Key & Compass presents:
The Obscene Quest of Dr. Aardvarkbarf
by Gary Roggin

The Obscene Quest of Dr. Aardvarkbarf is a TADS 2 text adventure game and is © 1997 by Gary Roggin. It was entered in IF Comp 1997 where it took 22nd place.

The story so far: You were a undergraduate in Temporal Physics until a dalliance involving a stolen time machine and cheap champagne got you expelled. Now you work as an assistant to Dr. Bignose, chair of the Temporal Physics Department. Although today's Saturday, he called you at the ungodly hour of noon to do a teeny-weeny favor: come onto campus and deliver an envelope to Dr. Aardvarkbarf. He's sure it won't take too long.

This solution is by David Welbourn.


Map 1: The Campus

climbdownrope climb ivy d u climbdowntree StoreRoom Inter-section TheFountain ClearingWest ofPhysics BreakRoom NorthwestCorner In Front of theMain Door to theAnthropology Building NortheastCorner PhysicsHallway YourOffice Path onWest Sideof Anthro-pologyBuilding Path onEast Sideof Anthro-pologyBuilding Sheri'sOffice HallwaySouth Dr.Bignose'sOffice NorthRoof Clingingto Ivy Lobby ofPhysicsBuilding SouthRoof Front ofIvy Wall At theTop ofthe Tree Front ofPhysicsBuilding Bubbles'Office Charlene'sOffice SouthwestCorner Path on theSouthern Side of theAnthropology Building SoutheastCorner At theBase ofthe Tree Quad Front ofAdmissions Lobby ofAdmissions Lobby ofAdmissionsEast AccountingOffice Archway ClearingWest ofAdmissions Janitor'sRoom Front ofJuniperBushes VentilationShaftWest VentilationShaftEast VentilationShaftEast Two (to ParkingLot) (?) Lobby ofAnthro.North Dr.Jellyfish'sOffice (to GraphAvenue) enter fountain. d climb ladder. out climbuprope d u d u climb wall climb down wall

Map 2: Inside the Anthropology Building

climb down rope climb up rope d u d u Dr. Smelly-jelly'sOffice Dr.Jobless'Office Lobby ofAnthro.North SecondFloorHall West SecondFloorHall East Landing Lobby ofAnthro.South Dr. Babble-fjord'sOffice Dr.Jellyfish'sOffice Top ofStair Case Dr. Eau-booboo'sOffice BasementHallwayWest BasementHallWest BasementHallWest Two Dr. Aard-varkbarf'sOffice Dr. Chimp-anzee'sOffice In Front of theMain Door to theAnthropology Building NorthRoof Clingingto Ivy (no clothingbeyondthis point)


Some opening remarks:

Your Office

Your task is to deliver an envelope to Dr. Aardvarkbarf's office. The envelope ought to be in Dr. Bignose's desk drawer. Aardvarkbarf's office ought to be in the Admissions Building, unless he's moved. The key ought to open the Admissions Building, unless it doesn't. You're to put the envelope in the box on Aardvarkbarf's desk and lock the Building afterwards when you leave.

> info. (to list useful verbs)

> x me. i. x clothes.

> read memo. x key. take key.

> x basket. x thesis. read it. x bulb.

> x desk. x artifacts. x crap.

> open drawer. take all from drawer.

> x screwdriver. x token. x sandwich.

> w. s. w.

Sheri's Office

> x desk. open drawer.

> read letter. (It's from "Booboo" and mentions "58-78")

> e. e.

Dr. Bignose's Office

> x desk. x papers. read papers.

> open drawer. take all from drawer.

> x pistol. x chicken sandwich.

> x pedestal. x markings. x panel. touch panel.

> shoot panel. (+10) drop pistol. x controls.

> w. n. n.

Break Room

> x garbage. x table. x chair.

> w. w.

The Fountain

> x fountain. enter fountain.

> x torch. take torch.

> x water. x rung.

> x trap door. open it. (+10; you fall inside)

Store Room

> x grate. x hammer. take it.

> x shelves. x ladder. x iron door. (Locked.)

> climb ladder. out. w.


> n. (No point. You'll never have a car.)

> s.

In Front of the Main Door to the Anthropology Building

> x columns. x frieze. x door. x lock.

> unlock door with key. (Doesn't fit.)

This key doesn't unlock anything. You might as well drop it.

> drop key.

> e. s. s. e.

At the Base of the Tree

> x tree. climb tree.

At the Top of the Tree

You want the rope, but leave the book and egg.

> x book. read book. (Janitor likes explosives.)

> x rope. take it. x egg. x nest.

> climb down tree. e.


There's an archway to the south and the front of the physics building to the north, but you can skip those locations.

> e.

In Front of the Admissions Building

> open door. (locked)

> s.

A Clearing on the West Side of the Admissions Building

You can ignore the juniper bushes to the south.

> x gouges. climb wall.

Ventilation Shaft West

This is an outdoor location initially. When the cover falls off, this becomes an indoor location.

By the way, "unscrew screw" isn't understood! You have to "unscrew THE screw"!

> x cover. x screw.

> unscrew the screw. (The screwdriver flies into the bushes below.)

> hit screw with hammer. (+20)

You'll need a light-source east of here, such as the torch.

> e. e. d.

Accounting Office

> x desks. x cubicles. x door. (locked)

> s.

Janitor's Room

> x panel. open panel. take dynamite. x it.

> x lever. x bulb.

> pull lever. (Auxiliary power is now on.)

> n. n.

Bubbles' Office

> x desk. open drawer. x turkey sandwich.

> e.

Charlene's Office

> x desk. x dish. x potpouri.

> x cooler. x envelope. take it. (+10)

> w. s. u. w. w.

Ventilation Shaft West

Why doesn't "out" or "down" work here? So awkward.

> climb down wall. n. w. w. w. w. w. n.

Path on West Side of Anthropology Building

> x ladder. u. n.

On the Northern Half of the Roof of the Anthropology Building

Note 1: You'll use the torch to light the dynamite.

Note 2: You'll somehow still have the rope after using it here.

> x depression. x crevice.

> put stick in crevice. light stick. (+50)

> x beam. tie rope to beam. climb down rope.

Lobby of the Anthropology Building- North

The door is north, but you can't unlock it from this side either.

> s.

Lobby of the Anthropology Building

> x sign. read it. ("Adjunct Faculty Offices")

> w.


You can use the token here, but you don't need to.

> x machine. put token in slot. push sandwich button.

> u. n.

Dr. Smellyjelly's Office

Oddly, you don't actually get the dictionary.

> x desk. take dictionary. (A hidden panel opens and a package falls out.)

> x package. open it. x set. take set.

> s. s.

Dr. Babblefjord's Office

The room description erroneously says the door leads south, but it's north.

> x desk. open drawer. read note.

The note explains you have to take off your clothes in order to go through some mechanism.

> n. e. n.

Dr. Jobless' Office

> x pad. x cabinet. x mask. take it.

> wear mask. (It glows; you can now see in the dark without the torch.)

> s. s.

Dr. Jellyfish's Office

The ivy wall is on the other side of this window.

> x fish. (A red herring, of course.)

> x window. unlock it. open it.

> n. w. d.


In case you want everything from the vending machine:

> pick lock. (with the lock pick set)

> open machine. x salami. x juice. x soda.

> e.

Lobby of the Anthropology Building

> open door. pick lock. (+10)

> s. d. n.

Dr. Eaubooboo's office

> x desk. x drawer. x left dial. x right dial.

Remember the numbers on the love letter? As far as I can tell, they're not randomized.

> turn left dial to 58. turn right dial to 78.

> open drawer. (+10)

> take shiny key.

> x shelf. x green book.

> take green book. (The shelf spins to reveal a screen.)

The lever in the Janitor's Room must be pushed down to provide power to this screen.

> x screen.

> push button. (+10; you see Bignose in 16th century France with destroyed time machine.)

> s. s.

Dr. Chimpanzee's Office

> x poster. x desk. open drawer. x dissertation. read it.

> n. e.

Basement Hall- East

> e. (Zap!) x field.

> remove clothes. drop clothes. e. (+10)

Basement Hall- East Two

> read sign ("Broom Closet. Keep Out.")

> x door.

> unlock door with shiny key. drop shiny key.

> e.

Dr. Aardvarkbarf's Office

> x desk. x box.

> put envelope in box. (+50)

You are zapped to 16th century France in front of Dr. Bignose's smoldering time machine.

This concludes Chapter One of ++ The Obscene Quest of Dr. Aardvarkbarf ++

Coming soon (to Comp 98)...

Chapter TWO: ++ Trapped in Time with Dr. Bignose ++

Unfortunately, the sequel was never written, so we'll have to just guess how the story continues from here.



Note that you don't get to meet anyone in the game and the only people you ever see are Dr. Bignose and some villagers in a screen in Dr. Eaubooboo's office.


From the response to CREDITS:


by Gary Roggin

This game is free- ware.

This game was written in Fall 1997 for the 1997 Interactive Ficiton Competition.

You may send questions or comments to

email redacted


Keys | Readables | Sandwiches | Other stuff

Note: You do have a carrying capacity limit in this game, but it seems to be based on bulk, not item count, so I can't predict exactly how many items is too many. I think you can carry around ten medium-sized items before running into difficulties. And, of course, items you're wearing don't count against the carrying limitation.


You don't need to carry these things around with you. Read 'em and leave 'em.


You only need to eat a sandwich every 500 turns; otherwise, leave the sandwiches alone. They're the only food in the game.

Other stuff


In a total of several turns, you have achieved a score of your-score points out of a possible 200.

Sorry, but I'm somehow missing 10 points. I have no idea what I might have missed unless there really is some way to open the iron door in the Store Room under the fountain.

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

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