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What the player types at a prompt in order to produce results in the game world. In the majority of cases, a command consists of an imperative verb, and is sometimes followed by a direct object or prepositional phrase (for example: "get out of bed"). The command may generate an action, but this could fail to happen if, for instance, the command references an object that is not available to be interacted with.

A command determines the actions of the character and the flow of the story. Different commands will yield different outcomes. A player can include several commands on one line by separating them with periods, the word THEN, or a comma followed by the word AND.

(Montfort 2003) distinguishes a command, which tell the player character to do something within the IF world, from a directive (such as "quit" or "verbose") which does not have any meaning within the IF world.

See also meta-command, undo, restart, restore, quit and the command checklist.

Examples of usual commands


look at/examine something


go north/w/sw/up/down/etc

get/take/drop something

put something on supporter

put something in container

get/stand up

open/close container

ask someone about/for something

tell someone about something

talk to someone

show something to someone

Examples of unusual, contextual commands

wake up

take a shower

climb tree

kiss her

close eyes

make the bed



Tom, take the key then open the door

attack orc with sword

what is a grue?