In this game driven exclusively by topics of conversation, you play as a hooded stranger visiting the city of Zendon. Orz, the city gate barnacle, wants to know if you're here for [trade] or [worship].
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.
A normal map is rather pointless for this game. Every character/location is reached by telling Lissa Ratdaughter who you want to see; she immediately takes you there. Say farewell (or goodbye or bye) to anyone else to return to Lissa.
You can only visit High Slimepriest Salyndo once.
You can only visit Nodroth if Grok will let you go past him.
In this game, you'll be collecting topics to ask people about, including the names of people.
Orz the City Gate Barnacle
You begin with Orz and the topics trade and worship.
> trade.(new topic: Archnecrobiship Tir)
> Tir. farewell.
New topics: Zendon, Nodroth, puppetguard, stenchworks, and underslums.
> Nodroth.(new topics: ex gods, High Slimepriest Salyndo)
> ex gods. Salyndo.(new topic: heretics)
> heretics.(new topic: Zook Spiralhouse)
> Zook. puppetguard. stenchworks. underslums.
> trade. worship. Tir. Orz. Lissa.
New topic: Ironkings.
> Ironkings. heretics. Salyndo. Nodroth.
> ex gods. puppetguard.
> stenchworks.(new topic: Jolo Lurk)
> Jolo. underslums. Zendon.
> Orz. Tir. Lissa. trade. worship.
New topic: smokelord.
Jolo is totally uncooperative at first, and has the same reply to every topic.
> smokelord. Jolo.
> smokelord. ex gods. Tir.
> smokelord.(new topic: Isa of the Mist)
> Isa. farewell.
Here Lies Isa of the Mist
Since Isa is dead, she makes no reply to your topics.
> smokelord. farewell.
Orz the City Gate Barnacle
> Isa. Ironkings. smokelord. Zendon.
> Nodroth. Salyndo. Jolo. Zook. Lissa. Orz.
> heretics.(new topic: lingomancy)
> ex gods. lingomancy. bye.
> Isa. smokelord.
> lingomancy.(new topic: Xarthine the Shadowsmith)
> Xarthine. bye.
Xarthine the Shadowsmith
> Xarthine. trade.
> lingomancy.(new spell: Xi yelandi zoc zocen yi)
> xi yelandi zoc zocen yi.
> xyzzy.(can't abbreviate it!)
> ex gods. Nodroth. Ironkings. stenchworks.
> underslums. Salyndo. Isa.
Here Lies Isa of the Mist
> xi yelandi zoc zocen yi.(Isa's ghost arrives.)
Isa of the Mist
> Isa. Ironkings. ex gods. lingomancy.
> Xarthine. trade. worship. Nodroth. Salyndo.
> smokelord.(new topic: ethernaut)
> ethernaut. heretics. Zendon.
> Orz. Tir. Lissa. Zook. Jolo. puppetguard.
> ethernaut.(He will now talk to you.)
> Jolo. trade. stenchworks.
> worship. Nodroth.
> ex gods.(new topic: Princess Arotha)
> Princess. Ironkings. Tir. Isa. Zook.
> underslums. puppetguard. Salyndo.
> Arotha. trade. ex gods. Zendon. Nodroth.
> Salyndo.(new topic: godharness)
> godharness. ethernaut. Isa. Ironkings.
> Orz. Tir. Lissa. Zook. Jolo. Xarthine.
> puppetguard. underslums. stenchworks.
Xarthine the Shadowsmith
> Princess. godharness.(needs a huge power supply)
> ethernaut. farewell.
> Nodroth.(new topic: hanging sanctum)
Slab Knight Grok Steelthew
> Grok. trade. worship. Nodroth. Salyndo.
> hanging sanctum. Zendon. ex gods. Ironkings.
> godharness.(Grok will no long stop you.)
> Nodroth. Salyndo. bye.
> Nodroth.(This time, Grok lets you go past.)
> Nodroth. Zendon. Salyndo.
> godharness.(New spell: pi lonzo unagno ge huk)
> pi lonzo unagno ge huk.
> lingomancy. Orz. Tir. Isa. Lissa. Zook. Jolo.
> Princess. Xarthine. Grok. smokelord. ethernaut.
> trade. worship.
> puppetguard. stenchworks. underslums.
> Salyndo. yes.
High Slimepriest Salyndo
CAUTION: Visiting Salyndo is optional and very risky. If you spend six turns with him, he will recognize you and order his guards to kill you.
So why are we doing it? To get the 26th and last topic, "skymaids".
> Salyndo.(he ignores your question)
> Zendon.(Ignores you again. new topic: skymaids)
> skymaids. bye.
> pi lonzo unagno ge huk.
The machinery goes out of control. Nodroth is freed. The hanging sanctum falls. Salyndo is neutralized. Lissa bids you farewell.
*** Farewell ***
Orz the City Gate Barnacle is a sentient barnacle stuck on Zendon's city gate. He sees everyone who passes through the gate.
Lissa Ratdaughter is your guide to the city. She was sent by the rat queen to help you get to wherever you want to go. Just name someone and she'll lead you to them.
Archnecrobishop Tir is the leader of a dead religion. He prays to the ex gods that are no longer here. He is described as old, harmless, and useless.
Nodroth was summoned to defeat the ex gods and is currently the only god of the city. His rule is considered brutal and he empowers the puppetguard. Most don't know that he is trapped in the hanging sanctum, shackled with the godharness, and forced to do Salyndo's bidding against his will.
High Slimepriest Salyndo is the corrupt ruler of the city. He crushes all opposition swiftly. He had the stenchworks built. He'd be nothing without Nodroth's power.
Zook Spiralhouse is a sentient snail who has met practically everyone in the city. Her shell is her inn. She's friendly to all.
Jolo Lurk is the foreman of the stenchworks and has no interest in helping any smokelord regain control of the city. He has no idea what the stenchworks is actually for, what it does.
Isa of the Mist is your dead mother, a woman condensed from a cloud. She tells you that the smokelord who ruled here was not your father. Your true father was an ethernaut. She is fondly remembered by many, even by Tir who disapproved of her when she was alive.
Xarthine the Shadowsmith deals in exotic, illegal, and magical wares. She also knows lingomancy.
Princess Arotha is half-divine, the daughter of an ex god and a mortal. She lives in a dome whose machines allow her divine half to remain on this plane. She welcomes all visitors.
Slab Knight Grok Steelthew blocks anyone from visiting the hanging sanctum. This huge brute was grown to guard Nodroth and fight his enemies. He is fully loyal to Salyndo until he learns about the godharness.
A Stenchlass and the Vice Chief Miasman react to the collapse of the stenchworks and the hanging sanctum falling out of the sky.
The rat queen and other rats live off the scraps that other people discard. They know the city extremely well.
The puppetguard are suits of armour animated by the will of Nodroth and do whatever Salyndo wants them to do. When Nodroth is freed, the puppetguard collapses in the streets
The smokelords were the former rulers of the city. The last one, the one you thought was your father, was hanged and burned.
Isa's people are made from mist and cloud.
The Ironkings ruled the city before the smokelords did. They were gigantic mechanical steel creatures who ruled with fire.
An ethernaut, your true father, was beyond the fifth moon when Isa realized she was pregnant with his child.
The ex gods were defeated by Nodroth. Tir describes them as bickering, contradictory, and impossible. Jolo says some ghosts of gods yet remain in rivers and basements.
The skymaids are a nearly-extinct species of sky-dwellers with a very complex language. Possibly birds, then?
Guests and guards are at Salyndo's party, but you barely notice them.
The response to CREDITS is:
(Weird City Interloper An interactive tale of strange conspiracy by C.E.J. Pacian
Release 1 / Serial number 140613 / Inform 7 build 6G60 (I6/v6.32 lib 6/12N)
Special thanks to George Oliver, Emily Boegheim and Konstantinos "Gnome" Dimopoulos for beta testing.)
if you spend six turns with High Slimepriest Salyndo. He orders his guards to kill you.
if you destroy the godharness.
There are a total of 26 names, topics, and phrases you can learn about. The right-hand side of the status bar shows how many you've learned. The empty command (push ENTER without typing anything else) lists the topics you know.
Ask everybody about every topic. Some person/topic combos unlock new topics. When you ask Lissa about a person, she will take you to them if she can.
Salyndo will ignore anything you say and prattle about what he wants to talk about.
People you've learned of:
Orz the City Gate Barnacle. The game begins with him.
Archnecrobishop Tir. Mentioned by Orz re: trade.
Lissa Ratdaughter. Meet her by saying farewell to Orz.
Nodroth. Mentioned by Tir on first meeting him.
High Slimepriest Salyndo. Mentioned by Tir re: Nodroth.
Zook Spiralhouse. Mentioned by Tir re: heretics.
Jolo Lurk. Mentioned by Zook re: stenchworks.
Isa of the Mist. Mentioned by Tir re: smokelord.
Xarthine the Shadowsmith. Mentioned by Zook re: lingomancy.
Princess Arotha. Mentioned by Jolo re: ex gods.
Slab Knight Grok Steelthew. Met when you first try to visit Nodroth.
Some topics of interest:
trade. Mentioned by Orz on first meeting him.
Ask anyone about trade to learn what goods or services they provide.
worship. Mentioned by Orz on first meeting him.
Ask anyone about worship to learn how they feel about gods and worship in general.
Zendon. Mentioned by Tir on first meeting him.
Zendon is the city you're visiting.
puppetguard. Mentioned by Tir on first meeting him.
Salyndo's police force of animated puppets, I assume. You never meet them.
stenchworks. Mentioned by Tir on first meeting him.
Ask Zook about stenchworks to learn "Jolo Lurk"
The stenchworks are a gigantic engine in the underslums maintained by Jolo and others. Jolo doesn't know that the stenchworks power the godharness that keeps Nodroth a captive in the city.
underslums. Mentioned by Tir on first meeting him.
It's where Jolo and the stenchworks are.
ex gods. Mentioned by Tir re: Nodroth.
A general term for gods who are dead, dethroned, or just unable to do much any more.
heretics. Mentioned by Tir re: Salyndo.
Ask Tir about heretics to learn "Zook Spiralhouse".
Ask Orz about heretics to learn "lingomancy".
Ironkings. Mentioned by Zook on first meeting her.
These may have been giant robots who once ruled the city.
smokelord. Mentioned by Jolo on first meeting him.
Ask Tir about smokelord to learn "Isa of the Mist".
Smokelords used to rule the city. Jolo recognizes you as the child of a smokelord and refuses to talk to you until you tell him that your true father was an ethernaut.
lingomancy. Mentioned by Orz re: heretics. Also mentioned by Salyndo on the third turn spent with him.
Ask Zook about lingomancy to learn "Xarthine the Shadowsmith".
Lingomancy is the study or art of magical phrases.
ethernaut. Mentioned by Isa re: smokelord.
Tell Jolo about ethernaut to make him more friendly and cooperative.
Your true father was an ethernaut, someone who explores the ether beyond the sky.
godharness. Mentioned by Arotha re: Salyndo.
Tell Grok about godharness to convince him to let you visit Nodroth.
Tell Xarthine about godharness to learn it would require a huge power source, impossible to hide in the city.
The godharness keeps Nodroth a prisoner in the city. The people don't know it exists or that the stenchworks empower it.
hanging sanctum. Mentioned by Lissa when you first try to visit Nodroth.
It's the floating edifice where Nodroth resides.
skymaids. Mentioned by Salyndo after two turns in his presence.
You have also learned the lingomantic phrase:
xi yelandi zoc zocen yi. Mentioned by Xarthine re: lingomancy.
Say this at Here Lies Isa of the Mist. You can now talk to Isa's ghost like any other character.
You may not abbreviate the phrase to XYZZY.
And the godwords:
pi lonzo unagno ge huk. Mentioned by Nodroth re: godharness.
Say this at Jolo Lurk. The stenchworks overload and self-destruct, freeing Nodroth and ending the game in victory.
You may not abbreviate the godwords to PLUGH.
Thank You to my Patreon supporters
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.
Ko-Fi is a way to send me small one-time donations. Every little bit helps, and thank you!