PLEASE NOTE that this post is about Emily Short's 2003 interactive fiction game City of Secrets, NOT about Aidem Media's recent graphical adventure with the same title. I cannot help you with the latter. (But if you're stuck in that game and want to check out some interactive fiction instead, why not try the also animal-starring and family-friendly Lost Pig? Once the application loads, type 'help' and read "How to play Interactive Fiction". It's a lot of fun.)
I just finished Emily Short's City of Secrets, which is an impressive work. In fact, I am tempted to call it her best yet.
Strangely enough, nobody has made a walkthrough for the game, even though there are a couple of points where you can get stuck.There are some hints on various places on the web (newsgroup postings, fora), but there's no central resource. So as a help to future players, I've decided to write down some solutions to potential problems here. If you get stuck in some other place, feel free to leave a comment, and maybe I can help you out.
In order to avoid spoilers, I'll encrypt all solutions with ROT-13. To decrypt, just paste the text into a ROT-13 decrypter like this one. (Or do it by hand: it's just a 13 place rotation in the alphabet.)
I've explored the city, but I can't get through the walls of force that block my way to the west.
Lbh'yy arrq n fcrpvny cnff, juvpu lbh pna trg sebz gur zna va gur ubgry. Whfg tb gurer naq gnyx gb uvz.
I need to get past a gate, but I don't have the password.
Lbh pna svaq gur cnffjbeq va gur onpxebbz bs bar bs gur gurngref (whfg svqqyr nebhaq jvgu gur fghss lbh svaq gurer). Lbh pna bayl trg va gurer jvgu na vaivgngvba--gel ybbxvat sbe fghss va gur cnex.
I want to go past the gate, but I still have a bug in my wrist. How do I remove it?
Lbh xabj ubj ybat V gevrq gb trg gur fvyire xavirf sebz gur nagvdhr fryyre? Jung lbh ernyyl arrq vf gur enmbe sebz gur ubgry onguebbz, naq n cynpr jurer gurer'f ab pnzren--gur pnfgyr gbvyrg.
Okay, I've found the gnostic temple, but I can't figure out what to do there.
Svefg bs nyy, lbh'yy arrq gur frecrag evat. Lbh fubhyq unir unq n ivfvba nobhg gung, naq vs fb, tb qvt sbe vg va gur cynpr jurer lbh fnj vg ohevrq. (Vg'f orlbaq gur cnex.) Gura gbhpu gur balk juvyr lbh ner jrnevat gur evat.
Nygreangviryl, V guvax lbh pna whfg zbir fbzr fghss va gur xvgpura naq gnxr na nygreangr ebhgr.
I need to get arrested, but how do I do that?
Qvqa'g trg fghpx gurer zlfrys, ohg fnj fbzrbar nfxvat nobhg vg ba gur arg. Whfg tb onpx gb gur cbyvpr fgngvba naq xabpx ba gur qbbe.
How do I get the winning ending?
V fnj fbzrbar nfx guvf nf jryy. Onfrq ba jung V'ir frra, V guvax lbh trg gur orfg rqavat ol: phefvat gur Pelfgny orsber Fvzba vf qrnq; urnyvat Rinvar jura gung vf fhttrfgrq ol gur perngher; gura fgbccvat jura lbh srry vg'f abg tbvat gb jbex.