Key & Compass presents:
Sage Sanctum Scramble
by Arthur DiBianca

Sage Sanctum Scramble is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2020 by Arthur DiBianca. It was an entry in IF Comp 2020 where it took 15th place. At the 2020 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in the Best Puzzles category.

In this wordplay fantasy game, you play as someone visiting the Sage Sanctum. Quorbus tells you that by solving puzzles, you'll collect keywords that will aid you in defeating a monstrous zarblot that threatens the Sanctum. The more keywords the better, so start solving!

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: The Main Sixty Puzzles

Quorbus Puzzle 1 Milpod Puzzle 2 Margana Puzzle 3 Doughnuts Puzzle 4 Gorwal Puzzle 5 Fortune Puzzle 6 Tiles Puzzle 7 MachineAlpha Puzzle 8 Opossum Puzzle 9 Alticons Puzzle 10 Buttons Puzzle 11 Conserv-atory Puzzle 12 Linsette Puzzle 13 Grid Puzzle 14 Uncommon Puzzle 15 Darbling Puzzle 16 Wendy Puzzle 17 Cube Puzzle 18 Zoo Puzzle 19 Nalina Puzzle 20 MachineBeta Puzzle 21 Linus Puzzle 22 Elroy Puzzle 23 Malcolm Puzzle 24 Table Puzzle 25 Mapmaster Puzzle 26 Martin Puzzle 27 Screen Puzzle 28 Hubert Puzzle 29 Vincent Puzzle 30 Ranelle Puzzle 31 Colonel Puzzle 32 Windows Puzzle 33 Mime Puzzle 34 Painting Puzzle 35 Roaalind Puzzle 36 Floyd Puzzle 37 Square Puzzle 38 Togrin Puzzle 39 Plaque Puzzle 40 Talman Puzzle 41 Sophia Puzzle 42 MachineGamma Puzzle 43 Donald Puzzle 44 Quincy Puzzle 45 Marcus Puzzle 46 Charades Puzzle 47 Flips Puzzle 48 Alfonse Puzzle 49 Hildegard Puzzle 50 Scroll Puzzle 51 Incognito Puzzle 52 Ashwood Puzzle 53 Yvonne Puzzle 54 MachineDelta Puzzle 55 Laurence Puzzle 56 Seer Puzzle 57 Horton Puzzle 58 Glyphs Puzzle 59 Poster Puzzle 60

Map 2: The House (Puzzle 26)

Library SecretRoom DiningRoom CreakyHallway Foyer SunnyParlor FrontPorch Long Road("GI") Long Road("GA") Long Road("NT") Long Road("IC")

Map 3: The Rest of the Game

Not a Puzzle The Witch Puzzle 0 Quorbus Puzzle 1 ⬤ ⬤ ⬤ Rimbus Puzzle 61 (fightingas zarblot) SageSanctum (fightingas player) brumgor zarblot (win or lose) (win, lose,or rewind)


Quorbus (Puzzle 1)

Quorbus the sage greets you. He's your guide. You need to collect keywords into your book; he'll tell you why later. Every keyword is a common English word, 4 to 9 letters long, and uncapitalized. Begin by guessing Quorbus's keyword.

> sage. (No, something fluffy)

> cloud.

Correct! CLOUD is written into your book, and three new puzzles are unlocked. As you solve puzzles, more puzzles will be unlocked.

These three meta-commands will be quite helpful:

> help. book. puzzles.

> 2

Milpod (Puzzle 2)

This puzzle is just arithmetic.

> seventeen. (Correct.)

> 3

Margana (Puzzle 3)

She's a cheerleader.

> G. O. S. P. E. N.

Now unscramble the letters into a word:

> sponge. (Correct.)

> 4

Doughnuts (Puzzle 4)

There's a slate with a verse ending in a blank where a word should go. Say the missing word.

> cash. (Second verse appears.)

> icing. (Third verse appears.)

> awning. (Correct.)

> 5

Gorwal (Puzzle 5)

Gorwal the sage wants you to guess his word.

> glum. (Too short)

> forgotten. (Too long)

> between. (No, it starts with an I.)

> insects. (No, it ends with a T.)

> intrust. (No, something a detective does.)

> inspect. (Correct.)

Quorbus's voice says you'll soon learn why you're collecting keywords.

> 6

Fortune (Puzzle 6)

Rudolf says his lucky numbers are 1-13-16-12-5. Convert numbers to letters by their position in the alphabet.

> ample. (Correct.)

> 7

Tiles (Puzzle 7)

You see six green plastic tiles, all blank.

> carrot. ("Length six." The sixth tile flips, showing a T.)

> blend. ("Length five." Fifth tile is an I.)

> wish. ("Length four." Fourth tile is an R.)

> bye. (Third tile is P.)

> hi. (Second tile is S.)

> a. (First tile is E.)

> esprit. (Correct.)

> 8

Machine Alpha (Puzzle 8)

Professor Morktus has a machine. He wants a word that processes into XPVOE.

> abcxyz. (Machine produces BCDYZA.)

The machine advances each letter in your guess forwards by one in the alphabet, so you just need to go one letter backwards in the alphabet from XPVOE.

> wound. (Correct.)

> 9

Opossum (Puzzle 9)

You read a paragraph with missing letters. The missing letters form a word.

> harbor (Correct.)

> 10

Alticons (Puzzle 10)

Alticons the sage is jumpy. He says his keyword starts with S. But that's the only clue you get. So try guessing words that don't begin with S!

> big. happy. fork. intro. mom.

He's so irritated that he finally gives you another hint: it rhymes with BUMBLE.

> stumble. (Correct.)

Now that you have 10 keywords, Quorbus wants to see you back at Puzzle 1.

> 1

Quorbus (Puzzle 1)

Quorbus tells you that you need keywords to fight a zarblot. To confront it, type ZARBLOT. Quorbus thinks you need more keywords, but that you can try now if you really want to.

Let's continue to solve puzzles instead.

> 11

Buttons (Puzzle 11)

You see nine voice-activated buttons labeled F, D, T, E, I, A, H, S, and R.

> fred. eff. shelf. gully. (Buzzers)

Find a word that uses all nine letters:

> headfirst. (Correct.)

> 12

Conservatory (Puzzle 12)

Madame Baffeda loves musical words using only the letters A to G. (These are also known as "piano words", by the way.) Any such word will do at first.

> deaf. (She sings it then shows you a "Happy Tenth Anniversary!" card.)

> decade. (Now a photo of a successful fighter pilot.)

> ace. (Now a drawing of several suitcases.)

> baggage. (Now a photo of a child drawing a mustache on a portrait.)

> deface. (Correct.)

> 13

Linsette (Puzzle 13)

Linsette, a painter, wants you to suggest colors. Other than green; she has that one already.

> red. orange. yellow. blue. purple.

> violet. white. black. brown. gray.

> pink. indigo. crimson. puce. maroon.

> vermillion. rose. cyan. magenta. mauve.

After naming 20 colors, she hints that her keyword is an artist stand for paintings.

> easel. (Correct.)

> 14

Grid (Puzzle 14)

It's a word-search! Look for words at least 5-letters long.

> sharp. steel. thread. sewing.

Wait a minute. These words are hints at another word not in the grid!

> needle. (Correct.)

> 15

Uncommon (Puzzle 15)

Frederick wants to know what two things have in UNcommon.

Recorded performance and a disconnected wire?

> live.

Piece of sandpaper and an awkward person?

> smooth.

Vibrant color and a well-maintained knife?

> dull.

Normal situation and the number twelve?

> odd.

Quick learner and a helium balloon?

> dense.

Kindly witch and a stringless candle?

> wicked. (Correct.)

> 16

Darbling (Puzzle 16)

Darbling says to take a guess.

> guess. (No repeated letters!)

> bowling. ("Two")

By "two", he means that two of the letters in your guess are correct. It may help to know that you don't have to guess actual words, just collections of letters.

> bowl. ("Two")

> lobe. ("Three")

> aloe. ("Four")

> swing. ("Zero")

> leopard. ("Six out of eight")

> pard. ("Three")

> part. ("Four")

> leopart. ("Seven out of eight")

> leoparth. ("Eight out of eight")

> plethora. (Correct.)

> 17

Wendy (Puzzle 17)

MAKO is MA plus KO, the first two letters of her name, KORIE.

PAPAYA is PAPA plus YA, the first two letters of his name, YARBUR.

So Uncle Arnold is...

> unclear. (Correct.)

> 18

Cube (Puzzle 18)

On a cube you see: THAW, REGAL, NIGHT, ASH, OWNS, POT. These are all anagrams of other words:

> what. ("Hmm...")

> large. ("Hmm...")

> thing. ("Hmm...")

> has. ("Hmm...")

> snow. ("Hmm...")

> top. ("Hmm...")

What large thing has snow top?

> mountain. (Correct.)

> 19

Zoo (Puzzle 19)

Benjamin wants you to guess animals based on his clues. These are all puns. PASS if you can't get one.

> lemur. (leem-er)

> spider. (spied her)

> toad. (towed)

> piranha. (per Ana)

> robin. (robbin')

> porcupine. (poor Q pine. Correct.)

> 20

Nalina (Puzzle 20)

Nalina the sage needs a jog to her memory.

> think. (She thinks it's 6 letters long.)

> concur. (It's an article of clothing.)

> blouse. (Yes, but no, 7 letters and kind of rodent)

> hamster. (Yes, no, 8 letters and kind of tree)

> hawthorn. (Actually 5 letters and a flower)

> daisy. (Starts with P.)

> pansy. (no)

> poppy. (no)

> peony. (Correct.)

> 21

Machine Beta (Puzzle 21)

Klipp wants a word to process into FLLPQUZ.

> aaaa. (BYDW)

> bbbb. (CZEX)

> boob. (CMRX)

> oooo. (PMRK)

> obbo. (PZEK)

> bobo. (PZRX)

> obob. (CMEK)

> baba. (BZDX)

> abob. (CMEW)

Oh. The input word is reversed before it's encoded by a per-position cipher. Inputs that end in A always have outputs that begin with B. Inputs that end in O always have outputs that begin with P.

> aaaaaaa. (BYDWFUH)

Looks like the encoding sequence is +1, −2, +3, −4, +5, −6, etc., after reversing the input. So the inverse operation is −1, +2, −3, +4, etc. and then reversing the letters.

So... F − 1 = E, L + 2 = N, L − 3 = I, etc. That spells out ENITLAS, so reverse that for:

> saltine. (Correct.)

> 22

Linus (Puzzle 22)

This is a multiple definitions puzzle.

> spring.

> volume.

> file.

> rent.

> foot.

> taper. (That was difficult.)

> mold. (Correct.)

> 23

Elroy (Puzzle 23)

A panel says "??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???". Elroy's first clue, FUSFT, is an anagram.

You might also note that until now, all the puzzle locations have mentioned green, but Elroy here is in yellow.

> stuff. (from FUSFT)

> gray. (from ARGY)

> filler. (from LIELRF)

> heavy. (from AYVHE)

> metal. (from ATLEM)

> pencil. (from CLEPNI)

> look. (All the words, read in pairs, suggest LEAD.)

> lead. (Correct.)

> 24

Malcolm (Puzzle 24)

This time you're looking for words that form two-word phrases when put between the two given words.

> file. (for "Nail .... Cabinet")

> club. (for "Yacht ... Soda")

> stick. (for "Match ... Figure")

> horse. (for "Saw ... Chestnut")

> box. (for "Tackle ... Canyon")

> post. (for "Hitching ... Office")

> dirt. (for "Pay ... Bike")

> garden. (for "Rock ... Gnome". Correct.)

> 25

Table (Puzzle 25)

A cryptogram is here. Decode it to read: "Sometimes I wish to open bottles of wine. In those situations, I always use this item."

> corkscrew. (Correct.)

> 26

Mapmaster (Puzzle 26)

The Mapmaster describes a foyer, as if you were in a more typical interactive fiction game than this one is. See map 2 to see the house's geography.

> e.

In a sunny parlor, you read "Dinedh Itex Rofm Arbliyr". Those words are scrambled, and translate to "Hidden Exit From Library".

> w. n. w.

In a dining room, you read, "2. To soar like a bird." That's a clue for FLY.

> e. n.

In a library, you see books about insects.

> e.

In a secret room, you read, "1. A large, scaly, fire-breathing monster." That's a clue for DRAGON.

Put the two clues together to get:

> dragonfly. (Correct.)

> 27

Martin (Puzzle 27)

Fill in the blanks. The second word is the first with a letter in front. Say the second word.

> clock.

> wasp.

> drink.

> slashed

> jocular.

> tangled. (Correct.)

> 28

Screen (Puzzle 28)

You see a crossword puzzle with four clues:

> swamp. copper. larva. horrid.

> look.

The vertical word is P*P*L*R.

> popular. (Correct.)

> 29

Hubert (Puzzle 29)

His script has extra letters: TYUSR. Rearrange them:

> rusty. (Correct.)

> 30

Vincent (Puzzle 30)

He says when he keeps an eye out for a ghost, he finds a SPRIT. That is, SPIRIT without an I.

> plot. (pilot without I)

> trade. (tirade without I)

> patent. (patient without I)

> genus. (genius without I)

> star. (sitar without I)

> solder. (soldier without I)

> confer. (conifer without I. Correct.)

> 31

Ranelle (Puzzle 31)

The puzzle here is to continue each given series.

"Spring, summer, fall,..."

> winter.

"North, south, east..."

> west.

"Penny, nickel, dime..."

> quarter.

"Timing, square, pack..." This is tricky; you need to extrapolate to be thinking "two-timing, four-square, six-pack, eight-ball".

> ball.

"Earth, air, water..."

> fire. (Correct.)

> 32

Colonel (Puzzle 32)

This puzzle is about words that are anagrams of other words, eg: turning CLEATS into CASTLE.

> horse. (from shore)

> medals. (from damsel)

> silver. (from livers)

> battle. (from tablet)

> fighter. (from freight)

> citadel. (from dialect)

> vowels. (from wolves)

> sergeants. (from greatness. Correct.)

> 33

Windows (Puzzle 33)

Starting from SMALL-BIRD-toucan, go to SMALL-VESSEL-rowboat:

> s. s. s. s. s. s. s. m.

Continue to LARGE-VESSEL-oil tanker:

> f. s. s. s. s. s. s. m.

Continue to COLORFUL-BIRD-toucan:

> f. s. s. s. s. s. m.

Continue to FAST-FOOD-hamburger:

> f. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. s. m.

The keyword is a 9-letter word meaning all one's sons and daughters.

> offspring. (Correct.)

> 34

Mime (Puzzle 34)

A mime mimes actions. You need to 'Name That Verb'.

> hop.

> serve.

> meditate.

> conduct.

> pirouette. (Correct.)

> 35

Painting (Puzzle 35)

See + Are + Why + Pea + Tea = C + R + Y + P + T.

> crypt. (Correct.)

> 36

Rosalind (Puzzle 36)

You're guessing words. As you get more letters correct, your guess is rated accordingly. 'Pretty crummy' is better than 'just awful'.

> armband. (pretty crummy)

> juicy. (isn't too bad)

Let's try letter-by-letter.

> a. (pretty crummy)

> b. c. d. (all just awful)

> e. (pretty crummy)

> ae. (isn't too bad)

> f. g. h. (all just awful)

> i. (pretty crummy)

> aei. (pretty good)

> j. k. ll. m. n. (all just awful)

> o. (pretty crummy)

> aeio. (very good)

Are we only paying attention to vowels?

> aeiou. (fantastic, but think more arboreal)

> sequoia. (Correct.)

> 37

Floyd (Puzzle 37)

Floyd is rhyming words beginning with FL, but miming things that rhyme with INCH.

> z. z. z. z. z. z. (just to see what he says and does.)

> flinch. (Correct.)

> 38

Square (Puzzle 38)

You're shown a 4 by 4 grid with four clues. The answers will read the same across and down.

> zany. aloe. noel. yelp.

The square now reads: HORSES LIVE IN THIS.

> stable. (Correct.)

> 39

Togrin (Puzzle 39)

Just guess.

> wizard. (kind of cold)

> middle. (lukewarm)

> arctic. (cold)

> a. (Need at least four letters.)

> aaaa. bbbb. cccc. (all ice-cold)

> dddd. (pretty cold)

> eeee. (pretty cold)

> ffff. gggg. hhhh. (all ice-cold)

> iiii. (kind of cold)

> deii. (pretty warm)

> jjjj. kkkk. llll. mmmm. (all ice-cold)

> nnnn. (pretty cold)

> dein. (pretty warm)

> deini. (very warm)

> oooo. (pretty cold)

> deinio. (blazing hot)

P through Z are all ice-cold.

> iodine. (Correct.)

> 40

Plaque (Puzzle 40)

Initial letters spell VALUABLE METAL.

> gold. silver. (On right track)

> platinum. (Correct.)

> 41

Talman (Puzzle 41)

Name precious stones from 4 to 9 letters in length:

> ruby.

> topaz.

> garnet.

> diamond.

> sapphire.

> turquoise. (Correct.)

> 42

Sophia (Puzzle 42)

We're changing one letter and rearranging, starting with STRIVE.

> vipers.

> praise.

> spiral.

> sailor.

> morals.

> salmon.

> melons.

Now guess the keyword from the replaced letters: TVEPIRA.

> private. (Correct.)

> 43

Machine Gamma (Puzzle 43)

Professor Wilks wants a word that gets processed into itself. Early ebxperimentation shows that the output is always four letters and ends in K, and only the first four letters of your guess matter.

Unfortunately, I didn't figure out how this encoding algorithm fully works. I just tried four-letter words ending in K until I found the answer.

> sjlk. (SJLK works, but it's not a real word.)

> jack. (Correct.)

> 44

Donald (Puzzle 44)

Which letters did he buy for $267?

> bonker. (Total is right, but not the word.)

> broken. (Correct.)

> 45

Quincy (Puzzle 45)

Find at least 15 hidden words in the given string of letters, all at least four letters.

> pans. want. pant. plot. glob.

> glue. gore. pore. wore. lore.

> lane. pane. plane. wane. gate.

The keyword is in there and starts with L.

> lance. lace. lode. lost. list.

> lift. lyre. life. love. lacy.

> lays. word. waft. wart. ward.

> wand. last. plod. ploy. port.

> worst. note. gift. stub. wars.

> plan. plans. lose. pose. nose.

> noise. poise. ploys. lair. lairs.

> acid. placid. wove. loft. lord.

> play. plays. wait. plait. pyre.

Now he says to look at letters 20, 4, 8, 15, 10, 6, 17, 19. That spells out BLOVIATE.

> bloviate. ("Not yet")

> land. plant. late. lade. glade.

> wade. lave. gave. pave. wave.

> lard. pair. pairs. gorse. paste.

> laid. plaid. place. past. gait.

> knot. knob.

> live. (Correct.)

> look. (Found 83 of over 120.)

> 46

Marcus (Puzzle 46)

31 + 15 = ?

> fortysix. (You'd need a hyphen and that's not allowed.)

Notice that Marcus is wearing a toga; try Roman numerals.


What is 372 + 516?


What's the real name of 154-E?

> Clive

Keyword, with vowels removed, is 560.

> deluxe. (Correct.)

> 47

Charades (Puzzle 47)

We're doing rebuses.

> disclose. (disc + lose)

> implode. (imp + lode)

> average. (aver + age)

> mushroom. (mush + room)

> innovation. (inn + ovation)

> appointment. (app + ointment)

> absolute. (ab + so + lute)

> facetious. (facet + IOUs. Correct.)

> 48

Flips (Puzzle 48)

Name a displayed letter to flip it and its two adjacent letters. The goal is to make all letters disappear.

The first step is to start with F and go backwards to I. (By the way, there's only 25 letters involved; there's no L.)

> f. e. d. c. b. a.

> z. y. x. w. v. u.

> t. s. r. q. p. o.

> n. m. k. j. i.

With 24 letters up, you can flip them all down in consecutive groups of three by choosing the middle letters of the groups:

> k. o. r. u. x. a. d. g.

When all are flipped over, Lance flips up DEGNOPRUW. Rearrange those:

> gunpowder. (Correct.)

> 49

Alfonse (Puzzle 49)

Fill in the blanks in the message:

> eat. yellow. monkey. foot.

> banana. (Correct.)

All the puzzles are unlocked.

> puz. 50

Hildegard (Puzzle 50)

First, answer Hildegard's puzzle clues:

> water.

> ladle.

> gulls.

> May.

> dove.

Now say your answers out loud: Water ladle gulls May dove? What are little girls made of?

> sugar. (Close!)

> spice. (Correct.)

> 51

Scroll (Puzzle 51)

The last letters of the message spell out "bees beverage".

> nectar. (Correct.)

> 52

Incognito (Puzzle 52)

A wincing man in a tunic wants you to guess his name.

> Caesar. Nero. hint.

The letters are in Rumpelstiltskin and Lohengrin.

> Noel. Mike. hint.

Every letter is unique.

> Loki. Merlin. hint.

He cannot abide pink smog. If you remove the letters in PINK SMOG from the other names he gave you and only consider unique letters, you're left with RUELTH.

> Luther. (yes! Keyword is anagram of Luther.)

> hurtle. (Correct.)

> 53

Ashwood (Puzzle 53)

Ashwood wants to hear A-verbs.

> achieve. apply. appraise. amplify. ally.

> anger. assert. assess. aver. argue.

> arrest. attest. abate. adapt. adopt.

> affect. access. afford. agree. amend.

His keyword is short, starts with S, and means conceited or self-satisfied.

> smug. (Correct.)

> 54

Yvonne (Puzzle 54)

Yvonne's keyword makes her feel a wide range of emotions at once. And she says it's a profession. You need to guess a lot of words to figure out what triggers her emotions.

> blight. (all six, but not her keyword)

> Christ. (still not her keyword)

> knight. (Correct.)

> 55

Machine Delta (Puzzle 55)

Start with BEGIN, target is KEYWORD, and the commands are CHO, ROT, MYS, INW, and BCK which you can abbreviate to their first letter. After lots of experimentation, you can figure out what those commands do:


> m. (BEGINK)

> r. r. r. r. m. (GINKBEP)

> c. (INKBEP)

> r. (PINKBE)

> m. (PINKBEY)

> r. r. r. (BEYPINK)

> inw. (BEYWPINK)

> c. (EYWPINK)

> r. r. r. r. r. (WPINKEY)




> c. c. c. (INKEYO)

> m. (INKEYOR)

> c. c. (KEYOR)

> m. (KEYORT)

> r. m. c. (KEYORC)

> r. m. c. (KEYORL)

> r. m. c. (KEYORU)

> r. m. c. (KEYORD)

> inw. (KEYWORD)

The display changes to INEXPENSIVE.

> cheap. (Correct.)

> 56

Laurence (Puzzle 56)

> equity. (Correct.)

> 57

Seer (Puzzle 57)

Note if the Seer smiles or not in response to your words. She's actually reacting to just the first letters of your words. She will always smile and say "A pool is like a bucket of rain." for words beginning with A, for example.

> apple. (smiles)

> moth. (shakes head)

> butterfly. (frowns)

> carriage. (smiles)

> rain. (shakes head)

> shower. (grimaces)

> falling. (shakes head)

> golf. (frowns)

> nova. (smiles)

> orange. (smiles)

> panko. (smiles)

> yoyo. (smiles)

She smiles at these first letters: ACNOPY.

> canopy. (Correct.)

> 58

Horton (Puzzle 58)

Figure out Horton's preferences. This part is randomized, so you should first guess one word or the other of each pair offered and try to figure out what the preference rule is. When you think you know it, you're ready to take the TEST.

For example, these are all correct answers:

Horton only likes words where the vowels are only in the middle of the word, never the first or last letters. Start the TEST. If the test is randomized, just pick the words where the letters on both ends are consonants. But I always saw the same questions.

> test

> caramel

> sandwich

> carpenter

> bomb

> polish

> boater

You pass the test after six correct answers. The keyword is a rank, a floor of a building, or a tool that makes sure things aren't tilted.

> level. (Correct.)

> 59

Glyphs (Puzzle 59)

You see a list of symbols. It's a cryptogram where each letter is encoded by a pair of symbols. For example, @@ means A, $% means N, $& means O, and so on.

When decoded, the message reads "Another word for pirate that has nine letters."

> buccaneer. (Correct.)

> 60

Poster (Puzzle 60)

This puzzle was so difficult for me to solve. A riddle whose answer is RIDDLE! Aaargh.

> riddle. (Correct.)

Also, do you remember BLOVIATE clued back in Puzzle 45 and being told "not yet"? Try it now.

> bloviate. (Puzzle 61 is unlocked.)

> 61

Rimbus (Puzzle 61)

Rimbus has four tasks for you.

This is entirely optional bonus content, by the way. You don't have to solve any of Rimbus's tasks and can go directly back to Quorbus and start the battle with the zarblot, if you really want to. But you got this far! Surely you want to see everything?

Regarding the colors, every puzzle room featured a color. Count them up: there's 22 green, 5 yellow, 24 blue, 5 pink, and 4 purple. Translate 22-5-24-5-4 into letters and get VEXED.

> vexed. (Task completed!)

> 1

Quorbus (Puzzle 1)

> hi. (Quorbus shows the letter R.)

> 5

Gorwal (Puzzle 5)

> hi. (Gorwal shows the letter O.)

> 10

Alticons (Puzzle 10)

> hi. (Alticons shows the letter L.)

> 20

Nalina (Puzzle 20)

> hi. (Nalina shows the letter A.)

> 39

Togrin (Puzzle 39)

> hi. (Togrin shows the letter V.)

> valor. (Task completed!)

> 21

Machine Beta (Puzzle 21)

> xvbtjozgq. (RECKONING)

> reckoning. (Task completed!)

> 26

Mapmaster (Puzzle 26)

To get the front door unlocked, try to go all the wrong ways in every location.

In the secret room:

> n. e. s. w.

In the library:

> n. w. s.

In the creaky hallway:

> e. w.

In the dining room:

> n. w. s. e. s.

In the foyer:

> s. w.

He says the front door is unlocked now.

> s.

From the front porch, a road stretches south.

> s. (Sign says "GI".)

> s. (Sign says "GA".)

> s. (Sign says "NT".)

> s. (Sign says "IC".)

> gigantic. (Task completed!)

When you complete Rimbor's fourth task, you hear a click.

> puz. (The Witch at Puzzle 0 is unlocked!)

> 69105 (Commendation for Easter egg hunting)

> xyzzy. plugh. (oh well)

> 0

The Witch (Not a Puzzle)

> goffil. (You now have red blotches.)

> goffil. (The blotches fade away.)

> indiclave. (Foam shoots out of your ears.)

> brumgor. (Witch says you don't want that one.)

> brumgor. (You're now a zarblot!)

Sage Sanctum

You, the fearsome zarblot, are now facing a puny player. Use any spell you like to see how the player responds to it. If you actually want to win as the zarblot, I suggest casting ZAPILOG over and over again. All your other spells can only be used once each.

> spells.

> SPELL. (Repeat casting spells until the battle is over, one way or the other.)

*** Defeated Zarblot ***


The Witch (Not a Puzzle)

If you like, you can continue to drink the BRUMGOR potion and refight as the zarblot against the player, but this walkthrough is moving on.

> 1

Quorbus (Puzzle 1)

> zarblot. SPACE

Sage Sanctum

The zarblot always attacks first, and its choice of spell is semi-randomized, since it chooses ZAPILOG with every other attack. Use BOOK to see which keywords you have. Use REWIND if you want to restart the battle. See the spells and keywords sections of this walkthrough to understand how they interact.

If Quorbus tells you how to counter a spell, you can and must counter it with an appropriate keyword. Otherwise, block the spell with any keyword you like.

With 60 keywords, your success is almost guaranteed no matter what you do.

> KEYWORD. (Repeat until the battle is over.)


The sages thank you and fully introduce themselves.

*** Honorary Sage ***

Here is an example battle:




From the game's opening text:

Special thanks to Linus Åkesson, Andy Fleming, Lorne Harris, Luke Pebler, Brian Rushton, Andrew Schultz, and Mike Spivey for testing, and to Nadia Bellazola for cover art.


Note that the only true endings are when you defeat the zarblot. All other endings are followed by a rewind that returns you to either Quorbus or the Witch so you can continue playing.

There is no ranking given if the zarblot defeats you. Quorbus tells you to explicitly REWIND in that case.

There may be more winning ranks that I didn't find based on different numbers of keywords found.

Player keywords

As the player, you can collect up to 60 keywords to use in the battle with the zarblot. Use BOOK to list them at any time.

Keywords are both offensive and defensive. When the zarblot casts any spell (other than ZAPILOG) at you, you must counter it if you can, or block it with any other keyword if you can't.

When picking a keyword to attack with or to block with, you should pick one that is unable to counter any spell. For example, you probably don't want to attack with LIVE since it counters a lot of spells. But considering a rewind always happens if you lose the battle, don't sweat about strategy over much.

Note that while I found every keyword, I certainly didn't find every keyword-counters-spell association. It would take more time than I have to be sure it's complete without access to the game's source code.

Zarblot spells

The zarblot has a wide range of spells it can use to attack the player and the Sanctum with. Use SPELLS to list them. Although only Quorbus can tell you what sorts of words can nullify each spell when you fight as the player, you won't see the full range of the zarblot's spells until you play as the zarblot.

Each spell can only be used once, except for ZAPILOG, which can be used by the zarblot as often as it likes.

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