Saturday, September 15, 2007

Zork and other games

Another game Zork reminds me of the Resident Evil series. I’m not sure if anyone else is familiar with it, but these are zombie-action games in which the main character is placed in an eerie situation and must escape without being eaten alive first by zombies, dogs, and other genetically engineered monsters. There is almost no verbal dialogue in the entire game with the exceptions to a few cut-scenes. The game involves many puzzles that must be solved in order to progress through the storyline. An example would be a locked door with four empty holes depicting different symbols. You must then find the four keys with these symbols to unlock that door. When entering a room, you must search that entire room by getting near walls, tables and other scattered items and hitting the action button. A text description will be displayed that explains what is being “seen” by the character. If something is useful, the character will pick it up and if not, there will just be a humorous description of the sights, smells, or sounds of the surrounding area.

As far as Zork itself, I think it is a pretty fun and interesting game, but I often find the lack of a visual aspect to be disorienting and almost frustrating. Simple navigation through the area can become a lengthy process if you accidentally hit the “w” button one too many times.

With my computer, I have not been able to find a version that enables me to save my game, so I have been playing the very beginning of the game about 20 times. If anyone knows how to fix this, I would really appreciate it. Also, that crafty thief with the bag keeps taking all of my stuff and I haven’t yet found out how what his purpose is. The bloody axe has no effect on him and he keeps making me look like an idiot. If anyone has been able to kill or otherwise interact with him in some way that is helpful, kudos to you and let me know how you did it.


Adam Johns said...

For a Windows Machine
If you're using a windows machine, you want to google for "winfrotz", download it & install it.

For a Linux Machine

You need to download and install frotz, which will be in most repositories (e.g., apt-get install frotz if you're using Debian, Ubuntu, etc; Redhat derivates would be similar, but I don't know the syntax). You could also compile it from source very easily.

For a Mac

I get results when I google "mac" and "frotz," but I don't have a mac to verify what works.

For everything
Regardless, you also need to google for "zork" and "download"; the first result points you to where you can download the data files.

Adam Johns said...

Also, regarding the thief. He's tough - if I remember right, you really can't beat him until later in the game. The knife is, I think, the most effective weapon against him.

Jessica S. said...

Give the thief the egg to get rid of him, and avoid him after that. You'll get your stuff back later.

Fight him when you meet him at his lair, and use the rusty knife. Save before and after because he'll kill you pretty quickly.

Also, thanks a bunch for the Linux help. I wouldn't waste prayer on getting DOSBOX to work with the save feature.

Joy said...

I'm sorry i cant give you any help in with respect to Zork, because i myself am having many problems with it. I too, have played the very beginnin gof the game multiple times and cant seem to find a version in which i would be able to save. If anyone does find a version of know what is necessary in saving the game i would love to know.

Adam Johns said...

Joy -

Check out my above response to the original post. Just google for "zork " and "download" to get the data file, and then google for "winfrotz" (assuming you're running a windows machine). Install winfrotz, run it, then tell it where to find the downloaded file, and you're set.

Another alternative, if you have your own computer, is to just leave open a browser window with your game...

Jessica S. said...

Use frotz/winfrotz to execute the DATA/Zork1.dat file downloaded here:

The .COM version of that game sucks, use frotz for proper saving. By the way, thanks again for helping me with that.

And! Use the "nasty knife" not the rusty knife on the thief!