Graeme Cree's Deadline bugs page
- In versions 18 and 19, if you LOOK UP in Shed you get, "There is blue
sky above you."
- In versions 18 and 19, LISTEN TO CONVERSATION says, "The telephone
conversation makes no sound."
- In versions 18 and 19, if you enter the house through Library Balcony,
avoiding other possible entrances, then the first time you go to Foyer,
Mrs. Robner immediately appears, introduces herself, and invites you in. This
happens regardless of any interaction you've had with her, and you can even
do it while she's upstairs on the phone. The same thing happens in all versions
if you enter through Bedroom Balcony.
- In versions 18 and 19, after you find some evidence against George and
Baxter, ARREST GEORGE AND BAXTER ends the game with you receiving a letter saying
that "The district attorney has declined to indict Mrs. Robner and Mr. Baxter".
- Versions 18 through 21 contain the infamous "two Dunbars" bug, mentioned
in both the New Zork Times and InvisiClues. Here's how it works.
After you've shown Ms. Dunbar the lab report showing that the cup fragment contains
LoBlo, each time you ACCUSE DUNBAR she starts wandering around for a while. If you
do this in her bedroom shortly before she's going to be killed, then you go back
downstairs and wait, soon you'll hear the gunshot. At that point there is an
illegal object error that is considered fatal by most modern interpreters. You can
keep the game going by using an Infocom interpreter or the -i option in Frotz.
Ms. Dunbar's dead body is now in her room, but the living Ms. Dunbar is still
walking around and eventually returns to the room.
- In versions 18 through 22, MOVE DOOR or GIVE DOOR TO someone locks up the
program. MOVE IT or GIVE ME IT on the first turn does the same thing in all
- In versions 18 through 22, using the syntax GIVE someone something,
instead of GIVE something TO someone, causes a problem. For example, if you've
been referring to Ms. Dunbar, then GIVE HER BOOK causes an extra line, reading,
"FOOOO!!", to be printed after the result message.
- In versions 18 through 22, once you've found the open safe, it can't be
closed again. Although CLOSE SAFE responds, "The safe closes and locks.", it doesn't
- In versions 18 through 22, the FIND command doesn't know the difference
between "on" and "in". For example, if you put the mystery book on the living
room table, then FIND BOOK says, "It's in the living room table".
- In versions 18 through 22, if you KNOCK ON DOOR, then AGAIN tells you that
you can't see the door anymore.
- In versions 18 through 26, LOOK UP a person responds, "What a pervert!"
then continues with the ordinary response to LOOK UP. Version 27 stops after
"What a pervert!"
- In version 27, the question to disambiguate between objects with the same
name has an extra space in it. For example, the response to EXAMINE LAWN at Front
Path begins, "Which lawn do you mean,", with two spaces after "Which".
- In all versions, GIVE someone ALL locks up the program.
- In all versions, you can raise the late Mr. Robner from the dead! If you
say MR. ROBNER, GET UP then you get, "You are on your own feet again." Now the
room description includes, "There is a Mr. Robner here." EXAMINE MR. ROBNER
produces a string of garbage, but he is now your obedient servant. He will
follow any order you give. Anywhere you send him, you see room descriptions as
if you were there. If you're seated when you order him out of the room, then
you stay seated, but move along with him. If you order him to SIT ON a piece
of furniture, then you're the one who sits down, teleporting to the
appropriate room if you're not already there. If you make him GET something,
then it's gone unless you make him get rid of it using IT right afterward. Of
course no one notices him, and you're still supposed to solve his murder.
- In all versions, if you PUT something ON BED in any bedroom other than the
Master Bedroom, it's gone forever, unless you remove it using IT right
afterward. You won't see the object in the room description, and you can't
interact with it, but LOOK ON BED lists all objects you've put on any of those
beds. A similar fate befalls anything you DROP while sitting on the sofa or a
toilet, although you can't PUT anything ON or IN them.
- In all versions, you can pick up more than you can otherwise carry if you
PUT things IN an open container you're carrying. You get the message, "Your
load is too heavy. Done."
- In all versions, the quantity of cough syrup in the bottle of cough
medicine in Dunbar's bathroom can be taken out of the bottle as if it were tablets.
- In all versions, it's possible to bring the ladder inside the house.
Get it before you enter the house for the first time, then knock on the front
door. You're ushered in carrying the ladder.
- In all versions, go to the shed and wait until 11:58. ANALYSE THE LADDER.
Duffy will take it to the lab. Go to the Orchard Path. McNabb will show up at some
time and place the wooden ladder on the ground, although it should be at the lab,
because Duffy hasn't returned yet. But he will - handing you the ladder...
Mysterious, isn't it? --Volker Lanz
- In all versions, when Mr. Baxter is reading the mystery book, READ BOOK
takes it away from him, but it doesn't show in your inventory.
- In all versions, if you FOLLOW MRS. ROBNER on her way from the living room
to the master bedroom when she's going there to call back Steven in the morning,
she will "shut the bedroom door" after her, before you can enter it. However,
FOLLOW MRS. ROBNER will take the player into the bedroom as if the door were open. --Volker Lanz
- In all versions, you can get the game to print gibberish when the stereo
turns off. At 11:07, George walks into his room. If you're there, you can get the
George steps into the room.
George walks over to his stereo and puts on a record. He turns to you. "I naturally assume that you would like to hear a cacophonous electronic jumble." he says, barely concealing his clear distaste for you and your profession.
If, immediately, you TURN OFF THE STEREO, giving the message, "George turns
towards you in disgust as you turn off the cacophonous electronic jumble."
and then TURN IT ON, the room description will indicate that no music is
playing, and even if you LISTEN TO STEREO, nothing seems to be happening.
However, the game obviously has a timer set, because at 11:32, you get the
garbled message (in version 27):
The tRobner vnggnt6wp qdoesn't vsomething vv iare gdkgThere kseems yn has ended (and not soon enough).
George walks over to his stereo and returns the music to its proper place. He then chooses a record from his large collection and starts it up. Dear Lord! It's a bluegrass tune. --Jake Wildstrom
The October 1984 issue of Electronic Games Magazine printed a letter from Robert Mc Alhany Jr. reporting this bug.
- In all versions, the bay window in the living room "seems to be latched
from the inside." However, your ability to unlock it doesn't depend on being
inside; it depends on if you have ever visited the Foyer. Sneak through a balcony
and you can't open the window from inside the living room. (Incidentally, you can
win the game without ever visiting the Foyer.) --Dan Weber
- In all versions, Saying "hello" or "goodbye" to inanimate objects (e.g.
HELLO LAWN) results in: "Only schizophrenics say "" to a [object]." (There's
nothing in the quotation marks.) --Volker Lanz
- In all versions, you can look into rooms: LOOK IN MASTER BEDROOM will
show you any NPC and objects there. (This also lets you see Baxter in the master
edroom, when and where he is supposedly hiding to kill Dunbar.) However, if there
is no such thing in the room, you get an incomplete response:
>LOOK IN MASTER BEDROOM
You take a quick peek into the Master Bedroom:--Dan Weber
- In all versions, if you are together with someone in his bedroom, then
KNOCK ON BEDROOM DOOR produces, "A muffled voice says, "Come in!"".
- In all versions, wait until between 11:21 and 11:39 before you enter the
house the first time. Enter the house. Mrs. Robner welcomes you and walks to the
kitchen. Follow her. Wait with her there. She'll either leave and go to the master
bedroom or stay in the kitchen. At 12:56, she'll say that she doesn't understand
why you missed the will reading and so on, although she hasn't been there herself.
If you don't wait with her, but go to the living room instead, Mr. Coates and the
others will be there waiting. At 12:40, Coates will suddenly say that everyone's
there, although Mrs. Robner never entered the living room. However, she is in the
room when Coates has finished. --Volker Lanz
- In all versions, type SMELL THE AIR on either of the balconies and you'll
be told that a pleasant breeze is coming from inside the house, if the balcony door
is open. Close it, and the air becomes even worse: You'll get a reply as if you were
inside the house. That's because the game distinguishes between outside, ground floor
and first floor, but a room can only belong to one of those. And the balconies should
both be outside and first floor. --Volker Lanz
- In all versions, you can open the front door before entering the house the
first time and then knock at it. Mrs. Robner will appear and the game will say she
opens the door. --Volker Lanz
- In all versions, if you AWAKE MS. DUNBAR (or any female), you get the
answer "He's wide awake..." You can also wake up Mr. Robner. Or you can AWAKE ME
and get "The me doesn't sleep." --Volker Lanz
- In all versions, TURN TO JULY 32 (or any greater number) taunts you with
Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November,
All the rest have 32???
But you also get this error with 31 days, even though July 31 is a totally valid date. --Dan Weber
- In all versions, ask Mrs. Rourke "WHATS WRONG" like you normally would do
with McNabb. She'll reply "I don't know nothing about no weather." This is probably
because "WHATS WRONG" is recoded into "SOMEONE, TELL ME ABOUT THE WEATHER" by the
program internally. --Volker Lanz
- In all versions, if you say DROP BOTTLE when you're carrying more than one,
and answer ALL when asked which, you get, "You can't use multiple direct
objects with 'tell'." DROP ALL BOTTLES works just fine. Many other verbs give
- In all versions, the description of the papers is, "Inside the wastepaper
basket are some crumpled papers.", even if they're out of the basket.
- In all versions, if you GET TRAY THEN DROP BOWL THEN LOOK, then the
description includes, "Sitting on the tray is a bowl containing a white
powdery substance." The initial description of the sugar bowl isn't changed by
- In all versions, you can THANK anything visible. You get, "[object]
acknowledges your thanks."
- In all versions, GET FINGERPRINTS FROM something says, "Upon looking
over and dusting the fingerprints you notice that there are no good
fingerprints to be found."
- In all versions, go to the shed, enter it and wait for someone to be on
the east lawn. Look through the shed window. If there's a person on the east lawn,
the program will say "You can vaguely see someone inside the east lawn." --Volker Lanz
- In all versions, LOOK AT SOFA shows nothing on the sofa, even though Dunbar and
the player could each or both be sitting there. Same with the various beds in the game. --Dan Weber
- In all versions, if you ASK GEORGE ABOUT SAFE before you should know
about it, he "looks up toward the ceiling" before answering. This even happens
if he's outside (on the East Lawn, about 1:00).
- In all versions, EXAMINE ALL says, "There's nothing special about the all." --Peter Piers
- In all versions, CLOSE CALENDAR says, "It's not worth the effort.
You must be very clever to do that to the calendar." Then AGAIN says, "It's not worth the effort.
You must be very clever to do that to the."
- In all versions, the parser has difficulty with ambiguous adjectives. For example, if the cup and saucer are both present, GET BEAUTIFUL or EXAMINE BEAUTIFUL says, "You must supply a verb!".
- In all versions, you can READ LADDER to pick it up when it's leaning against the house. It doesn't show in your inventory (no response to I if it's the only thing), and you can still go up and down. --Torbjörn Andersson
- In all versions, ANALYZE object FOR FINGERPRINTS doesn't work, though the manual says it should. It never finds fingerprints; you have to use the verb FINGERPRINT. --Torbjörn Andersson
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