By Al Giovetti
Lead Artist:

Deadline Walkthrough

Here is the solution for solving Infocom's mystery game, Deadline. All commands which should be typed in exactly as you see them are in quotes. Directional movements are in brackets. E.g., "OPEN DOOR" and [N,N,E].

Robin Hood did an excellent job of explaining the solution, but because of typos or perhaps because of different versions of Deadline, it didn't work on my copy. So, the corrections are attributable to me, Tamerlane of the Ring.

    DEADLINE Part One
  1. From the front path of the Robner's estate, go [N] to the front door of the house. Type "OPEN DOOR" and go [N] into the Robners' house. From inside the door, go [N,E] and type "CLIMB STAIRS" twice (or you can just go [U,U]) to get to the second level of the estate. From there, go [W,W,W,W,N] to the library where you will start the first of a series of Sherlock Holmes-type activities.
  2. In Deadline, you need to establish the motive and method for the murder beyond all reasonable doubt before you can arrest the guilty party. If you don't have an air-tight case, the jury will acquit the defendant. It is here in the library where we go about establishing the method by which poor Mr. Robner was done in.
  3. First off, type "EXAMINE RUG" (or just "LOOK RUG"). You will find some mud spots which is your first clue. Now, "GET THE CUP, PAD, CALENDAR AND PENCIL" and "RUB PENCIL ON PAD" and then "TURN PAGE OF CALENDAR." Aha! Perhaps a clue as to the motive? Let's see if we can substantiate the method a little more...that mud on the rug was very interesting. Type "OPEN BALCONY DOOR" and go [N] onto the balcony. Check out the railing by typing "EXAMINE RAILING" and you will see some scratches, lending credence to the theory that perhaps the murderer climbed up the balcony from the ground below where he (or she) got mud on his shoes. Let's have a look below and check for some indication that the murderer was indeed below the balcony.

    DEADLINE Part Two

  4. To leave the balcony, go [S,S,E,E,E,E,D,D,W,S]. Type "OPEN DOOR" and go [S] back to the front door. Now go [E,E,SE] to the shed where you will see a ladder. Type "EXAMINE LADDER."
  5. Hmmm! This ladder- and-balcony theory is looking good! Let's see if we can prove the ladder was below the balcony. This will have to wait a while, though, because it's getting late in the morning and we have to do some more checking in the house before the reading of the will takes place. And besides that, we need to talk to Mr. McNabb and he doesn't seem to be in the mood right now.
  6. Go back to the house by heading [N,S,N] and head back upstairs with [N,N,E,U,U]. Let's see what else we can find upstairs. Go [S,S] into Dunbar's bathroom. Type "OPEN CABINET" and "EXAMINE LOBLO." Aha, again! Now we go back downstairs and see if we can find Mr. McNabb to see if he knows anything about a ladder under the balcony. Go [N,N,D,D,W,S,S]. Let's take a break for a while. Type "WAIT UNTIL 11:30."
  7. And now for Mr. McNabb. Let's try the garden path first with [E,NE,E,W]. If McNabb is not around, just wait for a while or snoop around the area and he will soon show up. Deadline is very unpredictable when it comes to the various characters moving around the scenario. Once you spot McNabb, go to him and say "HEY MCNABB" followed by "WHAT IS WRONG." He will tell you about some holes he found in his garden so, naturally, you say "SHOW ME THE HOLES." He will take off and you "FOLLOW HIM." When he stops, type "EXAMINE HOLES." Eureka! The ladder was here and the depth of the holes proves somebody climbed it up to the balcony!
  8. To make sure we cover every angle, type "EXAMINE GROUND" and "DIG AROUND HOLES." Hmmm...wonder what this could be about? To find out, type "ANALYZE FRAGMENT FOR LOBLO." Oops, it's later than we thought! Back to the house for the reading of the will. Go [N,SW,SE,E] to the house and [N,N,W] into the living room. Now just "WAIT" for the will to be read.

    DEADLINE Part Three

  9. After the will is read, you decide to see if you can roust some of those present into giving you some clues as to the guilty party and, perhaps, the motive for the crime. Let's start with George. Type "SHOW GEORGE THE CALENDAR." He will get very nervous and start heading out of the room. Type "FOLLOW HIM" until he finally goes to his room. He will keep telling you to leave him alone, but just keep following him until he enters his room. At this point, you decide to see if George knows more then he's telling. You aren't going to get anything from him here, so let's go to the balcony and wait to see if he does anything. Go [W,N,N] to the balcony and type "WAIT 10 MINUTES." Voila! Here he comes! Wait until he goes behind the bookshelf and then type "WAIT 4 MINUTES" to give him time to really get his hands into the cookie jar.
  10. When your 4 minutes are up, go [S], "EXAMINE BOOKSHELF," "PRESS BUTTON," and go [E]. Ha! Caught him red-handed!! Type "GET WILL," "LOOK SAFE," "GET PAPERS," and "READ PAPERS." Things are beginning to look up! Let's see if we can substantiate some of this stuff. Go back to the living room with [W,S,E,E,E,E,D,D,W,W]. My, isn't this cozy! Type "HEY BAXTER," "WHAT ABOUT FOCUS." You know he's lying so you "SHOW PAPERS TO BAXTER." Ah, that's better! Now for some clever psycho-detective work. Type "SHOW LAB REPORT TO DUNBAR" and "SHOW LAB REPORT TO BAXTER." Whip around and "ACCUSE DUNBAR." Hmmm...a tad nervous, isn't she? Perhaps we should go off and wait to see what develops. Go [E] to leave the room and "WAIT FOR DUNBAR." Just as we suspected! When she passes you, type "FOLLOW HER." Once outside the house, she will drop a ticket. Type "GET TICKET" and "READ TICKET." WOW! This is getting good! Type "SHOW TICKET TO DUNBAR." You know you've got her on the run now so head off to the shed to wait and see what develops. Go [E,E,SE] and "WAIT FOR BAXTER." When they both show up, "SHOW TICKET TO BAXTER" and "ARREST BAXTER AND DUNBAR." You didn't believe them for a minute, did you?

    Due to the dynamic nature of Deadline, there are several ways to end up accusing Baxter and Dunbar of the murder. There are also more puzzles to solve, but this is all that is necessary to put together an air-tight case against them. If you have other methods of solving Deadline, let us know!

    henk van gompel homepage iaehv.nl/users/vangompe


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