"Press space bar to continue"/"Press any key": does anyone else have this problem with Parchment?

I’ve noticed in a couple of games that when I get to a point where Parchment has a “press space bar to continue” or “press any key” command, pressing the space bar/any key just freezes the program altogether and I can’t progress. I mentioned this in this review of First Things First, and I’m now having the same issues with Finding Martin. I’ve had the same effect in both Firefox and Edge. Is this a widespread issue?

Weirdly, I did somehow manage to get it to work once at this point in Finding Martin, I just haven’t replicated my success …

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I recall years ago this problem cropped up during the IFComp release for the play online option for all the parser games, and the solution was authors re-publishing using an updated Quix-e interpreter.


@HanonO That bug was for character input on mobile browsers, whereas I think Wynter is reporting it on desktop browsers. And if you were running First Things First from iplayif.com then it’s running the latest code…

Both of those games are TADS 2 games, so it’s possible there is some lingering bug no one has reported yet. How far into the games do you have to get to see the problem? I’ll try following the walkthroughs.


Thank you for looking into this! Yes, it’s desktop browsers.

In the case of First Things First, it’s in the section called “Outside the Executive VP’s Office”: I can’t remember exactly what’s happening, but it is at a pretty advanced stage in the game, basically at the denouement, where there is a lot of text to read.

In Finding Martin, it’s quite near the start: if you’re following a walkthrough, I don’t think you’ll have to go far. It’s at the point where you fill up the sink and let it drain, and then the laundry room opens. Except I’m sure that the first time I did this, there wasn’t a “press space bar” command and I just went in. So I’m wondering if on my second attempt I did something special that I was supposed to do.

In the end, I managed to complete First Things First by using the ElseIf player; I looked at the URL of this and of Finding Martin, and realised that that too was playable by changing the game abbreviation in the URL.

But again, thank you very much for taking a look!

So the solution file in IFDB for First Things First doesn’t look like it works for release 3, there’s no opener in the car. I did follow the Finding Martin solution to the point I think you were referring to, which was after 260 turns, so not really near the start! But I didn’t see any problems there.

Are you able to share a savefile for either story just before the problem happens? To download a savefile from Parchment, type restore, then click Edit in the top right. Find the savefile you want (ignore that they’re all duplicated) and then click Display, then click on the link and save it somewhere as a .sav file. Then you should be able to upload it here.

data (2).sav (12.4 KB)

I’m not 100% sure I have saved the file correctly (clicking on the link simply downloaded it without a file extension, so I tried right-clicking on the link and choosing ‘save’ instead), but let’s see if this works. At this save point, going west is where the problem occurs. (Sorry about the number of turns it took to get there! Since it was an easy puzzle to solve, I’d forgotten how laborious the table-laying bit was.)

Incidentally, if anyone’s wondering about the walkthrough to First Things First, in the current release, the opener can be found by unlocking the glove compartment with the car key.

Ah, thank you. With your save file I can see the crash happening, it looks like some game state must be different from my playthrough to that point.

Now to try to work out what is wrong…

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I think I’ve fixed this now. I’ve tested it in Finding Martin and it seems to work, but please check if First Things First is fixed too.

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That’s fantastic. Thank you very much!

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