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The source files and a precompiled ZMachine storyfile of this adventure were recovered from a salvaged "Infocom hard drive", and made publicly available on GitHub in an effort to preserve them.
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Sorcerer

by Steve Meretzky

Episode 2 of The Enchanter series
Fantasy/Zorkian
1984

(based on 56 ratings)
5 reviews

About the Story

Sorcerer, the second of a spellbinding fantasy series in the tradition of Zork, takes you on a magical tour through the darker side of Zorkian enchantment. Your journey begins with a cryptic diary - the last trace of the now-vanished Belboz the Necromancer, grand and powerful leader of the Guild of Enchanters. It is feared that Belboz is in thrall to evil sorcery. If so, the very existence of the Circle of Enchanters could be forfeit. To rescue the kingdom and locate your mentor in the treacherous mists of time, you must gain the power and cunning of a true Sorcerer.

Difficulty: Advanced


Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: ZIL
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
IFIDs:  ZCODE-18-860904
ZCODE-15-851108
ZCODE-13-851021
ZCODE-6-840508
ZCODE-4-840131
ZCODE-67-000000
TUID: lidg5nx9ig0bwk55

Sequel to Enchanter, by Marc Blank, Dave Lebling

Followed by sequel Spellbreaker, by Dave Lebling
Referenced in Scroll Thief, by Daniel M. Stelzer

Editorial Reviews

Adventure Classic Gaming

On the high side, the puzzles in Sorcerer are truly entertaining and clever. They also play fair. The solutions require insight and do not require brute force thought (except for mapping). The location descriptions are very well written. They are brief yet evocative, and they do not become monotonous. On the low side, the long dead-ends can make the gameplay unforgiving. [...] There is little in the way of developing plot. A lot of the background story is contained in material that comes with the game but not in the game itself. Some of the missing material is for copy protection purposes, but I like to have seen most of it appear within the game as well.
-- David Tanguay
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SPAG
The Enchanter Trilogy
Two scenes bear particular mention: the glass maze [...] shows that not all mazes have to be annoying and boring. There is another puzzle [...] which is worth playing the entire game for, as I found it one of the most imaginative and challenging IF puzzles ever. As a whole, the game is rather easy, but I enjoyed it immensely.
-- Molley the Mage
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SPAG
[T]here is much in Sorcerer to enjoy
For fans of Enchanter, Sorcerer is worth playing; it continues the inventive use of magic to solve puzzles, and there is a genuine sense of accomplishment at the end. Though, particularly in the writing, it doesn't quite equal the standard set by Enchanter, it is well worth the time of any fantasy-game enthusiast.
-- Duncan Stevens
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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
That was Sorcerer overall kind of a frustrating mess, as Jimi Hendrix once sang, but an enjoyable story for all that, and home to one of the more magical puzzles Infocom ever produced.
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(21)
4 star:
(33)
3 star:
(5)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
The Sagging Middle of the Enchanter Saga, August 18, 2022
by Drew Cook (Acadiana, USA)

I've learned that my disappointment with Sorcerer is a minority opinion, but it has garnered its share of ambivalent reviews over the years. Obviously, Steve Meretzky making puzzles with Enchanter's magic system could never culminate in a bad game, or even a mediocre one, but the result can match neither Enchanter's innovations nor Spellbreaker's moments of transcendence. It is, in other words, a good game wedged between two brilliant ones.

Its chief problem is a lack of coherence. The Zork trilogy is held together by a kind of subsumed mournfulness. Elsewhere, the recently abandoned habitations and escalating ambiance of dread in Enchanter create a sense of the stakes. Sorcerer feels aimless by comparison, and the player may forget their goal altogether in favor of riding the rides at Bozbarland, a surprisingly thorough (in those days of constrained computing resources) implementation of an amusement park.

That isn't to say that there aren't mechanical satisfactions. Sorcerer's two most famous puzzles deserve their reputations. They also are remarkably different. One relies on intuition, while the other requires careful mapping and spatial awareness. I have often said that Steve Meretzky was Infocom's most reliable puzzlemaker, and Sorcerer offers no counterarguments.

A frequent complaint is that something must be completed in the first (I just checked) 27 moves or so, and it isn't completely clear that this is so. It's true! If that kind of old-school meanness could turn you off of the game entirely, then (Spoiler - click to show)prioritize finding a use for the matchbook.

It's the weakest of what I call the Zork saga (the two complete trilogies in that universe), but that's a very high ceiling. Sorcerer is a four-star game among five-star games, and worth a play for those interested in Infocom's magic system or the Zork universe.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Enchanter levelled up , May 31, 2021
by dvs

My friend and I have been using this Pandemic period to play the Enchanter trilogy over Discord. We just finished Sorcerer and we have previously finished Planetfall/Stationfall.

This game was one of our favorites Infocom games we've played. It has a definite story arc, from the tense intro to the final "chapter". Because there were so many red herrings (puzzles that don't need to be solved and items that are never needed) we didn't even know we were in the endgame until we looked at our score and realized we were close.

There were several unique puzzles we hadn't seen before (both areas which had maze-like mechanics). Unlike in Enchanter, we never had to look at any Invisiclue hints to solve them. The setting succeeded in giving us the feeling of constant danger, particularly when we ended up in the super creepy Chamber of Living Death.

A quibble we had were some areas that felt like randomized deaths that were more annoying than fun. (I was ready to give up on getting anything useful from (Spoiler - click to show)the slot machine when we kept getting killed over and over randomly before my partner's perseverance finally paid off.) Otherwise this is a classic worth playing.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Enchanter's nightmarish older brother, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: Infocom

Sorcerer is the "middle child" of the Enchanter trilogy, and like many middle installments, it tries to go beyond the old game into new territory while developing some aspects.

This game is still focused on scrolls, but it adds potions and many more Zorkian pick-up-and-carry-around items. Many items are items from MIT Zork which have been repurposed.

The writing is, in fact, nightmarish. There is a nightmare early in the game, and don't try sleeping in the first area! You later visit some particularly horrible places, where there are countless ways to die. The game is filled with subtly creepy locations, like (Spoiler - click to show)an underground carnival. And losing is particularly unpleasant.

This game has many red herrings, and one notorious unwinnable state (you must obtain a certain item in the first 25 turns of the game. The game doesn't tell you that).

The game is famous for (Spoiler - click to show)its glass maze, and for its time-travel puzzle. Unfortunately, I had heard about both before, and so I wasn't as impressed by them.

I got up to 205 points before using a walkthrough. I played this game on iOS's Lost Treasures of Infocom.


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Polls

The following polls include votes for Sorcerer:

Really hard puzzle/adventure games by Silius
You know like with lots of puzzles you have to solve.

Bound by human frailties??? by Stickz
I'm looking for games where the PC is faced with needs like eating, sleeping, and thirst. Unusual inventory limitations. Things that make them appear a little more human.

Games Where the Title Is You by AKheon
Games with a title that is the same as the main character.

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