Trust and Betrayal is ultimately about interpersonal relationships, which was a new idea at the time and is still largely unexplored territory in gaming.

Getting the game

You can obtain a copy of the game at Home of the Underdogs, or at Erasmatazz, Chris Crawford's website. Both should be legal. The last we checked, Home of the Underdogs has only the PC version which was never completed and is buggy; we recommend the Macintosh version instead. However, Home of the Underdogs does have a copy of the manual, although due to an apparently imperfect scan, it's riddled with typographical errors. Although the game says you need the manual, you'll do fine with just this guide.


The basics

To become Shepherd, you must have eight each of the three auras: tanaga, katsin, and shial. You gain or lose these by engaging in mind combat. To fight well, you must know the aura counts of your opponent.

You wake up each day at 8:00 AM. Upon waking, you know a randomly-chosen count of each acolyte. For instance, you might know Wiki's tanaga count, or you might instead know his katsin count, or you might know his shial count, but you'll only know one of these counts. You must decide on candidates to attack that night and learn all three of their counts. Even if you have decided on a single candidate, you may want to gather some extra information in case you get attacked by somebody else.


The entire game, other than the interstitial stories, uses an "inverse parser". This is a system that assesses the possibilities and presents the user with a list of applicable words (here, represented as icons), rather than forcing the user to type in words, only guessing or memorizing what words are applicable. For simplicity, the game does not allow anybody to lie or form nonsensical sentences. If you are unsure of what an icon means, you need only click and hold it to see its meaning.

Interstitial stories

  • Use common sense. Making fun of Skordokott won't make him happier.
  • Being mean to Chris Crawford makes the game harder.
  • Don't worry too much if none of the answers make sense.

Mind combat

Mind combat is a game of rock-paper-scissors: tanaga beats katsin; katsin beats shial; shial beats tanaga. If you win a round, you win your opponent's aura. If you lose the round, you lose your own aura. If you both use the same auras, nothing happens.

Mind combat is a matter of picking your battles. Sometimes you will be attacked, and have no choice, but you can at least choose your own opponent wisely. You want to find somebody who, if you were to engage in mind combat, is likely to play an aura that you need. As a general rule, your opponents prefer to play auras they have an excess of, and they prefer to gain auras they have a lack of. So, for instance, if Kendra has eight tanaga, six katsin, and seven shial, and Gardbore has seven of all auras, Kendra is far more predictable: she wants to play her tanaga and win a katsin.

Mind combat is harder on the highest difficulty setting, because your opponent will actually use the information he or she gathered about you. That is, your opponent will try to guess your move. One problem here is you don't know how much your opponent knows about you. It is probably best to assume that he or she has complete information, which may be likely since he or she decided to attack you to begin with.

The acolytes


Skordokott is generally trustworthy and loyal. He is still likely to betray you several times through the course of the game, even if he pledges that he won't betray you every day. You are unlikely to find a better friend, though, so you can usually trust him more than anyone else.

Starting relationships:

  • Loves Vetvel, Kendra, and Gardbore
  • Dislikes Wiki
  • Hates Locksher and Zubi


Wiki is more mischievous and less loyal than Skordokott, but he's a good friend and if you treat him well, you will be best friends. Wiki and Skordokott invariably hate each other, though, so be careful!

Starting relationships:

  • Loves Locksher and Zubi
  • Likes Vetvel
  • Dislikes Kendra, Gardbore, and Skordokott


Kendra is probably the trickiest character to deal with of the entire bunch. You start out as friends, but a look at her trust/fear/love ratings will show you that you've a long way to go before developing a good friendship -- and it could go sour at any time. If you betray her often, which you may be tempted to do, she will hate you. It may be worth pursuing a friendship with her, but it depends on your luck and playstyle.

Starting relationships:

  • Loves Skordokott
  • Neutral about Vetvel and Locksher
  • Dislikes Gardbore, Wiki, and Zubi


Gardbore is difficult to be friends with. It will likely come down to a choice between him and Kendra, assuming you don't alienate both. He might well make a better target than a friend.

Starting relationships:

  • Loves Skordokott
  • Likes Kendra and Zubi
  • Neutral about Vetvel
  • Dislikes Locksher
  • Hates Wiki


You won't be friends with Locksher. It's just not meant to be, and besides, you gotta have somebody you can betray and attack often. You can't befriend everybody, and you can't betray everybody, so you must pick your friends and enemies. This one's an enemy. Seriously.

Starting relationships:

  • Loves Zubi
  • Likes Wiki
  • Neutral about Gardbore
  • Dislikes Vetvel and Kendra
  • Hates Skordokott


Zubi will never trust you. She is very hard to get along with, and she's not very trustworthy herself. She's a perfect target for attacks and betrayals.

Starting relationships:

  • Loves Gardbore, Wiki, and Locksher
  • Dislikes Vetvel and Kendra
  • Hates Skordokott

Quirks and bugs

  • If, for example, you ask Wiki, "Has anybody betrayed me?", you may get the response, "Nobody has betrayed you", whether or not Wiki himself has. However, if Wiki asks you the same question, and you have betrayed him, but nobody else has, you must either respond "I have betrayed you", or change the subject.

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