Key & Compass presents:
Not Just A Game
by John Menichelli

Not Just A Game is a Z-machine 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2000 by John Menichelli.

You've arrived at your teacher's home for your weekly Go lesson, but she's missing. And her Go board is missing too. Is this one of her tests?

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 2 of the game.


Map 1: Apartment

d u LivingRoom Kitchen Bedroom Bathroom Closet DimChamber

Map 2: Giant GO Board

u d I H G F E D C B LivingRoom A 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 DimChamber Cube Room

Map 3: Deeper Underground

CubeChamber NorthernTestingRoom CubeRoom SaltChamber DampChamber SculptureChamber North-SouthPassage-way DrumRoom PlankRoom Workshop Water-wheelRoom NorthernChamber WoodStorage WesternTestingRoom East-WestPassage-way WesternChamber EarthenChamber EasternChamber East-WestPassage-way EasternTestingRoom CubeRoom SouthernChamber CubeRoom MaterialStorageRoom RockyChamber BrassRoom North-SouthPassage-way DuctRoom HotZone KilnRoom WorkRoom SouthernTestingRoom OvenRoom


Living Room

> x me. i. (You have nothing.)

> x bowls. open bowls. (You can't; you don't know how.)

> x sofa. x table. (4 white stones and booklet)

> take all from table.

> x booklet. (+2; This opens a menu that explains the rules of Go. You probably want to read all of it.)

> x tv.

> x books. g. g. g. g. (Repeat a few times. One book mentions that eggs float in salted water; another book mentions melting point of metals.)

MetalDegrees CDegrees F

> e.


Note the positions of the Elements on the poster: Water is north; Metal is west; Earth is center; Wood is east; and Fire is south.

> x fridge. x poster. (Five Elements.)

> open fridge. x stove. x matchbook. take it. (3 matches in it.)

> w. s.


> x futon. x desk. open drawer. (It sticks slightly?)

> take box. x it. open box. x gold stone.

> look under desk. look under drawer. (You find a business card.)

> x card. (It has a lock combination written on it; it's randomized for each game.)

> x computer. turn on computer.

> x menu. (Menu options: Tetris and Reversi. Yes, you can play those games within this one.)

> turn off computer.

> look under futon. (You find a diary.)

> read diary. g. g. g. g. (One entry is cryptic: Electricty on / check fuse / blower on / crucible shut.)

> s.


> x clothes. x shoes. x boxes. x junk.

> move boxes. (Floor safe revealed.)

> x safe. x dial. (Numbers from 0 to 99.)

Use the numbers on the business card to unlock the safe:

> turn dial to first-number.

> turn dial to second-number.

> turn dial to third-number. (+2; the safe is unlocked.)

> open safe. pull lever. (You hear something move; it's the bookshelf in the living room.)

> n. e.


> x bathtub. x toilet. x sink. x cabinet.

> open cabinet. x jars. (None are labeled.)

> w. n.

Living Room

> x passageway. d.

Dim Chamber

> x pedestal. x board.

Several useful commands on how to use the Go board are spelled out:

> take board. take g3. (You can't remove either.)

Lets try to capture the black stones. Every time you do, the black stone will vanish and you'll hear a rumbling noise. That's the sound of a new passageway opening.

Capture C3:

> put white stone on c2. put white stone on c4.

> put white stone on d3. put white stone on b3. (+2)

Capture C7:

> reset board.

> put white stone on c6. put white stone on c8.

> put white stone on d7. put white stone on b7.

Capture G3:

> reset board.

> put white stone on g2. put white stone on g4.

> put white stone on h3. put white stone on f3.

Capture G7:

> reset board.

> put white stone on g6. put white stone on g8.

> put white stone on h7. put white stone on f7.

Take the white stones back:

> reset board.

> ne.

Cube Room (many rooms)

This room represents the southwest corner (A1) of a gigantic Go board.

The cube rooms corresponding to C3, C7, G3 and G7 now have steps going down because you captured those stones in the Dim Chamber.

CAUTION: Anything dropped in any Cube Room vanishes! Vanished items can be found and re-taken in the Dim Chamber.

Let's go to "C7" first:

> e. e. e. e. e. e. n. n. d.

Hot Zone

> read sign. (No heat sources allowed here!)

> n.

Cube Room

> x block. x red cube. take it.

> s. e.

Kiln Room

> x kiln. look in it. x shards.

> search shards. x mold. take it.

> w. w.

Duct Room

> x pipes. x ducts. x exhaust.

> take soot. e. s.

Oven Room

> x table. x oven. (furnace and crucible)

> x furnace. read sign. ("Maximum Temperature: 1800 F")

> x socket. (Empty, takes a fuse.)

> x light. x green button. ("_ower") x red button. ("_nit on")

> x gas pipe. x electrical line.

> x crucible. open it. x cup.

Now head to "C3":

> n. u. w. w. w. w. d.

Rocky Chamber

> x plate. n.

Cube Room

> x block. x white cube. take it.

> s. e.

Brass Room

> x stand. x sphere. x plate. x smudge.

> push plate. (Scanner. You may remember the book about fingerprints.)

> put soot on smudge. (fingerprint revealed)

> push plate. (+2; the metal plate in Rocky Chamber has opened.)

> w. w.

Material Storage Room

The adamantine bin is empty, but all the other bins contain one ingot of the appropriate metal.

> x bins. (Eight metals, same as in the book upstairs.)

Comparing the oven's maximum temperature of 1800°F with the table of melting points listed by that book in the living room, note that only silver can be melted in the oven.

> open silver bin. take silver ingot.

> e. s.

Work Room

> x bench. x rod. take rod. (It swings, knocking a fuse into a hole in the floor.)

> x hole. look in it. take fuse. (You can't reach it.)

Now head for "G3":

> n. u. n. n. n. n. d.

Damp Chamber

> x moss. n.

Cube Chamber

> x block. x black cube. take it.

> s. w.

Salt Chamber

> take salt. x it. e. e.

Sculpture Chamber

> x sculpture. x cylinder. x red ball.

> put salt in cylinder. take ball. (+2)

> open ball. x gum. (Not what I expected to find.)

> w. s.

Waterwheel Room

> x wheel. x pipe. x valve. x axleorx generator.

> turn valve. (Nothing happens.)

> x stem. x hole.

> put rod in hole. turn valve. (+2)

> x water. take rod.

Head back to the Work Room where we saw the fuse:

> n. u. s. s. s. s. d. s.

Work Room

> take gum. chew gum. put gum on rod.

> put rod in hole. (+2; you have the fuse.)

Now head for "G7":

> n. u. e. e. e. e. n. n. n. n. d.

Plank Room

> x planks. n.

Cube Room

> x block. x green cube. take it.

> s. w.

Drum Room

> x drum. open it. (Need more leverage.)

> open drum with rod. look in drum.

> take gloves. x gloves.

> e. s.

Wood Storage

> x log. take log. x rack.

> n. e.


Note: The waterwheel must be running to provide electricity for the lathe.

> x lathe. x clamp. x button.

> x light. (If it's glowing, it has power.)

> put log in clamp. push button. (+2; The log is now a baseball bat.)

> take bat. x it.

Now return to the Oven Room:

> w. u. s. s. s. s. d. s.

Oven Room

Time to melt some silver.

> put fuse in socket. put ingot in cup. close crucible.

> x light. (It should be glowing, using power generated by the waterwheel.)

Note: the green button is for the blower; the red button is the ignition.

> push green button. push red button.

> wear gloves. open crucible. take cup.

> look in cup. (Molten silver.)

> put mold on table. pour silver into mold.

> break mold with bat. (+2; four silver Go stones made.)

> x silver stone. take all silver stones.

> look under cup.

> put cup in crucible. remove gloves.

Head back to the Dim Chamber:

> n. u. s. s. w. w. w. w. w. w. sw.

Dim Chamber

It's quite the leap in logic to do this, but you next want to capture the gold stone at the center of the board with the silver stones, and hopefully create a new passage downwards in the central Cube Room. This is perhaps clued by the elemental themes seen in the other underground areas, the fridge poster that arranges the elements in a cross, and the fact you have one gold stone and four silver stones.

> take gold stone. put gold stone on e5.

> put silver stone on f5. put silver stone on d5.

> put silver stone on e4. put silver stone on e6.

The gold stone disappears. More rumbling.

> reset board.

> ne. e. e. e. e. n. n. n. n.

Cube Room (E5)

Yes, there's a new hole down.

> d. (All your Go stones vanish.)

Earthen Chamber

> x pedestal. x board. look under it.

> n.

Northern Chamber

You remember the Elements poster on the fridge still, yes? And where you got each cube from? That'll help you figure out which cube goes on which chamber's block.

> x block. put black cube on block. (A passageway opens north.)

> n. n.

Northern Testing Room

Note: If you leave a testing room without solving its board, the crystal stone returns to the bowl.

> x bowl. take crystal stone. x board.

> put crystal stone on i9. (+2; correct!; board, bowl, and stones vanish.)

> s. s. s. e.

Eastern Chamber

> put green cube on block. (A passageway opens east.)

> e. e.

Eastern Testing Room

> take crystal stone. x board.

> put crystal stone on i6. (+2; correct!; board, bowl, and stones vanish.)

> w. w. w. s.

Southern Chamber

> put red cube on block. (A passageway opens south.)

> s. s.

Southern Testing Room

> take crystal stone. x board.

> put crystal stone on g9. (+2; correct!; board, bowl, and stones vanish.)

> n. n. n. w.

Western Chamber

> put white cube on block. (A passageway opens west.)

> w. w.

Western Testing Room

> take crystal stone. x board.

> put crystal stone on e7. (+2; correct!; board, bowl, and stones vanish.)

> e. e. e.

Earthen Chamber

When you re-enter here after solving all four testing room tests, you find your teacher who congratulates you and assigns you a new test. Place the white and black spheres in the appropriate depressions in the pedestal to correspond to their scores in the Go game on the floor, assuming a komi of zero and no captured stones.

You may wish to re-read the section on Scoring in the Go booklet, or look at my explanation of the Final Go Puzzle below.

> x black sphere. x white sphere. x pedestal.

> x depressions. (100 of them, numbered from one to 100.)

> x teacher.

> put black sphere in 68.

> put white sphere in 72.

Your teacher is impressed, reveals that she's a dragon (!), explains about maintaining balance, and bids you follow her.

*** You have won ***

Let's hope she doesn't think you're part of a "balanced" diet, eh?

> amusing



Have you tried

Here are some topics you can ask your teacher about: board, books, cubes, diary, Go, oven, sculpture, spheres.


There really aren't any other characters in the game. It's just you and her.



First, of course, credit must go to those fine folks at Infocom - the original Implementors.

Next, to Graham Nelson, whose Inform language allows us mere mortals to become Implementors, if only for a little while.

I'd also like to thank the following people who assisted with coding this game: Jon Ingold for writing the safe's code for me, Magnus Olsson for the code I "borrowed" from his game 'Zugzwang', Graham Nelson (again) for the matchbook code (which I also borrowed, this time from 'Toyshop'), Andrew Plotkin for various bits, Lucian Smith for his beta testing web site, plus all the helpful people on

The original Reversi source code was written in PocketC by Dave Derrick for handheld PCs. It is available from the OrbWorks web site ( I modified the source to make the AI avoid corner moves in the early- and mid-game. This will (hopefully) make it play a stronger game.

And last (but definitely not least) the beta testers. In alphabetical order they are: Karalee Coleman, David Glasser, Jen Picagli, Vanessa Falls Pinter, Andy Scarfe, Daniel Talsky and Joseph Yarrow. Thanks to their efforts, this is a much better game than I had originally designed. Of course, any errors remaining are entirely my own.


Final Go Puzzle

If you're having trouble understanding how we arrived at the Go scores in the final puzzle, it's just a matter of counting the spots where no stones are placed, and therefore territory for either white or black. The O's on the map are the white stones; the X's on the map are the black stones. Territory surrounded by white stones count towards White's total; likewise, territory surrounded by black stones count towards Black's total.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 O X X X O 8 O 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 O O X X X O O 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 O 26 27 28 O X X X O O X O O O O 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 O O X X X X X X X X O O 36 37 O 38 39 40 41 O X X O O X O O X X X O 42 43 44 O 45 O O O X X O O O O O O O X X 46 47 48 49 O X X X X O O X X X X X O O O 50 51 52 O X X O X X O 53 O 54 55 56 O X X X X X O 57 58 59 60 O X X X X X X O O 61 62 63 64 O O X X X X X X O O O O O O X X X X X O O O X X X X X X X X X X X X O O O O O O X X O O X X X O X X X X X X X X O X X X X X X O X O X O O X X X X X X X X X O O O O O O O X O O O O X X X X X O 65 O 66 O X X O 67 O 68 O X O X O O 69 70 O X X X O 71 72 O O O O 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68

As I hope is clear from the diagram, the scores are 72 for White and 68 for Black.



You have (so far) scored total out of a possible 28, in turn-count turns, earning you the rank of ranking.

The score is made up as follows:

Note that you will not get full points for solving the testing room puzzles if you make wrong guesses.

The possible rankings are:

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

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