Key & Compass presents:
Tryst of Fate
by G. M. Zagurski

Tryst of Fate is a Z-machine 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 1995, 1996, 1997 by G. M. Zagurski.

In this sprawling fantasy/western game, you play as a housewife who accidentally knocks herself out after stepping on a toy car in the upstairs hallway. When you wake up, you feel fine, but before you can stand up, a gnome steals your gold watch right off your wrist... and drops a special gumball? What is going on?

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 205 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.


Chapter 1: "Who Was That Masked Man?"

MasterBathroom MasterBedroom Mark'sRoom MasterCloset UpstairsHallway Kids'Bathroom SecretCellar On theFloor Kati'sRoom InsideSomewhere Clearing d stand eat greengumball eat gum u (to down-stairs) (two turnsafter saying"Dehlilia")

On the Floor

> i. x watch. stand.

Before you can get up, a gnome named Frank steals your watch!

> stand.

Upstairs Hallway

> x gumball. x car. take all.

Before you can take the gumball, a different gnome takes it and calls you "ma'am."

> n.

Master Bedroom

> x gnome. (His name is George.)

> x bag. ask gnome about Frank.

> ask gnome about gumball. (George heads west.)

> w.

Master Bathroom

Note: You can't examine the plants or cherubims [sic]. BUG: If you ask George about the gumball here, he'll again appear to leave to the west, but he doesn't.

> ask George about bag. x closet. x mirror. open closet.

You fail to open the closet. Instead, George drops his bag, opens the closet, enters, and closes it again. You hear muffled sounds, then quiet. The door won't open.

> take bag. open it. (can't: rusted zipper)

> e.

Master Bedroom

> x bed. look under it. x magazines.

> x dresser. open drawer. x gloves. take gloves.

> s.

Upstairs Hallway

> s. open door. x door.

> x ledge. search it. (Perhaps you need to be higher?)

> e.

Kids' Bathroom

Note: You can't put the soap back in the shower.

> x towels. take towels. (no, leave them)

> x water. take water. drink water. (+2)

> x toys. take toys. (no, leave them)

> x curtain. open it. look. x shower. x soap.

> take soap. (There's several possible messages for failing to take the soap.)

> wear gloves. take soap. (+5)

> put soap on zipper. drop gloves, soap.

> open bag. x box. take it. open it. (locked)

> w. (−2; re: drinking water)

Upstais Hallway

> ne.

Mark's Room

Note: You don't need any of the stuff hiding in the clothes. If you eat the candy bar, you'll be slightly ill for several turns. If you blow the whistle, your ears will be ringing for several turns. If you wake or pet the cat, it will follow you, and I don't know any way to make it stop following you. The repetative messages about the cat can get annoying, so I suggest you let sleeping cats lie, but it's up to you.

> x gum. take it. (can't: too gooey)

> x bench. take it.

> x bed. look under it.

> x clothes. search clothes. g. g.

> x candy. x whistle. x cat.

> s.

Upstairs Hallway

> drop bench. stand on it. x key. take it. stand.

> unlock door with key. open door. s. (+5)

Kati's Room

> x clothes. search clothes. take pack. x it. read label.

> x closet. open it. x safe. take it. shake it.

> open safe. (can't: you don't know the combo)

> n. ne.

Mark's Room

> shake pack. put pack on gum. take gum. (+5)

There'll be a random appearance of one or more of your family members at this point.

> eat gum. (You're now...)

Inside Somewhere

While here, you don't have your normal inventory. Much later in the game, you should be able to deduce that this is George's gumball factory.

> x paper. take it. (Oddly, everything here is insubstantial.)

> x cauldrons. x books. read book. x table.

> x dust. x sketches. x equipment.

> x door. open it.

> sneeze. blow dust. g. g. (+10)

Your sneeze has moved the paper.

> x paper. ("Dehlila" with image of woman opening a door.)

> Dehlila. z. z.

The door blows open, and you're back in...

Upstairs Hallway

All of your inventory is here, but you only need two things:

> take box and safe. ne.

Mark's Room

Mark is now here.

> x Mark. ask Mark about Kati.

> ask Mark about dad. ask Mark about safe.

> give safe to Mark. (+5; he opens it and leaves.)

> take key. x it. unlock box with it. open box. close box.

> s. n. w.

Master Bathroom

> Dehlila. (+5)

> open door. s.

Master Closet

> open box.

Sometimes the box plays a minuet. Sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't, close it and re-open it until it does. A trap door should appear.

> close box. x trap. open trap. d.

Secret Cellar

> x gumball. take it. eat it. (+15)

Chapter 2: "The Land Down Under"

Over theHill Hayloft In DebrisRoom BurnedDownShack Top ofCrow Hill Vault LiveryStable Corral Bottom ofCrow Hill Garden GeneralStore Bank OutsideLivery Badlands On the Roadto Herring-Ville Road toHerring-Ville Spoon/Fork inthe Road UnattendedTrees West MainStreet East MainStreet DeadeyeGulch CactusTrail TreeTop Jail Saloon StorageRoom DustyRoad Boot Hill MineMaze OutsideMineEntrance OilPatch End ofthe Line NarrowRavine BrokenTrack TrackCrossing TrainTrack BrokenBridge Just Offthe Ground InsideSod Shack BlindCanyon AboutHalfwayUp Trail ShadyPath Clearing Almost tothe Top ClearCreek BeaverDam Platform,On theDerrick Trail SecretCellar Trail DryStreambed Hole inthe Wall BoxCanyon End ofthe Trail u xyzzy u u u u u go anydirection d xyzzy d d d d eat greengumball d go west five times


Note: When Chapter 2 begins, you'll lose any possessions you had in Chapter 1.

> x boulders. x flowers. smell flowers. x bees.

> w. s.

Beaver Dam

The biting mosquitos and gnats force you back.

Shady Path

> w. sw.

Clear Creek

> x stream. x magnetite.

> sw. s.

Trail (with sagebrush)

> x sage. take it. smell it.

> se.

End of the Trail

> x tree. x sign. ("Dorn's Tree")

> nw. sw. w.

Hole in the Wall

> x rocks. search rocks. (empty: spot for dynamite?)


> e. ne. n. ne. ne. ne.

Blind Canyon

> n.

Track Crossing

> e.

Train Track

> x tumbleweeds. search it. (something reddish in there)

> e.

Broken Bridge

This is a dead end.

> w. w. w.

Broken Track

> x gap. w.

Narrow Ravine

> x snakes.

> e. e. n.

Dusty Road

> e.

Boot Hill

> x marker. x plot. x fence.

> w. n.

Deadeye Gulch

> x sign. ("No Cussin, Gunnin, or Gamblin")

> n.

Outside Livery

> x door. open door. (locked)

> x paint. x splotches.

> x blue. (or red or yellow or orange)

> sw. n.


> x pan. take it.

> x hole. look in hole. (something's in there.)

> x windows.

> n.


The contraption appears to be a coin press.

> x table. x contraption. x plate. pull lever.

> look under table. (You acquire a green note.)

> read green note. (It's about a horse race where Beetlebaum won.)

> drop green note.

> s. s. s.


> x mirror. x table. read writing. (can't: too dark with grime)

> x machine. x lever. x slot. x tray. x tumblers. x wheels.

> n. w.

West Main Street

> s. open jail door. (locked)

> n.

General Store

Amusingly, you can pry the floorboard with any other object.

> x floorboard. pry floorboard with pan. (+5)

> take match. g. x match.

> x door. take cloth. tear cloth. x cloth.

> x gum base. take gum base.

> x box. open it. take sugar cube. x it.

> w.


> take corn. x stalk. x kernels.

> e. s. w.

Unattended Trees

> u.

Tree Top

> x nest. look in nest. read note. (+5)

I'm sure you could solve this arithmetic cryptogram yourself, but a quick Google search for "happy days ahead arithmetic puzzle" reveals that H=2, A=9, P=6, Y=1, E=8, D=3, and S=0.

> d. w.

Spoon in the Road / Fork in the Road

> x shiny. take spoon.

> nw.

Bottom of Crow Hill

> x sign. ("No Trespassing")

> ne. w.

Burned Down Shack

> x sign. ("George Beetlebaum GumBall Factory")

> x George. x brass key. x book. x cauldron. x flakes. x sketch.

> ask George about factory. (Biscuit Brothers did this.)

> ask George about Biscuit. ask George about Frank.

> ask George about sketchorask George about Dehlila.

> ask George about town. ask George about Beetlebaum.

> read book. (Has gumball recipe. Note the comment about alcohol.)

> x tryst. (That's the flakes in the cauldron.)

> put sage, gum base, sugar in cauldron.

> stir cauldron with spoon. (+10)

> drop spoon. take gumball. x it.

For what it's worth, you can take the cauldron and use it like a carry-all for some of your inventory, but it shouldn't be necessary unless you want to carry everything.

> e. n.

Over the Hill

Although the lantern works just fine if you light it with a lit match, I'm going to ask you to leave it here. You don't actually need the lantern, and I don't want you to waste a match on it.

> x lantern. x footprints. (They're yours.)

> s. sw. se.

Fork in the Road

The nonsense west of the Fork can be avoided entirely, but if you're curious:

> w.

Road to HerringVille

> x sign. ("Badlands Ahead")

> w. w. w. w. (Last chance to return.)

> w.


> w. (or any other direction)

Repeatedly try to go anywhere. Eventually, you'll hear "XYZZY" whispered in the wind. The magic word won't work until you hear it.

> xyzzy.

In Debris Room

> x rod. take it. (denied)

If you say XYZZY in the Debris Room, you'll go back to Badlands and still be lost there. Instead, go any normal direction from the Debris Room to return to the Road to HerringVille.

> w.

Road to HerringVille

> e.

Fork in the Road

> sw. (Cactus needles hurt your unprotected feet.)

Head back all the way to Clear Creek:

> e. e. e. e. s. s. s. sw. sw.

Clear Creek

> put pan in creek. shake pan. (+5)

> x nugget. take it. drop pan.

> put cloth in water. (to wet it)

Take the nugget to the coin press in the bank's vault:

> ne. ne. n. n. n. w. n. n.


> put nugget in impression. pull lever. (+5)

> take coin. x it.

> s. s. s.


The cloth must be wet for this to work.

> clean table with cloth. (+5)

> read writing. ("ROYBOB Livery")

Now use the slot machine. Set the wheels to the numbers you figured out from the crumpled note you found in the bird's nest.

> set first to 9.

> set second to 2.

> set third to 8.

> set fourth to 9.

> set fifth to 3.

> put coin in slot. pull lever. (+10; bottle in tray)

> take bottle. x it. read label.

You may want to save here before continuing. Remember the odd comment about mixing gumballs with alcohol in George's book? You want to eat the gumball THEN drink the rotgut.

> open bottle. x cork. x rotgut.

> eat gumball. drink rotgut. (You go back in time...)

Saloon (in the past)

> i. (You have nothing.)

> x Bro. x girls. x patrons. x mirror. x table.

> n. (Black Thad McGee enters and picks a fight with you.)

> x Thad. (He wants a kiss.)

CAUTION: If you do nothing after several turns, he'll shoot you. He'll also kill you if you kiss him.

> ask Bro about gun. (+5; Bro hands you a derringer.)

> shoot Thad.

Because you ate the gumball, your shot hits his right-hand pistol then shatters the mirror. A girl conks you with a bottle and you return to the present-day saloon.

By the way, if you hadn't eaten the gumball, Thad shoots the gun out of your hand instead, and you return to the present-day saloon with the mirror still intact.


The bottle of rotgut and its cork are gone. The mirror has been replaced with glass shards and a doorway east.

> take all. drop cloth. x shards.

> e.

Storage Room

> x knife. take it.

Now make use of that ROYBOB clue you saw on the saloon's table:

> w. n. ne.

Outside Livery

Spell out ROYBOB by pushing the appropriate paint splotches on the door. Push red for R, orange for O, and so on:

> push red. push orange. push yellow.

> put blue. push orange. push blue. (+10; the door is unlocked.)

> open door. n.

Livery Stable

> x stalls. search stalls. take shovel. x it.

> x ladder. u.


> take pitchfork. x it.

> d. e.


> search grass. take tin. (+5)

> read tin. open tin. x balm.

> w. s. s. s. e.

Boot Hill

After digging three times, a large bird, a Tombstone Jay, arrives to watch you.

> dig grave with shovel. g. g. g. (Boots found on Boot Hill!)

> drop shovel. take boots. (+5)

> search boots. (something falls out)

> wear boots. look. read soiled note.

It asks you to play the squeezebox and feed his ornery friend.

> x jay. give corn to jay.

The jay, after being fed, will fly elsewhere when you leave the hill.

> w. n.

Deadeye Gulch

> read sign. cuss. s. (The dead sheriff arrests you!)


> x bar. take it. (+5)

> x door.

> z. (Repeat waiting about 20 times until the sheriff unlocks the door.)

> open door.

> n. e. e. s. s. s. sw. e.

Shady Path

> wear balm. s. (+10)

Beaver Dam

The balm won't last long, so work quickly here.

CAUTION: Swimming here is fatal.

> take berries. eat berries.

You have a vision of Dehlila picking berries. Then she rubs a locket and disappears.

> x rock. (Note that it's gritty.)

> sharpen knife on rock. (+5)

Now that you have a sharp knife, return to Dorn's Tree at the end of the trail:

> n. w. sw. sw. s. se.

End of the Trail

> cut branch with knife. (+5)

> take branch. x stick.

Now back to the store:

> nw. n. ne. ne. ne. n. n. n. w. w. n.

General Store

The game only lets you take a second square of gum base after you've used up the first one. Otherwise, I would've told you to take two squares when you first walked in here.

> take gum.

> s. e. n.


> chew gum. put gum on stick.

> put stick in hole. (+10)

> look. take locket. x it.

> wear locket. open it. look in it. (empty)

> drop stick.

Leave the locket open. You'll find something to put in there later.

> s. w. w. w.

Fork in the Road

> sw. (+5; while wearing boots)

Cactus Patch

> s.

Outside Mine Entrance

> x car. x sign. x rope. x header. x timber.

> e.

Oil Patch

> x derrick. x sign. ("FUCE #12")

> u.

Just Off the Ground, On the Derrick

A riddle is inscribed here.

> say wheel. (+5)

> u.

About Half Way Up, On the Derrick

A second riddle and a wheel are here.

> say candle. (+5)

> x nail. x wheel. read plaque.

Note that the capital letters are L R R L L L R.

> take wheel. u.

Almost to the Top, On the Derrick

A third riddle and a candle are here.

> say oil.

> x candle. take it.

> u.

Platform, On the Derrick

If you fed T-Jay earlier, it'll be flying above here. But the droppings are a clue that a bird comes here if you haven't fed him yet.

> x oil can. take it. x droppings.

> d. d. d. d. w.

Outside Mine Entrance

> cut rope with knife. (+5. The mine is now open.)

> w.

Vent Room Mine Shaft Mine Shaft Mine Shaft(crack) Mine Shaft Mine Shaft Mine Shaft OutsideMineEntrance

Mine Shaft (entrance)

CAUTION: Don't try to map the maze by dropping objects. They'll be moved around when you're not there to watch, and you might be unable to get your stuff back.

> light match. light candle.

You want to use the candle here, not the lantern, because its flame flickers in different directions. The lantern doesn't flicker at all. Note how the candle flame flickers east. Follow the breeze to its source:

> w. w. ne.

Mine Shaft (at crack)

> look in crack.

> take trystanium. (+10)

> put tryst in locket. (+5)

> close locket.

Continue to follow the breeze:

> ne. w. w.

Vent Room

> take accordion. x it.

> e. e. sw. sw. e. e.

Mine Shaft (entrance)

You don't need the candle any more, but just in case, drop the candle here so its flame won't die. The wind outside the mine will extinguish the candle if you take it out there.

> drop candle.

> e. e. u. u. u. u.

Platform, On the Derrick

> play accordion.

T-Jay destroys the accordion, dropping the yellow object, then it flies north.

> d. d. d. d.

Oil Patch

> x rock. take it. (+5)

> x letters.

The letters are in a circle and might randomly display as "TEDROTANO" or "OTEDROTAN" or "TANOTEDRO" or "DETONATOR".

> w. n. ne. nw. ne. w.

Burned Down Shack

Assuming the Tryst is inside the locket:

> rub locket. (You are invisible!)

You will be invisible for several turns before the effect wears off.

> take key. (+5)

Time to deal with the train track:

> e. sw. se. e. e. e. e. s. s. w.

Broken Track

> push rail with bar. (The tracks are now usable.)

> drop bar.

> e. e.

Train Track (at spur)

> pitch weeds with fork. (+5; handcar revealed)

> drop fork. x handcar.

> get on car. w. (Wheels won't turn.)

> oil car with oil can. (+5)

> x lever. (currently in fore position)

> x handle.

> push handle. g. g. g. (+10)

End of the Line

> stand. x sign. ("Danger Explosives")

> x door. x peg. put wheel on peg.

> read plaque.

Note the capital letters "L R R L L L R" in the poem. Every L means to turn the wheel left, and every R means to turn the wheel right.

> turn wheel left.

> turn wheel right. g.

> turn wheel left. g. g.

> turn wheel right. (+10. The door is unlocked.)

> open door. s.

Inside Sod Shack

> x box. open it. (locked)

> unlock box with key. drop key. open box.

> take dynamite. x it. (It has a small hole on one end.)

> x hole. (It needs a fuse... or does it?)

> n.

End of the Line

> get on car. pull lever. (so the car travels east now)

> push handle. g. g.

Track Crossing

> stand. s. sw. sw. sw. s. sw. w.

Hole in the Wall

> put TNT in rocks.

> throw detonator at TNT. (+5. A bear emerges.)

> x bear. w. (The bear blocks you.)

> rub locket. (You're invisible again.)

> w. (+5. The bear follows you.)

Chapter 3: "There and Back Again"

On theFloor BlindCanyon BiscuitResidence OutsideOld Shack RootCellar RottedTree DryStreambed Hole inthe Wall beetlebaum blizzard d u

Dry Streambed

The only inventory item you keep from the last chapter is the gold locket with the Tryst inside it. And you're visible again.

By the way, you cannot return through the tunnel. Your trick with the locket won't work on the bear twice; he can smell you.

> n.

Rotted Tree

> x tree. search it. read message.

> n.

Outside Old Shack

> x horse. x post.

> x blanket. take blanket.

> x bags. (One is "BLIZZARD"; the other, "BEETLEBAUM".)

CAUTION: If the Biscuit Brothers see you, they'll kill you, so turn invisible first before entering.

> open door. rub locket. w. (+10)

Biscuit Residence

> x cutout. move cover. (opening down exposed)

> d.

Root Cellar

You can't take the gunny sack; it's too frail. Also, you don't need this potato, but it's here, so why not take it?

> open sack. take potato.

> u.

Biscuit Residence

CAUTION: If your invisibility begins to wear off before the watch and apple appear; go outside, wait until you're visible there, re-rub the locket to turn invisible again, and re-enter the shack.

> put blanket on hole.

> x stove. x flue. (There's a lever on it.)

> z. (If necessary, repeat waiting until Frank puts your watch and an apple on the table as stakes in their card game.)

> pull lever. (Smoke starts to fill the room.)

> z. (+20. The brothers fall into the cellar and are trapped.)

> take all. (+20)

> e.

Outside Old Shack

> untie horse. get on horse.

> give apple to horse. (+5)

> blizzard. (+15)

Beetlebaum runs! You lose all your inventory and fall at Blind Canyon, where Black Thad McGee states you and he have unfinished business.

Blind Canyon

You can call out Beetlebaum's name immediately, but if you'd like to hear McGee monologue first, wait until he says "Say your prayers", then call for Beetlebaum.

> x Thad. z. z. ("Say your prayers")

> Beetlebaum. z. z. (+30)

George and Beetlebaum come to your rescue. After a meal, you eat a blue gumball that George gave you.


On the Floor

You're back where you started.

> i. x watch. stand.

Later, you find a locket and note from George under your pillow.

*** You have won ***

> amusing



This is the response to AMUSING after you've won the game. I've taken the liberty to combine the various menus into one long list:

There is information available on the following:


People (including gnomes):




At "Rotted Tree", you can read the message on the tree:

The crude carving reads:

Thanks folks!
"Beetlebaum and I would like to thank y'all fer yer help, writin's, and 'couragement on the first showin' of Tryst. Tryst tweren't nothin without y'all playin' the dadgum thing and straight'n out the ol' cuss who put it together now 'n then. Couple of ya sent in some critters 'r bugs 'r sumpin that got the darn cuss a really a thinkin' 'n messin' up things. Hell, thar ain't no livin' with him while them thar bugs be runnin' 'round. I've heard rumor that a number of y'all will be showin' up in some other goin arounds 'bout Deadeye.
'Nough of ma ramblin's,
(scrawled) George

p.s. Much obliged Dave, Cody, Volker, Karen, Bev, Allison, and John."

See also the "And finally..." acknowledgements section of AMUSING.


Note that the game can be made unwinnable in many ways. For example:


There's a carrying capacity limit of approximately 14 items. The cauldron is the closest thing to a carry-all in the game.

Chapter 1 items
Chapter 2 items
Chapter 3 items


The response to SCORE is:

You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 350, in several turns, earning you the rank of rank.

Points are awarded as follows:

The possible ranks are:

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