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About the Story
The Wizard appears, floating nonchalantly in the air beside you. He grins sideways at you.
Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: ZIL
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
Sequel to Zork I, by Marc Blank and Dave Lebling
Adapted from Zork, by Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling
Followed by sequel Zork III, by Dave Lebling, Marc Blank
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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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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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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|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
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.
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.
I was a fan of Zork I since I played it at 10 years old on my grandmother's PC. I was excited to get into Zork II.
Now, after playing the Mainframe Dungeon, I see that Zork II is just a bunch of puzzles that wouldn't fit into Zork I anywhere, which is all fun.
You still have to manage your inventory, and it's difficult to get a permanent light source until most of the game's done anyway. (Spoiler - click to show)Once you get the wizard's wand, you can point it at an item and say "Fluoresce" and the item will permanently glow. Or, if you take too long, the wizard may cast this spell on you, making it impossible to win the game.
This game does have some impossible puzzles, such as the infamous baseball puzzle, which set the standard for what not to do in a puzzle, and the bank puzzle, which is really ingenious but horribly under-clued. Then there's the spinning room, which can be more of a nuisance than anything. Most frustrating, however is the Wizard. If you remember how pissed you were in Zork I when the thief showed up and stole your torch, you'll really get mad at the wizard, who randomly shows up and casts spells on you, sometimes causing you instant death (such as making you go into a frenzy while on a cliff, or freezing you in place near a lit bomb), or sometimes wasting precious light (freezing you wastes time while the lamp counts down), or even stealing treasures from you.
As in previous Zorks, you can be brought back to life, but many times your death still makes the game unwinable.
However, this is what added to the appeal of Zork I. I fondly remember as a child becoming nervous when my lamp got a bit dimmer. Even more so now, with no torch to fall back on. And the randomization makes the game have just a little bit more replay value. I'd even go out on a limb and say this is the best of the three Zork games, in term of fun (and certainly challenge- anyone who bests the baseball puzzle without hints is a master of all IFs.)
See All 7 Member Reviews
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Recommended ListsZork II appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Zorkian fantasy games by MathBrush
My best fantasy games list is getting too long, so I decided to branch off a list of all Zorkian fantasy games. These are games that have a vague fantasy setting where anachronisms or inconsistencies are allowed, the game is goofy or...
PollsThe following polls include votes for Zork II:
Villains by Victor Gijsbers
"[T]he thief [in Zork] is important to the development of interactive fiction because he functions as a true villain, not simply an obstacle or opponent.", writes Nick Montfort. Apparently, he moves around, taunts the player, actively...
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...
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