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About the StoryThe Wizard appears, floating nonchalantly in the air beside you. He grins sideways at you.
The Wizard incants "Fantasize," but nothing happens. He shakes his wand. Nothing happens. With a slightly embarrassed glance in your direction, he vanishes.
Expect the unexpected when you take on Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz.
As you explore the subterranean realm of Zork, you'll continually be confronted with new surprises. Chief among these is the Wizard himself, who'll constantly endeavor to confound you with his capricious powers. But more than that, you'll face a challenge the likes of which you've never experienced before.
Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: ZIL
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
Sequel to Zork I, by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling
Adapted from Zork, by Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling
Spoofed by Pork 2: The Gizzard of Showbiz, by Bill Larkins
Followed by sequel Zork III, by Dave Lebling, Marc Blank
Adventure Classic Gaming
Gameplay follows the tradition set by the previous game of the trilogy. It is totally absorbing. You meet the Wizard of Frobozz very early on when he tries to prevent you from completing your quest. He also appears at random places throughout the game and casts various spells at you that can delay you considerably, but it is well worth noting the names of them. [...] From the perspective of an adventure gamer with a passion for interactive fiction, I really enjoy the complexity of some of the puzzles. They require an awful lot of thinking!
-- Karen Tyers
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Zork II picks up where its predecessor left off in many ways -- the beginning deposits you inside the barrow that had marked the end of Zork I, your trusty lamp and sword are by your side, and your mission seems at the outset to be more treasure-gathering. But Zork II parts company with the first of the series in a variety of important ways as the game progresses -- that sword is useful, but in a way far more interesting than hack-and-slash -- and the changes suggest that the folks at Infocom were interested less in putting out more of the same than in refining their product and heightening ths challenge.
-- Duncan Stevens
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As usual in Infocom games there are plenty of puzzles, some easy and some very tricky. You meet many characters including a princess, (who is helpful), a dragon, a lizard's head embedded in a wall, (I never managed to locate his body) and a dog with three heads - a real pet once you give him what he wants.
-- Joan Dunn
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|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
Rather than just collecting treasures, your goal is to face the evil wizard. Thus, the story has more inherent conflict and gives it more weight. The map is also more manageable, with no mazes (though there are some tricky room exits). Some of the puzzles are very clever, my favorites being the carousel room and the bank vault. Unfortunately, one requires familiarity with baseball, which isnít fun for non-American players.
Probably my favorite of the three entries, though still not terribly satisfying with minimal plot and some obtuse puzzles.
I prefer Zork I's treasure drop off system, however. It was annoying having a huge pile of treasure, not knowing what to do with it.
I used a walkthrough on a few places (especially the oddly-angled room), because I wanted to see the whole game. Having completed MIT Zork before made some of the hardest puzzles trivial.
Now, after playing the Mainframe Dungeon, I see that Zork II is just a bunch of puzzles that wouldn't fit into Zork I anywhere, which is all fun.
You still have to manage your inventory, and it's difficult to get a permanent light source until most of the game's done anyway. (Spoiler - click to show)Once you get the wizard's wand, you can point it at an item and say "Fluoresce" and the item will permanently glow. Or, if you take too long, the wizard may cast this spell on you, making it impossible to win the game.
This game does have some impossible puzzles, such as the infamous baseball puzzle, which set the standard for what not to do in a puzzle, and the bank puzzle, which is really ingenious but horribly under-clued. Then there's the spinning room, which can be more of a nuisance than anything. Most frustrating, however is the Wizard. If you remember how pissed you were in Zork I when the thief showed up and stole your torch, you'll really get mad at the wizard, who randomly shows up and casts spells on you, sometimes causing you instant death (such as making you go into a frenzy while on a cliff, or freezing you in place near a lit bomb), or sometimes wasting precious light (freezing you wastes time while the lamp counts down), or even stealing treasures from you.
As in previous Zorks, you can be brought back to life, but many times your death still makes the game unwinable.
However, this is what added to the appeal of Zork I. I fondly remember as a child becoming nervous when my lamp got a bit dimmer. Even more so now, with no torch to fall back on. And the randomization makes the game have just a little bit more replay value. I'd even go out on a limb and say this is the best of the three Zork games, in term of fun (and certainly challenge- anyone who bests the baseball puzzle without hints is a master of all IFs.)
See All 4 Member Reviews
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Recommended ListsZork II appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Hard puzzle and dungeon games, Zork I, II, and III by WandWielder
Very cool. Has a good story with a nice description and background. One small problem is the lack of enemies you find during the underground...
Big, non-linear adventure games with score system by MathBrush
These are classic-style games, where you have to collect a large variety of objects while exploring a cave or building. My favorite way to play these games is to start playing without hints, mapping out the world and seeing what all I...
PollsThe following polls include votes for Zork II:
Wandering NPCs by Fredrik
I have always been fascinated with games that have several wandering and independent NPCs, especially when you have the ability to try to order them around. This sets the stage for a game where no one session is like any other, and even...
Solved without Hints by joncgoodwin
I'm very interested in hearing truthful accounts of at least somewhat difficult games (or games that don't solve themselves at least) solved completely without recourse to hints, walkthroughs, etc.
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