Augmented Fourth

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XYZZY Awards 2000
Finalist - Best Individual NPC and Best Puzzles
Augmented Fourth
Augmented Fourth small cover.jpg
Author(s) Brian Uri
Publisher(s) n/a
Release date(s) 01-Apr-2000
Authoring system Inform 6.21
Platform(s) Z-code 8
Language(s) English
Color effects none
Graphics none
Sound/Music none
Cruelty scale Polite

Augmented Fourth is a light-hearted game in the vein of early traditional puzzle-based IF. In the game, you are an amateur musician applying for a post in the Royal Court of King Goosen of Papoosen. After your audition displeases the King, you are banished and tossed into a pit, where you discover an entrance into a very peculiar community tucked into a volcano.

The game was a finalist for Best Individual NPC (King Goosen of Papoosen), and Best Puzzles in the XYZZY Awards 2000.

How It Begins

"In ye go!" With a heave and a shove, two burly guards in matching green tights toss you into Orchestra Pit. As the earthen sides rush past you and sunlight dims, you have the sinking sensation that perhaps "Ode to a Duck" was not the best choice from your repertoire...

Notable Features

  • Magic system based on music; instead of casting spells, you play special songs. Magic helps solve some of the puzzles, but not all of them.
  • Cutscenes are used both to reward the player for making progress, and to partition out the storyline. The backstory will eventually provide the PC with motivation beyond the initial desire to escape from exile.
  • Several IF in-jokes, including the response to "undress" and an elaborate set of responses to "xyzzy". The description of the Darkness room is:

    It is pitch black. You are unlikely to be tripped by a polydactyl raccoon.

  • Several reviewers remarked on how technically sound the game is; that is, although there is little that is innovative here, it's all done so well.
  • Several reviewers remarked on how clever the humor was; it's not just funny descriptions of things.
  • Some reviewers remarked on the game's Zork-like feel, without it actually being Zork.

Trivia and Comments

  • This is the author's only work of IF.
  • The original cover art was created by Rikard Peterson for the IF Cover Art Drive. The author created a new cover in 2020.
  • An augmented fourth in music is also known as the tritone. The term has another meaning in this game as well, but it is not revealed until the end.
  • "Nolava" is Avalon spelt backwards.


Release 1

  • Augmented Fourth (Brian Uri!; 01-Apr-2000; Z-code 8).
    • Release 1 / Serial number 000401 / Inform v6.21 Library 6/10
    • IFID: ZCODE-1-000401-8238
      IFID links: IFDB

Release 2

  • Augmented Fourth (Brian Uri!; 21-Jul-2009; Z-code 8).
    • Release 2 / Serial number 090721 / Inform v6.21 Library 6/10
    • Corrected a few minor bugs that always irritated the author, but not enough to render him willing to fix them during the previous nine years.

Release 3

  • Augmented Fourth (Brian Uri!; 02-Jul-2013; Z-code 8).
    • Release 3 / Serial number 130702 / Inform v6.21 Library 6/10
    • Fixed a couple bugs related to the Lively Jig that were identified by the most recent generation of avid players.

Release 4

  • Augmented Fourth (Brian Uri!; 01-Apr-2020; Z-code 8).
    • Release 4 / Serial number 200401 / Inform v6.21 Library 6/10
    • 20th Anniversary Edition, featuring updated cover art, an author retrospective, and various gameplay enhancements and bug fixes.



Augmented Fourth Pages