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About the StoryAn old, oddly youthful man turns toward you slowly. His long, silver hair dances about him as a fresh breeze blows. "You have reached the final test, my friend! You are proved clever and powerful, but this is not yet enough! Seek me when you feel yourself worthy!"
Zork III: The Dungeon Master draws you into the deepest and most mysterious reaches of the Great Underground Empire. Nothing is as it seems. And the one responsible for the shadow and darkness - the Dungeon Master - embodies the greatest mystery of all.
In this test of wisdom and courage, you will face countless dangers. But what awaits you at the culmination of your odyssey is well worth risking all.
Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 17 / Serial number 840727
Development System: ZIL
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
Sequel to Zork II, by Dave Lebling, Marc Blank
Adapted from Zork, by Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling
Adventure Classic Gaming
In some ways, Zork III: The Dungeon Master is the original Myst clone. There is a sliding blocks puzzle and some mechanical puzzles, all in the context of little plot and lots of ambience. There are also some standard inventory based problems, and a few very strange people to deal with. As such, there is not much of a story to propel you through the dungeon, just your love of exploration.
-- David Tanguay
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Gloom and emptyness
It is hard to put a label on the mood of Zork III -- "brooding," perhaps, but that would make it more ominous than it is. If anything, it seems like a T.S. Eliot scene, with its barren landscapes and wisps of mist and enigmatic encounters with unidentified characters. (...) The adjective "gray" never appears, as far as I can tell, in any of the room descriptions in Zork III, and yet there is a grayness about the game environment that makes the feel of the game far more real, more coherent, than the other two, even if the scenes themselves are less picturesque than those of Zork II.
-- Duncan Stevens
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A smaller game than Zork I and II and this time you are not collecting treasures. The parsing is good and the descriptions of locations excellent as usual, with plenty of atmosphere.
-- Joan Dunn
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|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 3
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This game departs a bit from the first 2 games, in that the object is not to find all the treasures and drop them in a case. You're still looking for all the treasures, but they aren't apparant as such, and the game is looking for certain behaviors from you.
One complaint on this game is that one of the puzzles (the most important one, you might argue) is timed, so in order to gain the permanent light source, and one of the treasures, you need to do the puzzle RIGHT AWAY, otherwise you render the game unwinnable. And in Zork 3, it is easy to make the game unwinnable and not realize it.
It was possible in Zork 1 and 2 also, though it was much more apprarant- if you died at the volcano and you left some treasures in the balloon- they were unreachable. In Zork 3, you need to decide at one point whether to go for a staff or treasure, how to respond to a mysterious viking ship, choose between to solutions to a shifting wall puzzle, decide what items to try to steal during a time travel puzzle, decide whether to kill someone attacking you or not (and the choice is not obvious),decide WHEN to do a puzzle involving teleportation- and the wrong selection on any of them makes the game unwinnable, and you never realize it as such unless you go back and do things the RIGHT way.
Now, I don't know that this is UNFAIR, because I like difficulty, I would only wish I knew what I was supposed to do before I screwed myself up. If you do what many people might and explore the entire world right away, you've already lost too much time.
That being said, some of the puzzles are freaking BRILLIANT! A puzzle where you need to slide a mirror is difficult to visualize, but very smart. The shifting room puzzle gave me that real "AHA" moment as well. The time travel puzzle makes sense when you think about it, it's just not exactly clear how time travel relates to the time machine itself. If you're a fan of Zork I and II then you shouldn't be really surprised by the solution of the mysterious ship puzzle, and you should relish the chance of being able to walk past some grues in the dark. (A feat you will repeat in Spellbreaker, and possibly in Sorcerer).
The game does tie up the trilogy nicely, provides a good ending point, and gives you the challenge you deserve, without bogging you down in inventory management (very much) or much of a light puzzle (if you run out of light you either missed the first puzzle or did something stupid, like entering a lake with a torch).
If you like Zork I and II you will like this as well, just be ready for a bit more serious a tone and more difficult puzzles.
The Royal Puzzle breaks up the gameplay a bit, but I loved it. I first solved it in MIT Zork; as a mathematician that is terrible at most IF puzzles, it was fun to have a puzzle that I could finally solve on my own. I literally used a walkthrough on every other puzzle in this game.
I finished the trilogy and all I got was this lousy grue, May 2, 2019
Unlike the treasure hunting of the first two games, Zork III has you on a more heroic mission not surprisingly involving coming face to face with a dark foe of Frobozz. This is ultimately more satisfying than just collecting antiquities, and with high-level prose that provides a chilling atmosphere, it could have been a memorable adventure. However, the puzzles are incredibly hard with most of them being patently unfair. There’s even a non-obvious way to lock yourself out of victory, which was annoying as *$@! then and is intolerable now. And with even less character interaction and humor than earlier in the series, it really breaks the game for me.
That said, if you want to play the game for completionist’s sake, have a walkthrough handy so you can enjoy the ride.
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PollsThe following polls include votes for Zork III:
Outstanding individual puzzles by Jeremy Freese
I'm interested in examples of excellent individual puzzles in IF. In other words: not 'Spider and Web' so much as 'getting out of the chair' in 'Spider and Web'
Games that include a maze you would describe as 'hey, actually fun' by Jeremy Freese
Everybody always dissing mazes in IF. What are the games that prove them wrong?
This is version 15 of this page, edited by Tristano on 21 April 2019 at 5:32am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item