The Mind Electric is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 5 and is © 1995 by Jason Dyer. It was an entry in the Inform division of IF Comp 1995 where it took 2nd place.
In this surreal game, you play as a captured spy, your mind locked in a digital cell but inexplicably left unanalyzed and unbrainwashed. No mind can stay in virtual space indefinitely, though. Somehow, you'll use a rotating red cube and a loop-crawling spider to help you escape.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 3 of the game.
> x door. x fence. (A paper appears.)
> take paper. read it. say ivory. (+1; the door opens halfway)
> read paper. say flood. (+2; the door is now open)
> x rock. take it. (+1; the cube is now active)
> x cube. ask cube about cube. (It can't talk.)
> x loop. touch loop. (+2)
> x spider. x doll.
In a few turns, a scan in sector 482 will be announced. You need to get back to the grid:
> n. u.
Wait here until the scan is complete.
> z. z. z. z. z. z. z. (+3 when scan complete)
> d. e.
> x obelisk.
> spider, hello.
> spider, help. ("Processing new special command.")
> spider, help. (New commands: STATUS and ERASE.)
> spider, status.
We don't know what to erase yet.
> n. n.
> x boxes. e.
Guess that the cube might know which box you need and also guess that it has a way to tell you without talking. Did you ever play the board game Mastermind? Ask the cube about different box numbers and it'll nod once for each digit that's exactly right and blink for a correct digit in the wrong place. A frown is completely wrong; a smile is completely right.
The box number is randomized, so I can't just tell you the number, but you have unlimited guesses, so here's an example of me figuring it out when the box number is 5704:
> ask cube about box 1111. (The cube frowns, so there's no 1's.)
> ask cube about box 2222. (Frowns. No 2's.)
> ask cube about box 3333. (Frowns. No 3's.)
> ask cube about box 4444. (Nods once. There's one 4.)
> ask cube about box 5555. (Nods once. There's one 5.)
> ask cube about box 6666. (Frowns. No 6's.)
> ask cube about box 7777. (Nods once. There's one 7.)
> ask cube about box 8888. (Frowns. No 8's.)
> ask cube about box 9999. (Frowns. No 9's. The fourth digit must be 0.)
> ask cube about box 0457. (Four blinks. Confirmed that those are the digits, but they're in the wrong positions.)
Let's find out where the 0 is, by using three wrong digits with it:
> ask cube about box 0111. (One blink.)
> ask cube about box 1011. (One blink.)
> ask cube about box 1101. (One nod. The 0 is in the third position.)
Now find out where the 4 goes:
> ask cube about box 4101. (One nod, one blink.)
> ask cube about box 1401. (One nod, one blink.)
> ask cube about box 1104. (Two nods. The 4 is in the fourth position.)
It's gotta be either 5704 or 7504 now:
> ask cube about box 5704. (The cube smiles. That's the one!)
> open box BOXNUMBER. (You acquire a circuit board.)
> x board.
> give board to cube. (+5. The cube can now talk.)
Unfortunately, the cube's range of conversational topics is quite limited.
> ask cube about spider. ask cube about boxes.
> read paper. ("lxprog")
> ask cube about lxprog. (+3. The cube says a program's been started.)
> z. z. z. (The cube says lxprog has been halted.)
> lxprog. (The cube complains you need to find what's halting.)
> lxprog. (The cube now says the halt program is more intense.)
Again, the box number is randomized. The paper starts flashing; this is bad.
> listen. (The beeping is louder, and you're told which box it is.)
> open box BEEPING-BOXNUMBER. (+4. You acquire a sphere.)
Don't waste time examining the sphere.
> e. e.
> spider, erase sphere. (It's gone.)
> lxprog. (+2. The cube restarts the program.)
> put paper on fence. (+3. It's gone.)
At some point the cube mentions receiving the message "spidlower".
> z. z. z.
> ask cube about spidlower.
Supposedly, "spidlower" means that the spider's security level has been lowered, allowing you to do something that wasn't permitted earlier:
> spider, erase spider. (+4. It's gone, and the room itself is dissolving.)
> climb obelisk.
Apex of Obelisk
> touch sky. (+4)
> x duplicator. take widget.
Your recent trip has unstablized you. You need to duplicate yourself into a more stable body.
> put widget on blue pad.
> touch duplicator. (The widget is put into the bin and asks to standby.)
> touch duplicator. (Your request is queued.)
> stand on green pad. (+5. You're duplicated! Your old body goes poof.)
> stand. (You get off the blue pad.)
> z. (Continue to wait upto 17 times until a portal appears in the floor.)
> z. z. (Wait until lxprog is completed.)
A tall man greets you and explains the truth about the war.
*** You have won ***
From the response to INFO:
The Mind Electric is copyright 1995 Jason Dyer. It is free, no warranty provided. Please distribute. No money may be charged for this work, unless it is part of a larger compilation. At the time of this writing (August 1995) the author can be contacted at
A full hint system is available with 'help' or 'hint'. To turn it off to avoid temptation, type 'unhint', but be warned, it cannot be turned back on again afterwards. Also, if your computer cannot handle the various quotes and the hint menu, type 'plain' to enter plain text mode, and 'pretty' to turn regular mode back on.
Special thanks go to Richard Barnett, Jim Newland, and Gareth Rees for programming help, as well as Michael Kinyon, Bernd Schmidt, and Aileen Dyer for playtesting. Also, thanks to Catherine Mori and Earl Dille for help with the Latin text.
Release 2 fixes a small bug with the door and a mistake in the credits.
For the curious, works of literature and culture indirectly/symbolically used in the game are: Mourning Becomes Electra, Billy Budd, Snow Crash, The Neverending Story, Anti-Ice, The Legend Lives!, Burning Chrome, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Earth 2, and the old arcade game Tempest.
In that game you scored your-score out of a possible 40, in several turns, earning you the rank of ranking.
The score was made up as follows:
If your score is less than 40, there is no rank. The entire "earning you the rank of ranking" phrase is omitted.
This walkthrough is provided free of charge since the work it's based on has less than fifteen locations. Please consider it a thank you for your support!
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