Key & Compass presents:
Sting of the Wasp
by Jason Devlin

Sting of the Wasp is a Z-machine 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2004 by Jason Devlin. It was entered in IF Comp 2004 where it took 4th place and was the runner-up for Miss Congeniality. At the 2004 XYZZY Awards, it won both the Best NPCs and Best Individual PC awards, the latter for the character of Julia.

You play as Julia Hawthorne, a wealthy and attractive socialite. You're at the Pine Meadows country club, having a bit of fun with Keith—he works in the Pro Shop—when you hear the click of a camera! This won't do. You'll have to make sure any photographs or gossip can't hurt your marriage or social standing.

Caution: This game contains sexual references and some strong language, but it is not a pornographic game.

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


(pool) (to valetservice) Drivingrange Behindthe club Pro Shop Women'schangeroom Officeof theRegistrar Banquethall Kitchen Outsidedining(near thekitchen) Outsidedining(next to thePro Shop) Men'schangeroom Spalobby Westernwing Foyer Gardenpath Tenniscourt Utilitycloset Spa Garden Accesshall Whirlpoolroom x x sw d


Utility closet

In the prologue, Julia is in mid-dalliance with Keith from the Pro Shop when she hears someone take an incriminating picture of them!

Important note: This game supports an unusual command: BLACKMAIL someone WITH something. This is explained in the ABOUT menus.

> take bag. x it. look in it. x make-up. x tickets.

> x shelf. (+1 pt.)

> x bleach. take it. put it in bag.

> x brooms.

> x me. fix face. do up blouse. x me.

> i. x watch. x ensemble.

> s.

Access hall

Nothing happens. Guess if you want to travel someplace exotic, you'll have to do it the old-fashioned way and sleep with Frank.

> smell. u.

Western wing

> smell. x door. open door. (Can't, locked.)

> e.


> x chandelier. x plants.

> x board. x announcement. (Your speech is at 6:45 pm.)

> s.


As a general rule, you don't want to be seen carrying suspicious items; put them in your bag. For example, if you're openly carrying the bleach, Melissa makes a catty comment about it.

> x melissa. x novel. x bench.

> smell. smell melissa. (+1; Melissa was the one downstairs.)

> x topiary. x rose bushes. take rose.

> x club.

> ask melissa about herself. ask melissa about novel.

> ask melissa about johnathan. ask melissa about charles.

> ask melissa about beverly. ask melissa about banquet.

> ask melissa about club. ask melissa about me.

> ask melissa about frank. ask melissa about keith.

> ne.

Garden path

> x pool. e.

Tennis court

> x beverly. x bra. (It's lumpy.) smell beverly.

> x machine. x net. x benches. look under benches.

> x floor. x fence.

> ask beverly about beverly. ask beverly about tennis.

> ask beverly about bra. ask beverly about melissa.

> ask beverly about frank. ask beverly about charles.

> ask beverly about me. ask beverly about banquet.

> ask beverly about club. ask beverly about keith.

> ask beverly about proof.

> n.

Outside dining (next to the Pro Shop)

> x cynthia. x salad. take salad.

> look in salad. x slices. take slices.

> put salad in bag. put slices in bag.

> x bridge players.

> ask cynthia about cynthia. ask cynthia about club.

> ask cynthia about coquille. ask cynthia about waiter.

> ask cynthia about salad. ask cynthia about frank.

> ask cynthia about beverly. ask cynthia about melissa.

> ask cynthia about charles. ask cyntha about keith.

> ask cynthia about nouveaus. ask cynthia about photographs.

> w.

Outside dining (next to the kitchen)

> x cissy. x photos. ask cissy about tyler.

> ask cissy about cissy.

> ask cissy about cynthia. ask cissy about gossip.

> ask cissy about me. ask cissy about frank.

> ask cissy about beverly. ask cissy about melissa.

> ask cissy about club. ask cissy about tuscany.

> ask cissy about camera. ask cissy about waiter.

> ask cissy about banquet. ask cissy about charles.

There's a waiter here too.

> x waiter. ask waiter about coquille.

> show salad to waiter. put salad in bag.

> s. w. w. w.

Spa lobby

> x receptionist. x desk. x book.

> ask receptionist about spa. x sign.

> ask receptionist about club.

> ask receptionist about charles. (He's in the whirlpool.)

> look up charles in book. (Receptionist stops you.)

> ask receptionist about combination. (Your locker is #11, combination 38-25-34.)

> ask receptionist about receptionist.

> s.


> x ms williams. x mud. listen.

> x rocks. x station. x dye.

> ask ms about ms. ask ms about hairdresser.

> ask ms about mud. ask ms about dye.

> ask ms about charles. ask ms about assistant.

> ask ms about club.

There's two ways to block Ms Williams's sight, either with cucumber slices or with steam. Or why not both?

Fussy timing note: If you use just the slices, the receptionist enters as soon as you pour the bleach. However, if you use steam at all, the receptionist waits an extra turn until the steam dissipates before she enters.

> take slices. put slices on ms.

> pour water on rocks.

> take bleach. put bleach in dye.

> put bleach in bag. (+1 pt; receptionist and Ms Williams leave.)

> look. x hair.

> take hair. put hair in salad.

> open door. knock on door.

> n.

Spa lobby

Fortunately, you don't have to memorize any of these numbers.

> look up charles in book. (#32, combo 62-34-42, permission for Scott.)

> look up cynthia in book. (#18, combo 23-44-46.)

> look up melissa in book. (#67, combo 33-73-42.)

> look up beverly in book. (#3, combo 16-43-81.)

> look up cissy in book. look up ms in book. (They don't have lockers.)

> look up scott in book. (No locker.)

> look up frank in book. look up johnathan in book. (No lockers.)

> w.

Men's change room

> open charles's locker.

> x charles's clothing. search it. (+1 pt.)

> x key. close locker. e. n.

Women's change room

> open my locker. x clothes. close my locker.

> open beverly's locker. x beverly's clothes.

> take bleach. pour bleach on beverly's clothes. (+1 pt.)

> put bleach in bag. close beverly's locker.

> open melissa's locker. (+1 pt.)

> x pills. (Percodan, "highly addictive".)

> take pills. put pills in bag. close melissa's locker.

> open cynthia's locker. x camera. open it. (It's empty.)

> close cynthia's locker.

> s. e.

Western wing

> unlock door with key. n. (+1 pt.)

Office of the Registrar

Close and lock the door so Charles can't catch you!

> lock door. x desk. x window. x phone.

> x cabinet.

> look up cynthia in cabinet. (1 pt; She has a peanut allergy. Charles bangs on the door.)

> open window. d.

Behind the club (in the thorn bushes)

> x bushes. z. z. (+1 pt; Charles leaves the window.)

> out. sw.


> n. w. w. s. s.

Whirlpool room

> x man. x pool. x clothes.

> ask man about charles. take clothes.

> n. (1 pt; he confesses he's Scott, Charles's "assistant" and boy toy.)

> ask scott about charles.

> ask scott about club. ask scott about keith.

> ask scott about roger. (I'm not sure if we're heard of Roger before this, but whatever.)

> ask scott about frank. kiss scott.

> n. n. e. n.

Office of the Registrar

> tell charles about scott.

> blackmail charles with scott. (+1 pt.)

> phone ferguson. (+1 pt; his name and number are on the pill bottle.)

> look up frank in cabinet. look up cissy in cabinet.

> look up melissa in cabinet. look up scott in cabinet.

> look up knowles in cabinet. look up charles in cabinet.

> look up williams in cabinet. look up keith in cabinet.

> look up beverly in cabinet.

> s. e. e. n.

Outside dining (next to the kitchen)

> put pills in wine
Whoa! Easy there, Liza.

> ask waiter for drink. x wine.

> ask waiter for peanuts. (Suggests sauce in kitchen.)

There's two ways to get past Cissy into the kitchen: either spill wine on her, or cause a scene with hairy salad. Or, if you like, both:

> spill wine on cissy. (She leaves.)

> show salad to waiter.

> w. (+1 pt.)


> x coquille. x cooks. x meat. x dishes.

> x cupboards. open cupboards. search them. (You take some peanut sauce.)

> x sauce.

> x pots. push pots. (This distracts the cooks for a few turns. If you miss your chance to pour the sauce, you can push the pots again.)

> pour sauce on coquille. (+1 pt.)

> e. e.

Outside dining (next to the Pro Shop)

Cynthia eats her doctored meal, then she's taken away by paramedics.

> ne. (+1 pt.)

Pro Shop

That's the thing about botox, you can't.

Note: You can't visit the Pro Shop until Cynthia leaves.

> x keith. x rackets. x counter. ask keith about keith.

> ask keith about melissa. (+1 pt—unless you already placed her at the scene by both smelling the access hall and smelling Melissa earlier.)

> ask keith about roger. (At driving range.)

> ask keith about club. ask keith about charles.

> take pills. ask keith about grandson. put pills in bag.

> n.

Driving range

> x roger. ask roger about pills. (+1 pt; he won't abide junkies.)

> ask roger about club. ask roger about golf.

> s. sw. sw. sw.


> ask melissa about cynthia. ask melissa about cissy.

> ask melissa about roger. ask melissa about photographs.

> ask melissa about pills.

To be able to successfully blackmail Melissa, you must have phoned Dr. Ferguson, asked Roger about pills, and placed Melissa at the scene. The last is accomplished by either asking Keith about Melissa, or by identifying Melissa's smell as the same smell in the access hall.

> blackmail melissa with roger. (+1 pt; you get the film; Melissa leaves.)

> x film. destroy film.

> ne. e.

Tennis court

> ask beverly about cynthia. ask beverly about cissy.

> ask beverly about roger.

> ask beverly about photo. (+1 pt.)

This triggers a long textdump. Beverly indeed has the photo, and the banquet begins—you do a quick change into your other clothes, first.

Banquet hall (at your table)

You, Frank, and Beverly are all seated at the same table. Beverly has a purse (with the photo!); you have a menu. A centerpiece with candles and a program are on the table.

This is a timing puzzle: wait until there's applause before you burn anything.

> x program. x menu. x frank. x beverly.

> x purse. x candles. x centerpiece.

> x podium. x table. x chair. x photo. (Charles: "Testing.")

> z. (Applause.)

> burn menu. (+1 pt; the table's on fire.)

> take photo. burn photo. (+1 pt.)

*** You have won ***

> amusing.



The player character is:

Non-player characters:

Losing endings


You have so far scored total-points out of a possible 20, in total-turns turns, earning you the rank of ranking.

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