Key & Compass presents:
Mrs. Pepper's Nasty Secret
by Jim Aikin and Eric Eve

Mrs. Pepper's Nasty Secret is a TADS 3 interactive fiction game and is © 2008 by Jim Aikin and Eric Eve. It won first place in both the IFBeginnersComp and in the Interactive Short Fiction Contest.

You play as a kid on your way home from school on a Monday afternoon. Last Friday, ugly crabby Mrs. Pepper took your skateboard away from you when you had a freak spill in front of her driveway. She wouldn't give your skateboard back then, but maybe you can get it back now?

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Version 1.02 of the game.

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


Map 1: Outside the house

BackYard Garage BackPorch Drivewayby House Kitchen SittingRoom Driveway FrontPorch FrontYard Sidewalkby theFront Yard End of theDriveway On theSidewalk (to home) (to school)

Map 2: Inside the house

BackBedroom Bathroom SmallCompart-ment Landing FrontBedroom BackPorch Cellar Kitchen Drivewayby House SmallCompart-ment Hall SittingRoom FrontPorch pushbutton pushbutton d d u u


On the Sidewalk

> x me. i. (empty-handed)

> x driveway. x fence.

> w.

At the End of the Driveway

> x car. x lawn. x driveway. x house. sidewalk.

> w.

On the Sidewalk by the Front Yard

> x pole. x posters. x flyer. take flyer. (+1)

> n.

Front Yard

You hear a high-pitched voice calling for help from an upstairs window.

> x window.

> n.

Front Porch

> push doorbell. z. (She answers the door, but slams it again when you ask about the skateboard.)

> push doorbell. z. (She threatens to call the police.)

> drop flyer. push doorbell. s. (+4. She takes the bait and drives away.)

Front Yard

> e. n.

Driveway by House

> x can. open can. look in can. put lid on can.

> x house. x window.

> x garage. x garage door. (painted shut)

> x path. nw.

Back Yard

CAUTION: To get the points for finding your skateboard, you must explicitly look under the porch. If you simply examine the crawl space, you see the skateboard, but you don't get any points that way.

> x neighbor. x weeds. x holes. x birdbath.

> x garage. open door. (locked)

> x porch. look under porch. (+2)

> x skateboard. take it. (out of reach)

> x toad. (it's gone)

> greet neighbor.

> ask her about gardening.

> ask her about Mrs Pepper. (She thinks Mrs. Pepper stole her gold brooch.)

> ask her about brooch.

> ask her about Mr Pepper. (He died in an accident.)

> ask her about herself.

> ask her about car. ask her about wigs.

> ask her about skateboard.

> ask her about birdbath. ask her about holes.

> s.

Back Porch

> open door. (locked)

> x ramp.

> n. se.

Driveway by House

> take can. put can under window. (+2)

> stand on can. w. (+3)


> x table. open drawer.

> x flashlight. take it. open it. (no battery)

> open cupboard. take all from cupboard.

> x glass. x knife.

> x sink. x faucet. x stove.

> x fridge. open it. x bread. x cheese. close fridge.

> x door. (needs a key even from inside)

> s. s.

Sitting Room

> x TV. x couch. search couch.

> x table. x book. take it. read it. (paper falls out)

> take paper. read it. (It's a cryptogram key.)

> read book. (has an index)

> x fireplace. x log. x mantel.

> x photo. x Mrs. x man. x wheelchair.

> x remote. open it. take battery.

> put battery in flashlight.

> n. u. n.

Back Bedroom

> x bed. x comforter. look under bed.

> x table. x heads. x wigs.

Using the piece of paper as a cryptogram key, you can decode the tags:

> look up wig in book. (Wig magic requires you to wear the wig and perform some other action.)

> take blond wig. take black wig. (You won't need the other two.)

> open drawer.

> x brush. x emblem. read tiny lettering.

> x score. read it. (mentions Trazom, Ireilas Oinotna.)

> take score. x ocarina. take it. play it.

> play score. (no: too complex)

> drop score.

> look up music in book. ("see locks, magical")

> look up locks in book. (play a melody)

> look up rain in book. (pour water with bamboo)

> look up sleep in book. (use Scarlet Fish and incantation)

> look up vehicles in book. (That page is missing.)

> x mirror.

> e.


> x bath. x basin. x toilet.

> w. s.


> open door. (won't open)

> wear black wig.

> play ocarina. open door. remove black wig.

> s. (+3)

Front Bedroom

> x pot. x person. x window. x curtains.

> take pamphlet. read it. (The pot person is a garden elf.)

> look up elf in book. (must stay in soil)

> greet elf. (It weakly asks for water.)

> n. n. e.


> fill glass. turn off faucet.

> w. s. s.

Front Bedroom

> pour water on elf. (no: He needs fresh water.)

> n.


> push button. (nothing happens)

> d. n. d.


> turn on flashlight. (+2)

> pull chain. (A bulb lights up.)

> turn off flashlight.

> x machinery.

> x wheel. x cable. x wire. x screw.

> x door. open door. x red switch. ("on")

> x wheelchair. x lever.

> look behind lever.

> take keys. (need a thin sturdy tool)

> push keys with knife. (+2)

> take keys.

> x shelf. x jar. take jar. (out of reach)

> pull brake. push chair under shelf.

> push brake. stand on chair. take jar. (+3)

> get off chair.

> open jar. (can't: lid is stuck)

> clean jar. x brooch.

> u.


> unlock door with keys.

> n. n.

Back Yard

> x garden.

> give jar to Mrs. (+2. She smashes the jar open and wears the brooch.)

> ask Mrs for bamboo. (+3; Mrs Dogwood gives a stick, then leaves.)

> x stick. take skateboard with stick. (not quite)

> wear blond wig.

> pour water. (The birdbath is now full.)

> remove wig. fill glass. (+2)

> unlock door. e.


> x clutter. search it. (nothing)

> x bench. x rake. take it.

> x toolbox. open it. x screwdriver. take it.

> w.

Back Yard

> take skateboard with rake. (+4)

> s. s. d.


> pull switch.

> attach wire to screw. (You need both hands free.)

> drop all but screwdriver.

> attach wire to screw. (+5)

> take all.

> push switch. (The machinery starts humming.)

> u. s. u. s.

Front Bedroom

> pour water on elf. (+4)

> ask elf about himself. (His name is Turlix.)

> ask Turlix about Mrs Pepper.

> ask Turlix about pot.

> drop skateboard.

> take pot. (You need both hands free.)

> drop all. take pot. put pot on skateboard.

> take all but pot and skateboard.

> push board north.


> push button. (+2; the steel door opens)

> push board west.

Small Compartment

> push button. (You go down a floor.)

> push board east.


> push board north.


> push board north.

Back Porch

> push board north.

Back Yard

The elf leaves the pot and offers a reward if you go to the front yard.

> push board se.

Driveway by House

> push pot south.


> push pot west. (+6)

Front Yard

The elf grows an orange on the tree, then he leaves.

> drop all.

> take pot. drop pot.

> take skateboard. take orange.

> x orange. eat orange. g. g. g. g. (Yum!)

> s. w.

You quickly put everything back and lock up the house and garage and put the keys under the back porch before going home with your skateboard.

*** YOU HAVE WON ***



Main characters:




This is the response to CREDITS:

Mrs. Pepper’s Nasty Secret by Jim Aikin and Eric Eve

Special thanks to:

Mark Engelberg for devising and running the competition that inspired this game (and for some suggestions).

David Fisher for devising and running a second competition we can enter this game into. Mike Roberts for writing TADS 3.

Stephen Granade, for his cquotes extension.

Steve Breslin, for his SpellingCorrector extension.

Nikos Chantziaras, for ncDebugActions (an invaluable aid in debugging).

Emily Short, for the NewbieGrammar.h extension (for Inform 6) from which we borrowed and adapted a number of ideas.

And last, but absolutely not least, our intrepid team of beta-testers, without whom this game would have been riddled with distracting flaws: Emily Boegheim, Hannah Boegheim, Chris Jones, Juhana Leinonen, Jeff Liu, Justin Lowmaster, Radical Al, S. John Ross, Mike Snyder, and Mike Tarbert.


Items are listed in the order you acquire (or can acquire) them in this walkthrough.


This is the response to SCORE:

In several moves, you have scored your-score of a possible 50 points.

(To see a detailed accounting of your score, type FULL SCORE.)

Points are awarded as follows:

Note that if you water the elf by making it rain on him, you have no need to fill the glass from the birdbath. So in that case, instead of getting two points for filling the glass, you'll get two points when you pick the orange.

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