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Zork: A Troll's-Eye View

by Dylan O'Donnell

Cave crawl/Zorkian/Joke/Satire
1998

(based on 26 ratings)
3 member reviews

About the Story

Have you ever wondered how the life of a guard troll is? Find out in this game!
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 3
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 220
IFID: ZCODE-3-980518-2D06
TUID: 1ya4d9l464gpy7sh

Spoof of Zork I, by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling

Awards

Nominee, Best Individual PC - 1998 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


Another one-room joke game. You too can experience the boredom of a monster guarding a passageway!

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

SPAG
This game is a good example of how an author can set clear limits for a small game and satisfy the player within those boundaries. Just about every possible action is rewarded with a response in this one-location game.

-- Bonnie Montgomery
See the full review

SynTax

One location, a few commands, short descriptions and uninspiring responses to your limited actions leave you thinking, 'Why did I ever bother to look at this?"

-- Neil Shipman
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SynTax
The game itself is an unashamedly one gag idea carried out with tongue firmly in cheek and raises a few smirks with its cheesy reminiscence [...]

-- Nick Edmunds
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(0)
4 star:
(1)
3 star:
(9)
2 star:
(13)
1 star:
(3)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 3
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
The Thief would have been better, June 12, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)
(Warning: This review might contain spoilers. Click to show the full review.)This is a remake of Zork I- kind of.

Well, instead of playing the adventurer in Zork I, you are playing the troll, from the troll room. Brandishing your bloody axe, you wait for adventurers to show up so you can kill them.

The game is very repetitive and boring- you can't leave the room, so you just wait for another guy to show up.

The writing is clever, for fans of Zork I and users of inform. It's cute when you examine yourself, or when the thief shows up, but other than that it's just a joke game.

I would be interested in seeing Zork: A Thief's-Eye View, or Zork II: A Wizard's-Eye View much more. When that comes out, let me know. Even playing as the bat would have been more interesting. As a joke "game", however, it is cute.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
One-room joke game about the troll in Zork, February 3, 2016
In this short game, you play the troll in Zork. You wait around for adventurers, and deal with them as they come.

The PC is well implemented, and the game was nominated for an XYZZY award for best individual pc.

The about text changes each time you read it, which is amusing.

Recommended as a small treat for Infocom fans.

A cute, underdeveloped idea, July 5, 2013
by Jim Kaplan (Jim Kaplan has a room called the location. The location of Jim Kaplan is variable.)
Related reviews: one-room, zork, short, parody, fantasy, dylan o'donnell, puzzleless, fanfiction
Play it if: a five-minute joke game playing off Zork cliches sounds like your cup of tea.

Don't play it if: you're hoping for a full-blooded critique of NPCs and minions in old-school IF.

This is a short game, short enough that it would probably take longer to read a review of it than to play it. A one-room, puzzle-less game, A Troll's-Eye View's basic function is to turn a little part of Zork on its head by showing it from the perspective of the embattled guardian troll encountered early in the game.

This is an excellent idea for a game in my opinion. Unfortunately, the execution is undercut by a rather limited implementation of the idea. The writing plays with the timeless Zorkian language, but not in a very complete way: a fair amount of the responses are stock Nelson-era statements which feel anachronistic.

It's one thing to pose a question about identity and agency in games. But you don't really need to make a game to accomplish that, and deciding to make use of IF as a medium for the critique of IF sort of demands more than this game has to offer. Only the barest mention is made of the troll's reasons for being there - not, in fact, much more than the game A Troll's-Eye View parodies. So while it does mirror Zork in certain respects, they aren't really the right ones to produce a critique that is particularly new or memorable.

A more complete attempt would have taken the perspective of a character with more agency, such as the main antagonists, as the gulf between their potential relationships with the protagonist and their actual non-existent relationships are much wider - and therefore a more fruitful source of study.

If you enjoyed Zork: A Troll's-Eye View...

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This is version 7 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 21 March 2013 at 12:51pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item