Once and Future Walkthrough

Instead of the traditional points, this game tracks your progress by means of ranks. This can be rather annoying, since youíre not told when your rank has changed, and itís difficult to tell which actions increase your rank.

[++] denotes an action which increases your rank and is necessary to complete the game. [+] denotes an optional point, or an action which increases your rank but is not required. Thanks to Daniel Schepler for a list of these. One optional point-forgiving the swanmay-has eluded me.

The ranks are: Private, Private 1st Class, Corporal, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, Master Sergeant, 1st Sergeant, [Sergeant Major?], Command Sergeant Major, CWO1, CWO2, CWO3, CWO4, CWO5, 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, General, Hero, Knight of the Round Table. Hero is the highest rank Iíve been able to attain.

Barracks

note 1
play cards [someone throws a bomb in]
lie on grenade

“You have died.” Well... not quite. Wait a second and the game will continue. Your quest is to retrieve Excalibur, the sheath and the belt, and purify the Grail.

get cup

Avalon

Some of the quests in Avalon cannot be solved at this point. The others can be done either now or later, when you return to Avalon. The only thing you absolutely have to do now is to go to Faerie. If you prefer to do that, skip to “The Whistle.”

You can see a few hints by repeatedly entering In the Mist, the area south of the oracle. You can get more information by asking the oracle about the following: oracle, merlin, lancelot, galahad, arthur, morgan, mordred, nina, jolinaxas, avalon, stonehenge, jormugander, horn, unicorn, excalibur, shield, armor, scabbard, belt, carrot, shard, plant, whistle. Also, be sure to:

ask oracle about thomas

Merlin and Excalibur

west. west. west.
north. north. north
north. east. up
x monument
get bolt [++]
south. south. east. east
east. south. south. south
throw bolt at tree

Besides being a pretty funny guy, Merlin provides much useful information. Be sure to:

ask merlin about nina
ask merlin about spirits

for some very important information. You can also ask him about: merlin, arthur, lancelot, galahad, mordred, morgan, oracle, grail, excalibur, scabbard, belt, shield, armor, horn, unicorn, jormugander, dragon, faeries, time, god. Now, what did he say about Nina...?

north. west. north.
west. north. [note the plant]
x nina
get excalibur
kiss nina [++]

Allegedly, there is an easter egg involving Excalibur, but I have no idea what it is.

The Armor

north. north. east. north [to A Jetty]
blow horn
get on serpent
get armor [++]
get on serpent

Donít wait too long or the enchantment will wear off, with fatal results. Also, remember that you canít take the armor into the lake.

The Necklace [starting from A Jetty]

south. west. west.
south. west. south.
west. south. west [Donít worry, heíll be back.]
get necklace
down
west. west. down. down.
get cherry plank

There are various wooden planks scattered around this area. This is the only one thatís actually useful.

up. up. east.
east. east [the mirror shard is a red herring]
down. down. south

Meet Snookums! Besides being amazingly cute, she can dig through certain walls; the syntax for this is “snookums, dig x wall,” where x is the direction of the wall you want to dig. You can ask her about: me, doll, snookums, stick, tub.

north. west
drop plank. get carrot
give carrot to snookums

The carrot is another red herring, but just do it to be nice.

east
snookums, dig sw wall
sw. nw
snookums, dig s wall
south. down
x granite wall [reference to Zork]
x chalk wall
snookums, dig west wall
west. west
brace keystone with cherry plank

If you try to brace the keystone with any other plank, the ceiling will fall, killing you.

south
x idol
get necklace. wear it [++]
get parchment
north. east

The following is somewhat confusing and not strictly necessary, but itís worth seeing.

south
snookums, dig s wall
south. east. north
x tub
x crucifix
south

In order to solve the keystone puzzle the hard way, you have to take each of the various planks in here and test them as follows:

put [plank] on rock
snookums, jump on [plank]

If the plank breaks, then itís the wrong one. Even though you know which plank is the correct one, do this anyway because itís an optional point.

west. north. west
up. north. southeast
northeast. up. up
west
read parchment
wait
up. get all
wear fatigues [since youíre naked]

The Whistle

There are two ways to solve this one. The first [starting from the mouse hole]:

east. east. north. east
wear armor
reach in large hole

A snake bites you, but youíre protected by the armor, and the whistle is yours. The other solution [starting from the mouse hole]:

east. east
drop armor [so you can enter the lake]
east. east. north
down
get plant
up. west
reach in large hole
eat plant

Since youíre not protected, you get bitten. Luckily, the plant cures your poisoning. Remember to go back for your armor. For getting the whistle (either way) you become Sergeant 1st Class. Now to use it:

south. south. east
east. east
enter ring
blow whistle

The Crossroads

east
read signpost [you can do the past and future in either order]

The Future

south. east [any direction will work]
knock on hatch [++]
west
east
east

For a meaningless and anachronistic Zork reference, go east a few times.

get rose

The Past

east
wait [or type anything else; it doesnít matter]
get up
east
z. z. z
z. z. z
hit flamethrower

“slap joe” also works, but not “hit joe,” making this a true guess-the verb puzzle.

get up
get pebble
east. east
throw pebble
z. z. z
z. z
push guard [++]
west
unlock door
north
close door
lock it
move table
get clippers
cut manacles with clippers
open trapdoor
close it
move table
z. z. z
z. z. z
z. z. z
z. z. z
z. z. z [++]
get up
read card
x mark
unplug mark

Now that youíve saved your friends, itís back to the Pit.

stand
x mosaics [even though you were told not to]
down
east. south. south
east. east
get thorn
east
wait
help frank [++]
north
north [if you had gone here before, you would have died]

Faerie

You start out in the west section of Faerie. Your major task here is to collect the three elemental crowns, but two of those are

west. north
x bush
get pod
north. north. north
z. z. z
z. z [until you can act again]

Or try “boff elf,” just for fun.

stand
get glove
wear it
east
get coat of feathers

You can get the Crown of Air now, but weíll do that later.

south. south. south
south. east
get chunk [the glove protects your hand]
east. north. north.
north [south also works, oddly enough]
yes [++]

The Witchís House

z. z. z. z
yes
z. z
read book

The mental note at the bottom of the page basically tells you what to do here.

fill bucket from bronze cauldron
fill bucket from silver cauldron
fill bucket from gold cauldron
throw bucket at door [++]

The next puzzle is pretty easy, but very tedious.

east. east. north
north. west. west
south [remember this name!]
get ladle
north. east. east. south
south. west. west
fill brazier from bronze cauldron
east. east
empty ladle into brazier
west. west
fill brazier from silver cauldron
east. east
empty ladle into brazier
west. west
fill ladle from bronze cauldron
east. east. north. north
empty ladle into brazier
south. south. west. west
fill ladle from gold cauldron
empty ladle into brazier
south. south. west. west
fill ladle from silver cauldron
east. east. north.
north. west. west
empty ladle into brazier
east. east. south.
south. west. west
fill ladle from gold cauldron
east. east. north.
north. west. west
empty ladle into brazier [++]
east. east. south.
south. west. west
northeast [Finally!]
x demon

You can ask the demon about: jolinaxas, skulls, pentacle, circle, merlin, ariel, oracle, horns

[wait until the light turns brown]
say “vinda”
say “vatn”
say “furr”
say “jorth”

If the above order doesnít work, then do as follows: Say one of the words. If an offtone gong sounds, type “undo” and then say a different word. Repeat until one of the skulls goes out. Then do the same for the three other skulls. Oddly, this doesnít increase your rank.

inventory [you now have the holey stone]

The Old Man

His name is Hector, by the way. You can ask him about hector, faeries, and not much else.

east. north. ne
ask old man about chisel
push chisel
get chisel
give it to man [++]
ask man about hammer
push beanstalk
give hammer to man
in [the directions in here are really confusing]
north
x chair
look under cushion
south. out
give hickory to man

Donít forget the phrase he tells you to say! (And for fun, back up to an earlier saved game and try saying it.) At this point, we could get the three crowns, but letís stop by the Faerie Queene to see whatís going on. We can also do one optional quest along the way.

The Faerie Queene

sw. south. south
south. se. se
east. east. ne
east. east

There are about ten paintings. Some of them are relevant to the game, others arenít. After viewing the paintings, be sure to look at the reflections.

east. north. north. north

You can ask the queen about: queen, me, arthur, hunter, king, straw, fire, earth, air, water, man.

ask thomas about lethe [+]

You can also ask True Thomas about: thomas, me, earth, air, fire, water, faeries, straw, king, queen, crown, hunter, hound, man, avalon, stonehenge. (Oddly, “ask thomas about hector” doesnít work.) Now for...

The Crown of Air

south. south. south
west. west. west
sw. west. west
nw. west. north
north. west. west
west. north
wear coat
up
down. west
remove coat
west
wait. wait. wait
wait. wait. wait. wait

Interesting scenes, huh? Now for the second hardest puzzle in the game. Your ultimate goal, though you may not realize it, is to leave only the center facet on.

x diamond
push c1
push c5
push c3
push a3
push e3

Credit to A. Cairns for the following:

push a3
push b3
push b4
push c1
push c2
push c3
push d2 [you get the wax]
get crown of air [++]
wear coat
up. down
remove coat
give coat to swanmay

I donít know if giving her the coat is strictly necessary, but itís a good deed. Oh, and one more thing...

get water [+]

The Crown of Water

east. east. south
east. east. south
south. se. ne
x boat

The name of the boat is a clue.

lower anchor
row west
row west

The boat works backwards, so in order to move in one direction, you have to row the opposite direction.

put cork in hole
push pump
exit
west
get crown of water
east
enter boat
push pump
push pump [or wait]
push pump
get pump
give pump to kraken [++]
up. up. up
west. west

The Mountain King, Part One

sw. nw. north
east. ne
get tuning fork
x boulders [just for fun]
hit fork
down
read letter
get shard
pull lever
look
get ruby
pull lever
look
get emerald
pull lever
look
get gold

Now, if you want to figure out the order in which objects are teleported, put any object in the bowl and pull the lever. Then check the west and east rooms to see where the object ended up. The solution is:

put ruby in bowl
pull lever
put emerald in bowl
pull lever
put ore in bowl [++]
down

The Mountain King, Part Two

This time you have five rooms to work with, which makes it a little harder. However, if you examine the mosaic in each room, youíll learn the order in which objects move through the rooms.

pull lever. look
get silver
pull lever. look
get amethyst
pull lever. look
get sapphire
pull lever. look
get diamond

So why did we only get three objects? And whatís in the northeast room?

put glowberry in spire
pull lever. g. g. g
northeast
southwest
pull lever. look
get glowberry

Granite, huh? Good thing you already have some.

put granite in spire
pull lever
put sapphire in spire
pull lever
put silver in spire
pull lever
put amethyst in spire
pull lever
put diamond in spire
down

The Mountain King, Part Three

Welcome to one of the hardest puzzles in the history of IF. This time there are about seventeen rooms, eight of which you canít enter (and you canít see inside the oyster either). There are thirteen objects to place, not all of which are obvious. And then thereís that vane to complicate things.

First, some cryptic hints:

x west wall
x north wall
x east wall
Now letís get all the objects.
get amber
pull lever. look
get agate
turn vane left
pull lever. look
get platinum
pull lever. look
get marble
pull lever. look
get pearl
pull lever. look
get penny
turn vane left. g. g
pull lever. look
get opal
turn vane left. g
pull lever. l
get lead
turn vane right
pull lever. l
get malachite
pull lever. look
get ivory
pull lever. g. look
get coral

It may not look like it, but you have all you need. (Iím too tired to check these directions again; they should be right, but if you donít get all eleven objects, just keep trying with various vane placements.) Now, if you want another hint, do the following:

turn vane [until it faces south]
put glowberry in torus [or anything other than the opal]
pull lever
x south wall
pull lever
get glowberry

And now, the solution:

turn vane right. g. g
put marble in torus
pull lever
put coral in torus
pull lever
pull lever
put lead in torus
pull lever
put ivory in torus
pull lever
turn vane right. g. g. g [it now faces southeast]

Same thing again, but itís a little tougher this time because you canít see whether the oyster is empty or not.

put pearl in torus
pull lever
put platinum in torus
pull lever
pull lever
put copper in torus
pull lever
put malachite in torus
pull lever
turn vane right [so it faces south]
put opal in torus
pull lever
turn vane left. g [so it faces east]
put agate in torus
pull lever
turn vane left. g [so it faces north]
put amber in torus
pull lever

Now for the tough part. Whereís the object made of iron?

turn vane left . g
put vane in torus
pull lever

Yet one more object remains:

put holey stone in torus
get crown of earth

The Castle Redux

up. up. up
sw. west. south
se. se. east
east. ne. east
east. east. north
north. north
give crown of earth to queen

After giving her the crowns, you may want to go back to the swanmayís pool, the dock, and the volcano summit. Some interesting changes have taken place there.

give crown of air to queen
give crown of water to queen [++]

Uh-oh, an impossible task. Well, impossible for you maybe. Who else might be able to do it?

south
say “man, old man, help me”

If you say this in the throne room, nothing happens. It makes sense that you wouldnít want to summon Hector right in front of the queen, but it would be nice if the game said so.

north
give chain to queen [++]

But youíre not out of the woods yet!

look at eyes
push helmet

The Hunter

You canít see, but what sense can you use?

listen
east
wait
get bracelet
z. z. z
x grass
get earring
z. z. z. z
z. z. z. z
z. z. z. z
wait
hit hound with earring
put flower in box OR put bracelet in box [++]

Youíll see different text depending on which one you choose. (I think the bracelet is the kinder choice.)

enter portrait

Back to Avalon

You can now do all the quests here; oddly enough, the ball of wax was the key.

get all [if your inventory space is full, wear the armor or helmet]
exit

The Oracle

north. north. west
north. north
ask oracle about quest [+]
give bottle to oracle [+]

The Belt of Strength

west. west. west.
south. south. south
south. south. south [for fun, go west twice]
put wax in ears
give necklace to mermaid
get belt

Now you can do either of the next two quests:

The Shield

wear belt
north. north. north
north. north
move boulder [+]
summon lancelot

Or Launcelot, as the game calls him; either spelling works. Heíll respond to most of the usual keywords, and try “boff lancelot” for a funny response. Try waiting for a while to see what he and Merlin (and later you) have to say to each other. Also try walking into the mist with Lancelot.

in [Merlin wonít come]
west. down. down
give sword to lancelot
give belt to lancelot
lancelot, attack dragon [+]

If you fight the dragon yourself or have Lancelot fight it without the belt, you lose but get a clue.

wait
get spear
attack dragon with spear [+]
get all
wear belt
get shield
wear shield
up. up

Thereís a bug here: the text refers to the glowpod in your hand even if youíre not holding it.

east. out

The Scabbard

east. east. east
south. south

Ask Mordred about Merlin for a funny scene. He also responds to: galahad, lancelot, arthur, morgan, scabbard.

attack mordred

You win if youíre wearing either the belt or the shield or both. The fight scene is different depending on which of the two you use.

forgive mordred [+]
get scabbard
wear it

The Grail

summon galahad
give grail to galahad

Galahad responds to galahad, merlin, lancelot, arthur, sword, scabbard, belt, shield, dragon, god (and try “boff galahad” for fun). As with Lancelot, heíll have a long conversation with you and Merlin if you wait enough times.

Wander around in the Magical Forest until you find the unicorn. It moves around a lot, so I canít give exact directions. When you do find the unicorn, it will purify the grail. Now, unless you missed something in Stonehenge or Faerie...

drink wine

Stonehenge

wait. wait
stand
in [meet Cadwallader]
out. east. north.
east [another scavenger hunt!]
north
feel in crevice
south. west. south
west. in
give glasses to cad

You can ask Cad about Merlin, Cad and several of the stones.

The Scavenger Hunt

Youíve seen part of this area before. Just to refresh your memory, you need a birdís nest, blackberries, a catís hair and a blue mushroom.

east. east. south
south. south. south
climb tree [Lieutenant General]
east. north. north
get blackberries
west. south. south. south [the white house is from Zork]
look in chimney. g

Sadly, there doesnít seem to be anything you can do about Cal.

down. north. east
east. down [youíve got everything!]
west. north. north
west. west. north
north. north. west. west
give hair to merlin
give nest to merlin
give mushroom to merlin
give blackberries to merlin

The Carvings

Cad will tell you what carvings youíre looking for.

north
paint carvings [8 left]
west
paint carving [7 left]
south. east. east
x indentation
paint carvings [4 left]
east
paint carvings [2 left]
east. north
paint carving [1 left]
north. north. west. west
x stones
paint carving
south. south. south
west [General]

One more thing to get.

east. east. south
south. south. east
east. south
wear helmet [if youíre not wearing it already]
north. west. west
north. north. north
west. west
give stone to merlin

And suddenly, things go to hell in a handbasket.

x cad
close eyes [+]

The Endgame

There are several different endings, depending on what artifacts you use. The following is optional, and Iím not sure whether it affects the ending you get:

north. east. [you get the amulet]
south. west. west
west. south. south [back to the altar stone]

Otherwise, just go:

west. west. south. south [to the altar stone]

Either way, do the following:

remove armor. drop it
enter portal
west. south. south
east. east. east
east

This part of the game is timed, so itís important to travel in the correct path.

The battle with the demon changes depending on which of the three artifacts (the belt, shield and scabbard) you are wearing. Donít drop Excalibur before you go west; this apparently makes the game unwinnable.

Ending 1: No Shield

west
z. z. z. z. z

You win, but Nina dies. You receive this ending if youíre not wearing the shield, even if youíre wearing the belt or the scabbard.

To get the rest of the endings,

wear shield
west
say “jolinaxas” [+]

Waiting five times will also work, but wonít get you the optional point.

Either way:

attack demon [with Excalibur]
z. z. z. z

and you may now change your equipment as desired. Then

attack demon

Ending 2: Less than Two Artifacts

kill me

You get this ending if you wear only one artifact, regardless of which one, or if you wear none at all.

Ending 3: Shield, Scabbard

attack demon

Frank dies.

Ending 4: Belt, Scabbard

attack demon [+]

Ending 5: Shield, Belt

attack demon [+]

Ending 6: All Three Artifacts

A horrendous guess-the-verb puzzle. Thanks to Paul OíBrian for the solution:

kick floor [+]

And thatís it!

I have no idea what kind of ending you get if you donít kiss Nina before drawing Excalibur. If anyone does know, please tell me.