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Zork 2 - The Wizard of Frobozz (1983)      

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Adventure / Text
Infocom, Marc Blank, Dave Lebling
8088/8086 CPU, DOS 1.0, 80-column text mode display adapter
DOS 2.0

5.25" floppy disk
Zork 1 - The Great Underground Empire
Zork 3 - The Dungeon Master
Manual (PDF), Maps and Documents (PDF)

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Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64

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Your Reviews

Tenshi No Shi (Unknown)   18th Jun 2012 10:05

"When you get to the dragon, tell 'im I sent you!"

Once upon a time, a game called Zork was created on a large, mainframe computer. In a time when the sort of graphics one would find on an Atari 2600 was the most you could expect from a game, Zork offered us something different, something new. Zork was to be the template for hundreds of similar games, and even years later, it would be the father of games such as Myst and Riven. The concept of Zork was simple: become an adventurer, collect treasure, solve puzzles, battle nasty monsters; all the things that have become the hallmark of the games we play today. There was, however, a catch: you had to do it all in the confines of a simple, text-based program. Read the story, tell the story what you want to do, and then read some more. Simple yet addicting.

This is part two of the three-part game. Literally picking up right were the last game left off, Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz has you continuing your journey with only your sword and lantern. Upon exiting the barrel, you find yourself in a much different area of the Great Underground Empire, an area that is full of magic (thus laying the ground work for Zork's spin-off series of Enchanter, Sorcerer, and Spellbreaker). The structure to this game is exactly the same as the last. In case you're wondering why, when Zork was first created, all three parts were actually one great big adventure. When they decided to sell it to consumers, Zork had to be broken apart in order to fit on home computers. Remember folks, when these games first came out, Apple IIs ruled and the Macintosh had just been released.

Nope, sorry. Still no graphics. You can keep reading the words I've typed, but it still won't change Zork II into a graphic adventure. What part of 'text-based program' didn't you understand? Still has a cool font though :-)

No sound yet either. But if you really need sound, you can make swishing noises when you slash your sword and snarl whenever you encounter a monster. If you need music, try the soundtrack to Indiana Jones.

The faster you type, the faster the game responds. The controls are that simple. Unless of course your nephew gummed up the 'S' key with raspberry jam, then you can't 'pick up _word' or 'walk _outh'. Now you're really _crewed!

Zork is a well-designed series of games. The interaction between you and the text world you are in is complete and without fault. Half of the fun is trying to figure out how to get the game to recognize what you want it to do. While this may seem like limited programming (it actually is, but Infocom can't be blamed for that), it really adds to the game in a way that cannot be described. It's almost like a puzzle in and of itself.

Zork still doesn't have any bonuses or anything extra to do. However, if you buy Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz as a part of the Zork Anthology, you usually get some cool Zork related stuff. There are actually two Anthologies that I know of. The first one is just the first five text games bundled together. It comes with a massive hint guide, maps, and a Zork timeline. As a bonus, you also get a game named PlanetFall (another Infocom Classic). The second Anthology comes with all of the above, minus the massive hint guide, but includes the first two graphic-based Zork games, an encyclopedia of Zork terminology, and the original Zork Nemesis full-color instruction manual.

I personally love the Zork games. You can usually find the Zork games bundled together in an anthology or as part of an Infocom collection. I highly recommend Zork to anyone who loves to play games for the mental exercise and great story, nto for the flashy graphics. Give it a try, the Underground Empire awaits...

Reviewer's Score: 8/10, Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 07/05/02

PowerSorceror (Unknown)   18th Jun 2012 10:04

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This title was first added on 26th July 2010
This title was most recently updated on 6th November 2015

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