The Valley House is a Z-machine work of interactive fiction written with Inform 7 and is © 2011 by Bob Reeves. The story is also known as PLSG #10, that is, part 10 of the Painless Little Stupid Games series.
In this puzzleless and genderless story, you play as Mel, a retired person puttering around their house on the one-year anniversary of Sam's, their spouse's, death. For each portion of the day, you'll have a handful of turns to do whatever you want before time moves inexorably forward.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the work.
In this game, there's almost nothing that you need to do. If you like, you can just type z over and over until you're watching a movie in the living room at night. At that point, you just need to walk to the bigger bedroom, and the game ends.
By contrast, this walkthrough will attempt to be a bit more proactive than that, suggesting things to examine and interact with.
Smaller Bedroom (on the bed)
> x me. i.
> x bed. stand. look under bed.
> x wardrobe. s.
You get ready for the day. Time jumps to after 9 am.
Study (on the chair)
> x letter. (Letters to Paul and Amy re: an event a year ago.)
> x computer. x shelves. x cabinet. x desk.
> take letters.
You do some weeding. Time jumps to early afternoon.
> i. x lunch. eat lunch. x dish.
> eat banana. turn on coffeemaker. x spice rack.
You go have a nap and dream of Sam's last minutes. Then you do a few more small chores. Time jumps to late afternoon.
> x desk. x open letter. (One from your father; another from your sister.)
> turn on tv. x fireplace.
> x bookshelves. x first bookshelf. x second bookshelf.
You make a dinner Sam would've liked. Now it's early evening.
> unlock back door. n. sw.
> x flowers. smell flowers. x hoses.
You go watch a movie on DVD. Now it's almost 9 pm.
> x extinguisher. n. e.
*** Is there ever an end? ***
> read (to learn more about the Painless Little Stupid Games series.)
The story's sole character is the protagonist, Mel. The name "Mel" is mentioned when you examine the spice rack. Several other people are mentioned, however:
From the game's final READ option:
About Painless Little Stupid Games
The first five Painless Little Stupid Games were written in ALAN, mainly as a way of learning and experimenting with that language, in 1998-99. Then things happened in my life that led me away from interactive fiction for 11 years. In the meantime, ALAN evolved beyond my interest in continuing with it, and the magnificent edifice of Inform 7 came to be. I began learning the latter (my 2000 game RANS had been written in Inform 6, but the two are nearly different languages), and figured the best way to start would be to "translate" the PLSG games. The Inform versions appeared in 2010.
But my original plan, way back when, had been to write ten games for the series, and the first and second games, Mahadev and Sturdlint, had already been outlined in my head: so after porting the old games to Inform, I decided to go ahead and write the new ones in 2010-2011. They are all still exercises, sketches, and don't presume to be important or profound or anything but fun. That being said, I also wanted elegance, and will continue to work on them as people play them and report defects in this quality.
The Complete Chronological List of Painless Little Stupid Games
- To Get To The Other Side
- They're After You!
- The Mean Story
- Sturdlint (The Mempotnaclob)
- The Last Dark Day
- Zork LXIX: The Great Underground Hot Dog
- The Valley House
Thanks go to Sean M. Shore as usual for his intelligent and thorough beta-testing.
This walkthrough is provided free of charge since the work it's based on has less than fifteen locations. Please consider it a thank you for your support!
I create larger walkthroughs too! Please visit my Patreon account if you're interested in helping me create more interactive fiction walkthroughs. I appreciate all the help I can get! Thanks again.