Because of its
origins, ZORK seems to have evolved rather than have been designed.
Some of the original problems in the mainframe version have been
given different solutions on the micro, in some cases the original
solution has been left in the code on the micro, in other cases it
has been removed.
Where these multiple solutions occur, then usually
one is a single 'magic' word which is sometimes illogical and you
have to be lucky to guess it, while the other is usually a longer,
more complex, solution involving a number of actions of a more
logical nature. The 'magic' word solutions generally appear to be
older, part of the original game while the longer solutions have in
some cases been added on the micro, presumably to enable a more
logical solution without the poor adventurer having to make a lucky
of the magic words are of course jokes.
PLUGH in the Original Mainframe Adventure
(NOT ZORK), if you stand at Y2 and wait, then a hollow voice booms
PLUGH which turns out to be a magic word for transporting you back
to the building. In ZORK, if you type in PLUGH then it responds 'A
hollow voice booms 'CRETIN.'
GRANITE There are, I think, three granite
walls in ZORK. I have not found any use for them. They are very
clearly marked on INFOCOM's own map of ZORK. Are they entrances to
the Thief's secret passages? Does anyone know their purpose? On the
mainframe if you type in GRANITE it responds 'I think you are taking
this thing for granite!'
Don't read any further unless you have either solved
ZORK I or don't intend to try!
ECHO On all versions I have seen this
changes the Loud Room so that you can pick up the bar. The fuller
solution, which does NOT work on the mainframe, is to open the dam,
wait for the reservoir to empty, close the dam, and nip down and
pick up the bar while the reservoir is refilling the noise is from
the water going over the top of the dam.
On the mainframe you just get the Bell, Book, and Candle, go to the
Entrance to Hades, and type in EXORCISE. Not so easy on the micro!
EXORCISE SPIRITS responds with 'You must perform the ceremony'. So
here is a case where they had a simple solution on the mainframe and
removed it. Now you must go through the whole rigmarole of RING
BELL. GET CANDLES. LIGHT MATCH. LIGHT CANDLES WITH MATCH. READ
ODYSSEUS/ULYSSES The full solution to getting past the cyclops
involves feeding him hot peppers, then giving him a drugged drink of
water to put him to sleep. The magic word scares him so that he
smashes a route from the Cyclops Room to the Living Room for you.
This not only saves time in getting rid of him, but also does away
with the need for the key, the grate, and the other half of the
maze! (Doing this also stops the thief from barring the trapdoor.)
On the mainframe you also get 10 points for entering the Secret
Passage which the cyclops uncovers, presumably this is another
reason for making the prayer an acrostic about Ulysses (look at the
first letter of each line of it!) so as to give you a hint on how
to get those last ten points!
PRAY I didn't discover this until a year
after I successfully completed ZORK I. It transports you and
anything which you are carrying (such as the coffin, which otherwise
appears impossible to extract from the Altar area) to the forest.
The alternative is to pick up the coffin as early as possible in the
game and drop it immediately. The thief will then take it and you
can retrieve it later from his room at your leisure.
GERONIMO On the mainframe, at the top of the
falls, there is a wooden barrel. if you climb in you find the word
GERONIMO etched on the side of it. Typing GERONIMO makes the barrel,
with you in it, go over the falls. No, you don't survive! It was
quite fun though, shame they left it out on the micro!
RUB MIRROR to transport yourself from one side
of the reservoir to the other.
Rather than wasting
time getting into the boat with the sceptre, then having to repair
the boat with the gunk, just PUT SCEPTRE IN BOAT, then it doesn't
puncture it. Or, even better, wave the sceptre from the OTHER end of
Rather than going
through all the rigmarole with the basket, lowering it down the
shaft with everything in it, try going into the Draughty Room very
early in the game sometimes, on some versions, on some computers,
it lets you walk in and out carrying as much as you like!
Do YOU know of any other short cuts or alternative