Key & Compass presents:
Koustrea's Contentment
by Jeremy Pflasterer

Koustrea's Contentment is a TADS 3 interactive fiction game and is © 2015 by Jeremy Pflasterer. It was entered in IF Comp 2015 where it took 15th place.

You play as someone named Koustrea. You have arrived via a one-way blue curtain to a curious house built inside a mountain, where the inhabitants have settled into various spots of singular interest and the long passage of time is reckoned by football seasons. Will the Golden Door ever open? And where will you, Koustrea, find contentment?

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Version 1.03 of the game.


Map 1: Roof and Exterior

UnfinishedRoom (die) CalderaView Patio Rooftop EasternLedge SouthernLedge PathCorner Valley MarbleRoad

Map 2: Upstairs

d e/u x u MusicRoom Bedroom Library Temple Kitchen BreakfastRoom Hallway ArtRoom UnfinishedRoom w/d se/d nw/u d Patio CellarCave Garden StoneFoyer

Map 3: Ground Floor

se/d u Garden MarbleHall StoneFoyer MarbleHall MarbleHall Bar(among thetables) GameRoom Bar Hallway CellarCave (golden doornever opens) (near theGoldenDoor) (waitingarea) (near thebluecurtain) (blue curtainnever opens) nw/u d x

Map 4: Cellars

CellarCave Garden d CrampedOffice CellarCave CellarCave CellarCave u


Marble Hall (near the blue curtain)

My immediate impression, since I didn't read the competition entry blurb about everyone being immortal, was that I'd arrived in some afterlife zone. The entire Marble Hall certainly had that purgatory-feel to it for me.

I also don't know what gender Koustrea is; all we ever learn about Koustrea is their name and that the house's inhabitants were expecting Koustrea to arrive. It's not even clear if anyone, including Koustrea, remembers what their past history was prior to their arrival at the house.

> about. (Special command: WAIT LONGER or ZZ for short.)

> x me. i.

> x curtain. touch it.

> x marble. x geode. x cracks. x door.

> n.

Marble Hall (waiting area)

As I played, I originally felt Draydee was the most pathetic character, just waiting on a bench forever, doing nothing with her life but wait. Later on, I had to revise my opinion: everyone else was just as pathetic as Draydee was. But at least they're all friendly, mostly.

Also, this mural is one sneaky misleading hint on what to do. I kept coming back to this mural while playing, trying to eke out some hidden meaning to it. Everyone in the house agrees that the mural depicts a journey from blue curtain to golden door, and that's what I thought too. But that's not what it means, oh no. That blue rectangle? It does not represent the blue curtain. That yellow rectangle? It does not represent the golden door. But I didn't understand the mural until after I finished the game.

Note: You can abbreviate "Draydee" to "Dray" in your commands.

> x Draydee. x bench. x table. x lamp. x shadows.

> x mural. x owl. x constellation.

> a herself. a mural. a golden door. a curtain.

> a bench. a table. a lamp.

> x doors. close doors. x mirrors. x knob. touch mirror.

> n.

Marble Hall (near the Golden Door)

Uh, we're gonna examine these panels 30 times, okay? Seriously. You, dear player, don't need to pay attention, but Koustrea needs to know these panels.

> x golden door. (six-by-five grid of panels, each with an image.)

> x panels. g. g. g. g.

> g. g. g. g. g.

> g. g. g. g. g.

> g. g. g. g. g.

> g. g. g. g. g.

> g. g. g. g. g.

The game tells you when you've noticed all thirty, which is nice of it.

The panels are: plant, can opener, book, trumpet, armchair, face, pinball machine, globe, scissors, windows, birdbath, meditation symbol, iconic shirt bearing the number 19, pashvod, jukebox, iconic sun, suit of armor, airfish, textured square, volcano, dartboard, long-handled paintbrush, owl, cube, tin can, desk lamp, rope with grappling hook, bed, iconic televison, and waveform.

You can push these panels, but until you know which to push, why bother?

Most of these items appear in the game. I think the "windows" one might be the Golden Door itself. The pashvod is a monster. The "long-handled paintbrush" is probably the Dial-a-Down.

> s. w.

Stone Foyer

I note the double doors we just walked through aren't on this side, but I guess when the doors are open and flush against the walls of the Marble Hall, the doors aren't visible from here.

> x stalagmite.

By the way, TADS lets us examine what's in the cardinal directions:

> x south. x north. x west. x east.

> n.


The plants are not important, but the airfish, basin, pipe, and too-small hole are.

> x airfish. x plants. x basin. (empty)

> x channel. x pipe. x wood. x hole.

> d. (Hole is too small.)

> climb pipe. (too far to climb and not enough friction)

> s. w.


Sometimes, you can see sorta see things at a distance, but when you try to interact, they're too far away.

I assume the "OT" means "overtime". I never learned what the five crowns bit meant.

> x Quaichloy. (too far away.)

> x banners. ("Questers 35 / Destriers 33 / in OT!" with five crowns.)

> x memorabilia. x jersey. (yellow, SCULLOON, number 19.)

> x paint.

> w.

Game Room

> x machine. ("Space Mission", HISCORE is 884,901,724,513,700.)

> play machine. (You can play it if you want, but you'll never beat that high score.)

> x markings.

Repeat playing darts until you're getting bullseyes most of the time. You'll need to be a good dart thrower later. Keep the darts.

> x darts. x dartboard.

> play darts. g. g. g. g.

Repeat playing darts about 200 to 300 times or so until you're getting bullseyes almost all the time. I'm serious. Just do it.

> drop darts.

> e. n.

Bar (among the tables)

Quaichloy (who you can refer to a "Quaich" or just "QL") is a very avid football fan to the near exclusion of any other interest.

Note: With most characters in the game, you can use "a topic" to immediately ask them about a topic, but the Bar's AI sentience is also in this location, which means you always have to direct your first question directly to Quaich before you can use the shorter conversation commands.

> x Quaichloy. x cap x binder. (look up Football info.)

> ask Quaich about himself. a TV. a football. a golden door.

> a bar. a beer. a jersey. a curtain.

> a Draydee. a Questers. a Bards. a Destriers.

> a airfish. a season. (It's season 21625.)

> a me. (mentions Shadhavars)

> a darts. a pinball. (High score is Towsie's.)

> a Towsie. (He's known Towsimoom since days of Stauzlau's first season.)

> a Stauzzlau. (best tight end)

> a markings.

By the way, although Quaichloy has nothing to say about Lubandhu now, he will later.

The command "find topic" also works with the records binder.

> look up Sculloon in binder. (Haljemer Sculloon played in season 1.)

> look up Questers. (Won in seasons 1 and 20934.)

> look up Destriers. (Disbanded in season 162.)

> look up Bards. (Entered the league in season 19020.)

> look up Shadhavars. (Won in season 19758.)

> look up Stauzzlau. (Epodod Stauzzlau. Rookie in season 5992.)

> x dial. (long paddle with dial-able number on blade)

> s.


Although Quaich claimed the bar has everything, this is very much not true.

> order gloves. (Beer and smokes only.)

> order beer. drink it. drop bottle.

> order smokes. x cigarette. (already lit.)

By the way, the airfish is attracted to the cigarette smoke and will seek out its source. When the cigarette eventually expires, you'll have a cigarette butt. You can also empty the beer bottle by drinking it several times.

We've visited everywhere on the ground floor. Let's go upstairs.

> e. u.


> x carpet. x moldings. x light.

> w.

Breakfast Room

> x Lu. ask Lu about himself. a golden door.

> a me. a curtain. a airfish. a ghost.

> w. (He won't let you into the kitchen.)

> throw cigarette over counter. (Lu swats it back.)

> x windows. x counter. x table. x wallpaper.

> e. nw.


The numbers are seasons, so you should look up any you've heard of so far.

> x bed. x shelves. x volumes. (first is "2005-2118"; last is "20959-")

> read volume. (Prompted to look up a number in the volumes.)

> read unnumbered. (blank)

> look up 2005. (Author slid down pole in Temple, has grappling hook.)

> look up 5992. (Towsimoom is here; she wears a red crystal.)

> look up 19020. (Does Lubandhu need his dagger back?)

> look up 19758. (Koustrea is coming.)

> look up 20934. (Author is leaving. They'll find a good book.)

> look up 20959. (Author apologizes that they didn't wait for you.)

> se. n.


> x globe. x base. (four-pointed star.)

> x bracket. x ridges.

> turn globe. open globe. (how?) touch globe.

> x carpet. x paintings. move paintings.

> x rug. x bookcases. x books. read books.

> x table. tilt table. (Don't need to tilt this one. Oh?)

Unlike most lamps in IF game, you can leave it on most of the time.

> x lamp. take it.

> x chair. x music.

> n.

Music Room

> x Zeolt. x jacket.

> x jukebox. x dome. x hinges. x panel. (STOP, PLAY, dial, display)

> x dial. x display. (6-digit number)

> x sofa. search it. look under it.

> push stop. ask Zeolt about himself.

> a me. a jukebox. a golden door. a Draydee.

> a airfish. a football. a Quaichloy.

> a globe. a books. a Towsie. a curtain. (mentions Dralions)

> open jukebox. x circuitry. x violet crystal. a crystal.

> close jukebox. push play. s.


> close music door. s. e.

Art Room

> x table. (has knob)

> x statue. (pushable)

> x windows. x walls.

> n.


> x Towsie. x mat. x symbol.

> x aquarium. x objects. x channel. x pipe. x ceiling.

> a Towsie about herself. a me. a symbol.

> a aquarium. (best meditative locus)

> a floatstones. (density is close to water)

> a golden door. a Draydee. a Lu. a Quaich. t season.

> a Zeolt. a pinball. a football.

> a markings. (Inspired by Vecury.)

> a airfish. (It scares Lu.)

> a curtain. (Aware of the 3 people in the House before coming through.)

> a statue. (It's hers.)

> a mural.

> meditate. (You're too unsettled.)

> s. e.

Unfinished Room

> x sky. x mountainside. x east portal.

> n. (Can't reach.)

The message going west from here is buggy; ignore it.

> w.

Art Room

The table must be vertical to go through a portal and horizontal to stand on.

> push table e. (won't fit)

> turn knob. tilt table. push table e.

Unfinished Room

> tilt table. turn knob. climb table. n. n.

Caldera View

> x caldera.

> s. sw.


The odd spelling of cylindAR does make a difference here.

> x dome. (Black, except for glass that faces north.)

> look in dome. x cylindar. (smooth and cloudy white.)

> x sun.

> se. s.

Path Corner

> sw.


Wait a bit until you see the pashvod, then immediately go northeast back up to safer ground.

> z. z. z. z. (Continue to wait until creature seen.)

> ne.

Path Corner

You want to examine the pashvod so you can describe it later.

> x pashvod.

> u. n. w.

Art Room

> push statue n.


> push statue down.

Drop everything but the lamp before going down from here. You can't have your hands too full when sliding down the pipe.

> d.

Cellar Cave (southwest corner)

It's dark in all directions down here. You'll need the lamp. Turn it on if it's off.

> x statue. push statue e.

Cellar Cave (southeast corner)

> climb statue. x pipe. x window. x controls.

Two black geodes (upper and lower) with holes in center, two buttons (upper and lower). The geodes need crystals.

> out. nw.

Cellar Cave (northwest corner)

> w. (Wire lattice blocks you.)

> x lattice. push it. g. (Hole is now big enough for you.)

> w.

Cramped Office

> x slab. (A desk with viewscreen.)

> x viewscreen.

> x chair. x bones. move bones.

> sit on chair. (The viewscreen starts to glow.)

> x viewscreen. (five rectangles on right; text that your lamp drowns out.)

> turn off lamp.

Note that while we sit on the chair in the dark, a mystery creature will eventually enter the room from the southern tunnel and start chewing on the bones. Turning on the lamp or standing will make it flee.

> x viewscreen. (Text on left: Draydee, Quaitchloy, Syorcia, Towsimoom, Lubandhu, Zeolt, Koustrea, Ranes.)

> x rectangles. (White, yellow, gray, orange, red.) (Sound behind you.)

Play with the controls a little. There are five screens of information, one per color.

> touch white rectangle. (no change)

> touch yellow rectangle.

> x screen. (Table of info; you can't read it.)

> touch gray rectangle.

> x screen. (Map of first floor, but with two rooms south of foyer.)

> touch orange rectangle.

> x screen. (Beginning of "Rogemir the Blacksmith" story)

> touch red rectangle.

> x screen. (Line diagram: blue dot in center, connected to eight dots in yellow.)

What else is here?

> turn on lamp. stand.

> x pockets. x object. (A mat of stone tiles.)

> x tile. (six-by-five grid; they match the panels on the Golden Door.)

> look under desk. x skull. (not like yours at all)

> x tunnel.

> e. e.

Cellar Cave (northeast corner)

> x structure. (wine rack.)

> push rack southwest.

Cellar Cave (southwest corner)

Note: If the wine rack wasn't here to use as a stepladder, you wouldn't be able to climb the pipe without dropping your inventory. The statue is like a half-stepladder, good enough to stand on to reach the controls but not to get you out from down here.

> u. s. w. n.

Bar (among the tables)

> ask Quaichloy about Lu. (all that business when Krence Quain had that stellar game)

> a Quain. (A legend.)

> a Syorcia. (Hasn't seen her since beginning of season 17935.)

> a Zeolt. (Hung out with him a lot during Rylo Lerallus's best year.)

> look up Quain. (Running back for Questers, set record in season 12736.)

> look up Lerallus. (Led Questers into Championship game, which they lost. Season 16671.)

> a Dralions. look up Dralions. (Disbanded in season 16439.)

> a Vecury. look up Vecury. (Had six interceptions in season 10447.)

> take dial. s. w.

Game Room

> take darts. e.


> order cigarette. e. u.


Wait for the airfish to arrive.

> w.

Breakfast Room

If necessary, wait for the airfish to follow you in. We want to trap it in here with us.

> close door. hit airfish with dial.

The airfish flees into the kitchen. Lu flees out.

> drop cigarette. w.


> open cupboards. take pot. x pot

> x junk. x cone. (You don't need the stone cone.)

> e. e. nw.


> look up 10447. (Towsie checked Marble Hall for geodes.)

> look up 12736. (A poem. Sy hid Lu's dagger in the Bedroom; only she and Zeolt know the key.)

> look up 16439. (Zeolt arrives. She's pegged him for the library.)

> look up 16671. (Zeolt in music room. He figured out jukebox with purple crystal, the one with the crazy history.)

> look up 17935. (Why does black dome face east?)

> x indentations. (four-pointed star shape in carpet)

So the globe used to be in the bedroom!

> se. e. n.


> show tile mat to Towsie. (These tiles could be floatstones.)

> a Syorcia. (She goes her own way. Ask her yourself.)

> t Syorcia.

> a crystal. (Lost it in an art project.)

> a dome. a north painting. a south painting.

> s.

Art Room

You need to dig the paint until you have a large chunk.

> x paint. dig paint. g. g. g. g.

> break chunk. (You find the red crystal.)

> x red crystal.

> w. d.

Stone Foyer

This ZZ mechanic reminds me of the Flash game 400 Years where you play as a creature of stone who can just wait until ice freezes or thaws or even longer for wheat and trees to grow. Existence seems rather different on such an elongated time scale.

> put pot on stalagmite. zz. (Repeat ZZ approx. 13 times until pot is full.)

> take pot.

> n.


Although you can fill the basin with many many bottlesful of beer, it's not helpful and you'd have to empty the basin before you can put any water in, so let's just skip such foolishness.

> pour water into basin. put tile mat in basin.

Six tiles are submerged; these will be randomly chosen, so make a note of which six.

> s. e. n.

Marble Hall (near the Golden Door)

Push the six panels that correspond with the six submerged tiles:

> push PANEL1. push PANEL2. push PANEL3.

> push PANEL4. push PANEL5. push PANEL6.

The Door flashes and something is humming behind the door.

> x geodes. x red geode.

> x white geode. take white crystal.

> s.

Marble Hall (waiting area)

I've been ignoring Draydee because she just doesn't have much to say. But she's right here, so let's talk:

> a Quaich. a airfish. a Towsie. a Lu. a Syorcia.

> x geodes. x violet geode.

> w. u. n. n.

Music Room

> push stop.

> a Syorcia. a dome. a pashvod.

You will need to have read Sy's poem (volumes entry 12736), examined the globe's base and the Bedroom's indentations for this to work.

> a globe. (He tells you to give the bracket a squeeze while the globe is spinning.)

> open jukebox.

> take violet crystal. put white crystal in jukebox.

> close jukebox. push play.

> s.


> close music door.

> turn globe. squeeze bracket. (The globe spits out a dagger.)

> take dagger.

> s. d. n. d.

Cellar Cave (southwest)

Again, I assume the lamp's still on. Turn it on if it isn't.

> e.

Cellar Cave (southeast)

> stand on statue. x controls.

> put violet crystal in upper geode.

> put red crystal in lower geode. (Window is now red.)

> push lower button. (The window now shines blue.)

Blue is what we want. Go to the Unfinished Room:

> w. u. s. u. e. e.

Unfinished Room

Lubandhu is here. Make sure you have the darts with you; you'll need them soon.

> give dagger to Lu.

After giving dagger to Lu and after seeing pashvod in Valley:

> tell Lu about pashvod. (Lu will come with you.)

> climb table. n. sw.


Assuming we did the golden door and geodes correctly earlier, this dome should now be shining blue.

There's no way to know which way the dome should face without tedious trial and error, but you want it facing south. In theory, there should be answering beacons in all directions, but I'm guessing that, after millennia, only one beacon still works.

> turn dome. g. g. g. (It should now face south.)

Now you need to wait for a yellow light in response. Remember the mural? The traveler was going from blue to yellow!

> zz. zz. zz. x yellow.

> se. s.

Path Corner

You may have to wait for the pashvod to move before you can enter the Valley.

> sw.


Time to kill the pashvod! Use the darts (you did practice earlier, yes?) and Lubandhu will use his dagger. If somehow you fail to kill the pashvod after three throws, take your darts and keep trying.

CAUTION: Don't ever go northwest from here; even while dead, the pashvod will kill you.

> throw dart at pashvod. g. g.

> x pashvod. x rope. take darts.

With a yellow light to the south, you now have a destination.

> s.

Koustrea and Lubandhu travel together.

Marble Road

*** YOU HAVE WON ***




Mentioned football players:


From the response to CREDITS:

I'd like to thank and credit my short roster of excellent playtesters: Saint Midnight, RedWolf, and Shannon Davidson. Thank you for your contributions.

Feedback for this game can be directed to email redacted.



In the approximate order you might obtain them:


I try to show the chain of knowledge acquisition per season number.

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with