History Repeating is a Z-machine 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2005 by Mark and Renee Choba. The game was entered in IF Comp 2005 where it took 13th place.
You play an adult who, in the middle of a boring day at the office, suddenly wakes up as their teenage self in their grade 12 math classroom! Your science teacher, Mr. Hopkins, brought you back in time with his time machine to prove a point. Can you change your own past and avoid a future of drudgery and loneliness—or will history repeat itself?
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.
A High School Classroom
> x me. x desk. look under desk. take gum. (nope)
> x Miss Barry. x students. x blackboard.
Mr. Hopkins, the science teacher, meets you and takes you to his lab. If you don't leave the classroom by turn 11, he'll show up and take you then.
> x equipment. x poster.
> x newspaper. read it. (Mentions buried time capsule.)
> x picture. (by tree with shovels)
> x ladder. x window.
> x Hopkins. (You can also call him Hop or Hoppy.)
> x machine. ask Hop about machine.
Although you can ask about topics, most conversation in this game is done with menus, but more awkwardly than usual, as you'll soon see. Just lawn-mow through it:
> talk. 1. (What...?)
> talk. 1. (Why...?)
> talk. 1. (How...?)
> talk. 1. (What do...?)
> talk. 1. (What about...?)
> talk. 1. (What limits?)
> talk. 1. (But why me?)
> talk. 1. (What critical...?)
> talk. 1. (What do...?)
> talk. 1. (What if this...?)
> talk. 1. (What if I...?)
> talk. 1. (I'm ready...)
No, you're not ready. You need to turn in your history report, and Hop needs an anchor.
> talk. 2. (Tell me...)
Hop needs a wire and weight. Seems like he ought to be able to handle that chore himself, but whatever.
> ask Hop about capsule. ask Hop about anchor. ask Hop about report.
> d. n. nw. w.
Note that the top of the cylinder is visible, but it's underwater.
> x pond. x circle. take cylinder. (Not that easy!)
> x large tree. x tiny tree. x mud. x fence.
We'll come back to this later.
> e. ne. s.
> x tables. x paper. take paper.
> x tray. take it.
At the Lunch Counter
> x counter. x lady. listen to lady.
> put tray on counter. (+10; you auto-take the tray.)
> x meatloaf. eat meatloaf.
> w. n. e.
Middle of North Hallway
Note the flickering light.
> x lockers. open lockers. x light.
> e. s.
> x chairs. x tables. x shelves. x books. read books.
> research report. (+10)
> write report. (Nothing to write on, and it needs to be typed.)
> n. se. e.
> x bleachers. x students. x basketball.
> x rope. climb rope.
> x janitor. (Bill)
> x toolbox. x pump. x ladder. x supplies. x shelf. x bulbs.
> talk to mop. (Amusing suggested it.)
> talk to Bill. 1. (That's not helpful.)
> take ladder —or— take pump. (Bill stops you.)
> tell Bill about light. wait. (He leaves.)
> take pump. (+10)
> s. w. sw.
> x mural. x Columbus. x Einstein. take Einstein.
> x eye. look through hole.
> x students. x computers. x board.
> n. open door. (locked)
> x secretary. x desk.
> x dean. x desk. x cabinets. x plant. (needs light)
> ask dean about plant. ask dean about Hop.
> tell dean about computer room. (+10; you're now in...)
> x table. x printer.
> type report. (+10)
> x report.
> s. w. w. nw. w.
Note that you need to have examined the circle before you can put the fence in the pond.
> take fence. put fence in pond.
> put hose in pond. turn on pump. (+10)
> open capsule. take all from capsule.
> x blueprints. x penny. x record. x book. read book.
You only need the record. Put the other stuff back.
> put blueprints, penny, book in capsule.
From the game's "amusing":
> enjoy mud. play hucka-bucka-beanstalk. talk to me.
> e. sw. w.
CAUTION: Ms. Pratt is in her office to the north, and any noise other than good music will annoy her and she'll firmly shoo you out of the room, close the piano if it's open, and turn off the stereo if it's on, before retreating back into her office.
Your singing annoys Ms. Pratt. Your piano playing annoys her. And taking a wire out of her piano annoys her unless she can't hear you do it.
> x chairs. x stands. x piano.
> open piano. x wires. x hammers.
> x system. x speakers. x turntable. x arm.
The trick here is to time your wire theft when the music is intense.
> put record on turntable.
> turn on stereo. push start.
> z. z. z. (Music is intense.)
> take wire. (+10)
> e. se. se. s. u.
> give wire to Hop. (+10)
> give meatloaf to Hop. (+10)
> d. n. nw. ne.
West end of North Hallway
If necessary, wait until Mr Mitchell has stopped lecturing, then you can go in. Incidentally, his lecture itself is a clue about how to use the pump with the fence.
> x map. x Mitchell.
> save. (So you can replay for the different endings.)
> give report to Mitchell. (+10)
Quickly, head back to the roof!
> s. sw. se. s. u.
> talk to Hop. 1. (Ready)
Oops. He can't send you back to the future, so instead, he gives you a device to go back 15 minutes so you can get your report back. Don't waste time trying to examine the device or anything else.
> push button.
There's four possible endings, none obviously the best one.
If you handed in the report too long ago, you get this ending.
*** You have gotten trapped in the past ***
> give report to Mitchell.
This is just like ending 1, but on purpose? You're stuck in the past, but you are changing it for the better.
*** You have taken your second chance ***
> s. sw. se. s. u.
> give report to Hop.
You return to your dull adult life without changing anything. Uh, yay?
*** You have repeated history ***
> s. sw. w.
> put report in capsule.
This ending is bittersweet. You're choosing to stay in the past and not change the critical event in your life, so there's a reasonable chance you'll return to your dull adult life eventually. But maybe you've helped somebody else in the future today?
*** You have learned from the past ***
If you want to get really meta, note that History Repeating was published in 2005, and I'm publishing this walkthrough fourteen years later in 2019. We are those future people being helped by this game and maybe by this walkthrough too, yes?
Please feel free to say a thank you to the people at the IF Archive, IFDB, IFWiki, ifwizz, the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation, and anyone else who helps preserve works of interactive fiction for future players. Thank you.
Amusing things to try
You may want to wait until you've finished, but then again, you may not!
- ...looked under your desk in the beginning?
- ...tried to get Einstein?
- ...played hucka-bucka-beanstalk?
- ...done any singing in the music room?
- ...enjoyed the mud?
- ...taken the menu after reading it?
- ...examined the piano keys?
- ...talked to the mop?
- ...talked to yourself?
- ...eaten the meatloaf?
- ...climbed the rope in the gym?
- ...asked the dean about Hopkins?
- ...listened to the lunch lady?
- ...played a certain game in the computer room?
- ...found all four endings?
About the game
History Repeating was an idea simmering away for some time, finally completed (more or less) for the 11th Annual IF Competition. It's not our first try at a game but it is the first we've released publicly.
History Repeating may be used and distributed freely. It may not be modified, sold, or included in any for-profit collection.
For bug reports, transcripts, constructive criticism or high praise, we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Graham Nelson, Roger Firth, Sonja Kesserich, Stephen Granade, David Glasser, the Propellerheads, and everyone on the newsgroups who asked our questions before we did. Many thanks to Lucas Killgore for his walkthrough skills and his beta-testing skills.
Special thanks to Howie for the introductions to both Infocom and Inform, and for finding those overly large, overly enthusiastic bugs.
You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 100, in several turns, giving you grade and the rank of ranking.
This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with