Northwest is associated with the top left corner of a map; most maps are meant to be read with the north-end up. If you are facing north, then northwest is in a diagonal direction both forward and to your left.
Some early IF games do not support diagonal directions like northwest. In ADRIFT Generator 4.00, diagonal directions are initially disabled and must be explicitly enabled by an ADRIFT author before they can be used in a game.
The NORTHWEST command
Typing NORTHWEST means GO NORTHWEST or WALK NORTHWEST. That is, direct the player character northwestward from their current location. Assuming there's an exit in that direction and nothing is blocking or hindering the character, the PC will travel northwest to an adjacent location.
Northwest in other languages
Some languages and regions prefer to hyphenate the names of diagonal directions. Some language library extensions support both spellings; others don't. Only the unhyphenated variants are listed here.
1 Esperanto's words for northwest and northeast are nordokcidento and nordoriento, which means it's problematic to use no as an abbreviation for either of them. One might borrow the English abbreviation nw, but it's not ideal since there's no W in the Esperanto alphabet. There aren't enough Esperanto IF games to see any clear concensus on how to abbreviate nordokcidenten, but nw and nok seem the most likely possibilities.
Directions like NORTHWEST tend to be implemented both as room properties and as objects in their own right. The NORTHWEST command, however, tends to be parsed or reinterpreted as a GO command acting on the northwest object.
|Code Compare: Northwest|
|ADRIFT 4:||Move NorthWest to Armory|
|Inform 6:||The nw_to property and nw_obj object|
|Inform 7:||The northwest direction|
|TADS 3:||The northwest link property and northwestDirection object|