Spider and Web Invisiclues Hints

End of Alley

What should I do at the very start of the game?

  1. Explore! EXAMINE everything.

  2. Go SOUTH from the End of Alley to the Mouth of Alley.

  3. Then go SOUTH from the Mouth of Alley to enjoy your sightseeing tour.

What should I do in the Interrogation Chamber?

  1. It doesn’t much matter what you do when you first arrive in the Interrogation Chamber.

  2. LOOK. EXAMINE every notable thing you can see.

  3. Answer the interrogator’s questions.

What answers should I give to the interrogator?

  1. You can type YES, NO, or WAIT. Choose whatever answers you prefer to give. (Your answers can affect how much he likes and trusts you.) As long as he keeps letting you try again, you’ve given a “good enough” answer.

  2. Just don’t be too stubborn. If you say NO too many times, the interrogator will kill you, so just say YES sometimes. (Or just WAIT when he asks you a question. He never gets angry when you WAIT.)

I’m back in the End of Alley. What do I do now?

  1. Your interrogator just said, “you’re going to start by telling me how you got through that door.”

  2. Try everything.

  3. There’s no way to open the door yet, but if you keep trying things, this scene will end and you’ll return to the interrogation chamber.

  4. For example, you can GO EAST repeatedly.

I’m in the End of Alley for the third time. What do I do now?

  1. Type INVENTORY to list your possessions.

  2. EXAMINE THE LOCKPICK.

  3. You’ll need to use the lockpick to open the door.

  4. Examine everything you can see here.

  5. EXAMINE THE DOOR. EXAMINE THE PLATE.

  6. This high-tech lockpick isn’t like a regular lockpick; you don’t need to insert it into a keyhole. What would you do with it?

  7. Try touching things with it.

  8. TOUCH DOOR WITH LOCKPICK.

  9. That didn’t work. Try this instead: TOUCH PLATE WITH LOCKPICK.

  10. That did something. Examine the lockpick after you touch the plate with it.

  11. The lockpick takes some time. WAIT a few turns after you touch the plate with it.

Equipment

How does my equipment work in general?

  1. Examine everything carefully. Compare and contrast their descriptions.

  2. There are three categories of equipment: equipment with a minus link (minilamp, scan scrambler, acid pack, blast tab), equipment with a plus link (voice module, radio module, timer, toggle switch, pushbutton) and transmitters with neither a plus nor a minus (voice transmitter, key transmitter).

  3. The equipment with a minus link actually does something. The equipment with a plus link can activate the equipment with a minus link.

  4. Start by experimenting with all of your “minus” equipment by linking it to the toggle switch, the simplest “plus” gadget. LINK MINILAMP TO TOGGLE. FLIP SWITCH. FLIP SWITCH.

How does the toggle switch work?

  1. Try it out. LINK MINILAMP TO TOGGLE. FLIP SWITCH.

  2. The toggle switch activates a piece of linked equipment as long as the switch is flipped on.

How does the pushbutton work?

  1. Try it out. LINK MINILAMP TO PUSHBUTTON. PUSH BUTTON.

  2. The push button activates a piece of linked equipment for just one turn.

  3. This makes it useful only for one-use equipment like the blast tab or the acid pack.

How does the radio module work?

  1. The radio module is trickier than other “plus” equipment. Try testing other stuff before you try to figure out the radio module.

  2. Test the radio module by linking it to something. LINK MINILAMP TO RADIO MODULE.

  3. How would you activate the radio module?

  4. It has an antenna. What else do you have with an an antenna?

  5. The radio module works with the key transmitter.

  6. PRESS KEY.

  7. The radio module works like the pushbutton. It activates a piece of linked equipment for just one turn.

  8. But the radio module has an advantage over the pushbutton.

  9. You can drop the radio module and its linked equipment in one room, then press the key transmitter’s key in another room.

How does the voice module work?

  1. The voice module is trickier than other “plus” equipment. Try testing other stuff before you try to figure out the voice module.

  2. Test the voice module by linking it to something. LINK MINILAMP TO VOICE MODULE.

  3. How would you activate the voice module?

  4. It has an antenna. What else do you have with an antenna?

  5. The voice transmitter works with the voice module. Now, how do you operate the voice transmitter?

  6. EXAMINE THE VOICE TRANSMITTER.

  7. “The audio keywords are printed along one edge.”

  8. EXAMINE KEYWORDS.

  9. SAY TANGO. SAY WALTZ.

  10. The voice module works like the toggle switch. It activates a piece of linked equipment for as long as the module is switched on (in “tango” mode).

  11. But the voice module has two advantages over the toggle switch.

  12. You can drop the voice module and its linked equipment in one room, carry the voice transmitter into another room. You can then use the keywords to activate equipment from another room.

  13. The other advantage of the voice module is that it uses voice; you don’t have to touch the voice module to use it.

How does the timer work?

  1. The timer is trickier than all of the other “plus” equipment. Try testing other stuff before you try to figure out the timer. (In fact, you never have to use the timer to beat the game.)

  2. Test the timer by linking it to something. LINK MINILAMP TO TIMER.

  3. TURN THE GREEN DIAL TO 2. TURN THE BLUE DIAL TO 2.

  4. “(Press the dials to activate them.)”

  5. But PRESS THE DIALS doesn’t work.

  6. PRESS THE BLUE DIAL and watch what happens.

  7. When you press the blue dial, the status dot turns green, the linked equipment activates, and the timer starts ticking. When the timer runs out, the linked equipment deactivates, and the status dot turns blue.

  8. Now PRESS THE GREEN DIAL and watch what happens. Try it multiple times.

  9. When you press the green dial, the status dot turns blue, and the linked equipment deactivates. When timer runs out, the linked equipment activates (and stays activated), and the status dot turns green.

  10. Now PRESS THE GREEN DIAL and then PRESS THE BLUE DIAL while the timer is running.

  11. The linked equipment starts in blue “deactivated” mode until the timer runs out; then the linked equipment goes into green “activated” mode until that timer runs out, on an infinite loop.

How does the minilamp work?

  1. When activated, the minilamp makes light.

  2. The minilamp is the simplest “minus” equipment, ideal for testing complicated “plus” equipment.

How does the acid pack work?

  1. EXAMINE THE ACID PACK.

  2. Try activating it.

  3. When you activate the acid pack, it explodes, melting all metal in the room, and leaving everything else unharmed.

How does the blast tab work?

  1. EXAMINE THE BLAST TAB.

  2. Try activating it.

  3. When you activate the blast tab, it explodes.

  4. You can use the blast tab to break things, open doors, kill people.

How does the scan scrambler work?

  1. EXAMINE THE SCAN SCRAMBLER.

  2. The scan scrambler scrambles scan-web. To experiment with the scrambler, you first have to find some scan-web.

  3. There’s some at the start of the game, but you’ll learn the most about scan-web in the Security Annex.

  4. The scan scrambler disables nearby scan-web. This can help you circumvent alarms.

The White Junction

What should I do in the White Junction?

  1. The puzzle at this point (and for most of the game) is to figure out what to do next, with some help.

  2. You’re not really here in the White Junction. You’re really in the interrogation chamber, telling (showing) the interrogator what happened when you were here. You need to do what your character did when you were here, but you (the player) don’t know what that was.

  3. Your interrogator knows a great deal about what happened here. If you do something that contradicts his research, he’ll tell you so, and restart the scene. So you need to try a lot of stuff to get him to tell you that you did it wrong, and use his feedback as clues to figure out what you actually need to do.

  4. Try going EAST from the White Junction to one of the Corridor Boundary rooms and then SOUTHEAST from the Corridor Boundary. (Note that there are two nearly identical rooms named “Corridor Boundary.” There’s a southern one east of the White Junction and a northern one east of the Corner at Doors. Go southeast from the southern Corridor Boundary.)

  5. Try that again. (Your interrogator often gives different messages when you do the wrong thing repeatedly, conveying different clues.)

  6. Your interrogator said that you jumped up to the missing panel in the northwest corner. Try that.

  7. After you reset, GO NORTH and JUMP. (You can GO DOWN to return to the ground.)

  8. Try going southeast from the southern Corridor Boundary again, after jumping to the panel.

  9. Your interrogator said that you jumped up there in order to take something away.

  10. When you’re up on the panel, EXAMINE THE HOLE.

  11. Get the package and go southeast from the southern Corridor Boundary.

How do I open the crates?

  1. You can’t open the crates with your bare hands or with the wrench in this room.

  2. You can’t open the crates with your blast tab or with the acid pack.

  3. You can’t open the crates at all. You don’t need to; just leave them alone.

How do I avoid triggering the alarm (the “sharp buzzer”) at the Corridor Boundary?

  1. If you trigger the alarm twice, your interrogator will give you a clue as to how you’re triggering it. (But he won’t repeat the clue if you trigger the alarm a third or fourth time.)

  2. Your interrogator said, “We track all metal within the critical zones. I know you’re good; you surely noticed the ceiling web.” “You didn’t carry metal past it.”

  3. None of your spy gadgets contain any metal.

  4. There’s only one metal thing you could have carried.

  5. The wrench is made out of metal.

  6. At this point, you may be trying to solve the wrong problem. Stop and think before going on to the next answer.

  7. You have a spy gadget that affects metal.

  8. Try activating the acid pack in the same room as the wrench.

  9. Your interrogator said, “we found the wrench sitting on the crate, unharmed.”

  10. Leave the wrench alone. You don’t need it. As long as you don’t have the wrench, you won’t trigger the alarm in the Corridor Boundary.

How do I get past the guards at the Corridor Boundary?

  1. Note that there are two nearly identical rooms named “Corridor Boundary.” There’s a southern one east of the White Junction and a northern one east of the Corner at Doors.

  2. The guards are only near the northern Corridor Boundary.

  3. You won’t meet any guards if you leave via the southern Corridor Boundary.

Tee Junction

What’s my objective here?

  1. Just as before, you’re trying to “replay” the events in agreement with what your interrogator knows.

  2. He knows that you didn’t get caught by the guards approaching from the north. See “How do I avoid the guards here?”

How do I avoid the guards here?

  1. Try getting caught by them a couple of times; you can just WAIT in the Tee Junction. (Your interrogator often gives different clues when you do the same thing.)

  2. The second time you get caught, but not the third or fourth time, your interrogator says, “The guards did not see you, not toenail or eyebrow. They heard a noise, something clattering across the floor, in the eastern dead-end corridor. That’s what they investigated. That’s what you’re trying to explain here.”

  3. Make a clattering noise in the “Dead End South” room, without being seen. (You may need to phrase your instructions carefully so the parser understands your meaning.)

  4. There’s no way to open the “unimportant” metal door in Dead End South, so don’t bother trying.

  5. Note that this is a game where you can sometimes interact with rooms without being in that room.

  6. You can automatically hide from the guards when you WAIT for them to arrive in the Tee Junction.

  7. You’ll need to make the noise (“something clattering across the floor”) while you’re hiding in the Tee Junction.

  8. You’ll need to throw something into the dead end room. (But this is the part you need to phrase carefully.)

  9. If the thing you throw “lands a short distance away,” then you didn’t phrase it correctly. (You probably just typed “THROW BLAH.” That’s not enough.)

  10. Wait in the Tee Junction for the guards to arrive, choose one of your inventory items, and THROW BLAH TO THE EAST.

  11. While the guards are investigating your distraction, you can GO NORTH to get past them.

  12. If you don’t throw the right object, your interrogator will correct you. (Try it again if you need the interrogator to clarify.)

  13. Wait in the Tee Junction for the guards to arrive, then THROW THE LOCKPICK TO THE EAST. Then you can GO NORTH.

How do I open the “unimportant” door in Dead End South?

  1. You can’t open it.

  2. It’s not yet time.

How do I open the metal door in Tee Junction?

  1. It has a metal plate like all of the doors around here.

  2. You can TOUCH THE PLATE WITH THE LOCKPICK and wait for the guards to show up.

  3. But there’s no way to open the door without the guards noticing.

  4. Therefore, you can’t open this metal door at all right now.

How can I go south from the Diagonal Branch?

  1. If you go south, the woman (your interrogator calls her “the professor”) will see you.

  2. There’s no way to hide from the professor at this point.

  3. You can’t go south from the Diagonal Branch right now.

Outside Laboratory

What’s my objective here?

  1. Just as before, you’re trying to “replay” the events in agreement with what your interrogator knows.

  2. Try opening the laboratory door. (See “How do I open the laboratory door?”)

  3. You don’t actually need to open the laboratory door. You just need to sneak past the guards in the Lab Junction room, east of Outside Laboratory. (See “How do I get past the guards at the Lab Junction?”)

How do I open the laboratory door?

  1. This would be easy if you had your lockpick, but you can figure out what to do here if you think carefully about the situation, think about what the interrogator has just told you about your mission objectives, and don’t make any false assumptions.

  2. Perhaps one of your other spy gadgets could open the door. That would accomplish your mission objective.

  3. The acid pack won’t open the door. The black coating protects it.

  4. PUT THE BLAST TAB ON THE DOOR and activate it.

  5. Your interrogator explains that you didn’t do that, either.

  6. You didn’t open the lab door. If you had, you would have accomplished your entire mission objective. So you can’t do it at all, now.

How do I get past the guards at the Lab Junction?

  1. Watch them carefully.

  2. Listen to them carefully.

  3. If you WAIT, they’ll leave to the south.

  4. WAIT for them to leave, then go EAST.

Security Annex

What’s my objective here?

  1. Just as before, you’re trying to “replay” the events in agreement with what your interrogator knows.

  2. Try just leaving this area by going SOUTHWEST.

  3. He said that you took a pen. (See “How do I get the pen?”)

  4. If you try to leave southwest with the pen, your interrogator will tell you that you used the scrambler exactly four times. What did you do with exactly four scrambler uses?

  5. That’s enough to enter and exit exactly two rooms. You used the scrambler twice to enter and exit the Security Storage Room to the south. What else would you have done?

  6. Try entering and exiting the Interrogation Chamber to the north after getting the pen, then leaving to the southwest.

  7. If you tell your interrogator that you entered the chamber, he’ll kill you. You’ll have to tell him something else.

  8. After getting the pen, enter and exit the Security Office to the east.

How do I enter these rooms without setting off the alarm?

  1. If you go directly into any of the rooms, setting off the alarm, your interrogator will give you a useful hint. “An amateur, I think, could have walked through a doorway without ever seeing the scan-web above it. And you’ve demonstrated that you’re not an amateur.”

  2. If you examine each doorway, you’ll find that they all have bands of “scan-web” on them. You can examine the scan-webs for more information.

  3. You have an inventory item that’s designed to handle scan-web.

  4. If you activate the scan scrambler, (turning its status dot green) you can enter the rooms without setting off alarms.

How do I leave the side rooms without setting off the alarm?

  1. You got into the room by using your scan scrambler, but it stopped scrambling.

  2. Examine the scrambler in the room.

  3. “You must have brought it into a countermeasure induction field.” The scrambler breaks when you bring it into the room. (That explains the noise and the smoke.)

  4. How could you get in and out of the rooms without bringing the scrambler into the rooms?

  5. Think about where the scan-web is.

  6. The scan-web is in the doorway, not the whole room.

  7. You can leave the scrambler in the Security Annex. As long as it’s activated, you can pass through the doorways.

  8. But you still can’t get out that way. Try it a couple of times to see what your interrogator has to say about it.

  9. “We know how you used the scrambler. On and off, briefly enough to never upset our systems.” Use the scrambler like that.

  10. In particular, you’ll have to turn on the scrambler in the Security Annex, but turn it off when you’re in another room. (And back on again as you leave.)

  11. There are two different ways to turn off the scrambler from another room. Think about your spy gadgets carefully.

  12. You can use the voice module to control the scrambler, or you can use the timer to turn the scrambler on and off without your intervention. (The voice module is easier to use, I think.)

  13. DROP THE SCRAMBLER. LINK THE SCRAMBLER TO THE VOICE MODULE. SAY TANGO. GO SOUTH. SAY WALTZ. Now you can take your time exploring the rooms. When it’s time to leave, SAY TANGO before leaving, and then SAY WALTZ when you’re done.

How do I get the pen?

  1. The pen is sitting out in the open in the Security Storage Room to the south, but you’ll have to enter without setting off the alarm. (See “How do I enter these rooms without setting off the alarm?”)

  2. Then you’ll have to leave without setting off the alarm. (See “How do I leave the side rooms without setting off the alarm?”)

Diagonal Branch

(This section describes the scene played out after the Security Annex.)

What’s my objective?

  1. Just as before, you’re trying to “replay” the events in agreement with what your interrogator knows.

  2. Try going east or northwest from Diagonal Branch.

  3. “There’s someone you forgot to meet. And we did not capture you with your tools – much less that fascinating package.” Find a place to hide your tools.

How do I avoid the guard in the Dead End?

  1. Try just letting him shoot you.

  2. “He has not yet regained his wits.” You’ll need the guard to lose consciousness.

  3. Try HIT THE GUARD. (You can repeat this over and over.)

  4. “The guard, for a beginning, was left in considerably worse shape than you have admitted.” How could you leave this guard in “considerably worse shape”?

  5. This will require an inventory item.

  6. This will require a weapon.

  7. Try setting off the blast tab. (Drop it before you use it.)

  8. “No magic tricks, no bursts of acid, no explosions; just the truth.” This requires a weapon that isn’t the blast tab or the acid pack.

  9. Something sharp.

  10. STAB THE GUARD WITH THE PEN.

Where can I hide my tools?

  1. You can’t go east or northwest from Diagonal Branch, so you have to hide your tools in the Dead End to the south.

  2. First you’ll have to avoid the guard in the Dead End. See “How do I avoid the guard in the Dead End?”

  3. Try hiding your tools in the cabinet.

  4. There was nothing in the cabinet drawer. Yet somehow you have to hide your tools in this room. Examine everything carefully.

  5. EXAMINE THE WALL.

  6. There’s a ventilator grille in here.

  7. OPEN THE GRILLE.

  8. You’ll need to get higher to reach the grille.

  9. STAND ON THE CABINET. OPEN THE GRILLE. PUT ALL IN THE GRILLE.

Interrogation Chamber

How do I stop the interrogator from killing me when he sees my stuff on his desk?

  1. You’ll have to escape the interrogation chair. See below.

How do I escape the interrogation chair?

  1. Before you spoil yourself any further on this puzzle, keep in mind that this is “the puzzle” from Spider and Web, the award-winning puzzle that some people think is the greatest puzzle in any work of interactive fiction. If you take your time and think things through, you can solve it yourself, and you’ll be glad you did.

  2. You can’t escape the chair until after the simulation scene in Dead End.

  3. As in all good puzzles, start by examining everything carefully. (You might have to restore a few times because you’ll run out of turns examining.)

  4. Examine the items on the desk.

  5. The items on the desk are important. Stop and think about them.

  6. What’s missing here?

  7. Remember the items you had in Dead End.

  8. In Dead End, in addition to the present items, you had the blast tab, the acid pack, the radio module, the voice module, and, “of course,” the cloth-wrapped package.

  9. Why are these things missing? (This may seem like a strange question, but you can figure it out, at least in part, using only the information you have.)

  10. Don’t think about the package right now.

  11. There’s a good reason these things are missing, and you can use it to save your own life right now.

  12. The “story” you’ve been telling your interrogator was a lie. You, the player, didn’t get to tell this lie; you were just playing along with the game. But someone lied to the interrogator (and to you, the player).

  13. Your character told that lie. Your character knows more than you, (“of course”) and has a plan to save your life. What is “your” plan?

  14. The missing items are supposed to be missing. That’s part of your plan.

  15. Your character has been in the Interrogation Chamber before, even though you didn’t go there in the simulation. What would you have done if you’d visited the Interrogation Chamber and had time to plan?

  16. Restore back to the Security Annex, go north to the Interrogation Chamber, and mess around in there. (Try leaving the Security Annex with the pen, after entering and exiting the Interrogation Chamber.)

  17. It wasn’t possible to escape from the interrogation chair before, because your stuff wasn’t on the desk before this point.

  18. If you’d hidden the acid pack in this room, you could use that to bust out of the chair in an instant. But how would you activate it?

  19. The acid pack is in the room. Activate it.

  20. The acid pack is in the room, linked to the voice module.

  21. SAY TANGO.

Outside the Interrogation Chamber

What’s my objective here?

  1. With the interrogator gone, you’ll need to figure out what your character’s plan was, what “really happened,” and do it.

  2. It might help at this point to replay the game from the beginning, thinking about what’s really happened.

  3. The interrogator tells you about your mission after escaping the Tee Junction, and then again after entering the Security Annex for the first time.

  4. Your objective is to enter the laboratory.

How do I leave the Security Annex?

  1. As long as your interrogator is taken care of, you should be able to leave this room to the southwest without trouble.

  2. You need to stop him from activating the alarm.

  3. You need to stop him immediately after you escape the interrogation chair.

  4. He’s a big talker, but he’s really a wimp.

  5. ATTACK THE MAN immediately after you SAY TANGO.

How do I exit the Security Storage Room or the Security Office at this point?

  1. The voice module is lost, and the timer is broken. Even the key transmitter is broken.

  2. You can’t exit these rooms any longer. You can enter them, and see that there’s nothing left in there that you need.

How do I get to laboratory door?

  1. Try to build out as clear a map of the complex as you can, based on what you’ve seen in the simulation and what you can see here.

    (I’ve provided a map of Spider and Web on IFArchive.)
  2. The most direct path from the Interrogation Chamber is SOUTH to the Security Annex, SOUTHWEST to the Angle Branch, NORTH to the Northeast Corner, and then WEST, but there are guards in the way.

  3. You’ll have to go all the way around, via the northern Corridor Boundary (the one east of the Corner At Doors).

  4. To do that, you’ll have to go WEST from the Tee Junction, past the guards. See “How do I get past the guards near the Tee Junction?”

  5. Once you reach the Diagonal Branch, you can go NORTHWEST to the southern Corridor Bounday, WEST to the White Junction, NORTH to Corner At Doors, and then EAST to the northern Corridor Boundary.

  6. Then you’ll have to get past the guards near the northern Corridor Boundary. See “How do I get past the guards near the northern Corridor Boundary?”

  7. From the northern Corridor Boundary, you can go SOUTHEAST to the Sharp Corner, NORTH to the Lab Junction, and then NORTHWEST to Outside the Laboratory.

How do I get past the guards near the Tee Junction?

  1. As always, you’ll need to cause a distraction using one of your spy gadgets.

  2. Explore thoroughly, finding all of the rooms you can visit.

  3. There’s a room that you didn’t visit with your interrogator that you can visit now.

  4. Go to Dead End South and TOUCH THE PLATE WITH THE LOCKPICK.

  5. Your blast tab is there in the wiring closet. Why is it here?

  6. Activate it. (This was all part of your plan.)

  7. The blast tab is linked to the radio module, which you’d normally activate with the key transmitter, but the key transmitter is broken, so you’ll need to link it to one of your other devices first.

  8. UNLINK BLAST TAB. LINK TAB TO PUSHBUTTON. PUSH BUTTON.

  9. You can now explore more places.

How do I get past the guards near the northern Corridor Boundary?

(Note that there are two nearly identical rooms named “Corridor Boundary.” There’s a southern one east of the White Junction (northwest of Diagonal Branch) and a northern one east of the Corner at Doors.) This question is about the northern Corridor Boundary.

  1. Your character had a plan for this, too. You just have to figure out what your own clever plan was.

  2. You’ve accounted for most of the missing items from the desk. Only one remains.

  3. Where is the package?

  4. Return to the Corner At Doors, jump, and examine the room carefully.

  5. There’s something you can examine in this room that isn’t explicitly mentioned in the room’s description.

  6. Return to White Junction and examine everything there.

  7. EXAMINE THE WALLS.

  8. EXAMINE THE GRILLE. (Did you notice that there’s one of these in almost every room in the complex? You probably didn’t notice because you’d have to examine the walls.)

  9. In the Corner At Doors: JUMP. OPEN THE GRILLE.

  10. GET THE GUN.

  11. Bring the gun back to the northern Corridor Boundary.

  12. The guards don’t notice you.

  13. SHOOT THE GUARDS.

How do I open the laboratory door?

  1. After all you’ve been through, this should be the easy part.

  2. EXAMINE THE DOOR.

  3. TOUCH THE PLATE WITH THE LOCKPICK. Then just wait for the door to open.

To be continued…

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The Laboratory

What’s my objective here?

  1. This is your mission objective.

  2. Figure out what the console in this room does. See “What does the console in this room do?”

  3. The console is a teleporter. So what’s your mission objective?

  4. Your mission objective is to steal the teleporter’s plans and teleport out of the complex.

How do I keep the guards out of the laboratory?

  1. First, be sure to take the lockpick before you come in, closing the door.

  2. Next, you’ll need to jam the door from the inside.

  3. EXAMINE THE DOOR inside the lab.

  4. OPEN THE PANEL.

  5. You’re going to have to do something about that subcircuitry.

  6. SHOOT THE SUBCIRCUITRY. Now the guards will give you a few dozen turns to do what you need to do.

What does the console in this room do?

  1. As always, your interrogator is your best source of information.

  2. It might help to replay the game from the beginning, knowing what you know now.

  3. Your interrogator told you about the lab’s technology after you first escaped the Tee Junction, and then again after you entered the Security Annex for the first time.

  4. Examine everything here. What do you think this room does? (In the next hint, I’ll tell you what it does.)

  5. It’s a teleporter.

What does the black device in this room do?

  1. It’s described very strangely, but it’s a perfectly ordinary object.

  2. Try turning it on.

  3. It’s a coffee maker.

  4. When it turns on, it gets hot enough to brew (or even burn) coffee.

  5. If you remove the glass pot, you can put something flammable in the device to burn it.

How do I escape the Laboratory?

  1. You’ll have to use the console in this room to escape. See “What does the console in this room do?”

  2. Examine the console and its buttons carefully. (I think the description is a bit confusing. There’s an upper button, a lower button, and a grey oval.) The console says it’s “shut down for logic adjustment.” How could you start it back up again?

  3. PUSH THE UPPER BUTTON.

  4. That didn’t work. OPEN THE CABINET.

  5. The cabinet is missing a logic plate. That must be why the console is shut down for logic adjustment.

  6. EXAMINE THE PAPERS.

  7. PUT THE LOGIC PLATE IN THE CABINET.

  8. Now you can PUSH THE UPPER BUTTON.

  9. It’s ready! PUSH THE LOWER BUTTON.

  10. If you wait for the countdown, a bunch of light emerges from the cage.

  11. Restore and try it again. But this time, OPEN THE CAGE.

  12. ENTER THE CAGE. CLOSE THE CAGE.

Why does the game end saying, “You have failed to make a difference”?

  1. In this ending, you fall onto a “padded surface.” What is that?

  2. Try again, but this time, instead of entering the cage, put an item in the cage, and see what happens.

  3. The padded surface is the padded mat in this room.

  4. The room teleported you! But you teleported to a different spot in the lab. That’s pointless.

  5. You need to teleport to a different destination.

  6. The console has a label that says “Destination waveform.”

  7. The grey oval controls the destination, somehow. What do you suppose “contact-pad substrate” is?

  8. It’s “the same material as the contact pad by the door.” If you examine the pad, “It’s a dull white rectangle, about the width of two of your fingers.”

  9. The game calls it a “contact pad” but I’d call it a “touch pad.”

  10. Touch the oval before entering the cage.

There are ending variations to explore.

If the game ended saying that “you failed to make a difference,” see the question above. But there are multiple ways to “make a difference.”

  1. Consider the fate of the important papers on the table, and the useless papers as well.

  2. The game ends saying “You made a difference” even if you teleport out, leaving all of the papers alone on the desk, but I don’t think I agree. If you leave all of the papers alone, then it’s hard to see how you made any real difference.

  3. If you carry the important papers with you when you leave, you’ll deny the enemy of valuable research, and you can (presumably?) bring the papers back to your own side. That’s one way to make a difference, and it might be the best way.

  4. You can also ruin the useless papers on the table.

    • How do I ruin the useless papers on the table?

      1. Try taking the useless papers.

      2. When you take the useless papers, you’ll just take a scrap, but you can use this scrap to ruin the useless papers.

      3. Examine the black device carefully. (See “What does the black device in this room do?” above.)

      4. If you turn on the black device, you can generate heat.

      5. TURN ON THE DEVICE. GET THE POT. PUT THE SCRAP IN THE DEVICE.

      6. When you do that, the scrap will ignite.

      7. You can put the burning scrap on the table to ruin the papers on the table.

  5. Now that you know how to ruin papers, that suggests another alternative ending.

  6. If you teleport out of here with the important papers, do you realize what could happen?

    “Knives at each other’s throats. How long could that last? Two years, five. Eventually it would be too tempting, some premier or on-commander who poses too much immediate threat.” Somehow his eyes are holding yours. “Then it would be literal knives at each other’s literal cursed throats. Whole governments beheaded overnight. Same for anyone who tries to move up, take charge. It wouldn’t end. Could you swear, honestly, that anyone left on your side wouldn’t keep using it on anyone left on our side? Senate-men? Troops? Farmers?”

  7. You can just burn it all—all of the papers, even the important ones. If you wait long enough, you can burn the whole lab down, in which case the game will end saying “you have made a difference,” even if you fail to teleport out.

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Awesome! I’m creating a link to this over at the IFDB.

3 Likes

This is a great post! Thanks! I’ve been playing the game for a while and advancing nicely. And I use your invisiclues to check myself on what I’ve already done. So far so good.

Still, when I get to hiding the tools in the ventilator grille, the interrogator’s research confirms finding them, but not the package. (The invisiclues say PUT ALL.) Then, the interrogator zaps me.

Moreover, if I do hide the tools as stated, but the package in the cabinet’s drawer, The interrogator doesn’t acknowledge it, zapping me as if I have stated that I put everything in the ventilator grill.

Could you help me sort out my confusion, without spoiling anything?

You need to get out of the interrogation chamber before he zaps you. See “how do I get out of here?”

EDIT: I’ve updated the hints to make this question clearer. The question you have is now called out in the text: “How do I stop the interrogator from killing me when he sees my stuff on his desk?” And the question below it is now phrased, “How do I escape the interrogation chair?” instead of “How do I get out of here?”

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Are you sure this statement is without errors? This isn’t a rhetorical question–I am struggling to figure out how the dials work.

I get it when both of them are pressed (the loop function), but they make little sense when I press them individually. Sometimes they seem to have identical effect. :confused:

If I may suggest… I was initially puzzled when the guard brought my stuff and the package wasn’t with the rest. So, a useful tip would also be something like:

Which items of mine have the guards retrieved?

Also, I am wondering why most of the equipment is destroyed or missing. But I’m still working on it. So, not asking for hints. :grin:

Yeah, my timer hints were incorrect. I’ve fixed it.

Probably the most important hint is the first hint: you never have to use the timer to beat the game.

It’s not clear whether you’ve beaten the game yet; we should probably discuss this after you’ve beaten the game.

When you do win:

I think it would be wrong to pose that question, “Which items of mine have the guards retrieved?”
because the answer is clear, but useless: the guards retrieved all of the items you can see on the interrogator’s desk, nothing more, nothing less.

I suppose a more plausible question might be: “the interrogator is about to kill me; where is the package?” But that’s the wrong question, too. You can’t escape from the interrogator by using the package.

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Reread the hints now that the thread is active again, and they’re excellent; exactly what I would have wanted for my first playthrough.

The only thing missing is a description of which things were lies, and what they were concealing. Once I replay the game to refresh my memory, I could write something up, but if someone else wants to first, then feel free.

Post-game spoilers. Do not read until you’ve finished the game.

Here’s what really happened, I think.

(It helps to follow along with the map.)

You picked the lock on the front door, went north to the Corridor at Doors, jumped up to a hole in an open ceiling panel, opened the ventilation grille, and stashed your gun there, because it’s metallic, and you knew that you could never sneak it past the scan web without being detected. You left a few drops of blood on the hole’s lip, which the interrogator detected later.

With your gun safely stowed, you could walk through the scan web undetected. At the Tee Junction, you went east to Dead End South and used the lockpick to break into the Wiring Closet. The guards showed up just as the closet door opened, so you hid from them in the closet; you tried to grab the lockpick as you went in, but it slipped through your fingers and clattered to the ground.

(You can see a similar scene to this one if you use the lockpick to go south from the Tee Junction. “You hurl yourself towards the open door, snatching at the lockpick as you go by. Nearly – but your fingers close wrong, and the silver rod clatters to the floor behind you as you dive over the threshold. The door slides closed; you are left in quiet dark.”)

Inside the Wiring Closet, you prepared the blast tab and the radio module, not yet realizing that the key transmitter was “broken, jammed, or sabotaged.” When the guards left, you were able to sneak over to the laboratory.

Outside the Laboratory, without access to the blast tab or your lockpick, you had no way to penetrate the door. (Perhaps you’d intended to use the acid tab? But the door was protected from that.) You returned east to the Lab Junction, where the guards were luckily(?) summoned away, allowing you to slip past them to the Security Annex.

There, you predicted that you would be caught and interrogated at some point. You used the timer and the scan scrambler to enter the Interrogation Chamber, placing the acid pack and the voice module in the pedestal of the interrogation chair. You also entered the Security Storage Room, where you grabbed the neurotoxin stun pen. Then you left, fleeing toward the Dead End south of the Diagonal Branch. (The timer broke after this, somehow.)

There, you met a guard, whom you stabbed with the stun pen, and attempted to activate the blast tab, which is where/when you discovered that the key transmitter was broken. Knowing then you would be captured, you hid your toolcase in the ventilation duct.

When the interrogator had you in the chair, following your training, you avoided thinking about the key components of your plan. (“The ventillation grille isn’t important,” the game would say, in italics, during the simulation. “The metal door to the north [leading to the Wiring Closet] isn’t important.” “The pedestal under the chair isn’t important.”)

Your lies, then, were as follows:

  • When the interrogator discovered your blood drops on the ceiling panel, you concocted a story about the package, so he wouldn’t figure out that you’d stowed your gun there.
  • Instead of losing the lockpick sabotaging the wiring closet, you claimed to throw the lockpick to distract the guards.
  • The interrogator knew that you deactivated the scan web in the Security Annex four times (in and out of two rooms), and you both knew that you’d been to the Security Storage Room to steal the stun pen, but you couldn’t let him know that you’d been in the Interrogation Chamber, so you pretended that you searched his Security Office for the lockpick instead.
  • Finally, you pretended to hide the “package” in the ventilation duct along along with your other tools, knowing that the interrogator would bring all of your belongings straight to you in the interrogation chamber.

Once the voice transmitter was in the room with you, you activated the acid pack, knocked out the interrogator, and the rest of the story is as you played it out: back to the wiring closet to knock out the scan web—by hand, like some sort of neanderthal—then back to your gun. Bang bang, pick pick, you’re in the lab, plans in hand, teleporter activated, and you bamf out, just as the guards blast their way into the room. Blackness slaps into you with a silent snap.

And that’s how you made a difference.

P.S. Spider and Web makes no direct reference to your gender, leaving it up to your imagination. Some of you might not have considered this, but this game is 10x better if you imagine that your character is a woman.

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There is one case where I think it does. At the Tee Junction, if you try to go through the south door too many times, the interrogator will refer to someone – presumably you – as “he”. But that was the only case I ever noticed, and it probably wasn’t intentional. I vaguely recall reporting it as a bug back in the day.

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No, I haven’t yet. Still figuring out what I’m supposed to do after I escaped the interrogator’s chair.

Re: the actions just before getting caught (Diagonal Branch).

OK, I insist this is a bug.

If I re-enact having put the package inside the cabinet, the interrogator should surely dismiss my suggestion with some comment saying they didn’t find anything there. He doesn’t though.

Looks intentional to me. There’s a comment in the game’s source code (see this blog post for links) that says, “if attention is drawn to the vent at all – like if the vent has been opened – we proceed immediately to the escape sequence, regardless of what else has occurred.” I guess once he realizes what he missed, investigating that becomes more important to him than the exact details of your story.

I see. It still strikes me as weird (EDIT: and misleading), though. It’s as if the player character tells the interrogator: “I hid my equipment in the grille and the package in the cabinet’s drawer.” And then the interrogator is angry because they didn’t find the package in the grille, with no mention of the cabinet.

Note: The interrogator mentions the cabinet if you hide everything in it.

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The existence of lingering bugs is certain. :) At this point, I’m not going to be any better at diagnosing them than the rest of you.

I’m sure I meant to keep the protagonist as a traditional faceless genderless etc. I don’t think I considered casting any particular person. Well, I must have imagined Patrick McGoohan sitting in that chair at some point…

Right now I want to say Michelle Yeoh, but that’s because I just watched a clip from an old Michelle Yeoh movie.

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I don’t see that in the source code… is this in tangle-3.inc?

Yes, it’s the q3_d6r object:

Object q3_d6r
  class Question,
  with
	query [;
		print "^~No, no. The guards didn't see the door open; they didn't see
			you duck inside; and they didn't see that lockpick fall on the --~^^
			The man's face goes entirely blank for a moment, and then he's
			playing controls faster than you can follow. ~Mobile Six? Get back
			there and check the closet again -- no, ", (emphstring) "inside,", 
			" he ", (emphstring) "did", " --~ Confused noises come from the
			desk. ~Assume there's no time at all!~ the man says, and it's not
			a shout only because his voice is so low. And then he turns his
			gaze back to you.^";
		BrainDrain();
	];

I think that he could just as easily refer to the guard who searched that area.

Also, I think q3_d6r is actually a continuity bug!

At line 97 you can see that q3_d6r is documented as hide in closet. But I don’t believe that the room south of the Tee Junction is supposed to be a closet.

Here’s what it says as you enter:

The footsteps move out of a branch corridor to the north – a trio of guards, still heading this way. You dodge back out of their line of view, flattening yourself inside the west side of the tee.

The lockpick’s status dot fades to pure green, and flicks steady blue.

The metal door slides open. To the north, the footfalls of the guards cease, startled by this apparition. Then they begin again – hurrying.

>s

You hurl yourself towards the open door, snatching at the lockpick as you go by. Nearly – but your fingers close wrong, and the silver rod clatters to the floor behind you as you dive over the threshold. The door slides closed; you are left in quiet dark.

A moment later, the door slides open again. A surprising number of pulse guns are aimed through it, all at you.

– glaring light…

But, a little further down, at line 1226:

if (escaping) {
    if (location == TossJunction) {
        print "^The door snaps open. You have a brief glimpse of
            frightened-looking technicians, surrounded by obscure
            equipment, before someone hits an override and the door
            snaps shut again.^^Someone must have hit an alarm,
            as well, because a sharp buzzer sounds.^";

escaping means “after you get out of the chair.” You can see this passage by lockpicking the door at Tee Junction after your tango with the interrogator.

And indeed, the interrogator kills you if you go south from the Tee Junction in the simulation, as he realizes that it was too close to the truth: that the lockpick clattered to the floor as you were entering the actual closet (the Wiring Closet) to hide from the approaching guards.

(But, then again, maybe the simulation depicts the room south of the Tee Junction as “quiet dark” because your character had never been in there, and so you wrongly assumed that it, too, was a closet…?)

I just finished the game! Your hints are very thorough and gradual, giving the reader all the control of how much they want to be exposed to them. So much better than a simple, laconic walkthrough. Well done!

Most times, you don’t need a hint, but a nudge will do, as with “examine everything carefully.” Nothing new, but it’s a good nudge, setting the gears into motion, without spoiling the satisfaction of solving a puzzle.

Also, great debriefing notes about what happened. The whole scenario.

And of course, it’s a great game, a great idea well written. Well done, Zarf. I couldn’t stop comparing the story and its PoV originality to Memento, which of course came out a couple of years later.