Released in 1980, Zork I: The Great Underground Empire launched Infocom into almost a decade of prominence in the text adventure game arena. Starting from west of a white house in an open field, you explore the game's underground caverns to find and retrieve 19 treasures, while contending with a variety of traps, puzzles, and a thief who attempts to steal your items. Solving the puzzles by either manipulating the environment or using objects, allows you to progress. A few of the puzzles are ingenious, requiring lateral thinking, or having you determine the best way to transport treasures to a storage area. Most of the puzzles are well designed and quite challenging, and some offer multiple solutions.
The game was originally developed for the PDP-10 computer by a group of hackers at the M.I.T. computer labs. It was simply named Zork, and drew inspiration from Adventure, the groundbreaking text adventure game written by Will Crowther and expanded by Don Woods. When a group of hackers founded Infocom, they decided on Zork as their first product. The PDP-10 Zork was broken up into two parts, with the first part of the game becoming Zork I: The Great Underground Empire. The second half of the original game would be released as Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz, while some ideas and puzzles that didn't make it into either Zork I or Zork II would be used in Zork III: The Dungeon Master.
Zork I: The Great Underground Empire is an enjoyable and genre-defining text adventure game that's only slightly marred by a pair of tedious mazes, one poor puzzle design, and the lack of a storyline.
Zork: The Great Underground Empire is a classic text adventure game. You begin as an "adventurer" standing near a white house in a nice forest, but soon you set foot in the Great Underground Empire, where most of the game takes place. Your quest is to collect the Nineteen Treasures of Zork.
As in every text adventure, Zork does not use graphics. It communicates with the player via text, and the player interacts with the game by typing commands, such as "examine mailbox" or "take torch". For movement, the player types in geographical directions (such as "north" or "east" - or just "n" and "e"), and he can check what items he's carrying with the "inventory" command (or just "i").
Zork was ported over from mainframes in the late 1970s. It is one of the first "text adventures" (although the proper term for such by die-hard fans is Interactive Fiction) and is widely considered to be one of the great classics of the genre which reached the peak of its popularity in the 80's.
"You are Standing in a open field, west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here."
"Opening the mailbox reviels a leaflet."
>Look at Leaflet.
"WELCOME TO ZORK"
This is how one of the most well known text-based RPGs starts. It was developed by Infocom, the creater of many other text-based games. Zork is played by typing in commands like open the door or look around. This sometimes can get frustrating when trying to figure out the right command to do something.
The Plot of zork I is as follows: you are an adventurer on a mission to explore the remains of what used to be the Great Underground Empire. This pretty much bears a similliarity to any fantasy setting. On your journey you must collect treasures - and of course survive. The game is actually fun, but the story and background information is a bit weak. It is good for those who love a good fantasy text-based game. Also try this command: "kill me with hands" without quotes.
This is one of the games which gave a start to te computer gaming industry ..... the first game ever sold in a shop. It went on the market in 1981, a time where computers were strange things used only by people which were considered "Those weird guys"...
The parser (the engine which let the player interact with the world in a text adventure game) is very good, commands come almost naturally to the gamer, so when we see a "large tree with many low branches" we just have to write "climb tree" and see, or better read, what happens.
The story, intended as a background, is almost inexistent, but there is no need for it, since we are just the hero who must explore an underground empire(or what's left of it) collecting items and above all treasures, interacting with characters like thieves or trolls. The puzzles are also quite logical, and are not the stereotypical "use x with y"..not always at least.
This is a game where one could feel the atmosphere, a game made with a spirit long forgotten by developers nowadays, a must-have. Still reading at this? Just download the game, NOW!
People who downloaded Zork 1 have also downloaded:
Zork 2, Zork 3, Return to Zork, Zork Nemesis: The Forbidden Lands, Zork: Grand Inquisitor, Zork Zero, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The, Beyond Zork: The Coconut of Quendor
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