Key & Compass presents:
Where There's A Will
by Dan Shiovitz

Where There's A Will is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2005 by Dan Shiovitz. It was a participant in the Mystery House Taken Over project event.

In this game loosely based on Sierra's Mystery House, you play as Norman, a potential heir to your late Uncle Oscar's estate. You have one day to find a diamond necklace hidden in his "Mystery House" to qualify. However, all seven of Uncle Oscar's other nephews, nieces, and cousins are all practically tripping over each other to help you search for it even though it's not their turn! So helpful!

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


(after 3 turns) d/s u d u d d u FrontYard FrontPorch SideYard Kitchen EntryHall Library DiningRoom BackYard Study (West)Bathroom NorthHallway (East)Bathroom WestHallway Junction EastHallway (West)Bedroom (East)Bedroom Attic Roof Basement MustyCrawl-space

Note regarding the bedrooms and bathrooms:


Front Yard

> x path. x forest. x house.

> s.

Front Porch

> x door. s. (The door's unlocked?)

> s.

Entry Hall

The seven other relatives who are supposed to wait their turn have got in through a window and offer to help you find the necklace. Then they scatter to other parts of the house.

> w.


Dr. Green drops something into the sink when you enter.

> x Green. look in sink. take knife. x knife.

> open cupboards. (China and a string inside.)

> x string. (Green pulls it and dishes crash.)

> x fridge. open it. x jug. take jug. (Green makes you drop the jug.)

Green says he'll be in the dining room.

> close fridge.

> x oven. open it. look in it. close it.

> w.

Side Yard

> x mosaic. (It's of Oscar riding a rearing horse.)

You'll automatically put the knife back in the sink en route.

> e. e. e.


You auto-search this room on entry: no necklace.

> x matches. take matches. x books.

> w. s.

Dining Room

You auto-search this room on entry: no necklace.

> x candelabra. light candles. (Green puts your glass on the table.)

> take glass.

Hijinks ensue as Green catches on fire. He uses a key to unlock the back door.

> s.

Back Yard

Joe has been digging holes with a shovel.

> x Joe. enter hole. x ground. (Joe's gone.)

> u. (You see movement in a second-floor window.)

> n. n. u. e.

As you enter the east hallway, Sally steers you into the bedroom.

Small Bedroom

> x Sam. x Sally.

> look under bed. (A spear barely misses you, but you have a nickel.)

> open window. (A dagger misses your ear.)

> look in table. (Sal's club opens the drawer. It's empty.)

Sam and Sally leave.

> x cases. n. n.

You stumble over something when you enter the bathroom.

Small Bathroom

Sam asks for a wrench on the floor.

> take wrench. (The lamp falls into the water harmlessly.)

Sam wants you to scram. You plug the lamp in as you go. Zap, thump.

> s. w. w. s.

Large Bedroom

> look under blankets.

Under the Covers

A weight is on top of you.

> u. u.

There's a tinkling sound, and Sally is dead with a dagger in her chest.

Large Bedroom

> look under bed. x dresser. x table. x Sally. x dagger.

> look. x glass.

> n. n.

Large Bathroom

Nothing of interest here, but you can't skip a visit here.

> s. e. n. n.


> x desk. x bookcase. x painting.

> move painting. g. (You find a button.)

> push button. (Secret door and staircase down.)

Note you won't be willing to go down these stairs until you've searched everywhere else on this floor.

> d. d.


> x Tom. x bricks. x floor.

Tom has a heart attack? You find a secret note and go.

Side Yard

> x note. ("THE PRIZE IS ON THE ROOF")

> x mosaic. (It now has a large hole in it.)

> e. (Bill's knife misses you and he falls into the hole.)

> e. e. u. n. u.


> x blankets. open chest. x trapdoor.

> open trapdoor. (You go up to...)


Daisy greets you.

> x Daisy. (It's really Uncle Oscar!)

Oops. He falls through the trapdoor and then down the stairs.

*** You have inherited Uncle Oscar's estate ***

> ending

*** Okay, so Daisy has inherited the estate ***

> ending

*** Okay, so there's no estate left to inherit ***

> ending

*** And, heck, there's no universe left to inherit it in ***

> ending

*** No, actually, you don't luck out of this one ***

> ending

*** No, actually, you don't luck out of this one ***

> ending

*** You have won, forever and ever, no takebacks ***





From the response to CREDITS:

Where There's A Will was written as part of the Mystery House Taken Over project,

Thanks is due to Nick Montfort for being the lead organizer for the project; to Emily Short for additional organizing and moral support at the eleventh hour; to Andrew MacKinnon for EasyDoors.h; and Admiral Jota, Gunther Schmidl, and J. Robinson Wheeler for beta-testing.

Where There's A Will is released into the public domain; feel free to fold, spindle, and mutilate. If you'd like to get in touch with me for some reason, try email redacted

–Dan Shiovitz (3/1/05)


Honorable mention:

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with