Key & Compass presents:
Of Their Shadows Deep
by Amanda Walker

Of Their Shadows Deep is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2022 by Amanda Walker. It was an entry in ParserComp 2022 where it took 2nd place.

In this small game, you play as someone fetching firewood in the winter woods for you and your mother. She has lost so many words; a loss that began as a slow trickle accelerated into a fire, the words escaping through her eyes like charred pages, white birds fleeing into the woods. This game features ASCII art, poetry, and riddles.

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.


Home Back Yard WinterWoods Creek Stream Ravine Cave WoodedPath Pasture BareRoom


Are you using screen reader software for text to speech? > no

Can you see the picture of the bird above? > yes

Would you like to read some helpful information before starting the game? > yes

Are you new to parser interactive fiction? > no


Winter Woods

Note: If you prefer descriptions instead of artwork, type READER ON.

> x me. i.

> x trees. x ice. x steps. x paper.

> take paper. (You read a riddle poem.)

NOTE: When you answer a riddle, don't put any period at the end of your answer; the game won't understand.

> say cat

And now there's a cat.

> x cat. pet cat.

> s.


> x ledge. x pool. x face. touch pool.

> x stream. x moss. x sun. x cave.

> w.


> x tree. x paper. take it. (too far)

> x roots. x waterfall.

> w.


> x trees. x bluff. x shadows. x fossils.

> x paper. take paper. (Another riddle.)

> say candle

> e. e. e.


With the candle's light, you can see another paper in here.

> take paper. (The candle falls apart but leaves something on your fingers. In the darkness, you can't see what it is.)

> w.

You have the word "burn".



> x paper. say butterfly

Cat and butterfly head west and south towards a pasture.

> w. w. s.

Wooded Path

> x trees. x stump. x log. x gate. x fence.

> s.


> x vines. x frostweed. x paper.

> take paper. (The butterfly becomes "fragile")

> take fragile.

> read paper. say door

> x knob. turn knob. (You enter...)

Bare Room

> take paper.

> read it. say window

There's now a window with another paper just outside it.

> open window. take paper. (The window becomes "glass")

> take glass.

> x paper. say axe

You now have an axe.

> open door. (can't: No knob or handle on this side.)

> chop door.


The word "hope" is all that remains of the door.

> take hope. n.

Wooded Path

> chop log. (You turn the log into firewood.)

The word "terror" is all that remains of the axe.

> take terror. take firewood.

> n. e. e.



The cat has dug a hole here.

> x hole. take paper. say balloon

You now have a balloon.

> w.


> drop balloon. (It dislodges the paper, but it itself pops leaving only a ribbon.)

> take paper. say heart

This time, saying the answer isn't quite enough. You must build it.

> take ribbon. (The cat drags it east.)

> e.


> take ribbon. (The cat drags it north.)

> n.

Winter Woods

> take ribbon. (The cat drags it north.)

> n.

Back Yard

> n. (The cat and ribbon follow you inside.)


> x fireplace. x woman. (Your mother)

> x book. (poetry by Yeats)

> put firewood in fireplace.

The cat jumps in, becomes "silken", which entwines with "ribbon" to become a silken ribbon.

> take ribbon.

Time to make a HEART, word by word:

> thread ribbon in hope.

> thread ribbon in fragile.

> thread ribbon in glass.

> thread ribbon in burn.

> thread ribbon in terror.

You've made a necklace.

> give necklace to mother.

She gives you her last word.

*** The End ***

Would you like to read the author's end notes? > yes



These are thumbnails of the artwork in this game. They are only displayed in READER OFF mode; in READER ON mode, descriptions are used instead. Please play the game to see the artwork in their intended sizes and contexts.




This is the response to CREDITS:

Special thanks to my wonderful testers: Drew Cook, Dark Star, Jade, Zed Lopez, Mathbrush, Eva Radke, Edo Rajh, and Mike Russo. I could never get anything done without their generous help.

Thanks to Emily Short for her extensions Basic Screen Effects and Glulx Image Centering, and to Gavin Lambert for his extension Exit Lister.

And deep and abiding thanks to everyone at the forums, who are always so patient with my questions.

The game quotes the poem When You Are Old by William Butler Yeats several times, and I encourage all players to read Yeats' work. Thanks to my mother, who every day modeled the joyful literacy and love of language that has defined my life. And always, always thanks to my sweetheart Tom, who took me and my whole family on with such grace.

Be sure to also read the author's end notes after completing the game for more details on the game's themes and inspirations.



There are eight papers and almost all of them are styled as a torn piece of paper with some writing on it. So, to disambiguate them here, I must rename them. My apologies to the purists out there.


When you have all five words, thread them together to form a HEART; see silken ribbon.

Other items

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