What Heart Heard Of, Ghost Guessed is a Glulx interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2021 by Amanda Walker. It was an entry in IF Comp 2021 where it took 4th place. At the 2021 XYZZY Awards, it won both the Best Game and Best Story awards; it was also a finalist in three other categories (Best Writing, Best Puzzles, and Best Use of Innovation).
In this game, you waken in a shadowy place, without memories, feelings, or a physical body. You can't touch anything. But as you examine things, you gain emotions that can affect things. Your FEAR shatters glass. Your EXCITEment opens doors. Explore this house and learn who you are.
Content warning: violence and child abuse.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 (Serial number 211117) of the game.
...read ...information ...?> yes
...new to interactive fiction?> no
Shadowy place / Sunlit Attic
> x me. i.
> x mirror.
Your fear makes the mirror shatter into shards! A locket is revealed.
Important note: FEAR is now an action you can use to break fragile objects.
> x locket. (You EXCITE the locket to open, revealing a braid of hair.)
> x hair. ("Eva")
> x chest. excite chest. (fail: The latch keeps it closed.)
> x latch. (It's brass and needs to be turned.)
> x window. x curtain. excite curtain. (It opens.)
> x window. x garden.
> x door. (Blue with six panels.)
> excite door. w.
You are unwilling to go down the stairs until the muttering below is gone.
> listen. n.
> x leather. (You HATE the belt, but it's unclear as yet what the vacuum sensation means.)
> x suitcases. x shelf. x vase. ("Ian")
The muttering stops. You can descend now.
> x painting. (You are "M"; this house is Goldengrove.)
> x paneling. x wallpaper.
> x yellow door. (Has four panels and a bar.)
> x bar. x brackets.
> x violet door. (Has two doves mural.)
> x green door. (Single piece.)
> excite green. w.
> x tin soldier. (You LOVE the soldier.)
Tin Soldier's Perspective
You are stuck here. LOVE got you here; perhaps HATE can get you out?
> hate soldier.
> x furniture. x toys.
> x doll. x train. x marionette. x ballerina.
> excite violet. e.
> x loveseat. (Brief memory of Eva, your sister, upset with you.)
> x dresser. (Has three drawers; Ian made them.)
> excite top. (fail: It needs to be pulled to open.)
> x bed. x quilt. x hairs.
> w. n.
> x red door. (Has nine buttons on a keypad bolt.)
> x keypad. x button 1.
> x orange door. (Has eight rivets.)
> x indigo door. (Has three panes.)
> x picture. (You are Margaret. You DESIRE the picture, pulling it towards you, and it smashes. Your desire is connected to Ian and very strong.)
> x window. x trees. x chairs. x table.
> e. e.
> x bathrobe. (You remember your grandfather.)
> x cabinet.
> fear mirror. (It explodes, revealing a note.)
> x note. (Re: keypad combo with picture of a rainbow.)
> x tub. x sink. x toilet.
> w. s. e.
> desire top. x undergarments.
> desire middle. x clothing. x paper. ("triple the dosage")
> desire bottom. x box. x lock.
> w. u. n.
> desire vase. x key. s.
You can pull the key to you from an adjacent room.
> desire key. d.
> desire key. e.
> love lock.
> desire key. (The box is now unlocked.)
> hate lock.
> excite box. x bottle. (morphine)
> x syringe. (You ANGER it, pushing it back.)
> w. n.
Remember the note in the medicine cabinet; it has a rainbow on it. Consider the rainbow colors of the doors and that each one suggests a number:
Therefore, in rainbow order, the combination to the keypad is 9741632.
> anger 9. anger 8. anger 4. anger 1.
> anger 6. anger 3. anger 2. (The red door unlocks.)
> excite red. n.
The Master Bedroom
> x man. (You REGRET the old man, and he regrets his actions with you, then dies.)
> x bed. x coverlet.
> x nightstand. x letter. x document.
> x table. x book. (You ELATE the book, and it levitates briefly.)
> d. (Voices below stop you.)
You must pull the bar while it is levitating.
> elate bar. desire bar. (You feel all desire leave you.)
> excite yellow. s.
> x bed. x table. x photograph. (Last photo of you.)
> x books. x bricks. x canvas.
> elate canvas. (A hole south appears.)
> anger button. (There's a snap and you fall into...)
The dumbwaiter is now broken.
> x shelves. x counter. x button. x dumbwaiter.
> x housekeeper. (Her name is Martha.)
You don't want to stay while she's here. You retreat.
> regret Martha. (She leaves.)
> x pots. x cabinetry.
> excite cabinetry. x contents.
As you enter, you hear Eva invite Mr. Dooley into the library.
> x drawing. (It's of Alicia Gray, your mother.)
> x front door. (Its handle is like a leaping frog.)
> excite front door. (You can't.)
> x mahogany door. (Its iron handle is curious.)
> x iron handle. (Has sundial shape; must be turned.)
> x molding.
> x portrait. (You CONFUSE it, and it spins upside down.)
> x furniture. x fireplace.
Return to the attic:
> s. u. s. u. e.
Sunlit Attic / Raging Inferno
> confuse latch. excite chest.
> x body. (You RAGE the body, and it bursts into flames.)
You need to leave and find Eva.
> w. d. n. d.
As you approach the foyer, you hear the housekeeper and the lawyer leave the house.
You hear Eva and Ian arguing in the library.
> confuse iron handle.
> excite mahogany. w.
As you enter, Ian's sense of regret pulls you into his mind.
You learn Ian plans to suicide. You're ejected from his mind. They smell smoke. Your rage rises.
> regret Ian. rage Eva.
As they burn, your rage fades, then you yourself fade.
The poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins about Margaret is recited.
**** THE END ****
...read the Notes On The Game Section? > yes
*** The End ***
This is the response to YES when asked, after you've won the game, if you'd like to read the Notes On The Game Section:
Thanks for playing my first interactive fiction game! This was inspired by some great games: the gothic family horror is homage to Michael Gentry's Anchorhead; the reliance on new and minimal commands was sparked by Arthur DiBianca's The Wand; and the idea for the use of emotions as verbs was seeded by Lynnea Glasser's Coloratura.
But every good IF game I've played since Dad got me Zork in 1980 has contributed to this in some way. Thanks to the great writers of IF for the rich hours they've given me for so long.
Gerard Manley Hopkins was a real poet and an unsurpassed wordsmith, and his poem Spring and Fall was oft quoted in this game as well as providing the title-- the game was built largely around this poem. I encourage you to read his work.
Thanks to Emily Short for her extensions Basic Screen Effects and Glulx Image Centering (and also for being my favorite IF writer), and to Gavin Lambert for his extensions Secret Doors and Exit Lister.
Gratitude to my beta testers for their time and effort: Wade Clarke, Clara Crandall, Nils Fagerburg, Pete Gardner, Matthew George, Josh Grams, Peter Gross, Jade, Andy Joel, Zed Lopez, Daciana Moore, Travis Moy, Hudson Pitalo, Edo Rajh, Mike Russo, Rovarsson, and Andrew Schultz. This game would have been impossible without their help and contributions.
The cover art is my own original artwork.
A big thank you to everyone at the Intfiction.org forums. These folks were incredibly patient and kind to a newbie with a lot of dumb questions.
Thanks to my BFF Eva Radke for helping with names, plot points, beta testing, and for playing IF with me and providing free therapy for over 30 years. She couldn't be more different than her namesake in this game.
And thanks always to my sweetheart Tom, for everything.
In this game, instead of collecting and using physical objects, you collect verbs that express emotions. Each emotion can affect physical objects, usually to move them in a particular way.
Verbs are collected in this order:
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