Key & Compass presents:
The Quest of the Golden Banana
by Eric Eve

The Quest of the Golden Banana is a TADS 3 interactive fiction game and is © 2004 by Eric Eve. This game was primarily written as an example game to provide a tutorial on the adv3 library for aspiring TADS 3 game authors, but it's significantly larger than a typical example game.

In this large game, you decide to explore the famous Eerhtsdat Caves on a whim. You'll find several strange tablets, befriend a woman named Sarah, ride a ship in an underground lake, time travel in a Tardis, disturb a ghost, and carry the Golden Banana of Discord to Mount Doom!

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Version 1.4 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: Eerhtsdat Caves

Tardiscontrolroom ParserValley EntranceCave SmallCave SecretPassage RoundCave LargeCave SquareCave LongCave AnotherCave LakeShore End ofLakesidePath PortDock out d u out (to carpark) enter tardis d u enter ship

Map 2: The ship

N LakeShore SandyBeach W E StoneJetty RockyShore S Top ofMast ForeDeck PortDeck Star-boardDeck Quarter-deck Galley CrewQuarters GreatCabin Hold Tardiscontrolroom out u d f f p p/f a d f f u enter tardis entership u d a a sb sb/f a u a a d out

Map 3: The Tardis

A0 Hold A2 Obser-vationDeck C9 Vast RedDesert J8 Bedroom M3 Snow-coveredPlain Q7 CityStreet T5 ParserValley Tardiscontrolroom TardisLivingQuarters enter tardis in/a out out/f

Map 4: Space Station

Space StationLivingQuarters Space StationObservationDeck Tardiscontrolroom in out out entertardis

Map 5: New Mars

Tardiscontrolroom Vast RedDesert NarrowRedRavine Red Cave out enter tardis

Map 6: Jerusalem

Study Bedroom Tardiscontrolroom out X enter tardis

Map 7: Nivalis

NorthwestForestPath Clearing SnowForestFork Edge ofForest Edge ofPrecipice Snow-CoveredPlain Under theCliff InsideWoodenHut Tardiscontrolroom in out out enter tardis

Map 8: London

GroceryShop Road StreetJunction CityStreet Tardiscontrolroom out X X enter tardis

Map 9: West of Lake

GoldenGrotto SandyBeach SmallSquareChamber InsidetheTemple Grave-yard PortDock SmallSquareChamber ChamberbeneathTemple entership out set wall dial to Dupe OWN set wall dial to dUPe own

Map 10: East of Lake

Landing PortDeck Library StoreRoom StoneJetty LedgeinsideVolcano NarrowTunnel Side ofVolcano Base ofVolcano BasaltPlain Path downHell FireCavern Vestibuleof Hell FireCavern Hell FireCavern X out entership in u X s d

Map 11: South of Lake

PortDeck RockyShore NarrowTunnel DeepChasm Ledge ofChasm End ofTunnel Museum ofCuriousAntiquities EntranceLobby Brightly-litCorridor MuseumExit Benefactors'ExhibitionRoom out X entership


Parser Valley

"Eerhtsdat" is "TADS Three" backwards.

> x sign. s.

Entrance Cave

You don't need the kit itself, just the stuff in it.

> x red sign. x blue sign. x ledge. x ladder.

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

> x plaster. x syringe. x plunger. x keyring.

> d.

Large Cave

> x torch. x trunk. open it. (locked)

> x boulder. (has a crack)

> x large rock. push it. (There's now a passage north, but not obviously so.)

> n. (+1)

Secret Passage

> x green box. x candle. take it.

> s. s.

Another Cave

> x coin. take it.

> x table. open it. x platinum ring. take it.

> x mirror. look behind it. (You find a small hole.)

> x hole. look in hole. take wire. x it.

> x new door. x slot. ("ENTRANCE TO LAKE / ONE GROAT")

> x light.

> n.

Because the candle's light doesn't last long, I want to move fast. But if you prefer to dawdle, know that you can always get another candle from the green box and light it from the torch when you need more light.

> light candle with torch. e.

Square Cave

> take all. w. n. n.

Small Cave

> take all. s. s.

Large Cave

> x banana. x sack. x lamp.

> take lamp. drop sack.

> x can. x spade.

Start using the lamp for light instead of using candles.

> light lamp with torch.

> n. n.

Small Cave

> dig floor. (You find dynamite.)

> take stick. s. s.

Large Cave

> put stick in crack.

> light stick with lamp. e.

Square Cave

> x archway. (There's a loose stone?)

> take stone. (+1 for stone; +2 for boom)

> w.

Large Cave

The inscription on the stone looks like a five-by-five word square, but since every row and every column isn't a word, it's not really a word square.

> x stone.

> w.

Round Cave

The oil lamp is burning low.

> x rug. take rug. (no)

> look under rug. (+1; found a key)

> take key.

> pull rug. x hole.

The oil lamp goes out.

> e.

Large Cave

For what it's worth, you can't refill the lamp while it's lit.

> unlock trunk with key. (Key fits but won't quite turn.)

> x key. (slightly bent)

> u. (You hear a rockfall!)

Entrance Cave

> n. (The rockfall has blocked the exit.)

> d.

Large Cave

> pour oil in lamp.

> light lamp with torch.

> w.

Round Cave

> d. (You fall down a long chute to...)

Long Cave

> read words. (“One banana to rule them all / And in the darkness bind them.”)

> take all. (+1 for the brass tablet)

> x brass tablet. (has another array of letters)

> x brassy object. (It's a groat coin.)

> x hole. (It's the end of the chute.)

> open trapdoor. u.

Square Cave

The trapdoor closes behind you.

> x trapdoor. (You can't open it from this side.)

> w. s.

Another Cave

> put groat in slot. (+1; "click")

> s.

Lake Shore

> x ship. x woman. (looking for something)

> greet woman.

> ask her about herself. (A madman stole her ring; he ran in here and she followed.)

> g. g. g. (Her name is Sarah, and she's never been here before.)

> tell her about rockfall.

> ask her about ring. (platinum band with diamond)

> show platinum ring to her. (It's hers, but diamond is missing.)

> ask her about diamond ring.

> ask her about ship.

> e.

End of Lakeside Path

> x sparkle. take it. x diamond.

Weirdly, you can't INSERT the diamond, but you can ATTACH it.

> attach diamond to platinum.

> x diamond ring. w.

Lake Shore

> give diamond ring to Sarah. (+2; she now follows you.)

> board ship.

While on the ship, you use shipboard directions: fore (F), aft (A), port (P), and starboard (SB).

Port Deck

> praise Sarah. (You thank her for joining you.)

> x mast. u.

Top of Mast

Ignore the fact that Sarah's somehow standing in midair.

> x lake. (There's miles of lake to starboard.)

When you come down off the mast, you can land in either half of the main deck.

> d. f.

Fore Deck

Nothing much here either.

> a.

Port Deck or Starboard Deck

NOTE: You can get separated from Sarah while exploring the deck of the ship. Going down from the top of the mast or going aft from the Fore Deck both have two possible destinations: Port Deck or Starboard Deck, chosen at random each time. So it's entirely possible to for you to arrive in Port Deck and Sarah to arrive in Starboard Deck or vice-versa.

This little side step will make sure Sarah's with you again if you got separated from her.

Now continue aftward.

> a.


> x rail. x panel.

> x wheel. (currently turned to N.)

> x lever. ("AUTOPILOT")

> x hole. (hexagonal)

> d.

Great Cabin

> x desk. open drawer. take silver key.

> read chart. x chair.

> sit on chair. look under desk. (Find a small brown button.)

> push button. (part of the foreward bulkhead slides open)

> stand. f. (+2)

Crew Quarters

> x pillow. look under pillow.

> x yellow paper. take it. (out of reach)

In fact, the top bunk and everything on it are out of reach, so I'm not sure how we looked under the pillow?

> jump. (And your head is near the ceiling too. How does that work?)

> x locker. (locked with rusty latch)

> pour oil on latch.

> open locker.

> take cap. x it. wear it.

> f.


> open cupboard. take scales.

> x scales. (dial from 0 to 100 pounds)

> a. d.


> x police box.

> look in it. (It's a Tardis.)

> enter it. (locked)

> unlock door with silver key.

> enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> x console.

> x slider. (goes from A to Z)

> x control dial. (goes from 0 to 9)

> x switch. (you don't see one?)

> x button. x panel. open it.

> x compartment. x fluid link. (transparent tube with bit of mercury and metal ends)

> x notice. (Best when link is full of mercury.)

> in.

Tardis Living Quarters

> open cabinet. take all from cabinet.

> x picture. (small picture or back of picture? Spoiler!)

> x small picture. (man with long scarf with blonde woman)

> x back of picture. take paper. x it.

> x torch. turn it on.

Your lamp goes out, but that's okay, because you have an electric torch now. Otherwise, you'd need to refill your lamp and go all the way back to the burning torch to relight it.

As far as I know this torch lasts forever, so feel free to turn it on and leave it on.

> drop small picture.

> out. out. u. a.

Great Cabin

> take chair. f.

Crew Quarters

> drop chair. stand on chair.

> take left half.

> get off chair.

> d. enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> read left half. read right half.

Between the two halves, you can pair up coordinates with destinations:

Obviously, you use the Tardis controls to set a destination then push the red button to travel.

However, remember that the fluid link is almost empty of mercury. The effect this has is not obvious, but after I finished the game, I learned that when the link isn't full, the slider acts as though it's always set to A.

So, this means you can travel between the ship's hold and the space station okay, just not anywhere else useful until the link is full.

> close door. set slider to A.

> set control dial to 2. push button.

> out.

Space Station - Observation Deck

> x calendar. (It's your computer's date plus 1100 years.)

> take card. x it. (letters faded; bit bent)

> turn off switch. (The door opens.)

> in.

Space Station - Living Quarters

> x table. x door. (another green switch)

> x cabinet. (closed, has slot)

> open it. (locked)

> put card in slot. (doesn't fit)


> put card in cylinder. push button.

> take card. x it. (no longer bent)

> put brass key in cylinder. push button.

> take brass key. x it. (no longer bent)

> put card in slot. (unlocked)

> open cabinet. take silver tablet. (+1)

> x it.

> turn off switch. (silvery liquid spits out onto the floor)

> x mercury.

> put syringe in mercury.

> pull plunger. (Mercury is now in the syringe.)

> x switch. ("MAGLOCK")

> out. enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> take link. x it. put syringe in tiny hole.

> push plunger. (The fluid link is full.)

> drop syringe. put link in compartment.

> close door. set slider to C.

> set control dial to 9. push button.

> out.

Vast Red Desert

> e.

Narrow Red Ravine

> x skeleton. s.

Red Cave

> take plastic tablet. (+1)

> x it.

> n. w. enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> close door. set slider to J.

> set control dial to 8. push button.

> out.


> x window. look through window. (Workers are building a temple.)

> x bed.

> w.


For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to tell the truth to Solomon.

> lie. (You claim to be an angel.)

> warn him about his son Rehoboam. z.

> ask him about Hiram. ask him about bowl.

> x root. footnote 1. (mandrake)

> ask him about root. g. g. g. (It's fatal to demons.)

> x carbuncle.

> ask him about carbuncle. g. g. (From Queen of Sheba)

> w. (no, better not)

> x Solomon.

> e. enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> close door. set slider to M.

> set control dial to 3. push button.

> out.

Snow-Covered Plain

> e.

Under the cliff

> x hut. in.

Inside the Wooden Hut

> x snowmobile. (two seats, handlebars, starter button, small switch)

> get on snowmobile. turn on small switch.

> push starter button.

> out. w. n.

Edge of Forest (sitting on the snowmobile)

You can't ride snowmobile into the forest.

> turn off switch. stand. n. ne.


> x branches. search branches.

> x wooden tablet. take it. (+1)

> sw. s.

Edge of Forest

> get on snowmobile. turn on small switch.

> push starter button.

> s.

Snow-Covered Plain

Alas, you can't take snowmobile into the Tardis.

> turn off switch. stand. enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> close door. set slider to Q.

> set control dial to 7. push button.

> out.

City Street

> search rubble. (You find a bomb.)

> x bomb. (It has swastiskas.)

> n.

Street Junction

> e. (You won't interfere with the crew.)

You hear the bomb explode.

> s.

City Street

> x bag. open it. x gas mask. take it.

> n. w.


> w. (no, not healthy)

> n.

Grocery Shop

> x counter.

> x dustorx debris.

> look behind counter. take mask.

> s. e. s. enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> close door. set slider to T.

> set control dial to 5. push button.

> out.

Parser Valley

Sarah says we have unfinished business in the caves. I agree.

> enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> close door. set slider to A.

> set control dial to 0. push button.

> out. u. a. u. f. out. n. n.

Large Cave

Remember, you straightened the brass key back in the space station.

> unlock trunk with brass key. open trunk.

> take all from trunk. (golden banana is illusionary)

> x jar. (sealed fast)

> x crystal. (hexagonal and blue)

> cut jar. (with the diamond ring Sarah has)

> take crystal. drop jar.

> s. s. board. a.


> put crystal in hole.

> turn wheel to W. pull lever. (The ship moves.)

> p. out.

Sandy Beach

> nw.

Golden Grotto

I'm assuming you still have the torch on.

> x statue. x plinth. ("King Benedict the Banana-Bearer")

> push statue. (It falls over, revealing a cavity.)

> x cavity. take gold tablet. (+1)

> x it. drop it. (It's heavy!)

> se. sw.


The ghost of King Benedict is upset that you pushed his statue. He demands that you perform a sacred quest: to retrieve the Golden Banana of Discord and cast it into Mount Gloom. Will you do it? (He won't take "no" for an answer.

> yes. ("Do you have any questions about the quest?")

> ask ghost about banana.

> ask ghost about himself.

> ask ghost about cabal. (No one knows who they are!)

> say no. (He fades away.)

> x wheelbarrow. x tombstones

The tombstone is the key to understanding the letters on all the tablets. Down the top-left-to-bottom-right diagonal of each grid, there's a number spelt out from ONE to SIX. This the order to sort the tablets.

The digits 1 to 8 on the tombstone show which letters from each tablet you need to look at, and in which order, reading down the upper diagonal and up the lower diagonal.

Put them together to spell out this message: "Put fifty-four pounds on the stone altar in the temple STOP".

Fetch the heavy gold tablet with the wheelbarrow and visit the temple:

> push barrow ne. push barrow nw.

Golden Grotto

> put gold tablet in barrow.

> push barrow se. push barrow sw. push barrow w.

Inside the Temple

> x columns. x cobwebs.

> x altar. x projection. (banana-shaped)

> x symbols.

> pull projection. (won't budge)

Time to weigh all the tablets:

> drop scales.

> put stone tablet on scales. ("16") take it.

> put wooden tablet on scales. ("1") take it.

> put brass tablet on scales. ("4") take it.

> put silver tablet on scales. ("8") take it.

> put plastic tablet on scales. ("1") take it.

> put gold tablet on scales. ("32")

All the tablets except the silver one weigh 54 pounds in total.

> put all tablets but silver on altar.

> pull projection. (+5; a west passage opens)

> w.

Small Square Chamber

> x wall dial. (There's 8 phrases it can point to, differing only in capitalization.)

Capitalization matters here! Type so the uppercase letters of the setting spell DOWN.

> set wall dial to Dupe OWN. (The chamber goes DOWN.)

> e. (+2)

Cellar beneath Temple

> x case. open it.

> x coins. ("OUECPACIANOC", with pi symbol for P)

> take coins.

> enter case. sit. close case. (A secret compartment opens.)

Inside the large packing case (sitting)

> x compartment. x bowl. take it. (+3)

> open case.

Cellar beneath Temple

> stand. out. w.

Small Square Chamber

Capitalization matters here! Type so the uppercase letters of the setting spell UP.

> set wall dial to dUPe own. (The chamber goes UP.)

Return to Solomon:

> e. e. ne. board. a. d. f. d. enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> close door. set slider to J.

> set control dial to 8. push red button.

> out. w.


> give bowl to king. (He offers a reward.)

> ask king for root.

> ask king for carbuncle.

> take root. take carbuncle.

> e. enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> close door. set slider to A.

> set control dial to 0. push red button.

> out. u. a. u.


> turn wheel to E. pull lever.

> p. out.

Stone Jetty

> n.


This landing is a bit odd in that there are two south doors, a left one and a right one, so if both are open or both are closed, you must specify which door you're entering.

> x doors. open left door. s.

Store Room

I'm assuming your torch is still on.

> x cabinet. (too high)

> n.


> open right door. enter it.


> x bookshelves. x shelf. x brown button. x inlet.

> x socket. x stool. x book. ("The Great History")

> open shelf. (locked)

> push brown. (nothing)

> take stool.

> n. enter left.

Store Room

> drop stool. stand on stool.

> open cabinet. x cable. take it.

> get off stool.

> n. enter right.


> plug cable in inlet. plug cable in socket.

> push brown. ("click")

> open shelf. take book.

> read book. (no, look up topics)

> look up Benedict in book.

> look up banana in book.

> look up hell fire cavern in book.

Hmph. That's all just background information.

> n. n. s.

Vestibule of Hell Fire Cavern

> x sign. ("HELL FIRE CAVERN")

That sounds dangerous. Don't go in there quite yet. There's still the south of the lake to visit first.

> n. board. a.


> turn wheel to S. pull lever. p. out.

Rocky shore

> x monolith. (6 feet long)

> s.

In the dark / Narrow Tunnel

> x chasm. (almost 6 feet wide)

> n.

Rocky shore

> push monolith south.

Narrow Tunnel

> push monolith south.

Deep Chasm (standing on the black monolith)

> s.

Ledge of Chasm

> take leaflet. x it. read it. (The Eerhtsdat Museum wants Solomon's carbuncle.)

> s.

End of Tunnel

> x door. x walls. (loose stone found)

> take stone. (round hole found)

> x round hole. x black button. x fitting.

> push black button. (nothing happens)

> take black button. (It's screwed in place.)

> unscrew black button. take black button.

> x tiny hole. x red wire. x green wire.

> attach red wire to green wire. (They're not long enough.)

> attach black wire to red wire.

> attach black wire to green wire.

> screw black button. push it. (+3; the door opens)

> s.

Brightly-lit Corridor

> x sign.

> e.

Museum Exit

> x machine. (Tickets cost three farthings.)

> x hole. x door. open it. (locked)

> attach cable to machine. attach cable to outlet.

> put silver coin in slot.

> take ticket. x it. read it. (for two people)

> w. w.

Entrance Lobby

> x curator. x sign. x table. x carpet.

> ask curator about museum. g. g. g. (He's Professor Altmeister, curator for 20 years, and interested in more exhibits if they're the right sort.)

> show ticket to curator. w. (+2; Prof follows.)

Museum of Curious Antiquities

> x cases. x amulet. x gargoyle.

> x crown. x mantle.

> x sign. ("No bags allowed")

> s. (You can't go in there unless you donated an exhibit.)

> give carbuncle to curator.

If you're carrying any boxes, bags, or other obvious containers, you need to drop them now before continuing. If you've been following this walkthrough, you shouldn't have any.

> s.

Benefactors' Exhibition Room

> x case. x plinth. (has carved slat)

> x plaque. (attempted theft is fatal)

> x golden banana.

> x slat. (find a small black disc)

> x disc. (a microphone!)

> attach plaster to microphone.

> cut case. (with the diamond ring)

> remove cap.

> put golden banana in cap. wear cap.

> take plaster.

Head back to the quarterdeck:

> n. e. e. n. n. n. n. n. board. a.


> turn wheel to E. pull lever. f. out. s.

Vestibule of Hell Fire Cavern

> remove cap. take banana. wear cap.

> give mask to Sarah. wear mask.

> e. n. (+4)

Path down Hell Fire Cavern

> x demons.

> show root to demons. (+2; the demons melt)

> d.

Basalt Plain

> x volcano.

> n. u.

Side of Volcano

> x bush.

> z. (Wait seven turns until the bush burns away, leaving a tunnel inward.)

> in. (Sarah stays behind.)

Narrow Tunnel

> n.

Ledge inside Volcano

CAUTION: Staying here too long is fatal.

> x lava.

> drop golden banana into pool. (+5)

> in. s. d. s. s. u. w. n. board.

Port Deck

> remove mask.

> a. d. f. d. enter tardis.

Tardis control room

> close door. set slider to T.

> set control dial to 5. push button.

> out.

Parser Valley

*** YOU HAVE WON ***



The ASCII art in this game is simple enough that I didn't bother with screen captures and just reproduced it in CSS. However, I'm using monospace and not whatever font "TADS-Typewriter" really is, so the art will appear differently when you play the game.


Main characters:

Background characters:

Found dead:



The response to CREDITS is simply:

TADS 3 language and library by Michael J. Roberts

If you select "About This Game..." from the Help menu, a pop-up window displays the following information:

The Quest of the Golden Banana


(c) 2004 Eric Eve

...even though the VERSION command shows this is actually Version 1.4 of the game.




This game doesn't care about carrying capacity, so you don't need containers to carry more stuff. You usually can just take everything from a container and leave the container behind as useless junk.

However, the game does care about containers in the museum; the curator won't let you carry any containers into the Benefactors' Exhibit Room, even after giving him King Solomon's carbuncle. Drop them all before you go in.

Keys and keyring
Paper goods

Each tablet has a different five-by-five grid of letters (see ASCII art), and most of the tablets have a distinct weight (see scales). By using the clue from the tombstone, you learn that the order number of a tablet is written diagonally down the top-left-to-bottom-right diagonal of its grid, and that the eight letters from the adjacent diagonals spell out part of a secret message.

When the message parts are assembled in tablet order, it reads: "Put fifty-four pounds on the stone altar in the temple stop."

You can do that by putting all of the tablets except the silver one onto the altar. Now when you pull the altar's banana-shaped projection, the west wall opens up, leading to the Small Square Chamber.

Everything else


The response to SCORE is:

In several moves, you have scored your-score of a possible 43 points. This makes you your-rank.

Points are awarded as follows:

The possible ranks are:

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