Key & Compass presents:
John's Fire Witch
by John T Baker II

John's Fire Witch is a TADS 2 shareware interactive fiction game and is © 1995 by John T Baker II.

You play as a friend of John Baker. He didn't show up for a pizza-and-beer night, so you go to his place, let yourself in, and wait overnight for him but he's still missing. Searching his place, you learn there's a new hole in his basement and that he's been dreaming of a fire witch trapped by an ice wizard. Could John really have gone down into that hole to rescue his fire witch?

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Version 1.01 of the game.


u jump BlueCrystalGrotto John'sBedroom Patio Landing Bathroom DiningArea Kitchen LivingRoom HollowSpace Basement Red RobinRoad LongTunnel(1) CellBlock EasternCell Safe Room SideCorridor LongTunnel(2) SouthernCell LongTunnel(3) VaultRoom InsidetheVault WestLedge Disk EastLedge LongTunnel(4) GoblinRoom Devil'sTask Room PedestalRoom Ice Bridge(1) Ice Bridge(2) Ice Bridge(3) Fire Room Engulfedin Flames GreenCrystalGrotto (NorthernCell) TrophyRoom u d d u d jump jump jump RedCrystalGrotto


Living Room

Because there's an inventory limit, we won't be picking up everything just yet. Explore the house first.

> license. i. (carrying nothing)

> x junk. s.

Red Robin Road

CAUTION: Stay out here too long and you'll freeze to death.

> x snow. n. n.

Dining Area

> read letter. (mentions hole in basement.)

> x table. e.


> x typed letter. read it. x pan.

> open oven. (smells of herring) open fridge. (empty)

> n.


CAUTION: Again, it's too cold to be outside.

> s. w. s. u.


CAUTION: Anything put into the chute gets trapped inside and lost forever.

> x chute. n.

John's Bedroom

> x clothes. search clothes. g. g.

> x card. take it. x picture. take it. x modem.

> x bed. look under bed. take battery and book.

> x battery. x book. read book.

The book is a diary. John has dreamt about an ice wizard who has imprisoned a fire witch. He thinks he can find her by rubbing a magic crystal card and saying "necken-sway".

> s. e.


> x flashlight. take it. put battery in it.

> w. d. d.


> x board. take it. x hole. w.

Hollow Space

> turn on light. d.

Red Crystal Grotto

This is a useful place, but there's nothing to actually do here.

> s. e.

Cell Block

> x northern cell. x ice. (John's frozen inside it!)

> x John. e.

Eastern Cell

> w. (like pushing through molasses to get back out)

Cell Block

> s.

Southern Cell

> n. (Again, it takes effort to leave.)

Cell Block

> w. s. w.

Side Corridor

Normally, I wouldn't have a learn-by-dying sequence in a walkthrough, but this is the only reasonable way to learn what this archway does.

> x archway. w. (You are teleported to...)

Eastern Cell

> w. (Ice forms around you and you die days later.)

*** You have died ***

> undo. undo.

Side Corridor

> e. s.

Long Tunnel (3)

> x pit. (Deep and spikey.)

> e.

Vault Room

> x rod. read it. ("tar-molay") take it.

> x door. (Three dials from 1 to 36.)

> x dials. (17-32-9, initially)

> w.

Long Tunnel (3)

The trick to getting across the pit the first time is to drop everything except the flashlight and the card.

> put board on pit. (Isn't long enough.)

> drop all but light and card. jump over pit. (Barely make it.)

Long Tunnel (4)

> s. s.

Devil's Task Room

> x devil. x bridge.

> ask devil about devil. ask devil about bridge.

> s. ask devil about task. (+1)

You get a magic bag that you must fill with all the sins and nothing but sins. Give the full bag to him and then he'll let you cross. Otherwise he gets your soul.

> take bag. x it.

> ask devil about sin.

Time to use your crystal card to teleport. You've now seen two crystal grottos, one on either side of the pit. The plan is to port back to the red grotto, fill your bag with stuff from the house, collect your dropped stuff, then port to the blue grotto to get across the pit.

The card should be currently blue. Rub it until it is red, then say the magic word:

> rub card. g. say "necken-sway".

Red Crystal Grotto

> u. e. u.

Living Room

> put junk in bag. n.

Dining Room

> put letter in bag. e.


> put typed letter in bag. put pan in bag.

> w. s. d. w. d. s. s. s.

Long Tunnel (3)

> put picture and book in bag.

> take rod and board.

> rub card. (It should now be blue.)

> say "necken-sway".

Blue Crystal Grotto

> n. w.

East Ledge

This is a good time to save your game.

> save. jump.


You want to jump while the disk is swinging west.

> swing disk. (It's swinging east.)

> z. z. jump.

West Ledge

> s. s.

Goblin Room

CAUTION: The goblin is hostile and will attack with its talons!

> x goblin. x key.

> kill goblin with board. g. (Repeat until the goblin is dead.)

> x goblin. take key.

> s.

Pedestal Room

> x gem. take gem. (+1)

Teleport to the blue grotto.

> rub card. g. g. (It's now blue.)

> say "necken-sway".

Blue Crystal Grotto

> s.

Devil's Task Room

You should have six of the seven sins in the bag: some junk (Sloth), a handwritten letter (Wrath), a typed letter (Greed), a big pan (Gluttony), a picture (Lust), and a book (Envy). Make sure there's nothing else in there.

> give bag to devil. put devil in bag. (+2)

> x ash. read scroll.

At 150 turns, you will need to sleep. Head back to John's bed before then:

> rub card. g. g. say "necken-sway".

Red Crystal Grotto

> u. e. u. u. n.

John's Bedroom

> get on bed.

> z. (Continue wait until you're tired, at turn 150.)

> sleep.

You have a dream about the witch, who gives you a slip of paper.

> stand. i. read slip. (You'll read a randomized combination, eg: "8-27-9".)

> say "necken-sway".

Red Crystal Grotto

> s. s. s. e.

Vault Room

Using the slip of paper's combo:

> turn first dial to FIRST-NUMBER.

> turn second dial to SECOND-NUMBER.

> turn third dial to THIRD-NUMBER.

> save. open door.

You have released a demon! It will chase you! Run to the archway, and trap it in a cell:

> w. n. w. w. (+1)

Eastern Cell

Save yourself by teleporting:

> say "necken-sway".

Red Crystal Grotto

> s. e.

Cell Block

> x southern ice. x demon.

> w. s. s. e. e.

Inside the Vault

> x red gem. take it. (+1)

Now go through the archway twice more to finally get past it:

> w. w. n. w. w.

Eastern Cell

Save yourself yet again:

> say "necken-sway".

Red Crystal Grotto

> s. s. w. w. (+2)

Safe Room

> x safe. unlock safe with key. open safe.

> take bottle. x it. x ring.

CAUTION: Don't break the bottle here. There's a poison gas inside with the ring.

> e. e. s.

Long Tunnel (3)

> put bottle in pit. (It breaks down below.)

> wave wand. say "tar-molay". (The ring is pulled up, magnetically.)

> take ring.

> rub card. say "necken-sway".

Blue Crystal Grotto

> s. s.

Ice Bridge (1)

Ack! It's cold. Back up.

> n.

Devil's Task Room

> put red gem in ring. wear ring. (The ring now provides warmth.)

> s. s. s. s.

Fire Room

Swap gems in the ring.

> take red gem. put blue gem in ring. (Now it'll keep you cool.)

> s. e.

Trophy Room

The Ice Wizard starts stealing your items!

> x wizard. x obelisk. x crystal card.

If necessary, continue to wait until the wizard has the crystal card, then:

> say "necken-sway". (+2)

The Ice Wizard is trapped and the Fire Witch is freed. Oh, and John, too.

*** You Have Won! ***





John's Fire Witch, A Snack-Sized Text Adventure Developed With TADS

First of all, let's hear it for guys like Mike Roberts and Graham Nelson, who with tremendous programs like TADS and Inform have made it possible for people to write text adventures with a minimum amount of effort.

Let's not forget Volker Blasius for maintaining the interactive fiction archive site at

Thanks also to Larry's, a most wonderful bar on High Street near The Ohio State University. I have spent many a happy night there basking in the counter-culture, drinking brews with some great friends and mulling over this game and its coming (darker and more serious) sequel.

Also thanks to all of the people on the following list. They helped me immensely by spotting bugs and typos.

  • Mark Bruce
  • Robert Dickau
  • Paul David Doherty
  • Shelley Elkins
  • David Gilbert
  • Diane Herndon
  • Kevin Min
  • Mike Patton
  • Craig Pennington
  • Julie Taylor
  • Philip Wilson



Note: You have an inventory limit of nine items unless you have the small bag to put things in.


In a total of several turns, you have achieved a score of your-score points out of a possible 10.

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with