Key & Compass presents:
by Mike Eckardt

Moonbase is a TADS 2 interactive fiction game and is © 2002 by Mike Eckardt (as "QA Dude"). It was an entry at IF Comp 2002 where it took 34th place.

You play as an employee of Earth Control. Moonbase Alpha hasn't contacted Earth for three days; it's your job to teleport over there and find out what's happening up there. Good luck!

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on the competition release of the game.


storageroom office workshop auditorium corridor Foyer lunartransporterroom projectionroom bunkroom suitlocker airlock lunarsurface earthsidetransporterroom craterfloor craterwall nest site d u

earthside transporter room

Before the game proper starts, the author tells us that KISS, SHOOT, SMASH, and WATCH are valid verbs in this game.

The presence of "your nephew's toy ray gun" makes me wonder exactly where this transporter room is. Did Earth Control lease space in your garage? Did Earth Control have a "Bring Your Nephew To Work Day"?

> x me. i. (Nothing.)

> x ray gun. take it.

> x console.

> x green button. read it. (Moon → Earth)

> read red button. (Earth → Moon)

This opening scene is not filling me with confidence. We have a two-button console where one button is pointless, a toy gun that has no business being here at all, and we're heading into a possibly dangerous rescue mission without any tools at all. And just because we think there's breathable atmosphere on the other side of the portal doesn't mean we should go without a spacesuit. Ugh.

> push red button. (+1)

> n.

lunar transporter room

You can read the curtain repeatedly to see a random ad.

> x console. (Same two buttons.)

> x ring. x curtain. read curtain.

> w.


> x plaque. (Too high to read.)

> jump. (Alas, you can't jump higher in the reduced lunar gravity because the game author didn't put that in the game for some reason.)

> n.


CAUTION: Don't go north from here just yet. There's an instant-death monster on the other side of the north door.

FYI: You might like trying "X ALL" in this game. You'll examine everything at once as long as it's in immediate scope (that is, it's in your inventory, is scenery, or is a loose item on the floor); things inside or on top of other things are skipped over, though.

> x exoskeleton. (It's missing a battery.)

> x battery. x screwdriver. x ladder. x tools.

> take all but exo. (The exoskeleton is too heavy to take.)

> put battery in exo. (Can't; you need to tighten bolts to hold it in place.)

> s.


> drop ladder. climb ladder.

> read plaque. (+1. Visit the ASI moonbase MOO at

You can't explicitly get off the ladder; just walk away.

> w. n.


> x desk. open drawer. x key. take it.

> x video case. x trailer. (Wait, we live in a trailer?)

> open case. x video. take it.

> x slip. take slip. read slip. (+1. It has a five-digit number on it.)

> x manual. read it. (Tells you you need a wrench for the exo suit.)

> s. s.

bunk room

Disturbing that the body is described so minimally; we're told nothing about the person that would help us identify them. Really, we should've been briefed on who the moonbase crewmembers are so we can recognize them.

> x body. x locker. x top bunk. x bottom bunk.

> unlock locker with key. (from office drawer)

> open locker. x notebook.

> read notebook. (+1. Jeffer's missing; video shows creature; blue air tank needs recharging; creature is in the base.)

> n. w.


Why a two-person moonbase crew needs a movie theatre that seats twelve is completely beyond my comprehension. I think they'd rather have a kitchen and a bathroom, honestly.

> x glint. take gear. x it.

> x seats. x screen.

> u.

projection room

The video player and the projector are treated as one combined game-object.

Also, is anyone else giggling at the idea of a moonbase using videotapes to record anything?

> x player. x buttons.

> read green button. read red button.

> put tape in player.

> put gear in projector. (+1. Using the screwdriver to fasten it.)

> push green button. d. (+1)


Text colours change to white text on dark gray background.

On the screen, you see an alien creature approach the camera.

Although the tape supposedly loops over, none of "look", "x screen", or "wait" shows what's happening.

> watch movie. (Similar commands like "watch screen" or "x movie" just give default responses.)

> u.

projection room

> push red button. (The projector stops.)

> d. e. e. s.


Note: Push the control buttons to open and close the hatches. Closing a hatch always locks it.

> x dial. x controls.

> read green button. read red button.

The five-digit number on the slip of paper is randomized. Use that number for the dial.

And why is the suit locker locked, anyway? Exactly who on the moon would be unauthorized to use a spacesuit?

> read slip. turn dial to NUMBER. (+1)

> eat slip.

> w.

suit locker

> x spacesuit. x yellow tank. read yellow gauge. (Full.)

> x blue tank. read blue gauge. (Almost empty.)

> take blue tank. drop it.

> put yellow tank in suit.

> wear suit. (+3)

> e.


> push red button. (+1. Outer door opens; text is back to white on gray.)

> s.

lunar surface

> x rock. take it. s.

crater floor

> x dust. x boulders. x trail. x car. s.

crater wall

> x junk. x wrench. take it.

> x crater. x hatch. x trail. x boulder. x crevass.

> se. (+1)

nest site

> x eggs. x skeleton. x green tank. read green gauge.

> break eggs. (+1. Using the rock.)

> n. n. n. n.


> push green button. (+2)

> remove suit. drop it.

> n. n.


CAUTION: There's a bug where if you put on the exoskeleton and take it off, it'll be too heavy to put on a second time.

> put battery in exo. (Using the wrench to install it.)

> wear exo. (+2)

> save.

> n.

storage room

Creature attacks, but you are protected by the exoskeleton. I note that the creature doesn't chase you if you run away, if for some reason you want run away to grab something in another room.

> kill creature with suit. (+1. That works.)

> look. s. s. e.

lunar transporter room

> push green button. e. (18 out of 18 points.)

You quickly report in to Earth Control, and receive hearty congratulations for a job well done.







In a total of several turns, you have achieved a score of your-score points out of a possible 18.

Total score: 18 out of 18.

Sound effects

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