Key & Compass presents:
The Witch
by Charles Moore, Jr.

The Witch is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2023 by Charles Moore, Jr.. It was a entry in IF Comp 2023 where it took 66th place.

In this fantasy game, you play as an elf who, after a night of drinking mead, wakes up nestled up high in an oak tree. But your headache is soon forgotten when you find your village deserted. An evil witch captured almost everyone, intending to eat them, and she's sure to come back by nightfall. Can you save yourself and the others before then?

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1, Serial number 230924 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.


Map 1: West of Village

HigherUp A Tree Along TheStream Along TheStream CreeksideClearing Up A Tree starthere Along TheStream Base OfTree Along TheStream ForestPath witch Clearing Dark Path WesternBank In TheCreek EasternBank WesternPath Junction WesternEdge OfTown Dark Path Along TheStream Along TheStream Along TheStream u d d u

Map 2: Village

In TheTree ScenicVista Base ofWhite Tree NarrowPath AmongThe Chairs Widow'sCottage Pulcher'sYard Pulcher'sCottage BackGarden Milpo'sCottage Bottom OfMountain OutsideTheChairlift OutsideThe Mill-house Junction WesternEdge OfTown VillageWalk VillageWalk VillageWalk VillageJunction East ofVillage The Mill-house Side Yard Jorge'sCottage TheBirkles'Cottage YourCottage Adagio'sCottage PalaceWalk Along TheStream PalaceWalk RoyalBakery OutsideCastle In TheMoat Court-yard d u enterbarrow d u

Map 3: Mountaintop

Adit In TheMountain DeadEnd Shaft MineEntrance Chamber AmongThe Rocks In TheMountain In TheTree AmongThe Pines Green-house ScenicVista AmongThe Chairs HilltopStation OutsideGreen-house In TheChairlift In TheChairlift In TheStation AmongThe Chairs Bottom ofMountain OutsideTheChairlift (notsafe) (6 turns) (not safe) (die!) push block with rake u enterbarrow sit on chair z* stand (6 turns) d stand z* sit on chair

Map 4: Castle

OutsideCastle In TheMoat In TheMoat In TheMoat In TheMoat Hallway Study RoyalBedroom Stairs In APeachTree Court-yard GreatHall Stairs RoyalTreasury d d d u d u u u u d

Map 5: Enchanted Tree

nest vines breeze In TheTree Top In TheOwl's Den Base ofWhite Tree moss carvedwords u u u u u u u u out u u u u u u u u u d d d d in d d d d d d d d d d d d d

Map 6: Sunny Field

7 6 5 2 1 yellowdoor 8 9 4 3 whitedoor 10 12 11 10 3 2 1 8 9 4 bluedoor 7 6 5 (music boxlocation) opendoor open box

Summary of the walkthrough

  1. Get the amulet.
  2. Get the silver key.
  3. Ascend the mountain.
  4. Explore the mountain.
  5. Dam the stream.
  6. Explore the castle.
  7. Cross the stream.
  8. Setup the music box trap.
  9. Defeat the witch.


1. Get the amulet.

Up A Tree

Don't worry about your headache; it disappears on its own soon enough. Also, there's a time limit in this game, so while you can waste some time looking around, don't overdo it.

> x me. i.

> u.

Higher Up A Tree

> x village. x river.

> d. d.

Base Of Tree

You need the flagon, but not the hat.

> x hat. x flagon. take it.

> s. s. e. sw.

Side Yard

> x machinery. e.

Jorgen's Cottage

> x bench. x photo. ("XXOX")

> x bucket. take it.

> w. ne.

Western Edge Of Town

> drop bucket. (Leaving it here for later.)

> e.

Village Walk (between widow's and Birkles' cottages)

Once you're in the village, you may see Peppers, the king's parrot, who moves about randomly. Listen to what he says, since one of the things he says is a password ("Apricot"), but don't bother trying to interact with him directly.

> s.

The Birkles' Cottage

> x toys. x cradle. x blanket.

> take blanket. x bear.

> take bear. drop blanket.

> n. n.

Widow's Cottage

> x widow.

The widow is unresponsive until you SHOW, not GIVE, the teddy bear to her. (This may have changed in the latest version.)

> show bear. (+20. Widow gives you an amulet that protects against hypnotism.)

> x amulet. wear it.

You can now ask the widow about a few topics (such as the witch and the owl) or show other things to her, but she really doesn't have much to say.

> s. e. n.

2. Get the silver key.

Pulcher's Yard

> x birds. (They look like a problem.)

> e.

Pulcher's Cottage

> x bag. look in bag.

> put seed in flagon. close flagon.

> e. n. n.

Base of White Tree

> u.

In The Tree (several locations)

See map 5 for more info about this maze.

> d. (now at moss)

> u. u. d. (now at nest)

> u. d. (now at vines)

> d. u. (now at breeze)

> d. d. (now at carved words)

> u. u. (+10)

In The Tree Top

> in.

In The Owl's Den

Act quickly before the owl attacks you.

> open flagon. throw seed at owl. (+10)

The other birds attack the owl; it's gone.

> x nest. take key. (+10)

The route back to the ground is just as long as the route getting up here.

> out. d. d. u. u.

> d. u. u. d. u.

> d. d. u. d.

3. Ascend the mountain.

Base of White Tree

> s. s. w. w. s.

Village Walk (outside Pulcher's and your cottages)

Make your way to the millhouse:

> e. e. e. ne. e. s.

The Millhouse

Remember the XXOX from the photo? Arrange the levers in the same pattern. (Use RAISE or LIFT, not pull; use LOWER, not push)

> x levers. x stone.

> raise first. lower third. raise fourth.

> pull stone. (+10)

The wheel turns, and now the chairlift up the mountain has power. Head to the chairlift:

> n. w. n.

Among The Chairs

> x chair. sit on chair.

In The Chairlift (6 turns)

CAUTION: If you forget to lower the safety bar, you will fall out of the chair to your death!

> lower bar. z. z. z. z. z.

Hilltop Station

> lift bar. stand.

Among The Chairs

> w.

4. Explore the mountain.

Scenic Vista

You need something from the greenhouse before entering the mines.

> sw.

Outside Greenhouse

> open door. n.


Because I don't want to over-encumber you inside the mine, just grab the rake for now. You can explore the the rest of this stuff afterwards.

> x rake. take it.

> s. ne. n. n. ne.

Mine Entrance

> open door. n.


CAUTION: The lamp has very little fuel. Don't waste it!

> x lamp. take it.

> x cart. x block.

> enter cart. push block with rake. (The cart rolls to...)

Darkness / Chamber

> turn on lamp. (+10)

CAUTION: If you just get out of the cart, it rolls south, and the game is no longer winnable.

> pull brake with rake. out.

Nothing helpful is south from here.

> n. w.

Dead End

> take pickaxe and harness.

> e. s.


> enter cart. push brake with rake.


> turn off lamp. pull brake with rake.

> out. drop lamp.

> x pickaxe. x harness.

> wear harness. put pickaxe in it.

Return to the greenhouse:

> s. sw. s. s. sw. n.


> x tree. u.

In The Tree

> take peach. d.


> x barrow. x skis. take skis.

> push barrow south.

Outside Greenhouse

> push barrow northeast.

Scenic Vista

While you can just use the chairlift again to return to the village, using the barrow is much faster, and time is limited. You might also find it more fun!

> enter barrow.

5. Dam the stream.

Bottom of Mountain

Abandon the barrow and rake. Keep the skis, harness, pickaxe, peach.

> drop rake.

Head to the eastern bank:

> s. w. w. w. w. w. w. w. w.

Eastern Bank

> x sign. take it.

> s. se. e.

Along The Stream (south end of path)

> show sign to beaver. (Its tail wags!)

The beaver is now following you. Head back up the river to a clearing where there's a dead tree:

> w. nw. n. n. n. nw. (+10)

Creskside Clearing

The beaver turns the dead tree into a dam! Because the water is lower, the mill and chairlift are no longer working. It's very important you got everything you needed from the mountaintop before damming the creek.

Now head for the castle, and pick up a watering can from Milpo's cottage on the way there.

> se. s. s. e. e.


> e. e. e. e. e. n.

Milpo's Cottage

> x can. look in it. take can.

> s. s. s. s.

6. Explore the castle.

Outside Castle

Because the water is gone, you can now enter the moat.

> d. w. s.

In The Moat (south side)

> eat peach. drop pit.

> pour food on pit. (A new peach tree has grown!)

> drop can.

> u.

In A Peach Tree

> n. (+10)

Royal Bedroom

You don't need the perch.

> x bed. x mural. x perch.

> n. e.


> x desk. x paperweight. take it.

> w. d. d.

Great Hall

> x carpets. x statue.

> x shamrock. x plinth.

> put paperweight on shamrock. (+10; a hidden door opens!)

> e. d.

Royal Treasury

> x safe. x mirror. x smudge. rub it.

A bearded figure appears in the mirror.

> mirror, open safe. (no: You need to be appropriately equipped, and he needs a password.)

The mirror is surprisingly talkative. I guess it doesn't get many visitors.

> ask mirror about safe. ask mirror about mirror.

> ask mirror about king. ask mirror about Peppers.

> ask mirror about witch.

> x crown. x case. x pedestal.

If you took the piccolo from Adagio's cottage, you may blow it three times to shatter the case, but this is faster:

> break case with pickaxe.

> take crown. (+10)

> wear crown.

> say apricot. (+10; the safe opens)

> look in safe. take box. drop crown.

> u. w. n.


> turn windlass. (The drawbridge lowers.)

> n.

7. Cross the stream.

Outside Castle

You should be wearing the amulet and harness, have the music box, its key, and skis, and the pickaxe in the harness. On your way to the creek, pick up the jug of mead from your cottage, and also that bucket you left on the road near the start of the game.

> n. n. n. w. w. s.

Your Cottage

> take jug. n. w. w.

Western Edge of Town

> take bucket. w. w. w.

Eastern Bank

> save. (This will be a one-way trip.)

CAUTION: The stepping stones were revealed when the beaver dammed the creek, but they're too slippery to cross without additional assistance.

Personally, I found this puzzle very unfair. Your feet are not implemented as a distinct body part elsewhere in the game, but you must refer to them in this command:

> pour mead on feet.

Move quickly! Your feet are only sticky for three turns.

> w. w. w. sw.

8. Setup the music box trap.

Dark Path (near witch's clearing)

This is as far as you dare go without further preparation. You must now turn the music box into a trap for the witch.

The box is unlocked and locked with the key you got from the owl's nest.

Opening the box transports everyone very close to the box into a sunny field (see map 6). You will also drop everything you're carrying. The field is actually a six-by-seven grid maze with invisible walls. I will assume you explored the maze in a previous session and figured out where all the walls are.

Note that there are three doors. You always enter the maze at the blue door, and the witch always enters at the yellow door. The white door on the west side is the only exit.

Note that the witch's route from the yellow door to the white door is shorter than yours from the blue door, and the witch can either see where the walls are or has memorized the maze layout. You must slow her down by dropping things in her path ahead of time so you reach the white door and escape first.

Since you drop everything you're carrying when you open the music box, the only things you can bring into the maze are things you're wearing or held by things you're wearing.

I assume you're still wearing the harness and that the pickaxe is still in it?

> unlock box with key.

> wear skis. wear bucket.

> open box. (You're now at...)

Sunny Field (at blue door)

> remove bucket. remove skis.

> n. w. n. e. n.

> w. w. n. e. e.

Sunny Field (at yellow door)

> drop bucket. drop skis.

> drop pickaxe. drop harness.

> w. w. s. w. n.

> w. w. s. e. s. w.

Sunny Field (at white door)

> open door.

Dark Path (nearly there)

> take box and key. close box.

9. Defeat the witch.

Dark Path (near witch's clearing)

You must be wearing the amulet and carry both the music box and its key. Ready?

> nw.


> x witch.

The witch notices you and tries to hypnotise you, but the amulet protects you. She approaches you, with the intention of ripping the amulet off your neck.

> open box.

Both you and the witch are in the maze!

Sunny Field (from blue door to white)

Race to the white door! Don't waste any time!

> n. w. w. s. s.

> w. w. n. e. n.

> w. w. n. open door.


> take all. lock box with key. (+20)

*** You have won ***





The response to CREDITS is:

"The Witch"
A Text Adventure Game (C) 2023 Charles Moore, Jr.
Release 1 / Serial number 230924 / Inform v6.42 Library v6.12.6 S
Special thanks to IF Community Forum members P-Tux7 and Max Fog for invaluable playtesting assistance.


There are so many ways to die in this game, I'm sure I didn't find all of them.


Items are listed in the order they are mentioned in this walkthrough.

Note that all solid items that don't need a container can be used to map the enchanted tree maze.


This is the response to SCORE:

You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 150, in several turns, designating you your-ranking.

The game is [either] winnable [or] *not* winnable [as applicable] from this point.

Points are awarded as follows:

The known rankings are:

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with

Support me on Ko-fi

Ko-Fi is a way to send me small one-time donations. Every little bit helps, and thank you!