Key & Compass presents:
Opening Night
by David Batterham

Opening Night is a Z-machine interactive fiction story written with Inform 7 and is © 2008 by David Batterham. It was an entry in IF Comp 2008 where it took 7th place.

In this story, it's 1917 and you play as a factory worker. You've come to the Marquis Theatre to see Miranda Lily, the Broadway star. You hope you can give her the rose you're carrying.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 3 of the story.


d u show ticketto usher u d DressingRoom Backstage Trench UtilityCorridor FireEscape StorageRoom Vestibule Alley Cloakroom Foyer 14th StreetWest Front ofTheatre u d Row F


Front of Theatre

> x me. i. x rose. x ticket.

> x playbill. x throng. x doorman.

> n. (Your tattered suit doesn't meet tonight's dress code.)

> x my suit.

> e. (You see nothing useful in that direction.)

> w.

14th Street West

> x trees. x bench. x tramp. x paintbrush. x posters.

Talking to the tramp doesn't help much. He seems unable to talk?

> take poster. (Tramp stops you then mimes painting a wall.)

> e. nw.


> x can. x peel. x newspaper. read it. x lid.

> take all from can.

> close can. stand on can. u.

Fire Escape

> open window. e.

Storage Room

> x bucket. smell it. take it.

> x dragon. x bust. x mannequin. x sets. x door.

> w. d. stand. se. w.

14th Street West

> give bucket to tramp. (He pastes posters everywhere, heading east.)

> e.

Front of Theatre

The tramp is off to the east. Every now and then he returns here before heading east again.

> x playbill. ("Twisty Little Passages", 1917)

> drop peel.

> z. (Continue to wait until the tramp returns.)

The tramp slips on the peel, the bucket lands on the doorman's head, and the doorman chases the tramp to the west.

> n.


> x chandeliers. x colonnades. w.


> x shelves. x hooks. x coats. x hats.

> e. n.


> x usher. show ticket to usher. (He leads you to...)

Row F

> x curtains. x seat. sit on seat.

> z. z. z. (The curtains part. Miranda Lily is there.)

> x Lily. x forest.

It's now intermission, and you go outside to catch your breath.

Front of Theatre

> nw.


A dumpster has replaced the trash can.

> x graffiti. read it. g. g. g.

> x dumpster. x crowbar. take it.

> se. w.

14th Street West

> x bench. take plank.

> pry plank with crowbar. (You have it.)

> e. n. w.


> x chest. open it. (locked)

> open chest with crowbar.

> x bottle. take it. x tools.

> read newspaper. (You can't focus on it.)

> e.


> n. (There's a hole in the floor! But no one else notices?)

> put plank on hole. n.


A wounded soldier half-collapses here. The usher doesn't notice.

> x soldier. give bottle to soldier.

The soldier recovers, and then the usher notices, and takes him to his seat.

> show ticket to usher.

Row F

> sit on seat. z. z. z.

The curtains part. Miranda Lily, in chains, sings to a monster.

> x monster. x Lily.

Hero arrives, kills the monster, but the monster is the soldier? Now Lily stares at you directly. You close your eyes at her pain.

> open eyes.

The theatre is now empty, dark, and half destroyed.

> stand.

> x holes. x seats. x stage. x trench. x curtain.

> i. x stem. (This is all that's left of the rose.)

> d.


You remember serving in the war in France.

> w.


> x bulldozer. x door. n.

Dressing Room

> x mirror. x table. x vase.

> put stem in vase. (Miranda Lily died in 1953.)

> s. s.

Utility Corridor

> x pipes. x ladder. u. e.


You again remember Miranda Lily's performance.

> x chandelier. x colonnades. s.

*** CURTAIN ***





Opening Night is an interactive fiction by David Batterham. It was written for the 2008 Interactive Fiction Competition.

This game focuses on story rather than on puzzles. The few puzzles that exist should be relatively simple to solve. It should not be possible to put the game in an unwinnable state. If you do get stuck, you can consult the walkthrough provided.

The author can be contacted by email at

Many thanks are due to my beta testers:


Unlisted, but you also have:

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough is provided free of charge since the work it's based on has less than fifteen locations. Please consider it a thank you for your support!

I create larger walkthroughs too! Please visit my Patreon account if you're interested in helping me create more interactive fiction walkthroughs. I appreciate all the help I can get! Thanks again.