Key & Compass presents:
On the Farm
by Lenny Pitts

On the Farm is a TADS 2 interactive fiction game and is © 1999 by Lenny Pitts. It was entered in IF Comp 1999 where it took 7th place.

You play as kid visiting Grandma and Grandpa on the farm for the weekend. Unfortunately, Grandpa forgot Grandma's birthday and they've just had a big argument about it. Grandpa hopes you can think of a way to get Grandma to forgive him.

This solution is by David Welbourn.

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.


(intoouthouse) CornFields u e in u d d n/w/s d u [S]wing InsideBarn Hay Loft Acrossthe River LargeOak Treeon theRiverbank In Frontof the Barn Haystackby the Sideof the Barn RustyTractor InsidetheCow Pen OutsidetheCow Pen Windmill OutsidetheOuthouse ManurePit Grand-parent'sBedroom UpstairsLanding GuestBedroom DiningArea SittingRoom Kitchen Porch RiverShallows MuddyEmbank-ment VegetableGarden FrontYard

Note: All directions from the Corn Fields but east return to the Corn Fields. If you try to map the Corn Fields with dropped objects, you soon learn it's just one location. If you spend too many turns there, the game will flat out tell you that the farm is to the east.


Would you like to review the author's game notes?
Press [Y] to display notes, or any other key to begin the game.


Grandpa asks if you can help get Grandma to forgive him.

> yes.

> x Grandpa. x chair.

> x bin. look in it. take magazine. x it. read it.

You're now in reading mode:

> A > B > C > D > Q

Paper goods can be destroyed by water in this game, so after you've done reading something, I suggest either dropping it or putting it back where you got it. And here's another option:

> give magazine to Grandpa.

> x planks. x door. x stains. x handrail. x chime.

> n.

Sitting Room

At some point during your chat with Grandma, she'll ask if you've read a book yet this summer. Answer yes. Otherwise she'll keep asking until you answer her question.

> hug Grandma. x Grandma. ask Grandma about Grandma.

> ask Grandma about Grandpa. (He forgot her birthday.)

> ask Grandma about birthday. kiss Grandma.

> ask Grandma about mother. ask Grandma about farm.

> ask Grandma about me.

> x lamp. ask Grandma about lamp.

> ask Grandma about knitting. no.

> ask Grandma about house. ask Grandma about screen door.

> x sofa.

> u.

Upstairs Landing

> x picture. w.

Grandparent's Bedroom

> take dentures. x them.

> x bed. x stand.

> e. e.

Guest Bedroom

> x mattress. x window. x bear. hug bear. (It stabs you?)

> x bear. take diary. x it. read it.

You're again in reading mode:

> N > N > N > N > N > N > Q

> put bear and diary on shelf.

> x books. x stuffing.

> w. d. w.

Dining Area

The rug here is the one mentioned in the diary.

> x table. x chairs. x rug.

> e. e.


If you try to take a knife, Grandma will rush in and stop you.

> x basin. take it. x knives.

Note: You can't open the stove while Grandma is in the kitchen. If necessary, wait until she's not there.

> x stove. open it. x fire.

> pour water on fire. x stove. take log. x log.

If Grandma finds you with the log, she'll shoo you out to the front yard. Let's assume she's done that.

Front Yard

> x grass. x chrysanthemums. x geraniums.

> drop log. n.


I'm taking the spring now just to make the walkthrough a bit shorter. We'll need a spring later, trust me. You can't take the spring unless the door is open.

Grandma may close the door after you open it. Grandma's randomness makes writing a walkthrough for this game far more difficult than it otherwise would be.

> ask Grandpa about screen door. ask Grandpa about spring.

> open door. take spring. close door.

> s.

Front Yard

> take log. w.

Vegetable Garden

We'll collect these veggies up later.

> x carrot. x beet. x spinach. x onion.

> n.

Outside the Cow Pen

> x blocks. e.


> x shaft. x clutch. x control arm. x lever.

> x generator. x gauge. x wires. x shelf.

> e.

Outside the Outhouse

You are unwilling to enter the outhouse.

> x outhouse. read board. ("PUTPBAD")

This is a "Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die" joke:

> take outhouse.

*** You have lost ***

> undo

Moving on:

> n.

Rusty Tractor

Note: Red wire is on positive terminal, black on negative.

Caution: Don't take the battery while the bees are here.

> x bees. x battery. x weeds. x cover.

> put log in hive. (The bees and hive are gone.)

> take battery.

> w.

Haystack by the Side of the Barn

> x hay. search hay. x needle.

> w.

In Front of the Barn

> x barn. x door. x runner.

> n.

Inside the Barn

> x rope. take it. (too big)

> untie rope. (need a pointed tool)

> untie rope with needle. x rope. (Still attached to the ball.)

> cut rope with dentures. (Not in your hands.)

> wear dentures. bite rope. remove dentures.

> take rope. x rope.

> x ladder. u.

Hay Loft

> x door. open door.

> x farmhouse. x windmill. x fields. close door.

> x vane. x arrow. x rose. x stand.

Remembering what you read in the diary:

> pull tail.

> x picture. x arrowhead. x nickel. x card. read card.

These treasures are fine right where they are.

> close stand.

> d. s. s. e.


> put battery on shelf.

> connect red to positive. connect black to negative.

> connect spring to lever. (This must be done while the lever is down.)

> push lever. z. z. z. z. (Needle at 5, smoke?)

> pull lever. take battery. w. w.

Inside the Cow Pen

> x sign. x ladder. x stalls.

> x button. x shelf. x wires. push button. (Fan has no power.)

> x slits. look through slits. (You see a hook.)

> put battery on shelf.

> connect red to positive. connect black to negative.

> push button. d.

Manure Pit

Don't stay here too long, even with the fan running. The fumes will kill you if the fan stops.

> take hook. x manure. u.

Inside the Cow Pen

> x hook. x shoes. (They're filthy now.)

> e. n. w.

Large Oak Tree on the Riverbank

> x tree. x river. x wildflowers.

> tie rope to hook. throw hook at branch.

> climb rope.

You've entered rope mode:

> S

Across the River

> smell susans. take susans. e. J

River Shallows

Caution: If you stand on the stone, you'll fall in the river and get soaked. Oh wait, you're already soaked.

> x river. x stone. x moss. x shoes. (wet, but the manure is gone)

> fill basin. x clean water.

> e.

Muddy Embankment

> x grass. x mud.

> e.

Vegetable Garden

> take all. e. n.


Grandma will not let you back in the house if your sneakers are filthy with manure.

Grandma will automatically take the vegetables from you as soon as she sees you with them, either here or inside the house.

Grandpa will automatically take the flowers from you and then he asks about your forehead welt.

> yes. give dentures to Grandpa.

This is your last chance to ask Grandpa about topics, such as:

> ask Grandpa about bees. ask Grandpa about haystack.

> ask Grandpa about tractor. ask Grandpa about windmill.

> ask Grandpa about barn. ask Grandpa about loft.

> ask Grandpa about vane. yes.

> ask Grandpa about mom. ask Grandpa about dad.

> ask Grandpa about river.

Eventually Grandma will come out and tell you that she's started the soup but needs fresh water from the river poured into the pot. Or you can go inside and find her and she'll tell you there. Feel free to ask her about any topics you're curious about. For example:

> give needle to Grandma. ask Grandma about soup.

> ask Grandma about garden. ask Grandma about chime.

> ask Grandma about teddy bear. ask Grandma about rug.

When you're done talking, head to the kitchen. I'll assume you're still on the porch:

> n. e.


> pour water into pot.

Grandma cooks the soup. She puts it on the table, and Grandpa gives her the Susans. Awww.


Thank you for playing On the Farm.



These are thumbnails of artwork in the game. To see the images at full size, please play the game.




This is the response to CREDITS:

Special thanks to:

Claire, my wife
For putting up with me spending lots of free time working on this when I should have been working in the basement.

Michael J. Roberts
Michael J. Roberts has made TADS freely available to interactive fiction developers. His TADS manual is well written, and was invaluable to me in the making of this game. He has also made the source code from his games "Ditch Day Drifter" and "Deep Space Drifter" (with Steve McAdams) available for others to study.

Stephen Granade
First, I would like to thank Stephen for running the 1999 Interactive Fiction Competition. I would also like to thank him for making the source code for his 1998 IF Competition game "Arrival" available. I enjoyed playing "Arrival" immensely, and found his source code to be a great resource for learning TADS. Additionally, I was inspired by this game to make my PC a little kid. I like the idea of dealing with certain objects that could be problematic to code, by simply explaining to the player that as a child "you are not allowed to touch that." Lastly, Stephen hosts a great web site at for people looking to learn more about interactive fiction.

J. Robinson Wheeler
I would like to thank Rob for helping me with the opening graphic for my game. The photograph came from the US Government National Archives and Records Administration Archival Information Locator (NAIL) web site. Rob took the black and white image and colorized it for me, and added a few touches to make it look like a photograph in a picture book.

Beta Testers - Doug Jones, Peter Berman, J. Robinson Wheeler, Simon Stapleton, Dan Schmidt
These are the guys who did the dirty work, and I can't give them enough credit. The game is one hundred times more playable now, than it was when I first turned it over to them.

#TADS Help - Dan Shiovitz, Neil deMause, John McCall
Many thanks to this trio for helping me over several bumps I hit while climbing the TADS learning curve.

TADS Modules - Suzanne Skinner
I would like to thank both Suzanne Skinner for making her TADS module asktell.t available on GMD.

David Glasser
I would like to thank David Glasser for hosting the Wacky Mini-Comp. The ideas he sparked finally got me motivated and committed to finishing this project.

R. Noyes
I would like to thank Spatch for granting me permission to pay tribute in my game to his epic one room IF work, "Pick Up the Phone Booth And Die".

Regarding the above:


Note: You can make the game unwinnable by overcharging the battery, making it explode.



By the way, this game has a special feature accessed with the XYZZY command. XYZZY opens a numbered menu of all the locations in the game that you have visited. Enter the number corresponding to the place you want to go to, and you'll teleport there instantly.

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