Key & Compass presents:
White Houses
by Jason Lautzenheiser

White Houses is a Glulx interactive fiction story written with Inform 7 and is © 2014 by Jason Lautzenheiser (as "Mr Stamp"). It was an entry in Shufflecomp 2014.

In this horror story inspired by Zork I, you play as someone named Vanessa. Your friend Jenny asked to meet you at this white house out here in the middle of nowhere, deep in the forest. She said she had something important to tell you, so you came, but you hope you don't regret it.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 2 (Story version 1.1) of the story.


d d u SmallRoom Cellar Studio East ofChasm Gallery North ofHouse West ofHouse Attic BehindHouse LivingRoom Kitchen South ofHouse u d

Note that you will be unwilling to descend the chimney from the kitchen until you've climbed it upwards from the studio first.


West of House

> knock on door. open door. x door.

> x mat. take mat. (It's nailed down.)

> zork. xyzzy.

> x mailbox. open mailbox.

> take pamphlet. read it.

> ne.

North of House

> x window. se.

Behind the House

> open window. w.


> x sack. take it. open it.

> x coconut. smell it.

> x basin. x bottle. take it. turn on basin.

> w.

Living Room

After a few turns in the living room, Jenny will arrive. You're Vanessa. She says she'll be in the attic.

> x graffiti. open door. (nailed shut)

> take lantern. x it. x rug. x case.

> e. u.


> x Jenny. x cobwebs. talk to Jenny.

> ask about herself. ask about adventure.

You need the word "the" for this topic:

> ask about the white house. (She and Marcus found it.)

> ask about passages. (Marcus is down there.)

> ask about Marcus.

> ask about dreams.

> ask about endings.

> d. w.

Living Room

> move rug. (Jenny helps you move it.)

> x trap door. open trap door.

> turn on lantern. d.


The trap door is shut and barred behind you.

> w. (Too slippery.)

> n.

Small Room

> x grooves. x cot. x shirt. x stains.

> s. s.

East of Chasm

> x chasm. e.


> x painting. look behind it.

> n.


> x sword. x fireplace. x paint. count paint.

> take sword.

The sword begins to glow. Marcus, crazed, arrives with an axe. He knocks Jenny down.

> talk to marcus.

Attacking Marcus is optional. You can't take the sword up the chimney.

If Marcus kills you (and you'll have to stay in the studio several turns for that to happen), you'll be reincarnated at West of House, and you can just go west from there to try to get help for Jenny.

> drop sword. u. e.

If you left Marcus unconscious, the police will find two skeletons on your return. Otherwise, the police won't find anyone at all.

*** You often wander back to the white house, but you never have the guts to go back inside. But the faint blue glow is it glowing for you? Or from the evil below. ***



Amusing Actions

  1. There are a lot of different things you can try. Most have their roots in Zork 1.
  2. XYZZY - of course I added that in there.
  3. Try throwing items at Marcus. Try it when he is unconscious as well.
  4. Read the pamphlet in the mailbox multiple times.
  5. Can you find the other names of the sword? Think of it's heritage in Tolkien and how Zork paid homage to Tolkien.
  6. Did you find the Coconut of Quendor?
  7. Examine the painting, but first pay attention to room description. This is an inside joke from Zork 1.
  8. Count the paint splatters in the studio. Another Zork inside joke.




White Houses © 2014 by Mr. Stamp (Jason Lautzenheiser) is a Shufflecomp 2014 entry. It is very loosly based on the song "White Houses" by Vanessa Carlton. I really mean very loosly, in fact little from the song was used for inspiration other than the title and some NPC information.

During the competition, we kept our identities secret, but now that it's over, I can reveal that I'm really Jason Lautzenheiser. Special thanks to Andrew Shultz, Peter Orme, Carolyn VanEseltine, Hanon Ondricek, and Marshal Tenner Winter for their many transcripts, suggestions, tips and education that they provided during the creation of this game.

I hope you enjoy this short piece as much as I enjoyed creating it.


Note that it's possible to play the entire game without ever taking anything but the lantern and sword.

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.