Key & Compass presents:
Let's Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: The Text Adventure
by Pippin Barr

Let's Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: The Text Adventure is a Glulx text adventure written with Inform 7 and is © 2019 by Pippin Barr. It was an entry in IF Comp 2019 where it took 54th place.

In this text adventure, you play as someone newly dead. But exactly who are you: Sisyphus, Tantalus, Prometheus, Danaids, or Zeno? Everyone gets a different punishment in the afterlife!

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

SPOILERS AHEAD. Reading a walkthrough prematurely can sometimes diminish one's enjoyment of a text adventure. Please make an honest effort to play the text adventure before reading this walkthrough.


A FlatBeach(on track) The Top ofthe Hill A FlatBeach(at start) Nearlythe Topof the Hill An AridBeach Quite FarUp the Hill The Rock A Fair WayUp the Hill A DesolateBeach PartwayUp the Hill A LittleWay Upthe Hill The Bankof theRiver Styx Bottomof theHill u u u u u u d Zeno d Danaids d Prometheus d Tantalus d d Sisyphus


Note: UNDO is forbidden in this story.

The Bank of the River Styx

> help. x me. (You're dead.)

> x beach. x river. x ferry. x oars.

> x Charon. x cowl. x clipboard.

> talk to Charon. spit. x coin.

> talk to Charon. (He asks who you are.)

It's unclear if you're actually one of the people on Charon's list or if you're someone Charon wasn't expecting.

>> 1 (You say you're Sisyphus.)

> give coin to Charon. enter ferry.

> z. z.

Bottom of the Hill

When you get out of the ferry, Charon tells you that you can skip his ferry in the future by simply announcing your name, eg: Sisyphus.

> get out. look.

> x hill. x boulder. x note. ("Push me")

> u.

A Little Way Up the Hill

> x dirt. x grass. u.

Partway Up the Hill

> x swan. (It's not really there.)

> u.

A Fair Way Up the Hill

> x hole. x folded note. ("xyzzy")

> xyzzy.

> u.

Quite Far Up the Hill

> x way out. (It's not really there either.)

> u.

Nearly the Top of the Hill

> x fog. (Looks like a random animal every time you look.)

> u.

The Top of the Hill

> x plinth. x book. be happy.

> d. d. d. d. d. d.

Bottom of the Hill

> push boulder. g. g. g. g. g. (+1; the boulder starts to roll back down. When it reaches the bottom, you lose the point.)

The Top of the Hill

> d. d. d. d. d. (-1) d.

Bottom of the Hill

> push boulder. g. g. g. g. g. (+1; the boulder rolls down again.)

The afterlife of Sisyphus is literally an exercise in futility. But oddly, there's no compulsion to push the boulder either.

> restart

The Bank of the River Styx

> Tantalus

A Desolate Beach (in the pool)

> x apple. x red note. ("Eat me")

> eat apple. (+0. Wind pushes it out of reach.)

> jump. (+0)

> x water. x blue note. ("Drink me")

> drink water. (+0. It drains away when you try.)

> x tree. climb tree. (can't: bark is too sharp)

> out. (You can't leave the pool.)

Tantalus can never eat the apple nor drink the water. He is hungry and thirsty forever, but oddly, there's little compulsion to keep trying.

> restart

The Bank of the River Styx

> Prometheus

The Rock (chained to the rock)

> x yellow note. ("Wait")

> x eagle. x rock. talk to eagle. (Nothing to say.)

Whenever you writhe, strain, or struggle, the eagle temporarily stops attacking you.

> writhe. x chain.

> writhe. break chain.

> strain. x sand.

> struggle. move rock.

> x eagle. (-1; eagle rips your liver)

> x liver. (-1; eagle eats some liver)

> wait. (-1)

> z. (-1)

> z. (-1)

> z. (-1)

> z. (-1)

> z. (-1)

> z. (-1)

> z. (-1. You're now at 0 points.)

> z. (The eagle flies away.)

> z. z. (Night falls.)

> z. z. (+10. Night ends, and your liver is back.)

> x liver. (It's inside. An eagle is on the horizon.)

Every day the eagle rips out Prometheus's liver and eats it, and every night, the liver regenerates. But the gruesomeness and agony of this punishment seems very understated.

> restart

The Bank of the River Styx

> Danaids

An Arid Beach

> x sand. x fountain. x water.

> x basin. x white note. ("Fill me")

> x jug. x handle. take jug.

> fill jug. put water in basin. (+1)

> fill jug. (-1; the basin drains)

> put water in basin. (+1)

> x holes. (-1)

You can't fill the jug with sand, and there's nothing to plug the holes with. Again, there's no compulsion to fill the basin.

> restart

The Bank of the River Styx

> Zeno

A Flat Beach (at the starting line)

> x track. x starting line. x green note. ("Run")

> x finish line. x green flag. x fog.

> run north. (+0.5)

A Flat Beach (on the track)

> run north. (+0.25)

> run north. (+0.125)

> run north. (+0.0625)

> run north. (+0.03125)

> run north. (+0.015625)

> run north. (+0.0078125)

> run north. (+0.00390625)

> run north. (+0.001953125)

> n. n. n. n. n. n. (You make no visible progress.)

Zeno can't go any direction but north, and he can never reach the finish line.

> quit.

In conclusion: there is no way to win or even bring this text adventure to any sort of conclusion. It's probably best to view this whole thing as a set of interactive exhibits in a museum.



Oh, did you also want to know more about the player-characters? The text adventure gives no context or backstories for anyone, so I'm going to just point you to Wikipedia if you're really interested.


There's only two inventory items in this text adventure. You can't pick up any of the post-it notes in the game; you can only read them.


The author only updates the player's current score in the status bar; the response from SCORE is a misleading default message that you should ignore.

Using any sort of point system in this text adventure feels distinctly odd. I can only assume that points are used as a way to "game-ify" the stores and to show progress (or lack of progress).

When playing as Sisyphus:

When playing as Tantalus:

When playing as Prometheus:

When playing as Danaids:

When playing as Zeno:

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