Zork Zero: The Revenge of Megaboz - Manual
More than 90 years have passed since the great wizard
Megaboz cast the Curse which destroyed Lord Dimwit Flathead the
Excessive along with the other members of the ruling family, the
Twelve Flatheads. Now, the Curse threatens to bring down the
Great Underground Empire itself!
Wurb Flathead, the current occupant of the throne, has sent
a clarion call to the remotest corners of the Empire: half the
riches of the kingdom to the person who can allay the Curse.
From every province of Quendor, courageous adventurers, scheming
charlatans, and wild-eyed crackpots have streamed into the
Imperial Capital of Flatheadia.
You are one such treasure-seeker, a peasant from an unheard-
of village in an obscure province. However, you have an
important advantage: an ancestor of yours, a servant in Dimwit's
court (who you'll "play" during a brief prologue", witnessed
Megaboz casting the Curse, and obtained a small scrap of wizardly
parchment from the mage's pocket.
This parchment scrap has been passed down from generation to
generation, and is now in your possession. Thanks to it, you
know what none of the other would-be Cursebusters know; you alone
know what must be done to stop the Curse!
By the time of your arrival at Flatheadia, most of the
treasure-seekers have given up and returned to their homelands.
In fact, you discover that most of the population, including all
figures of authority, have fled to distant provinces. And when
you awake on the hard floor of the castle on Curse Day, you find
that even the looters and the most persistent adventurers have
In fact, as you begin your desperate quest to find the
relics of the Empire you need to stop the court jester, who spins
rhymes for your amusement. Always appearing when you least
expect him, the jester will confront you with riddles and games,
spring some deadly tricks, and give you helpful nudges in the
right direction. and throughout, he seems to be laughing at some
tremendous joke which you can't begin to fathom...
Zork Zero is the prequel to the Zork Trilogy, one of the
most popular, best-loved computer games ever written. Zork Zero
takes you back to the age of the Flatheads, where you can glimpse
the Great Underground Empire during its heyday, and witness its
Zork Zero contains on-line hints! If you ever get stuck,
just type HINT and follow the instructions on your screen. The
hints generally progress from a gentle nudge to a complete
Don't let the presence or absence of hints on a particular
subject affect your thinking. In fact, fake hints have been
included to discourage this.
If you have no will power, and can't stop yourself from
looking at the hints too often, you can type HINTS OFF. This
will deactivate the on-line hints (unless you RESTART or RESTORE
to an earlier point).
Zork Zero contains an on-screen mapping feature. When you
want to see the map, type MAP. The map will show only those
locations which you've already visited. Locations will be
identified by the icons which appear the first time you visit a
room (or when you type LOOK).
The map shows only your general vicinity, not the entire
geography of Zork Zero. On the map, your current location will
blink. If you have a mouse, you can move around the geography by
clicking on an adjacent room. If anything interesting happens
while you are moving around in this way, you will be
automatically returned to the story.
You may still want to draw your own map to keep track of
where objects are found, and to be able to look at the entire
Zork Zero geography at once.
To remove the map from the screen and return to the story,
simply hit any key.
There are a number of graphical puzzles in Zork Zero. The
interface for them is different from the full sentence input
elsewhere in Zork Zero. Instructions will accompany each of
these graphical puzzles in the story.
Other puzzles include full-screen illustrations. Once you
have viewed these, simply hit any key to continue the story.
You can use the on-screen compass rose (which appears in the
center of the status line at the top of your screen) to move from
location to location. Just click on the appropriate point of the
compass rose. In addition, you can use your mouse to move around
while using the on-screen mapping feature, and for solving many
of the graphical puzzles.
As described elsewhere in this manual, many commands have
abbreviations: you can type N instead of NORTH, for instance, or
I instead of INVENTORY.
With function keys, you can use a single keystroke as an
abbreviation for whatever you choose. You can use a function key
to abbreviate a long word that you don't like to type (like
HIPPOPOTAMUS), or to abbreviate a commonly used command (like
RESTORE), or even to abbreviate a whole sentence (like CLIMB THE
You start the story with the function keys already set to
commonly used commands. To see what the function keys are set
to, or to change the settings of the function keys, type DEFINE
at the prompt (>) and press the RETURN key. Then use your mouse
or up and down arrow keys to highlight the setting(s) you want to
change. The vertical bar (|) or exclamation point (!) is used as
a n abbreviation for the RETURN key; so changing LOOK to LOOK|
means you want the RETURN key automatically pressed when you use
that function keys.
Below are explanations for a number of useful one-word
commands. Most of these commands appear in all Infocom games
(like Zork I, Wishbringer, Witness, ect.), but those starred (*)
are new. In many cases, these will not count as a turn. Type
the command after the prompt (>) and press the RETURN key.
Beyond Zork will respond as if you had repeated your previous
command. For instance, typing HIT THE MONSTER WITH THE TOASTER
OVEN then typing AGAIN would be like hitting the monster twice in
a row. You can abbreviate AGAIN with G.
This command tells Zork Zero to print the full description of
a location *only* the first time you enter it. On subsequent
visits, Zork Zero will print only the name of the location and
the objects present. This is how Zork Zero will normally act,
unless you tell it otherwise using the VERBOSE or SUPERBRIEF
commands. The SUPERBRIEF commands tells Zork Zero to print only
the name of a place you have entered, even if you have never been
there before. In this mode, Zork Zero will not even print which
object are present.
Of course, you can always get a description of your location
and the items there by typing LOOK. In SUPERBRIEF mode the blank
line between turns will be eliminated. This mode is meant for
players who are already very familiar with the geography. The
VERBOSE command tells Zork Zero that you want a complete
description of each location, and the objects in it, every time
you enter a location, even if you've been there before.
If you are playing Zork Zero on a color monitor, you can type
COLOR to change the colors on your screen. This command works
only on computers which support a color display.
You will get a complete list of credits and acknowledgements
for all who worked on Zork Zero.
This command allows you to change the setting of the function
keys. For example, if pressing function key 2 is like typing
INVENTORY, you can change this to DROP ALL, or DROP ALL followed
by RETURN, or anything else, by using the DEFINE command. See
"Function Keys" previously covered in this manual.
Zork Zero will give you a medical report of your physical
If you have difficulty while playing the story, and you
can't figure out what to do, just type HINT. Then follow the
directions at the top of your screen to read the hint of your
This will list what you are carrying and wearing. You can
abbreviate INVENTORY with I.
This tells Zork Zero to describe your location in full
detail, and the room's icon (if it has one). You can abbreviate
LOOK to L.
This will show you the on-screen map which contains your
current location. See "Mapping".
If you desire to turn off the decorative border to speed up
game play, you can do so by typing MODE. You can restore these
graphics at any time by typing MODE a second time.
Normally in Zork Zero, the game will notify you whenever your
score changes. You an turn off this notification feature by
using the NOTIFY command. Typing NOTIFY a second time turns the
feature back on.
If you accidentally mistype a word, such that Zork Zero
doesn't understand the word, you can correct yourself on the next
line by typing OOPS and the correct word. Suppose, for example,
you typed TAKE THE CLUB FROM THE GIANT and were told "You can't
use that word 'giant' in this story." You cold type OOPS GIANT
rather than retyping the entire sentence
This lets you stop the game. You can abbreviate QUIT with Q.
This command clears your screen and redraws the display.
This stops the story and starts over from the beginning.
This restores a position made using the SAVE command.
This puts a snapshot of your current position on your storage
disk. You can return to a saved position in the future using the
RESTORE command. You cannot SAVE during combat.
This command will show your current score and a ranking which
is based on that score. The highest score you can obtain in Zork
Zero is 1000.
This command tells your printer to begin making a transcript
of the story as you venture onwards. A transcript may aid your
memory but is not necessary. It will work on certain computers.
This command tells Zork Zero to give you the sparsest level
of description. See BRIEF above.
You can use this command to back up one move. Suppose, for
example, that you found a package but didn't know what was in it.
You might type OPEN THE PACKAGE and be told "The package
explodes as you open it, damaging your weapons and destroying all
your other possessions." You could then type UNDO and you would
back up one move. You weapons and other possessions would be
intact, and you could try giving the package to an enemy, or
leaving it alone, or something else. The UNDO command does not
work during combat (when you're fighting a monster, for
instance). Note that the UNDO command works only on certain
computers with enough memory.
This commands your printer to stop making a transcript.
This command tells Zork Zero to give you the wordiest level
of description. See BRIEF above.
Zork Zero responds by showing you the released number and the
serial number of your copy of the story. Please include this
information if you ever report a bug in the story.
This will cause time in the story to pass. Normally, between
turns, nothing happens in the story. You could leave your
computer, take a nap, and return to the story to find that
nothing has changed. You can use WAIT to make time pass in the
story without doing anything. For example, you can wait for a
specific time, or wait for an event to happen, etc. You can
abbreviate WAIT to Z.
SECTION II: ABOUT INFOCOM'S INTERACTIVE FICTION
Saving the Story
Saving and restoring: It will probably take you many days to
complete the game. Using the SAVE feature, you can continue the
story at a later time without having to start over from the
beginning, just as you can place a bookmark in a book you are
reading. SAVE puts a snapshot of your place in the story onto
another disk. You should also save your place before trying
something dangerous or tricky. That way, even if you get lost or
killed in the story, you can return to your saved position. You
cannot save during combat (while fighting a monster, for
To save your place in the story, type SAVE at the prompt ">",
and then press the RETURN key. Then follow the instructions for
saving and restoring that the computer asks. Some computers
require a blank disk, that has already been formatted, for saves.
Using a disk with data on it may result in the loss of that data,
depending on your computer. Zork Zero offers from 3 to 7
different SAVEd positions, depending on the type of computer.
You can restore a saved position any time you want. To do
so, type RESTORE at the ">" prompt. Then follow instructions
that the computer asks. You can then continue the story from the
point where you used the SAVE command.
Quitting and Restarting:
If you want to start over from the beginning, type RESTART
and press the RETURN key. If you want to stop the game entirely,
type QUIT and press the RETURN key.
Communicating with Infocom's Interactive Fiction
If your computer has a numeric keypad you can use it to move
around, rather than typing in the directions (N,E,S,W etc.).
|7|8|9| |NW|N |NE|
|4|5|6| becomes |W |UD|E |
|1|2|3| |SW|S |SE|
The 5 key is for both UP and DOWN. If you are in a location
which has both an UP and DOWN exit, the 5 key will act as if you
typed WALK AROUND.
You can include several sentences on one input line if you
separate them by the word THEN or by a period. (Note that each
sentence will still count as a turn.) You don't need a period at
the end of the input line. For example, you could type all of
the following at once, before pressing the RETURN:
>READ THE SIGN. GO NORTH THEN TAKE THE CROWBAR AND
The words IT and ALL can be very useful. For example:
>TAKE THE APPLE. POLISH IT. PUT IT IN THE BOX.
>CLOSE THE HEAVY METAL DOOR. LOCK IT.
>TAKE THE SHOE. EMPTY IT. PUT IT ON.
The word IT refers to either the last direct object you
mentioned or the last object the story mentioned. If there is
any confusion, the story will ask you to be more specific.
There are three kinds of questions that Zork Zero
understands: WHO IS, WHERE IS, and WHAT IS. For example:
>WHO IS HOWARD?
>WHERE IS THE MAP?
>WHAT IS PLUTONIUM?
You will meet other people and creatures in Zork Zero. You
can talk to some of these beings by typing their name, then a
comma, then whatever you want to say to them. Hear are some
>SHOPKEEPER, WHAT IS MY CREDIT?
>OLD MAN, TELL ME ABOUT THE PLATYPUS
>WILLY, PUT ON THE GLOVE THEN THROW THE BALL
Most people in the story don't care for idle chatter. Your
deeds will speak louder than you words.
Zork Zero recognizes over 1500 words, nearly all that you are
likely to use in your commands. However, Zork Zero uses many
words in its descriptions that it will not recognize in your
commands. For example, you might read, "The full moon is bright
and clear, and the trees cast eerie shadows." If Zork Zero
doesn't recognize the words MOON or SHADOWS in your input, you
can assume they are not important to your completion of the
story, except to provide you with a more vivid description of
where you are or what is going on.
Typed by INSKIPP. Edited by PARASITE.