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Old 09-13-2009, 12:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Zork from Infocom

Back in 1982, I took out a personal bank loan for $2200 to purchase an Apple //e for the sole purpose of purchasing and playing a $50 interactive fiction game called Zork. The game contained no graphics. It was a text-only adventure.



Zork was published by a company called Infocom.

Back then, I was constantly reading computer magazines like Popular Computing, which featured colorful Zork/Infocom full-page ads.

In another thread, I happened across another TFP user who knew the game.

I thought if might be fun to start this thread and see who else among TFP members played Zork or Infocom games.

So grab your brass lantern and share your Zork history, trivia, reminiscence about looking under the rug, and recollect about your adventures in The Great Underground Empire.

Also, feel free to share your experiences about any of the other Zork iterations, or the other cool Infocom games or early home computer systems upon which you played it.

Just watch out for the grue...
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Go play it here: Zplet: Zork I: The Great Underground Empire

I got into text adventures with the Hitchhiker's Guide game. Prior to that, I was an action shooter player almost exclusively.
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Old 09-13-2009, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh, cool! Thanks for the link!
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Old 09-13-2009, 02:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We were talking about grues in chat the other day.

Zork had a number of sequels, the most recent in 1997. I've never played any of them, though.
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Old 09-13-2009, 03:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian View Post
Zork had a number of sequels, the most recent in 1997. I've never played any of them, though.
Yes, that's right. Neither did I beyond the original Infocom Trilogy:

Zork I: The Great Underground Empire (1980, Infocom)
Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz (1981, Infocom)
Zork III: The Dungeon Master (1982, Infocom)

Then:

Beyond Zork: The Coconut of Quendor (1987, Infocom)
Zork Zero: The Revenge of Megaboz (1988, Infocom, text with some graphics)

After a six year hiatus, the following games were produced:

Return to Zork (1993, Infocom/Activision, graphical)

According to Wikipedia, there was also the Zork Quest series:

Zork Quest: Assault on Egreth Castle (1988, Infocom, interactive computer comic book)
Zork Quest: The Crystal of Doom (1989, Infocom, interactive computer comic book)

I did purchase, play, and finish these Infocom Zork-related titles:

Enchanter (1983, Infocom)
Sorcerer (1984, Infocom)

There was also a science-fiction title I played:

Starcross (1982, Dave Lebling)

The complete list of all Infocom's interactive fiction titles is available at Wikipedia.
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Old 09-13-2009, 03:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You have been eaten by a grue.

I absolutely played it, but I think I was too young to appreciate it. I was really terrible. It's funny, but I still remember some dining room, with a brown paper bag on the table, a sword.. and a trap door or some such. I think that's as far as I ever got, and always died. And something about a forest that was really confusing, also with a grate in the ground.

I also remember a room with sluice gates and lots of switches, and I always managed to botch that up too. But I'm thinking that might've been a different text adventure game, like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy..
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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hmm. a Grue is a type of familiar in this RPG i play, KOL.

looks like this
it wont attack anyone if there is too much moonlight, though.

i never really got into text based games. maybe i'll give it another shot.
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Last edited by SSJTWIZTA; 09-14-2009 at 02:47 PM..
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinn View Post
I also remember a room with sluice gates and lots of switches, and I always managed to botch that up too.
Well, Jinn that was an important part of Zork I. You had to figure out how to work the sluice gates controlling Flood Control Dam #3 in order to find treasure items for the trophy case.

However, it is also entirely possible that you encountered sluice gates in Infocom's Hitchhiker's game. The Infocom game designers did like to self-reference other Infocom games within a game. Maybe someone who played Hitchhiker's can inform the thread.


Last edited by thirdsun; 09-14-2009 at 04:03 AM..
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't remember sluice gates in the HHG game. I for SURE remember the puzzle to get the babelfish in the Vogon hold. You have to have picked up your mail from back on your house on earth, then borrow Ford's satchel, then fire a babelfish out of the dispenser, then while the cleanup droid is fetching that fish, put the satchel down in front of the cleaning droid's port, put the mail on top of it. When the droid tries to go home, it hits the satchel launching mail into the air, and while it's busy with that, you dispense another fish which will land in your ear. Sweet fancy moses, it took me WEEKS of experimenting to figure that out, and I'll be damned if I EVER forget it.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Ahahah that's awesome.

Also, for those of you wondering.. you can download Zork1/2/3 at Infocom - Zork Downloads instead of playing it in the browser.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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what a bunch of nerds...


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Old 09-14-2009, 07:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedmedia View Post
what a bunch of nerds...

careful what you say..eh..type in this thread, MM.

It is pitch black in here. You are likely to get eaten by a grue....

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Old 09-14-2009, 08:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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promise?

*sorry, couldn't resist...
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:14 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Promise. Grues are especially fond of bookish, geeky girls who are into photography, crossword puzzles, movies, and hanging out in questionable internet forums....
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:20 AM   #15 (permalink)
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My parents played the original Zork games... but I was too young to play them through.

I did play Return to Zork, though.

Here's to us!
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:10 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Haha. I had Zork I thru III, Hitchhikers Guide, Enchanter and Planetfall. Those were awesome/frustrating games.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Haha. I had Zork I thru III, Hitchhikers Guide, Enchanter and Planetfall. Those were awesome/frustrating games.
Yes, I can remember getting extremely frustrated with them as well. Especially Starcross. It took me months to complete that one.

Wikipedia mentions that each game had an assigned difficulty level. I had forgotten that. Maybe someone remembers the Zork I, II, and III difficulty levels...
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:31 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I just happened across this at Wikipedia:

The Lost Treasures of Infocom

Apparently, there are 2 bundles of these. Hard to tell if it is still being published or not. The article does seem to mostly be in past tense.
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