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» » Zork I: The Great Underground Empire (1980)

Short summary

Told in second person, you play an AFGNCAAP (an Ageless, Faceless, Gender-Neutral, Culturally-Ambiguous Adventure Person) who begins in a serene setting, a house nestled in a thick forest. But your adventure really begins when you discover that the house leads to an expansive dungeon of forgotten lore and you must recover it's treasures from a tricky thief.

A game bug persists in all versions in which the player enters The Land of the Dead, and sees The Crystal Skull but the game doesn't register that it is a take-able item.

The back of the "gray box" version of the game featured items on the back of the box that were suppose to come with the game. One of them, a Zorkmid coin was featured but was never included with the game.

The mailbox seen at the opening of the game is also featured in Infocom's later "Wishbringer" as a living, breathing companion.

The message on the wall of the living room "This space intentionally left blank" is a reference to game author Mark Blank.

The phrase, "You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike" is a phrase from an earlier game "Colossal Cave Adventure".

Attempting to burn the black book turns the player into a pile of ash.

This was Infocom's first game.

The Japanese version was released for the Sega Saturn and featured 3D graphics.

The original version of the game was packages as Shareware in a plastic bag with a brief instruction booklet and was simply titled "Zork".

The word Zork was taken from MIT computer jargon for a program that wasn't finished. Originally titled "Dungeon", the name Zork stuck.


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