Key & Compass presents:
Under, In Erebus
by Brian Rapp

Under, In Erebus is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2010 by Brian Rapp. It was entered in IF Comp 2010 where it took 16th place.

In this game of wordplay, you play as someone forced to take a one-way elevated train trip to Erebus, a land of darkness deep underground. Stranded, you will need to use the homophones you find there to spell the tools you need to escape.

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


State/LakeElevatedStation BlackLineEl DescentIntoDarkness MindtheGap HardLanding LastStop CarvedCoast (T) CarvedCoast (L) L----Ladder CarvedCoast (C) EndOf TheLine CarvedCoast (B) B-----Bees HeartOfDarkness P-----Plants CarvedCoast (P) Straight-away CarvedCoast (I) TiledTerrace CarvedCoast (U) Bridge ToNowhere CalmChannel Back OnTrack I-----Isle z z z z z out u WIN!


State/Lake Elevated Station

A cold open: A Black Line train to Erebus is arriving at the station, but there is no such thing.

> i. (You're wearing your backpack.)

You're pushed onto the train by the crush of bodies.

Black Line El

> x man. (He ignores you.)

Descent Into Darkness

It feels like the train is going straight down.

> x pole. (Which you automatically grab onto at this point.)

Mind The Gap

Has the train left the tracks? Someone vomits on you.

> x me.

Hard Landing

The train lands on new tracks and the brakes engage.

> x train.

Last Stop

The train stops and everyone else runs out, followed by screams.

> look. (It's dark.)

> i. x clothing.

> x backpack. ("O.D.C.S.") open it.

> x textbook. (It's too dark to read.)

> listen. smell. touch pole.

> out. (Or any other compass direction.)

End Of The Line

The game helpfully tells you about the EXITS command.

> exits. exits off.

> x ladder. x tracks.

> x train. x port. x doors.

Time to explore the landscape.

> s. s.

Bridge To Nowhere

The tracks end here.

> x tracks.

> n. n. d.

Long Ladder

> x ladder. listen. n.

Carved Coast ("T")

> x glyph. (It's not immediately clear, but it's of a teacup with the square tag from a teabag hanging out. Part of the picture is missing.)

Considering that I know the map layout, a circular traversal of the area might be the simplest.

> sw.

Carved Coast ("L")

> x shape. (It's of a train; arrow pointing east.)

> sw.

Carved Coast ("B")

> x picture. (It's of a bee; arrow pointing east.)

> se.

Carved Coast ("I")

> x diagram. (It's of an eye; arrow pointing southeast.)

> se.

Calm Channel

> listen. g. g. (They're all different.)

> s. (Water is too deep.)

> ne.

Carved Coast ("U")

> x carving. (It's of a fat animal, probably a ewe; arrow pointing southwest.)

> ne.

Carved Coast ("P")

It took me ages to realize the circle was meant as a drawing of a pea.

> x glyph. (It's a deeply cut circle; arrow pointing west.)

> nw.

Carved Coast ("C")

> x glyph. (It's wavy lines.)

Anyway, I hope it's becoming clearer that the glyphs are of letter homophones, that is, things whose names sound like letters of the alphabet. You'll be using these soundalike objects to spell words. The arrows point in a general direction to where you can find the depicted objects.

> w. sw.

Buzzing Bees

> x insects. se.

Tiled Terrace

I suspect this is meant to suggest a Scrabble board, but we don't really do much here.

> x tiles. x pillar. taste water. (salty)

> ne.

Pea Plants / Petite Plants

> x plants. take pod. open pod. ("Eat me!")

> x pea. eat pea. (You're suddenly gigantic and naked.)

Note: This location is now "Petite Plants"; Long Ladder is now "Lilliputian Ladder"; Buzzing Bees is now "Bitty Bees". Your backpack is now a "wristpack".

> w.

Heart Of Darkness

> x column. x button. x booths.

> x first booth. (It won't admit your wristpack.)

> drop wristpack. x first booth. (Nothing inside.)

> x second booth. x third booth. x cord. x hole.

> take pack.

> s. s. s.

Inhospitable Isle

"Who dares trespass upon the island of Polyphemus?"

⚠️ Examining Polyphemus (or doing anything else with him) results in your death.

⚠️ Answering "nobody" also results in your death. Since you'll need to use a different name each time you visit the cyclops, I suggest starting with an "A" name, then a "B" name, and so on.

Your response is... Adam

He demands you return with a suitable drink or not at all.

> take ewe. n. n. nw.

Bitty Bees

> take bee. e. e.

Petite Plants

> take pod. open it. w.

Heart Of Darkness

The first thing to create is a PUB.

> put pea in first. put ewe in second. put bee in third.

> push button. (+10 for PUB; explosion to south.)

> s.

Tiled Terrace

Although it doesn't say explicitly, the new building is a pub.

> x building. x plaque. in.

Tiled Terrace (inside the building)

You can't take any hot tea until you have a container. Based on the letters you have to work with, it'll have to be a CUP.

> x table. x cylinder. ("DRINK ME" in morse code; also "T")

> smell cylinder. (tea)

> out. s. s.

Inhospitable Isle

Your response is... Boris

> take ewe. n. n. n.

Heart Of Darkness

> put ewe in second. e.

Petite Plants

> take pod. open it. w.

Heart Of Darkness

> put pea in third. s.

Tiled Terrace

With no other containers, you need your hands free to take seawater.

> take sea. n.

Heart Of Darkness

> put sea in first.

> push button. (+10 for CUP)

> look. take cup. x it.

> s. in.

Tiled Terrace (inside the building)

> fill cup. out. s. s.

Inhospitable Isle

⚠️ Don't give the tiny cup of tea to Polyphemus; it's too puny for him. You'll need to make a larger container, like a TUB.

Your response is... Charles

> take ewe. n. n. nw.

Bitty Bees

Some awkwardness carrying everything.

> drop ewe. take bee. put bee in pack.

> take ewe. e.

Heart Of Darkness

> put tea in first. put ewe in second. put bee in third.

> push button. (+10 for TUB)

> look. x tub. take it. put cup in pack.

> s. in.

Tiled Terrace (inside the building)

> fill tub. out. s. s.

Inhospitable Isle / Insipid Isle

Your response is... Daniel

> give tub to polyphemus.

He shrinks, leaving a glassy sphere and an empty tub. This is now "Insipid Isle".

The game also now tells you a shortcut command: SET (booth) TO (letter), eg: SET 2 TO U.

> look. x sphere. take it. x eye. (Yes, it's a glass eye.)

> x plants. take tub.

Now what? Our alphabet now seems to be P, U, B, C, T, I. Peas make us grow; tea makes us shrink.

Well, there were seven glyphs, not six. We're missing the L. Which must be the train? Let's go get that.

> n. n. n. n. u.

End Of The Line

> take el. (Hm. Still too large.)

> x port. (Oh. Can we make the train smaller?)

> d. s. s. in.

Tiled Terrace (inside the building)

> fill tub. out. n. n. u.

End Of The Line

> open port. pour tub in port. (The train shrinks.)

> take el. d. s.

Heart Of Darkness

Let's now tackle the issue of the shuttered booths, the cord and the hole.

> put cord in hole. (hmph.)

Time to get small.

> s. in.

Tiled Terrace (inside the building)

> fill tub. blow tub. drink tub. (You're normal size.)

> drink tub. (You shrink further, dropping everything.)

> out. n.

Heart Of Darkness

Now that we're teensy:

> take cord. enter hole.

In The Hole

> x outlet. put cord in outlet. out.

Heart Of Darkness

You can now spell words up to six letters long. The question is, what to spell? Well, anything new you spell will gain points, but to escape Erebus, you'll need a BULB, PUPIL, and PULPIT.

But first, we'll need to get huge again to be able to get a ewe. And there's a command called CREATE that we need to unlock to make things much easier. The CREATE command is unlocked once we've used every homophone, so I suggest using the El and eye to spell LI next.

> e.

Prodigious Plants / Pea Plants / Petite Plants

> take pod. open pod. eat pea.

> take pod. open pod. eat pea.

> sw. in.

Tiled Terrace (inside the building)

> take pack, tub, el.

> out. n.

Heart Of Darkness

> put el in 1. put eye in 2. push button. (+½)

Now that we have CREATE, we can make things much faster.

> create bulb. (+10 for BULB.) x bulb.

> create pupil. (+10 for PUPIL.) x Eu. ask Eu about Eu.

> create pulpit. (+10 for PULPIT.) x pulpit.

> put bulb in pulpit.

> take book. put book on pulpit.

> read book. (It is essential that Eu learns from the book that he can eat peas.)

Here's the point in the game when we start racking up the points. If you just want to escape, feel free to skip this part.

> create bi. (+½)

> create bib. (+½) x bib.

> create bibb. (+½) x bibb. (The bracket.)

> create bit. (+½) x bit. (The wedge coin.)

> create bitt. (+½) x bitt.

> create blip. (+½)

> create blub. (+½)

> create bub. (+½. Sorry, Wolverine isn't actually here.)

> create bubu. (+½) x bubu. (The robe.)

> create built. (+½) x me. (You're more muscular.)

> create but. (+½)

> create butt. (+½) x butt. (The barrel.)

> create butut. (+½) x butut. (Another coin.)

> create cit. (+½)

> create clip. (+½) x me. (Your hair was clipped.)

> create club. (+½) x club.

> create cub. (+½) x cub. pet cub.

> create cubic.

Your answer, if any, is... 2 (+½; also new sticker.)

> x sticker.

> create cubit. (+½) x cubit. (It's a stone rod.)

> create cult. (+½)

> create cultic. (Eumaeus lives only to serve you.)

> create cut. (+½) x me. (You have a cut.)

> create cutup. (+½)

> create lib. (+½)

> create lip. (+½; you're mildly insulted.)

> create lit. (+½) x me. (You have a headache.)

> create litu. (+½) x litu. (A third coin.)

> create pi. (+½; a voice will recite pi one digit per turn.)

> create pic. (+½) x pic.

> create picul. (+½) x picul. (The weight.)

> create pip. (+½) x pip. (The seed.)

> create pit. (+½; there's now a deep pit at the northernmost coast.)

> create piu. (+½)

> create ptui. (+½)

> create pubic. (+½)

> create public. (+½)

> create pul. (+½) x pul. (A fourth coin.)

> create puli. (+½) x puli. (The shaggy dog.)

> create pulp. (+½) x pulp.

> create pup. (+½) x pup. (The scruffy dog.)

> create put. (+½)

> create putt. (+½)

> create putti. (+½) x putti.

> create ti. (+½)

> create tic. (+½)

> create til. (+½) x til. smell til. open sesame.

> create tip. (+½; you get a hint.)

> create tit. (+½; the bird flies away.)

> create tittup. (+½)

> create tulip. (+½) x tulip. smell tulip.

> create tui. (+½; the bird flies away.)

> create tup. (+½; there's now a ram on the Isle.)

> create tut. (+½)

> create tutti. (+½)

> create tutu. (+½) x tutu.

> create ulu. (+½) x ulu. (The knife.)

> create up. (+½)

> create ut. (+½)

You should now have 89 points.

> xyzzy. plugh. plover.

> take book. put it in pack.

> take robe. put it in pack.

> e.

Petite Plants

> take pod. open pod. give pea to eu.

> eu, eat pea. (He grows to giant size.)

> sw. in.

Tiled Terrace (inside the building)

> fill tub. out. s.

Calm Channel

Both you and Eu must be giant-sized for this to work.

> stand on eu. u.

Back On Track

> drink tub. wear robe. u. (+10)

*** You have won ***

The game will comment on your nudity or choice of clothing, as appropriate. It will also note if you left your expensive textbook behind.

> amusing



Do you find death amusing? According to the game's own response to AMUSING: There are at least 16 ways to perish in Erebus, including

Also: More bonus points also remain to be found, some of which might happen to amuse. Unfortunately, I didn't find any "bonus points" in the game, but I did note:


Most other characters in the game are either sometimes portable or created by you in this game, so their details are in the Inventory section below.



Note that Polyphemus may kill you for different reasons:

Inventory (and created items)

I'm going to separate your potential inventory into broad categories, okay? Most items can only be carried when you're normal sized or huge. Most created items appear at the Heart of Darkness location; the pit, pub, and ram are notable exceptions.

First, there's the things whose names are homophones for alphabet letter names:

Clothing and wearables include:

Coinage includes:

Containers include:

Creatures include:

Plants include:

Other inventory items:

Scenery and fixed-in-place items that you create include:


The command SCORING tells us:

Ten points are awarded for each of six objectives, and ten more for successfully escaping Erebus. Sixty optional bonuses are worth a half-point each, for a maximum total score of one hundred.
  1. BI
  2. BIB
  3. BIBB
  4. BIT
  5. BITT
  6. BLIP
  7. BLUB
  8. BUB
  9. BUBU
  10. BUILT
  11. BUT
  12. BUTT
  13. BUTUT
  14. CIT
  15. CLIP
  16. CLUB
  17. CUB
  18. CUBIC
  19. CUBIT
  20. CULT
  21. CUT
  22. CUTUP
  23. LI
  24. LIB
  25. LIP
  26. LIT
  27. LITU
  28. PI
  29. PIC
  30. PICUL
  31. PIP
  32. PIT
  33. PIU
  34. PTUI
  35. PUBIC
  36. PUBLIC
  37. PUL
  38. PULI
  39. PULP
  40. PUP
  41. PUT
  42. PUTT
  43. PUTTI
  44. TI
  45. TIC
  46. TIL
  47. TIP
  48. TIT
  49. TITTUP
  50. TULIP
  51. TUI
  52. TUP
  53. TUT
  54. TUTTI
  55. TUTU
  56. ULU
  57. UP
  58. UT
  59. ???
  60. ???

⚠️ Creating TILT (or UPTILT), IT, UPLIT, or UTU will end the game prematurely in your death.

Also note:

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with