Key & Compass presents:
Professor Frank
by Laurence Kilday

Professor Frank is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2011 by Laurence Kilday. This game was entered in IF Comp 2011 where it took 34th place.

You play as the absentminded Professor Frank, noted Scottish expert in newts, but nothing else. You wake up locked inside the Auldtoon Public Library and soon discover that several characters from various books, particularly by Scottish authors, roam the building at night. Leaving the library will prove to be quite the adventure!

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Version 12, Release 1 of the game.


Map 1: Library

⬛︎ ⬛︎ push roof u u d push boiler ⬛︎ d u pushlibrary d push button push button TransitRoom (3) CastleEntrance GreenCorridor ⬛︎ WestRoof Roof Treetop Staffroom StationBar Hallway MainHall ReadingRoom Alcove NorthBridge Elevator Store DPPDOffice BrickCorridor StoneChamber BoilerRoom JunkRoom TransitRoom (1) YellowRoom LongRoom Doppel-gangerLaboratory

Map 2: Castle

Riverbank stonebridge TransitRoom (2) Forest HighTreetop CastleEntrance Lawn AlchemyRoom WizardsHall Dungeon Porch Cloakroom TransitRoom (1) MysteryPyramid (The Wizard Ladyteleports youafter several turns) u push button x push button d x

Map 3: Pyramid

ScarabRoom Crypt RoyalTreasury AmmonRoom Chamberof Horus AnubisRoom Queen'sChamber MysteryPyramid SandyCorridor TransitRoom (3) RockChamber DampPassage u d push button u TransitRoom (2) (TRAP) BrickCorridor (TRAP) d push button


In this game, the main goal is to escape the library. The bonus goal is to find all ten gold rings hidden around the game.

On the plus side, the game is light-hearted and amusingly Scottish. There's no inventory limit; carry as much as you want. You can ask your parrot sidekick about lots of topics. The help command is location-sensitive. And your character can be be rescued up to eight times from various unpleasant events. The author obviously wants you to both enjoy the game and not get stuck.

On the minus side, I think you're going to get heartily tired of the repetitious nature of the game. There's lots of keys and doors. There's lots of characters that jump out of concealment and slowly advance menacingly towards you. The prose, when it isn't about-Scottish or silly stuff, is often basic and dull. Personally, I also found the use of primary and secondary colour adjectives everywhere rather tiresome, especially when I got to the green and red coffins. But your mileage may vary, as they say.

Reading Room

Would you believe you don't need anything found in the first room? But we're gonna take it all anyway, because I think that's part of the fun.

> about. x me. i. (Carrying nothing.)

> x briefcase. take it. (It's glued to the floor!)

> open briefcase. x radio. x beetle.

> take radio. take beetle. turn on radio. (Unfortuately, this breaks the radio.)

> take all from table.

> x magazine. x green book. x red book.

> x red door. x white door. x window. open window.

> e.


> x cage. (A parrot named Captain Flint now follows you.)

> x Flint. x cage. take ring.

> ask Flint about library.

> x green door. x blue door. x notice.

> ask about Jekyll. ask about Mia. ask about newts.

> open blue door. (Can't open from this side.)

> open green door. n.


Alas, we can't actually eat the honey. And although you can eat the treats in the fridge, I suggest not eating them.

> x jar. take it. open it. x honey. eat honey. close jar.

> x fridge. open it.

> x haggis. ask about haggis. take haggis.

> x scone. ask about scone. take scone.

> x bridie. ask about bridie. take bridie.

> close fridge. x computer. ask about computer.

> turn on computer. ("Beware of the plutonium.")

> ask about plutonium.

> look under table. read card. ("SECURITY CODE 7788")

> u.

Yellow Room

Captain Flint remarks that he'd like some birdseed.

> x desk. open drawer. x torch. take it.

> x box. take it. open box. x birdseed.

> give birdseed to Flint. look in box. take black key.

> x mirror. ask about mirror. x gray door.

> enter mirror. (Mirror is in the way?)

> open mirror. (Nope.)

> open gray door. e.

Long Room

> x striped door. read notice. (Jekyll's lab.)

> x cabinet. open it. (The Big Scunner jumps out! He wants a gift.)

> ask Flint about Scunner.

> give scone to Scunner. (Scunner gives a silver key and leaves.)

> x rabbit. open rabbit. take glass key.

> ask about laboratory.

> open striped door. e.

Doppelganger Laboratory

> x blue flask. x black potion.

> x test tube. x wafer. take wafer.

> x cabinet.

> x machine. open blue drawer. (locked)

> ask doctor about Mia. ask doctor about flask.

> ask doctor about laboratory.

> take flask.

> look under bench. x gold key.

> open cabinet. (Doctor Mia Heidbanger jumps out!)

> x Mia. ask Mia about herself. ask Mia about Jekyll.

> ask Mia about black potion. ask Flint about black potion.

> ask Jekyll about black potion. ask Mia about game.

> ask Mia about chemicals. ask Mia about laboratory.

If Frank drinks the potion, he'll turn into Mister Hyde and need to be rescued. However, it will also transform either doctor into Hyde, which also use up a rescue and that NPC is removed. So, uh, just never use the potion? Or try it and UNDO immediately afterwards.

> turn on machine. pull green lever.

> x machine. (It wants a bottle of IRN BRU in its slot.)

> ask Mia about cabinet. ask Mia about tube. ask Mia about science.

> w. w.

Yellow Room

> unlock mirror with glass key. open mirror. n.

Junk Room

I note that the washing machine can't be turned on. You can't use it to wash anything. You also don't need the spanner.

> x machine. read blue card.

> 7788. open machine. take red key. take bottle. x bottle.

> x bicycle. open bag. take spanner.

> s. e. e.

Doppelganger Laboratory

> put bottle in slot. x machine. pull blue lever.

> look in drawer. take ring.

> open blue door. n. w.

Reading Room

By the way, a "torch" is the British word for "flashlight".

> unlock red door with red key. open red door.

> turn on torch. s.

Green Corridor

> take all from table.

> read scroll. (Spells: BLOO, VZAB, and BROT.)

> look under table. x coin. n.

Reading Room

> turn off torch. (You won't need it again, but still.)

> unlock white door with white key. open white door. w.

Main Hall

> x tree. climb tree.


> x silver box. open it. (Locked!)

> unlock silver box with black key. open box.

> take tin. take gold ring.

> x tin. (Contains borscht.)

> d. w.


> x carpet. take carpet. (Thrawn Janet jumps out from a hatch!)

> x Janet. give haggis to Janet.

> d.


Note: Although the game says the boxes are red and blue, they're actually red and black.

> x red box. open it. (Wee MacNasty the Ned jumps out!)

> give bridie to Wee. look in red box. take cake.

> x black box. open it. take page. x page. (It's about Baba Yaga.)

> w.


> x panel. (Buttons: Roof, Library, and Boiler Room.)

> press roof.


> x snow. x white box. open it. (locked!)

> unlock white box with silver key.

> open white box. take all from white box.

> read electro card. (It's a swipe card.)

> w.

West Roof

Unfortunately, if we try to use the ladder, we use up a rescue; the metal's too icy.

> x ladder. x ice.

> e. s.


> push boiler.

Boiler Room

> x boiler. x gate. unlock gate with electro card.

> open gate. w.

Stone Chamber

> give tin to Yaga. (Baba Yaga and Big Chicken Hut leave.)

> w.

Brick Corridor

> x hatch. x wooden door. (Actually, the wooden door is north.)

> x notice. ask about DPPD.

> open hatch. w.

DPPD Office

> e. (Can't return that way.)

> s.

Transit Room

> read notice. x machine. turn on machine. push button.

A malfunction causes a random jump to:

Castle Entrance

> x gate. x notice. (Use Ur-burgling spell to unlock the gate.)

> e. (No, wizards' meeting must be done first.)

> read scroll. vzab. open gate. s.


Note: You'll never actually use the oak door.

> read red paper. open entry door. e.


> x barrel. open barrel. (Grumblehog the Ogre jumps out!)

> brot. (The ogre vanishes.)

> look in barrel. take steel key.

> x chest. open it. take all from chest.

> x cloak. wear it. x hat. wear it.

> n. open black door. n.

Alchemy Room

> read paper. (You need to make Magic Dust.)

> x analyser. x machine.

> pull black lever. x screen.

We need to select five ingredients. It seems unlikely we can just guess them. But we know from the computer in the Staffroom that plutonium should be avoided.

I'll guess that desperite and blunderite are also wrong. That leaves five. Just make sure you don't use the plutonium, and do use spideroogle powder; that'll be important later.

> v29. v31. v56. v63. v71.

> pull red lever. take packet. x it.

> open hall door. e.

Wizards Hall

You're immediately spotted as a fraud, and the wizards chat about what to do about you.

> x cheese. eat cheese. x cheese. take ring.

> x casket. open it. (locked)

> unlock casket with steel key. open casket. take ring.

When you've got both rings from here, feel free to take and examine and eat all the other food from the table, or ask the wizards about various topics. Eventually, the Wizard Lady will zap you, the parrot, and someone named Yussuf the Desert Djinn into the Dungeon.

> z. (Or do something else more interesting until you're zapped.)


Yussuf is a disappointment. I couldn't really find anything to do with him.

> x bunk. look under bunk. x stone key.

> x Yussuf. x gate. open gate. bloo. n.


> w. (Frank refuses to return to the castle.)

> n.


CAUTION: If you just climb the tree, you'll meet a poisonous snake and use up a rescue.

> shake tree. (A snake falls out and slithers away.)

> u.

High Treetop

> x case. open it. (locked)

> unlock case with gold key. open case.

> take all from case. x carton. (Contains bug powder.)

> d. n.


Oddly, we can't examine the river here.

> x notice. e.

stone bridge

> give coin to troll. (The troll disappears.)

> w. (Frank can't return that way.)

> e.

Transit Room

> read notice. x machine. push button.

Another random jump to:

Mystery Pyramid

> x swivel door. x bronze door. x carved door. (Need a silver bar.)

> open bronze door. e.

Sandy Corridor

> x copper door. x coffin. x sand.

> open coffin. (Bodrok the Giant Scorpion jumps out!)

> ask parrot about Bodrok.

> throw carton at Bodrok. (Bodrok leaves.)

> look in coffin. take all from coffin.

> x copper key. x royal crown.

> unlock copper door with copper key.

> open copper door. n.

Anubis room

CAUTION: There's a falling stone trap behind the iron door; don't go that way.

> x unknown. (There's a drawer, but I can't seem to refer to it.)

> x Isis. x Khufu. x Ramses. (Ramses is actually a door.)

> x Osiris. x Tutankhamun.

> unlock Ramses with stone key. open Ramses.

> n. d.

Scarab Room

> x vase. x blue book. (You automatically take it.)

> look in vase. take ring.

> u. s. e.

Queen's Chamber

> x coffin. open coffin. (Queen Hatchepsut emerges.)

> give crown to queen. (She gives the royal key in return.)

> unlock gate with royal key. open gate. n.

Royal Treasury

The queen follows you in and tells you to help yourself.

> x chest. open chest. (Several metal bars inside.)

Remember that the oracle wants a silver bar. CAUTION: If you take two of the bars, you have an accident requiring a rescue.

> take silver bar. s.

Queen's Chamber

> w. (The queen disappears in a hole in a wall that closes behind her.)

> x block. open block. (You can't.)

> w. s. w.

Mystery Pyramid

> put silver bar in slot. open carved door. n.

Ammon Room

The oracle will make a series of statements over the next few turns after you enter.

> x oracle. x vase. open vase. (A black widow spider jumps out!)

> throw packet at spider. (The magic dust makes the spider disappear since you used spideroogle powder.)

> look in vase. take ring.

> e. (You must ask the Oracle questions.)

Ask the oracle about whatever topics you like; it doesn't matter.

Eventually, the Oracle reveals itself to be the queen aka Batty Hattie, and she opens the eastern door and leaves.

> ask oracle about topic. (Repeat until east door is open.)

> e.

Chamber of Horus

Note: Although you're told the sphinx is closed, you're also told it's not something you can open?

> x cobra. x sphinx. x block.

> take block. throw block at cobra. (It leaves.)

> take sphinx. throw sphinx. look in sphinx. take ring.

> d.

Damp Passage

CAUTION: South is a falling block trap; going that way will use up a rescue.

> w.

Rock Chamber

> open door. (You automatically enter to:)

Transit Room

> x notice. x machine. push button. (Another random jump to:)

Brick Corridor

Frumious Bandersnatch and Jabberwock advance on you!

> x bandersnatch. x jabberwock. (They want cake. Lucky we have one.)

> give cake to bandersnatch. (They leave.)

> n.

North Bridge

This is your last chance to do anything with your stuff.

> eat wafer. (You've earned it.)

> n.

Station Bar

Most of your adversaries in the game are here.

> z. (Or any other legal command.)


"What a long strange trip it's been, Professor," says Captain Flint.

Excellent!! You have found them all.




Food and food containers


Reading materials


There are 10 gold rings to find, none of which you can wear.

Other items

Dangers and Rescues

Professor Frank can be rescued from danger up to 8 times; the status line tells you how many rescues he have left.

Some of the dangers that Frank may encounter are:

You can also bypass some locked doors by spending rescues. Use HELP in the appropriate locations to learn them.

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