Key & Compass presents:
by Matt Rohde

Katana is a TADS 2 interactive fiction game and is © 2002 by Matt Rohde.

You play as an American tourist visiting Shinobu Palace in Japan hoping to learn more about your ancestor, Matsuo Kaneiji, an infamous samurai executed for treason. Through several puzzles and flashbacks, you (with the gods' help!) will explore his life and correct an ancient wrong.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on version 1.0 of the game.


Part 1: Outside the Palace

ShinobuPalacegate Koi pond,westernshore Pond(on thepond) On thesteps Foot-bridge Pond(under thebridge) Pond(easternend) Campsite Peacefulmeadow Koi pond,southernshore Rockgarden(Northwest) Rockgarden(Northeast) Deerglade Pinetrail ShinobuParkentrance Shadypath Rockgarden(West) Smallisland Tombentrance Ante-chamber Oakgrove ThickBranch Forkin thetree Topof thetree Rockgarden(Southwest) Rockgarden(Southeast) Burialchamber PalaceInterior launchraft u launchraft d

Shinobu Park entrance

> info. footnote 1.

> x me. i. x camera. x wallet. look in it.

> x gum. x checks. footnote 2.

> x can. x garbage. search it. (+2 pts)

> x paperback. take it. read it. n.

Koi pond, southern shore

> x pond. x koi. x lotus. n.


> x pond. x flash. x bridge. n.

On the steps

> x steps. x hill. x gate. x statues. n.

Shinobu Palace gate

> x palace. x gate. open it. x keyhole.

> x sign. read it. x stick. take it.

> x watchtowers. x statue. x axe. x steps.

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

Peaceful meadow

The vendor is semi-helpful if you show her things that you've found. You cannot, however, ask her about topics directly very much.

> x pines. x flowers. x vendor. x cart. photograph vendor.

> x biscuits. buy biscuits. (cash only!)

> ask vendor about biscuits. ask vendor about palace.

> read paperback. w.

Deer glade

Note that the buck and the rest of the deer are two different objects in the game. You won't be able to feed the buck and get the textbook until you've scared off the deer, but that comes later.

> x deer. x buck. x textbook. take it. x page. read it.

> x fence. e. n.

Koi pond, western shore

You'll need the walking stick in order to launch the raft.

> x pond. x reeds. listen. x birds. search reeds. (+2 pts)

> x raft. enter raft. launch raft.

Pond (on the pond)

> look. e.

Pond (under the bridge)

> x shiny. take gum. chew it. put gum on stick. take coin with stick.

> look. take coin. x coin. e.

Pond (eastern end)

> e.

Camp site

Here's where you find a can of kerosene.

> x pit. x ashes. search ashes. x can. take it.

> enter raft. launch raft. w. w. w. s.

Peaceful meadow

Now that you have the coin, buy a packet of biscuits. Examine the packet elsewhere; the game can't disambiguate properly here.

> buy biscuits. (+2 pts) w.

Deer glade

WARNING: Do not give the entire packet to the deer.

> x packet. take biscuit. give biscuit to deer. (You auto-retreat to meadow.)

Peaceful meadow

> s.

Oak grove

You can't climb the tree while holding the walking stick. You cannot just go "up"; you must "climb tree" or "climb oak".

> x tree. drop stick. climb tree.

Thick branch

You want the cup-like nest, but the ring cannot be taken.

> x nest. look in it. search it. x ring. take ring. take nest. climb oak.

Fork in the tree

The unbelievable amount of detail in this carving is necessary to know for solving as-yet-unseen puzzles.

> x carving. x woman. x flower. x instrument. x fretboard. (pressing middle of fretboard while plucking the third string)

> climb oak.

Top of the tree

> x view. x kite. x branches. shake branches. (+2 pts)

> d. d. d.

Oak grove

> take all. x kite. fix kite. n. e. e. n.

Koi pond, southern shore

> fill nest with water. s. e.

Shady path

> x stones. x trees. x blossoms. e.

Rock garden (West)

> x garden. x flagstones. x island. e.

Small island

> x slab. x building. nw.

Rock garden (Northwest)

The northwest statue depicts the dragon god Ryujin.

> x statue. x writing. x fire. x sand. se. ne.

Rock garden (Northeast)

The northeast statue depicts the demon god Fujin.

> x statue. x writing. sw. sw.

Rock garden (Southwest)

The southwest statue depicts the god Onamuji. The sand isn't as nice here.

> x dirt. x statue. x writing. ne. se.

Rock garden (Southeast)

The southeast statue depicts the god Fudo.

> x statue. x writing. x coals.

> pour kerosene on coals. nw. e.

Tomb entrance

> x building. x sand. x door.

To open the tomb, you will need to bring the appropriate elements to each of the four corners of the rock garden. This means you must extinguish the three existing flames in three different ways, and bring fire to the fourth corner. If you put out a fire incorrectly, blow on the hot coals to reignite it.

> w. sw.

Rock garden (Southwest)

Your traveler's checks are burnable; note that your paperback is too soggy. In fact, the checks are the only things you carry that can burn.

> take check. light single with fire. ne. se.

Rock garden (Southeast)

The coals won't catch fire unless you've poured kerosene on them earlier.

> light coals with single. nw.

Small island

> x slab. (The symbol for fire is now on the slab. And the fire symbol is no longer on the tomb door. One down, three to go.)

> nw.

Rock garden (Northwest)

> pour water on fire. se. ne.

Rock garden (Northeast)

> blow fire. sw. sw.

Rock garden (Southwest)

> take sand. put sand on fire. ne. e.

Tomb entrance

> e. (+10 pts)


> x key. take it. x dust. clean dust. clean dust with kite.

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

Koi pond, southern shore

> put kite in water. s. e. e. e. e. e.


> clean dust with kite. (+2 pts)

> x paintings. x north. (bearded figure with mirror)

> x south. (laughing, dancing woman)

> x east. (woman in front of sun)

CAUTION: During this gods and goddesses sequence, your regular inventory items will vanish until you complete the sequence. You might want to look at the page you got from the deer first.

Note that in all the godly flashbacks, you can return to the antechamber by leaving in any direction. When you complete a godly flashback, you'll return to the antechamber automatically.

> touch south.

Outside the cave (as Uzume)

As Uzume, you're scared of Susanowa. You can't dance while Susanowa is here, and the other gods are in the way of the tree, so you can't put the mirror on the tree by yourself.

> x me. i. x tree. x gods. x mirror. x stone. x cave.

> give mirror to susanowa. dance. dance. dance.


> touch north.

Outside the cave (as Susanowa)

As Susanowa, you can't take the mirror from Uzume; she must give it to you first.

> x me. x uzume. i. put mirror on tree.


> touch east.

Inside the cave (as Amaterasu)

As Amaterasu, you won't want to move the boulder until you hear the gods enjoying Uzume's dancing. And unless the mirror is hung in the tree, you won't fully come out of the cave.

> x me. listen. x boulder. move it. (+10 pts)


> i. x stairway. x sun. d.

Burial chamber

> x coffin. read it. open it. look in it.

> x katana. take it.

Throne room (as Kaneiji)

A flashback...

> x me. i. x katana. look. x shinobu. x throne. x flames.

> kill shinobu. (Kaneiji doesn't succeed. He is captured and has been betrayed...)

Burial chamber

...then the flashback ends and you are back as yourself in the burial chamber.)

> u. w. w. w. w. w. w. w. w.

Deer glade

The textbook has some disambiguation problems, for example, if you try to "look up fudo" when you're beside the Fudo statue. The command "x entry" will reveal all the textbook entries by way of a very long disambiguation question.

> take biscuit. wave katana at deer. (+2 pts)

> give biscuit to buck. (+5 pts)

> take textbook. read it. look up susanowa. look up uzume.

> look up onamuji. look up fudo. look up ryujin. look up fujin.

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

Shinobu Palace gate

You need both the key and the katana for this sequence to work for you.

> unlock gate. kill statue. (+5 pts)

> x rubble. open gate. n.

Part 2: Palace Courtyard and Watchtowers

Darkness Darktunnel Throneroom ShinobuPalacegate climbvines u Top ofwest wall Top ofeast wall Watchtower(southwest) Watchtower(southeast) WatchtowerSouth (westof gate) WatchtowerSouth (eastof gate) Smallcavern Garden Westlawn Courtyard Eastlawn Outsidegranary Outsidetemple Under-ground Granary Quiettemple d u d
>look up shijiki
SHIJIKI-FUJUKIN: A group of seven Japanese Shinto gods of luck. They are often portrayed in a ship of treasures called Takara-Bune. The Shijiki-Fujukin( "seven happiness beings") are: Benten, Bishamon, Daikoku, Ebisu, Fukurokuju, Hotei, and Jurojin. At Sanganichi, the Japanese New Year, people pray to them after cleaning their houses thoroughly.


> x reflecting pool. x water. x algae. x ship.

> look up takara-bune. look up shijiki.

About this time, the sun noticeably sinks further; it's getting late in the day.

The Takara-Bune normally has these treasures: the Inexhaustible Purse, the Invisible Hat, the Lucky Coat, the Wealth Mallet, the Ghost-Chasing Rat, the Full Bag of Rice, and the Magic Key. You can't look any of the treasures up, but you should look up every god listed in the Shijiki-Fujukin entry:

> look up benten. look up bishamon. look up daikoku. look up ebisu.

> look up fukurokuju. look up hotei. look up jurojin.

> x sun. x wall. w.

West lawn

The shrine's statue is Hotei.

> x stage. x shrine. x statue. x bag.

> laugh. read paperback.

West lawn (at the puppet show)

> look. x crowd. x show. x puppets. x puppeteers.

> listen. x performer. x musician. x biwa player. w.


> x woman. x crowd. w.


The orchid was in the carving, and mentioned at least one other time since.

> x flowers. take flower. take orchid. e.


> give orchid to woman. ("What is your name?" ... "Gio," she says softly.)

West lawn

> look. x statue. x purse. w.


You can climb the vines to get to "Top of west wall".

> x weeds. search weeds. x creepers. climb vines.

Top of west wall

CAUTION: You will die if you jump.

> x wall. s.

Watchtower (southwest)

> x granary. se.

Watchtower South (west of gate)

> x view. e.

Watchtower South (east of gate)

> x view. ne.

Watchtower (southeast)

> x view. n.

Top of east wall

There's a extra hint for this hiding in "look up bishamon".

> x view. x wall. x stone.

> x battlements. x grooves. x katana. put katana in grooves. x katana.

> s. sw. w. nw. n. d. e. e. sw.

Outside granary

> x buildings. x building. sw.


The shrine's statue is Daikoku.

> x altar. x large jar. x small jar. x sand. x hole. x shrine. x statue.

This is a classic measuring jars puzzle. You need to put exactly 4 units of sand ("rice") in the hole with only a 5-unit jar and a 3-unit jar.

> fill large. pour large in small. empty small. pour large in small.

> fill large. pour large in small. x large. pour large in hole.

A passage has opened downwards, but first...

Rice paddy, Yumo province

> x me. i. look. x meigi. x men. x horsemen. x rice. x sun.

> x road. (Meigi should start a conversation about now; he'll tell you that the daimyo is interested in Gio.)

> z. z. z. z. z. z. men, attack riders.


> kill bandit. dismount. kill warhorse. (You capture Ryuko Matzumu.)


> x shrine. x statue. i. x model bag.

> d. n.

Dark tunnel

> x boulder. push it. g. n.


> push boulder. n. (You need light to get past here.)

> s. s. u. ne. ne. se.

Outside temple

> se.

Quiet temple

The shrine's statue is Jurojin.

> x spider. take it. x shrine. x statue.

> meditate. g. g. g. g. g. g. g. g. g. g. g. g.

Quiet temple

> x me. i. listen. nw.

Outside temple

> listen. nw.


> s.


> n. (Repeat wandering about or trying any other actions. In about ten turns, you should stumble upon a flute.)

> x flute. take it. play it. (You hear a biwa answer you to the south.)

> s. play flute. (This time, the biwa is northwest.)

> nw. play flute. (The biwa is east.)

> e. play flute. (Now southwest.)

> sw.

Oak grove

> x oak. x shape. climb oak.

Tree top

> x Gio. x knife. take knife. carve tree. ("Meet me by the pond tomorrow, Kaneiji...")

Quiet temple

> look. x statue. x hat. nw. nw. e.

East lawn

The shrine's statue is Bishamon.

> x barracks. x dummy. x shrine. x statue. x spear. x demons.

> look up entry Bishamon.

> look up entry Oni. search demons. x parchment. x diagram.

> lark dummy. (This won't work unless your katana has been sharpened.)

Battleground (Buke Pass)

> x me. i. look. x head. x meigi. kill matzumu. take head.

> x snow. x ledges. yell. men, yell.

> x avalanche. e.

Dark crevasse

> e.

Snow-covered field

> x platoon. z. (wait until Meigi arrives.)

> z. (wait until Meigi suggests that you were set up, that one of your men must be a spy, on orders from daimyo Shinobu himself, because of your love for Gio.)

East lawn

> look. x statue. x mallet. w.


> put hat in ship. (+10 pts)

> put bag in ship. (+10 pts)

> put purse in ship. (+10 pts)

> put mallet in ship. (+10 pts)

With the fourth item in the ship, the gate slams shut and a ghostly apparation calling Kaneiji's name appears. Note that the ghost glows. Its light will be enough to let you go through the rest of the secret tunnel.

> x ghost. touch ghost. s.

> ghost, follow me.

> sw. sw. d. n. n. n.

Small cavern

The ladder is one-way. If you try to go down again, it will break, but you manage to "grab the floor just in time".

> x trapdoor. open it. get on boulder. open trapdoor. open trapdoor with stick.

> x ladder. u.

Part 3: Palace Interior

Throneroom Northlawn Reflectingpools Shrine Outsidelibrary Library

Throne room

> x sheeting. move it. x throne. x jewels. x carvings.

> x table. x chair. x pillow. take pillow. (This pillow is HUGE.)

> x scaffolding. x platform.

> push pillow. drop stick. climb scaffolding.

Platform (on the scaffolding)

> x bucket. x cement. push bucket. (+2 pts. It lands on the pillow.)

> x plank. d.

Throne room

> take bucket. s.

North lawn

> x grass. x arches. s.


The shrine's statue is Benten. We can't solve this shrine's puzzle until we've solved the other remaining two first. The ghost will get stronger once we get two more tokens from the shrines. Note that the ghost stays here and stops following you.

> x statue. x biwa. x mat. x ghost. w.

Reflecting pools

> x sign. read sign. look up chowa. x moon.

> x shrine. x statue. look up entry Ebisu.

> x small pool. x large pool.

> x pole. x line. pull line. x hook. footnote 4.

> x yellow fish. x blue fish. x green fish.

It's important to transport the fish in this order, or they'll kill each other. Refer to the fishes by their sizes, in case the colours are randomized per game. The large and small fish get along with each other; the medium fish is only safe with both of the others.

> put bucket in large pool.

> put medium fish in bucket. put medium fish in large pool.

> put large fish in bucket. put large fish in large pool.

> put medium fish in bucket. put medium fish in small pool.

> put small fish in bucket. put small fish in large pool.

> put medium fish in bucket. put medium fish in large pool.

Reflecting pools

> x me. look. x Gio.

> z. (wait or try other actions until Gio tells you she's pregnant.)

> z. (wait until you tell Gio that after you quell the uprising in Buke, you two will run away from Shinobu.)

Reflecting pools

> look. x statue. x coat. e. e.

Outside library

> x library. e.


The shrine's statue is Fukurokuju.

> x shelves. x scrolls. x tree. read it.

> x shrine. x statue. x shelf 1618. look.

> x kato. x murakami. x ryusui. x basho. x takehama. x maresuke.

> x tsuji. (Ah. By Gio Tsuji. This is the important scroll.)

> x nest. x red nest. x orange nest. x yellow nest. x green nest. x blue nest.

> x raven. x dove. x owl. x marble crow. x swan.

Follow the directions on Gio's poem. There's a lot of things wrong with this puzzle, but at the very least, I'd suggest getting rid of the garish rainbow colours for telling the nests apart.

> take marble crow. put it in red nest.

> take swan. put it in orange nest.

> take raven. put it in yellow nest.

> take owl. put it in green nest.

> take dove. put it in blue nest.

> west. (Yes, you solved the puzzle, and yeah, nothing happens until you go west. Boo hiss.)


> x me. i. x torch. look. burn tree.

Outside Library

> x meigi. z. (Meigi says Gio hasn't been found, and is worried by the absence of the palace guard. You tell Meigi to spread the word: "We will attack at once.")


> look. x statue. x rat. w. w.


The "music" is the parchment in the case.

> x ghost. x glass. x music. x biwa.

Note that there are five frets and four strings. Remember the carving on the oak tree? The fingering you learned there (pressing middle of fretboard while plucking the third string), is what should go in the smudged portion of the musical score. The middle fret is the mountain.

> push mountain. play third string.

> push flame. play first string.

> push coin. play fourth string.


> x me. i. look. x window. x straw. search it. x object.

> x hole. x door. x cockroach.

> stand. z. z. z. (Wait until someone something through the window.)

> look. take package. x it. open it.

> x katana. x cloth. take it. z. z. (Wait until footsteps at your cell door and they open the door.)

> kill guards. e.

Palace dungeon

> s. s. (Continue moving until alarm sounded.)

> z. (Wait until Ryuko appears.)

> kill ryuko. g. g. g. g. (until he is dead.)

> s. s. s. (Continue moving until soldiers have you surrounded.)

> kill soldiers. kill me. (Gio runs in. "Why, my love? Why?")


> x warrior. x orchid. x statue. (You get a key. Wind! Crashing noises! Warrior goes south.)

> x model key. s.


> x mist. put coat in ship. (+10 pts) put rat in ship. (+10 pts) put model key in ship. (+10 pts)

The ship increases in size, forms appear on the deck, and a rope ladder is tossed over. Time to leave normal reality. ALL ABOARD!

> x ship. x figures. climb ladder.

Part 4: The Ghost Ship

fore Ghost ship,on the bow Ghost ship,main deck aft

Ghost ship, on the bow

> x gods. x god ebisu. x god daikoku. x god hotei.

> x god fukurokuju. x god jurojin. x god bishamon. x god benten.

> aft.

Ghost ship, main deck

It looks like it's up to you to steer this ship somewhere.

> x warrior. x wheel. x post. x kanji. (water, wind, fire, and earth)

> turn wheel. (It won't turn.)

> give katana to warrior. (+10 pts) photograph warrior.

> touch fire. (The fog is replaced by a barren plain.)

> touch earth. (A mountain forms.)

> touch water symbol. (Water fills the plain, leaving a mountainous island.)

> touch wind. (Wind, a mast, and a sail appear.)

> x mast. x sail. x sky. x ocean. x island. turn wheel.

> z. z. z. z. z. (A black skiff approaches with a hooded figure. It docks with you.)

> fore. d.

Benten gives you something and the rest of your inventory vanishes.

On the skiff

> i. x paper ship. x pilot. x skiff. x island. (You land, but the figure won't let you disembark.)

> look. x torch. burn paper with torch. look.

> x coat. x rat. x bag. x key. x mallet. x hat. x purse.

It is soon obvious that you can only carry one of these new items at a time. But first, we need to pay the pilot for his service.

> take mallet. wave it. drop it. x coins. take coins. give coins to figure.

Part 5: Island of the Dead

Yomi(TheUnderworld) Ama-No-Uki-Hashi(The Bridge to Heaven) ShinobuParkentrance Altarroom Narrowledge Footof themountain Northforest Forestof theDamned Forestof theDamned Forestof theDamned Forestof theDamned Darkforest(clearing) Forestof theDamned Forestof theDamned Forestbridge Forestof theDamned Island ofthe Dead(Bone shore) Eastshore d s u climb mountain n (to clearing)

Island of the Dead (Bone shore)

> x mountain. x ocean. x forest. x bones. climb mountain.

East shore

Death works differently in the land of the dead. After you die and arrive here at least once, you can take the crystal skull, leaving a gap. However, this wrecks the cairn's ability to bring you back from the dead and you can die for real, so be careful.

> stand. x mound. x glow. x crystal skull. take it. x mound. x gap. w. n.

Forest bridge

With the crystal skull out of place, you do not want to mess with the demon.

> x demon. x bridge. x river. s.

Island of the Dead (Bone shore)

> take hat. wear hat. n. n. (The hat makes you invisible to others, like the demon.)

Dark forest (clearing)

> x mound. x gap. x mountain. put skull in gap. s. s.

Island of the Dead (Bone shore)

Now put everything in the purse, take it, walk up to the demon, and he'll kill you, but you and your purse will end up at the forest mound, past him.

> put hat in purse. take purse.

> put coat in purse. put key in purse. put mallet in purse.

> put bag in purse. put rat in purse. n. n.

Dark forest (clearing)

> stand. look in purse. enter purse.

Inside the purse

Cool, eh? It's a whole portable world in here. The exit is "out" or "up".

> take rat. out. n.

Forest of the Damned

There is no exit from the Forest of the Damned, and you'll be killed by ghosts in three or four turns unless you carry the Ghost-Chasing Rat. The rat must be in your inventory. It does you no good if you drop it on the ground here.

> n. n. n. (Continue going north until the rat chases the ghosts and you find the North forest.)

North forest

hm. Better go back and get your stuff.

> x birches. x mist. s. take purse. n. n.

The only way to find a way through the mist is to be lucky, so wear the Lucky Coat.

> enter purse. take coat. wear it. out.

> n. look. x orchid. take orchid. x underbrush.

> put coat in purse. take purse. nw.

Foot of the mountain

The crows will peck at you, preventing you from climbing the mountain. They can see you even if you're wearing the invisibility hat. Use the full bag of rice.

> x crows. x mountain. enter purse. take bag. u. pour rice.

> x crows. take purse. climb mountain.

Narrow ledge

> w.

Altar room

> x katana. x statue. x carvings. put katana in purse.

For an extra point, you can use the katana and hat to kill the demon on the bridge:

> enter purse. take katana. take hat. wear hat. out.

> e. d. se. s. s. kill demon. (+1 pt)

> n. n. n. nw. climb mountain. w. put hat in purse. take purse.

Whatever you put on the altar vanishes, never to return here. The vanishing doesn't happen immediately, so you have time to enter the purse after putting it on the altar, which lets you go to wherever the offerings go. If you lose the purse instead, you're stuck, and you'll hear a woman's voice wail in anguish.

> put purse on altar. enter purse. z. u.

Yomi (The Underworld)

Make sure you have the orchid in your inventory beforehand; when the third post is unlocked, you'll lose the purse and all chance to get anything from it.

> x woman. x chains. x collar. x posts. x iron post.

> enter purse. take key. u.

> unlock iron post.

Outside the herbalist's

Events happen on their own; just waiting will eventually trigger them.

> x me. x kimono. look. x makumura. touch makumura. (Gio decides to keep her baby.)

Yomi (The Underworld)

> unlock steel post.

Throne room

Events happen on their own; just waiting will eventually trigger them.

> x me. x kimono. i. x letter. read it.

> look. x throne. x shinobu. x cane. x torches. x furniture. x door.

By now, Shinobu has dismissed his servants. It's just the two of you here.

> z. (Gio tells Shinobu that Kaneiji survived, and hands over the letter as proof. Gio asks Shinobu to spare him; he promises her that.)

Yomi (The Underworld)

> unlock bronze post.

Palace dungeon

> x me. x kimono. i. look. n.


> x wood. x mattress. x hole. x cockroach. x window. x corpses. s.

Palace dungeon

There is some randomness in this; be persistent.

> s. x body. s. x soldiers. push soldiers. (Gio prays to the gods of the treasure ship to make this right, somehow.)

Yomi (The Underworld)

> look.

When all three posts are unlocked and gone, everything changes...

Ama-No-Uki-Hashi (The Bridge to Heaven)

There's not much to do here except witness the happy lovers reunite. Enjoy.

> x warrior. (The dried orchid he was wearing on his breastplate is gone.)

> x bridge. x stars. x mist. z. (Wait until Gio appears. You'll see several images of their future. You'll automatically put the orchid in Gio's hair; the game assumes you're still carrying it.) (+10 pts)

Shinobu Park entrance

Hey! HEY! Where's my camera? Do you have any idea how much that cost?

> s. (win!)

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough is provided free of charge since I wrote this walkthrough prior to January 2015 when I began my Patreon account. I've since reformatted this walkthrough to use my currently preferred style. I hope you enjoy it!

I'm still creating new walkthroughs! Please visit my Patreon account if you're interested in helping me create more interactive fiction walkthroughs. I appreciate all the help I can get! Thanks again.