Key & Compass presents:
Pen and Paint
by Owen Parish

Pen and Paint is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2010 by Owen Parish. It was an entry in IF Comp 2010 where it tied for 17th place.

In this game, you play as a writer, waking up after hearing something downstairs. You and your wife Eleanor soon discover there's been an intruder and her paintings are infected! You'd better find your pen and enter the stories to find out what's happened. Meanwhile, Eleanor begins a new painting to trap the intruder in.

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.


Map 1: Your home

Bedroom Bathroom Landing Study Kitchen DiningRoom Gallery Library Cellar u u d d (to outside) (tooutside)

Assuming you're properly attuned, fully inspired, near the appropriate book, and have your pen:

Map 2: Goblins' mine

🎵 Drummer'sCircle Top ofthe Idol CaveChamber CavePassage GreyPassage SleepingQuarters EquipmentRoom Cavern Stairwayto Surface Yourhome jump u write inforest book d stop

Map 3: Forest

Yourhome Atop theRaggedTree DwarvenTent Edge oftheField DeadField 🎵 ForestClearing goose-berries blue-bells daffodils bram-bles waspnest thickmoss By theriver Edge of theField andthe Grey Tree stop u write inforest book d Amidst the Trees (out offorest)

Note that for the final step in the forest maze, you must examine the moss if you want to reach the river.

Map 4: Pyramid

GreyRoom King'sChamber NorthCorridor 🎵 Servant'sChamber Joining WestCorridor EastCorridor EntrancePassage Ante-chamber EnchanterRoom SouthCorridor Yourhome EmbalmingRoom write inpyramid book stop

Map 5: Sky Islands

DragonRock 🎵 GreyRainbow RainbowRock LightningRock CloudRock YourRock Yourhome AirshipRock d stop d u write inislands book u


NOTE: This game doesn't support ask NPC about SOMETHING. Instead, use ask NPC for SOMETHING.


You hear something downstairs.

> x me. (You're not dressed properly.)

> i. (nothing)

> s. d.


The paintings look wrong somehow? Note that whenever you look at a painting, you feel inspiration but need "further stimulation for your senses".

> x paintings.

> x mine painting. x forest painting. x pyramid painting. x islands painting.

> x mine book. x forest book. x pyramid book. x islands book.

> x cupboard. x futon.

> z. (Wait until Eleanor is there.)

> x Eleanor. ("My paintings have been INFECTED!")

> z.

Eleanor says to look at a picture to get attuned, then use your pen to write words in the books. Enter the story and find what's been done.

> z.

Eleanor sets up an easel.

> z.

Eleanor puts a canvas on the easel. She's going to make a trap. Meanwhile, explore your home and pick up everything that's not locked down.

> u. n.


> x seashell. (It has birdsong.)

> take it.

> s. w.


> x toilet. x sink. x bath. x musician. (awaits instructions)

> e. e.


> x pen. take it.

> x notepad. take it.

> x jar. take it.

> x toy. take it.

> x work desk. x chair. x shelf.

> w. d. e.


> x volumes. x bowl.

> x sphere. take it.

> w. w.

Dining Room

> x table. x portraits. x chairs.

> w.


> x surface. x implements. x machines.

> x battery. take it.

> w. (No; it's dark.)

> d.


> x table. x shadows.

> u. e. e.


Now explore each of the storyworlds represented by the paintings and books. You can do them in any order, but this walkthrough will do them in the order presented. Which means we'll do the goblin mine first.

For each storyworld, you need to first examine its painting, then increase your inspiration twice by touching, smelling, or hearing something relevant, then write in its book with your pen.

> x mine painting. (Inspiration begins.)

> play toy. (Inspiration increases.)

> e.


> smell fungus. (Inspiration increases more. You can now write in the mine book.)

> w.


> write in mine book.

You're now an elf in the goblins' mine.

Stairway to Surface

Although stairs are here, you can neither go up nor down from this location.

> x me. i. x skull. x rubble. x pit.

> take rubble. (You can only hold the rock for a turn.)

> put rock in pit.

The noise attracts the goblins, and they now glare at you.

> give skull to goblins. (This placates them.)

> w.


> x goblins. n.

Sleeping Quarters

> x beds. x blanket. take it.

> w.

Grey Passage

This room is incomplete, as if you haven't written this part of the story yet.

> e. e.

Equipment Room

> x ladder. take ladder.

> n. n.

Cave Chamber

> x idol. x goblins. listen.

> lean ladder on idol. u.

Top of the Idol

> x crack. jump.

With the blanket's aid, you float to...

Drummer's Circle

> x drummer. x robe.

> listen. (You got it. You leave the story.)


You now have a music sheet.

> i. x sheet.

Continue with the forest storyworld next. For forest-based inspiration, you need to hear birds and feel leaves.

> x forest painting. listen to seashell.

> u.


> x diagram. x leaves. touch leaves.

> d.


> write in forest book.

You are now a dwarven botanist in a forest.

Dwarven Tent

> x tent. x me. i. x trowel.

> s.

Forest Clearing

> w. (No, that's for leaving the forest.)

> e.

Amidst the Trees (gooseberries)

> x birds. x gooseberries. (unripe)

> listen to birds. ("orth!")

> n.

Amidst the Trees (bluebells)

> x bluebells. listen to birds. ("Teast!")

> e.

Admist the Trees (daffodils)

> x daffodils. listen to birds. ("orth!")

> n.

Admist the Trees (brambles)

> x brambles. listen to birds. ("Mouth!")

> s.

Admist the Trees (wasp nest)

> x wasp nest. listen to birds. ("orth!")

> n.

Admist the Trees (thick moss)

You must examine the moss here, otherwise going south won't take you to the river.

> x moss. (It only grows on north sides of trees.)

> listen to birds. ("Mouth!")

> s.

By the River

> x log. take log.

> s.

Edge of the Field and the Grey Tree

Nothing is actually here. This location is unfinished.

> n. n.

Edge of the Field

> x tree. x pods. x rocks.

> climb tree.

Atop the Rugged Tree

> x sun. x pods.

> drop log. (The pods explode. Fun!)

> d. e.

Dead Field

> x remains. dig. (You get a vibrating orb.)

You leave the story.


You have another music sheet.

> i. x sheets.

Continue with the pyramid storyworld:

> x pyramid painting.

> open jar. listen to silence.

> close jar. shake sphere.

> write in pyramid book.

Enchanter Room

> x me. (non-physical)

> i. x box. x rod. x gloves. x circle.

> n. e. n. n.

Grey Room

Hm. Another incomplete room.

> s. e. e.

Entrance Passage

It's important that you first know there are robbers in the pyramid before trying to collect the tools you'll need to scare them away.

> e. (You hear tomb robbers.)

> w. s. s.

Embalming Room

> x shadows. (Can't see in them)

> wear gloves.

> touch shadows. (You find a roll of bandages.)

> x bandages. wear bandages. (You wrap them around your face.)

> n. w. w. n.

King's Chamber

> x king. x treasures.

> s. w.

Servant's Chamber

> x servants. (Two are sleep; one is half-awake.)

> x shroud. take shroud. (You need the servant's permission.)

> talk to servant. (Stronger method needed)

> take rod. smite servant. (He wakes.)

> talk to servant. (He gives his shroud to you.)

> wear shroud.

Wearing both bandages and shroud, you have a suitably frightening outfit. Return to the robbers:

> e. e. n. e. e. e.


The thieves flee, screaming, leaving a strange machine.

> x machine. listen to machine. (Got it.)

You leave the story.


You have a third music sheet. Onto the last painting, the islands one:

> x islands painting.

> drop battery. take battery. (inspiration grows)

> w.

Dining Room

There's a flower bowl in this room, but it isn't mentioned at all! Oops.

> x flowers. smell flowers.

> e.


> write in islands book.

Your Rock

> x me. x stuff. i. (carrying nothing)

> d.

Airship Rock

> x crew. x wreck. (has a spring-loaded cannon)

> talk to crew.

They want your help fixing their ship. They agree to give you their cannon if you find a power source and some buoyant material for them.

> u. u.

Lightning Rock

> x rod. take rod. e.

Cloud Rock

> x clouds. x blue. x yellow. x pink. x green.

The blue, yellow, and green clouds are all too thin to take.

> take pink clouds.

> w. w.

Rainbow Rock

> x rainbow. x pot.

> w.

Grey Rainbow

Yet another incomplete location.

> e. e. d. d.

Airship Rock

> give rod. give cloud.

The crew fix their airhip, thank you and leave, leaving the cannon behind for you.

> x cannon. (To use it, FIRE something.)

> take cannon.

> u. u. n.

Dragon Rock

> x dragon. talk to dragon. (That would be very unwise.)

> fire pot. (The dragon goes after the pot.)

> x treasure. open box. (It plays music: Got it.)


Now that you have four music sheets, Eleanor tells you to put "him" into her new picture.

> x picture. x sphere picture. (New inspiration.)

> u. w.


> give music to musician. (He plays them. Now you know the composer and can write him into your passages.)

> e. d.


> write in notepad.

Looking into the Sphere

You're here as yourself and have all your normal inventory.

> talk to culprit. (He wanted you to finish your stories.)

> x culprit. (He's dressed as a bard, but has no instrument.)

> stop.

You return to bed with Eleanor. You'll work on your stories tomorrow.

*** Zzzz... ***



In the main world:

The player-character in the story worlds:

Other characters in the story worlds:


From part of the response to HELP:

Thanks to Graham Nelson (and others) for Inform 7.

Thanks to Conrad Cook, Jeff Pankratz and Leandro Ribeiro for testing.

Please send any feedback to email redacted. This game may be freely distributed, but not sold or otherwise used for profit without the written permission of the author.


The writer's inventory

Note that the books in the gallery would normally be takeable, but since you need them near their respective pictures, you won't take any of them.

The dwarven botanist's inventory

Honorable mention:

The elven spelunker's inventory
The sorcerer's inventory
The sky-creature's inventory

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