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Trilby's Notes

by Yahtzee

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File size: 2 MB
Downloaded: 15,795 times
Graphics: 320x200, 8-bit (256 col)
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Game Genre:
Game Type:
Story Type:
Release Date:
27 Jun 2006
AGS Panel Rating:
Player Rating:
Rated 90% by the community (92 votes)Rated 90% by the community (92 votes)Rated 90% by the community (92 votes)Rated 90% by the community (92 votes)Rated 90% by the community (92 votes)
Medium Length Game
Short Game Can be completed within 30 minutes
Medium Length Game Takes at least 30 mins to finish
Full Length Game As long as a Sierra / LucasArts classic
Non-Adventure Game Using Adventure Game Studio for something else?!
Joke Game You know when it fits this category ;)
Demo Unfinished Games / Commercial Games
Training Game Games made just to try out AGS
<Category Not Set> Not yet categorised
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Content Advisory:
Bad LanguageNone


Public Opinion

If you've played this game, why not help out and give us your votes?
92 people have rated this game so far:
Puzzles & Pacing:
Overall Enjoyment:

About this game

My name is Trilby. Four years ago I was involved in the DeFoe Manor Incident. I and four other individuals were trapped inside a manor house by some kind of supernatural intelligence; a dark wraith with murder on its mind, the ghost of the original owner's youngest son. I was trapped inside DeFoe Manor for five days. I was forced to do something I can never forgive myself for. Possessed I may have been, but I was still watching through my eyes a man dying at my hands...

AGS Awards Wins

Won, Best Game Created with AGS 2006

Won, Best Story 2006

Won, Best Non Player Character 2006

Won, Best Animation 2006

AGS Awards Nominations

Nominated, Best Dialogue Writing 2006

Nominated, Best Player Character 2006

Nominated, Best Gameplay 2006

Nominated, Best Puzzles 2006

Nominated, Best Use of Sound 2006

Nominated, Best Programming 2006

AGS Panel Review

"The best, in my opinion, of the Trilby/Days games. Very well written, and very enjoyable. Highly recommended."

35 people commented on this game (newest first):

SO good. A really great addition to the other Trilby games. I was very surprised at how well the text based exploration worked. I felt more involved in the story line and, honestly, it made it more scary.

Also has a great replay value. I have replayed this many times through the years!
2020-04-05 00:48:30 by Goblin1408
2012-08-07 21:45:47 by ig299
Great game, great story, third chapter of the Chzo series - one of the best stories not only on AGS site, but overall. The GUI is much different, than in the rest of the games with Trilby and it's quite original. You MUST play this game!
2012-01-19 14:35:23 by Matiavelli
Yahtzee does it again. This is my favorite game in the Chzo Mythos series. It is also my 2nd favorite AGS game of all time.
2010-07-09 17:29:02 by Vexxice (vexxice)
Played this game few times (as well as other Trilby serious). I must confess that although it had even much appealing visual and audio level than previous games, I felt rather... not well, when playing it for the first time. Main reason is that in earlier games element of horror was limited to certain episodes, or moments; in "Trilby Notes" you are constantly stressed, especially when in the "alternate" hotel, you just cannot be sure that some ugly revolting monster is not waiting for you behind the next corner; and the wispering ambience worsens this feeling. I think I made dozen pauses to rest from the game before I finally finished it.

On the other hand, the game is still one of my favorite adventures ever because of the flashback stories, which I adored very much. Perhaps, it is they that gave me enough stimulus to play futher, I just wanted to see them all :). Very captivating stuff.
2009-08-29 20:13:38 by Crimson Wizard
My personal high point of the series. Fantastic atmosphere, ambient sounds and brilliant characters all come together in a terrific story. Not many games leave a lasting impression in my mind but when I played it (This was last year. And it's still stuck in my mind) I couldn't help but feel terrified all the time. Great job from Yahtzee. It's almost impossible to believe that one man did everything but the music and beta testing.

Great stuff.
2009-07-20 22:06:12 by Krishaw (krishaw)
Just will say I decided to paypal the creator out of gratitude for making this and other games in the series. Freaking genius!
2009-02-08 21:22:56 by spanish_roboteer
It was perfect experience, but please, Mr. Yahtzee, don't make text-command adventure again. :)
2008-09-01 17:28:03 by Anonymous (BoredSeal)
A genuinely scary game.
2008-07-01 23:55:58 by HailRain (hailrain)
Of the Chzo games I've played this was my least favorite. It is still a decent game and comes coupled with a compelling story, so it definitely worth playing if you got the time.

In many ways it is the true sequel to 5 Days, focusing on Trilby again and being a conclusion to the events of that more than a lead in to 7 Days. The story and immersion as always make these games. I've played through them all very quickly without breaks to fulfill my semi-disgusting obsession with the canon (heh).

However, this is is why the game play makes Trilby's Notes so frustrating. The text parser is a burden and highlights the worst parts of adventure games, trying to guess what the creator was thinking. Rather than having inspired puzzles it instead a guessing game. To make things worst, you move at a snail pace with the stupid start/stop walking. Areas like the stairwell were really obnoxious and poorly designed, making the player have to weave in and out (very slowly!), sometimes catching yourself because the staircase is slanted and you can't just go straight up.

I did really enjoy the swapping between the two worlds. However, with the player moving so slowly and me generally wanting to avoid climbing the stairs, it became a nuisance searching everywhere just to realize you needed to swap between the two worlds in the room you were already at
2008-05-23 05:20:24 by Dharma_and_Greg#1fan
First I just have to say that Yahtzee is a friggin' genius! I played 5 days a stranger and 7 days a skeptic (and yes, I did got scared - I don't get scared easily) last year and discovered trilby's notes and 6 days a sacrifice this week. Did I say the guy is a genius? To make a complete story with the occult and putting sense (or not, depending from the point of view) in 2 horror stories, making it such a larger picture... My congratulations, please make more games. Please!

Trilby's notes is my personal favorite, with all the flashbacks and the story of the wood that made the idol. I had to turn off the sound in the Ethereal realm because it was really freaking me out! The music was amazing too, I found myself looking around the room to see some dark shadow.
I have only one small thing to point out: the letters in the notes were very hard to read, with all those curves, I'd prefer something more straight, like the text in the dialogues. Other than that, at first I was saddened to discover the keyboard control but it made sense considering the scenery and environment, you have much more to do with point and click - it was more straightforward this way to complete the puzzles.

Please do more games. Did I say this before? No matter. Please do!
2008-03-11 23:28:14 by firestarter00
I've played many "horror" games in my lifetime, such as Penumbra: Overture and Condemned: Criminal Origins. They rely on scaring you with sudden, random things (like a monster suddenly appearing in front of you) but none of them have the terrifying effect that Trilby's Notes has. This game sends a shiver down my spine whenever I play it. I seriously doubt if anyone can play this game alone, in a dark room, with a set of headphones, with the sound volume cranked up, without getting scared.
2008-03-09 15:39:26 by alpha45
Bloody scary! I had to stop playing it so many times at night because I was freaking myself out too much. It draws you in so much and the story is deliciously creepy. I was also surprised at how well the parser worked.
2007-10-26 23:44:43 by Amsterdamage (N.M.Music)
It has an amazing story, totally scary idea and a great ending!!! It reveals even more stuff having to do with the DeFoe incident and goes further in the past to the beginning of all. The command line interpreter might confuse you (it's the first time I finished an adventure through such interface though, only got me stuck in a place where I had to rephrase my action which was right but got me puzzled why it doesn't work) but give it a try!
2007-06-22 15:57:31 by Optimus
This game was my favourite out of the whole series! I loved the text parser controls, and the settings were really atmospheric. And the Tall Man truly is a terrifying character.
2007-06-03 12:41:00 by Crazeee (crazeee)
Trilby is back!

This time instead of a mouse you use a nice text parser, which I believe gets you more involved in the story. Being that this is my first time using a text parser in a video game, it felt confortable. Another good touch to the gameplay is using the keyboard arrows which you use to move Trilby. Sure you will miss using the mouse, but you'll get the hang of the parser quickly, unless you hate typing.

The story is much more fleshed out with some great twists. However you can miss some of it if you don't talk much to the people you encounter using the parser. This is especially true in the final sequence. However the plot is so gripping that it's hard to stop playing. There is plenty of surpprises here that I won't spoil. All I can say is that it all ties up well to the previous games. When its all done, you will want more after seeing the great ending.

STORY: 9/10

The cast here is much more stronger and quite possibly deeper than the previous games, at least I think so after being somewhat disappointed by 7 Days A Skeptic. Again, make sure you use that parser to get more info about them. I must say I really like that evil character. He is the stuff of nightmares. Great villian!

CAST: 9/10

The puzzles are well thought out, though not too hard, save for the end sequence. I was stump for about close to 4 hours until I gave in and got a hint from the forums. Still it all flows well and there aren't questionable like the previous game.


What I like more is that it pulls you in from the from the beginning. You feel as if you are Trilby in a deranged hotel. Perhaps it's the text parser together with the great setting and excellent music. I admit it, a copule of the sudden sound effects made me jump. That is something most video games don't do to me. I always like a good scare and Trilby's Notes nailed it with the gory settlings.


The visuals are a welcoming after being a bit disappointed by 7 Days A Skeptic. Every room is a treat to look at. Great animation too makes it all a joy to the eyes. A great step up from the previous games.


When all is said and done, Trilby's Note is a true classic. The plot and characters are all memorable. The difficulty was just right. Everything is top notch. Don't miss out!

OVERALL: 9/10 (Not an average of the above ratings)

2007-03-22 22:02:01 by Fleshstalker
This is easily my favourite of the Chzo Mythos. Although 5DAS had the originality and overall style, this one has it all and much more. The story is just so intense and creepy, while also being exciting and surprising. It sums up some things from the other games, while also leaving questions open for 6DAS.

The character cast is also great. Tilby, who is already described much because of the first game, gets another dimension in this one as he shows to be obsessed with getting rid of DeFoe. My favourite is The Tall Man as he just sends a creepiness through the whole game, that really pumps up the intensity and feel of the whole game. Superb adventure game, thumbs up!
2007-02-25 13:00:47 by SVA
Great story, weak puzzles, that about sums up my overall impression of Trilby,s Notes.

I can easily say that this is one of the most atmosperhic ags-games i,ve ever played. The story sucks you right in so that you find it hard to stop playing, despite the creppy atmosphere and the horrific images. The idea to let the player play as several characters in "flashbacks" is brilliant!
It involves you even more in the plot and makes you care for and pity the victims horrible fates.

The puzzles, though, are somewhat of a letdown.
While I understand that Yahtze deliberately made them easy to let the story flow better, most of them are almost blatantly obvious and also feels unrelated to the plot. The puzzles in "5days a stranger" and "7days a skeptic" were better, but didn,t have the same involving plots as this one. (I recommend you to play those games first before playing this)

However, the great story more than enough makes up for the minimal challenge and if you want a horror-game that is actually scary, you can,t go wrong with this. Just be aware that this game has a large amount of blood and mutiliated corpses, if you have a weak stomach!
Play late at night with lights turned off.... If you dare!
2007-02-06 21:58:47 by accolyte
Bring on Trilby 4... This is by far the most atmospheric game ever created on AGS (that I've played) and is superbly written to extremely enviable standards. Yahtzee is God!
2007-01-15 04:20:05 by Stupot
Really the best AGS game I ever played.
I played it with a friend and it scared the hell out of us. And we alreade thought that 5 Days a Stranger was good.
2007-01-05 22:33:38 by Hans Cronau
Ok ya'll it's official: Yahtzee is AGS God! This game is just below 5 Days (and, if you've read my review of that one, you know how much I loved it). It was great to see Trilby again, as well as a good old-fashioned text interface. The graphics were Yahtzee's best yet. The story was wonderfully complex and intriguing, and the tall man is now my favorite villian in any game I've ever played. Amayzzing.
2006-12-11 05:35:36 by MaddieGail62
It's decent. If you've played 5 Days a Stranger than you probably want to find out what happens to Trilby next, and this game does that nicely. The story is very good and it clears up some questions you still have at the end of 5 Days.

Still, this is not the masterpiece that 5 Days or Adventures in the Galaxy of Fantabulous WOnderment were. The graphics are not as blatantly, pointlessly gory as 7 Days a Skeptic's are, but they do come rather close sometimes. It's kind of like a halfway-position between 5 Days and 7 Days--it has some of the nice uncomfortable suspense and intriguing storyline as 5 Days (but not all of it), and some of the ridiculously pointless violence of 7 Days (but not all of it), and as a result the value of the game is right in the middle, too. In other words, if we look at games on a continuum and 5 Days is a 10 (awesome), with 7 Days as a 1 (terrible), than Trilby's Notes is about a 5 or a 6.
2006-07-31 14:59:17 by KingMick
This game is terrifying! One second everything is normal, then you suddenly see some sick, twisted scene with blood and gore all over the place. It was unfortunate that I decided to play this game at night, because it actually gave me nightmares.

The text parser in this game reminded me of the old Hugo trilogy, specifically "Hugo's House of Horrors." I feel this feature added to the puzzles (most of which seem fairly straightforward)because the player couldn't just click all over the place and hope to strike gold.

The graphics are far from realistic, but the use of story and suspense more than compensate for them.

Another quality of this game which I think goes unnoticed is the size of the download:2MB!. For us poor dial-up users, who don't have enough time to do a 50mb+
download, this is great!

I really enjoyed this game, and would highly suggest it for anyone who likes the horror genre. I did feel, however, that there might have been too much gore and blood.

Give it a try, it's free and only 2 mb
2006-07-30 20:59:48 by Dr Orpheus
this game clears lots of questions in your mind.
obviously great game.you must play 5 days a stranger,7 days a skeptic before it
2006-07-26 20:41:46 by spider man (sizzling_hotty)
Just finished it now, and definitely the most disturbing, and best of the three. The story began to make sense as the game progressed, and also clicked with the other two games. I was completely absorbed throughout

The graphics are a great improvement and add a lot to the horror feel. There is more than just some pixelly blood here: now there is plenty of gore, mutilation and pain. Some areas could do with improving, mainly the light-filter staircases.

Scary? A lot more than the other two games (5DaS & 7DaS) put together. Along with the few obligatory nasty deaths, the game focuses more deeply on the occult, and employs various clever devices. The game requires you to explore the surroundings and become familiar with them, and then suddenly jolts you into horror scenes which makes normal play a lot more unnerving - it feels like nothing you touch is safe anymore. This is the sort of game that you shouldn't eat or drink while playing, since there are plenty of shocks to spill things over your keyboard, including a subtle trademark of 5DaS.

The interface is perhaps the best yet from Yahtzee. This time the mouse is not needed at all (even for saving) thanks to the parser, which also cuts out much tedium. Many adventure games can be solved by brute force by systematically trying every possible combination, even using objects that aren't even recognisable. Trilby's Notes allows the player to explore the surroundings verbally as well as visually, and this time the player has to provide more detail when solving puzzles. This said, I found the parser very forgiving, recognising many verbs and possible descriptions.

The puzzles are quite unremarkable and straightforward, but not too easy. Things which were taken for granted in earlier games, such as listing conversation topics or using items, require more clarification now. While this sounds harder, it gives you more control over what you actually want to do. The use of keyboard movement reduces the amount of pointless clicking or typing, although there are some irritating problems such as constantly typing 'open door' during the course of the game (perhaps the player should be able to bind verbs to keys?). I managed to finish the game without too much trouble, and I found the difficulty to be just right. The end puzzle is very good and is both closely tied to the plot, and vindicates the use of a parser.

The music and sound are also very chilling. I'll admit that I kept the speakers quite low in case there was some sudden scream or something (though with hindsight I don't remember any). The muttering is especially good.

Overall, a fantastic game, although not for the faint of heart. Play 5DaS and 7DaS first though.
I'd give it a 9.5/10
2006-07-23 18:05:14 by SimB
This games is great, exactly in the style 5DAS and 7DAS. Perfectly drawn, perfect story, all Yahtzee-style. Unfortunately, the sound was off, I mean, I could barely hear the sound effects so I turned up the volume, but then a sudden burst of loud music almost destroyed my hearing and my speakers.
Great puzzles though. Definelty a keeper alongside 7DAS and 5DAS.
2006-07-16 07:09:15 by Dan_N_GameZ
This is a success on so many levels.

Not only is this a technical feat, by being the first real text parser made using AGS, but it's also an achievement in storytelling and character developement.

I loved the character of Trilby In 5DaS, but he was faily two dimensional. In this game you expand his range of emotions and experiences so much that I feel genuine empathy for him.

And the story is miraculous. It clears up a lot of the questions that I was asking my self at the end of 5 Days (namely the significance of the idol).

It is also genuinely terrifying in it's constant switching between two worlds, and it's eerie music.

I know that some people may feel that it would be more scary if the graphics were more realistic, but I disagree. I this that one of the great things about video games is their ability to look stylized, much like animation If this game looked photo-realistic, it would have a completely different feel to it, and it would simply not be as fun to play.

In conclusion, there is really no reason I can think of not to play this game. You will thank yourself (and Yatzee) afterwords.

2006-07-15 13:46:11 by alexandergore
AWESOME game! I loved the text parser (or whatever it's called) it brings me back to the King's Quest days >joyful sigh<
2006-07-15 09:20:04 by Kurisutsure
Excellent - another masterpiece from Yahtzee. Not only that, but this game explains the history behind the events at DeFoe Manor.
2006-07-12 05:30:23 by paolo
I just finished the game and I came here to write my thoughts about it. I simply cannot put them in better words than Plaguewielder. His comments perfectly reflect the impressions I got from this wonderful game.

In my opinion, this game is way superior to the other two games in the trilogy in terms of story telling.

Nobody should be scared by the text parser. It's very lenient, and except for a couple times, I found obvious what the expected input was.
2006-07-09 12:58:49 by jkohen
To tell you the truth, I was quite worried about this game when Yahtzee revealed it used a text parser. But when I actually played the game, it worked amazingly well. I think I actually prefer this to a normal point and click interface.

Yahtzee keeps maturing with every game he's released. This game has come closer to a horror than any game thus far. Yahtzee has the gift of being a awe-inspiring story-teller, once you've played this, you'd be left wondering how he even comes up with this stuff. Quit incredible.

Another factor here is the insane amount of gore put into this game, it works and I commend Yahtzee for not heeding to some fools who though 5 Days to be "exceptionally gory and violent". Yes, if you're easily scared and have a faint stomach, I sugest you stay away from this game. I guarantee though that you'd be missing something HUGE for your stupidity.

The game shows maturity and class in every one of it's aspects. The main focus is the story, which as I mentioned earlier - is awesome. The puzzles are well done, never incoherent and never out of place, and with just the right amount of difficulty to go with it. The random horror scene's and the two realms were genius in its purest form. There's just so so much on here, I can't put it into a review without giving out any spoilers.

Simply put, this is the best AGS game thus far. Screw that, this is the best FREEWARE game around. Yahtzee keeps raising the bar higher and higher everytime he makes a game.
2006-07-07 14:46:35 by Plaguewielder
i loved this sequel... it was so scary! i had to turn the music off because it was too creepy.

fantastic storyline, great gameplay, great interaction. i loved it.
2006-07-07 09:02:49 by doradiamond
great game! I especially liked the text parser :)
2006-07-07 07:36:06 by teskor
Yahtzee:) This Game Was Awesome!!!
I give it 5 Stars!!!***** Thanks For The Hard Work You Put Into This....
2006-07-03 13:04:11 by Sunnyshine
The author has build up quite a reputation, and with that comes the quirks. Like the story that Yahtzee left the AGS forums in anger and started his own, popular forum. However, I'm going to ignore the rumors and review the game for what it is.

The amount of gore and cute, pixelly art makes it easy to see why his games are popular in the indie adventure scene. This game might even have a higher body count that 1213, his recent platform game. The graphics have improver even more compared to his previous games, with the horrific death aninations in particular.

The story is a sequel to 5 Days a Stranger, and demands that the player is familiar with it. Ex-master thief Trilby is in search of the crude, wooden idol that is now located in a hotel. Quickly after he arrives he is transported to a shadow realm. Trilby finds out that the curse lies in the origin of the wood, and by touching objects that are historically connected to the wood he can see flashbacks. These flashbacks are in black and white, and interactive.

This is a parser game. I'm not a big promoter of parser games, in fact I find them as ridged as a mormon bouncer. However, one has to admire the effort of making such a successful parser game. There were certainly parts that I enjoyed quite much.

Which bring me to the conclusion. I'm in a dilemma. The atmosphere was thrilling, but the cute art style and brilliant MIDI music stops it from creating any permanent trauma. The puzzles were linear and abstract, yet the parser interaction made the game longer and kept it interesting.
I'll give it 8.9 out of 10. Not a giant fish in the ocean but still a giant fish in the local pond.
2006-06-27 13:22:12 by Jet (jetxl)
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