Key & Compass presents:
The One That Got Away
The One That Got Away is a TADS 2 interactive fiction game and is © 1995 by Leon Lin (as "The Author"). It was an entry in IF Comp 1995 where it took 3rd place.
On a fishing trip, you overhear about a legendary fish, The Old One, that appears once every thirty years, including this year. You thrill to the challenge. You will succeed where others failed. The Old One will not be The One That Got Away.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Version 1.0 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
Fish 'N Bait Store
cast line then wait
Path to Lake
While standing here, you may see a worm briefly in the dirt pile before it tunnels down out of view.
> i. x pamphlet. read it. (has sample transcript)
> x pole. x reel. x line. x hook.
> x bill. x box. x thermos. x ball.
> x small weight. x medium. x large.
> x birds. x deer.
> x dirt. x rocks. take rock. (+5)
> x heavy rock.
Bob's Fish 'N Bait Store
While here, Bob may (at random) tell you the story about pouring tea on a garden to get nightcrawlers. That's a hint.
You only need to buy the camera right now, but there's no rush. Relax. Spend some time here and listen to all of Bob's stories.
> x sign. x curtain. x bucket. (for worms)
> x receptacle. (for camera)
> x counter. x camera. x Bob.
> x photos. x first photo. x second.
> x third. x fourth. x fifth. x sixth.
> Bob, hello.
> ask Bob about worms. ask Bob about camera.
> ask Bob about lake. ask Bob about Nellie.
> ask Bob about Zeke. ask Bob about Robert.
> ask Bob about Thorpe. ask Bob about Roger.
> ask Bob about sixth photo.
> buy camera. (+5; using the bill; only one shot in it)
Path to Lake
> open thermos. look in it. x coffee.
> drink coffee.
> pour coffee on dirt. (+5. A worm emerges!)
> take worm. x it. put worm on hook.
> tie heavy rock to line.
Lake Highwater's Beauteous Shore
> x lake. x ducks. x trees. x pier. x plank.
> cast line. (+5)
> z. (Repeat waiting until you're pulled into the lake!)
In Lake Highwater
The Old One struggles on your line, and a gold bracelet's on its tail.
CAUTION: If you're underwater too long, you drown.
> point camera at Old One. push button.
> drop pole. u. (You swim to shore.)
Lake Highwater's Beauteous Shore
> s. w.
Bob's Fish 'N Bait Store
> put camera in receptacle.
> z. z. z. z. z. (Repeat waiting until the end.)
Bob picks up the camera, goes into the back room, takes a few turns to develop your picture, then returns with it. He identifies The Old One as a bluegill, and the bracelet as Nellie's.
You end your fishing trip, and The Old One waves to you as you go. This is the best ending you can get.
The amusing-text is at the end of the associated walkthru.txt file:
For Your Amusement
Have you tried...
Swearing? Swearing in front of Bob?
XYZZY? (And in front of Bob?)
Going east from the Path to Lake?
Asking Bob about the pictures? Taking a picture of Bob?
Kissing, killing, giving objects, showing objects to Bob or The Old One?
Ordering Bob or The Old One to do something?
Saying hello to Bob or The Old One?
Fishing with the cheese ball?
Fishing without bait? (Try several times.)
At different depths? (Use different weights, instead of the rock)
Drinking the coffee? The lake?
Eating the cheese ball? the worm? the birds? the deer? the ducks?
Cutting the line with the knife?
Casting the line in front of Bob?
Taking a picture of something other than The Old One?
Taking more than one picture?
A group of
old men gossip about The Old One in the intro.
Bob has run his store for 103 years, supposedly. He's also the best bait seller at Lake Highwater, even though he's out of bait today.
Job Bob Thorpe (1955) is the subject of the first photo. He once caught a fish "bass-ackwards".
Nellie Carpenter (1894) is the subject of the second photo. She was going to marry Bob, but was pulled underwater by The Old One on their wedding day. Her golden bracelet is stuck on its tail fin.
Robert Stanowski (1962) is the subject of the third photo. He was a child prodigy of fishing.
Roger Peterson (1918) is the subject of the fourth photo. He caught several fish with his bayonet.
Zeke Wilder (19xx) is the subject of the fifth photo. He's an old friend of Bob's, over eight feet tall, and he battled The Old One for six days.
earthworm lives in the dirt mound by the path.
Birds sing eloquently near the path. They look delicious.
Deer frolick in the nearby forest.
Ducks fly lazily over the lake.
The Old One is a giant bluegill that lives deep in Lake Highwater and is seen only once every thirty years. It's the subject of the blurry sixth photo, but the photo you take of it is much better.
wise Assyrian scribe wrote about fishing 4000 years ago.
Williard Scott never wished Bob a happy birthday on the "Today" show. A
rich European guy was also wooing Nellie.
Old man Hoss once drove into the lake while drunk.
Big Mouth is a fish that Bob caught at Lake Shawnee. A
hungry and savage bear is heard in the woods east of the path. Endings
You have gone to that great fishing hole in the sky
if you drown in Lake Highwater.
if you try to eat the birds: they pelt you with a hail of stones.
if you try to kill Bob with your knife.
[...] That time, it'll be war!
if you show the small, scrawny fish to Bob.
[...] "Maybe when The Old One comes back in thirty years you can try again!"
if Bob develops your photo of anything other than The Old One.
[...] As if to acknowledge the receipt of your challenge, The Old One waves its shiny tail at you and disappears beneath the surface of Lake Highwater.
if Bob develops your photo of The Old One.
In Version 1.0, the game doesn't gracefully end if you both lose your pole and never take a photo of The Old One. Perhaps this minor flaw is fixed by Version 1.2.
Initial items 🐟 Useful new items 🐟 Junk found by fishing
small pamphlet. You're carrying it.
Read it to see a sample transcript, showing by example what sorts of commands you can use in this game.
fishing pole. You're carrying it.
It has a reel, a fishing line, and a
hook tied to the line. Put the
worm on the hook and tie the heavy rock to the line. On the shore,
cast line, then wait until you're pulled into the lake. After taking a photo of The Old One with the
camera, drop the pole and go up before you drown. Sorry, but you don't get to keep your fishing pole. If, for some reason, you're not trying to catch The Old One, after casting the line, wait until you feel a vibration on the line or you feel nothing on the line. That's when you should
reel in the line. Examine the hook to see what you caught. a
dollar bill. You're carrying it.
In the store, buy the
camera (with the bill). a
tackle box. You're carrying it. a
thermos. You're carrying it.
Open it; it contains
coffee. Drink some, if you like. At the path, pour the coffee on the dirt mound to expose an
earthworm which you should take. Unfortunately, this uses up all your coffee. a
hook. It's on the fishing line of your pole. a
fishing knife. It's in your tackle box.
The knife cannot cut the
fishing line; the line is too strong. The knife cannot kill The One Old; the knife bounces off its strong scales.
cheese ball. It's in your tackle box.
While you can put the ball on the
hook as bait, you should use the earthworm as bait instead. a
small weight, a medium weight, and a large weight. They're in your tackle box.
You may tie one of these weights to the
fishing line (to change your fishing depth), but you should use the heavy rock instead.
Useful new items
heavy rock. Take a rock from the pile by the path to the lake.
Tie the rock to the
fishing line. Now when you cast your line, you'll fish at a very deep level of the lake. a
disposble camera. It's on the counter in Bob's store. Buy it with the dollar bill.
To use the camera, point the camera at your target, then push the button. Return to the store and put the camera into the plastic receptacle to get your photo developed. Bob starts developing your photo the next turn, and the game ends when he returns with your photo a few turns after that.
The camera has only one use. Make sure that your photo is of The Old One.
earthworm. It's in the dirt mound by the path.
To get the worm, open your
thermos and pour the coffee on the dirt. The worm emerges and you can take it easily. Put the worm on the
hook of your fishing line.
Junk found by fishing
With most of these, all you can do with them is show them to Bob.
dilapidated rubber boot. You might find this on your hook if you fish in the lake without bait (regardless of which weight used, if any), or if you use the worm without the heavy rock.
Bob says it's Zeke's (unless you're wearing it, then he just laughs at you).
vax. You might find this on your hook if you fish in the lake without bait (regardless of which weight used, if any), or if you use the worm without the heavy rock.
Bob played Zork on it but hated the maze.
tire. You might find this on your hook if you fish in the lake without bait (regardless of which weight used), or if you use the worm without the heavy rock.
Bob says it's old man Hoss's.
small, scrawny fish. You find this on your hook if you fish in the lake with the cheese ball as bait (regardless of which weight used, if any).
You cannot use this fish as bait. The cheese ball is gone.
You may eat this fish, which is probably your best option with it.
Bob says you should go back to playin' Nintendo if that's your best catch. You go home, defeated.
This is the response to
In a total of
several turns, you have achieved a score of your-score points out of a possible 20.
Points are awarded as follows:
5 points for acquiring a heavy rock.
5 points for buying the camera.
5 points for pouring coffee on the dirt mound, exposing the earthworm.
5 points for casting your line at the lake, regardless of how it's baited or weighted.
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Last updated: 30 Jan 2024 2024-01-30: Walkthrough and map published. davidwelbourn(a)hotmail*com