Loom - Manual
NOTE: We recommend that you first make a backup copy of all disks and put
the originals in a safe place. The disks are not copy-protected, so to copy
them, just follow the instructions that came with your computer.
You can play Loom from either a hard disk drive or a floppy disk drive.
To spin drafts using the keyboard, you can use either of the following set
of keys or click the mouse on the appropriate notes on the distaff:
Q W E R T Y U I
C D E F G A B [shift]C
Note: these keys correspond to the tonal positions of the distaff on the
Function and Command Keys
F5 Save or Load a Game (only when the cursor is visible.)
ESC Bypass a Cut-Scene
F8 Restart a Game
SPACE Pause the Game
F6 Sound Control (one press disables music but retains sound
effects. second press disables all sounds.
third press restores all sounds.)
> Faster [shift] period
< Slower [shift] comma
ALT i Reposition Instantly
ALT j joystick on n.o. note: I'm not sure if this works on the
ST version as these docs are from IBM
ALT x / Exit Game
CTL v Version Number
If you are playing from floppy disks (and not a hard drive), you will need
a blank, formatted disk BEFORE you start to play. This disk will become you
Save/Load disk. If you are playing Loom from a hard disk, your games will
be saved in the directory with the game files.
Press F5 when you want to save or load a game. If you are playing from
floppy disks, you will be asked to insert your Save/Load game disk. Once
the Save/Load screen is displayed, you can move the cursor and click on
either SAVE, LOAD or PLAY.The SAVE/LOAD option will not be available during
the opening sequence.
Click on the SAVE option. The current list of saved games will be
displayed in slots along the left side of the screen. Select a slot by
pointing the cursor to it and clicking. Now you will be able to type a new
name for that slot or use the backspace key to change the existing name.
Pressing ENTER will reactivate the cursor. Click the cursor on OK to save
the game, or CANCEL if you have changed you mind and do not wish to save it.
Click on the LOAD option. The current list of saved games will be
displayed in slots along the left side of the screen. Select a slot by
pointing the cursor to it and clicking. Click the cursor on OK to load the
game, or CANCEL if you have changed you mind and do not wish to load it.
Note: Loading a previously saved game will cause you to lose the game you
are currently playing.
SAVE/LOAD is disabled during cut-scenes (whenever the cursor disappears
from the screen).
In Loom, you play the role of Boffin Threadbare, a young boy coming of age
in a fantasy world on the brink of apocalypse. Wielding a legacy of magical
knowledge, you will set out across a landscape filled with beauty, danger
and excitement, making new friends, solving mysteries, and growing in
experience and power as you weave your way toward a destiny of overwhelming
Loom is unlike traditional "adventure games" in many ways. Its goal is to
let you participate in the unfolding of a rich, thought-provoking fantasy.
It is neither a role-playing game (although it incorporates elements of
role-playing), nor a collection of brainteasers. Its simple mysteries are
designed to engage your imagination and draw you deeper into the story, not
to frustrate you or increase the amount of time it takes to finish.
You can never be stranded while playing Loom. We've gone to great lengths
to insure that you will never find yourself in a situation from which you
cannot escape. If you're not sure how to proceed, remember: the knowledge
you need to continue the story is always available somewhere nearby. You
don't need to save and restore your game frequently to insure success
(although you can if you want to). Don't be afraid to experiment. Nothing in
the game can "kill" you. If you're really stumped, ask a friend for help.
Sooner or later, the answers will reveal themselves!
Most important of all, Loom is designed to be completed, not played
halfway through and then thrown on a shelf and forgotten. We spent a lot of
time and effort creating these disks. We want you to enjoy them all!
Listen to the audio drama! The Dolby Stereo cassette tape included in your
Loom package will tell you everything you need to know to play the role of
Bobbin and to enter his world. Listening to this tape before you start the
game will help you to enjoy the story to its fullest. You'll also gain a
clearer understanding of how Bobbin can weave magic to affect his
Read the Book of Patterns! It contains important information about the
magical powers you will soon command.
Read the rest of this manual! Loom looks and plays like no other adventure
game. Take the time to learn how to make the most of its unique design.
This is you role... You direct the actions of Bobbin Threadbare, an
inexperienced member of the Guild of Weavers. At the beginning of the story,
Bobbin doesn't know very much about the power of the Weavers or how to use
it. As he encounters and masters increasingly challenging situations, Bobbin
becomes a more proficient Weaver.
If this is your first computer adventure game, be prepared for an
entertaining challenge. Be patient, even if it takes a while to figure out
some of the puzzles. If you get stuck, you might need to solve another
puzzle first or discover a musical pattern. But hang in there and use you
imagination, and you will guide Bobbin to understand the mysteries of the
We've included the Book of Patterns to help you learn the magical patterns
that have been created by Weavers over the millennia. As Bobbin explores the
world around him, certain actions on his part cause musical nots, or
threads, to be played. Pay attention to these threads- they will always
occur in a series of four, which the Weavers call a draft. As the Book of
Patterns points out, each draft has its own unique effect, and discovering
the purpose for each draft is the secret to success in the world of Loom. As
Bobbin finds new drafts, write down the individual threads (each draft has
four) for future reference. Be sure to use a pencil when writing drafts in
the Book of Patterns! Each time you start a new game, the threads of each
draft may be different.
Playing the Game
After the opening title sequence and introduction, you will see Bobbin
standing high atop a rocky peak overlooking the island of Loom. You begin
directing his actions when he finishes talking and turns to face you. The
screen is divided into the following sections:
1) The Animation Window is the largest part of the screen. The animated
action takes place there. It shows the "camera's-eye view" of the room or
location where Bobbin is.
2) The Distaff, the magic staff of the Elders, is represented graphically
below the Animation Window. The distaff is essential to Bobbin's success, as
it allow him to spin the drafts which affect the world around him in
different ways. Remember, Bobbin must first find the distaff for it to
appear on the lower part of the screen!
3) The Icon Box is in the lower right corner of the screen. When the
cursor touches an object on the screen that can be used in some way, this
box will display an icon representing that object (except when Bobbin is
already standing next to an object).
To move Bobbin around, move your cursor into the Animation Window, point
it where you want him to go, and click. If you point to an open door and
click, Bobbin will walk through it.
To examine or "use" an object, point to the object and double-click, or
click on the object's icon in the Icon Box. Some objects will produce the
sound of a draft (or part of a draft) when activated in this way. Bobbin
must be standing next to an object in order to examine it or spin a draft on
it. You'll know when he's standing next to an object when its name appears
under the icon in the Icon Box. You can deselect the object in the Icon Box
by pressing the ESC key.
To spin a draft, point and click on each note on the distaff in the proper
sequence. For example, if you hear a series of four musical sounds in the
game, like C D E C, you should first write the sequence in the Book of
Patterns. next to the corresponding draft description. Then, you can try the
draft yourself by clicking on an object on the screen, waiting for Bobbin to
stand next to it, and repeating the same four notes on the distaff. Note: If
you wish to stop spinning a draft while in the process of spinning it, you
can press ESC.
"Cut-scenes are short, animated sequences - like scenes from a movie -
which provide clues and information about the characters (like when Bobbin
is greeted by the message nymph). While you are viewing a cut-scene, you do
not direct the action and the cursor will disappear from the screen.
Things to Try of the Island of Loom
Touch the leaf on the tree next to which Bobbin is standing in the
beginning of the game. (You can "touch" the leaf by moving the cursor over
Walk to the Sanctuary of the Elders, at the far left end of the village.
Inside you will find three tapestries which Bobbin can tell you about. You
will also find the Elders in a heated discussion, and the Loom.
Pickup the distaff which was dropped by the Elder Atropos. You must have
this object to complete the game.
Open the swan's egg into which Hetchel was transformed. Double-click on
the egg to hear the Draft of Opening. Then, using the distaff, spin the
draft on the egg yourself.
Walk to Hetchel's tent, at the far right end of the village. Here you will
find a flask with dye in it and a bye pot full of boiling dye. Using each of
these objects will produce interesting and educational effects. (Be sure to
have a pencil handy!)
The Book of Patterns
E C E D Opening - This fundamental draft is traditionally the first
- - - - one taught to novice spellweavers. Once mastered, it may be
spun into tarpaulins, theater curtains, or any covering that
must be whisked aside on command.
Dyeing - This draft was perfected by the dye chemists of the
- - - - Woonsocket Chapter, who slaved for hours over steaming pots
to satisfy the Clerics' appetite for colorful vestures.
Originally woven into all types of fabric, the applicability
of the Dyeing draft has diminished over the course of
centuries. Now it works only on wool.
Summoning - Chiefly spun by the Elders in those rare
- - - - instances when a member's physical presence is required in
the Sanctuary. The draft may be perceived by its recipient in
many different ways. It most often takes the form of a small,
luminous spheroid, referred to in children's stories as a
Tongues - The Pattern of Tongues was first spun into the
- - - - dinner placemats at the 423rd Conclave of the Guilds, held at
Elstree in 7610. For the first time, the Guild delegates
could understand each other's speeches. This innovation was
widely praised until an Undertake was overheard insulting a
Florist. Both Guilds were plunged into a bloody war lasting
five hundred years.
Silence - Silence was hailed as a welcome relief for first-
- - - - time parents and dwellers in college dormitories.
Unfortunately, our Guildmasters are too often hired to spin
these threads in situations of doubtful appropriateness. The
worst offender is the Guild of Conductors, whose members
frequently impost a draft of Silence over their audience
before a concert.
Emptying - The contents of almost any filled container may be
- - - - instantly unravelled with this handy draft. Before its
development c. 4200, the streams of Woonsocket ran green with
the discarded dyes of the chemists. Avoid the temptation to
spin Emptying upon lakes or clouds; its range is deliberately
limited to prevent catastrophes such as the Double Deluge of
4204 (for which the Guild admits no responsibility).
Unmaking - Novices are often impatient to acquire the
- - - - undeniably dramatic ability to Unmake physical objects.
Luckily, these volatile threads lie well beyond the grasp of
all but the most mature spellweavers. Entire armies can and
have been disembodied by the transawesome power of Unmaking.
Let us hope we are never again called upon to demonstrate our
craft in this manner.
Extinguishing - Open flames are easily smothered with the
- - - - draft of Extinguishing. It untangles the threads of oxygen
and fuel within a conflagration almost instantly, with few if
any side effects any very little smoke. The Guild of
Firefighters awarded us with their 6222 Plaque of Distinction
for the development of this safe, fast-acting treatment.
Sharpening - Scissors, pins and knitting needles are the
- - - - usual benefactors of this simple draft. In ancient times,
however, warriors often submitted their blades to our
Guildmembers for treatment. A formal protest by the
Blacksmiths resulted in the Wetstone Bridge Treaty of 7550,
which specifically prohibits the use of the Sharpening draft
on weapons of war.
Blessing - Also known as "Casino's Bane". Blessed items
- - - - acquire a charmed state of probability which manifests itself
as "good luck" to laymen. Use of this draft outside the Guild
is restricted by the Emerick Agreement of 5858, which
coincidentally supplies our treasury with an ample endowment
from the Order of Statisticians.
Straw into Gold - When times are lean, the Elders may invoke
- - - - this draft to generate extra revenue. Its use is strictly
regulated by the Treasurer of the Guild to prevent inflation.
Other Guilds, ignorant in the ways of spellweaving, have
concocted a variety of outlandish fairy tales involving this
rather elementary weave.
Temblor - Temblor was discovered by a reckless (and now very
- - - - dead) spellweaver who directed the threads of Rending upon a
thought-to-be-dormant volcano. Eagerly sought after by the
Guild of Seismologists, this extremely dangerous draft is
included here only for reference; its spinning has been
forbidden by the Guild since 7331.
Rending - The inventors of this innocent draft could not have
- - - - imagined how badly it would be abused. The Guild of Embalmers
originally licensed the draft for tearing rags into long
strips. When the Embalmers were disbanded in 6529, a legal
battle awarded the rights to the Guild of Career
Politicians, who employed it to shred documents. The secret
wandered from one unscrupulous Guild to another until it
ended up among the Assassins, whose uses for Rending are too
horrible to describe.
Night Vision - The threads of this distinctive and beautiful
- - - - draft are extrapolated from the song of nocturnal birds. At
one time, Night Vision was prized by the Guild of Miners,
whose legendary underground realm was chiefly illuminated by
luminous tapestries bearing our Seal. Tragically, demand fell
off after the Great Earthquake of 7331.
Healing - In Volume 19 of her Brief History of the Guild of
- - - - Weavers (Guild Press, 5620), Third Elder Lazykate documents
the way bandages were treated with Healing as early as 1716.
The four threads have evolved far beyond their original form.
They can now be spun into virtually anything which needs
rejuvenation, with the notable exception of the spellweaver's
Shrinkage - Many fabrics contract when exposed to moisture or
- - - - heat. In studying this phenomenon, the ancient Weavers
isolated the threads that cause this natural Shrinkage, and
soon developed a draft to weave the effect into any material
object. Be wary in its use! Open spun, the Shrinkage threads
can never be unwoven.
Desire - The draft of Desire has its origins in the primitive
- - - - days of our community, when it was used to lure unsuspecting
passersby into Guild shops. When spun upon a creature or
person, it warps the threads around the spellweaver so that
he or she resembles whatever thing the victim desires most.
The illusion is quite fragile and impossible to maintain for
more than a few moments.
Waterproofing - The 5992 expedition of Fifth Elder
- - - - Spindleshank to the rain forests of Lesser Uxbridge yielded
this very practical draft, which shields any fabric from the
effects of moisture. The Poison Galoshes Panic of 6003
almost resulted in a permanent ban on Waterproofing, until it
was revealed that magazine test reports had been rigged by
the Guild of Umbrella Openers.
Reflection - This draft was commissioned by the Guild of
- - - - Dancers to expedite costume changes for their 500th
anniversary performance of the classic ballet Olema. When
properly invoked, the spellweaver immediately assumes the
appearance of the being the draft is spun upon, and vise
versa. The four threads are based upon the mating grunt of
the slit-throated chameleon.
Terror - This draft reweaves the spellweaver's appearance
- - - - into a form drawn from the deepest anxieties of the being the
threads are spun upon. In effect, it turns you into the thing
the recipient fears most. Terror works only on sentient
beings, but its potency more than makes up for this
limitation. It is approved for limited therapeutic use by the
Guild of Psychotherapists.
Folding - Archaeological evidence suggests that Folding was
- - - - never supposed to be spun upon the fabric of space. Instead,
its inventors seem to have been more concerned with the
management of laundry! No faster or more convenient way has
been found to move a spellweaver from one place to another.
Caution must be exercised when Folding a section of space
already Folded by another spellweaver. Careless spinning can
create an uninhabitable "wrinkle" zone, such as the
Gainsborough Blind Spot.
Invisibility - When spun upon a person or group, Invisibility
- - - - frays the focus of their vision, rendering the spellweaver
quite difficult to see. The provenance of this draft is
uncertain. It seems to have been acquired (under questionable
circumstances) from the Guild of Shepherds, whose genius in
the art of stealth is probably unrivaled.
Confusion - The reason why this unusual draft developed is
- - - - lost in time. Revisionists claim that it was spun into the
cheaper fabrics sold at Guild shops in an attempt to
undermine the confidence of bargain hunters. Whatever its
origin, Confusion's potency has not diminished over time. One
spin leaves a victim helplessly bewildered until the
spellweaver is safely out of sight.
Shaping - Only a handful of Weavers possess the concentration
- - - - necessary to Shape a material substance. The threads of the
draft must be spun with unusual single-mindedness before the
Pattern will yield. Even then, a successfully Shaped object
may revert to its original form if the draft is not rewoven
Twisting - The origins of this ancient draft are lost in
- - - - history. The earliest references to it are woven into the
foremost hem of the Long Tapestry, beside threads depicting
the manipulation of flax and yarn by hand. Tradition has it
that the four notes were derived from the rhythmic squeak of
First Elder Swellfax's own spindle.
Warmth - What Weaver has never been wrapped in the cozy
- - - - threads of a Warmth draft? Second only to Aphrodesia in
popularity (they are often sold together), Warmth has been a
staple of our Guild for much of our recorded history. Even a
thin gauze coverlet feels as substantial as a Penumbrian
quilt after a single application.
Aphrodesia - The Guild's quick rise to prosperity and
- - - - influence was due in very large part to the success of this
best-seller. Fabrics woven with threads of Aphrodesia are
guaranteed to soften the heart of even the most indifferent
love interest. Only the Elders are privileged to know the
true origin of the draft. Rumors of a secret affair between
Second Elder Twillfast and a member of the Guild of Organists
are malicious and completely unfounded.
Sleep - It would be difficult to find a pillow, baby bonnet
- - - - or sleeping bag that has not been imbued with the soothing
properties of this popular draft. The Guild of Nannies
requires its use in all household fabrics, and the
Anesthesiologists have approved an industrial-strength
version as an alternative to chloroform.
C'F G C Transcendence - Few indeed are the Weavers who have
- - - - successfully spun this, the most subtle and mysterious
expression of our art. Transcendence dissolves the ties that
bind our threads into the Pattern, elevating mind and body to
an undefined state of existence. Transcended beings are said
to assume the form of birds, constellations, or even
sunspots. Because corporal punishment is forbidden in our
Guild, Transcendence is occasionally used as a means of
humane banishment, but only for the most unforgivable
infractions of the the Rules.