Blue Lacuna — 16 of 467

Aaron A. Reed

Release 4

Chapter - Table of Contents

To show table of contents:

change the current menu to the Table of Main Contents;

carry out the displaying activity;

clear the screen;

if Finishing-The-Prologue is complete, try looking.

Table of Main Contents

"PREMENU"--"Please select an option from the menu using the arrow keys. Press enter to confirm your choice."
"About This Edition"--"[abouttext]"--
"Basic [wtfinstructions]"--"[simplehelptext].[paragraph break]Hit enter or type LOOK from any prompt to get a fresh description of your surroundings. Type SAVE to save your progress through the story; you can pick up where you left off later by typing RESTORE."--
"Detailed [wtfinstructions]"Table of Helpy Stuff----
"Verb List"--"[otherverbs]."--
"Adjust Keyword Style"----keyword setting rule
"Tutorial Mode ([if tutorial mode is switched on]ON[else]OFF[end if])"Table of Tutorial Mode Options--
"Stats Mode ([if stats mode is true]ON[else]OFF[end if])"Table of Stats Mode Options--
"About the Author"--"[authortext]"--
"Where to Find More Interactive Fiction"--"[ifprimer]"--
"POSTMENU"--"Press Q or the ESC key when you are ready to [if turn count <= 1]begin[otherwise]continue[end if]. You may type HELP from any prompt to return to this menu."

To say wtfinstructions: say "Instructions". [ Oddly, just writing "Instructions" in the menu table causes problems. ]

To say ifprimer: say "An embarrassment of riches exists in the interactive fiction community, where a disproportionally talented group of writers, designers, and programmers have released hundreds of quality interactive stories for free over the past 15 years. The only problem is how to find them.

The Internet Fiction Database ( collects reviews, ratings, and technical info about IF games. If you click 'Search' and then 'Recommended Lists,' you can search through user compilations of favorite games or even create your own.

Baf's Guide to the IF Archive ( is a similar resource that also allows you to browse games sorted by genre, rating, or awards received. The five-star game list here is an excellent place to find quality games to play.

Emily Short's Reading IF page ( categorizes games by their noteworthiness: games known for great settings, a focus on characterization, or interesting puzzles, for instance.

The Annual IF Comp ( has been the preeminent venue for new works of short IF for well over a decade; browsing lists of past winners is an excellent way to find high-quality games.".

Table of Helpy Stuff

"More on Verbs"--"[commandstext]"--
"More on Movement"--"[movementtext]"--
"More on Conversation"--"[convotext]"--
"Game Options"--"[optionstext]"--
"What To Do If You Get Stuck"--"[hintstext]"--

This is the keyword setting rule: try setting the keyword style.

To say dedicationtext: say "[paragraph break]To Benton, Fievel, and Fitz.".

To say commandstext: say "In addition to typing emphasized keywords, you can also enter basic commands beginning with verbs to perform more complex actions in the story world. Type things like TOUCH GRASS, CLIMB TREE, OPEN BOX, or PUSH BUTTON in the appropriate situations, and the story will respond to your action. As with keywords, capitalization and punctuation doesn’t matter, and you can usually leave out pronouns like 'the,' but spelling does count.

A few other useful verbs: LOOK (or just pressing enter) will give you a fresh description of your surroundings. WAIT (or Z) will pass a few minutes of time in the story world-- you can also WAIT UNTIL a certain time of day (such as noon, sunset, night, etc.) or WAIT FOR a certain number of hours or minutes. Finally, AGAIN (or G, or pressing the up arrow on most interpreters) will repeat the last command you typed.


To say movementtext: say "Type emphasized direction words to move in that direction or towards that distant piece of scenery. Type EXITS to be reminded of the places you can go from your current location. (Note that there may be concealed exits that require closer examination of nearby objects to uncover.) Early in the story you may find a compass, which will allow you to navigate using cardinal directions instead by typing OPEN COMPASS.

In large open areas, moving one location at a time can become tedious. At any prompt, you can type LANDMARK to see a list of landmarks you've discovered. Typing the name of a landmark will quickly move you to that area, unless it is currently inaccessible or something interrupts you along the way.

Finally, you can also sometimes FOLLOW someone, or type GO TO a distant piece of scenery to move one area towards it. Type GO BACK to return to the last area you were in.".

To say convotext: say "Type HELLO to start speaking. [convotext1][paragraph break][convotext2][paragraph break][convotext3]".

To say convotext1: say "During a conversation, watch for emphasized keywords, which you can type to control the direction of the discussion, and keep your eyes on the small window that appears at the bottom of the screen, which sometimes shows additional words like YES or NO in response to questions. As the discussion moves forward, old emphasized keywords will become irrelevant and disappear, meaning you can no longer bring them up at the moment; you'll always know what you can still talk about by referencing the small window."

To say convotext2: say "You can also always say NOTHING (sometimes a wise conversational tactic) or GOODBYE when you want to stop talking. In some conversations you can change the SUBJECT; the small window will show a list of available topics."

To say convotext3: say "During conversation, you can also take physical actions, such as (in order of friendliness) KISS, HUG, PUSH, or ATTACK. You can also simply walk away, though people may find that rude if you don't say GOODBYE first. (Similarly, type HELLO to begin a conversation with someone you aren't speaking with.) You can FOLLOW someone who walks away from you, or SHOUT to get the attention of some characters." [ touch redirects to HUG.]

Displaying the options text is an action out of world. Understand "options" as displaying the options text. Carry out displaying the options text: say "[optionstext]". To say optionstext: say "You can save your progress in the story by typing SAVE, and return to the same point later by typing RESTORE. You can QUIT to end the story immediately, or RESTART to begin from the beginning. If you want to take back your last move, type UNDO.

To begin a transcript of your game session, type SCRIPT ON; to end it, type SCRIPT OFF. Feel free to send transcripts to"

Displaying the hints text is an action out of world. Understand the command "think" as something new. Understand "hint" or "hints" or "think" as displaying the hints text. Carry out displaying the hints text: say "[hintstext]". To say hintstext: say "If you're not sure what to do, [if Homeworld-Sequence is solved]you may just need to keep exploring. The scenery changes with both the time of day, the tides, the weather, and your own actions. Retrace your steps and keep a close eye on the changing descriptions[else]remember you can type LOOK or press enter alone to be reminded of your surroundings[end if]. Make sure you try typing any emphasized [d]direction[x] keywords you haven't explored or [o]objects[x] you haven't examined.

Asking other characters you meet about obstacles is also a good tactic. It also may help to sleep on your problem, particularly in a comfy, shady spot[if puzzle mode and Homeworld-Sequence is solved].

If you're having a particularly difficult time with puzzles, you might consider starting a new game and selecting 'story mode' instead at the end of Chapter One. The puzzles are less complex and less important in story mode[end if].

If you want specific hints, try asking on the newsgroup or e-mailing the address below.

Finally, if you encounter a bug or problem with the workings of the story, think something is unclear, or have suggestions, the author would love to hear from you. Please write to or visit"

To say simplehelptext: say "In Blue Lacuna, you take the role of a character in the story. As you read, you'll see certain emphasized keywords in the prose. Type any keyword and press enter to interact with the story.[paragraph break]There are three kinds of keywords: type[line break] -- a [o]noun[x] to examine that thing more closely[line break] -- an [d]exit[x] to move in that direction[line break] -- a [t]word[x] recently spoken (if you're talking with someone) to direct the conversation".

Displaying the about text is an action out of world. Understand "about" as displaying the about text. Carry out displaying the about text: say "[abouttext]". To say abouttext: say "[banner text][line break][list of extension credits]Smarter Parser by Aaron Reed[line break]Poor Man's Mistype by Aaron Reed[line break]Epistemology by Eric Eve[line break]Remembering by Aaron Reed[line break]Default Messages by David Fisher[line break]Flexible Windows by Jon Ingold[line break]Improved Menus by Aaron Reed (based on Basic Menus by Emily Short)[line break]Intelligent Hinting by Aaron Reed[line break]Numbered Disambiguation Choices by Aaron Reed.[paragraph break]The official website for Blue Lacuna is[paragraph break]Blue Lacuna was first publicly previewed in April 2008 in the Spring Thing Competition. Release 1 debuted in January 2009.[paragraph break]All versions of Blue Lacuna and its source code are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. In summary, you may freely distribute, perform, or create derivative works, but not for commercial purposes without permission from the author. More information is available at The cover art contains photography by Kevin N. Murphy under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license."

To say acknowledgements: say "First and foremost, I owe a huge debt to those whose shoulders I've stood on, most directly those of the Inform 7 team: Graham Nelson, Emily Short, Andrew Hunter, and David Kinder. In addition to creating the wonderful, free tools that were used to create Blue Lacuna, they also answered an endless series of pesky questions and were generous with advice, bug fixes, and esprit de corps. Find out how to create your own interactive fiction at

In addition, the entire community on the newsgroup deserves commendation for their amazing responsiveness, friendliness, and willingness to answer questions no matter how unusual or dubious. Among others are Ron Newcomb, Mike Tarbert, JDC, Andrew Plotkin, vaporware, and Khelwood, but a special thanks to everyone on raif who helped me out with problems over the development of this project.

Many of my close friends took time with me to discuss various aspects of the story's design over the past several years. They know who they are and their insight was tremendously helpful in shaping the final product.

My beta testers were instrumental in finding bugs and tweaking the puzzles, spending countless hours hunched over their interpreters with keen eyes. A million thank-yous to Alexei Othenin-Girard, Basti, Depresiv, Doug Egan, Emily Boegheim, George Oliver, HenryMikel, James Jolley, Jeremy Rishe, Justin Lowmaster, katzy, Lynnutte, Mario Carneiro, Neale, Scott Maddix, Sharon Rishe, Stephanie Camus, and Victor Gijsbers. Any remaining bugs in the story are of course entirely my fault and not theirs.

Finally, Blue Lacuna owes a stylistic debt to the Miller brothers and the creative team at Cyan Worlds, whose Myst and Uru games have been a huge inspiration in my desire to create thought-provoking interactive stories. The ending is never written."

Displaying the verbs text is an action out of world. Understand "verb" or "verbs" as displaying the verbs text. Carry out displaying the verbs text: speak as the parser "[otherverbs]."

To say otherverbs: say "Below are some of the most important verbs the story understands:

LOOK[line break]

TOUCH[line break]

PUSH (and PULL)[line break]

OPEN (and CLOSE)[line break]

WEAR (and TAKE OFF)[line break]

TASTE (or EAT or DRINK)[line break]

TAKE (and DROP)[line break]

CLIMB[line break][ov2]". To say ov2: say " WAIT[line break]

LANDMARK[line break]

SLEEP[line break]

SIT[line break]

LISTEN[line break]

HELLO (and GOODBYE)[line break]

ATTACK[line break]

HUG[line break]

KISS[line break]


Other verbs which may be useful in specific situations include READ, JUMP, GIVE, TURN, SQUEEZE, SMELL, WAKE, SWIM, SHAKE, and PAINT.

Verbs useful for controlling the story itself include UNDO, SAVE, RESTORE, QUIT, RESTART, HELP, KEYWORDS, THINGS, EXITS, and TOPICS".

To say authortext: say "Aaron A. Reed has worked as a travel writer, web monkey, offensive t-shirt designer, graphic artist, 3D animator, filmmaker, and murder mystery producer. His fiction has appeared in 'Fantasy & Science Fiction' magazine, and his interactive fiction has won numerous awards and been taught in new media courses from Australia to Sweden. Blue Lacuna is his first novel. His website may be visited at"