Key & Compass presents:
How the Little Match Girl Got Her Colt Paterson Revolver, and Taught a Virtue to a Goblin
by Ryan Veeder

How the Little Match Girl Got Her Colt Paterson Revolver, and Taught a Virtue to a Goblin is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2023 by Ryan Veeder (as "Hans Christian Andersen"). This game was written for #EnigMarch 2023.

In this game, you play as the little girl now known as Ebenezabeth. You intend to practice your newly-discovered ability to transport yourself to other places and times by looking at a fire. Your new papa, Ebenezer Scrooge, lights the fireplace, a wax candle, and an oil lamp for you. He points out the streetlamp outside the window is also a flame, so that's four fires for you to practice with.

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.


InsidetheFactory OutsidetheFactory Woods Water-fall Garden Docks Market Shop Study OutsidetheCastle Courtyard DarkCorridor GreatHall TheHideaway Space-port ShoppingCenter PublicPark out out x oil lamp wake x streetlamp wake out in in out out in go shop x fireplace wake x candle wake go gap out go shop

Note that WAKE in any location (other than the Study) returns you to the Study.


There is a brief introduction about Ebenezabeth Scrooge.


StudyLondon - 1846

> x me. i. (nothing)

> x father. x desk. talk to father.

> x fireplace.

WaterfallPaterson, New Jersey

> x river. x road. x woods.

> ne.


> x coat. take it.

> n.

Outside the Factory

> x door. x tower. x vane. x fence. (gun motif)

> in.

Inside the Factory

> x machines. x man. talk to man.

Samuel Colt demonstrates his gun's clever features, but no one's buying his guns or appreciates his cleverness. And he hasn't eaten much recently.

> wake.

StudyLondon - 1846

> show coat.

> x candle.

CourtyardA Paper Castle

> x lake. x swans. talk to swans.

> x green. x pink.

> in.

Great Hall

> x dancer. talk to dancer.

The dancer is in love with the tin soldier, but because she has a smudge on one foot, he could never love her; the goblin told her so.

> out. out.

Outside the Castle

> x pencil. x Bible. x twine. x soldier.

> talk to soldier.

He's in love with the dancer, but because he is poor, she could never love him; the goblin told him so.

> in.


> x gap. enter gap.

Dark Corridor

> x box. open it. SPACE

The goblin springs out and laughs.

> x goblin. (He's made of felt and sewn into the box.)

> talk to goblin. (He lied to the soldier to protect him from the misery of love.)

> wake.

StudyLondon - 1846

> x oil lamp.

DocksByblos, Phoenicia

> x canoes. x piers. x people.

> n.


> x trees. x platform.

> x stele. (A local tells you it's the stone of King Azibaal and a list of battles.)

> se.


> x stalls. x florist. x flowers.

> talk to florist.

Eshak says he'd rather head to the frozen north.

> give coat to florist.

He's now convinced and gives you an orchid in a jar before he leaves.

> x orchid. smell it.

> x dark shop. enter it.


> x Zadar. x jars. talk to Zadar.

> wake.

StudyLondon - 1846

> show orchid.

> x streetlamp.

SpaceportTharsis, Capital of Mars

> x ships. x traffic. talk to it.

> x pavement. jump.

> e.

Shopping Center

> x monitors. x shop. ("the Hideaway")

> enter shop.

The Hideaway

> x wares. x skulls. x books. x weapons.

> x yogurt. x woman. talk.

> take yogurt. (not for sale)

> out. sw.

Public Park

> x fountains.

> x statue. (It's Mars-Emperor Professor Albus Burnside who brought so much water to Mars.)

> x person. talk to him. (The custodian needs something to reach the stain with.)

> g. (You could stand on his shoulders, but you don't want to suggest that.)

> wake.

StudyLondon - 1846

Okay, you've been everywhere, time to start solving this in earnest.

> x candle. out.

Outside the CastleA Paper Castle

> show orchid. (to the soldier; he gives you a needle in exchange)

> x needle. (It's almost as long as you are tall.)

> talk to soldier.

> wake.

StudyLondon - 1846

> show needle.

> x streetlamp. s.

Public ParkTharsis, Capital of Mars

> show needle. (to the custodian; he gives you a sponge in exchange)

> x eraser. (Perfect for cleaning things with.)

> wake.

StudyLondon - 1846

> show eraser.

> x candle. in.

Great HallA Paper Castle

> show eraser. (to the dancer; she gives you a spangle in exchange)

> talk to dancer. x spangle.

> wake.

StudyLondon - 1846

> show spangle.

> x oil lamp. e. enter shop.

ShopByblos, Phoenicia

> show spangle. (to Zadar; she gives you Tyrian dye in exchange)

> x dye. smell it.

> wake.

StudyLondon - 1846

> show dye.

> x streetlamp. e. enter shop.

The HideawayTharsis, Capital of Mars

> show dye. (to Hadar; she gives you the yogurt in exchange.)

> wake.

StudyLondon - 1846

> show yogurt.

> x fireplace. ne. n. in.

Inside the FactoryPaterson, New Jersey

> show yogurt. (to Colt; he gives you the revolver in exchange.)

> x gun. wake.

StudyLondon - 1846

> show gun.

> x candle. enter gap.

Dark CorridorA Paper Castle

> talk to goblin. g. out.


> scream.

The toys learn the truth and the goblin is punished. Colt taught her to try non-violence. What virtue did the little match girl teach to the goblin?

> truth. (no)

> fidelity. (no; note the capital letters hinting strongly)

> honesty.

The story is over, but the story doesn't actually end. You can't even QUIT or RESTART. Close your interpreter to quit the game and start thinking about how many many things Byblos and Tharsis have in common.



The narrator:

Main characters:

Background characters:


SPECULATION. There is the slightest hint that the flames themselves are thinking creatures. When Ebenezabeth examines the candle the first time, its flame "seemed to understand" a kinship; on subeequent looks, it "welcomed" Ebenezabeth again. It's unclear if this is just a fancy of Ebenezabeth's, to personify the flames that aid her, or if the flames truly think at all. This personification becomes more pronounced in subsequent games, but the personhood of the fires remains an unresolved (and unasked) question.


This is the response to CREDITS:

(Thank you for for playing this game with its very long title. I wrote it for day thirteen of #EnigMarch 2023, but I didn't finish writing it until the fifteenth. The prompt was "Match." Learn more about EnigMarch at, and find my other EnigMarch puzzles at

This game was tested by NOBODY. I had to make it FAST. But then Sarah Willson found some typos.)


While it's not necessary to show every inventory item you acquire to your Papa in the study, I suggest making the effort to do so just for his reactions.

Also, the first letters of your inventory items (not counting the revolver) spell out a virtue that you must state to complete the game: HONESTY.

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