Key & Compass presents:
The Mystery of Winchester High
by Garry Francis

The Mystery of Winchester High is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2023 by Garry Francis. It was an entry in the Text Adventure Literacy Jam 2023, placement to be determined.

In this treasure hunt game, you play as Ian McKenzie, a rebellious 13-year-old student at Winchester High, Dunedin, New Zealand. The school was once the Winchester mansion, donated by Frederick H Winchester III to the city in 1932. Rumors say there's a hidden fortune somewhere in the mansion. You plan to find it and give it to the principal so the school doesn't close from lack of funding.

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


(to 3rd formclassroom Secretary'sOffice Classroom (to moreboringclassrooms) Hallway OutsideSecretary'sOffice Hallway Janitor'sWorkshop (to girls'lockerroom) Deck ofSwimmingPool Boys'LockerRoom Boys'Bathroom SwimmingPool In50 In67 OldBedroom Bottom ofSwimmingPool SecretPassage-way OldLibrary End ofPassage-way SmallAlcove SecretBasement AboveElevator OldElevator OldElevator d move bookshelf u turn handleright u d turn handleleft



> x me. (Ian McKenzie, age 13, red hair)

> i. x uniform. x pocket. take card. x card.

> read card. ("#67, 849")

> put card in pocket.

> x certificate. read it.

> x teacher. (Miss Grumpy)

> x blackboard. read blackboard.

> x book. read it. x pen.

> x desk. take all from desk.

> open desk. take bottle. close desk.

> x door. x students.

> open door. (Teacher stops you.)

> talk to teacher.

> ask teacher about school. ask teacher about mystery.

> throw bottle at teacher.

> x teacher. x blouse. talk to teacher.

> open door. s. (She locks the door.)

Hallway (east)

> x panels. x bubbler. x pool.

> take bobby pin. x it.

> push button. (The water tastes rusty.)

> s.

Boys' Locker Room

> x bench. x lockers.

> x locker 67. unlock it.

> enter 849 in locker 67. open it. x trunks.

> take trunks. remove uniform. wear trunks.

Don't bother storing things in your locker. No one will take your stuff, and for some reason, TAKE ALL FROM LOCKER 67 doesn't work properly.

> drop all. w.

Deck of Swimming Pool

> x attendant. (George)

> read large sign. ("No swimming without proper attire")

> read small sign. ("don't pee in our pool")

> w. (Attendant stops you.)

> ask him about himself. ask him about school.

> ask him about pool. ask him about mystery.

> x pool. (glint)

Note: You must be wearing trunks and not carrying anything when entering the pool.

> s. d.

Bottom of Swimming Pool

> take florin. x it. x tiles.

> u. n.

Deck of Swimming Pool

> x mop. search mop. take mop. spin mop.

> drop mop. take screwdriver. x it.

> e.

Boys' Locker Room

> take uniform and pin.

> remove trunks. wear uniform. drop trunks.

> e.

Boys' Bathroom

> x toilet. flush it. (blocked; should tell janitor)

> x garbage. search it.

> take torch. x it. (has broken switch)

> w. n. e.

Janitor's Workshop

> x junk. x janitor.

> x bench. x hammer. x plunger.

> give torch to janitor. (He fixes it.)

> give florin to janitor. (You get two batteries.)

> x batteries. put them in torch. close torch.

> tell janitor about toilet. (He grabs the plunger and leaves.)

> x drawers. open drawers. x tools. search tools.

> take hammer.

> w. w.

Outside Secretary's Office

> x door. read sign. ("Gone to stationery store")

> open door. (locked)

> w.

Hallway (west)

> x door. ("3rd Form")

> n. (can't barge in)

> w. (nothing of interest that way)

> s. (Even though you're "rebellious", you won't enter the girls' locker room.)

> e.

Outside Secretary's Office

> pick lock. (fail: pin is too small)

> break glass with hammer.

> unlock door. open door. n.

Secretary's Office

> x sign. x pencil. take it.

> x desk. open drawer. (locked)

Note: You must examine the bobby pin prior to trying to use it as a lockpick here.

> pick lock. open drawer.

> x sandwich. x notepad. take all from drawer.

You can't RUB or USE the pencil on the notepad? I don't mean to be shadey, but it's difficult to guess the verb here.

> shade notepad (with pencil).

> read notepad. ("#50, 314")

> drop notepad and pencil.

> x stool. take it.

> s. e. s.

Boys' Locker Room

> enter 314 in locker 50.

> open locker 50. x towel. take towel.

Something's odd about the back of the locker.

> drop towel. enter locker 50.

Inside Locker 50

> unscrew panel. (with the screwdriver)

> s.

Darkness / Secret Passageway

> turn on torch. s.

End of Passageway

> x elevator. open door. s.

Old Elevator

> x panel. (on/off switch; turn handle left for down and right for up)

> x opening. (high up)

> close door.

> drop stool. stand on stool. u.

Above Elevator

> x power cable. (dangerous to touch when power is on)

> x socket. x metal cable. (rusty)

> take power cable. put it in socket.

> d. d.

Old Elevator

> turn on power switch.

> turn handle left. (The elevator descends.)

> turn off power switch.

> open door. n. e.

Secret Basement

> x rats. give sandwich to rats. (They leave with it.)

> n.

Old Library

> x bookshelf. x books.

> move bookshelf. (It spins you to...)

Old Bedroom

> x furniture. x bed. x painting.

> read plaque. ("Frederick H Wincester III, 30 April 1849 -")

Looks like Fred died on his 82nd birthday.

> pull painting. (You reveal a safe.)

> x dial.

The combo is Fred's birthdate. What else could it be?

> turn dial left to 30.

> turn dial right to 4.

> turn dial left to 49.

> open safe. x carpet bag. take it. open it.

> x money. x stocks. x note. read note.

> move shelf. s. w. s.

Old Elevator

> close door. turn on power. turn handle right.

> turn off power. open door.

> n. n. n. n. n.


You can ask the principal about the school, the mystery, Winchester, your teacher, the janitor, and George.

> x principal. give bag to principal.

*** You have won ***





This is the response to CREDITS:

Concept by Andre Persidsky.
Game design and coding by Garry Francis.
Play testing by Christopher Merriner, Gianluca Girelli, Jade J Aincioa, John Ziegler, Larry Horsfield, Max Fog, Reiko Yukawa, Stephen Norris and Tabitha O'Connell.


There seems to be no way to lose this game. Some of the things I tried and discoveed:


You have an inventory limit of ten items. If you discard items you don't need anymore, the inventory limit isn't much of an issue.

Items are listed in the order you acquire them in this walkthrough.

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