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About the StoryDread times have befallen the Kingdom of Quendor. The wizards have mysteriously disappeared. The Enchanter's Guild Hall lies in ruins. Villages are abandoned, drunken men mutter strange tales, and vicious monsters haunt the streets and wastelands. Now it falls to you, a lowly peasant, to unravel the meaning behind these ominous events. Will you accept the challenge?
Of course you will. For you're a hardy adventurer, ready to confront the most fearsome foe. And in Beyond Zork, you have an arsenal of new weapons and abilities at your disposal.
You start by designing your own character. Choose from such diverse attributes as strength, endurance, compassion, and luck, or let the computer select for you. As you venture onward, your character will evolve, reflecting your success in your quest.
Beyond Zork's sophisticated new interface makes interaction more natural than ever. In the heat of battle, the special function keys let you strike the decisive blow with a single keystroke. There's even an on-screen map to chart your progress!
As you grow in experience and abilities, you realize that you're being prepared for a great task, a task of which you know nothing... as yet. Your search for the answer will lead you deep underground, where unspeakable monsters guard the world's most fabulous treasure - the fabled Coconut of Quendor.
Beyond Zork was written by Brian Moriarty, award-winning author of Wishbringer and Trinity. Fans of Infocom's fantasy series will recognise characters and locations from previous stories, while old and new players alike will enjoy exploring the Zorkian landscape as their challenge increases and their character grows in strength and power.
Adventure Classic Gaming
Beyond Zork: The Coconut of Quendor is a game that works very hard to bridge the gaps between the Zork and Enchanter trilogies. Rightly regarded as among the most distinctive games from Infocom, Beyond Zork: The Coconut of Quendor's innovations are many, and its successes plentiful. Though it does not achieve complete success as the adventure/role-playing hybrid it aspires to be, it is nonetheless a game not to be missed by devoted Infocom fans.
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Beyond Zork is a game with a great amount of play and replay value. Many of the puzzles have multiple solutions, and will keep players coming back to find more even after they have played the game to a conclusion.
On the whole, Beyond Zork is well worth the playing; truly difficult puzzles are few, the game atmosphere is effective, and the ending--even if it points to a sequel that never happened--is thoroughly rewarding. Even if RPGs aren't your style, there is plenty more in Beyond Zork than hack-and-slash; it deserves consideration among Infocom's best.
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Although the extra features mean that the text is not as verbose as usual, it still scores over a lot of other adventures with its descriptions. There are some really sneaky puzzles in the game and the plot is very convoluted. The author, Brian Moriarty, also wrote Wishbringer and Trinity and in Beyond Zork, he has excelled himself. There are even guest appearances from some characters and objects from his other adventures.
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Beyond Zork happens at the same time as Spellbreaker, in the same universe, but with a differenct character. While the PC in Spellbreaker is trying to destroy all magic, you're trying to preserve it by collecting the Coconut of Quendor, in which magic knowledge is held, and hiding it to reinstate magic one day. (Which will be done in Zork: Grand Inquisitor).
What makes this game different is the mini-map, the ability to name objects, a money system to purchase things, some items have random descriptions and locations to change the gameplay, multiple enemies with randomize combat, D&D style stats and make-your-own character. The puzzles are what you would expect from Zork, ranging from obvious to "why does this bridge never seem to end?", where you would need some kind of extra world knowledge to get the joke.
This may be one of the first Zork/Enchanter games to involve a variety of NPCs (even though 3 of them are the same person) who you can speak to and have a REASON to speak to (unlike that Thief from Zork I), and even some NPCs that follow you around.
The downside to this is that, like many games of its era, you would need the instruction book to pass some puzzles. Luckily, it's not as blatant as in Spellbreaker or Sorcerer, where you actually need to look up info, but some hints on how to defeat some creatures (like the christmas tree monsters) are nonsensical, and only by reading the feelies would you know what to do.
All the classic Zork/Enchanter puzzles are here, and most of the trash was left out: no hunger puzzles, very little light issues, a magic system, a time travel puzzle, a place to say "Hello, Sailor", all the goodies.
However, if the Zork games weren't your think, or you prefer non-randomness in your games, this one probably isn't for you.
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