Beyond Zork

by Brian Moriarty

Episode 4 of Zork
Fantasy , Zorkian , RPG

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Number of Reviews: 2
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
The Next Level in IF, March 17, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

The "Next Level" is something you'll either love or hate in IF. I loved it.

Beyond Zork happens at the same time as Spellbreaker, in the same universe, but with a differenct character. While the PC in Spellbreaker is trying to destroy all magic, you're trying to preserve it by collecting the Coconut of Quendor, in which magic knowledge is held, and hiding it to reinstate magic one day. (Which will be done in Zork: Grand Inquisitor).

What makes this game different is the mini-map, the ability to name objects, a money system to purchase things, some items have random descriptions and locations to change the gameplay, multiple enemies with randomize combat, D&D style stats and make-your-own character. The puzzles are what you would expect from Zork, ranging from obvious to "why does this bridge never seem to end?", where you would need some kind of extra world knowledge to get the joke.

This may be one of the first Zork/Enchanter games to involve a variety of NPCs (even though 3 of them are the same person) who you can speak to and have a REASON to speak to (unlike that Thief from Zork I), and even some NPCs that follow you around.

The downside to this is that, like many games of its era, you would need the instruction book to pass some puzzles. Luckily, it's not as blatant as in Spellbreaker or Sorcerer, where you actually need to look up info, but some hints on how to defeat some creatures (like the christmas tree monsters) are nonsensical, and only by reading the feelies would you know what to do.

All the classic Zork/Enchanter puzzles are here, and most of the trash was left out: no hunger puzzles, very little light issues, a magic system, a time travel puzzle, a place to say "Hello, Sailor", all the goodies.

However, if the Zork games weren't your think, or you prefer non-randomness in your games, this one probably isn't for you.

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