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Zork Zero

Zork Zero
Zork Zero

SystemDOS
Floppy (5.25")3

Infocom

DOS

0  51051  01407  2

Release Date: 7/14/1989
Manufacturer: Infocom
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
$59.95
$115.44*
 
Donated By: Eric Robson
 
Zork Zero: The Revenge of Megaboz is an interactive fiction computer game, written by Steve Meretzky over nearly 18 months and published by Infocom in 1988, with an original retail price of $59.95. Although it is the ninth and last Zork game released by Infocom before the company's closing, Zork Zero takes place before the previous eight games (Zork I, Zork II, Zork III, Enchanter, Sorcerer, Wishbringer, Spellbreaker and Beyond Zork). Unlike its predecessors, Zork Zero is a vast game, featuring a graphical interface with scene-based colours and borders, an interactive map, menus, an in-game hints system, an interactive Encyclopedia Frobozzica, and playable graphical mini-games. The graphics were created by computer artist James Shook. It is Infocom's thirty-second game.

Previous games by Infocom used a parser evolved from the one in Zork I, but for Zork Zero, they designed a new LALR parser from scratch. Zork Zero's parser has some innovative features. If it notices if a player is having trouble with it, it offers helpful suggestions, such as sample commands.

Three of the four graphical mini-games are based on older logic puzzles. Peggleboz is a version of peg solitaire, Snarfem is Nim, and the Tower of Bozbar is Towers of Hanoi. Other puzzles based on established logic puzzle types include a river-crossing puzzle with a fox, a rooster, and a worm, and a Knights and Knaves puzzle in which violently xenophobic Veritassi and Prevaricons are truth-tellers and liars respectively, and peaceful Wishyfoo are alternators.

Lord Dimwit Flathead the Excessive certainly earned his nickname. Never one to do things on a small scale, when Dimwit decided in 789 GUE to have a statue erected in his honor, it had to be the largest statue ever. This angered a local resident of Fublio Valley (where the statue was built), Megaboz the Magnificent, who cast a deadly curse over Dimwit, the royal family, and the entire Empire before disappearing. The king's conjurers employed their most powerful magic in an effort to counteract the curse, but they were unable to save Dimwit and his eleven siblings; they only managed to delay the kingdom's destruction temporarily.

Zork Zero prelude (in Windows Frotz interpreter). The compass rose at the top highlights available exits. Some room descriptions had icons, also used in dynamic maps.

The game begins with a brief prelude in which the player is a humble servant in Lord Dimwit's scullery. Present when Megaboz appears and casts his fateful curse, the player manages to grab a small piece of parchment left behind in the chaos.

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* Inflation data courtesy of www.inflationdata.com. Values are approximate using our own calculations.

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