Graeme Cree's Deadline bugs page
  1. In versions 18 and 19, if you LOOK UP in Shed you get, "There is blue sky above you."
  2. In versions 18 and 19, LISTEN TO CONVERSATION says, "The telephone conversation makes no sound."
  3. 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.
  4. 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".
  5. 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.
  6. 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 versions.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 really happen.
  9. 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".
  10. In versions 18 through 22, if you KNOCK ON DOOR, then AGAIN tells you that you can't see the door anymore.
  11. 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!"
  12. 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".
  13. In all versions, GIVE someone ALL locks up the program.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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."
  17. 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. --Volker Lanz
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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 following message:
    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.
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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:
    You take a quick peek into the Master Bedroom:
    --Dan Weber
  26. In all versions, if you are together with someone in his bedroom, then KNOCK ON BEDROOM DOOR produces, "A muffled voice says, "Come in!"".
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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 similar results.
  34. 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.
  35. 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 these actions.
  36. In all versions, you can THANK anything visible. You get, "[object] acknowledges your thanks."
  37. 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."
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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).
  41. In all versions, EXAMINE ALL says, "There's nothing special about the all." --Peter Piers
  42. 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."
  43. 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!".
  44. 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
  45. 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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Page last updated 11-Sep-2020. List maintainer: Nathan Simpson