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Zork Map!
September 18, 2007 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Zork - The Original Map. This was too awesome not to post! (via)
posted by ObscureReferenceMan (132 comments total) 84 users marked this as a favorite

 
Eponysterical.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:11 AM on September 18, 2007 [8 favorites]


Oh, man, does this bring me back. And I realize that I never quite got all of it, either!

Sigh, I miss the days of Beautiful Flood Control Dam #3.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:12 AM on September 18, 2007


There's going to be a host of in-jokes, but I'll just say this is totally awesome. I love this game.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 9:12 AM on September 18, 2007


I loved that game. I thought I solved it, but I see things there I don't remember. Here's an online version of Zork, but I don't know if the map still applies.
posted by RussHy at 9:17 AM on September 18, 2007 [6 favorites]


Is this something I'd need liver spots to understand?
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:18 AM on September 18, 2007 [12 favorites]


I thought this map had likely been eaten by a grue.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:21 AM on September 18, 2007


You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.
posted by SansPoint at 9:23 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gonna second the eponysterical. I have no frikkin' idea what the hell this is. Is this something that I would have needed a Commodore 64 to understand?
posted by msali at 9:23 AM on September 18, 2007


For those of you confused, this is a map of the original Dungeon, the mainframe version of the epic. It was split into Zorks I, I, and III for the home computer market (that's what I played as a kid).
posted by Palquito at 9:23 AM on September 18, 2007


You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.
posted by MythMaker at 9:24 AM on September 18, 2007 [6 favorites]


© GUE 1979, FrobozzCo.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:24 AM on September 18, 2007


That drawing is exactly as old as I am, more or less down to the month.

Eponysterical indeed.
posted by Jilder at 9:25 AM on September 18, 2007


wait, I am done done figuring it out yet....

>advent

You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.


*waits for xyzzy to comment
posted by caddis at 9:27 AM on September 18, 2007


O ye who go about saying unto each, "Hello Sailor"
Dost thou realize the magnitude of thy sin before the gods?
Yea, verily, thou shalt be cast between two stones.
Shall the angry gods cast thy body into the whirlpool?
Surely thine eye shall be put out with a sharp stick!
Even unto the ends of the earth shalt thou wander, and
Unto the land of the dead shalt thou be sent at last.
Surely thou shalt repent of thy cunning.
posted by Palquito at 9:28 AM on September 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


See also, It is Pitch Dark, by MC Frontalot. His latest Zork-based song.
posted by MythMaker at 9:29 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Today's productivity just plummeted. Thanks RussHy.
posted by empyrean at 9:29 AM on September 18, 2007


I had never head of Zork before today, but this is still pretty cool.
posted by Pecinpah at 9:29 AM on September 18, 2007


Since Zork descends from Colossal Cave: an even more original map
posted by DU at 9:29 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


A hollow voice says, "Fool! Wrong Game!"
posted by RussHy at 9:29 AM on September 18, 2007


Compare the above to the hintbook version of the Zork I map.

Even better, check out this version of the Zork II map. Can anyone find a clearer picture of this?
posted by suckerpunch at 9:29 AM on September 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


You know what would be pretty sweet? Hook one of those text-adventure games up to a good speech synthesizer and make an audio game that could be played on MP3 players and cellphones.
posted by delmoi at 9:31 AM on September 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wonderful.

My dad played this game (and one of its predecessors, Colossal Cave Adventure) with the engineers he worked with, mapping as they went, and their map looked nearly identical, though they had some really elegant solutions for marking directions of travel from all possible exits. The single-digit-age-me was so impressed with this that I ended up using that mapping strategy for my own later MUD explorations and sometimes for actual hand-drawn maps.
posted by Miko at 9:31 AM on September 18, 2007


Next, I'd like to see someone upload their hand-drawn map of the game Planetfall, complete with tearstains (from when you had to send Floyd to his doom).
posted by suckerpunch at 9:35 AM on September 18, 2007


Strictly speaking, this is a map of Dungeon - the mainframe precursor to Zorks I, II and III of microcomputer fame - which contained elements, but not the entireity, of all three. Hence you have the Zork II volcano, bank, and glacier, and the Zork III sliding wall puzzle etc. And I doubt it's 'The' orginal map but merely done by someone who played it at the time - who, I note, also offers copies of the mainframe version elsewhere on the site. He claims it's one of the last made versions and for all I know is correct - but you can also find them fora varitety of platforms here

On preview: plaquito is succint, but correct.
posted by Sparx at 9:41 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's days like this that I develop a fond nostalgia for one simple little sight:

C:/_
posted by shmegegge at 9:57 AM on September 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


Yay.
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on September 18, 2007


XYZZY!!
Oh - wrong game, sort of. (Drops scepter and stumbles off...)
posted by speug at 10:00 AM on September 18, 2007


Here's the wikipedia entry for Zork. For you kids.

Get off my lawn!
posted by MythMaker at 10:09 AM on September 18, 2007


Zork is not an obscure reference, it's perhaps the most famous computer game of all time. Older than you != obscure! Hell, I'm barely past 30 and I know Zork well.

But yeah, this isn't technically a map of Zork. A bunch of that stuff wasn't in the first one.
posted by Justinian at 10:10 AM on September 18, 2007


Because of INFOCOM, and Beyond Zork, I learned the word “shillelagh.”
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 10:11 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I thought that map was way to big for Zork. I...uh...cheated through Zork I once, just to read through it, and it wasn't that long. Awesome map.
posted by graventy at 10:13 AM on September 18, 2007


Aw, I used to play this with my Dad. Thanks for the memories, ObsureReferenceMan. *sniff*
posted by Kloryne at 10:18 AM on September 18, 2007


"Obscure" (I'm sure!)
posted by Kloryne at 10:19 AM on September 18, 2007


I don't get it. If this was a computer game, why is that not a screen shot of the game?
posted by wfc123 at 10:21 AM on September 18, 2007 [6 favorites]


I think the first versions of Adventure may have predated "screens".
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on September 18, 2007


Here's a screenshot:

It is dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

There you go!
posted by Justinian at 10:30 AM on September 18, 2007 [7 favorites]


I would lay pretty good money on being able to give you accurate maps of Zork II and III by memory. I lived there. I wouldn't be so confident with I, which seemed to have a much less coherent geography.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:32 AM on September 18, 2007


Artw - Very true! The map brought back memories of my sneaking into the Hofstra computer lab to play Advent (I think it was Advent - it was a long time ago, and I'm old). Then, I think I found Zork in college. Good times...
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:34 AM on September 18, 2007


Real men don't use InvisiClues™.
posted by bondcliff at 10:35 AM on September 18, 2007 [3 favorites]


C:/_
Not the way I remember it.

**** COMMODORE 64 BASIC V2 ****
64K RAM SYSTEM 39811 BYTES FREE.

READY.

Also:
XYZZY!!
A hollow voice says, "Fool."
posted by Wolfdog at 10:35 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have posted this to my office door. Other, less nerdy librarians will soon be waiting at the bike racks to beat me up and take my lunch money.
posted by the dief at 10:37 AM on September 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


I lived there

It is dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue Wolfdog.

fixed that screenshot for you
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:38 AM on September 18, 2007


This post was deleted for the following reason: While it is kinda hilarious that map looks kinda like that old game in that giant jpg on that random blog that doesn't have any other interesting content whatsoever, it is sort of a What The Fuck situation we are finding ourselves in, here, ObscureReferenceMan. Like, man, why even got to do a thing? -- cortex
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:40 AM on September 18, 2007


Although later text adventures had better prose, better puzzles, better parsers, and virtually better everything, somehow none of them ever had anything more exciting than finding that trapdoor and going down into the cellar the first time. Hey, I was just young and guileless, but the illusion that anything could be done, and anything could be lurking around the corner was amazingly powerful, and remains unsurpassed as far as I'm concerned.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:43 AM on September 18, 2007 [8 favorites]


Justinian writes "Zork is not an obscure reference, it's perhaps the most famous computer game of all time.

Human history: ~250000 years
Human written history: ~5000 years
Computer games: ~35 years, and for a fraction of the world?

Obscure.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2007


And yet many of the people who played Zork couldn't create a map to get out of their parents' basements.

What's that? I'm typing, mother.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


Here's the wikipedia entry for Zork. For you kids.

Get off my lawn!
posted by MythMaker at 1:09 PM on September 18 [+] [!]


Zork was for kids. Here's the wikipedia entry for Advent. For you kids.

Get off my lawn, and take your adult offspring with you. ;)
posted by caddis at 10:54 AM on September 18, 2007


**** COMMODORE 64 BASIC V2 ****
64K RAM SYSTEM 39811 BYTES FREE.

READY.


load "zork",8,1
posted by jquinby at 10:56 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, but does anyone else still have their graph paper and straightedge maps of Wizardry? Huh? Huh? I didn't think so.

I so rule.
posted by Justinian at 10:58 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


p.s. I need a girlfriend.
posted by Justinian at 10:59 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


>get girlfriend
You can't see that here.

posted by Wolfdog at 10:59 AM on September 18, 2007 [23 favorites]




Wolfdog: didn't it say 38911 bytes free?
posted by djeo at 11:08 AM on September 18, 2007


Yes, but I'm going to plead that was a typo.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:09 AM on September 18, 2007


and I'm going to pretend I didn't remember it.
posted by djeo at 11:12 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


I played Dungeon on PDP-11s running RSX-11M as an undergraduate, and on a PDP-10 running TOPS-10 (somewhat modified) when I went to grad school. Never finished it, though. Thanks for the link.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:21 AM on September 18, 2007


>date girlfriend
With what, your bare hands?

posted by anthill at 11:22 AM on September 18, 2007 [7 favorites]


I don't really buy that Zork is all that famous. Among nerds like us? Sure, it's well-known. But in the general populace, I'd bet that you're not going to see more than a percentage point or two. Now, Doom? Everyone knows about Doom. The news media and other squares still refer to Doom when they talk about video game violence.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:32 AM on September 18, 2007


Also:

NERRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:32 AM on September 18, 2007


Oh well, it has been almost a year since xyzzy's last comment, I guess that means he won't be showing up here.
posted by caddis at 11:33 AM on September 18, 2007


I'm only barely older than the map, but I've heard of Zork. I even played one of the newer incarnations in High School.
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 11:34 AM on September 18, 2007


Citizen Premier: "Is this something I'd need liver spots to understand?"

You know, this is really funny, but it's also true, and a little sad. Eventually, text games won't even be the tiny fringe market they are now. Makes me a little nostalgic. We had so much fun with text adventures. It's sad that they're becoming so very irrelevant, primitive games on primitive machines, unworthy of play.

With how common games have become, and how derivative they tend to be, it's hard for to me to imagine today's kids having the same feelings of awe and excitement that we did, when the whole idea of computer gaming was new. The entire concept of playing a game on your very own computer was rather intoxicating; exploring strange new worlds that actually reacted to what you did. It was like books, but better, because you could actually change things yourself; you weren't just reading about it, you were there. Just the idea of being able to do this stuff was exciting in and of itself, and then we had excellent stories piled on top.

Part of this, I'm sure, is that nostalgia is the ultimate in rose-colored glasses. Many modern games are very good indeed. I sincerely hope kids now get the same kind of rush from Bioshock that we did from Trinity and Planetfall. Bioshock was awesome.

But, dammit, so was Zork.
posted by Malor at 11:41 AM on September 18, 2007 [9 favorites]


Yes, but does anyone else still have their graph paper and straightedge maps of Wizardry? Huh? Huh? I didn't think so.

Not only do I still have them, but I have them in the original box with that crazy shiny-red dragon inlaid onto it.

So nyah.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:45 AM on September 18, 2007


I wish ikkyu2 was my doctor.
posted by shmegegge at 11:49 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and jquinby, you blew it: that's "38911 BASIC BYTES FREE".

Tsk. :)
posted by Malor at 11:56 AM on September 18, 2007


shmegegge writes 'It's days like this that I develop a fond nostalgia for one simple little sight:

'C:/_'


Show off. I felt lucky to have a prompt that read:

A>
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:59 AM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


you blew it: that's "38911 BASIC BYTES FREE".

You blew the dust off that plastic brick, fiddled with the VHF spade terminals on the back of a woodgrain RCA set and powered it up just to check this, didn't you?
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:10 PM on September 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


Check out MC Frontalot's new video about zork: "It is pitch dark."

"You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
If this predicament seems particularly cruel...
Consider who's fault it could be.. not a torch or a match in your inventory..."


It features a cameo by Steve Meretzky!
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 12:11 PM on September 18, 2007


C:/_

So close.

C:\_
posted by Bonzai at 12:19 PM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks a lot for this! This brings many memories, and the desire to play the game again and finish it.

I was born in 78, played my first text adventure game, a Dungeon clone, in a copyshop that sold computers (Xerox branded) in 86, and never stopped. In 88 I tried to write my first text game in Lego on a MicroBBC. In 92 I got my first personal computer, and by 93 I was staying up late competing with two friends trying to write the best adventure game in QuickBasic on our 386s. In 93 we were trying again using C++. Then we got internet access, and started spending too much time in LustyMUD.

We learned more trying to write the games than in any CS classes we ever took at the time. One of the friends now works in Bioware , coding some cool stuff for games. I work with the other one writing code in a San Francisco start-up.

I have lived more than half my life under the influence of this game, and it may have led me where I am. I have no liver spots, but I have stopped counting the white hairs in my beard.

And I also want ikkyu2 to be my doctor. I had my doctor confuse the signs of late night coding and MUDing with the symptoms of drug use. That got me grounded in my room, with my computer.
posted by Dr. Curare at 12:20 PM on September 18, 2007


You know what would be pretty sweet? Hook one of those text-adventure games up to a good speech synthesizer and make an audio game that could be played on MP3 players and cellphones. -delmoi

Check out Zoip (a hybrid of Zork VoIP). Built upon a standard Asterisk installation and the game reads out Zork stuff using the Festival text-to-speech engine. User speaks their commands into the receiver and speech-recognition directs the commands to the game. This number, 416-548-7557, actually seems to work, but it was not taking my input and I didn't have time to keep trying. See also: article from last May with more background and context.
posted by christopherious at 12:20 PM on September 18, 2007


One of my favorite 80s computer games, along with King's Quest and Starflight.
posted by aerotive at 12:23 PM on September 18, 2007


plugh.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:23 PM on September 18, 2007


Gah, there goes my nerd cred. I'll join you in the Wolfdoghouse if you'll have me WD.

I got the number right but didn't remember the right text.
posted by djeo at 12:29 PM on September 18, 2007


Very true! The map brought back memories of my sneaking into the Hofstra computer lab to play Advent (I think it was Advent - it was a long time ago, and I'm old). Then, I think I found Zork in college. Good times...-ObscureReferenceMan
Ah, indeed it was ADVENT. I remember playing ADVENT as a little girl, connected via a creaky old modem to the mainframe at Dad's work.And all you whippersnappers need to be dropped into a maze of twisty little passages, all alike...
posted by Karmakaze at 12:34 PM on September 18, 2007


Technolustluddite -
beat you to it.
posted by MythMaker at 12:52 PM on September 18, 2007


I could never really get into text adventures, even good ones like AMFV.

You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.


>open mailbox

you can't open the mailbox.

>go to house

do not recognize term 'house'

>go to big white house

do not recognize term 'big white house'

>go to big white house with a boarded front door of which I am standing in an open field to the west of, you fucking computerized cunt.

Error. You are the real cunt here, meatbag.

posted by Avenger at 1:00 PM on September 18, 2007 [11 favorites]


Wait, that never happened to anyone else?
posted by Avenger at 1:00 PM on September 18, 2007


Oh well, it has been almost a year since xyzzy's last comment, I guess that means he won't be showing up here.
posted by caddis at 1:33 PM on September 18 [+] [!]


Looks like he OD'd on nicotine patches...
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:01 PM on September 18, 2007


oops. Sorry, Mythmaker, didn't realize you beat me to posting Frontalot's video....
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 1:07 PM on September 18, 2007


I fully expected that this thread would just be filled with complaints along the lines of 'A single link to a .jpg file? This is not the best of the web/not what metafilter is for...'

Instead, I found my brethren.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:26 PM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is totally what Metafilter is for.
posted by Artw at 1:31 PM on September 18, 2007


Is Zork that famous? I believe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's text adventure outsold them all. and it had jokes.

You wake up. The room is spinning very gently round your head. Or at least it would be if you could see it which you can't.

It is pitch black.

posted by damn dirty ape at 2:06 PM on September 18, 2007


xyzzy is a "she".
posted by ubiquity at 2:11 PM on September 18, 2007


I loved me some Zork, but did anyone ever win the game without help? I mean, some of those puzzles were highly illogical. Like typing in ULYSSES when you read the book? Digging the sand, but not digging too deep?

/wipes Haterade off of screen
posted by bardic at 2:20 PM on September 18, 2007


technolustluddite -

It's cool :). I really like that song. I've really been getting into Frontalot a lot lately.
posted by MythMaker at 2:21 PM on September 18, 2007


um, what would it look like without the obstacles removed?

On another subject, has anyone posted this to Maps for Us?
posted by gforce414 at 2:22 PM on September 18, 2007


The puzzles that drove me crazy were the "meta" ones. The ones where you had to remember that you were playing a game to solve them. The most infamous, of course, being that damn dragon in Adventure. "what, with your bare hands?" What sort of perverse crap was that.

The "echo" chamber was like that. But you didn't have to say Ulysses to get past the cyclops - he would fall asleep if you fed him the lunch.
posted by bonecrusher at 2:58 PM on September 18, 2007


Yeah, meta puzzles were a problem for me as well; The one that always bugged me was the bit in the otherwise great Trinity where you would die unless you went through one of the portals inside one of the giant's blown bubbles.

The only way you can figure out that you need to be in the bubble is to go through the portal, die in space, reload the game and go "aha! If I go through that portal I will asphyxiate, but if I get inside one of the giant's bubbles, it will freeze and give me air!". What? You only know it's space on the other side of the bubble because you went through in a previous game! That doesn't make sense!

Maybe I should think to myself it's just a game and really just relax.
posted by Justinian at 3:18 PM on September 18, 2007


While we're on the topic of frustrating text adventures, surely the most singularly frustrating one of all time was Infocom's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I was once told was specifically written by Douglas Adams because he hated video games and wanted to punish gamers for playing them. The best example I can think of to this effect is as follows:

The principle thing you, as arthur dent, were trying to accomplish, once aboard the Heart of Gold, was to get the instamatic to make you a proper cup of tea. It continually made what, in the books, was always referred to as "something entirely unlike tea" because it believed that it was smarter than you and knew better than you what you wanted to drink. This "smarter than you" machine phenomenon was common on the ship, and iirc the door leaving the ship (and the game) would not open for you unless you proved yourself smart enough to be aware of the dangers that lay outside on the planet magrathea. In order to prove you were smart enough, you had to go back to the dreaded instamatic. See, throughout the game your inventory continually reminded you that you had no tea. In among your other possessions it would always say "no tea." When you finally get the instamatic to make you some proper tea, this log in your inventory thankfully became replaced by "a cup of tea." However, any time you went back into the instamatic room and examined it, the description would read "There is no tea, here." An unnecessary descriptor? Not quite! Indeed, the only way to finish the game was to use the command "Get no tea" to pick up the "no tea" item so that you were simultaneously carrying both tea and no tea. Then the door, seeing how intelligent you must be to carry a paradox in your pockets that way, would finally open and allow you to complete the game.

I cannot imagine a more sadistic moment in gaming, except perhaps for the games made by Penn and Teller and Beat Takeshi.
posted by shmegegge at 3:35 PM on September 18, 2007 [6 favorites]


It was an early game, Justinian, and they weren't always fair back then. An early Space Quest game killed you just for looking at a bit of metal sticking out of a junkheap -- mysteriously, you managed to slice an artery, fountain blood (quite graphically, for the period) and collapse.

Game design has improved a mite since.

All-time least-fair adventure game: Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Spoiler warning:

(spoiler space)

(more spoiler space)

In that game, it was critical, in the very first part, to feed a sandwich to a dog nearby. If you didn't, you would later come back through the place, in microscopic form, at the exact same time, and be eaten by the dog if he wasn't busy eating the sandwich. And there was no hint that you needed to do this anywhere, so about the only way you could reasonably finish the game was by word of mouth.

Oh, and, shmgegge: if he really hated computer games, why did he write two? Bureaucracy was quite good.

It wasn't that he hated computer games or gamers, it was just his very perverse sense of humor.
posted by Malor at 3:41 PM on September 18, 2007


shmegegge: urgh. I remember that damn tea. I probably played HGTG for almost a year and finally got to that last puzzle and was totally unable to figure it out. A few (ok, probably 5-10... it feels recent damnit) years ago I downloaded all the infocom games and an interpreter and with the help of some online invisoclues FINALLY finished that game. Damn grumble-@$%#ing Infocom.

And man, even the "easy" games I tried playing were totally beyond my ability or willingness to play. To think stuggling with a parser to figure out how to solve contrived puzzles was once a great computer game. No wonder adventure games are pretty much no more.
posted by aspo at 3:41 PM on September 18, 2007


Computer games: ~35 years, and for a fraction of the world?

Ahh, but to be an obscure reference, you should compare it to the history of reference, not the history of the world. And I think reference only really hit the bigtime in 1990.
posted by mek at 3:52 PM on September 18, 2007


Eventually, text games won't even be the tiny fringe market they are now. Makes me a little nostalgic.

Malor: text adventure will not die. It may no longer be the blockbuster stuff of the commercial market, but I think that it will continue to be at the front of literary developments in electronic narratives.

I don't see anyone arguing the death of poetry, even though its cousin the pop song is rather marketable at the moment.

Unlike blockbuster videogames with lots of graphics made by an art team, text adventure can be written by ordinary people, and it's getting easier. So I suspect that just as in some kinds of literary writing, there will continue to be compelling reasons for people to put time and love into writing excellent interactive fiction, even if the mass market is gone.

aspo: If you look at more recent works, such as IF competition winners or XYZZY award winners, I think you will find that IF has developed richly in satisfying ways since the days of Infocom.
posted by honest knave at 4:00 PM on September 18, 2007


Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea, I believe was the exact phrasing.

It's not just the sandwich. If you lose any one of the dozen plus tools that you can find throughout the game (Got the Screwdriver from your bedroom? Don't forget the Ionic Diffusion Rasp from Traal. ) you can't get Marvin to open the hatch.

Grrrararar..
posted by aubilenon at 4:04 PM on September 18, 2007


Yeah, I couldn't finish HHGTtG because of something to do with pocket lint. I don't remember what, exactly, but I know that I dropped or otherwise discarded some pocket lint and thus lost.
posted by Justinian at 4:09 PM on September 18, 2007


I have always wanted a Nethack level that opened into a maze of twisty little passages. I think the recursion value alone would make my head asplode.
posted by salishsea at 4:20 PM on September 18, 2007


I loved me some Zork, but did anyone ever win the game without help?

I played the zork trillogy, and Beyond Zork. I used hint books, and i dont think i ever finished any of them!
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 4:23 PM on September 18, 2007


Ironically, the most valuable item in Zork is that hand drawn map, which in a few centuries will be priceless. Or not. It does bring back memories of drawing maps like that for D&D with colored pencils and graph paper.
posted by stbalbach at 4:26 PM on September 18, 2007


what i remember about drawing maps for zork, is that they would get disorganized pretty quickly, the further you went. I would have to keep starting over.

Oh, and i trust everyone here already knows about the online version of the Hitchhiker's Guide text adventure?
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 4:36 PM on September 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


I just recently signed up to play Nation States which has a thriving and frustrating cliquish roleplay contingent on its outskirts, but the game itself is essentially a text-based game of political flotsam.

Then of course there's Kingdom of Loathing which is a glorified text adventure with occasional monochromatic pictures of sticks. In fact, a chunk of Zork is blatantly stolen and incorporated into KOL, if you know where to look.

I'm just scratching the proverbial surface here. Mourn not the death of text adventuring. It be alive and well, arrrr me mateys!
posted by ZachsMind at 4:43 PM on September 18, 2007


An oldie from Creative Computing, IIRC:

10 PRINT "YOU ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF A DEEP PIT."

20 PRINT "WHAT NOW?"; INPUT A$

30 IF RND(1) > 0.5 THEN PRINT "YOU DIED"

40 ELSE PRINT "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO ", A$; GOTO 10
posted by kurumi at 5:15 PM on September 18, 2007 [5 favorites]


Is Zork that famous? - damn dirty ape
Yes. Yes it is. And what were you told about getting off the lawn?
posted by Karmakaze at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2007


Get your fix.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:19 PM on September 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


MiltonRandKalman: Sweet! Thanks
posted by RussHy at 5:33 PM on September 18, 2007


Malor: Actually, IIRC, if you forget to feed the dog in the beginning, you can do it later on when you're Ford Prefect. But yeah, there are plenty of other puzzles in HHGG that were mean, mean, mean.

Zachsmind: "Blatantly stolen" is so harsh. We prefer "lovingly referenced". ;)
posted by rifflesby at 6:21 PM on September 18, 2007


Metafilter: I loved me some Zork

Also, my favorite text adventure game of all time is Wikipedia.
posted by ericbop at 6:51 PM on September 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, HHGTTG had the thing that your mother gave you that you don't know what it is, which turned out to be the most handy thing I ever ran across in any text game.
posted by yhbc at 6:59 PM on September 18, 2007


Shit, I forgot to preface that last comment with something like "yes, HHGTTG was incredibly frustrating, but ..."
posted by yhbc at 7:00 PM on September 18, 2007


Oh actually I just remembered what pissed me off the most in HHGTTG: If when you're in your own brain removing your common sense particle and you leave any item behind, at some point it will kill you, but it won't kill you outright it will say that you're going to die in a few turns, and then you do. Clearly there's the implication that there's something you can do to save yourself.

I got stuck on this for a very long time because I was playing from a save where I had done this but forgot I had done so.
posted by aubilenon at 7:15 PM on September 18, 2007


yhbc: Made in Ibiza...
posted by aubilenon at 7:16 PM on September 18, 2007


An online version of the original "Dungeon."
posted by Iridic at 7:33 PM on September 18, 2007


I think you will find that IF has developed richly in satisfying ways since the days of Infocom.

Hear hear! To name just one particularly pertinent example: Adam Cadre's Shrapnel, a game set in and around a familiar white house...
posted by Iridic at 7:36 PM on September 18, 2007


I have some files on an old machine which purport to be the original Advent. Are they? I don't remember, it has been nearly 30 years since I played that game on the old mainframe. Anyway, here they are for anyone who is interested.

Advent.zip

posted by caddis at 8:03 PM on September 18, 2007


It differs from the Zork versions linked here. For instance, it starts out:
You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building.
Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and
down a gully. In the distance there is a tall gleaming white tower.
Also, getting into the building is a cinch, but so is getting hopelessly lost as the opposite of N is not always S, etc.
posted by caddis at 8:10 PM on September 18, 2007


Metafilter: The opposite of N is not always S
posted by Artw at 8:21 PM on September 18, 2007


What, no spoiler alert?

(I wept when Floyd died. Also, the sound that the Atari 1050 made when it started up still haunts my dreams: whiwhirwhirwhir EEEE-DOOO-WHUMP).
posted by milquetoast at 8:42 PM on September 18, 2007


The Zork franchise saw a revival in the late 90s with some pretty fun multimedia CD-ROM games. So, there's no excuse for not knowing about Zork. KIDS! LAWN! OFF!

Oh yeah, according to the Zork wikipedia page, there's a dial-up voice recognition Zork: ZoIP.
posted by Skwirl at 10:35 PM on September 18, 2007


The first text adventure game I finished was Trinity. The immense joy I felt when I found those seven league boots is indescribable.

I was too young to really delve into the text adventure games, by the time I could afford to buy games with my allowance, we were already in the 320x200x16 EGA era of Sierra.

King's Quest III, Space Quest and Police Quest, played in that order, were the defining games for me.

Then The Bard's Tale, Wasteland and Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic, three games that really stretched the IBM PC's single speaker to its limits.

After that came the Doom era with the introduction of the FM sound card, 256 colors and the mouse, so I'll stop there.
posted by linux at 10:47 PM on September 18, 2007


It's about a decade old now, but I really, really enjoyed Gareth Rees' free text adventure, Christminster. In my opinion, it would have easily been publishable as an Infocom game. The writing is just delicious. Here's a transcript of the opening and one cmmand:
Chapel Street

It is a hot summer's day in Christminster, the kind of day that makes you think of strawberries and cream and punting on the river. The morning sunlight beams down on the cobbles and on the great wooden gate of Biblioll College to the east.

The gate is closed.

>knock at gate

The gate is so large that you're not sure if your knocking can be heard inside, but after a short wait the wicket gate opens a crack and an old man peers out at you. "Sorry, love," he says, "but we're closed on Sundays." He shuts the gate.

Somewhere in the distance, the clock of Biblioll College chimes the half-hour.
Christminster is getting hard to find anymore, as I discovered when looking things up for this post... the official page doesn't even have a working link. This makes me a sad panda.

I have, therefore, assembled everything you need to run Christminster.. The executables are from the IF Archive; the actual z5 file is from a very old mirror of a Red Hat distribution from some totally random site.

I loved this game, 8 or 10 years ago, and I hope you will too.
posted by Malor at 12:17 AM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Zork online. thanks RussHy. This is awesome.

In Dungeon, the intrepid explorer delves into the forgotten secrets
of a lost labyrinth deep in the bowels of the earth, searching for
vast treasures long hidden from prying eyes, treasures guarded by
fearsome monsters and diabolical traps!

No DECsystem should be without one!

posted by uni verse at 12:25 AM on September 19, 2007


Wizardry maps! After all these years, I can finish the game... now to fire up my Apple IIc.
posted by crossoverman at 4:05 AM on September 19, 2007



Yeah, I couldn't finish HHGTtG because of something to do with pocket lint. I don't remember what, exactly, but I know that I dropped or otherwise discarded some pocket lint and thus lost.


Oh lord. Yeah, me too. I hated that damn game.

Zork, on the other hand-- fabulous. I think it was Zork III I played with my dad, on our Apple IIe.

This is the best post in weeks.
posted by miss tea at 4:35 AM on September 19, 2007


Returning to say that it is absolutely amazing how, after a space of 20+ years, I still remember the weird Zorkian syntax. Get water. Look.

Maybe it's like learning a language when you're young.
posted by miss tea at 4:39 AM on September 19, 2007


I want to print this off and frame it.
posted by radgardener at 5:34 AM on September 19, 2007


Want some rye? 'Course ya do.
posted by anthill at 8:59 AM on September 19, 2007


*coughs*
posted by Eddie Mars at 9:43 AM on September 19, 2007


Love the map. I printed off a copy, and am going to present is as the site map for our company's new intranet. I doubt anyone will notice the difference.
posted by Eddie Mars at 9:47 AM on September 19, 2007


Came into this late, so I apologize for the repeat...

Grew up a Infocom addict. No one mentioned Deadline which I just loved...still one of the best mysteries I've "read".

Loved all the Zork games.

Cried when Floyd died.

And for HHGTTG, frustrating but loved the play on games. Example:
"Look"
You see nothing.
"Look"
You see nothing.
"Look"
Well, maybe you see something....

then it goes on to describe a ton of stuff. This still makes me chuckle.
posted by Dantien at 12:07 PM on September 19, 2007


And a strong "no comment" on the Leather Goddesses of Phobos.
posted by Dantien at 12:07 PM on September 19, 2007


Sad this, but will find her beloved college bf yet in a Zork thread. Avalon, you are always missed.
posted by vers at 5:39 PM on September 19, 2007


Man, does that bring back some memories of sitting in front of a computer, waisting time, and dreaming.
posted by kaullin at 7:58 AM on September 20, 2007


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