Hurry, hurry, hurry! Step right this way, ladies and gentlemen, to see the
wonders of the ages. Witness death-defying feats of derring-do and digital
dexterity! Behold the fascinating freaks of fiendish fortune, fettered with
fantasies far from the furthest feelings of the fortunate few! Experience
elephants, learn from the lions and make a monkey out of yourself! All this for
one thin dime, one tenth of a dollar!
Hurry, hurry, hurry! Infocom's latest mystery game is far from what you might
expect if you've played WITNESS, SUSPECT or DEADLINE. In fact, it has more in
common with the adventure series, where you have to find the right items and do
the right things with them in order to solve the game. So let's begin.
As always, mapping is a key to playing through successfully. All the action
takes place on the grounds of THE CIRCUS THAT TIME FORGOT, INC. At the start of
the game, there are only a limited number of places you can visit, so your first
job is to find out how to get to those other places that are currently blocked
You begin In the Wings. The Big Top lies to the north, and the rest of the
circus grounds south. So head south. You are in the Connection, a kind of
crossroads. You will see a midget. If you have read the Official Souvenir
Program, you will recognize him as Comrade Thumb, a Russian emigre clown. A word
of advice: You will find few people here on your side, so make friends where you
can. "Lift the midget" to help the poor guy get a drink, then note where the
fountain is for later.
There is a temporarily impassable turnstile to the east, so go south again. You
are now Near the White Wagon, the business office. The door is locked and you
have no key, so leave this for later. But do take the pole that is sticking out
from under the wagon. Read the banner to the south. "Egress" is not a wild
beast, but stay away from it anyway if you don't want the game to end.
Instead, head west. You will be by a second turnstile. Two clowns will get
through, but you can't yet. Be sure to watch and listen to everything they do
If you look into the cage by the turnstile, you will see the blind guard, Harry.
Harry is a veritable encyclopedia of information, and about the only friend you
can talk to. Be sure to applaud when Comrade Thumb finishes his act, wait for
him to pass through, then head west again.
You are now in the Prop Tent. Leave everything you see, and hide behind the
cardboard cutout of William Howard Taft, then listen to the whole conversation.
The owner's daughter, Chelsea, has been kidnapped! By the sound of him, this
detective that Mr. Munrab (spell it backwards) has hired is no Sam Spade.
There's only one person who can find Chelsea, and that's you! After they leave,
head east into the Back Yard, then north to Beside the Big Top.
Pick up the mask, and then go east back to the connection. Head north again into
the wings. A portion of the bleachers has been pulled away. Head northeast,
search the garbage and take the ticket you find there. Then head southwest and
north. You are now in the Performance Ring, ready to perform your first
The roustabout with the headphones you saw leave as you entered the Big Top
(remember him!) has re- moved the safety net. So drop everything but the
fiberglass pole, and climb the rope ladder. Keep going east until you reach the
other platform. Now that was easy, wasn't it? Take the balloon, and go west
until you get back to the first platform. Try to go down. You'll drop the pole,
but never mind. Then down again and pick up everything, then go south twice back
to the Connection. Punch either the red or blue dot on your ticket, then "insert
ticket in slot." You'll get your ticket back and you can go east through the
turnstile into the Midway. You must repeat this every time you use this
Examine the pitchman and the detective (and the monkey). Then go south into the
Menagerie, and southeast into the Menagerie Nook. To the north is a cage. Look
inside it. Use the pole to get the key ring, then unlock the cage, open the door
and go north into the cage. Take the headphones and the bucket, go south,
northwest, north, and west back through the turnstile.
Make your way back to the Prop Tent. I found it a good place to leave everything
until you need it. Drop everything but the balloon. Go east. Now "open the
balloon"; then "inhale helium" and say "Harry, hello." Your high-pitched voice
will make him think you are Comrade Thumb, and he will buzz you through.
Go south. You are now in the Camp (East), west of Gottfried von Katzenjammer's
trailer. Head west to Camp (West), with Clown Alley to the South. Leave both of
those until later.
Instead, it's time you learned the fine art of "sidewalling." "Sidewall" or
"crawl under" the canvas, and you'll find yourself back in the Prop Tent. Aha!
What is this? A piece of wood? Examine it. Seems harmless enough, so pick it up.
When prompted, try entering an obscenity; if shy, just say "ow." Drop the
mousetrap, take the piece of meat out of the bucket, and then drop the meat.
Timing is crucial here. Go east out of the Prop Tent, then west back in. You'll
hear scurrying. Go out and back in again. You will see a mouse. "Catch mouse
with bucket." Now take the ticket and the bucket and head back to the Menagerie.
he real fun is about to begin! Okay, you're back at the Menagerie, armed with
your ticket and a bucket with a mouse in it. Try going east. You have just met
Hannibal, the elephant. Take the mouse, then show the mouse to the elephant
twice. Hannibal will blow the mouse out of your hand. Wait. The petrified
pachyderm will break loose from his chains in fright and plow through the fence
to the southwest. Go through the elephantsized hole to the southwest. You have
returned to the White Wagon, only this time you notice a ladder attached to the
Climb up the ladder until you are On the Wagon. Turn the crank, then look in the
wagon. Mr. Munrab is hard at work. The poor man is so tense, you shouldn't
bother him. But you have to get in there, so you must get him to leave first.
From your perch, knock on the door. He will open the door and, quite perplexed
at finding no one there, he will leave.
Time is of the essence now. Go "in" and lock the door. Ignore the books and the
sheepskin; just examine the desk and take the spreadsheet you find there. Now,
move the desk and "up". You will be back on top of the wagon and Mr. Munrab,
none the wiser, will close the panel. Go down to the ground, making sure you
pick up anything you might have dropped, and back northeast to the Menagerie.
Now, go north, east, and east again till you reach the Far End of the Midway. Go
north, then northeast or southeast around Tina, and take the stool. Ignore Tina
for the moment; she will certainly ignore you.
Make your way back to the Midway and return to the Prop Tent, either through the
turnstile or by way of the elephant-sized hole southwest of the Menagerie. Once
you have side-walled a tent, you only have to type a direction to go under it
again, so go south from the tent and east to Katzenjammer's trailer with the
skeleton key in hand.
Examine the trailer. Unlock and open the compartment, then take the bullwhip. Go
north through the turnstile and then ask Harry about the lions. He will tell you
that only Elsie responds to the whip. Return to the Prop Tent and make sure you
have all of the following: the key, the stool, the whip, and the meat.
Now go east twice and north three times into the Performance Ring. Unlock the
cage with the key, open the door, and go west into the Lions' Den. The male
shaggy lion is Nimrod; the smooth-bodied female is Elsie. Keep cracking the whip
at the smooth lion until she lies down and yawns, then open the grate. The stool
will keep the shaggy lion at bay. Throw the meat into the passage, then go east.
Go back into the cage and close the grate. Move the lion stand and you will find
a cigarette case. Return to the Prop Tent. Carrying your ticket and the
cigarette case, go east.
Ask Harry about Andrew and Jenny, then be sure to give him the cigarette case.
He will feel it and tell you it belongs to Andrew. Go north, east, insert your
ticket, and east again through the turnstile, then east once more. Now go south.
You are in Jennifer's Boudoir. Show the case to Andrew. Show the case to Jenny.
Observe the fracas that follows with amazement and listen to what is said about
the meeting later that night in Katz's trailer. Now go up the stairs into the
Wardrobe Closet. Take the dress/suit combination and search it. Take the veil
you find. Take the shawl/jacket combo and go up and out of the closet and north.
Make your way back to the Prop Tent and relax a minute.
For the next series you will just need your ticket. It's time to visit Rimshaw
the Incomparable. Return to Midway of the Midway and north into the Hypnotist's
arlor. You must give him your ticket, which he will return. You can say
"Rimshaw, read my palm" and "Rimshaw, read my head" for fun; but you're on
serious business here. Say "Rimshaw, hypnotize me," and he will. In your
dreamlike state you will return to your seat high up in the bleachers, with a
Stand up. Now go east, up, east, down, east, up, east, and down. On the way,
ignore the hawker. He will relieve you of $1.85 without your lifting a finger.
As soon as you find yourself back In the Wings, a monkey will land on your back.
Go south to the Connection, then get in line at the concession stand.
Wait till the second line starts. You will have to type "get out of line" twice,
then "get in short line." Wait until Jerry's friends all arrive, then get out of
the line. When asked if you really want to surrender your place in the long
line, say "Yes." Get in the short line, get out of the short line then get in
the *long* line. Reverse psychology pays. Now you have a chocolate-covered
banana. Bite it. Hmmm, someone else is hungry, too. Drop your hard-won prize and
go north Into the Wings. Say hello to the hawker you see taking a break there.
Then go up. Some stranger will hurl a granola bar at you and you'll wake from
Stand up and go south, then west. Now side-wall the tent, and you're Under the
Bleachers. Search the garbage and you'll find the granola bar. Take it and go
south. Who do you know that might appreciate a granola bar? Yes, go east and
east again, then north. Examine Tina. She is holding a radio. Go north- east or
southeast around her, then give her the granola bar. That got her attention! Say
"Tina, hello." Take the hand she offers you, then kiss it.
Go northwest or southwest, and you will find the radio. Take it and go south.
Return once again to the Prop Tent. You are once again in the Prop Tent, and
it's time you got on with the actual business of solving the crime.
You have already obtained a clue: the spreadsheet. Examine it. It describes the
steadily deteriorating financial condition of one Eddie Smalldone.
Unfortunately, this is not much to go on. Examine the headphones. Rewind the
tape and then play it until you hear the subliminal voice. So Rimshaw is in on
this! Rewind the tape again.
For the next series, you will need your ticket, the key, the radio, and the
headphones. But first, pay a visit to Harry. Go east and ask Harry about Eddie
Smalldone, then ask him about the circus and the gorilla.
To tame the gorilla, you will need soothing music, and all you have is Jimi
Hendrix and a static-producing radio. Consult your souvenir program again, then
turn the radio to WPDL, 1170 on your AM dial. Not much of an improvement, I'm
afraid. You will have to improve your reception noticeably. Make your way to the
Menagerie Nook. Drop your ticket and the key, then climb the cage. The static
will miraculously disappear. "Record music" and wait until the tape stops, just
to be sure. Rewind once again to the beginning, then go down.
Oops. You seem to have died. Naw! Try typing "restore," then "wait." Take the
key and ticket, then go northwest. Unlock the cage with the key, open the door
and go west. Behold Mahler the Gorilla! (Just for fun, you might try this
wearing the gorilla suit!) Search the straw. A trap door! Now play the tape.
Mahler will leave you alone so you can open the trap door and take the ribbon
that is in there.
Go east and close the door behind you. Make your way back to the Prop Tent. Drop
off everything. Take the mask, then go south.
Wear the mask and knock on the door of the trailer. When Chuckles lets you in,
go south. Examine the ash tray, move the ash and take the scrap of newspaper
Chuckles by then will see through your disguise, but his careless tongue will
have revealed "the grift" (i.e., illegal gambling), and that to reach it you
must shove "Annie Oakley" (i.e., your ticket) under the front by the elephant
tent. (See the souvenir program for translation of circus lingo.)
Go back north into the Prop Tent, and make sure you have the bucket and your
ticket. Then make your way to the Menagerie Nook. Slide your ticket under the
front, then go east through the secret panel. Take your ticket again.
Now it's time to play a little blackjack. There is a $2.00 house limit, and it
doesn't really matter if you win or lose. Play a couple of hands, then type
"open panel." Instead of obeying your command, the game will suggest you play
another hand. This time, however, something has changed. You will feel someone
tapping on your foot. If you pay attention, the number of taps indicates the
value of the dealer's hole card. Try to look under the green tablecloth. The
game's odds have swung about to your favor, so play as long as you like until
Billy Monday 86's you from the Blue Room.
Go northwest, then north. You will see the body of the detective. Is he dead? He
sure is: Dead drunk, that is. You will have to revive him. Go west through the
About this time,you will run into Comrade Thumb again. By sign language, he will
advise you to return to the Blue Room. First, you must deal with the detective.
Pour water on him. This will revive him, and bring on sudden feelings of shame
and remorse. You must exploit those feelings while you have his attention. Say
"Detective, give me the ransom note. "He will produce the note and a trade card
for Dr. Nostrum's. (You have one in your BALLYHOO package; it has a picture of a
cute blonde girl with a red ribbon in her hair.)
Return to the Menagerie Nook, and drop the bucket. You won't need it again. Once
again, slide your ticket under the front, and go east into the Blue Room. Look
under the tablecloth, and take the suitcase. Open the panel and... too late! The
suitcase is ripped out of your grasp and the culprit dashes west through the
open panel. You must stay hot on his heels! Go west, then up and up again. Which
way did he go? Which way did he go?
Never mind. You've got more important things to worry about, like the elephant
prod that comes bursting through the tent near you! The tip is deadly, but only
the tip. So go in any direction until the second time the prod is pushed through
the tent. Grab the shaft, then pull it or push it. You are now out of danger. Go
down and down again. The cowards have vanished. But you have gathered all the
clues you need.
It is time to take stock of your position, so return to the Prop Tent again. You
are almost done. Take the trade card, ransom note, ribbon, spreadsheet, and
scrap of newspaper. Examine the scrap. Read the ransom note. Compare the scrap
to the ransom note. Aha! Examine the ribbon. It appears to match the one worn by
the girl on the trade card.
Let us now marshall our facts:
1.The circus is not doing well financially. 2.Eddie "Chuckles" Smalldone is
involved because the scrap you found in his trailer matches the scraps used to
make the ransom note. 3.Rimshaw the Incomparable is involved, because of the
hypnotic voice of the headphones. His unwilling accomplice is the roustabout you
saw wearing the headphones early in the game. 4.Andrew is involved, because
Jenny told you so. But you are not likely to see either of them again. 5.Billy
Monday is involved, because you assume that Chelsea was in the suitcase he took
from you. 6.Gottfried von Katzenjammer is involved, because you know a meeting
is set for his trailer this evening.
Take the five clues, go south, and east. You will find Chuckles "polishing" the
lion tamer's trailer. Say "Eddie, hello." Then show him the clues in this order:
the spreadsheet, the note, the scrap, the ribbon, and the trade card.
Guilt-stricken or scared out of his floppy shoes, he will beat a hasty retreat.
Now, how to get into the trailer? Once again, you must disguise yourself. Return
to the Prop Tent, then get and wear the following items: the dress-suit
combination, the shawl-jacket combo and the veil. Drop everything else. Go south
and east, then knock on the door.
Katzenjammer, mistaking you for Andrew/Jenny, will leave you alone by the
trailer. Time's awasting! You don't know when he'll return, so go east into the
trailer. Close the door. You will find a crowbar. Take it. Now move the
moosehead. It will reveal a one foot square crawl space which is too small for
you to enter. Now who could fit in there? Hmmmm. (Light bulb!)
Open the door and go west twice. Examine the door. It is slightly warped (but
aren't we all!). Open the door with the crowbar, then go south into Clown Alley.
Fortunately, Comrade Thumb is there. Lift him and carry him back to
Katzenjammer's trailer. Put him in the crawl space and wait. He will hand
Chelsea out to you! Now to reunite the poor girl with her distraught father. Go
west and north, receiving Harry's congratulations, then east to the White Wagon.
A happy ending seems to be within your grasp. Unfortunately, Mr. Munrab
misunderstands your sudden appearance with his daughter and goes screaming
northeast for the detective. Follow him. A tense moment ensues, but before you
can explain, you are blindsided by a berserk simian.
Go north, west, north, and north again after Munrab and the ape. This is the
scene that confronts you in the Performance Ring. Munrab and the roustabout
stand aghast looking at Mahler holding the helpless Chelsea high up on the
tightrope platform. What is worse, you can no longer reach the rope ladder. Is
all your work for naught?
Stay calm. This is no time for panic. You need unquestioned obedience
immediately. Clap your hands! This will trigger Rimshaw's post-hypnotic
suggestion and make the roustabout your willing slave. Tell him to get the
safety net. This is an opportune time to get out of all of Andrew/Jenny's
clothes you are wearing. Go west to the Lions' Den and take the lion stand, then
go east and drop it. You will now be able to climb the stand and reach the rope
ladder. But experience has told you what you need to (a) cross the tightrope and
(b) calm the goril- la.
One last time, return to the Prop Tent and get the fiberglass pole and the
transistor radio. Return to the Performance Ring. Climb the stand, then the rope
ladder, with just the pole. This will drive Mahler into the guy wires above the
platform. Try to climb the wires. You can't but this will drive Mahler to the
far platform. Drop the pole and go back down for the radio.
Go up again. Confident in your proven tightrope walking ability, and reassured
by the soothing strains of classical music, head east slowly across the
tightrope. Easy. Easy. Step by step, inch by inch. Almost there.... Suddenly,
the music is interrupted by a pledge break. AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! You must go
back west to the first platform. Drop the pole and radio, and go down.
Where is a phone? Go south three times and east into the White Wagon. Take the
phone and call WPDL, then return to the Performance Ring and climb back up to
the platform. Pole and radio once again in hand, you gamely venture east one
more time. This time you make it all the way! The assembled throng cheers. This
unnerves Mahler once again, and you suddenly find yourself hanging from the
tightrope high above the oblivious crowd who have rescued Chelsea below. You
feel your hand beginning to slip. All seems lost, but at least you have
accomplished what you set out to do; you have not only saved Chelsea from her
kidnappers, but you have shown that you have what it takes to make it in the
sawdust and tinsel world of the circus. Such a pity you won't live to enjoy it.
Your weary hands lose their grip and you plummet earthward!
Fortunately, the grateful circus folk notice your predicament, and in the nick
of time save you from a terrible fate. As you plunge into oblivion, your last
thought is of the circus, and you know that someday you'll have one helluva
story to tell your grandchildren. They'll never believe a word of it.