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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Low Production Value Theater

posted by on April 9 at 12:34 PM


Kung Fu Rodeo has a link to a website where you can download the first three Zork games for free. Pretty much anybody under the age of…27?…28?…53?…has no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure.

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Oh grandpa, won't you be so kind as to tell us all the rousing tale of the Zork? I'm ever so fond of stories about the ol' days!

Posted by Young Wipper Snapper | April 9, 2008 12:40 PM

Oh my God. You played that shit?

I don't believe you.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 9, 2008 12:44 PM

I keep trying to talk our designers into turning our MMORPG into a text adventure.

"You see a door..."

Posted by Peter F | April 9, 2008 12:45 PM

I'm 24 and have played most of the zork series. Of course I'm also a bit of a nerd. So yea..

Posted by Kyleen | April 9, 2008 12:47 PM

There is a small mailbox here.

Posted by kid icarus | April 9, 2008 12:48 PM

As a kid, I read Choose-Your-Own-Adventure ripoff books called ZORK. Is there a connection?

Posted by Bub | April 9, 2008 12:49 PM

You see a door - and hit it.

"Ow!" says the door.

Do you want to:

A. Open the door
B. Apologize to the door
C. Attack the door with your Wet Noodle
D. Go in a different direction

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 9, 2008 12:57 PM

I played ye olde text games. Sniff... so awesome. But I have a version of Zork on my iBook that I try every so often, and I simply can't figure the damn thing out. I need, like, Zork for dummies.

Posted by leek | April 9, 2008 12:57 PM


Posted by j bomb | April 9, 2008 1:07 PM

"Hello sailor!"

You can also play new versions of Infocom's Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy game - now with pictures, courtesy of the BBC:

Posted by JC | April 9, 2008 1:11 PM


Posted by bobcat | April 9, 2008 1:11 PM

Beware the Wumpus!

Posted by Chris | April 9, 2008 1:12 PM

@Bub: Yes, there were four tie-in Choose Your Own Adventure-style books. Later on, George Alec Effinger wrote a Zork book that's actually really good.

I think I may have actually played Zork I too much, because I think I can do most of it from memory: North, North, Climb Tree, Get Egg, Down, South, East, Open Window...

Posted by Monty | April 9, 2008 1:19 PM

I can't remember if I played Zork, but I did play Trinity and Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

Posted by elswinger | April 9, 2008 1:33 PM


Posted by kentdoggydog | April 9, 2008 1:47 PM

Hunt the Wumpus and Parsec on the TI99 4/a FTW

Posted by bobcat | April 9, 2008 1:50 PM

I played Zyll, but same thing. It was the only use I got out of my IBM pc jr. I still crave some text-only role-playing every now and again: arcade games have always paled in comparison to the thrill of hitting ctrl-D over and over again.

Posted by bronkitis | April 9, 2008 2:11 PM

Kings Quest is so much better.

Or Ultima VII. That shit owned.

Posted by w7ngman | April 9, 2008 2:19 PM

You died of dysentery

Posted by bobcat | April 9, 2008 2:43 PM

@18 - Ohmygod I LOVED me some old school Sierra On-line games.

Posted by kid icarus | April 9, 2008 2:44 PM

Just what I needed - Another nerdy way to waste some time. As soon as I get home Imma go Load "*",8,1 up some Zork


Posted by Clint | April 9, 2008 3:26 PM

i'm 21 and i love zork! fantastic classics.
and return to zork is great if you're into pictures.

Posted by sepiolida | April 9, 2008 3:45 PM


I actually did a project in college that used Python to allow you to play any of the Zork games over the internet through an AIM bot.

Wow, that sounds nerdy even to me.

Posted by Lone Adventurer | April 9, 2008 4:07 PM

I second the Ultima 7 ownage; it took forever for RPGs to match it. (Oblivion does much of it right though.)

Posted by ru shur | April 9, 2008 4:45 PM

I thought I had no idea what you were talking about and then I read Will's post @7 and it all came whooshing back to me. Good times...good times.

Posted by PopTart | April 9, 2008 5:36 PM

9 posts before a Grue comment? I'm disappointed.

Posted by Sven | April 9, 2008 10:38 PM

You know what was the shit? Planetfall.

Posted by Greg | April 9, 2008 10:53 PM

Heh, my girlfriend works for the game studio that made Zork. They're based in Seattle, you know.

Posted by The Great Tuna | April 10, 2008 12:45 AM

Paul Constant, giving me the news I want to read.

This is great. I sense wasted days and rusty lanterns ahead.

Now if someone could find me Leather Goddesses of Phobos...

Posted by Dawgson | April 10, 2008 7:36 AM

See and note the blog at

Text Rules.

Posted by David Cornelson | April 10, 2008 7:42 AM

Alas, the game studio that made Zork hasn't existed since 1989. But anyone who wants to play an Infocom game and can't be bothered to hit up Home of the Underdogs is welcome (for the next few weeks, anyway) to play them by connecting via telnet to and logging in as the user "zork" with no password.

Posted by Josh | April 10, 2008 1:31 PM

(The time limitation on that offer is because I don't want to step on David's toes. He's been trying to negotiate the rights to the Infocom games for his own company, and having them out there for free in their original version probably doesn't fit into the business plan.)

Posted by Josh | April 10, 2008 1:43 PM

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