Key & Compass presents:
Internal Documents: A Memo
by Tom Lechner

Internal Documents: A Memo is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2003 by Tom Lechner. It was an entry in IF Comp 2003 where it took 19th place.

In this odd, large, and sparsely-implemented game, you play as a civil servant sent by the incumbent governor to the tiny township of Sebastian to examine the records of the John B. Holden estate. There's been far too many allegations about bribes and extortion in the current election cycle and it's up to you to exercise due diligence and determine the truth.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.


Map 1: Town and countryside

(to store) (to post office) u The Bar TownshipofSebastian Edge ofTown GravelRoad Old Dock Base ofLumpyHill On theLumpyHill On theRoad West ofFalls Base ofFalls Down-stream WallNorthof Gate NearFactory BridgeNearEstate OutsideGate ofEstate SebastianPulp & PaperFactory Gate WallSouthof Gate On theSouthWall (leave town) NearSomeLight DrawingRoom ExtensiveLawn w

Map 2: Holden mansion

Roof FourthFloor ThirdFloor Back of the Estate SecondFloor BackEntry DiningRoom TheKitchen Eastof theEstate West Hall Oval Hall East Hall DrawingRoom MainEntryway Study TheLibrary Portico Extensive Lawn Servants'Quarters OutsideServants'Quarters On SomeStairsGoing Down On theSouthWall u u u sw/se u in (to gate) d d d d e

Map 3: Upper basement level

d ne/d u BuriedBalcony Yet AnotherStuffyStoreroom UnderDiningRoom Yet AnotherBasementHall Even YetAnotherBasementHall Still YetAnotherBasementHall EvenAnotherStuffyStoreroom On SomeStairsGoing Down Short,SkinnyHall Shaftin theBasement AnotherStuffyStoreroom EvenAnotherBasementHall RubbleNearVault Door Vault MostlySpiralStaircase Some MoreBasementHall StuffyStoreroom AnotherBasementHall BasementHall Still YetEven AnotherBasementHall Still YetAnotherStuffyStoreroom UnderLibrary u Middleof Shaft DrawingRoom X Study

Map 4: Middle basement level

d d Shaftin theBasement Bottomof Shaft AnotherMottled,Dim, DirtyStore Room Yet AnotherMottled,Dim, DirtyStore Room Mottled,Dim, DirtyStore Room AnotherDank Hall YetAnotherDank Hall Middleof Shaft Smelly,Mottled,Dim, DirtyStore Room Yet EvenAnotherDank Hall Dank Hall EvenAnotherDank Hall Still YetAnotherMottled,Dim, DirtyStore Room A Kind ofMottled,Dim, DirtyStore Room Still Yet EvenAnotherMottled,Dim, DirtyStore Room Yet EvenAnotherMottled,Dim, DirtyStore Room u u

Map 5: Bottom basement level

d Baseof theFalls Down-stream Middleof Shaft NearSomeLight Bottomof Shaft RubbleFilledRoom Dim,Dank Hall AnotherDim andDank Hall Room ofRubble AnotherRoom ofRubble u


Township of Sebastian

It's perhaps best to think of this game as a farce, with you as the bumbling hero. All sorts of unlikely events can happen in this game, particularly when you dare to open your briefcase. You quickly learn to keep it shut except for those few times it actually helps you progress.

> verbose. info.

> x me. i. x case.

> ne.

The Bar

You don't need anything here, but it is an oasis of near normality to enjoy at the beginning of all this.

There's some awkwardness with the food and drink if you try to consume it here; using "my" specifies you're referring to something in your inventory.

> tell bartender about decree.

> x bartender. x customers.

> x menu. (beer $1; sandwich $2; biscuit $1)

> buy sandwich. x it. eat my sandwich.

> buy biscuit. x it. eat my biscuit.

> buy beer. x it. drink my beer.

> who is John Holden. (There's a mansion. Wife and kids elsewhere.)

> what are the issues. (accountability, tax reform, etc.)

> w.

Township of Sebastian

> e. ("Back in 5 minutes")

> se. ("Closed")

> n. (You can't leave town.)

> s.

Edge of Town

I'm going to skip the east road entirely. It leads to a dock, waterfall and river. Explore it if you must then return here. Oh, and if you fall in the river, swim west back to land.

> se. se.

Near Factory

> x sign. s.

Sebastian Pulp and Paper Factory Gate

> x gate. (Your business is at the estate, not here.)

> n. e. e.

Outside the Gate of Estate

> x gate. x camera. x button. x speaker.

> push button. g. g. (Several random unhelpful replies.)

> s.

Wall South of Gate

> climb vines.

On the South Wall

> x dogs. e. (Dobermen try to grab your leg.)

The dogs don't want a biscuit, but they will chase papers from your briefcase, at least the first time.

> open case. (The dogs start chasing your papers.)

> e. (+5. John rescues you and you're now at...)

Drawing Room

> take band-aids. (+1)

> tell John about decree. ("Tell it to my lawyers.")

> open case. (+5)

John takes the Decree, says he'll fetch the company log book, and goes north to West Hall.

> x globe. x aquarium. x chairs.

> x door. open door. (locked)

You can't use the northeast door, but can now explore the majority of the ground floor, upper floors, and lawns. Eventually you'll want to corner John in his study, but he's not there yet and it's locked. So for now, just walk around the estate. There's not much scenery, so this won't take as long as you think.

> n.

West Hall

> n.

Dining Room

> e.

The Kitchen

> s.

East Hall

> s.


Note that the door is closed.

> n. w.

Oval Hall

Head up to the roof. You can ignore the Second, Third, and Fourth Floors.

> u. u. u. u.


Oddly, the dogs act as if they're in this room with you, rather than on the distant lawn down below.

> d. d. d. d. n.

Back Entry

> n.

Back of the Estate

> e.

East of the Estate

> s.

Extensive Lawn

> x dogs. pet dogs.

> s.

Outside Servants' Quarters

> in.

Servants' Quarters

Oh, finally something to do.

> x fireplace. x burnt paper. take it.

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

The Library

> x hole. d. (Can't see where you're going.)

If you're lucky, the study is unlocked by now and you can go right in. Unfortunately, John wanders quite randomly and he might not be there yet. He certainly won't unlock the study door if you're standing right here, so the best you can do is chase him to East Hall, hope he goes south into the Library, then wait a few turns more for him to go in. Then follow him in.

> w. (+5)

The Study

John gives you a log book with many missing pages. He then takes you back to the drawing room and unlocks the basement door.

Drawing Room

Yes, it's a trap, but you gotta go into it.

> read log book.

> ne. (Door shuts and locks behind you.)

On Some Stairs Going Down

> d. open south door. s.

West of Vault

As you'll soon notice, the basement contains a ridiculous number of mostly empty rooms and closed doors. The vault is really the only important location down here. The way to get into it is a bit unorthodox.

But you do have to wander a little before that:

> x vault.

> open west door. w.

Even Another Basement Hall

> open west door. w.

Another Stuffy Storeroom

> e. e.

Rubble Near Vault Door (formerly West of Vault)

At this time the east wall should partially collapse. If it hasn't yet, wait a turn.

> x rubble. x rubble north. x rubble south.

Alas, I'm going to ask you to explore just a little more:

> s.

Basement Hall

> open south door. s.

Still Yet Another Stuffy Storeroom

> x paintings. open northwest door. nw.

Another Basement Hall

> open west door. w.

Stuffy Storeroom

> x toys. e.

Another Basement Hall

> open north door. n.

Even Another Basement Hall

> open north door. n.

Yet Another Basement Hall

The game asks: "Are you going to open all the doors, or what?"

> open north door. n.

Buried Balcony

> x furniture. s.

Yet Another Basement Hall

> open west door. w.

Under Dining Room

> e.

Yet Another Basement Hall

> open east door. e.

Even Yet Another Basement Hall

> open north door. open south door. open east door.

The game now comments "It will sure by airy once you open all the doors down here!" It's trying to hint at something. It wants you to type an unusual command.

> open all the doors. (This only opens the doors in this room.)

No, you need to be more bold:

> open all the doors down hereoropen all the doors in the basement. (+500, and you return to...)

Rubble Near Vault Door

And I have to point out, if you open all the doors in the basement manually, you will not get the 500 points and you will not get this desired side-effect with the north rubble:

> take north rubble. (+5)

> ne.


> x packaging. take it.

> x monitor. x fax window. x ballot window.

> x address book. (You add police and FBI contacts.)

> x trash. drag trash to fax. (You add the deleted files to the fax.)

> click stop in ballot. click revert in ballot. (+5)

> drag ballot to fax. click send in fax. (+100)

> e. (door clicks shut behind you)

Mostly Spiral Staircase

> u.

The Study

The manual text was readable when I first played, but when I try to read it now, it's garbage. You should be able to look up chapters 1 through 5 in the manual; it explains that the sheet 3 code word always pacifies the dogs. Possibly something I do in my gameplay is clobbering the manual? The VERIFY command tells me my gamefile is intact, so I'm not sure what's wrong here.

> open desk. take all from desk.

> read sheet 3. ("Lichtenstein")

> x videos. x manual. read it.

> take black box. x it. ("OpenSesame")

> open door.

Make your way to the extensive lawn. Unfortunately, you'll be met by John somewhere between here and there, and he'll blow a dog whistle, summoning the dogs!

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

Extensive Lawn

John screams "MOLOTOV SAUSAGE", which incites the dogs to attack you!

> push button.

> dogs, lichtenstein.

Continue to order LICHTENSTEIN at the dogs, or order them with any of the attack phrases that John uses to try to get the dogs to attack him!

Eventually the cops arrive and arrest John no matter what you do. Then the mansion collapses.

*** You have won ***






This is my first attempt at interactive fiction and in fact practically the only bit of artwork (if I may call it that) of mine that has nothing but text. I got carried away replaying all my old Infocom games on my all but forgotten Commodore 64 during a trip home one winter, and decided to write my own. If you are interested in voter fraud, I suggest you look up Greg Palast is a kick ass investigative journalist and author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. His reports about the 2000 US presidential election need more air time. (And no, I am not affiliated with him) See my website for a brief bibliography of other books and weblinks on such things.

Shocked to discover that so many people were still making interactive text games, I abandoned my plans to make my own interpreter, and programmed this game in Inform (, a creation of Graham Nelson, while constantly referencing the helpful Inform Designer's Manual by said Graham Nelson. I also used istring.h by L. Ross Raszewski.

Fans of interactive fiction will probably enjoy the newsgroups and, and also the website, which has all kinds of stuff related to interactive fiction.

This version of Internal Documents is my entry to the 2003 Interactive Fiction competition (see Please direct any complaints, accusations, and other correspondence to email redacted. If you like this game, you might also like some of my other artwork on my website

No animals were harmed in the making of this text adventure.


Internal Documents: A Memo is freeware for the IF Comp 2003, but copyrighted. Distribute far and wide. Have a ball, but don't change the files.

Copyright 2003 by Tom Lechner



The SCORE command has been rendered useless:

You have achieved a score of 0 out of a possible large-random-number in random-number turns.

I note that this doesn't match the Score and Moves in the status line at all. However, when I first played, my final score was 626 out of 636, suggesting the game is keeping track of a score, and is honest about your score when you win the game.

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with