Key & Compass presents:
A Rope of Chalk
by Ryan Veeder

A Rope of Chalk is a Glulx work of interactive fiction written with Inform 7 and is © 2020 by Ryan Veeder (editor). It was an entry in IF Comp 2020 where it took 7th place.

This is a story about a sidewalk chalk tournament in 2011 that went disastrously wrong. It's told from several points of view, and some of the protagonists experience drug-induced hallucinations. After the story is over, you can tour Ryan Veeder's office, examine some of his research materials, and learn how everyone is doing in 2020.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the work.

SPOILERS AHEAD. Reading a walkthrough prematurely can sometimes diminish one's enjoyment of a work of interactive fiction. Please make an honest effort to play the work before reading this walkthrough.


You must first hold the editor blameless for any inaccuracies or errors whatsoever and not report them publically or privately.

Do you consent to this? yes

Press any key > SPACE

§1: Lane

BehindtheBleachers Victoria'sSpace Judges'Table Shed Rachel'sSpace Jonathan'sSpace Faye'sSpace Jessica'sSpace Xavier'sSpace talk to Hina

Judges' Table

Nathalie says Jessica has a complaint about Xavier's art. You, Lane, are picked to take care of it. Nathalie will come with you.

> x me. x Hina. x Alec. x Nathalie.

> talk to Nathalie.

> 2 (ask for another bottle)

> 2 (ask about hydration office)

> 3 (thanks)

No one's saying if the dispute is east or west, so I'll pick east.

> e.


Okay, this isn't the right way.

> x bucket. take it. (not yours)

> x shed. x spigot. (You'd need a key for the valve.)

> drink water. (from bottle)

> w. w.

Victoria's Space

You can ignore most of the artwork and participants during section one, but I recommend at least giving everything a quick look so you know how everything was originally.

If you feel motivated, please feel free to stop and talk to everyone you meet on the way to Xavier. I'm also skipping over some background scenery which you may want to look at.

> x python. x Victoria.

> s.

Rachel's Space

> x slogan. x Rachel.

> s.

Jonathan's Space

> x island. x Jonathan.

> e.

Faye's Space

> x fountain. turn knob. (no water at all)

> x art. x Faye. x tattoos.

> e.

Jessica's Space

> x flowers. x Jessica.

Since Jessica made the complaint, we should ask her to elaborate, but this is actually optional:

> talk to Jessica.

> 1 (ask about herself)

> 2 (ask about problem)

> 4 (bye)

> s.

Xavier's Space

> x Xavier. x drawing.

> talk to Xavier. (Instead, Natalie takes the lead, admiring the succubus, mentions the complaint, then introduces you.)

> talk to Xavier. (You say you'll confer with the other judges.)

> talk to Nathalie.

> 2 (ask about Xavier's drawing)

> 4 (thanks)

Head back to the judges' table. There's little reason to dawdle, but are the chalk drawings becoming more realistic somehow?

> n. w.

Faye's Space

> x Jack. (You feel unsettled.)

> w.

Jonathan's Space

> x island. (The snow looks so inviting.)

> n. n.

Victoria's Space

> x python. (It looks frighteningly real.)

> e.

Judges' Table

> talk to Hina.

You sit, barely able to talk. Nathalie describes Xavier's drawing, and you pass out soon afterwards.


§2: Alec

Judges'Table ParkingLot BehindtheBleachers Shed BikeRack BalanceBeam DrinkingFountain Bench 0. TheCave (auto) talk to Hina

Lane faints. You're Alec. Now what?

> talk to Hina.

Hina orders you to get a bucket of water and erase Xavier's succubus and tell him to start over with something else or go home.

> e.


> x shed. turn on faucet. (Maybe Hina has the key?)

> w.

Behind the Bleachers

> talk to Hina. (You get the spigot key.)

> x key. e.


> put key in spigot. (You fill the bucket and take it.)

In this section, we'll mostly skip looking at everything. But if you like, feel free to stop and examine the artwork again and talk to the participants again to see how Alec's point of view differs from Lane's.

> w. w. s.

Bike Rack

You hear a shriek. Rachel doesn't.

> s.

Balance Beam

> e. (You hear "Jerk". But Jonathan says he didn't say it.)

> x drawing. (Doesn't he know that snow will melt?)

> e. e.


Jessica is sobbing. You drop the bucket and run to her.


Actually, press SPACE several times to end section two.

§3: Nathalie

Cealdhame VII. TheGate VI. TheWreckedShip V. TheThrone IV.Eruption III. TheFortress 0. TheCave I. TheDeluge II. TheBeast Bench (talk to Hina) (auto)


It's not immediately obvious what the situtaion is now.

> x me. (You remember: you are Nathalie.)

> x signatures. x machinery. x people. x cars.

> i. x baggie. (has seven yellow pills)

> think. e.


> x creature. (He's waving at you.)

Talking to the creature is optional. It's Alec, but Nathalie doesn't recognize him at first.

> talk to creature.

He says he's to deliver you back to headquarters.

> 1 (re: weather)

> 2 (re: this guy)

> 3 (re: everybody leaving)

> 3 (re: what he wants)

> 1 (re: meeting)

> 1 (You refuse. Alec runs away.)

> e.


Talking to the beast is optional.

> x beast.

> 1 (re: detesting me)

> 2 (deny he is abhorrent)

> 3 (deny responsibility)

> 4 (re: chains)

> 5 (re: melting)

> 6 (You say something nice.)

> n.


Every time you examine the castle, you focus on a different feature.

> x castle. g. g.

> n. (The fortress is in the way.)

> hit castle. g. g. g. g. g. g. g. g.

At last, enough of the castle is destroyed. You can now get past it.

> n.


> x village. x mountain. x lava.

> touch lava.

> w.


> x Papa. (This opens up a menu.)

> 1. (re: hating him)

> 2. (re: screaming)

> 3. (re: not worth your time)

> 1or2 (he's hopeless)

> x throne. x cord. x curtains.

> w.


> x sailor. talk to sailor. (He doesn't respond.)

> x siren. talk to siren. (She ignores you.)

> x shark. pet shark. x tentacle. pet tentacle.

> x planks. x hull.

> search planksorsearch hull. (Find a pearl!)

> x pearl.

> n.


You cannot avoid your conversation with Hina. And it doesn't matter how you respond to her questions.

> x Hina.

> 5 (act normal)

> 3 (re: rain)

> 1 (affirm it is fun)

She's now examining your eyes.

> 1to4

Hina identifies your pills as episcophacetin. And the game tells you what percentage of artwork you destroyed.


§4: Hina

C E A L D H A M E sea sea sea sea sea sea sea scum-pond Tærƿeste caves ofNecsiþ fields ofGrecge Derdryng sea sea mountainEarƿelynd the RiverÞorm hovel ofweaverCædmyd ice-cavesof Nemind sea sea hills ofÆbring-sƿal frozenswamp ofYlrecnæs Cealdhamecenter valley ofMilcas þryng-stoneof Oflec sea sea deepUnfylƿisc corpse-grave ofStendrard Ƿlcwood villageTyþing sea sea forest ofScecge-wood Geordƿæl fortressCynebrand plainof Greoc cliffsof Þerys sea sea sea sea sea sea sea

Cealdhame (center)

Hey, which writing style is more excruciating: the tortured Olde-English prose about Cealdhame or the mind-numbing techobabble about episcophacetin from Wikipedia? Ye merciless godths [acetylsalicylic acid needed].

Feel free to tour the entire island if you like, but know that you can't currently interact with any of its peoples or features.

To leave Cealdhame, you must enter the sea. This walkthrough will just head directly east into the sea.

> x Careth. x crown. footnote 1.

> e.

Cealdhame (valley of Milcas)

> x Deldere. e.

Cealdhame (þryng-stone of Oflec)

> x stone. x Oflec.

> e. yes.

You lift your face off the sidewalk. You'll now be interacting with animated versions of the chalk drawings in much the same way Nathalie did with the animated sand sculptures last year.

Oh, and from now on, you'll be able to leave Cealdhame simply by going up from any location on the island.

Coils ofAhigu Hall ofJudgment Desert Ron Paul2012 Office KingdomofCealdhame HalloweenTown CurlingFlowerSpace Cealdhame Inferno u. y drink water.yes d. y

Kingdom of Cealdhame

Hina's math here is puzzling. I don't question this part of the story, but I don't know what she was thinking.

> x me. x island. x Titan. wake Titan. x beam.

The Titan is Jonathan, but you can't wake him.

> n. n.

Coils of Ahigu

> x serpent. e. (Ahigu stops you.)

> talk to Ahigu. 1. 2. 3. 4.

> s. s. e.

Halloween Town

Talking to Jack and interacting with Halloween Town is completely optional, but there's a lot here and you should examine some of it.

> x Jack. talk to Jack.

Asking about the town:

> 1. 1. 2. 3.

Asking about him:

> 2. 1. 2. 3.

Telling about yourself and the others:

> 3. 1. 2. 3. 4. 1. 1.

There's more than just Jack here:

> x Barrel. talk to Barrel.

> x Doctor. talk to Doctor.

> x Sally.

Jack interrupts, and asks your opinion of their town.

> 1. (give your opinion...)

> 1to4. (...whichever it is)

> 5. (bye)

Continuing with Sally and the rest:

> talk to Sally. x moon. x fields. x graveyard.

There's actually more here to look at. If you LOOK over and over again, the room description will randomly show more inhabitants that you might have missed earlier, and you can interact with them too. But this walkthrough is moving onward.

> e.

Curling Flower Space

The maiden is Jessica; the knight is Alec.

> x maiden. x dress.

> x knight. x hand. open it. (You acquire a key.)

> x key. x flowers. x helm.

> s.


Before talking to Nega-Hina, it helps if you've already visited Ahigu earlier, because then you can ask Nega-Hina about the serpent and learn about the bracelet that protects against all poisons.

That's the important take-away: learning about the bracelet. Everything else here just clarifies what's going on.

> x Nega. x horns. x fangs. x skin. x birthmark.

> x couch. x windows.

> talk to Nega.

> 1. 1or2. (re: her)

> 1. (re: here)

> 2. (re: other places)

> 1. (you learn about the bracelet)

> 2. 3. 4. 2. 5. 6. (you learn about the other places)

> 3. yes. (asking what's going on)

> 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

> 4. (re: what to do)

> 5. (bye)

> n. w. w.

Kingdom of Cealdhame

> d. yes.

Cealdhame (center)

> se. sw.

Cealdhame (fortress Cynebrand)

> x bracelet. take it. wear it.

> u. yes. n. n. e.

Hall of Judgment

You must talk to Lane before you can leave her. Feel free to answer her questions any way you like.

> x Lane. talk to Lane.

> 1to3.

> 1to3.

> 1to3.

> 1to3.

> e.


> x sand. x pillar.

> put key in slot. (Nathalie slams you.)

> x Nathalie. talk to her. hit her. (She's a giant.)

> throw sand at her. (This works!)

> turn on spigot. drink water.

*** The End ***

The game asks if you'd like to view some supplemental materials? Just say YES. The game doesn't accept a NO answer.

> yes. SPACE

Appendix. Ryan's supplemental materials

Library Desert Class-room NarrowHall Office Lounge drink water.yes


The game proper is over and you can now quit at any time, but surely you want to see what's here?

> x Ryan.

> x desk. x birdhouse. x legal documents. x discharge.

> x wastebasket. x arcane.

> x wall documents. x class photo.

> x angry letter. x poster.

> x easel. x whiteboard.

> x window. x Old Capitol. (We're in Iowa.)

> x roofs. x jagged metal. take it. (can't with bare hands)

> x chair.

> nw.


The pearl is only here if Nathalie found it in section 3.

> x bookshelves. x pearl.

> x table. x lengthy letter.

> x box. open box. x index card. x ribbons.

> x sketches. x handwritten letter.

> search books. (You read about catheters.)

> sw.


> x podium. x birth.

> x chalkboard. x chalk. take it.

> write DRIEDOUT. erase chalkboard.

> x fabric. x desks. x transcript. g.

> se.


> x couches. x blue couch. x orange couch.

> x fridge. x magnet. open fridge.

> x bar. take it. eat it. close fridge. x wrapper.

> x miniature door. open it. knock on it.enter it.

> x table. x east table. x chapbook. read it.

> x west table. x novel. read it.

> take scrap. read it.

> x lamp. x mushroom lamp. x flower lamp.

> n.

Narrow Hall

Huh. Nothing here.

> eat bar. (You finish it.)

> n. se.


> put wrapper in wastebasket.

> quit. yes



Main characters:

Characters hallucinated by Nathalie during the sand sculpture contest:

Characters hallucinated by Hina during the sidewalk chalk tournament:



The response to CREDITS is:

(Thank you for your interest in A Rope of Chalk. I'm having a lot of fun writing this game, so I hope you're having fun playing it.

A Rope of Chalk was tested by Lance Campbell, Catherine O'Sullivan, Zach Hodgens, and Emily Boegheim.

If you're interested in my other games or the other stuff I do, my website is, my Twitter is @rcveeder, my email address is email redacted, and my Patreon is Okay bye!)


Lane's inventory
Alec's inventory
Nathalie's inventory
Hina's inventory
Your inventory when YOU, the player of this game, are visiting Ryan's office

Use of any of these objects is totally optional. The main story is over and you've won. Examining all these things simply gives you an update on how everyone is doing since the events of the story.


The response to SCORE varies from section to section of the game:

There is also a secondary score, of sorts, given at the end of §4:

Your rate for destroying artwork is percentage.

🦕 NOTE! Achieving a 100% artwork destruction rate is a club wooby mission worth 20 buttons!

Obviously, I may not explain how to destroy all the artwork without voiding the mission entirely, so please don't ask me how to do it, and don't tell me or anyone else the details. Just email the game's secret phrase to Ryan Veeder after you complete the mission. Congratulations in advance!

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with

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Ko-Fi is a way to send me small one-time donations. Every little bit helps, and thank you!