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The Great Underground Empire

Though lacking in graphic content of any kind, this text based interface was paramount to the development of many a young child's imagination as they created the Quendorian Empire in their minds.

Zork I: The Great Underground Empire, is the first in a long line of classic video game adventures.  This is the game that secured the series in my heart as my favorite video game series of all time.

In this adventure, The first game of the first Trilogy in the series, you play the part of a lone adventurer who has decided to discover the secrets of the mysterious White House of Quendor.

This game takes place on the 22nd of Arch, 948 GUE in the Remains of the former Great Underground Empire of Quendor.  The GUE is now governed through magic powers by an individual known as the Dungeon Master who was appointed to his position by the wizard Megaboz after his curse on the Flatheads finally took effect in 883 GUE.

A boarded up building that looks like any other, from the White wooden siding down to the ordinary boards that hold its front door shut.  But, once you enter the building, (through the kitchen window I might add) and enter the Living room, you begin to see something strange has taken place in this house.

As you enter the Living room, you can see the interior of the boarded up front door (supposedly) except that on this side, it is covered with a series of strange runes. 

A move of the rug on the floor and a climb down through the trapdoor hidden underneath will change your life forever.  You must discover the twenty lost treasures of the lost society that once thrived here.

 

But, enough of the storyline.  This game was the original to introduce the society of Quendor.  It is this society that is the most enthralling part of the series.  I think that the most endearing part of this universe is it's simple, yet effective level of college humor.  (The original creators were at MIT when they made it after all.)

Tips from the Saint

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Carry the sword at all times, and save whenever it glows blue.  The sword glows blue whenever danger is near.

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Take everything, you never know when you'll need something.  Everything in this game has a possible use, if not to advance the story, for comical purposes.

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Don't stay in a dark place for more than one move if possible.  Grues walk everywhere there is no light, and they're hungry.

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The Sack in the kitchen can be used to hold several items, this way, you can carry more than usual.

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Don't drop anything anywhere that you're going to want again. If you leave things lying around, the thief will take them and move them around the dungeon, just to confuse you.  The only safe place to leave things is in the Living room, or in the Case itself.

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If you see the Thief (footpad) RUN!  There is always a chance that he will steal something from you.  If he does, don't panic, you'll get it back later.

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If you're going to take on the thief, use the knife from the attic, it has a better chance of hitting than any other weapon in the game.  Besides, he's using a Stiletto.

Maps

The maps for Zork I are COMPLETE!!

I've given them their own page, here.

Walkthrough

I have created a simple, yet complete walkthrough for this most challenging game.  It took my mother and I somewhere around ten years to finish it without any assistance.

Here it is.

Fun Things to Try

These are fun things for you to try out after you've finished the game.

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Try opening the grate from beneath when the leaves are still on top of it.

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Try swearing a couple of times.

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Try Waving the Scepter while you're on top of the Rainbow.

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Do something nasty with the bodies in Hades.

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Burn the Black Book

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Damage the Painting.

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Light the candles with the torch.

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Read the matchbook

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Try 'Take"ing a living person.

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Cut various things with the knife or sword.

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pour water on something that's burning.

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Use WAIT or SCORE while your dead.

Words you might not have tried

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HELLO to Troll, Thief or Cyclops

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ZORK

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OIL

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XYZZY

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WALK AROUND (In Forest in House or Outside House)

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PLUGH

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FIND (House, Hands, Teeth, Me)

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CHOMP

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COUNT (Candles, Leaves, Matches)

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WIN

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MUMBLE (or SIGH)

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LISTEN (Especially to Troll, Thief or Cyclops)

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REPENT

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WHAT IS (grue, zorkmid, etc.)

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YELL (or SCREAM)

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SMELL