Key & Compass presents:
by Leo Weinreb

Hercules! is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2021 by Leo Weinreb. It was an entry in IF Comp 2021 where it took 36th place.

In this adventure game, you play as the demigod Hercules. You want to be a hero, but the Gods won't take you seriously because of your scrawniness, allergies, and numerous phobias. Fortunately, your cousin Eurystheus has given you a list of ten chores to prove yourself with. How hard could this list be?

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: Main Map

Keryneia Thrace Erytheia MountErymanthos Stymphalia AugeanStables Elis Nemea Main Road Tiryns CityPalace Shrine ofthe Oracleat Delphi Underworld Gates ofHades Gardenof theHesperides WesternShore Lerna LakeLerna Pelopon-nesianShore Amazonia Labyrinth Crete d (to Hades) (down asfar as downcan go) (to homeand inhaler) d u

Map 2: Labyrinth

Labyrinth (box) Crete Labyrinth TrollRoom Labyrinth (key) Labyrinth Labyrinth Labyrinth e e w s xyzzy w s u



Main Road

> read list.

  1. 1. ʃlay the Nemean Lion.
  2. 2. Destroy the Lernean Hydra.
  3. 3. Capture the Ceryneian Hind of Artemis.
  4. 4. Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
  5. 5. Clean the Augean ʃtables.
  6. 6. ʃlay the ʃtymphalian Birds.
  7. 7. Capture the Cretan Bull.
  8. 8. ʃteal the Mares of Diomedes.
  9. 9. Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta.
  10. 10. Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon." (Footnote 1)

> footnote 1. (S's look like F's)

> i. x Benadryl.

> w. (no, too late to backtrack)

> e. e.

City Palace

E gives you a handgun, but warns it's unpredictable.

> x gun. x throne. x crown. x cousin.

> look behind throne.

> w. n.


> take knife. x it. (plastic)

> x lion. shoot gun at lion. take flag. x it.

> open bottle. (Author says to treat bottle like the tablets in it.)

> give bottle to lion. (It sleeps.)

> flay lion. (cant: allergic to fur)

> wear flag.

> flay lion. (+1. Gain a lion pelt. Gun, knife discarded.)


> s. s.


> footnote 2. take matches. x matches.

> x flowers.

> e.

Lake Lerna

> x hydra. x Iolaus. (He likes to burn things.)

> ask Iolaus about Hydra. ask Iolaus about matches.

> give matches to Iolaus.

> attack hydra with claws. (+1)

> x goo. take goo. (You'll find a use for it later.)

> ask Iolaus for matches.

> w. n. n. nw.


> x birds.

> nw.


> footnote 3. x hind.

> take hind.

> give Benadryl to hind. (no, she moves too much)

> sleep.

Keryneia ?

You're now in a dream of Keryneia.

> take hind. (+1; Artemis tells you reality is shaped by dreams and you have more power than you think. You wake.)


> i. x pendant. (The metal absorbs flames.)

> sw.

Mount Erymanthos

> x pig. x snow. (Pig likes to charge the snow.)

> remove flag. wave it. (+1)

> wear flag. x ham. take ham.

> sw.


> x wares. w.

Augean Stables

> take mop. x mop.

> take hammer. x hammer.

You must have the matches, the hammer, and the frozen ham for this to work:

> hit ice with hammer. (+1; hammer and matches gone)

> take bacon. x it.

> look. x horses. x saddles.

> e. e. nw.


> x trees. x birds.

> climb tree. (no)

> attack birds with claws. (too high)

> show bacon to birds. (need snare)

> remove flag.

> tie flag to trees. (making a hammock)

> put goo in hammock.

> put bacon in hammock. (+1)

Uh, you can take and re-wear the flag/hammock if you really want to, but it must have toxic hydra goo residue on it still, so let's not.

> x birds.

> mop birds. ("clean the trolls! Crete, west south and east")

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

Labyrinth (at box)

Most of the stuff in the lost-and-found box is useless, unless you actually want to map out the maze in full. That's not necessary for solving the game, but there is a secret section hiding in there if you're keen on solving mazes.

Oh, and yes, anything you lose in the game ends up here.

> x bull. take bull. (+1)

> x box.

> x phaser. x compass. x shirt. x parachute.

> x coin. x GPS. x reel. x map. x string.

> take string and shirt. wear shirt.

> unroll string. (indicates south)

> s.

Labyrinth (south of box)

> unroll string. (it indicates east)

> e.

Troll Room

> mop blood. ("key to hearts is up above the west south and east")

> w. s. e. u.

Labyrinth (key location)

> x key. take key.

"XYZZY" clued by capitalized letters in key's poem.

> xyzzy. (You pop to...)


> nw. nw. n. n. nw. ne.


> x Diomedes.

> look in basket. x paper.

I'm not sure how you're supposed to guess the bull is important here unless you have prior knowledge about Diomedes mythology.

> show bull to Diomedes.

> ask Diomedes about bulls. (He leaves to fetch them.)

> take paper. read it. (long list of 24 safe codes, which are randomized every time you look at them)

> x safe.

> x calendar. (last month's Olympics winner was an Athenian Owl.)

> footnote 4. turn page. (not without reason)

> open desk. read folded note.

CAUTION: The numbers on the note are randomized every time you look at them too! Just look at the note once.

> spin safe to LAST-MONTHS-NUMBER. (The safe opens.)

> take mares.

Eep! They all throw fireballs at you, which you manage to dodge. Fortunately, you have a pendant that absorbs flames:

> put pendant on Podargos. take Podargos. take pendant.

> put it on Lampon. take Lampon. take pendant.

> put it on Xanthos. take Xanthos. take pendant.

> put it on Deinos. take Deinos. (+1)

You automatically put all the notes back. You also leave the pendant in the safe as payment.

> sw. se. s. s. se. e.


> show mares to warrior. (She takes them.)

You are in the presence of Queen Hippolyta. Her throne is made of vines, roses, moss, and glowing dirt.

> x queen. x girdle. ask queen for girdle.

She agrees to give it, but then Hera appears and zaps Hippolyta unconscious. The warrior now demands medicine or else.

> take dirt. take bowl.

> x bowl. (It has a coffee recipe.)

> put dirt in bowl.

> put moss in bowl.

> take vines. put vines in bowl.

> take roses. slash roses with claws.

> put rose powder in bowl.

> put Benadryl in bowl. (+1)

Hippolyta is restored, the bowl is gone, and the girdle is yours.

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


> x trees. x ranch. x monster. x cow.

> ask Geryon about Geryon.

> ask Geryon about cow. (worth at least 80000 drachma)

> g. (reduces price to 8000 drachma)

> g. (reduces price to 800 drachma)

> g. (no more reductions)

> sell girdle. (+1)

> x receipt. x list.

> se. e. s. e.

City Palace

> show list to king.

He rules two of your tasks invalid snd adds two new tasks to your list.

> x list.

> w. s. w.

Western Shore

> x sand. x ocean.

> w.

Garden of the Hesperides

> x dragon. x bone. x tree. x cave. x staircase.

> show bone to dragon.

> throw bone at staircase. (Ladon chases after it.)

> take apple. (+1)

> ne.

Shrine of the Oracle at Delphi

> x shrine. ("DO NOT TOUCH")

> touch shrine. (They want something monstrous and something divine.)

> put apple on shrine.

> put receipt on shrine.

You have a vision of a misaligned floor tile in the palace.

> look. x ticket stub. take it.

> sw. e. e. n. e.

City Palace

> x tile. (You travel to...)


> x river. x Charon. x boat.

> enter boat. give stub.

Gates of Hades

> x dog. x gate. x bone. x cage.

> take bone. put bone in cage. (Cerberus wants fresh meat!)

> take bone.

> put cow in cage. (Cerberus wants more meat!)

> put bull in cage. (+1)

Cerberus enters the cage. You carry it back to...)

City Palace

> show list to king.

*** Congratulations! You're an Honorary God on Mount Olympus. ***


Humans (individuals)
Humans (groups)


From the Acknowlegements section of the HELP menus:

The first full (very very very) rough incarnation of Hercules! was written in 2016 or 2017 by me, Leo Weinreb, while attending the University of Chicago. It was the first game I ever designed.

That proto-version involved only two playtesters: Anton Bures, my father, and John "Chip" Lekberg, a friend from school. Since then the game has gotten smoother and kinder, exploded in scale and complexity, and been amended with crucial and thorough revisions.

These indispensible improvements are all thanks to a small but dedicated group of people who took time out of their busy daily lives to help me make my game the best it could possibly be: my dear parents Anton Bures and Jenya Weinreb, my friends Chip Lekberg, Emily Watzl, and Rhiannon Hoffman, and some absolutely brilliant volunteers from the Interactive Fiction Community Forum: Mike Carletta, Christopher Merriner, and Garry Francis, whose suggestions and playthrough edits were essential in allowing me to put forth a more polished finished product. I am eternally grateful to all of you. <3


Unusually, the footnotes in this game are fixed and can be read before they're referenced. But only the first six footnotes are legitimate; the rest are joke footnotes for players who try to read them all like this.

> footnote 1. (re: reading the list)

For some reason your cousin's capital S's always look like F's. I guess you'll just have to guess which one is correct...

> footnote 2. (re: initial appearance of matches in Lerna)

Not that you ever really used them. They were a late birthday present from your stepmother Hera, who knew you were afraid of fire... you get the sense she doesn't like you very much.

> footnote 3. (re: initial appearance of the golden hind in Keryneia.)

A hind is a deer. (A female deer.) This one's bathed in a ray. (A drop of golden sun.) I wouldn't want you to think you were wandering the land searching for a giant floating butt.

> footnote 4. (re: examining the calendar in Thrace)

You don't know who this month's Olympics winner is off-hand, of course. Unsurprisingly, you have no use for frivolous sporting events.

> footnote 5. (re: reading the note or paper more than once)

Weren't these numbers different the last time you read them? You blink. Yep, definitely different. You curse your dyslexia and try to focus on the note more intently.

> footnote 6. (re: "who am I")

A scandal which caused Zeus's wife Hera, the queen of the Sky, to get really mad at Alcmene and you. (Though never her husband, which seems strange, since he was the one truly in the wrong.) You think perhaps this is the genesis of Hera's intense dislike of you to this day.

> footnote 7

You've never ever seen yellow-spotted lizards like these. Not even in the movie Holes.

> footnote 8

Whatever you throw at it, it seems like the monkey isn't coming down.

> footnote 9

Perhaps you need to consider that these actually are NOT the droids you're looking for.

> footnote 10

Okay, you've had your fun now, stop reading the footnotes.

> footnote 11

Seriously, I mean it!

> footnote 12

Anybody want a peanut?

> footnote 13

There is no such footnote.

> footnote 14

Really now, there is no such footnote.

> footnote 15

There is no such footnote.

> footnote 16

Okay, you get one final easter egg. Happy? After this moment you're really just wasting your own time, and I'm not to be held responsible for that. Enjoy the rest of the game!

And that really is the last footnote.


In the approximate order you'll likely acquire them:

There's also a few other items hidden in the labyrinth that I never found, but they're optional.


The response to SCORE is:

You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 12, in several turns, earning you the rank of your-rank.

Points are awarded by completing the tasks on your to-do list, one point per task:

  1. Slay (or Flay) the Nemean Lion.
  2. Destroy the Lernean Hydra.
  3. Capture the Ceryneian Hind of Artemis.
  4. Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
  5. Clean the Augean Stables.
  6. Slay (or Flay) the Stymphalian Birds.
  7. Capture the Cretan Bull.
  8. Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
  9. Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta.
  10. Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.
  11. Steal an apple from the Garden of the Hesperides.
  12. Capture and bring back Cerberus from the Underworld.

The possible ranks are:

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