolroom Aviary Animalpens Strongman tent 20thCenturyPavilion Devil'swheel Outsidespookhouse Pennyarcade Nickel-odeon Side show Side show Side show Promen-ade Midway Midway Conces-sionsarena Corn dogstand Tent ofTelevision Funhouse Mainstage Freakshow Entryway Dodgembumpercars Carousel Funnelcakestand Maze ofmirrors Backstage Galleryof grote-squeries Grandentrance Ware-house Possum-snarlForest out in Insidespookhouse Big Top

Map 2: Big Top and Tunnels

u out d d d in u Promen-ade Outsidespookhouse Slurrypit Convey-ancecorridor Headassemblyroom Headmouldingfurnace Factoryfloor Factoryfloor(worm) Big Top Office Insidespookhouse Catwalk Catwalk Catwalk


Here's a rough summary of this walkthrough:

  1. In the forest, you and Percy meet T.I. Urge and get a ticket.
  2. Enter the carnival and explore the side show, getting a jaw and a cane.
  3. Speak to Abracadabragail, then get a key.
  4. Explore the animal pens and get some milksop.
  5. Explore the trailer and get coffin varnish and a hammock.
  6. Explore a garbage heap and an outhouse and get a corn cob.
  7. Explore the midway and concessions and get a blob, licorice, and funnel cake.
  8. Explore the penny arcade and get a kewpie doll, an eyepatch, ipecac, gloves, and a photo.
  9. Make a black flamingo, learn a combo, then get a dummy and a whistle.
  10. Explore clown alley and get a lamp, a battered corncob, and a penny.
  11. Use the penny, fill the lamp, and enter the Big Top.
  12. Explore the tunnels for the first time.
  13. Use the whistle, get a cannister, and return to the tunnels to kill a worm.
  14. Grab the dumbbell, rescue Abracadabragail, and escape!


Possumsnarl Regional Forest, Garbagetown DC outskirts, November 12, 1929

> x me. x Percy. x shoe. x campfire.

> ask Percy about himself.

> ask Percy about Lower Hemmingwedge-on-the-Fritz.

> take shoe.

Your meal is interrupted by a stranger. He asks if you'd mind if he joined you for a titch.

> 1or2

He gives a business card, which Percy reads: "T.I. Urge, Ringmaster, Urge & Silent Partners' Carnival of Regrets." Urge wants you to join his circus. Percy is suspicious. Urge gives you a golden ticket to get in.

It's now the next day outside the Carnival of Regrets.

Grand Entrance

> x golden ticket. x booth. x poster.

> ask Percy about poster. (You're public enemy number 2.)

> ask Percy about carnival. (He thinks it's a dark carnival.)

> ask Percy about Urge.

> ask Percy about golden ticket.

> give ticket to man. n. n.


> x obese. x cart. x red. x mugsy.

> eat candy.

Trying to talk to any of these three is unhelpful:

> talk to Red. talk to Mugsy. ask clown about anything.

> w. s.

The freak show

> x man. x cane. talk to man. (He can't see.)

> ask man about gallery. ask man about himself.

> ask man about circus. ask man about clowns.

> take cane. (He must've heard your footsteps.)

> s.

The Gallery of Grotesqueries

> x pigmonkey. x jaw. x punks. x lady. x jackelope.

> take jaw.

> talk to lady. ask lady about herself.

> ask lady about professor.

> ask lady about circus. ask lady about Urge.

> ask Percy about Petunia. (He thinks she might be a fake too.)

> n.

The freak show

> ask man about Petunia. ask man about pickled punks.

> n. n.

The Marvels of the 20th Century Pavilion

> x man. (It's a robot.)

> x tube.

> turn on man. talk to man. ask Percy about Zaxxus.

> ask Percy about tube. (You can send a message to the Urchinfinder General.)

> s. s.

The freak show

Zaxxus's noisy music masks your movements.

> take cane. n. n.

The Marvels of the 20th Century Pavilion

> turn off man. s. w. n.

The Strong Man Tent

> talk to Igor. ask Igor about himself.

> ask Igor about strength.

> take dumbbell. (Igor stops you.)

> hit Igor. (He blanches!)

> ask Percy about Igor.

> ask Igor about professor. ask Igor about Petunia.

> ask Igor about clowns. ask Igor about Urge.

> x posters. ask Percy about posters. ask Igor about Ozersk.

> s. s.

The main stage

> x playbill. ask Percy about playbill.

> s.


> x steamer trunk. x padlock. (Needs a 6-digit number.)

> n. n. w.

The side show (west end)

> x board. ask Percy about sandwich board.

> ask Percy about television.

> s.

The fun house

> x mirrors. s. (You don't get anywhere.)

> break mirrors with cane. (You don't have the upper body strength.)

> ask Percy about mirrors. (He suggests high pitched noise.)

> scream. (Doesn't work.)

> n. sw.

The Tent of Television

> x girl. x crow. x symbols. ask Percy about symbols.

A critical guess-the-verb bottleneck. I was stuck for so long until I guessed this command:

> talk to girlorspeak to Abracadabragail. (You need to go.)

> ne. e. e. e. s.

The entryway

> x crimson clown. x deathshead key. take it.

> speak to clown. ask clown about anything.

> n.


> x cart. eat candy.

> w. w. w. sw.

The Tent of Television

> speak to girl. speak to girl.

> ask girl about herself. ask girl about carnival.

> ask girl about urchins. ask girl about Urge.

> ask girl about clowns. ask girl about carnies.

> ask girl about Petunia. ask girl about Igor.

> ask girl about professor. ask girl about padlock.

> ask girl about crow. ask girl about television.

> ask Percy about crow. (Abracadabragail needs a new black bird.)

> ne. n.

The animal pens (south end)

> x cages. w.

The aviary

> x flamingos. x pool. x pipe.

> ask Percy about flamingos. (They're pink because they eat shrimp.)

> w.

The aviary control room

> x pump. ask Percy about pump.

> e. e. n. w.


> ask Percy about plaque.

> x beast. x bones. x milksop. x cage.

> take milksop with cane. (Success. However, you no longer have a cane.)

> e. e.

The snake house

> x terrarium. x massive snake. (lump in middle)

> ask Percy about massive snake. (Harmless.)

> x leash. ask Percy about leash. ("Zamboni")

> w. n.

The animal pens (north end)

An absurdly tall and thin clown emerges from the east, brushes you aside. His feet are thorny and taloned like chicken feet.

> ask Percy about sign. ("Clowns Only")

The trailer is locked, but you have the key, so just go right in:

> n.

Office trailer

> x telephone. x radio. x varnish. x hammock.

> take varnish. take hammock.

> s. nw.

Garbage heap

Remember for later that the urchin hotline is 1-800-123-4567.

> x beam. x poster. x garbage strata.

> ask Percy about poster. ("Top 10 Most Wanted Street Urchins")

> ask Percy about Nasty Mac.

> ask Percy about garbage strata. (Suggests digging down.)

Unfortunately, "dig strata with jaw" doesn't work, but guess what does?

> use jaw with strata.

> x bricks. x dolls. x rubber.

> se. w.

The outhouse (outside)

> x moon. in.

The outhouse (inside)

> x pit. look in pit.

> x pile. ask Percy about pile.

> take pile. (You take one cob.)

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

The midway (west end)

> x machine. take popcorn. (You eat it instantly.)

> ask Percy about popcorn.

> s.

The Dodgem Bumper Cars

> x bumper car. ride bumper car. (It's too slow for your tastes.)

> ask Percy about bumper car. (Need weight for the gas pedal.)

> n. n.

The devil's wheel

> x head. x seats. x blob. take blob.

> s. e.

The midway (east end)

> x little clown. talk to clown.

> s. n. e. (The clown blocks all your exits.)

> give milksop to clown. (Add something to it first.)

The syntax is awkward. You can't "pour varnish on milksop" or anything like that.

> use varnish with milksop. (The milksop is now alcoholic.)

> give milksop to clown.

He's knocked out. You're about to steal his clothes when you discover he isn't wearing any clothes! His clown outfit is his skin!

> s.

The carousel

> look at graffiti. read graffiti. (WARNING + CLOWN)

> ask Percy about graffiti.

> x horses. x generator. ride horses. (boring)

> n. n.

The spook house

> ask Percy about sign. in. (Ride is boarded up.)

> s. e.

The concessions arena

> x wagon. x clerk.

> ask clerk about licorice. (You get some.)

> s.

The funnel cake stand

> x operator. speak to operator. (Get a funnel cake.)

> eat funnel cake.

> n. e.

The corn dog stand

> x vendor. speak to vendor. (No corn dogs left.)

> ask vendor about obese clown.

> ask vendor about batter. ask vendor about circus.

> w. n. e.

The nickelodeon

> x machines. x zoetrope. (MONSTER sigil)

> ask Percy about zoetrope.

> w. n. e.

The milk bottle game

> x barker. x bottles. x beanbag.

> talk to barker. ask barker about game.

> take beanbag. throw shoe. (You win a kewpie doll.)

> x doll. read doll. ask Percy about Sweetie Pie.

> ask Percy about Tastycakes.

> ask barker about doll. ask barker about Sweetiepie.

> ask barker about circus. ask barker about Urge.

> ask barker about clowns.

> w. n.

The penny arcade (north end)

> read sign. ne.

The infirmary

> open cabinet. x eyepatch. take it.

> x ipecac. take it.

> x gloves. take gloves.

> sw. s. w.

The Wacky Photo Booth

Remember that the posters like to portray you as a sexy lady with an eyepatch.

> x camera. x carnie.

> ask Percy about camera.

> x tintamarresque. use it. (Not yet; your face isn't ready.)

> wear eyepatch. use tintamarresque. (Now have photo; eyepatch is gone.)

> x photo.

> ask carnie about camera. ask carnie about tintamarresque.

> ask carnie about herself. ask carnie about carnival.

> ask carnie about factory. ask carnie about clowns.

> ask carnie about urchins. ask carnie about big top.

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

The Marvels of the 20th Century Pavilion

We wants a shiny penny, we does.

> put photo in tube. (But where will they send the penny?)

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

The aviary control room

> put licorice in pump. e.

The aviary

> x flamingos. use hammock with flamingos. (You get one!)

> x black flamingo.

> e. s. sw.

The Tent of Television

> ask girl about flamingo.

> give flamingo to girl. ask girl about padlock. ("987333")

Feel free to ask about other things too:

> ask girl about candy. ask girl about corndog.

> ask girl about funnel cake.

> ask girl about barker. ask girl about Jolly Bottles.

> ne. e. s. s.


> unlock padlock.

What combination do you enter? 987333

> open steamer trunk.

> x dummy. take dummy. ask Percy about dummy.

> use dummy. (You can only use the dummy once.)

> n. n. n.

Strong man tent

> ask Igor about Abracadabragail.

> ask Igor about factory. (Rumor of tunnels.)

> ask Igor about Jolly Bottles.

> s. w. s. s.


> ask lady about factory. (Carnival sets up over tragedy sites.)

> ask lady about Igor. (He's yellow as a canary.)

> ask lady about Abracadabragail. (She's nervous.)

> ask lady about Jolly Bottles.

> ask lady about barker.

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

The snake house

> give ipecac to massive snake.

> take dog whistle. x it.

> w. n. n.

Office trailer

Remember, you saw the phone number at the garbage heap.

> use telephone.

What number do you want to dial? 1-800-123-4567

The penny will be in the Carnival of Regrets mailroom.

> turn on radio.

Random news messages will be displayed continuously in real time until you turn it off.

> turn off radio.

> wear dummy. (It's now Chuckles the disguise.)

> s. e.

Clown alley (west end)

> x mucus. n.


> x cocoons. ask Percy about cocoons.

> s. e. n.

Dressing room

Hear something in the alley

> hide behind privacy screen.

You watch the ticket taker remove make-up; he's a clown underneath!

> x screen. x vanity. x lamp. take lamp.

> s. e. n.


> x vat. use cob with vat.

> x stove. x leftovers. x tables.

> s. e. n.

Mail room

> x official. open it. take penny. x it.

> x bin. x envelopes. x cubicles.

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

The nickelodeon

> put penny in zoetrope.

Last slide has WARNING sigil with worm with clown face and on fire.

> w. s. w. s.

The carousel

> open generator. take gas. (Lamp is now full.)

> n. w. w.


> give corncob to clown. (He's out cold.)

> n.

The Big Top

> x clowns. d.

By the way, this is a one-way trip.


> x portrait. ask Percy about portrait. (It's of Bartleby Tastycakes.)

> x Red. speak to Red.

> x Mugsy. speak to Mugsy.

> s. e. e. u.

Spook house (inside)

> x vampires. out. in.

Okay, so now we know the spook house is our way out of here. Go back and keep exploring.

> d. w. w. d.

Factory floor (north end)

> turn on lamp. look. x puddles. w.

Head moulding furnace

> look at stillborn clown. take it. (No.)

> ask Percy about clown.

> x furnace.

> w.

Head assembly room

> x heads. ask Percy about heads. n.

Conveyance corridor

> x belt. nw.

Slurry pit

> x slurry. ask Percy about slurry.

> se. s. e. e. s.

Factory floor (south end)

The worm will make statements in real time.

> look at worm. ask Percy about worm.

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

The Gallery of Grotesqueries

> talk to lady. ask lady about worm.

> n. n. w. n.

The Strong Man Tent

> talk to Igor. ask Igor about worm.

> s. w. sw.

The Tent of Television

> talk to girl. ask girl about worm.

> ne. s.

The fun house

> blow whistle. s. s.


> x zeppelin. ask Percy about zeppelin.

> x posters. x hydrogen.

> ask Percy about posters. ask Percy about hydrogen.

> take cannister. (Too heavy!)

> push hydrogen cannister. n.

The maze of mirrors

> push cannister. n.

The fun house

> push cannister. n.

The side show (west end)

> push cannister. n.

The animal pens (three locations)

> push cannister. n.

> push cannister. n.

> push cannister. w.

The outhouse

> push cannister. in.

> push cannister. (It goes into the pit; you hear a splash.)

It fell in the slurry pit. Get back there via the spook house:

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

> n. d. w. w. d. w. w. n. nw.

Slurry pit

> push cannister. (Not with bare hands!)

> wear gloves.

> push cannister. se.

Conveyance corridor

> push cannister. s.

Head assembly room

> push cannister. e.

Head moulding furnace

> push cannister. e.

Factory floor (north end)

> push cannister. s.

Factory floor (south end)

> push hydrogen cannister. (The worm swallows it.)

> give lamp to worm. (It explodes and you're thrown to...)

Factory floor (north end)

The fire is spreading.

> u.

Catwalk (west end)

You briefly meet Red and Mugsy, awake and covered in ichor.

> e. e. u. out. s.

The midway (east end)

> x tramp clown. speak to tramp clown.

He wants to leave but can't. Everyone's looking for you.

> w.

The midway (west end)

> x harlequin clown. speak to harlequin clown.

> w.


You learn that Abracadabragail is being held at the bumper cars.

> x Urge. speak to Urge. (He doesn't recognize you.)

> w.

Side show (east end)

> x tall clown. speak to clown.

> w.

Side show (middle)

> x baby clown. speak to clown.

> n.

The Strong Man Tent

> take dumbbell. s. e. e. e. s.

The Dodgem Bumper Cars

> x girl. untie girl.

> put dumbbell in bumper car.

Abracadragail and the bumper car are now listed in your inventory.

> n. w. s. s.

Grand Entrance

After running over Urge and his clowns, the circus burns down behind you. Nearby you see Red, Mugsy, Petunia, the pigmonkey, Igor, and Jolly Bottles. You ride off into the sunset.

*** Game Over ***



Various obvious clowns include:

Various animals include:

Plus, a couple animations:

Finally, some notable mentions:


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