Key & Compass presents:
Zeppelin Adventure
by Robin Johnson

Zeppelin Adventure is a web browser interactive fiction game written with Versificator 2 and is © 2018 by Robin Johnson. It was an entry in the Main Festival of the Spring Thing 2018 competition.

You were piloting a one-person tea-zeppelin to Olympus City on Mars, when a flock of pterodactyls unexpectedly attack and you're forced into an orange swirly thing in the sky! BOOM! You're now in some other planet's sky, your engine is ruptured, and your ship is plummeting! If you survive the fall, it looks like you're going to have an adventure whether you want one or not.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on the competition release of the game.


Map 1: The Robot Free State

out out enterbiplane out out enter zeppelin fore down out Citadel Examina-tion Hall TiledBathroom Kitchen VastDesert(switch) ArtStudio CollegeFoyer ScienceLab AutomaticPub VastDesert OutsideCollege GrimyAlleyway StreetCorner VastDesert BiplaneCockpit OutsideLeadCitadel SteelyPlaza Wide Roadof BronzeCobblestones CityEntrance VastDesert(doors) Edge ofCrater WideBoulevard OutsideMovieTheatre VastDesert(key) Bottomof Crater RockyArea Robot Zoo(gorilla) In OldCinema Bridge Robot Zoo(eagle) Stern Robot Zoo(tortoise) Rigging TinyShed enter college enter pub out climb rope entercrater enter zoo enter cinema out aft climb mast enter shed

Note: All rooms inside the pub are unlit until the the switch in the grimy alleyway is flipped up.

Map 2: The Citadel

Pater-nosterbooth CrampedMachineryLoft HumanicsLab Level 2Landing Pater-nosterbooth Pater-nosterbooth Soot-blackenedPlain DesertedBorderCheckpt. CircularRoom Level 1Landing Pater-nosterbooth Pater-nosterbooth Pater-nosterbooth Pater-nosterbooth Level 0Landing DustyFoyer Pater-nosterbooth jump OutsideLeadCitadel

To enter a paternoster booth, click either enter upbound paternoster or enter downbound paternoster, as appropriate. To exit a booth, click out.

Map 3: Endgame flight

Bottomof Crater launch launch land flyingover Mars on theDay of theIncident nearpurplevortex over thecity-states over thedesert nearorangevortex CitadelRoof


> start game.


> instructions.

> examine controls. examine cannon.

> examine telescope. examine harpoon.

> take telescope. look through telescope. (Olympus City in distance.)

Some fierce pterodactyls are attacking!

> examine pterodactyls. (Mostly quetzalcoatli, maybe a few hatzegopteryxes.)

> take harpoon. load cannon. fire cannon. pull rope.

> steer zeppelin. (They follow.)

An orange swirly thing appears!

> steer zeppelin. (It's zoning in on you!)

> load cannon. fire cannon. (Misses again.)

> pull rope. examine orange swirly thing.

> look through telescope.

You're about to hit the swirly thing.

> steer zeppelin.

You go through the swirly thing. You're not on Mars any more. The pterodactyls are gone. The engine exploded and the zep is wobbling.

> steer zeppelin. (The controls aren't working!)

> look through telescope. (You're above a desert.)

> aft.


> examine engine. (It's missing 13 essential parts.)

> climb mast.


> examine balloon. burst balloon (with harpoon).

> down.


> examine tea. open tea. (The tea-leaves scatter away.)

The zeppelin lands in a deep crater.

> examine crate. take crate.

> fore. out.

Bottom of Crater

> examine ENGINE-PART-1. take ENGINE-PART-1.

> examine mud.

> enter zeppelin. aft.


> put ENGINE-PART-1 in engine.

> climb mast.


> examine balloon. down. fore.


> load cannon. fire cannon. (You can now climb the rope.)

> climb rope.

Edge of Crater

> west.

Vast Desert

This region is hot.

> examine tracks. (runs south to north)

> east. southeast.

Rocky Area

> examine parasol. take parasol.

> examine log book. take log book. read log book.

> examine skeleton.

> examine parachute. take parachute. (Skeleton's grip is too strong.)

> examine biplane. enter biplane.

Biplane Cockpit

> examine engine.

> examine ENGINE-PART-2.

> take ENGINE-PART-2. (It's bolted down.)

> out. northwest. west.

Vast Desert

> open parasol. examine sand dunes. (Easy to get lost.)

> south.

Vast Desert (one step south)

> examine key. take key. (The parasol snaps shut.)

> open parasol. north. north.

Vast Desert (one step north)

> examine tracks. (Still south to north.)

> north. north.

Vast Desert (three steps north)

> examine tortoise. (Too weak to crawl.)

> take tortoise. (Not too weak to snap at you.)

> wind tortoise (with key). (It zooms north; you see a switch.)

> examine switch. press switch.

A metal wall appears to west, running north and south.

> open parasol.

> examine metal wall.

Head back south:

> south. south. south.

Vast Desert (by doors)

> examine metal doors. enter metal doors.

City Entrance

> west.

Wide Road of Bronze Cobblestones

> examine beggar. examine ENGINE-PART-3.

> talk to beggar. (Its larynx is too rusty.)

> take ENGINE-PART-3. (The beggar stops you.)

> south.

Outside Movie Theatre

> examine cinema.

> enter cinama.

In Old Cinema

> examine ENGINE-PART-4. take ENGINE-PART-4.

> examine nuts. take nuts.

> examine chair. sit on chair.

The screen flickers on to show "A GLORIOUS HISTORY OF THE ROBOT FREE STATE".

> watch screen. watch screen. watch screen.

> watch screen. watch screen. watch screen.

The movie presentation ends in mid-reel after mentioning "The Incident".

> out. west.

Wide Boulevard By Zoo

> examine zoo. enter zoo.

Robot Zoo (gorilla exhibit)

> examine gorilla. (It thinks it's a bird?)

> examine plaque. ("GARIBALDI THE GORILLA")

> examine tree. examine ENGINE-PART-5.

> climb tree. (It's too puzzling.)

> south.

Robot Zoo (eagle exhibit)

> examine eagle. (It thinks it's a gorilla.)

> examine plaque. ("AESCHYLUS THE EAGLE")

> south.

Robot Zoo (tortoise exhibit)

> examine plaque. ("TORTELLINI THE TORTOISE")

A voice says you'll be rewarded if you return the escaped animal.

> examine shed. ("ZOOKEEPERBOT ONLY")

> enter shed.

Tiny Shed

> examine spanner finder. (It's a Wrenchporter-5000.)

> examine wrench. take wrench.

> examine wand. take wand.

> out.

Robot Zoo (tortoise exhibit)

> wave wand. (Icon of tortoise appears on wand.)

> north.

Robot Zoo (eagle exhibit)

> wave wand. (Icon of eagle appears on wand.)

> zap eagle. (It flies away.)

> north.

Robot Zoo (gorilla exhibit)

A golden apple appeas on the tree and falls off.

> wave wand. (Icon of gorilla appears on wand.)

> zap gorilla. (It climbs the tree and tosses down the engine-part.)

> take ENGINE-PART-5.

> examine apple. take apple.

> wave wand. (No icon.)

> south.

Robot Zoo (eagle exhibit)

When you return here after restoring the eagle, know that the eagle will find the tortoise and drop it on you soon afterwards.

If you're wearing the crate, the tortoise bounces off and you have a chance to do something with it. Otherwise, it scuttles away, and you'll need the eagle's help again.

If you zap a clockwork animal when the wand has no icon, it will stop moving.

If the eagle is active when you're carrying the tortoise, it grabs it from you!


> wear crate.

> wait. (Continue to wait until something lands on your crate.)

> remove crate. (The tortoise is here and the eagle is overhead.)

> zap tortoise. (So it doesn't run off.)

> zap eagle. (So it won't interfere.)

> take tortoise. south.

Robot Zoo (tortoise exhibit)

> drop tortoise.

The reward for returning the tortoise will be in the shed. All animals are reset to normal.

> enter shed.

Tiny Shed

> take ENGINE-PART-6.

> out. north. north. out. north.

Steely Plaza

CAUTION: Don't go west from here until you've earned a certificate.


> north.

Outside College

> enter college.

College Foyer

> examine prospectus. take prospectus. read prospectus.

> east.

Science Lab

> examine vat. smell vat. (vingear)

> take ENGINE-PART-7. (out of reach in vat)

> west. west.

Art Studio

> examine sign. ("BRING *ART PROJECTS* HERE")

> east. north.

Examination Hall

> examine professor. examine exam machine.

> talk to professor. ask professor about college.

> ask professor about arts. ask professor about science.

> end conversation.

> south. out. east.

Grimy Alleyway

Flipping the switch turns on a neon sign in front of a pub and also turns on the lights (and activity) within the pub as well.

But don't flip it on just yet.

> examine switch.

> east.

Street Corner

Note: You can't unbolt the sign when it's lit.

> examine pub. examine sign. ("THE ROBOT ARMS / Real Oils on Tap")

> unbolt sign. (with wrench)

> west.

Grimy Alleyway

> flip switch. (The neon sign you're carrying lights up!)

> east.

Street Corner

> enter pub.

Automatic Pub

> examine bartender. examine drinker. examine jukebox.

> examine dartboard. examine rails.

> examine sign. (They don't serve humans.)

> examine beaker. take beaker. (The bartender stops you.)

> talk to bartender.

> ask bartender about itself. ("Bartomaton-200")

> ask bartender about service.

> end conversation.

> talk to drinker.

> ask drinker about pub. ask drinker about drink. (It's oil.)

> end conversation.

> north. (The bartender stops you.)

> northwest.

Tiled Bathroom

> examine bucket. take bucket.

> southeast.

Automatic Pub

> push button. (Music starts playing; drinker stands.)

Watch the sequence of events. The drinker will turn off the music, then zap the dartboard with a laser for a few turns before sitting down again.

> wait. wait. wait. wait. wait. wait.

So the bartender likes cleaning, does he? Didn't we see some mud at the crater? Let's get some.

> out. south. east. east. east. enter crater.

Bottom of Crater

> take mud. examine mud.

> enter zeppelin. aft.


> put ENGINE-PART-4 in engine.

> put ENGINE-PART-5 in engine.

> put ENGINE-PART-6 in engine.

> fore. climb rope. west.

> enter metal doors. west. north. enter pub.

Automatic Pub

> drop mud. push button.

> wait. wait. wait. wait.

The drinker's laser zaps the bartender out of existence.

> take beaker. north.


> examine baking soda. take baking soda.

> south. out. south.

Wide Road of Bronze Cobblestones

> give beaker (to beggar). take ENGINE-PART-3.

> talk to beggar. ask beggar about itself.

> ask beggar about city. (Topic "bios" unlocked.)

> ask beggar about bios.

I suspect "The Incident" topic is unlocked by watching the cinema's film.

> ask beggar about The Incident.

> end conversation.

> west. north. enter college. west.

Art Studio

> drop bucket. ("MODULE PASSED")

> east. east.

Science Lab

> put baking soda in vat. ("MODULE PASSED")

> take ENGINE-PART-7. west. north.

Examination Hall

> pull lever. (You receive a certificate.)

> examine certificate. read certificate.

> south. out. south.

Steely Plaza

With the cerfificate, you can safely pass through the electric barrier.

> west.

Outside Lead Citadel

> examine citadel. take ENGINE-PART-8.

> enter citadel.

Dusty Foyer

> west. (Door shuts because you're not a robot.)

> wear crate. west.

Level 0 Landing

> remove crate.

Two of the the paternoster cars will have engine-parts. I suggest waiting until a glint is seen in a downbound car, wait one turn, then enter the upboard car which will have the engine-part in it.

> wait. (Repeat waiting until there's a glint in the downbound car.)

> wait. enter upbound paternoster.

Paternoster Booth 1 or 5

> take ENGINE-PART-9. (now on level 2)

> out.

Level 2 Landing

> examine lab door. enter lab door.

Humanics Lab

The doctorbot will slowly advance on you. It powers down when you leave. For your own safety, limit your visits to three turns or less while the doctorbot is here.

> examine doctorbot. (Has a bonesaw)

> examine poster. (Avoid organic foods)

> examine graffiti. (Build up harm)

> out. enter lab door.

> examine table. read whiteboard.

The logic here is an apple a day keeps the doctorbot away:

> throw apple. (The doctorbot evaporates and drops the bonesaw.)

> examine bonesaw. take bonesaw.

> take ENGINE-PART-10.

You can leave the apple behind; you no longer need it.

> out.

Level 2 Landing

> enter upbound paternoster.

Paternoster Booth (top of shaft)

There's an access hatch at the top of the shaft.

> enter hatch.

Cramped Machinery Loft

> examine loft window.

> examine works. (Lots of parts.)

> examine cogwheel. (Four metres in diameter.)

> take ENGINE-PART-11.

Head all the way back to the biplane:

> out. wait. wait. out. east. out.

> east. east. east. east. east. southeast.

Rocky Area

> saw skeleton (with bonesaw). take parachute.

> examine hand. take hand.

> enter biplane.

Biplane Cockpit

> unbolt ENGINE-PART-2 (with wrench). (The wrench is lost inside the plane.)

> take ENGINE-PART-2.

Since we're near our zeppelin, let's put the engine-parts we've got back into our engine.

> out. northwest. enter crater. enter zeppelin. aft.


> put ENGINE-PART-2 in engine.

> put ENGINE-PART-3 in engine.

> put ENGINE-PART-7 in engine.

> put ENGINE-PART-8 in engine.

> put ENGINE-PART-9 in engine.

> put ENGINE-PART-10 in engine.

> put ENGINE-PART-11 in engine.

> examine engine.

Just two parts missing. One is in the paternoster, and the other is accessed via level one of the citadel.

But first, go to the zoo's shed and get our wrench back.

> fore. climb rope. west. enter metal doors.

> west. west. south. enter zoo.

> south. south. enter shed.

Tiny Shed

> push button. take wrench.

> out. north. north. out. north. west. enter citadel.

Dusty Foyer

> wear crate. west.

Level 0 Landing

> remove crate.

> wait. (Repeat waiting until you see a glint in the downbound booth.)

> wait. enter upbound paternoster.

Paternoster Booth 1 or 5

> take ENGINE-PART-12. out.

Level 2 Landing

> wait. enter downbound paternoster. out.

Level 1 Landing

> west.

Circular Room

A hologram begins a conversation with you.

> ask k'thrunk about herself. (Topics "cities" and "vortex" unlocked.)

> ask k'thrunk about elves. (They sold weapons and bombs.)

> ask k'thrunk about cities. (Topics "punctuation error" and "war" unlocked.)

> ask k'thrunk about punctuation error. ("Robot Free State" vs "Robot-Free State")

> ask k'thrunk about war.

> ask k'thrunk about vortex. (Topic "pterodactyls" unlocked; panel revealed.)

> ask k'thrunk about pterodactyls. (They come with the vortex.)

> press panel. (Elf says you're not the one she was expecting and disappears.)

> press panel (when holding the skeletal hand).

The hologram of K'thrunk the Space Elf returns and addresses you as Dr Noselung. She suggests you might find spare parts in the Robot-Free State. New topic: Dr Noselung. New exit: west.

> ask k'thrunk about dr noselung.

> end conversation. west.

Deserted Border Checkpoint

> read sign. ("...NOW ENTERING THE ROBOT-FREE STATE...")

> west.

Soot-blackened Plain

> take ENGINE-PART-13. (The old man wakes up and angrily orders you to put his friend Gerald down.)

> drop ENGINE-PART-13.

> talk to old man.

> ask old man about himself. ask old man about Gerald.

> end conversation.

Yeah, you can't reason with him. Take the engine-part and run to the loft.

> take ENGINE-PART-13.

> east. east. east.

As you leave the circular room, the elf hologram says to meet her on the roof with transportation.

> enter upbound paternoster. wait. enter hatch.

Cramped Machinery Loft

> throw wrench (in works).

> open loft window. wear parachute.

> jump through loft window.

Outside Lead Citadel

Head back to your zeppelin:

> east. east. east. east. east. enter crater.

> enter zeppelin. aft.


> put ENGINE-PART-12 in engine.

> put ENGINE-PART-13 in engine.

> fore.


Before you launch, fetch your harpoon.

> climb rope.

Edge of Crater

> take harpoon. enter crater. enter zeppelin.


> pull rope. load cannon. out.

Bottom of Crater

Sadly, you must drop all your stuff outside the zep before you can launch.

> drop hand. drop bonesaw. drop wand. drop sign.

> drop nuts. drop crate. drop parasol. drop telescope.

> drop certificate. drop prospectus. drop log book.

> remove parachute. drop parachute.

> enter zeppelin.


> save.

You now have a choice of endings:

Ending 1


> launch zeppelin. fly east. fly east.

You pop through the orange swirly thing and you're back flying over Mars.

*** Ending 1 of 3 ***

Ending 2


> launch zeppelin. fly west. (now over city-states)

> examine robot free state.

> examine robot-free state.

> examine citadel roof. land on citadel roof. out.

Citadel Roof

The elf enters the zeppelin.

> enter zeppelin.


K'thrunk creates a purple swirly thing to the west; a giant pterodactyl appears with it.

> examine pterodactyl.

> ask k'thrunk about purple swirly thing. (It goes to the day of The Incident!)

> end conversation.

> launch zeppelin.

> fly west. fly west. (You're now back in time. The vortex vanishes.)

> wait. (A mail pod appears.)

> examine mail pod. ("TO: THE ROBOT FREE STATE")

> push button. (Elf vanishes; pod flies to the other state.)

However, you're now stuck in the past here.

*** Ending 2 of 3 ***

Ending 3


> launch zeppelin. fly west. (now over city-states)

> examine robot free state.

> examine robot-free state.

> examine citadel roof. land on citadel roof. out.

Citadel Roof

The elf enters the zeppelin.

> enter zeppelin.


K'thrunk creates a purple swirly thing to the west; a giant pterodactyl appears with it. You did re-load your cannon, yes?

> fire cannon. (New topic: pterodactyls)

> ask k'thrunk about pterodactyls. (They're meant to be used as an anchor!)

> end conversation.

> launch zeppelin.

> fly west. fly west. (You're now back in time.)

> wait. (A mail pod appears.)

> examine mail pod. ("TO: THE ROBOT FREE STATE")

> push button. (Elf vanishes; pod flies to the other state.)

The purple swirly thing is still there, anchored by the pterodactyl on the other side.

> pull rope. (Zep pulled through vortex, which vanishes.)

> wait. (The pterodactyl vanishes.)

> pull rope. load cannon.

> fly east. (Now over citadel roof.)

> fly east. fly east. fly east.

Back flying over Mars. Learn later that the city-states were on Ganymede.

*** Ending 3 of 3 ***





From the CREDITS in the game:


Written, designed and programmed by Robin Johnson <email redacted> using my own "Versificator 2" keyboardless text adventure engine.

Cover art designed by the author, using elements from public domain artworks (with thanks to

Tested by Maurizio Colucci, Ruber Eaglenest, Luke Jones, Joseph Mansfield, Mathbrush, Eve Morris, Norgg, Iain Ruxton, and Jennifer Thompson

More of my games are at

If you enjoy my work, please consider supporting me on Patreon.



Tools | Engine parts

Engine parts

There are 13 essential parts of a Terzi-class zeppelin engine scattered randomly. They are a blaugas compressor, a blimpeller, a Delag thrust reverser, a duralumin crankshaft, an Eckener piston, a Grafterburner, a Hindenburg compensator, a hydrogen pump, a Meusnier carburetor, a Nordstern flywheel, an Odol turbine, a Parseval spindle, and a Spiess cylinder. Put them all in the engine at the stern of your zeppelin:

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with