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Countdown to Doom (Doom_trilogy)

                               Walkthroughs for

                               the Doom trilogy

                              by Peter Killworth

                            Written by Richard Bos


A few notes, first.

One, and most importantly, these are very hard and tightly timed games. You can
die easily. You can lose or destroy a necessary tool just as easily. Making a
typo does nothing but _does_ cost a move, and this can cost you dearly at
certain points in the game. Save often, and keep _all_ your save files until
you've finished the game. And choose carefully where and when you save, because
saving itself costs a move, as well - and in some locations, saving has been
disabled. And don't waste moves along the way.
Two, the parser is limited, but good. I have not found any place where using
prepositions ("hit tree with axe") is necessary or even possible. By contrast,
the games are good at giving you less to type. If there is only one object,
simply "get" will take it; if there are several, it will assume the first one
listed. Ditto for "drop", which will drop the first object in your inventory;
and ditto for several other verbs. Turning objects on and off can be done using
more elaborate phrases, but a plain "on" or "off" also works. "Get
all" and
even "drop all but bag and keys" are provided.
Third, I'm not taking you past all the sights and clues. Also, these games
(unfashionably, these days) expect a lot of experimentation and learning-by-
dying to solve them, none of which can easily be done in a walkthrough. Because
of this, before you resort to reading this walkthrough you might want to try
the in-game hints. There is a zip file which contains documentation for all the
Topologika adventures, including all three Doom games. The main part of these
is an index of hints available in the game. You look up the problem you're
stuck at, find a number, type "help" and that number, and you get a (varyingly
subtle) hint.
Finally, this walkthrough (including the above notes) is for the Topologika
MS-DOS games which are available at the IF Archive, for the same publisher's
BBC disc games available elsewhere on the web, and for the ZCode versions (also
on the Archive) which were converted by Peter Killworth himself. The latter
differ subtly at some points; where necessary, I'll note this [Z: like this].
I do not know whether this walkthrough works for other versions, as well, or
indeed if any exist. Since this trilogy was written specifically for Topologika
and, unlike the other Topologika adventures, did not originate in Cambridge
University's Phoenix system, it seems unlikely. One thing I do know is that it
doesn't work for the Acornsoft BBC version also available from the IF Archive;
that one was severely cut down from these versions, and only Countdown is
available. You should be able to find a separate version of this walkthrough
for the BBC version in the same place where you found this one.



So, let's be off, then. I'm taking you through the games in chronological
order: Countdown to Doom first.

You start in your space ship, locked in, with only some explosives for company.
Take them, go north, light the fuse, drop the explosive, then immediately go
south and wait a move - don't try the reversed order. Now go north, push the
door (try pulling if you're feeling suicidal already), and go northeast. We're
out.
Go east. Don't waste any moves here, while the blob is around - it is not a
danger to you, but you can't afford to let it get to the cliff. Instead, go
east again, then north. Get the gun, then go back s, w, sw. Next, go up
(ignoring the box - we'll be back for it later (or rather, earlier...)), then
west twice. Fire the gun. A passage will open to the west, but don't go there
yet. Instead, drop the gun, and go back e, e, d.
Now into the jungle. Go west. This is a maze. In fact, Countdown has three
mazes. Luckily, none of them is large, and this is both the smallest and the
easiest to solve. Go west again, and note that the room description changes,
just as in the "passages, all different" in Advent. You could, if you wanted
to, map the jungle using just these descriptions. There are only four
locations, of which this walkthrough will show you three.
From the second jungle location, go east, then northwest. Now go south and
southeast. Leave the goggles - we'll get them later, but right now we cannot
afford to waste a single move. (This also means: no typos here!) Flee back
northwest, then north four times [Z: you'll be asked to confirm the last move;
say yes, of course], across the mud pool, into a small cave where you find an
aerosol container. Take this.
Go east, ne, north, and east to where you fired the gun. Again go e, e, d, then
through the jungle again: w, w, e, nw, s, se. _Now_ we can safely take the
goggles, and then go back nw, n, and this time not through the mud - which is
now impassable because we've woken the allodile - but back through the jungle:
east, north, east.
Now into the swamp. Wear the goggles. One exit into the swamp will look
different; go that way. Keep taking the different-looking direction (four times
in total) until you find yourself on an island. From the southern tip, go
northeast, get the hole, nw, ne, get, sw, w. Shake the aerosol. Go west, and
without wasting a single move, spray the skates. Get them, and drop the (now
empty) aerosol.
Go e, e, n, n back to the landing area; then u, w, w, w past the glacier, then
southwest. Wear the skates, then go west. Go west again to find yourself
confronted with three exits. Take these in turn - any order you like. In each
cave, you'll find a closed container. Open this. For two out of three, your
goggles - which you should still be wearing - will warn you of heat. If so, do
not proceed, but go on to the next cave.
The one container that is not hot will open without asking. You should take the
drugs found inside, as they're a treasure item, but you will need the container
(pan, chest or cabinet) itself as well, so it's best just to take that, and the
drugs with it. Once you've found it, go back to the junction, then e, n, ne, n
(this is safe once - you can't go back) and n. Take the helmet, then shout (or
jump, or anything else which makes a noise). You will fall down, together with
the icicle. Take this.
Go south. You find yourself in a room with a switch. Turn it on. Go south
again. Another room, and another switch. Turn it on, too. If you now were to go
south, you would find yet another room with a third switch, which would refuse
to turn on. There are four of these switches, and they have a mind of their
own. The first one will always turn on or off; the others only when a. the one
just before them is on, _and_ b. none of the ones before that one are. The
state of any later switches does not matter, though. For example, to flip the
third switch on, or back off, the second switch must be on, the first one must
be off, and the fourth may be on or off.
If you find this complicated, you are not a computer programmer. If, OTOH, you
_are_ a programmer, you'll have recognised this as one of the ways to define
Gray code. You need to turn all four switches on. If you don't know Gray code
(and don't want to do a websearch for it and work it out for yourself), just do
the following (starting where we left off, with the first two switches turned
on and standing in the second room): n, off, s, s, on, n, n, on, s, off, n,
off, s, s, s, on, n, n, n, on, s, on.
You just heard a humming noise, which means that all four switches are on and
we can continue. Go south four times. You pass forward in time. You have only a
limited amount of, ahem, /time/ in this state, so careful with the typos again,
until you return to normal.
From the sliding doors, go north five times, east three times, and south; take
the gold; go south twice more, west once and north once. You will be met - as
expected, in a time travel scene in an SF game - with a version of you from
another time, who asks for an object. Obviously, you want to give him
something, so answer yes; and give him the icicle.
You are put back to your original time, and to the portal. Go north five times,
then ne, n, e, e, e, d, sw all the way back to your ship. Those metatermites,
which escaped when you took the phaser gun all the way at the beginning, will
eat anything you drop here, and you'll need to drop everything valuable here.
However, they can be made harmless. Drop the container you found west of the
ice rink - the pan, chest or cabinet. Now you can drop all other things with
impunity. Let's do so, in fact: [Z: remove the goggles, then] drop all but
helmet and can.
Phew! That's the hold made safe, and we now have a safe base of operations.
Save the game here. (A better base would have been the landing area just
outside, but the game considers this an unsafe place, so saving there is
disabled.)

Go northeast, then south twice into the desert. Take the net. Make some noise
again: shout or jump. You end up in a city. Take the monopole generator. Go
south, throw the can, go south again, take the diamond, and go north twice. Now
go southwest and southeast, then east and up. Push the rock. Go back down and
west, and drop the helmet here. Go west thrice and up, push the boulder, and
get everything. Wear the helmet.
Go west and down. Go south five times, west three times, north three times,
east once, and south once. Recognise the pattern, and the environment? Right:
it's the same path we took while moved forward in time, only in reverse; and we
have reached the heavy door from the other direction. Push the door, and your
past/then-future self will appear, and (surprise, surprise!) give you the
icicle (which we couldn't have got past the desert any other way), and help you
through the door.
Take the block of anachron. Go north thrice, then northeast and west. We have
two choices now: the northeast way is easy, but we can only take a single
object through. This is useful for exploring (though you can only pass the
desert once per game), but it's not what we want now. The northwest exit
requires some preparation, but of course this is a walkthrough, so we have come
well prepared...
Throw the icicle, go northwest, and take the vine. Get the rod. Go east twice,
north, and east. A bit of preparation while you're wearing the helmet: go
southeast and east, then back west and northwest, and southwest. [Z: Remove the
helmet]. Drop all but rod and net.

Go northeast and east. Catch (use that word - if you use "get", you will die)
the blob. Don't waste any moves or the poor thing snuffs it. You are now _back_
in time, not forward, and quite a bit, too, so you won't meet yourself this
time. However, like last, hum, time, you have a limited, cough, time (sorry!)
to spend in this state, and it will just suffice to do what you have to do. So,
just like before, no straying from the path, and no typos.
Go north, southwest, and up. Get the box. Go north, and get the suit. Go west,
do _not_ take the crystals yet, but go west again (if you try going past the
monster in the present, it will eat you) and take the spices. Finally, go east,
and now take the crystals.
You are now back in the present, but the tight timing is not quite over yet,
thanks to those crystals. They'll kill you in a few moves, and you can just
make it to the hold with them before they do. Go north, southwest, and
southwest again, and drop the crystals.
You're still getting messages about feeling queasy, but it's not doing you any
real harm now. It's annoying, though. Let's go off to do something about it. Go
northeast. Wear your suit. Now go off into the swamp: go north, and if you
happen to luck upon a solid patch, just keep walking until you do sink under.
Once you're down, take another step in any direction. [Z: You may have to
wander around a bit more in this version. You'll be told that you bump into
something, and asked whether you want to take it. You do.]
You are now in the second maze of the game. It's somewhat larger than the
first, but still smallish. It's dark down here, and there is no portable light
source in the entire game, but you can still map this maze using the standard
method of dropping objects. Instead of seeing which object is there as soon as
you enter, you have to "get" or "get all", which, perhaps surprisingly, work as
well in the dark as in light, in this game. If you can't be having with all
that palaver, just go east, get what's there (it's a life support system, which
is one of the components you need for your ship) [Z: in this version, there'll
be nothing to get; you picked it up when you bumped into it earlier -
presumably this is because Inform, in which the ZCode version was written,
makes it harder to pick up unknown objects in the dark], and go south, east,
and southeast.
Take the medikit. This, too, is a ship component, and it rids you of those
irritating messages as well. Go up, and wait a turn. The machine will beep.
Picture a clock face and a compass, with midnight being north, and go in the
direction indicated by the number of beeps: east for three beeps, south for
six, and so on. Wave the rod. Walk on through the laser, in the same direction
as before.
Go up twice, then sw, w, nw, e, d. Pull the lever. Some more manoeuvring is
needed now, but this time not of the single-turn variety. We must, instead,
make the right amount of actual traveling moves to get the platform into the
hold. For this, we need a slight detour. Go up, sw, se, w down the slope, and
now n and sw. The platform will collapse at exactly the right moment. [Z:
Remove the suit.] Drop everything you're carrying.

Now for the final stretch. Go northeast, east, and then northeast thrice to a
curving metal corridor. There is a symbol in a niche, here. Make a note of it.
Go northeast. Note this symbol as well. Go northwest, and note the symbol; and
finally southwest, and note the last symbol. Then go in.
You are now in this game's third maze. As the room description indicates,
normal compass directions will not work here. You have to type "left", "right",
"forward" and "back", or "l", "r", "f" and
"b". Of course, each time you move,
and enter a room by a different entrance, which direction corresponds to which
exit changes as you change orientation.
To make matters worse, you are not allowed to take any objects into the
artefact, so you will have to map the maze using whatever objects you may find
along the way, plus any distinguishing features of the rooms themselves. As for
objects, you have four discs, one of which is found in this room; apart from
that, there is the hole in the roof, in this room only, and another hole, in
the exit room.
Here's the kicker: there are eight rooms in total. There are six location
markers, and the exit hole does not tell you which way you're oriented. As it
turns out, it is just possible - with nothing to spare - to map the maze using
these resources. Feel free to try. In doing so, you will realise why almost all
interactive fiction has stuck to the illogical and unnatural convention of
giving the player an in-built, perfect compass: it may be unrealistic, but it's
a great deal less confusing to play.
If you don't feel like dealing with that (and I don't blame you), here's how to
get through. Take the pentagon disc that's lying here, go forward, get the
triangle, go right, get the hexagon, right again, get the square, right once
more, go forward, and take one last right turn. Go down.
Ignore the sword. It is only there to tempt you. Instead, go east (hooray for
compasses!) and take the reactor. Then go west and north. Enter "flezz". Clues
for why you would use that word are scattered through the game, but as this is
a walkthrough I haven't shown you any of them - serves you right! [Z: Retrieve
everything the robot stole from you, if anything.] Go north and northwest, and
never mind the rat.
There is a computer here, and a slot. Clearly, it wants the discs you gathered.
But in what order? Well, if you remember that I told you to note which symbols
you found in the corridor, you'll know. First insert the disc with the symbol
you encountered first, and continue in that order. Note that the game needs you
to refer to the discs by their symbols - for example, if the symbol in the
first niche was a square, enter "insert square". Keep inserting symbol discs
until the computer coughs up an object.
As the computer explicitly tells you, you are now in yet another timed
sequence, so in the next bit, typos are (eventually) fatal again. Take care.
Get the conductor, and go down. You land in a room with four doors, marked with
(surprise) the same four symbols again. You need to go through these in the
same order as before; that is, if symbol in the first niche was a triangle and
the one in the second niche a hexagon, go south first, then east, and so on,
through all four doors. [Z: In the ZCode version, you have to go through these
in the reversed order instead. So, first go through the exit with the symbol
above it that was in the _last_ niche, and so on.]
You are now at the exit, so go northeast. Then back to the hold of your ship:
w, s, sw, sw, sw. Drop the conductor and the reactor. Go south to your control
room, and - guess what? - press the button. Congratulations, you've escaped!
For now, that is... on to the next installment.


                                ######## ########


Next up is Return to Doom. This starts with an unfairly timed section. From the
start, there are a couple of directions to explore in, a couple of puzzles to
solve and a couple of objects to get, but if you get them all, you will end up
completely stuck afterwards, because you are too late for an event to happen.
So far, so simply nasty; the unfair bit is that you have, at this point, no way
of knowing which objects are going to be important and which are not. Feel free
to explore this area, solve all puzzles - which are, in themselves, not at all
bad or unfair, and would have done well elsewhere in the game - and then start
over for real.

From your space ship's control room, go north. Take the extinguisher, go
northeast, then west. Make a noise: jump, or shout. One of the mouths will
close. Go that way - don't go through the open one. Get the rod, and go back
out through the other route (so if you entered by going northwest, now go
southeast, and vice versa).
Go east twice, get the tank, east again, get the tectonometer, go west and
southeast, and get the rock - or try to, rather. Go back nw, w, then s and e.
Knock (don't "knock door", just "knock"). Go north. Note the word on the
wall.
You could go down to see the danger, and come back up - I think you do have
that couple of moves leeway, but not many - but to be on the safe side, just
open the tank, then drop it. _Now_ go down and north, get the pill, and go all
the way back s, u, s, w, n, e, e.
Get the rock, go west, and throw the rock. Open the tectonometer. The next
couple of moves will be tightly timed, and there will be a lot to see, so be
careful. Eat the pill, then open the extinguisher, then go east. Read the
resulting wodge of text with care. In particular, pay attention to what the
robots do and what the ambassador says, and make a note of that password. Then
immediately go north. Whistle, and go north again. Get everything, and go
south.
Enter the password the ambassador told you, but backwards (i.e., if she said
"KALAB", enter "BALAK"). Go northeast and east to a junction which is clearly
going to be central to the rest of the game area. We'll make this our base of
operations. Drop everything, then save.

For the next part, make sure that you're running the game in an emulator or
shell [Z: or 'terp] from which you can capture the output. We're going to
get an infodump, and you will need to refer to its contents later.
Go southwest, west and up. You will see a cyclone approaching from one of the
cardinal compass points, and you're in a dangerous environment. You will need
to tread carefully here, to avoid being blown onto the sage. Luckily, the way
the cyclone blows you is more or less predictable. If it comes from the north,
go se, then s; if from the south, nw then n; if from the west, ne then e; and
if from the east, sw then s(!). From then, just wait it out until the cyclone
leaves.
While you were being blown about, you may have come across a glass disc. If
not, explore until you find it. Just don't go through the circular hole yet.
Once you've found the disc, get it, then find the black hole (it's in the
northwestern part of this area) and go nw. You're back in the tunnel; go
northeast.
Now take the computer, prepare your text grabbing tool, and insert disc.
Capture and save everything the computer says. Of course, when it asks whether
you want to carry on, yes, you do, all five paragraphs. Save the entire
lecture, then drop everything.
Take the rod, then go s, u, ne (hey, another artefact! And yes, it holds as
many tricks as the one in the first game) and e. Wave the rod. If you think you
don't know what that inscription means, just write it down all on one line.
Make a note of the name mentioned. Go west, drop the rod, and go northeast
twice. Push cross, wait, e, w, n. Pull the bed and get the mattress. S, w, get
capsule, e.
We're going to use the first bit of information from the computer infodump. It
describes three star systems, and one of them is represented by the pattern
inscribed by the cross, here. Find its name. Which it is changes every game.
Push the cross, enter the name of the star system represented - the elevator's
sound should change - then go east and west again.
Go west, get the trampoline, then east and sw, drop the trampoline, go west and
drop the mattress. Now a short don't-make-a-typo bit: eat the capsule, get the
ball, go east and up, and throw the ball. Go west, get _and wear_ the helmet,
then go east, northeast and west.
The next puzzle is tricky. It's not particularly hard, once you get the idea
behind it, but it's easy to make a mistake. You might want to save here.

Go down. You land on a raft floating in mid-air. You can, obviously, control
the raft's movement by using the four symbols; and indeed, by pressing them you
make the raft accelerate in the four cardinal directions. The trick is in the
mid-air bit: the raft won't just stop on a dime. If it is moving eastwards,
say, and you give it a nudge westwards, it will overshoot by one location, and
only then stop. This means that a fair bit of careful manoeuvring will be
required. Feel free to experiment; you will die a lot, but it really is a nice
puzzle that is well worth figuring out for yourself. If you don't feel like
that, here's what to do:
Push oval, wait, push spiral, push spiral, push oval. Get the boots. Push
spiral, push oval, push oval, wait, push spiral. Push rhomboid, wait, push
rectangle, push rectangle, push rhomboid. Push spiral, push oval, push oval,
wait, push spiral, push spiral, push oval. Finally, push the romboid three
times.
Wear the boots, go either north or south - it doesn't matter which - then east
twice. You arrive at a floating head, which will put you to the test. Here is
where the computer's lecture comes in useful. You will find the answer to the
first question - which varies per game - in it. The answer to the second
question, as you will know if you've played Countdown to Doom, is "I" - the
protagonist of this game is the same as that of the first one (and will be the
same in the third game, as well), and in that game, you did just what the head
describes.
Next up is a series of logic puzzles, of the type beloved by writers like
Gardner and Smullyan. From the signs above the portals, the information the
head gives you, and the assumption that the puzzles are fair, you can deduce
which portal is safe; if any other were, that would lead to a logical
contradiction. The first one is pretty simple. You know that only one exit is
safe, so both signs are false; therefore, the southeast exit is safe, so go
southeast.
The second one is a bit more involved. First, note that the sign "This way is
fatal" can't have hung above the northeast door, because that would lead to a
contradiction whether it is true or not. Therefore, the "Both ways are fatal"
sign must have hung there. Next, note that this sign is certainly false.
Therefore, the northeast exit is fatal; so go southeast again.
For the third test, consider that the last two signs contradict one another.
Therefore, of those two, one must be true, and one false. But the head claims
that only one sign is true, so the sign over the north door must also be false.
Since it claims that that way is fatal, it must in fact be safe, and you should
go north.
In the final hall, note that if the southern exit is safe, all signs are true,
while if the eastern one is, all signs are false. By contrast, when the north
exit is safe, the first two signs are true and the last is false. Since that is
the only case which satisfies the head's claim, go north again.
You will find a robot dog. To wake it up, you'll need to call it by name. This
name, too, is randomised and varies per game; you found it written on the wall
of the artefact. This said "DOGNA MEDXX XXX", that is, "dog named Xxxxx". Just
enter what was written for the x's in your game; for example, if it said
"DOGNAMEDBONZO", type "bonzo". Remember the commands it tells you to give to
it, and start out by entering "heel". Then go east three times, then northeast
to find yourself outside the artefact. Go south and west, get the rod, then go
west, down and north to our base, and drop the rod and boots.

Now for that terminal that's been standing here all this time. As far as I can
tell there is no way to discover what it does except by pressing the shapes,
moving to a different location, waiting several turns, and drawing conclusions.
In short, you can cause weather phenomena to occur, but only once each, and
only in outside locations. And, of course, the terminal itself is inside, so
pushing the button and just seeing what happens there and then won't work at
all. Ah, well.
First, we're going to cause some lightning. Push the hexagon. Now go ne, nw, n,
ne, and se. Don't go southwest yet, or you'll run out of the jungle in a panic.
Instead, wait for the lightning, and then immediately go sw. Get the cap and
the drugs, then go back ne (note the changed location descriptions!), nw, sw, s
and se. While we're here with the dog, go southeast once more. Note the slab of
silica - if you refer back to the computer lecture, you should get an idea
about what to do here. But you'll need help, so wait a couple of turns for your
dog to catch up. Then jump, and when your dog asks if he should help, answer
yes. Then heel, go nw, sw and drop the cap.
Next we cause some rain. However, the dog wouldn't survive the place where we
need that rain, so first tell him to "stay". Then push the square, and go north
and northwest. Wait for rain to appear, and without waiting another turn, go
west. Get everything, and wear the suit. Go back e, se, s.
While your dog is staying put, let's go do something else where he would get in
the way. Go sw, s, and sw. Get the rat - you'd think "free rat" or "untrap
rat"
would be more logical, but those don't work. Still, that rat will be of use
later. Go back ne, n, ne.
For the next bit we won't need the weather terminal, but we will need our dog,
so tell him to heel. Then go se twice and east. Throw the seeds. The route
through these plants is highly dangerous and I can't find a way to discover the
safe route except trial and error, but go n, e, e, s, s, nw. Then dig, and of
course you do want your dog to help.
You fall down. Get the nodules, then go west. Then take the holocrys and go
west again, then north. Aren't you glad you helped that silica creature? Next
go ne, e, ne. Drop the drugs. Make a note of the word that is mouthed. Now go
east, get the mirror, and go back w, sw, w, nw. Drop all.
Go sw, s, sw - if the rat had been here now, your dog would have gone for him,
losing you both - and w twice. You want to go west, but the buffalo are going
south, so keep going northwest until you reach the niche. Go west. Enter the
word told to you by the buzzing sounds. Go south, get the holocrys, and go
north and east. Cross the buffalo again by going northeast until you reach the
prairie, then go e, ne, n, ne.
Now for the third type of weather. Push the triangle, then go nw and w. Wait
for snow (yellow snow, no less - pleasant...) and immediately go sw. Go north
twice - good thing you freed that rat! Jump (or shout), then go s, s, nw, w,
get the holocrys, and come back e, se, n, n. You can now safely go northwest.
From here, go in to a cavity, get the crystals, and go back out. You can't go
back past the ecosaurs, but there is another route from here: slide! Go east,
retrieve the crystals, and go se.
And here comes the last type of weather. Take the rod and the machine, then
press the pentagon. Go east and southeast. Wait here for fog, then go southeast
again, and south. Drop the rod, then move in any direction you like, twice. Go
in the same direction as the scavengers.
Take everything, then go west. Take the holocrys. That hemisphere is flashing -
push it. Assent to the proposed swap, then throw the powders and escape north,
then go west. Drop the rod and the machine.
Take the disc, then go n, ne, n. Throw the disc and catch the egg, then follow
that pteromorph. Go down. Wear the goggles. Ignore what your dog says, but go
in the direction the pteromorph fledgling indicates. When the egg hatches,
immediately drop the goggles. Get the holocrys, then go north and south back to
the junction.
For the last holocrys, go ne twice. Keep going north (and if you reach the end
of the alley, keep waiting) until the dog warns you that something bad is
coming. When that happens, follow him west, go back east, and continue north
until you reach the protorhino nest. Get the holocrys, and go back south five
times, then sw twice.

Take the nodules, the mirror and the cap. Go west. Remember that password you
said backwards, all the way back when you got here? Now say it again, but this
time say it forwards, how the ambassador said it. Then go southwest and east
(yes, you do want to enter that singularity). Move in any random direction six
times, until you get to the top of a hill.
Your dog is no longer following you, so heel, then go north twice. From now on,
time is critical again, and with rather more justification than at the start
of the game. Wait until both robots are described as being by the steps [Z: in
the ZCode version you have to move one move before they're by the steps; the
clockwise robot should be by the southeast corner, and the anticlockwise one
east of the middle of the south side], then go u, e, n, n, w, d. This, by the
way, is the last point in the game where saving your game, and thereby wasting
a turn, won't kill you immediately - so if you want to, do so now.
Go east, and allow your dog to take your place [Z: and don't go and help him,
when asked]. Awww... but there's no time for sorrow. Drop the spiderbomb, go
west, wave the mirror (no, there's no way to discover those lasers except by
dying), go south and east, throw the nodules, get the ambassador, and go north,
down and north.
You're trapped. But doesn't this environment remind you of somewhere? Right,
there was a shaft and chamber exactly like this one at the start of the game.
Enter its name: Prona. Yup, it's an Underground system. There's another station
in the game, by the way, called Toga, but it's never useful to go there - it
seems to exist merely as a hint. If you go there now, you end up dead, but you
do get told explicitly that these are underground stations and not some more
science-fictional sort of matter transporter. If you feel experimental, start a
new game, go to the Prona station, and enter "Toga", then "Woce".
From the new station, go south. Wear the cap. Go south, west and north. Tell
the dog to "fetch". Go southwest. Celebrate. But there's no rest for the
wicked... the final episode of the trilogy is waiting!


                                ######## ########


And now for Last Days of Doom, which, unsurprisingly, is the last part of the
trilogy. Like the previous game, this one starts with couple of tightly timed
sequences, but this time the emergency is made rather more obvious.

You start in your spaceship's control room again, and it's about to tumble into
a crevasse, so move with precision - one lost move and your dog is a goner. Go
north and up, northeast and southeast. Push (or shake, if you wish) the tree
and get the rod, then go back nw and sw and wave the rod. Heel, go south,
fetch, and get the sphere.
You have two ways of going down from here, and at this point you have no way of
telling which is the right one. Go southeast. Then go north twice and
northeast, then south. Dig, go south, and dig again. Go back north twice,
southwest, south twice and east. Take the cylinder. Go east and north, tell
your dog to "stay", and drop all except cylinder.
Go north, east and south. By now you should see a message about robots
employing a neutron missile. Pull the stud on your cylinder. (If you've wasted
a move previously, you will see that message earlier, and will have to pull the
stud at that point. It will still work. Just make sure not to do this where you
left the dog.)
Take the globule, go n, w, ne, drop the globule, take the pollen, push the
rock. Go sw, s, push the rock again, heel, get all, and go east thrice. Get the
dog to "fetch" (you can actually discover why to do this, here, in a fair way -
but this is a walkthrough, so _I_ don't have to show you!) and take what he
fetches for you.
Go east twice, then north. Wait until the lava comes sweeping by, then
immediately go southeast.

Go north twice, then northwest. This sets the silica creature off on its
mission to tell you something, but you might remember from Return to Doom that
those guys live very slowly, so you won't get the message all at once. We'll be
back for the rest later. For now, go se, ne and nw, drop the sphere, then go
back s, sw, s thrice, e (don't touch that magneton for now!) and e. Tell the
dog to stay, drop everything, go west, get the magneton, go w, n thrice and nw
(See? Word one of the sentence), then se, ne, nw. Retrieve the sphere, then go
s and ne, and push the lozenge. Go south. Tell the dog to "fetch", then open
the vat for it.
Go southwest and northwest for another word, then back se, s, s, s, e, e to the
Square. From there, go sw and d, then w and sit. Go e twice and sit again. Go
west. Don't sit in the chairs in either of the other cubicles! Now go u, ne, s,
n, se and s. Take the zoophot and pull the lever. Go north, northwest, heel,
southeast, stay, and go north again.
Go east twice, then wait two turns - until you are covered with a thick, rather
than thin, layer of gel. Then go north. Get suit and give suit (just use those
two words - "give suit to rat" won't be understood [Z: It will in this
version, but so will the shorter command]). Go nw, retrieve the suit, go east,
get the extinguisher, and go ne.
Go west and southeast. The display on the computer tells you a musical note
(C#, for example), but it is either sideways or upside down. Make a note of
this note. Then go nw, sw and s. Drop all except the zoophot. Go ne, u, se, s,
get the hispajel, n, nw, d, sw.
Go northwest, down and east. Push the cage. Go w, u, se, n, w. Open valve. Go
up, break the reservoir, get the gloves and wear them, then go back d, e, s,
nw, d, e. Take the object - it's a thermostope. Go w and sw. You are given a
set of instructions to operate on the creature; follow these. In my game they
were: ream agapscorta, seal rylloth, grout medibulla. I don't know if it
varies, so follow what's on your screen. Take the object - a sac of sucrose -
then go ne, u and se [Z: remove gloves] and drop everything.
Whistle and heel. Take the rod and the spacesuit. Go w twice, n thrice, nw for
another word, se, and s four times; se, s, w, get the tank, e, n, e, n. Take
the gun.
You are now in the anteroom to a tricky, tricksy area. You cannot walk
anywhere, but you can use the gun to shoot holes in the solid matter.
Obviously, the gun has a limited number of charges, so you can't just fire at
random. In fact, you have exactly enough charges to get to both the item you
need to retrieve, and the exit. The tricksy bit is that the game rearranges
their positions behind your back so that, if at all possible, the two are in
such places as to make one of them unreachable from the holes you've dug so
far. You need to shoot a pattern so that it can't manage that.
Here's what you do: fire the gun north. (This, by the way, is the first time
one of these games _requires_ more than two words in a command.) Then go north
into the hole. Repeat: fire gun n, n. Fire gun ne, and go ne. You are now in
the dead centre of the solid environment. From here, shoot a star pattern: fire
gun ne, fire gun se, fire gun nw.
Now we make sure that we've seen all areas of this solid. Go nw and back se,
then ne and sw. In one of those tunnels you should have seen a portal through
the transpaluminium. Remember which. Then go se; you should now similarly see a
pill. Fire the gun in its direction (as far as I can tell always southeast), go
there, and take the pill. Make your way back to the centre and then to where
you saw the portal. Fire the gun towards it, go that way, and enter the portal
(which should be north).
Go east, wear the spacesuit, and go south, then southeast twice. Wave the rod.
Go west twice, get the goggles, and go n three times, w thrice, nw, n four
times, and nw for the final piece of information from the silica creature. Make
a note of the pitch the dog detects. Go se, s, s, s, e, e. [Z: Remove suit.]
Drop everything except rod and pill. Stay.

Go ne, u, se, s, u, ne, n, n, e, u. Wait, wait, and jump. Wave the rod. Go s,
w, [Z: push boulder - in the Topologika version, the rat does this without
prompting] n, ne, n. Take the labiflute. Go s, e, u. Wait until the plant turns
into a droffid. Then eat the pill and go southeast immediately. Go s, w, sw,
and s.
Play the flute, covering 0 holes. The dog will tell you which note you play. If
this is either the note the silica creature told you, or the base note of the
one on the computer screen, make a note of that, too. (If you're not familiar
with musical terminology: the base note of, say, G# is G.) Repeat, covering
more holes, until you have found both.
Take the helium tank, goggles, sac of sucrose, fire extinguisher, pollen and
foodpacks. Heel. Go w, w, n, n, n, e, n. Play the flute, covering as many holes
as were needed to play the silica creature's note. Go southeast twice, then
play the same note. Wear the goggles, then open the cabinet and take the globe.
Play the flute again, and go northwest twice.
Go north twice. Oh look, what a surprise, another artefact! Go northeast. Pull
the knob (on the extinguisher), go down, and drink the sucrose. Drop the flute
and the tank, then take the triangle, square, pentagon and hexagon.
Go west. You are now in a maze. It's the first one since Countdown, and it's
more ingenious and interesting than any of the mazes in that game. It is a grid
of sandstone caverns connected by passageways, some of which are blocked. By
dropping the four shapes, you can blast open these blockages. Of course, you
can only use each shape once, and they all blast in a different direction. And
equally of course, you can reach the dog (which is trapped in the maze) in
exactly one way. It's well worth trying to puzzle this one out for yourself; it
isn't large. However, if you don't want to do so...
Drop the triangle. Go n, w. Drop pentagon, go s, s, w, w, n; drop square, e, n,
n, w, w; drop hexagon, w, s, s, s; heel; n, n, n, e, e, e, s, s, w, s, e, e, n,
n, e, s, e.
Get all, then go south. Eat the foodpacks that very turn. Go w, s, w, sw, s,
se. Get the hawser, then walk around the island with it: e, ne, n, nw, w, sw,
s, se. Insert the hawser [Z: in the socket], and go north. Get the new
foodpacks. Go s, e, ne, n, nw, n, e, se. You should be able to read the
hieroglyphics on the sign. Do as they say: enter your "name", as it is given.
Then go south and down.
You are surrounded by demons. Your orb should tell you which is not real; go in
that direction. Eat the new foodpacks. Open the helium tank, then play the
flute, this time covering as many holes as were necessary for the note shown on
the computer. Go northeast. Throw the pollen. Go northwest. Read the infodump.
When asked if you want the axe, answer yes. When asked whether you want to land
in a specific spot, answer no both times.

The last part of Return to Doom, which starts here, is a rather miscellaneous
collection of "tests" which don't really fit with the rest of the game. The
first of these is a board game of the "Officers & Sepoys" type. Unfortunately,
there are several slightly different sets of rules for these games, and you're
not told which are in use. It would, of course, be possible to work them out by
trying and dying. However... go s, n, w, e, n, ne, nw.
Next up are a set of IQ-test-type questions. For the first one, the letters are
encoded by digits (a=1, b=2...), but written backwards. In this way, the third
set of digits stands for "ache". In the second question, 422 is the only number
not divisible by 3. In the third one, a rickshaw is the only one which is not a
type of boat. The answer to the last question is "stake".
At the start of the next test, yes, you do want to take the gun. Then, go east
and north. Hit marshal. Get everything. Throw barman; throw minister; throw
drunk.
And now for the final test, which isn't really a test. It consists of three
questions; however, it doesn't seem to matter how you answer them. Feel free to
answer "yes" or "no" as you like. Taste the bitter-sweet of victory.


                                ######## ########


And there you have it. Three games, sometimes frustrating, always charming;
all similar, all set on the same world, all different. You can clearly see the
evolution of Mr. Killworth as a game designer from Countdown, a pretty standard
puzzle game, through Return, still a set of puzzles but with a greater sense of
purpose behind them, to Last Days, which adds a story, even though the puzzles
remain the main feature. One wonders what would have happened had it been a
trilogy in five parts.