Key & Compass presents:
by Esa Peuha

Koan is a Z-machine 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 5 and is by Esa Peuha. It was released in 2002 without copyright. It was entered in IF Comp 2002 where it took 35th place.

You play as a nondescript person standing in an abstract plain. Your task is merely to break the slab in the South Location.

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


NorthwestLocation NorthLocation NortheastLocation WestLocation MiddleLocation EastLocation SouthwestLocation SouthLocation SoutheastLocation


The game is very simple. It can be won in three turns:

> jump. s. put fracture on slab. (win!)

Not much of a walkthrough, eh? Okay, I can improve on that. A bit. But let me say a few things first.

First of all, there's a bug at the beginning. The pot is not supposed to crack until it leaves the pillar, but the pot never appears without the fracture, even at the very beginning of the game.

Secondly, the game suggests to try unconventional actions, but doesn't handle any but the one it has in mind. So attempts to throw things at the pot, breaking the pot on purpose, flying, talking to the pot, praying, shaking the pillar, etc. are not anticipated.

Thirdly, the game hasn't even been tested for normal play, and thus the standard messages can be misleading, untruthful even, eg:

>put pot on slab
Putting things on the stone slab would achieve nothing.

>put fracture on pillar
You need to be holding the fracture before you can put it on top of something else.

Anyway, here's the extended walkthrough:

> i. x pillar. x pot. take pot. x fracture. s.

> x slab. break slab. e.

> x writing. n.

> x ladder. take it. n.

> x writing. w.

> x pole. take it. w.

> x writing. s.

> x crate. open it. take it. s.

> x writing. ne. drop all. save.

I know of five ways to get the pot; choose one:

> jump.or

> climb pillar. take pot.or

> take pot with pole. take pot.or

> stand on crate. take pot.or

> put ladder on pillar. climb ladder. take pot.

And now the pot has (still) its fracture. At this point, the writings at the four corners of the game geography are your only clues to figuring out this particular action. You either understand it or you don't.

> s. put fracture on slab. (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.