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Zork Zero

by Steve Meretzky

Episode 5 of Zork
Fantasy/Zorkian
1988

(based on 46 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

The Great Underground Empire is in its heyday. Upscale condos crowd the massive caverns. Subterranean highways stretch from Aragain to the Fublio Valley. And no adventurer has yet set foot in the open field west of the white house.

But now both town and countryside are being abandoned, their inhabitants fleeing in the wake of a dread wizard's curse. The curse has already disposed of the royal Flathead family. It threatens to destroy the whole kingdom - unless you can stop it.

Your quest will take you to every corner of the empire, as you seek out objects ranging from the absurd to the sublime. The quixotic jester will test you with games, riddles, and tricks. And the immense Flathead palace and its environs offer a multitude of surprises.

Zork Zero combines the best of the legendary Zorkian universe with the latest technology in interactive storytelling. It has all the richness and depth you expect from Infocom interactive fiction. Author Stever Meretzky, whose award-winning stories include Planetfall, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Leather Goddesses of Phobos, lends his characteristic whimsy to the tale.

Game Details

Language: English (en-US)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: ZIL
Forgiveness Rating: Nasty
IFIDs:  ZCODE-296-881019
ZCODE-366-890323
ZCODE-383-890602
ZCODE-393-890714
ZCODE-393-890714-791C
TUID: 17coplfu323xif76

Prequel to Zork I, by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling

Editorial Reviews

Adventure Classic Gaming

Zork Zero: The Revenge of Megaboz is very well designed from a gameplay standpoint, improving again upon all of the enhancements the previous games have innovated. Though you can use the keyboard to type in directions as normal, you can also move around by using the compass rose at the top of the screen or by clicking on locations on the online maps. The maps are very useful to have. The geography of Zork Zero is extensive, so keeping track of yourself as your travel between regions of the game can often be quite a chore. The parser, as is expected from Infocom, is extremely intuitive and mostly forgiving. There are practically no situations in the game when you are stuck because you cannot think of the word to move on. Being the pinnacle of Infocom's creative achievement, this game incorporates everything the designers have learned about parsers and game interaction to spectacular effect. Communicating with an Infocom game is never easier than it is here.
-- Matthew Murray
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SPAG
There isn't (...) enough payoff
There are entertaining moments in Zork Zero, to be sure. It's questionable whether there are enough to keep the average player interested throughout, though, and to whatever extent it succeeds, it does so in a very different way from any of the other Zork entries. Though it has its moments, I found Zork Zero the weakest of all Infocom's text Zork games.
-- Duncan Stevens
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(13)
4 star:
(23)
3 star:
(9)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Enough is Enough!, March 30, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)
I love the Zork games. I really do. And this game had some delightful parts, but enough is enough.

For one, the world is HUGE! Epically huge. There are hundreds of useless items, and a tower with 400 floors. Getting to floor 400 berates you for wasting your time (and it is a waste of time considering you might be randomly teleported to the bottom). You need the feelies to even understand what you're supposed to be doing, much less solve the puzzles, as the feelies include maps of areas you can't see in-game (such as a chessboard puzzle where you need to insert passages in the walls- and need a feelie map to see where).

Some of the puzzles are rehashes of old games, like the tower of Hanai, the fox, chicken, grain, tricking someone with a mental paradox, or a card game with no real point except to perform a special series of moves described in (here it comes) the feelies.

The game did have some nice touches. There are plenty of AMUSING things to do, such as manipulating a stone pigeon that teleports you to the location of it's perch, leaving you to throw that perch EVERYWHERE, such as off the bottom of the world, into the sea, etc, so you can teleport to it. (A similar mechanism existed in Spellbreaker, though they didn't implement much experimentation with it.)

The game also explains where Grues come from and the origin of the White House from Zork I, and such, but the ending leaves you wondering "What the Hell?", especially after such a LONG game. That and a random Jester who shows up and messes with you (Much like the annoying wizard from Zork II), it just leaves me saying enough is enough.

If the game were more clever, with better thought out puzzles, it might be different, but after 3 Zork games, we're still left with a varaint of "Go collect all the treasures and put them in the trophy case" that we were using decades ago. For die-hard zorkers (like me), you'll play to the end, but I promise you, you'll use plenty of hints, since many puzzles have nonsensical solutions. If you're into that, have fun, but I found the game fairly aggrivating, and not in that really good way.

If you enjoyed Zork Zero...

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Zork Zero:

Games with "logical" puzzles by Victor Gijsbers
Some puzzles--like chess problems or sudokus--can be difficult even though you know all the rules. I'm looking for IF games with this kind of puzzle: you can get to know the rules by simple exploration, and then you still have to solve...

Bugs that you can take advantage of by Fredrik
Bugs are an annoyance, usually, but in some rare cases, bugs can actually make the life of an adventurer easier. Some bugs can help you in certain situations, perhaps even to bypass puzzles, and they can sometimes provide positively...

Games with maps... by Xionix
I started playing Counterfeit Monkey, and I notice a good map is a way for us newbies to get into the game more easy. And I hate to draw so, are any other games that got a in-game map? It can be any genre.

See all polls with votes for this game

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This is version 5 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 7 April 2013 at 1:57pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item