Key & Compass presents:
A Very Hairy Fish-Mess
by Byron Alexander Campbell

A Very Hairy Fish-Mess is an ALAN 3 interactive fiction game and is © 2009 by Byron Alexander Campbell.

In this absurd horror-comedy, you were making a cheese sammich when Cthulhu summons you to her throne room deep below your home. She tells you that Fishmas, the Time of Giving, is nigh. She orders you to give Cthulhu the largest, stinkiest fish in Cthulhu's Great Realm. Now begone! Fetch it, Human! There shall be much Fishmas Cheer!

This solution is by David Welbourn. I used Winarun version 3.0beta6-1772 to play this 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.


Map of Act 1: From your kitchen to Cthulhu

RoyalFish-Gardens Throneof GreatCthulhu RoyalEntrance DankPassageRedux DankPassage(ctd.) DankPassage TheKitchen Your Room d d d d s u u u

Map of Act 2: From some fish-gardens to an egg bog

Sandbox ofCreepingMelancholy Slopes ofInevitableMortal Dis-appointment Tremen-dous Duct RoyalFish-Gardens Egg Bog(north) ElderKitchen RoyalEntrance Egg Bog(south) TombLevel B11 TombLevel B12 TombLevel B13 TombLevel B14 put turducken in bog u u u d d d

Map of Act 3: From an egg bog to a lake of 1000 woes

Furnace PinkPrincessChambers CookieLarder FishmasWonder-land Galleryof ProfaneRelics PiscineWorkshop Den ofNoiselessCrickets FungalGrotto FishyFishmasFactory Egg Bog(north) Egg Bog(south) Lake of1000 Woes(north) Lake of1000 Woes(nw) Lake of1000 Woes(ne) Lake of1000 Woes(west) Lake of1000 Woes Lake of1000 Woes(east) Lake of1000 Woes(sw) Lake of1000 Woes(se) Lake of1000 Woes(south) Cell put turducken in bog put knife in crack put rod in lake

Map of Act 4: From a cell to a sandbox

EvidenceRoom Electro-cutionChamber Lake of1000 Woes DeathRoe Cell MaximumSecuritySled Run UpperSlopes BunnySlopes SlopesofDelirium Slopesof MoralDecline Sandbox ofCreepingMelancholy SlopesMonkeyTrail Slopes ofUnseasonalAllergy Non-EuclideanSlopes Slopes ofInevitableMortal Dis-appointment (die!) (die!) (die!) (die!) (die!) (die!) (die!) (die!) d put rod in lake d d d u d (die!) (die!) (die!)


Act 1: Drooltide Greetings

The Kitchen

> x sammich. take it.

> x knife. take it.

> e.

Your Room

CAUTION: Opening the dresser is fatal.

> x lamp. x dresser. x mattress. x under bed.

> x laundry. x catbox.

Note: You won't be allowed to leave unless you have the sammich and knife.

> d. d. d. d.

Royal Entrance

> x arch. n.

Throne of Great Cthulhu

Cthulhu herself orders you to bring her the largest stinkiest fish in her Great Realm.

CAUTION: Asking Cthulhu about Cthulhu is worse than death.

> x Cthulhu. x throne. x gifts.

> ask Cthulhu about fish.

> s.

Royal Entrance

> x gift. open gift.

A Magical Fishmas Fairy joins your quest.

> x fairy. ask fairy about fairy.

> ask fairy about Cthulhu. ask fairy about fish.

> x door.

> nworopen doororask fairy about door.

The fairy unlocks the door and you enter...

Act 2: All Of The World In Sin And Fear Abiding

Royal Fish-Gardens

> x force. x scales. x gnome. x catnip.

> ask fairy about scales. (Need a sole heavier than a cheese sammich.)

> ask fairy about sole. ask fairy about catnip.

> put sammich on scales. (Sole needed next.)

> sw.

Elder Kitchen

CAUTION: Taking the utensils is fatal.

> x thermometer. take it.

> x utensils. x oven. x menu.

> open oven. look in oven. x butter. x turducken.

> ask fairy about turducken.

> s.

Tomb of Unfortunate Creatures, Level B12: Small Insects Wing

CAUTION: Taking the insects is fatal.

> x holes. x plaque. u.

Tomb of Unfortunate Creatures, Level B11: Things On Strings Wing

> x things. x string. take it.

> x dish. take dish. x sole. take sole.

> ask fairy about sole.

> d. d.

Tomb of Unfortunate Creatures, Level B13: Tuxedo Cats Wing

It's subtle, but you can't make much progress if you don't break the seal here.

> x gargoyles. x crypt. x seal. (Something on underside?)

> ask fairy about seal. ask fairy about crypt.

> ask fairy about Dave.

> break seal. x seal. ("Freshne" and "ss Seal")

Return to the scales in the gardens:

> u. n. ne.

Royal Fish-Gardens

> put sole in scales. n.

Tremendous Duct

CAUTION: a fan-blade swings past the north end.

> x concrete. look.

> look. (Repeat looking until the blade is arcing back upwards.)

> n.

Sandbox of Creeping Melancholy

Don't worry about the vent right now.

> u. (Too high up.)

> x sand. x worm. take worm.

Return to the kitchen:

> s. s. sw.

Elder Kitchen

If you have the thermometer, string, and worm, and you also broke the seal (in Tomb Level B13), you should have had the idea by now to automatically assemble a fishing rod from the thermometer, string, and worm. Breaking the seal is an essential step in the fishing-rod-making process; you can't skip it. You make the rod from two to four turns after all the conditions are met.

> x rod. ask fairy about rod.

> take turducken. (If you have the rod, you succeed.)

> s. d. d.

Tomb of Unfortunate Creatures, Level B14: Bottom-Feeding Marine Flatfish Wing

CAUTION: Taking this dish is fatal.

> x coffins. x dish.

> n.

The Egg Bog (south side)

> x bog. ask fairy about bog.

> put rod in bog. (You won't catch many fish in there.)

> x stalactites.

> put turducken in bog. (It angrily carries you across the bog.)

Act 3: Good Tide's In For Fishmas

The Egg Bog (north side)

> n.

Fishy Fishmas Fishery

> x pipes. x pumps. n.

Fungal Grotto

> ne.

Piscine Workshop

> x sacs. x recess. x drumstick.

> ask fairy about sacs.

> ask fairy about drumstick.

> take drumstick.

> ne.

Gallery of Profane Relics

You can't take most of these interesting items except for a jar and a yellow tile.

CAUTION: Taking the mask is fatal.

> x columns. x mask.

> x box. (has four square depressions and inscription)

> read inscription. (must know Cthulhu's secret name)

> x armor. (Not for a human)

> x case. x yellow tile. ("Y" with y-word objects)

> x bottle. x jar.

> ask fairy about case. (Had Dave's Ancient Weapon of Broad Profanity.)

> take tile. take jar.

> nw.

Pink Princess Chambers

CAUTION: Looking under this bed is fatal.

> x kitten. (Has something in its mouth.)

> take it. (The kitten swallows what it had, but that's okay.)

> x mattress. x laundry. x lamp. x dresser.

> open dresser. (You see a Fishmas Wonderland inside.)

> x dollhouse.

> look. (The Wonderland is to the south.)

> s.

Fishmas Wonderland

CAUTION: Eating a Frosted Cadaver without milk is fatal.

CAUTION: Opening the tall cadaver is fatal.

> x tree. x flakes. eat flakes.

> x tall cadaver. x fat cadaver. x crossdresser.

> ask fairy about fat cadaver.

> open fat cadaver. (You get a silver bell.)

> x bell. ring bell. (like an amorous cricket)

> open crossdresser. (empty)

> n. se. ne.

Cookie Larder

CAUTION: Attacking the flour is fatal.

> x flour. x yeast. x oil.

> x mixer. (find a rat hole)

> x hole. put drumstick in hole.

> wait. x hole. take drumstick.

You take the rat as well and immediately thread your fishing line around the drumstick and rat to use as bait.

> ne.


> x incinerator. x chestnuts. ("Feed Me A Stray Cat")

> put kitten in incinerator.

If you don't close the incinerator, the kitten will just jump out again. How adorable!

> close incinerator. z. z. z. z.

> open incinerator. (The kitten is gone, but it left a lilac tile.)

> take lilac tile. x it. ("L")

> sw. sw. se.

Den of Noiseless Crickets

> x crickets.

> ring bell. (A cricket brings you an indigo tile.)

> take indigo tile. x it. ("I")

> ne.

Lake of 1000 Woes: southwest

Let's go clockwise around the lake first.

> n. ne.

Lake of 1000 Woes: northwest

> x pudding. ask fairy about pudding. (has a surprise inside)

> take pudding. eat pudding.

> e. se

Lake of 1000 Woes: northeast

You'll deal with this crack soon enough.

> x crack. (could be widened)

> s.

Lake of 1000 Woes: east

> x blood. ("Dayv iz a cozmick horr! Grate Cthulhu iz da beast!")

About five turns after eating the pudding, you vomit up and pocket a chipped tile.

> i. x chipped tile. ("L")

> sw. w.

Lake of 1000 Woes: south

So, you're playing a human exploring all these underground places. How are you seeing without light? I don't know either. Lose 5 sanity points.

> x mushrooms. take mushrooms. (It crumbles.)

> nw. sw. nw.

Gallery of Profane Relics

Time to open that puzzle box, using Cthulhu's secret name: LILY.

> x box. x depression. (refer to first hole, second hole, chipped hole, or fourth hole)

> put lilac tile in first hole.

> put indigo tile in second hole.

> put chipped tile in chipped hole.

> put yellow tile in fourth hole.

> open box. (It contains a flavor.)

> x flavor. take it. (You need a container.)

> eat relish. (Jar is now empty.)

> take flavor. (using the jar)

All that trouble just to get some pickle seasoning. Return to that crack:

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

Lake of 1000 Woes: northeast

> put knife in crack.

The entire wall around the lake collapses and you're now at:

Lake of 1000 Woes

Cthulhu Herself ordered you to get this fish, so I'm sure that "No Fishing" sign doesn't apply to you, right?

> x lake. x sign. x fish.

> put rod in lake. (The fish doesn't like the taste.)

> put flavor in rod.

> put rod in lake.

The fish swallows half the rod, pulling you under. You pass out as something grabs your ankle.

Act 4: Dashing Through The Roe


> i. (You have the bell, jar, and knife.)

> read graffito. read pamphlet.

> x cot. transform cot. x toilet.

By this time, a hooded figure should have put a cake in your cell before disappearing. I don't know what triggers his appearance.

> x cake. take it.

> eat cake. (You find a skeleton key.)

> w. (You use the key automatically.)

Death Roe

CAUTION: Going southwest into the break room is fatal.

> nw. (locked; see keypad and notice)

> x keypad. (needs a 5-digit code)

> x notice. (the code is the Numbers of the Beast)

> ask fairy about keypad. ("Push numbers in the right order.")

> n.

Electrocutioner Chamber

CAUTION: Trying to take the mouse or the paper while the electric chair is powered up is fatal.

NOTE: You can never open the toilet stall here.

> x electric chair. x mouse. x paper.

> x wardrobe. (also an iron maiden)

> x bathtub. x cradle. ask fairy about cradle.

> x wig. (switch found)

> turn off switch.

> x stall. open stall. (It's jammed.)

> take paper. (With switch off, you can do it safely.)

> read paper. (lyrics to 12th day of Fishmas)

Uh, let's look at that graffito in the cell again.

> s. e.


> x graffito.

The graffito lists these beasts: Olden Things, Creeping Things, Mindless Things with no heads, and Multitudes of dead and dying. Look up those beasts on the paper and record their numbers: 5, 12, 6, and 8.

The code for the keypad is 51268.

> w.

Death Roe

The correct syntax for this keypad was impossible to guess. You have to spell out the digits as words! Most difficult-to-use keypad ever!

> push five. push one. push two.

> push six. push eight. nw.

Evidence Room

> x file. x plate. x catnip.

> x fish. take it.

> se. s.

Maximum Security Sled Run

When you bring the fish here, zombie rats start chasing you!

> d. (using the fish as a sled)

Upper Slopes

Cthulhu's Helpers know you've escaped.

> d.

Bunny Slopes

CAUTION: Going southeast here is fatal.

> sw.

Slopes of Delirium

CAUTION: Going south or southeast from here is fatal.

> sw.

Slopes of Moral Decline

> d.

Slopes Monkey Trail

CAUTION: Giving the banana to the monkey is fatal.

CAUTION: Going down from here while the monkey is alive is fatal.

> x trees. take banana. x it. x monkey.

> ask fairy about monkey. ("please not feed animals")

> hit monkey with banana. (It's dead; you throw the banana away.)

> d.

Non-Euclidian Slopes

> sworsore. (You somehow end up back here.)

> u. (This works!)

Slopes of Unseasonal Allergy

CAUTION: Going down from here without nutty breath is fatal.

> x nuts. ask fairy about nuts.

> take nuts. (no, eat 'em or leave 'em)

> eat nuts.

> d. (Your nut-breath makes an attacking polar bear keel over.)

Slopes of Inevitable Mortal Disappointment

CAUTION: Going any cardinal direction but northwest is fatal!

> nw. (You fall through a vent onto some sand...)

Sandbox of Creeping Melancholy

The fish is coated and ready to be fried.

> s. s.

Royal Fish-Gardens

The southwestern exit is blocked by sparks. The iron door has been torn off. Wailing from the throne room!

> se.

Royal Entrance

CAUTION: If you head south and go back up to your room, perhaps on some misguided notion that you need to cook the fish in your kitchen, well... you'll accidentally put the game in an unwinnable state, since you're not allowed to go down from your room without the sammich, and the sammich is gone.

> n.

Throne of Great Cthulhu

You missed a huge battle. You see a dead tuxedo cat and a crushed monocle. You receive the Kiss of Cthulhu.

Hours later, you put the mayo back in the fridge.








The response to CREDITS is:

The author, Byron Alexander Campbell, retains the copyright to this game.

This game was written using the ALAN Adventure Language. ALAN is an interactive fiction authoring system by Thomas Nilsson
email address: Thomas's email redacted

Further information about the ALAN system can be obtained from the World Wide Web Internet site


There's so many ways to die or lose in this game, but fortunately, UNDO always works and lets you continue playing. The game is Polite on the cruelty scale. I've probably missed several losing endings, but here are the ones that I found:

There is, of course, one winning ending, where you bring the great fish to Cthulhu in her throne room. She thanks you and rewards you with a Kiss. Wow. Congratulations and Merry Fishmas!


Items are listed in the order you encounter them in this walkthrough. There is no carrying capacity limit. Take everything you can!

Once you're carrying something, you won't be able to drop it, although sometimes you do accidentally drop things if you try to put something in something-else that's unexpected. If that happens, pick the thing up again! Leave no inventory behind!

Act 1 items
Act 2 items
Act 3 items
Act 4 items

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