Key & Compass presents:
The Weapon
by Sean Barrett

The Weapon is a Z-machine 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2001 by Sean Barrett. At the 2001 XYZZY Awards, this game was a finalist in two categories (Best Individual NPC (Cheryl) and Best Puzzles).

In this one-room game, you are Tolan, the galaxy's best Mechanist, brought in handcuffs to the control room of the Yi-Lono-Mordel, which is believed to be the Yi's final weapon against the Lono. Dig Leader Cheryl Thadafel doesn't trust you at all, but she needs your help. You are to bring up some Yi text, then stop immediately. Her hologram device is scanning the room constantly, so outwitting her will be tricky.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 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.


Yi-Lono-MordelControl Room (exit)

Yi-Lono-Mordel Control Room

First, examine everything without touching anything. During the first few turns, Cheryl orders you to display some Yi text for her to read. She also warns you that her hologram is scanning the room for movement and energies of all kinds. She'll also eventually explain that she wants to use the weapon against the Lono if they ever return.

> x me. x handcuffs.

> x Cheryl. x hologram. x pistol. x key.

> x window. x star.

> x forms. x slab. x notch. x curves.

Touching the notch reveals more things to examine.

> touch notch. (A control surface is displayed.)

> x surface. (Grid of studs and a viewscreen.)

> x viewscreen. x icons.

> x studs. (You recognize five of them at first.)

> x information stud. (It would display Yi text which Cheryl could read but you can't.)

> x powerup stud. (For powering up major systems.)

> x status stud. (It should display a graphical summary, not text.)

> x sequence stud. (It should show a step-by-step list of instructions.)

> x forcefield stud. (It should put up a forcefield around the slab and anyone near it.)

The status stud is the next safest thing to touch. You'll lose if you touch the sequence stud at this time. And you are reluctant to touch the information stud, since that will end the session.

> touch status stud. (A status display is projected.)

> x status display. (Shows this star system, 20 asteroids and 20 stars around it, and 20 asteroids around each star.)

> touch forcefield. (Your handcuffs prevent you from activating it.)

> touch powerup. (Nothing happens, but you locate a generator access stud.)

> touch generator. (A white pillar rises out of the floor.)

> talk.

> x pillar. x panel. open it. (how?)

> push panel. (It opens, revealing a fusion generator bay.)

> talk.

> x bay. (Has plasma generator, plasma containment system, and 12 contact points. You also recall the tool stud.)

> x points.

> touch tool stud. (An electropulse probe appears, which Cheryl immediately grabs.)

> x probe. (Cheryl declares it's just a toy and puts it on the slab.)

> take probe.

> x top sensor. (Triggers the probe to fire immediately.)

> x bottom sensor. (Triggers the probe to fire after a delay.)

> point probe at points. push top sensor.

Unfortunately, the probe's glow is obscuring the results from the probe.

> ask Cheryl for hologram.

She refuses, but remembers some goggles you can use instead. Minutes later, a guard tosses the goggles into the room.

> x goggles. wear them.

Assuming the probe is still pointing at the points:

> push top sensor. (It's the ninth point that isn't working.)

You now recall a recalibration stud. You'll need to use the probe's delay so the points are exposed to the probe's energies while you're touching the recalibration stud at the same time.

> x recalibration stud.

> push bottom sensor. z. touch recalibration.

You're now confident that the generator is fixed.

> take probe. close panel. touch generator stud.

> touch powerup stud. (The slab powers up.)

Next is a carefully-timed sequence to distract Cheryl long enough so you can read the sequence list without Cheryl seeing it or stopping you:

> press bottom.

> give goggles to Cheryl.

> push sequence stud. (Cheryl is distracted by the light show.)

> read viewscreen. (Icons for power-up, transmit go, control rods, then ignition.)

> push sequence stud. (Cheryl starts to remove the goggles.)

> x studs. (New studs: transmit, control, and ignition.)

> x transmit stud.

> x control stud.

> x ignition stud.

Another timed sequence to mask the transmit signal with the probe's operation:

> put probe in slot. push bottom.

> touch tool stud. (The probe sinks into the slab, and the slot closes.)

> touch transmit.

Now for the control rods.

> touch control stud. talk.

> x rods. (They're a meter apart.)

> touch rods. (You can't touch both at the same time.)

> ask Cheryl for key. (She tosses it to the floor near you.)

> take key. unlock handcuffs with key.

> remove handcuffs.

> touch rods. pull rods.

> put handcuffs on rods. (This works!)

Time to end this:

> touch information stud. (Cheryl walks over to the display of text, away from the slab.)

> touch forcefield stud. (Cheryl tells you you're a dead man.)

With the forcefield on, Cheryl can no longer stop you. Feel free to talk and gloat before pushing the ignition stud a second time.

> touch ignition stud.

> talk. g. g. (You tell Cheryl that the Yi-Lono-Mordel is a galaxy smasher.)

> g. g. g. g. g. g. g. ("Say goodbye, 'Milky Way'.")

> laugh.

> touch ignition stud.

The Yi have escaped the Lono forever, but humanity is destroyed.

*** You have won ***

> amusing



This is the reponse to AMUSING after you've won the game:

You saw number of the 107 conversation fragments. Mind you, you can't see them all in one playthrough, anyway.

Besides exploring the conversations further, you might try:

Authors might be amused at this line of code:

   has lockable openable worn clothing locked pluralname;


These are thumbnails of artwork in the game's feelie, The Centuari Star. To see the images at their intended sizes, please download the game and view star.htm in your web browser.


Much of the backstory is explained in The Century Star feelie:

Besides Cheryl, the feelie also mentions these people by name:


The credits are accessed via HINT; they're the last menu item:

The Weapon is copyright 2000, 2001 Sean Barrett, email redacted

The Weapon was written using Graham Nelson's Inform compiler, with a "varying strings" extension written by the author. The hint system uses additional libraries written by L. Ross Raszewski. Source code is available from the author's web site (currently ) or by email.

The Weapon was written in February-March and October 2000; it received brief alpha testing in November and beta testing in December 2000; further bugfixing occurred in January and May/June 2001. Thanks to Dan Schmidt for encouraging me to finish it and to Emily Short for running two minicomps that kept me writing IF while my enthusiasm for fixing The Weapon's 200+ bugs was flagging.



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