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Vacation Gone Awry (vacation_gone_awry.txt)

(version 1.0 of this walkthrough -- 1/3/04)
(by Daphne Brinkerhoff --


_Vacation Gone Awry_, by Johan Berntsson, Fredrik Ramsberg, and
Staffan Friberg is available at:

(you may have to watch for line breaks in that URL)

Note:  _Vacation Gone Awry_ has in-game hints.  Before resorting
to the walkthrough, you may want to get as far in the game as
possible, using those hints.

This file is a little discursive, including some actions which are
not necessary to complete the game.  However, they should make the
experience more enjoyable.  The exact phrases you will need to type
into the interpreter are in ALL CAPS.

This walkthrough is based on Release 2 / Serial number 020130 / Inform
v6.15 Library 6/2


You're on vacation in Germany, with your wife and daughters.  And (to
quote the game) "as you wake up the first morning at the cabin, you
find that your family is gone..."

You begin in the bedroom.  If you examine all the furniture (X BED, LOOK
UNDER BED, LOOK AT TABLE, etc.), you will find out more about what kind
of people you and your family are.  But the only thing you really need to
do here is OPEN CLOSET, and then SEARCH CLOTHES (GET CLOTHES will also

(On the second turn you will hear something passing overhead.  Remember

SW will take you to the living room.  Again, looking at all the things
mentioned in the room description will add to your knowledge of your family
(X RUG, X FIREPLACE, X SOFA, LOOK UNDER SOFA).  (If you've played Zork, try
typing MOVE RUG.)  Play around with things, and make sure to X TABLE.  You'll
see a tiny piece of paper.  X PAPER (READ PAPER would also work).

Aha, so that's where they are.  And you now have a tentative mission: drive
to town to go shopping.

You can go NW to the kitchen if you like; X TILES is kind of intriguing, and
you could GET GAME and PLAY GAME for a while.  But it doesn't really get you

(Hmmm... where do these people go to the bathroom?  I guess it isn't
important.  :)

From the living room, S takes you outside--it's cold, so you should WEAR
SWEATER.  You could walk S to the road and try walking S again--okay, you'll
need the car.  Go back N to the driveway.

You'll be gone for a while; better CLOSE FRONT DOOR.  ENTER CAR, CLOSE CAR
DOOR, and TURN ON THE CAR.  Ick, the stereo!  (Try LISTEN TO STEREO for a
good time... not.)

DRIVE SOUTH (or just S would work) twice and --

Uh-oh.  (So *that's* what passed overhead on the second turn of the game.)
Here it's important to notice: the sphere is beta radiant (dangerous to
expose yourself to it for long periods of time); it will kill everyone
in the vicinity (including you and your unwitting family); you have to
go get the sphere from the center and bring it back here to the aliens.

Your car is off now, so TURN ON ENGINE, and you can see that a smaller
road leads WEST, so follow it.

OUT gets you out of the car (automatically turning off the engine).  


You may want to explore a bit: NORTH then DOWN takes you to an iron
door, which you can't open (at least not yet... but it's good to know
that it's there).  UP then SOUTH takes you back to the parking lot.

(SOUTHWEST takes you to a garage, but you don't need to go here.  It
just gives you another option for the next puzzle.  From the garage,
EAST goes back to the parking area.)

From there NORTHWEST and WEST gets to the actual Cable Car Terminal.

You'll see a trunk; OPEN it, GET all the contents (the bag and wrench).
Then CLOSE TRUNK.  (I don't know if it's necessary, but listen:
someone's hanging around and whistling, and you don't want them to know
you're here.)

You want to get across the wire.  There are three ways (at least) to do
it.  I did it the hard way, so here's that one:

Your goal is to get the guy who's whistling to ferry you over.  To do
that, you'll need to hide on the roof of the car.  But once he comes into
the room, you'll have to already be hidden.  So prepare the car:


Now you can lure the guy out:


WAIT twice and you'll see the service man come out of his door.  He
looks around for you and can't find you (I wonder why?).  He decides
to leave anyway.  WAIT three more times and you will be at...


or more specifically at the Upper Cable Car Terminal.

If you try to get on the floor, there's no way to avoid being seen.
Instead STAND ON WIRE and WAIT five times for the man to leave with
the car.

Don't be afraid: type DOWN and you will land safely every time.

Pursuing your goal to pick up everything that isn't nailed down (a
usual strategy for adventure games), you'll want to OPEN CHEST, GET
everything from it (chain and cutters), and CLOSE CHEST.  Again, it's
probably not necessary to close it, but I worry that someone will
discover your theft if you leave it open.  Anyway, that's everything
to do in this room, so go NORTH and face the receptionist.

When she asks if you speak english, type WOMAN, YES to answer her.

Then she asks for your name.  Fortunately she's willing to wait a while.
To figure out who you are (or who you want to pretend to be), try
examining everything in sight.  Specifically, X BOX (or X DESK gives
you the same description).  Hey, there's a tag in there, maybe it's for
you.  X TAG.  Then tell the woman what she wants to hear:  WOMAN, HANS

You will get that name tag (which you should wear throughout the center),
and the head of the center, Williams, shows up, and says to come see him.
But you don't want to do that yet; there's a puzzle in his office you
can't solve yet, until you've explored a little.  While you're here,
X LIST to tell you everyone's names, and ASK HENKEL (the receptionist)
about all of them.  She gives you especially useful information about John
and Stefan (namely, that Stefan is gone and you're replacing him, and that
John drinks).  Try ASK HENKEL ABOUT SPHERE to find out exactly which room
the thing is in.

Before entering the center itself, you may want to begin making a map.
This walkthrough will tell you how to get from place to place, but exploring
on your own can be fun too.

Go NORTH into the center.  To get the objects you'll need for the puzzle
in Williams' office, go WEST three times (into the kitchen).  You'll need
pretty much everything here.  GET KETTLE.  Then you'll have to hunt around
in the drawers and fridge.  OPEN UPPER DRAWER. GET GLASS.  OPEN LOWER
X WALLPAPER will get amusing messages, though it isn't really necessary.
Other messages include X MICROWAVE and USE MICROWAVE (a reference to
Lurking Horror in that one).)

(SOUTH and X CHAIRS gets you another amusing message.  I didn't find
anything else to do in the dining room.  NORTH gets you back to the kitchen.)

While you're in the neighborhood, let's get some more items that will
come in handy.  Go EAST twice from the kitchen, then SOUTH into the bathroom.
GET SOAP.  See that fusevault?  Although it is "high up on the eastern wall",
you can OPEN it.  Then GET CANDLE AND LIGHTER.  CLOSE FUSEVAULT (you may have
noticed by now that I have a "thing" about closing doors).


Since this is a walkthrough, we're going to do things in a slightly
different order than if you were just playing straight through.  You
already know (because you talked with Henkel) that Stefan is gone, so
his office is empty.  There's a useful item in there.  To get there,
head NORTH from the bathroom, EAST three times and then NORTH two more
times.  You'll be outside his office.

Try going EAST--the door is locked.  X DOOR.  You can see the bolt in
the chink...  If there were just some way to lift the bolt.  Well, there

First things first: X everything you can see.  X CHAIR doesn't give you
much that's interesting.  X COMPUTER won't help; if you try to login, it
tells you to talk with Ms. Henkel about it; and if you ASK HENKEL ABOUT
LOGIN at some point, she tells you she hasn't had time to set yours up.
But it *is* possible to log into the computer, if you know some passwords
from other games.  Meanwhile, X DESK and X BASKET.  Aha, something's there.
GET PAPER and READ IT.  You may want to write down the code that's there.
It changes every game, so be sure to keep track of your saved games.  Soon
we'll find out what the code is used for.  

Right now, in fact.  Let's go check out Schwartz.  If you asked Henkel
about him, you didn't find out much; in fact, he's the head of security
for the center.  To get to his office, go WEST once, SOUTH twice, WEST
once, and SOUTH into the office.

For a security officer, Schwartz is remarkably unparanoid.  Just
X everything in his office with him sitting there, and he doesn't even
care.  Especially X DESK and X LIST.  Then, you can even GET LIST right
from under his nose.  The list tells you that there are four codes, and
that everyone in the center has one.  Except you.  ASK SCHWARTZ ABOUT
CODE.  He just tells you to talk to Henkel, and we already know where
*that* got us.

ASK SCHWARTZ ABOUT SPHERE, although he isn't very helpful.  But you can
see where it is: X VIDEO MONITOR.  Naturally, the one place you want to
be is the one place he's watching every second of the day.  X RECORDER
and try to play with the buttons--nope, not while he's here.  At least
he prevents you from doing *something* in his office.


We've done enough here.  Finally we can go talk to Dr. Williams.  Go
NORTH once and EAST twice to his office.

If you WAIT a turn, he tells you that he wants to propose a toast, but
has no glass for you to drink out of.  GIVE GLASS TO WILLIAMS.  (You
don't actually need to wait a turn; if you don't, you really confuse
the heck out of Williams--he probably thinks you're psychic or something.)  

Then Williams starts looking around in his desk.  WAIT twice, and he'll
leave to get your forms.  Now you must spring into action--your goal is
to get *all* of his whisky.  Fortunately you brought a bunch of
containers with you.  Furthermore, you don't want him to know that
you've stolen the whisky, so you have to fool him somehow.

To be specific, you'll need to leave the brown bottle full of tea when
you walk out of here.  So GET KETTLE.  GET BROWN BOTTLE.  GET GREEN
BOTTLE. (so you don't have any awkward moments where the parser tells
you "You're not holding that")  POUR WHISKY INTO GREEN BOTTLE.  POUR
IN BAG (so Williams won't realize what you've done).  Then you just
have to WAIT (four times) and Williams will return, you'll sign the
paper, and then you can GET GLASS and go WEST to leave.  (I'm not sure
you need the glass for anything, but it's just good practice to pick up
anything you can.)

You may as well READ DOCUMENT too; it tells you three things.

1) Schwartz is the security guy (but you knew that anyway)

2) The castle area is off-limits (not that you'll pay any attention
   to that, will you?) and

3) You need all four codes to get into the security lab.

Well, all that whisky has to come in useful somehow, so let's go get
John to talk to us.  The people wander around randomly, so you have
to go find John wherever he is.  I usually wait for him in the library
or in his office.  Once you and he are in the same room, GIVE GREEN BOTTLE

He drags you to his office and gets very drunk.  Now is your chance:
ASK JOHN ABOUT CODE.  Again, remember the number--write it down
somewhere, since it changes every game.

GETTING WILLIAMS' CODE (with some unrelated activity)

So now what?  Well, since this is a walkthrough, I know that you need
something in the basement.  To get there, leave John's office by going
WEST, go NORTH twice, WEST twice, SOUTH twice, and WEST once again.

You want to go through the door to the south, but you can't because it's
locked.  Go ahead, X DOOR--notice the "door closer"?  X CLOSER.  Try OPEN
DOOR (no good).  You'll just have to wait for someone else to go through.
In particular wait for a message like "Petra puts a key in the lock...
and walks south" (when I play, it always seems to be Petra), then X DOOR
again (notice the description of the bolt... any ideas?).

If you block the bolt, the door can't lock.  So PUT SOAP IN BOLT.  Some
of it is sticking out--that won't work, Petra will notice.  CUT SOAP.
Now wait for Petra to leave.  Then go SOUTH and GET PADLOCK.  You can
X EQUIPMENT, but it isn't important.

Now we're going to head outside.  To get there, go NORTH out of the
storage room, then EAST, NORTH twice, EAST, and NORTH twice again.
You will be in the yard.

Keep going: NORTH, WEST, NORTH into the toolshed.  Only two things to
look at here: X BENCH (although it's rather pointless) and X SCOOTER
(notice the hook).  You need the scooter, and you need it someplace
need to go inside the poultry house mentioned here by going NORTHWEST
and EAST.

Here the interesting object is the grating.  X GRATING, then go ahead
and try OPEN GRATING.  You'll need some leverage here.  Specifically,
TIE CHAIN TO GRATING--this wouldn't have worked without the padlock.
Then GET CHAIN and PUT CHAIN IN WINDOW (you don't even have to open
the window--it's broken).  Back to the scooter by going WEST and SOUTHEAST.

This tripped me up a bunch of times: you have to ATTACH CHAIN TO HOOK.
(Do not just type "put chain on hook", because that doesn't work,
although it sounded to me as though it did.  Anyway, use the "attach"
syntax, and you'll be fine.)  Then PUSH SCOOTER.

Let's go see what you've wrought: NORTHWEST and EAST to get inside
the poultry house, then DOWN into the hole and SOUTH.

X DOOR (it should look familiar from way back at the beginning of
the game) and X HANDLE.  You can try TURN HANDLE, but it won't do
you any good.  You don't have what you need, yet.

That's our next task.  NORTH, UP, WEST, and NORTHWEST takes you to
the center of the yard.  Continue NORTH, EAST, NORTHEAST, and
NORTH... we're getting close to the castle that you were warned
against!  READ SIGN to remind you of that very thing.  Well, tough.
Go on to the NORTH.  (X CASTLE if you want.)

You have two choices.  To begin with, go NORTHWEST.  There's a
useful item: a ladder.  GET LADDER.  Now go back to the SOUTHEAST
and try the other passage to the NORTHEAST.

Ignore the western door for now and go NORTH to the bottom of the
staircase.  (X STAIRCASE if you like.)  Go on UP to the top of the
staircase and follow the exit SOUTHWEST (X HOLES for a little
atmosphere), then WEST.

This room is a bit complicated.  You'll want to X everything in
sight again.  X SHELVES and X CUPBOARD.  Hmm... you can see all the
shelves except one.  Guess what you need to do?

(you'll have to keep calling it "iron kettle" to distinguish it
from the clay kettle, unless you drop the clay kettle somewhere).
GET that KETTLE.  Then you can go DOWN off the ladder.

Now it's time to deal with the cupboard.  Play around a bit before
you read the next part--in particular, play around until you die
a few times!

an amusing message.)  Well, even though the uniforms are in there,
there's still room for you, so ENTER CUPBOARD.  Now X CUPBOARD
again.  The message is a bit different inside here.  Keep on
examining stuff.  X WALL tells you about a crack, and X CRACK tells
you about a metal plate.  X DOOR also tells you a little about the
plate.  You can open the rear wall, but I wouldn't do that yet.
(Okay, you can try it, but save your game first.)  So how could you
do that safely?  All that stuff about the plates means that only
one door can be open at a time: either the door you came through,
or the rear wall.  So first you must CLOSE DOOR, then you can
OPEN REAR WALL.  Go on out to the NORTH.

Uh-oh, a bomb!  First things first: X BOMB.  Looks like the bomb
won't go off on its own, so you have time to go ahead and X CORD,
X WIRE, and X STRAP too.  Fortunately, way back near the
beginning of the game, you picked up some wire cutters.  So CUT
order is important.

Now that that's done, X CUPBOARD once again.  It looks different
from this angle--X PROTRUSION for a little more info, and then
X BAR for still more detail.  Might as well try to GET BAR.  It
doesn't work, but you can GET BAR again and it *does* work this

That's all you need on this side of the cupboard, so SOUTH goes
back inside, OPEN DOOR (since you disabled the bomb, you can do
this without fear), SOUTH to get out of the cupboard, and don't
forget to GET LADDER before you leave.

Remember that doorway to the west that we ignored?  Let's go back
there.  EAST, NORTHEAST, DOWN, then SOUTH.  Now we can go through
that doorway to the WEST.

Interesting.  X HOLE, LOOK IN HOLE, and try going DOWN.  No good.
Fortunately, you brought a helpful item.  PUT LADDER IN HOLE.  Try
going DOWN now--*still* no good.  It's true you'll need the kettle
later, but you can leave it here for now: DROP IRON KETTLE.  Then try
DOWN (the third time's the charm).  

It's pretty clear the only way to go from here: WEST, and then NORTH.
You can X FIREPLACE and X CHIMNEY, and then go on EAST.  Here you could
X WOOD, X SHAFT, and X BASKET.  Something about this shaft reminds me
of other games I've played--you can bet you'll be using it before
you're through.  For the moment, GET WOOD and go back WEST.  PUT THE

The game told you earlier that something was blocking the chimney.
Let's go find out what it is.  If you try to ENTER THE FIREPLACE,
you're told that you can't do it with the metal bar, so DROP BAR
and then ENTER FIREPLACE.  If you LOOK, you will see bird
droppings... Go on UP.

Aha, the source of the droppings.  X NEST and X KEY.  Go ahead and
GET KEY.  That's all you have to do here, so go DOWN and OUT.

You may have noticed a mention in passing about the soot, while you
were climbing.  X ME to see the effects of the soot.  This wouldn't
seem like a problem, but if you go back to the center this way, they'll
know where you've been, and remember: the castle is forbidden, so
you'll get in trouble.  You've got to remove the soot first.  (For
an amusing message, save the game and go back the way you are.)
There are apparently at least two different ways to clean yourself.

What we have to do is melt some snow, and use that to wash off the
soot.  What to use for a container?  The iron kettle would be nice...
We could melt it over the fire...  But we can't bring it down the
ladder normally.  There's another way to get it down, though.

First, let's go get the kettle.  Go SOUTH, EAST, and UP to where you
left it, and GET IRON KETTLE.  Now to get it downstairs.  Go EAST,

You haven't been in here before.  You can X FIREPLACE and X SHAFT.
I bet you know where the other end of that shaft it.  TURN WHEEL.

Oops, you need some snow in the kettle before you get it downstairs.
Go SOUTH; the snow has been blowing around a lot, or else there's a
hole in the ceiling, because there's some snow here.  So FILL IRON
You can see you aren't the first one to think of this.  TURN WHEEL
to send it back downstairs.

WEST, NORTH, and finally EAST.  Whew!

To turn the snow into water, GET IRON KETTLE and take it to the
LIGHTER.  You'll have to wait about ten turns until the wood is
consumed by the fire and you get the message "The kettle is not as
hot anymore".  Then the water will be bearable.  GET IRON KETTLE
once more and WASH ME.  (You don't have to specify "with water" or
anything like that.)  X ME to verify that the soot is gone.  And
you may as well GET BAR--you'll need it.

We're done downstairs, and in fact we're done with the castle.  Go
SOUTH, EAST, and UP.  (Notice that you can bring the iron kettle up
this way, just not down.  Hmm...)

Go on ahead out of the castle area: EAST, SOUTHWEST, SOUTH, SOUTH,

Now it's time to enter the long building by going SOUTHWEST.
There's only one door you can get to at this point.  Go SOUTH and
SOUTHWEST into the Hall, and you'll hear a voice from the WEST.  Go

Probably it's no surprise who you find here--who else would say
"Polly wanna cracker"?  Go ahead and X PARROT, X PACKET, X BRANCH, and
X WINDOW.  Wait around a few turns if you want, to hear the parrot say
amusing things.  I found references to Zork, Pink Floyd's The Wall,
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and some things I didn't
understand.  When you get bored with that, GET PACKET.  Finally, you
can see that this parrot repeats everything it hears, so try to ASK
PARROT ABOUT CODE.  Yep, it works.  Remember the number.


One more to go.  And it's also in this building, although you can't get
there from here.  From the parrot's room, go EAST three times, then NORTH,
WEST, and SOUTHWEST.  You've gone all the way around the building.  X SOFA,
X DOOR, and finally X WINDOW.  Uh-oh, that doesn't look promising, but you
have to try.  Go ahead and OPEN WINDOW, and go EAST to get inside.  The dog
might not like you, but he didn't stop you from entering.

Now, you have something that might distract him, that you picked up way
back in the kitchen early on.  X MEAT.  We want to get the dog outside,
so THROW MEAT THROUGH WINDOW.  The dog is *almost* outside, but he just
needs a little help... PUSH DOG and he will be outside.  Quickly, go EAST
before he gets back in--you only have one turn.

In this room you can X CLOSET and OPEN IT.  X COVERALLS, GET THEM, and
WEAR THEM.  Now you can face the dog with a little protection.  Go back
WEST and X DOG.  That necklace looks interesting.  X NECKLACE.  X BOX.
OPEN BOX and GET NOTE.  READ THE NOTE and remember the number--it's the
last code!


Time to go input the codes.  We have to get one more item first, though.
Go WEST, NORTHEAST, EAST, and SOUTH to end up in front of a storage shed.
You may as well DROP IRON KETTLE--you won't need it again, and it's from
the castle, so it would get you in trouble to take it inside.  Then
UNLOCK SHED DOOR WITH KEY (the key you went to such pains to get in
the castle) and OPEN SHED DOOR.  Go NORTHEAST to enter the shed.

X JUNK a few times for some amusing messages (including another
Hitchhiker's Guide reference).  Then X SACK.  See how it protects
against biological waste?  Wonder if it would do any good against
radiation... like beta radiation... like the kind that the sphere gives
off.  Better GET SACK.  Then we can head inside.

Go SOUTH three times, then EAST and SOUTH again.  X SMOKE DETECTOR
(although it doesn't tell you much).  Our goal is to lure Schwartz out
of his office so we can fiddle with his security camera.  Save the game
here, because the timing seems to matter in this section.  GET CIGARETTE
AND LIGHTER, then LIGHT CIGARETTE and DROP IT.  Whoa, you don't want to be
caught hanging around here.  Hightail it SOUTH, SOUTH again, WEST, and
SOUTH.  Schwartz will run into you on the way, going to turn off the
alarm, and he'll also scold you about smoking, but fortunately he doesn't
do anything more serious to you.

Now's your chance--PRESS REWIND and then PRESS PLAY.  His cameras will
only show old footage, rather than showing him you entering the door.
(If your score doesn't go up by four points, the timing was wrong and
you'll have to try again.)

I don't think there was any great rush, but there's no need to dawdle
around either.  Go NORTH and EAST.  Then go NORTH three times, WEST twice,
and SOUTH twice.  Finally, go EAST and you'll see the keypad.

Now you can type in all the codes you got: the one from the dog, the one
from Stefan's office, the one from the parrot, and the one John told you.
You can type them in any order.  Just TYPE XXX ON KEYPAD, with no quote
marks.  After all four have been correctly entered, the door will open.


There isn't a lot of time to waste, and besides you don't need anything
else in the room.  So just GET SPHERE and PUT IT IN SACK (to protect
yourself from radiation poisoning).  Now you've got to get out of here,
so go WEST twice, NORTH twice, EAST once, and NORTH twice again to get
to the Yard outside.

SOUTHEAST, EAST, DOWN, and SOUTH brings you to that familiar-looking door.
Only, now you can open it.  That bar you have will fit over the handle.
I tried some weird phrasing here, but OPEN DOOR WITH BAR is all you need.
Go on out to the SOUTH.  (X SCOOTER and TURN ON SCOOTER for some amusing
messages.)  By now you should recognize your surroundings--go UP twice and
you're way back at the parking lot.  It should be pretty simple from here...
The aliens wanted you to bring the sphere back to the place where they
stopped your car.  So ENTER CAR, TURN ON ENGINE and go EAST.

Congratulations, you won!  If you followed this walkthrough, you should
have 96 points.  Try the AMUSING list, and try to find some alternate
solutions for puzzles, if you want.