Key & Compass presents:
Learning to Cross
by Mark J. Musante

Learning to Cross is a TADS 2 interactive fiction game and is © 1998 by Mark J. Musante. It was an participant in the ChickenComp event.

You play as someone walking through farm country to visit your aunt, and so you stop at a farmhouse hoping you can barter for some food. The farmer offers to have his wife cook up whichever of his chickens you can catch, but the chicken, when caught, has a counteroffer. It's going to teach you how to Cross the road.

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


Kitchen NorthEnd ofShelves In theNest NestingShelves On theBales Behindthe Bales CoopEntrance South ofthe Road OutsideCoop Outside,northwestof Barn Outside,north ofthe Barn Outside NearCrack Outside,by theBarn Near theDoors FeedingGrounds Outside,near theTools Outsidethe Farm-house Near theBarn Insidethe Barn By TheFarm BrightLight d cross road (return toFeedingGrounds) (return toFeedingGrounds) (return toFeedingGrounds) u cross road (win!) (after 3 turns)


By The Farm

> about. x gate. x fence. x road. x water.

> open gate. n.

Near the Barn

> x dirt. x barn. nw.

Outside the Farmhouse

> x house. x door. knock on door.

An old woman with a shotgun tells you to "git". If you don't leave in the next few turns, she'll shoot.

> se. e.

Inside the Barn

The farmer doesn't really respond to anything you say. He just does what he does for three turns.

> farmer, hello.

> tell farmer about me. (He says if you can catch a chicken, he'll feed you.)

> x chickens. (He says to pick any of them, then he leaves the barn.)

> x box. open box. x feed. x hay. x implements.

> take feed. (+10) show feed to chickens. (+10)

You need to wait, let the chicken relax as it eats, then grab it.

> x chicken. z. z. z. take chicken. (+10)

> w.

Near the Barn

> nw. (The chicken talks! It tells you can get a MUCH plumper chicken south through the gate.)

If you want to eat this chicken:

> nw. knock on door. z.

*** You have finished ***

> undo. undo. undo.

If you want to follow the chicken's advice:

> s.

By The Farm

> cross the road.

Bright Light

Your actions, whatever they are, are ignored. But after three actions, you're elsewhere.

> s. s. s. (+10)

Feeding Grounds

The roles have been reversed. You're now in a farm owned by giant chickens where humans are livestock.

> x people. x chicken. look.

> ne.

Near Crack

> n.

Outside, north of the Barn

> n. (+10)

South of the Road

> n.

*** You have died ***

> undo

> cross the road. (Not without a chicken.)

> s.

Outside, north of the Barn

> e. (Can't. You'd be captured.)

> w.

Outside, northwest of Barn

> s.

Outside, by the Barn

> x roof. e.

Near the Doors

> x straw. w. s.

Outside, near the Tools

> x tools. climb tools.

> s. (Too dangerous.)

> n. nw.


> x grass. x prints. x coop. nw.

Outside Coop

> x ramp. n.

Coop Entrance

CAUTION: If you go north or northeast, a chicken returns you to Feeding Grounds.

> x trough. x chickens. x hay. nw.

Behind the Bales

> x hay. take hay. x strand.

> uorclimb hay.

On the Bales

The chickens are talking about some plan to take over your world! Arriving at this location is the trigger and now time is of the essence. You need to return back across the Rift to foil their plans!

> x chickens. x nests. (might be able to go west from here.)

> x trough. z. z. (They vote 10 to 1 on starting phase 3.)

> w.

Nesting Shelves

> x chicken. (It's asleep and to your west.)

> n.

North end of Shelves

> x hole. n.


CAUTION: If you go southwest, you're returned to the Feeding Grounds.

> x fire. light strand. s. s.

Nesting Shelves

If you have the lit strand, the chicken wakes and screeches "Fire!" and leaves.

> w.

In the Nest

> x egg. take egg.

Run all the way to the road with the egg.

> e. e. d. se. s. se. se. n. e. n. (+10)

South of the Road

It took me a while to figure out what command would "hatch" the egg:

> hit egg. x chick.

> cross road. (+10. Carrying the chick, you Cross.)

By The Farm

> i. x egg. w. (+40)

*** You have won ***



In your world:

In the chickens' world:




In a total of several turns, you have achieved a score of your-score points out of a possible 100.

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with