Key & Compass presents:
Toby's Nose
by Chandler Groover

Toby's Nose is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2015 by Chandler Groover. It was the winner in the Main Festival of Spring Thing 2015; it also received the Audience Choice Ribbon and the Alumni's Choice Ribbon. At the 2015 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in three categories (Best Puzzles, Best Individual Puzzle, and Best Individual PC). This game also place 46th on the Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2019 edition) list.

In this murder mystery, you play as Sherlock Holmes's dog, Toby. The body of Gerald Argente lies dead in the drawing-room, and Sherlock declares to his family and servants that one of them is a murderer. But Sherlock wants you to discover who. Smell everyone and everything. Your talented nose can smell scents within odours and discover clues from everywhere the suspects have visited. When you're sure who the murderer is, bark at them to solve the case.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 2 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.


DrawingRoom Epiloguein London (end in forest) (bark atmurderer) (end at home)


For a more streamlined walkthrough, only use the highlighted commands.

Have you played interactive fiction before? yes


Drawing Room

Sherlock Holmes has the door locked. Over the next four turns, he explains the situation. A murderer is in this room, and its your job to smell for clues and bark at your chosen suspect. He also produces a bloody ribbon.

> x me. z. z. z.

> about.

Exploring the ribbon:

> x ribbon. s ribbon. (blood and incense)

> x blood. s blood. (spilled at least 5 days ago)

> s incense. s cinnamon. s sandalwood. s cloves.

Exploring the body:

> x body. s body.

> s tongue. s rectified alcohol. s zest.

> x robe. s robe. s flask.

> x lesions. s lesions.

> x snifter. s it. x stain. s it. x carpet. s it.

Exploring the butler (and the cellar, pantry, dining-room, and back door):

> x butler. x black waistcoat. (or other livery)

> s butler.

> s liquorish. s casks. s sawdust. s wines.

> s liquors. s ports. (or sherries, rums, whiskeys)

> s silver-polish. s silver. s pantry.

> s bunk. s claret. s debauch. s china.

> s dining-room. s guests. s footmen. s entrees.

> s purees. s fillets. s quenelles. s roasts.

> s soups. s ballotines. s tartlets. s profiteroles.

> s back door. s grout. s struggle. s blade.

Exploring the gardener (and the garden, cottage, and shed):

> x gardener. x shirtsleeves. x shoes.

> s gardener. s garden.

> s hedge. s eggshell. s chick. s flowers.

> s primroses. s factories. s labourers. s children.

> s London. s tenements. s livestock. s cow. s milk. s cat.

> s celandines. s forget-me-nots. s columbines. s hyacinths. s cowslip.

> s cottage.

> s mutton. s fat. s oven. s fender. s grease.

> s plate. s potatoes. s bread. s salt. s mug.

> s pallet. s mattress. s bodily fluids. (repeated desperate sex)

> s adrenaline. s afterglow. s kiss.

> s bedclothes. s ginger. (candy from six or seven days ago)

> s shed.

> s leaf-trimmers. s trowels. s soil. s nutrients.

> s spade. s dirt. s thing. (buried pregnant woman, dead for a week, the ribbon is hers)

> s worm. s fetus.

> s watering can. s water. s pots. s stakes.

Exploring the father, Captain Argente (and the lodge, covert, stables, and kennels):

> x captain. x thinning hair. x side-whiskers.

> x pocket-watch. x vest. x velvet-trimmed tailcoat.

> s captain. s hunt.

> s foxes. s red fox. s covert. s brambles. s hounds.

> s lodge.

> s trophies. s zebras. (or lions, rhinoceri, elephant)

> s safaris. s savannas. s war. s sun.

> s lurcher's head.

> s club members. s colonels. s cigars.

> s stables. s horses. s brougham. s oats. s hay. s manure.

> s kennels. s pasture. s colours. s horn.

> s jacket. s envelope. s letter. s indian ink. s lampblack.

> s cravat. s gloves. s riding hat.

Exploring the mother, Lady Argente (and her boudoir):

> x lady. x crape dress. x crochet.

> s lady. s toilette. (or mirror)

> s dressing-table.

> s toothpowder. s myrrh. s iris. s chalk phosphate.

> s toothbrush. s bristles.

> s pearlpowder. s bismuth chloride. s talc.

> s green vitriol. s orangewater. s beet-juice.

> s creme celeste. s almond oil. s rosewater. s spermaceti.

> s belladonna. s pomade. s benzoin resin.

> s beeswax. s hive. s bees. s pollen. s honey. s queen.

> s marseilles soap. s seawater. s sand. s seagulls.

> s washing soda. s olive-oil. s olive grove.

> s eye-paint. s lead tetroxide. s mercuric sulphide.

> s vermilion. s cinnabar. s quicksilver.

> s lip salves. s bugloss. s dewdrops.

> s castoreum. s sacs. s dams. s pelts.

> s drawers.

> s powder-puffs. s flacons. (arsenic can cause lesions)

> s fowler's solution. s arsenic. (You now smell it on Gerald's tongue.)

> s hooks. s hairbrushes. s pumice. s combs. s ivory.

> s scissors. s paintbrushes. s dish.

Exploring the twin brother, Mortimer "Jerald" Argente (and the boulevards, cesspools, waterfront, slop-shops, gin-shop, basement, bedroom, and opium-den):

> x Jerald. x waxed moustache. x curled hair.

> x paisley. x starched collar. x fingernails.

> s Jerald. x boots. s boulevards.

> s cesspools. s night-soil men. s lamps. s methane.

> s bucket. s ropeman. s gin.

> s filth. s bricks. s privies. s carriages.

> s bone-pickers. s sacking. s slop-shops.

> s river. s riverbanks. s toshers.

> s velveteen coats. s copper bits.

> s waterfront.

> s gin-shop. s bottles. s spirits. s Rodent's Delight. s barman.

> s trapdoor. s stairwell. s dank corridor. s mould.

> s basement. s crates.

> s another stairway.

> s roses. s eau de cologne. s citrus. s fans.

> s patrons. s champagne. s strawberries. s amaranthine.

> s bedroom.

> s bureau. s snuffbox. s snuff.

> s ampoule. (has fowler's solution)

> s garments. s bed. s clients. (lime perfume and lemon zest)

> s lime perfume. s limes.

> s prostitute. s sex.

> s oil-lamp. s steep steps. s opium-den.

> s opium. s berths. s silks. s sweat. s addicts. s gutter.

> s dream-pipes. s bamboo. s pipe-bowls. s paktong-lamps.

> s attendants. (One addict thrown out 6 days ago had lime perfume.)

Exploring the sister, Lily Argente (and the library, armoury, cemetery, and church):

> x Lily. x dark circles. x bangs.

> s Lily. s books. s shelves.

> s bookbinder's studio. s vellums. s calfskin.

> s buckram. s bonefolders. s bones. s bookpaste.

> s armchair. s Pompeii. s Stonehenge. s ash. s basalt.

> s octavo. s kris. s armoury.

> s weapons. s hunting-knife. (odour from kidskin glove)

> s bloodthirsty intent. s handle.

> s footstool.

> s gravesoil. s cemetery. s tombstones. s weeds.

> s church. s pews. s churchgoers.

> s stained-glass windows. s bats. s organ.

> s staircase. s chancel. s altar.

> s candles. s pentagrams. s songbird.

> s belfry. s bell. s excreta.

> s louvre. s splinters. s world.

Exploring the fiancée, Vivienne Lavoux (and her quarters and the opera-house):

> x Vivienne. x satin. x rubies. x handkerchief. x ring.

> s Vivienne. s quarters.

> s chiffoniers. s bracelets. s gowns. s outfits.

> s bric-a-brac. s antiques. s urns.

> s oil-paintings. s artist. s statuary.

> s gargoyles. s nymphs.

> s birdcage. (The songbird left a week ago.)

> s stand. s star.

> s writing-desk. s incoming.

> s tickets.

> s theatre. s theatregoers. s orchestra. s stage.

> s opera-boxes. s chandeliers. s onlookers.

> s actors. s greasepaint.

Exploring the great detective and your master, Sherlock Holmes (and home):

> x Sherlock. x hairline. x lapels.

> s Sherlock. s tobacco. s notepaper (blank).

> s home. s chemicals. s gasogene. s globes.

> s violin. s spruce. s bulletholes.

> s Mrs Hudson. s crumpet. s cheshire.

> s slipper. s cocaine. s syringe. s morocco case.

> s bearskin. s pipe. s newspaper. s files.

Exploring John Watson:

> x Watson. x walrus moustache. x pinstripes.

> s Watson. s tea.

Exploring yourself:

> x me. x my collar. x leash. s me. s my collar.

Exploring Inspector Reines (and Scotland Yard):

> x Reines. x uniform. x pistol.

> s Reines. s Scotland Yard. s cells. s inmates. s policemen.

Exploring the drawing-room's fixtures, furniture, and knick-knacks:

> x fireplace. s fireplace.

> s burnt stationery. (written with indian ink)

> x mantel. x clock. s it.

> x bay window. s it.

> x sofa. s it. s crumbs.

> x biscuit-box. s it. s biscuits. s flour. s malt. s honey.

> x cabinet. x arrows. x masks. x idols. x paw. x fantod.

> s cabinet. s arrows. s ouabain.

> s masks. s villages. s corpses. s linen.

> s paw. s dust. s papyrus. s fantod.

> x round table. x damask. x decanter.

> s tableors damask.

> x renegade biscuit. s it.

Some deductions and guesswork:

Two conclusions:

> bark at captain. again.

Sherlock clarifies that the Captain did not kill his own son, but that he killed the prostitute that was blackmailing Gerald. Gerald died of arsenic poisoning because the prostitute put fowler's solution into Gerald's flask as insurance.

An Epilogue in London

Holmes tells Watson that Toby and the theatrics were necessary for the Captain's confession since Holmes didn't have the real letter.

> z. z. x lamplighters. x park. (The forest calls to you.)

> nworse.

Either you have a good romp in the park, or you run home and Mrs Hudson lets you in.

*** Another mystery for the memoirs. ***

> author's note



In the drawing-room:

People smelled elsewhere:

People in the epilogue:

Animals smelled elsewhere:

The dead, in the drawing-room or smelled elsewhere:


The response to CREDITS is:

Toby's Nose is copyright 2015 by Chandler Groover. It may be distributed for free, but not sold or included in any for-profit collection without written permission from the author. It was originally made for Spring Thing 2015, where it received both Audience Choice and Alumni's Choice Ribbons.

Some other games I've written include HUNTING UNICORN, Midnight. Swordfight., Taghairm, Three-Card Trick, and What Fuwa Bansaku Found.


The author admits that you can win the game immediately by barking at a random suspect and luckily getting it right, but hopes most players won't do that because that's a lot less satisfying.


Except for your collar, your inventory is a mental inventory of significant clues that you smelled.

Of course, you don't really do anything with your inventory of notable smells except re-smell them or smell notable aspects found within them. Figuring out what the smells signify is up to the player to determine.

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