Birmingham IV Walkthrough

This document contains answers to puzzles (with a preliminary hint, in some cases) sufficient for about the first two hours of play.
It is not a step-by-step walkthrough, and assumes you have already mapped the obvious locations.

What does the Phil need from the start location?

The Phil cannot return to the start location (the Phil's Bedroom and the walk-in cupboard) after going out from the Phil's Bedroom. He will need only the photograph/portrait.The hat and the teabag have minor in-game effects, but are not essential.

How to hear the squeaky voice better?

Nothing can be done. Just ignore it.

Which number bus should the Phil catch from Digbeth?

Not in this story.

How to get past Bill the Bowman?

It has to do with Vincent the Raven, and what Vincent likes.
Go to Sunken Lane (West) which is SE of Outside the Cottage and search the debris, finding a brick. Go into the cottage, and take the dead rat from the Dusty Storeroom. Give the dead rat to Bill. Return to the cottage, and go to the experiment room. Throw the brick at the window (timing this correctly also silences the howling dog) and open the raven’s cage.

How to get past the troll?

Think of Littlest Billy Goat Gruff in the story.
Give him the photo/portrait.

How to get the key?

What was the Magpie doing when first found? What might the Magpie like?
Go to the music room, which startles the magpie. Get the violin from the Spotted Dog. The magpie is found again in the field of the blasted oak (SW of Outside the Cottage), where the Phil should play the violin.

How to get a spade?

Who might have a spade? And what object does the Phil encounter which is not described?
Go to In the Church, at the Base of the Tower, and go into the dark room to the SE. The spade is the good-sized object you trip over, and all you need say is “Get Spade”

How to get light?

Perhaps the Phil can buy something which provides light? And perhaps he needs to dig for treasure to pay for it?
Go to Sunken Lane (East) (SE of Outside the Cottage and then east) and dig (the Phil will need the spade). This reveals a shilling. Go to Mrs. Shemilt’s shop and buy a lantern. This delivers an unlit lantern.

How to escape the fume cupboard?

What would Murasaki Shikibu have done, finding herself in a similar situation?
Not in this story.

How to light the lantern?

What has the Phil found which is guaranteed to produce flame?
Carrying the lantern, go to the Shallow Depression (E of Sunken Lane (East) and then north) and get the sheep skull.

What is needed from Mrs Shemilt's shop?

She sells other things and you can buy them, but the only necessary thing is the lantern.

How to avoid the aardvark?

Try reversing the polarity of the neutron flow.
Not in this story.

How to deal with Piggott?

Perhaps he might come outside if he had somewhere comfortable to sit?
Examine the settle in the Sitting Room of the cottage and find a cushion. Put the cushion on the stone bench in the marketplace. Piggot will, after a short while, come and sit on the cushion.

How to deal with the dwarf?

This question really goes beyond the first two hours of play. In the meantime, the dwarf only appears if you examine the slab on the barrow – so don’t do that unless you really want to have to deal with the dwarf.

How does the Phil work magic?

He will need to be wearing a bird charm. He will also need a suitable magic word.

How to get the bird charm?

Deal with Piggot. Get the besom from Piggot’s house. Get the key. Get light. Light the lantern. Unlock the trapdoor in the Experiment Room and go up into the attic. Sweep the attic floor with the besom, revealing the bird charm.

How to wear the bird charm?

Get the chain from Piggot’s house and attach the chain to the bird charm, which enables it to be worn.

Where to get magic words?

These are written on various objects/scenery items in the game. When found, they are noted on the Phil’s shirt cuff.

How to deal with the cow?

Try speaking to her in her own language.
The Phil cannot do anything useful with her.

How to help Thomas the Tiler?

Perhaps something useful might be done with the potted plant?
Go to the garden of the cottage, go into the shed and examine the wall, learning the magic word "fullgru". Wear the bird charm, get the spade and take the potted plant to Outside the watermill. Dig a hole. Plant the plant. Say "fullgru".

How to get hold of the smock?

The wind takes the smock. What has the Phil found that relates to the wind?
Go to Sunken Lane (West) which is SE of Outside the Cottage and search the debris, finding a brick. Examine the brick, learning the magic word "remosclior". Wear the bird charm. Say "remosclior" and immediately take the smock.

How to get through the wood?

There are some things the elves don't like, and some things they can't reach.
This is a maze solved in the old fashioned way, i.e. by leaving an objects in each location as a marker, and checking every possible exit from each room. The elves will not remove any ribbons which are tied to the tree, and there are one or two other items they will not touch.

How to deal with the giant rat?

This is really beyond the scope of a two-hour walkthrough. The cat will make short work of it, but the Phil will need to work out how to get the cat and the rat together without being eaten himself, bearing in mind that the cat gets hungry regularly.