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Zork II (Windows) *
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Zork II (Mac) *
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Zork II
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Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Zork Trilogy Maps *
Maps for Zork 1, 2, and 3 in the GUEmap format.
GUEmap file. Requires the GUEmap viewer - visit http://www.cjmweb.net/GUEmap for information.
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Scroll past the Zork I hints for few helpful tips.
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Solutions to many IF games including Zork I - III
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Zork II

by Dave Lebling and Marc Blank

Episode 2 of Zork
Fantasy / Zorkian / Cave crawl
1981

(based on 85 ratings)
5 reviews

About the Story

The Wizard appears, floating nonchalantly in the air beside you. He grins sideways at you.

The Wizard incants "Fantasize," but nothing happens. He shakes his wand. Nothing happens. With a slightly embarrassed glance in your direction, he vanishes.

Expect the unexpected when you take on Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz.

As you explore the subterranean realm of Zork, you'll continually be confronted with new surprises. Chief among these is the Wizard himself, who'll constantly endeavor to confound you with his capricious powers. But more than that, you'll face a challenge the likes of which you've never experienced before.

Difficulty: Advanced


Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: ZIL
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
IFIDs:  ZCODE-17-820427
ZCODE-18-820512
ZCODE-18-820517
ZCODE-19-820721
ZCODE-22-830331
ZCODE-23-830411
ZCODE-48-840904
ZCODE-7-UG3AU5
ZCODE-48-840904-D899
TUID: yzzm4puxyjakk8c4

Sequel to Zork I, by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling
Adapted from Zork, by Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling

Spoofs:
Followed by sequel Zork III, by Dave Lebling, Marc Blank

Editorial Reviews

Adventure Classic Gaming

Gameplay follows the tradition set by the previous game of the trilogy. It is totally absorbing. You meet the Wizard of Frobozz very early on when he tries to prevent you from completing your quest. He also appears at random places throughout the game and casts various spells at you that can delay you considerably, but it is well worth noting the names of them. [...] From the perspective of an adventure gamer with a passion for interactive fiction, I really enjoy the complexity of some of the puzzles. They require an awful lot of thinking!
-- Karen Tyers
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SPAG
Zork II picks up where its predecessor left off in many ways -- the beginning deposits you inside the barrow that had marked the end of Zork I, your trusty lamp and sword are by your side, and your mission seems at the outset to be more treasure-gathering. But Zork II parts company with the first of the series in a variety of important ways as the game progresses -- that sword is useful, but in a way far more interesting than hack-and-slash -- and the changes suggest that the folks at Infocom were interested less in putting out more of the same than in refining their product and heightening ths challenge.
-- Duncan Stevens
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SynTax
As usual in Infocom games there are plenty of puzzles, some easy and some very tricky. You meet many characters including a princess, (who is helpful), a dragon, a lizard's head embedded in a wall, (I never managed to locate his body) and a dog with three heads - a real pet once you give him what he wants.
-- Joan Dunn
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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
I think I’ve spent more time in this post criticizing Zork II than I have singing its praises, so it may be surprising when I say that this is my favorite game of the trilogy. I have plenty of affection for parts 1 and 3, but to me this is where the best parts of Zork fully jelled. The humor works wonderfully, the imagery is fantastic, and the structure mixes richness and broadness in a way that makes for wonderful memories of gaming excitement. And sure, its bad puzzles are bad, but its good puzzles are great — deeply satisfying and marvelously layered. Zork I established the premise, and Zork III deconstructed it, but Zork II fulfilled it.
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(29)
4 star:
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3 star:
(24)
2 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
The troubled middle child, August 14, 2021
by kamineko (Acadiana, USA)

I'm trying to work my way through the Infocom catalog, posting my thoughts on a gaming forum all the while.

I find it hard to evaluate Zork II, but perhaps this is my problem alone. After all, it is the second best-rated Zork game on IFDB, surpassed only by the rather corpulent Zork Zero.

It contains what many consider the two worst puzzles in the Infocom canon. One, I am happy to forgive, considering the intent behind it. In creating the infamous "baseball maze," Dave Lebling wished make to something interesting out of Zork I's least interesting obstacle: the maze. It is, in other words, a failed attempt to innovate. The other notorious Zork II puzzle is the Bank of Zork, which is only inches away from being a worthwhile and challenging puzzle. Unfortunately, it was simply ported directly from the mainframe version of Zork. I wonder if Lebling was unwilling to alter Marc Blank's work (the puzzle was his creation). Judging from his talk at a GDC Post Mortem years ago, Lebling knew that the puzzle had issues. He knew that others at Infocom had problems with the puzzle. The Bank of Zork went in untouched, all the same.

So I will forgive one and begrudge the other.

In other good news: Zork II's map feels far more organic than Zork I's, despite the fact that they were largely cut from the same puzzle-laden cloth. My only complaint is that its central hub, the carousel, is a massive waste of your lantern's batteries, and there is no torch to save you this time. On your first playthrough, you may immediately stumble upon the source of the carousel's spinning, or you may not reach it until your lamp is flickering. Just as many game developers today do, Infocom was perhaps struggling to find the line between a challenge and a hassle.

The game's final act before victory appears to be unmotivated, and a related event can render the game unwinnable.

However, the game's new additions, the Wizard and the demon, take Zork II in an interesting and new direction. This time, the treasures are actually FOR something. There is a reasonable, in-game reason for collecting treasure that propels Zork, a game and a half later, beyond the reach of ADVENT's shadow. Slight as it is, we have something new here: a bona fide story.

The titular Wizard is a mixed bag. At the time, of course, he was a bit of a marvel, performing feats of magic that had differing effects based on multiple factors. He was additionally a font of Zorkian humor, alternately causing you to levitate out of a hot air baloon or... conjuring the smell of fudge.

By the time your second playthrough rolls around (the one where you are better able to conserve lantern batteries), you will likely have tired of him and his battery-burning abra kadabery. Though far less remarked-upon, the really compelling new character is the demon--Lebling obviously enjoyed writing him.

Zork II is an interesting pivot point for Infocom. The Adventurer is no longer *just* a looter of fallen civilizations. They are playing a bigger game now, defeating wizards and ordering demons about. While few saw it coming, the glum ambiance of Zork III makes sense. The time has come, as they say, to put away childish things.

I like Zork II more than Zork, and I think I am in the minority despite IFDB's numbers: these things are hardly scientific. I feel that, in Zork II, the confines of ADVENT's "cave game" have begun to buckle. Lebling's addition of Wizard, Demon, and modest plot are quite innovative for their time, and they were brought to life by what was then the world's most sophisticated parser.

Like Zork I, Zork II is historically significant. It is worth a visit if nothing else, and can be quite enjoyable if one is accepting of such an old game's eccentricities.

I give no rating for Zork II. I'm not sure that measuring it against contemporary standards is relevant.

In my effort to get through all of Infocom's games, I have determined that Zork I-III and Deadline are too big to judge. I'll give a rating for Starcross if/when I get there.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A fantastic retooling of material from MIT Zork, with some new material, February 3, 2016

Zork II incorporates my favorite puzzles from MIT Zork: the palantirs, the tea room, the round room, the robot, the volcano, the glacier room. The dragon (a callback to Adventure) was a fun challenge, and the two or three NPCs made the game quite fun. I enjoyed watching the wizard travel around zapping me.

I prefer Zork I's treasure drop off system, however. It was annoying having a huge pile of treasure, not knowing what to do with it.

I used a walkthrough on a few places (especially the oddly-angled room), because I wanted to see the whole game. Having completed MIT Zork before made some of the hardest puzzles trivial.


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Second verse, better than the first, May 3, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)

The second installment in this landmark text series is a definite improvement over the original, though still has some maddening features that would never be tolerated today.

Rather than just collecting treasures, your goal is to face the evil wizard. Thus, the story has more inherent conflict and gives it more weight. The map is also more manageable, with no mazes (though there are some tricky room exits). Some of the puzzles are very clever, my favorites being the carousel room and the bank vault. Unfortunately, one requires familiarity with baseball, which isn’t fun for non-American players.

Probably my favorite of the three entries, though still not terribly satisfying with minimal plot and some obtuse puzzles.


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Polls

The following polls include votes for Zork II:

Games where the player must draw their own map by Paxton
Ideally these are games whose puzzles/challenges involve the map in some way (hidden connections, layout analysis, &c.) and aren't just games which could be mapped. I'm especially interested in games which use the action of drawing the...

Great treasure hunt games by Molly
Good treasure hunting games in the vein of Zork and Adventure, although they may not necessarily be set in caves.

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This is version 23 of this page, edited by Paul O'Brian on 8 May 2022 at 9:55pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item