Key & Compass presents:
Open That Vein
by Chandler Groover

Open That Vein is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2015 by Chandler Groover. It was an entry in La Petite Mort division of Ectocomp 2015 where it took 1st place.

In this surreal game with a limited command set, are you prepared to open that vein? If yes, what will you find inside? And what will your mother say? Whatever happens, this is the way it's meant to be.

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.


Outsidethe vein Corridor Insidethe vein Bedroom Garden Wolf'sretreat enter vein followfootprints enterwolf enter door followfootprints enter alley (end)

A map for this game is rather meaningless, but you get one anyway.


Before we begin, are you prepared to open that vein?

> no

The vein coils around you like a snake and you can no longer do anything.

*** *** ***

> restart

Before we begin, are you prepared to open that vein?

> yes

Open That Vein

> x me. i. x vein. x scalpel.

> open vein. (It slithers away.)

> catch vein. open it.

It protests, "Think about mother!"


The vein dies, but then you see someone nefarious inside, retreating into the dark.

> enter vein.

(inside the vein)

> x footprints. (from large chisel-toed dress shoes)

> follow them. SPACESPACE

You find the wolf, cowering.

(wolf's retreat)

> x wolf. catch it. open it.

> x wolf. enter it. SPACESPACESPACE

(your bedroom)

Your parents get ready for a party and leave.



> x me. (five years old)

> i. (nothing)

> open door. enter door.


> x footprints. follow them.


> enter alley. (An animal is searching the rubbish.)


You run back inside, interrupting the party.


Your mother picks you up. Her earring glitters.


*** *** ***





This is the response to ABOUT:

Open That Vein is copyright 2015 by Chandler Groover. It may be distributed for free, but not sold or included in any for-profit collection without written permission from the author. It was coded in three hours for the Petite Mort category in ECTOCOMP 2015.

The only commands necessary to complete this game are: inventory, examine, catch, open, enter, follow.

Many thanks to Joey Jones for making his Danse Nocturne source code available for public plundering. Stealing the list that it uses to block standard verbs helped me to meet the ECTOCOMP deadline.

Open That Vein's cover image is modified from an illustration in Gray's Anatomy (1918).


Both endings end with ***.

Because of the surreal nature of the story, one cannot be certain how much is real and how much is imagined, or know if anything is a metaphor for something else. It's entirely possible that your mother, wrapping her arms about you in one ending, is not much different from the vein wrapping itself about you in the other ending.


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