Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In


For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
erratum to solution

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

The Mulldoon Legacy

by Jon Ingold profile

Episode 1 of Mulldoon
Fantasy/Time Travel

(based on 37 ratings)
4 member reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 6
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 451
IFID: ZCODE-6-000724-9A66
TUID: k6yq5koj2zjzstpt

Followed by sequel The Mulldoon Murders, by Jon Ingold


Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Setting; Winner, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual Puzzle - 1999 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

A massive work, solidly built on the same principles as Curses!. This will take you months to solve. The sheer quantity of puzzles is staggering, and virtually every kind of puzzle you've ever seen in a text adventure is represented (excluding the maze of twisty litte passages all alike, but including a liquid measurement problem and a cryptic crossword clue). The story concerns a search for an elderly relative in his museum. The museum turns out to be a museum of magic, and the magic turns out to be strange stuff indeed. From the museum, the player can sometimes escape into self-contained sub-worlds through visions, time travel, or other means, often learning more about the nature of magic or the history of the Mulldoons in the process. Alternate solutions abound, and many parts of the museum can be reached in more than one way. Humorous, imaginative, full of surprises, and most of all, devious. Relies on character graphics in a couple of places.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

Brass Lantern
Part of the reason that it's huge is that it's full of puzzles--this is, in every way, a puzzle-fest. Moreover, a lot of the puzzles are quite difficult, sufficiently so that you shouldn't expect this to take less than several weeks (unless you have a telepathic connection to the author or are relying heavily on a walkthrough). The length and complexity of the game adds to the difficulty, in fact, since you may be required to connect one puzzle with an earlier event that you might have encountered several weeks before, or with an object that you haven't touched in a month. Similarly, you accumulate quite a few objects by the end of the game, meaning that (a) it's easy to lose track of some in the shuffle and (b) it's easy to overlook the connection between the latest puzzle and one of the objects in your archive.
See the full review


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)
(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 4
Write a review

Most Helpful Member Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Mulldoon Legacy, November 4, 2012
Wonderful, simply wonderful. Okay, I admit (and this has already been said):
-It has A LOT of puzzles
-There is a HUGE object list to carry around
-It is almost impossible to complete without consulting the walkthrough (or is it just me?)

But so what? It had me immersed in it for days, despite the fact I didn't have a clue what I was doing most of the time, like a monkey fiddling with a Rubik's cube. Minor quibbles, and I feel awful for even saying this, as I cannot praise this game highly enough, would be the size of the object list (could some spent objects have been conveniently disposed of in the similar way that used keys are left in locks in the game?), and that the sheer size and complexity of the game (did he really write this when he was doing his A-levels?) means the player could do with a bit more guidance about what to tackle and when. Unless you are an incredibly patient, organised, observant, methodical lateral thinker and hyper-intelligent pragmatist (I am none of these), you could spend days of your life wandering around the museum in blissful ignorance (and I did).

Anyway, I am increasingly amazed, and incredibly grateful, that people like Jon put years of their lives into creating these things, despite the fact the only reward they get is the joy of creating them in the first place and (presumably) the vicarious enjoyment of others playing them. A big thank you to everyone out there who creates IF. The main reason for posting this is not an in-depth review, as you have probably noticed (I did type one but got timed out and sent back to the IFDB log-in page!): this laziness is the main reason (apart from a lack of the scary levels of intelligence, technical ability and imagination which Mr Ingold possesses) I can't create masterpieces like this. I just want to see if anyone is out there reads this and who shares my love for this medium. Whenever I try to explain the premise of games like this, which is increasingly less often, to one of my friends, who are increasingly less in number as I lock myself away to play these games, they look at me like I'm mad. Perhaps I am. Mr Ingold, I salute you!

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Hard to complete without a walkthrough., February 3, 2011
First of all, this game is incredible. I started playing it and was hooked after five minutes (excluding the opening scene, which I couldn't get into at first). Entering the museum, exploring the first rooms, speaking with the first NPC, beginning the transition from the tangible to magical realms. This was very exciting for me.

I had read the author's notes about playing the game without a walkthrough, and I was very excited to attempt this. I made a determination that no matter how long it took, I would not consult any solutions guide. But, of course, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak right? So after days of being at a standstill at one particular puzzle, having exhausting all my efforts and resources to try and solve it, I finally gave in and looked at a walkthrough. And I was completely and utterly disappointed. I still have not figured out how I was supposed to reach that particular conclusion without guidance. Nothing in the game up to that point (Spoiler - click to show)(how on earth was I supposed to know I needed to point at the sign and get the monkey to look at it? I mean, huh?!) seemed to have given a clue as to encouraging that particular action in that particular circumstance. It felt like such an unfair situation that, in spite of having the answer I needed, I found myself half-heartedly playing the game after that (continuing to use a walkthrough), before finally giving up and moving on.

Now, would I still recommend this game to others? ABSOLUTELY! It is a great piece of work, and it deserves every bit of praise it receives. (In fact, I personally think Jon Ingold is a genious). But I do wish that I had been able to play without a walkthrough, particularly since this was the author's own advice.

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Big, puzzle-filled game with deep backstory somewhat spoiled by bottlenecks, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: more than 10 hours
Muldoon Legacy is an enormous game, one of the largest I have ever seen. It has a wide variety of interesting puzzles, with a sci-if/fantasy backstory.

I fully expected to deeply enjoy this game, having loved Curses and Not Just an Ordinary Ballerina, and having just come off the similar game Theatre. However, I just couldn't get into the game.

I played without a walkthrough for a few days, getting only around 11 points. I am not the greatest puzzle solver, and I don't mind using walkthroughs when I'm stuck, but the game gets stuck too frequently.

Case in point: after the intro (which required some, to me, unintuitive commands), you begin at the museum's steps. As you are immediately told, getting in requires not one, but two keys. And the second key requires (Spoiler - click to show)a seemingly random sequence of button presses on a keypad). There is virtually nothing to do while waiting to solve this puzzle.

Compare this to other games with early bottlenecks, like Zork. There, if you can't get in the house, you can always explore the forest. And if you do stay to solve the puzzle, putting yourself in the mindset of the character gives you the answer almost immediately. (Spoiler - click to show) Door locked? Try the window . The beginnings of other games such as Curses, Ballerina, and Theatre all give you more options or a more gentle beginning, and giving you a pile of smaller puzzles that aren't that hard to work through while digesting the big ones.

One bottleneck would be fine, but they occur over and over again. It is as if ALL puzzles require "two keys" (for instance, another early puzzle requires (Spoiler - click to show) lighting a match with a brick you had to search for outside, then using the match to light a branch you found in another room. And the brick can't be found by using "examine"). This is compounded by my least favorite way of creating fake difficulty, which is giving rooms exits that are not in the description (although you are given hints in other areas about these exits).

I suppose that this game resembles Jigsaw more than anything else, with similar fake difficulty and bottlenecks. Both games, however, are still fun to play through, but don't expect to get far without a walkthrough.

As a final note, Jon Ingold writes some great games. I especially enjoyed the short game "Failsafe", and many people have enjoyed "All Roads".

Revised comments:
I decided to at least see the rest of the game. The nozzle room was one of the best things I had seen in all of interactive fiction. But I stand bh my original review. What makes this game not click if it has great puzzles and enormous amounts of locations, and a developed plot?


J.R.R. Tolkien had the same issue. He developed a massive world, and coalesced it into the Silmarillion, which had great, well-written, detailed stories. It flopped. I like it, but it flopped. He then learned to trim his work down and focus on likable characters, a well-developed plotline and beautiful location descriptions.

This work is like the Silmarillion. It is 2-4 times the length od the massive curses, which Graham Nelson wisely trimmed down in size from his first draft. Puzzles are dense, and detailed. People say they like hard puzzles, but what they really want are puzzles that make them feel smart for solving them, but can be solved after a reasonable time. And, like the Silmarillion, no characters are especially likable. Everyone seems somewhat elitist. One finak issue is the prevalence of guews-the-verb issues.

I would recommend glancing at a walkthrough after each area to see if you did everything necessary. This game is enjoyable, but don't stress out about getting hints.

See All 4 Member Reviews

If you enjoyed The Mulldoon Legacy...

Related Games

Other members recommend these games for people who like The Mulldoon Legacy, or gave both high ratings:

Jigsaw, by Graham Nelson
Average member rating: (67 ratings)
New Year's Eve, 1999, a quarter to midnight and where else to be but Century Park! Fireworks cascade across the sky, your stomach rumbles uneasily, music and lasers howl across the parkland... Not exactly your ideal party (especially as...

Divis Mortis, by Lynnea Dally
Average member rating: (29 ratings)
The infection has spread. They are coming.

Tomorrow Never Comes, by A. Bomire
Average member rating: (10 ratings)
Tomorrow Never Comes is an excellent James Bond parody with adult content. It's technically sound with great characterization, a good plot, and fast pace of action in the best of the Bond tradition.

Suggest a game

Recommended Lists

The Mulldoon Legacy appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Games what I like (for John) by insufficient data
These are some games that I like! They tend to err on the side of puzzle-y vs pure story games, and on the more polite side of the cruelty scale.

IFDB Top 100 by Pegbiter
An automatically updated list utilizing an IMDb style Bayes estimator to calculate weighted ratings based on all IFDB ratings. Questions and comments can be placed here....

Big, non-linear adventure games with score system by MathBrush
These are classic-style games, where you have to collect a large variety of objects while exploring a cave or building. My favorite way to play these games is to start playing without hints, mapping out the world and seeing what all I...

See all lists mentioning this game


The following polls include votes for The Mulldoon Legacy:

forgotten gems by Marius Müller
I'm looking for games that don't show up in the IF histories or recommended lists, for what reason whatsover. Old games that maybe weren't boundary-pushing or noteworthy, but still give you a fun play experience. If you ever thought...

Really hard puzzle/adventure games by Silius
You know like with lots of puzzles you have to solve.

Games about strange and wonderful plants by verityvirtue

See all polls with votes for this game


This is version 3 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 26 February 2013 at 4:29pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item