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Debug Mode

The interpreter that the The Colonel's Bequest uses has a secret built-in so called "Debug-mode". This little feature was used by the developers while developing the game and was handy for the game testers to find and report bugs and other problems back to the programmers.

Sierra did not remove the Debug-mode in its early SCI games (click here for a explanation of what SCI is), so it is available in The Colonel's Bequest too.

You can change various things in the Debug mode. We describe two different things that can be useful: transporting to other rooms and retrieving inventory objects that you did not actually pick up in the game!

Activating the Debug mode

This feature was intended for Sierra employees only, so it is definitely not user-friendly. It is very easy to crash the game by entering a wrong value. We strongly recommend to save your game before even activating the Debug mode. This section is meant for advanced players only. You should only read this if you have finished The Colonel's Bequest before, as it contains a lot of spoilers (all objects that can be retrieved and a summary of all rooms).

While playing the game, hold both the SHIFT-buttons on your keyboard and press the minus key that is part of the numeric-keypad (on most keyboards this is on the upper side of the keyboard. If you have a laptop you often have to hold an additional Function-key to activate this minus. Note that holding the other minus key on your keyboard, often on the right side of the keyboard, does not work. Also note that the Numlock key should be off).

If you did do this correctly, a window that looks like the following one window is displayed in the upper right corner of the screen:

Note that the values that are displayed will differ from the screenshot above.

The Debug-feature is extremely case-sensitive. Please enter commands and values exactly as stated here. For example: "I" is a different command than "i". Entering wrong commands or values will often result in crashes and/or other problems.

Transporting to a different location

If you are in a hurry (or you can't access the location you want for whatever reason...), you can choose to use the Debug window to move Laura to the location you are after.

Activate the Debug-mode as described above. Then press the lowercase "g" key (you tell the Debug-window that you want to inspect a Global variable). An text input bar, with the title Variable, will be displayed. Completely delete its contents with the backspace key and enter the value "13", just like in the following screenshot and press enter (you tell SCI here that you want to view the contents of variable 13, which is the variable which holds the location Laura is currently in)

Now press ENTER. A new text input bar is displayed, that contains the current value of variable 13. This is Laura's current location. Again, remove all contents of the input bar with the backspace key and enter a new value, which will be the code of the room you want to visit. Then press ENTER.

In the screenshot above we'd transport Laura automatically to her and Lillian's bedroom (location 44).

We created a list with locations that Laura can visit, you can find it in the download section or by clicking here.
Only codes 1 to 70 should be used. Don't try the other locations mentioned in this list, because it will crash the game or will trigger animations that make no sense (the Roomlist was used by Sierra while producing the game and did tell the artists which screens should be drawn and which screens were finished. The list also contains references to specific screens that are used in the introduction movie, etc. that Laura can not visit in the game. Most of those codes do not work in the actual game, probably because other codes were assigned to a lot of those special scenes in the actual game than mentioned in the Roomlist.

As you are doing something that Sierra didn't expect you to do, you can encounter some strange problems, glitches (sometimes even instant death if you do not have an object you need in the scene), etc when you use this transport "cheat". Use this information at your own risk! Again, entering a location that does not exist will immediately crash the game after leaving the Debug mode.

Leave the Debug mode by pressing both Shift-buttons and press the "d" key. Laura should now be in the location you entered.

Retrieving objects

If while playing the game you realize you miss an inventory item that you need to continue, you usually need to start over or restore a game to an earlier point. You can also choose to "cheat" by retrieving the inventory object using the Debug feature.

Activate the Debug mode as described above (again, do not forget to save your game first!)

Now press the lowercase "i" key. You tell SCI that you want to Inspect a class. A text input bar is displayed, entitled Inspect. Now type "Inv" (type exactly as described, capital I and lowercase n and v) to tell SCI you want to inspect the inventory class and press Enter. See the screenshot below:

If you did do this correctly, then the following window is displayed:

Now press the lowercase "c" key to inspect the contents of the inventory collection (you do not need to press Enter). A window is displayed containing the first inventory item, as in the following screenshot:

If you press Enter, then the next inventory object is automatically displayed. If you see the item you want, press the "e" key (so do not make the mistake of pressing Enter if you want to retrieve the necklace!). A new, empty input bar entitled Selector is displayed. Enter the value "owner", as in the following screenshot:

Press enter, a new input bar is displayed. You must now tell the game that you want to own the inventory object. You do this by clearing the contents of the input field with the backspace key. Enter the word "ego" (all lowercase characters), as in the following screenshot: ("ego" is the codename Sierra internally used to identify the player).

The order in which the inventory objects is displayed is:

  • Necklace
  • Monocle
  • Lantern
  • Oilcan
  • Rolling pin
  • Skeleton key
  • Poker
  • Crowbar
  • Cigar butt
  • Broken record
  • Notebook & pencil
  • Crackers
  • Soup bone
  • Valve handle
  • Bullet
  • Derringer
  • Matches
  • Carrot
  • Brass key
  • Diary
  • Crank
  • Cane
  • Pouch
  • Handkerchief

After the last item (the hanky) you see a window with the word "end". Press the Enter key and you are back at the "Inspect :: Inv" screen. If you missed the inventory item you wanted first time around, you can press the "c" button again and try it again. If you are finished, then press enter and you return at the Debug screen. Now press the both Shift-buttons and press the "d" key to leave the Debug mode. You now have the item you wanted!

I don't think you can be Super Sleuth if you need to resort to this debug option to complete this game.