Zork: Grand Inquisitor

Zork: Grand Inquisitor received good reviews (PC Gamer Magazine gave it an Editor’s Choice award and scored it at 88% in its May, 1988 issue, while GameSpot scored it as a 8.0 “Great”). The biggest fault that reviewers agreed upon was that it seemed too short, and a longer visit in this archetypical gamer universe was wished for. Now that’s a complaint any developer would like to hear! It was released for both Windowsand Macintosh platforms, and played the same on either one. Also, a DVD version was released in 1998, which also included the full version of Zork: Nemesis as an added bonus.

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Zork

Who could forget Zork’s opening: “You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.” The text-based parser would respond to your directions, such as “Open mailbox” or even just “open”. Actually, the parser was quite advanced for the genre, as it was able to handle conjunctions and prepositions, such as “open the mailbox and read the leaflet,” and had a wide array of verbs and nouns that it recognized. Of course, if you tried a command that it didn’t know, the parser would just respond with, “I don’t understand that” or a pre-programmed witty response if you tried something the programmers anticipated you would, like typing in “jump” and getting “Wheeee!!!” as a response. For fun, type in any of the following: zork, win, repent, yell, and see what the parser says back.

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