|All the grues
that fit, we print
|The New Zork Times||New Zork
|Vol. III, no. 1||Spring 1983||none|
Background -- for hundreds of years the people of the planet have lived happy, carefree lives. Within the planet, a single human lies in suspended animation. His brain controls the vast computer which in turn controls the planetary transit systems, hydroponics, and weather. Unfortunately, insanity strikes this sleeping mind and thousands die in the ensuing chaos on the planetary surface.
You have been selected by lottery to take the next 500 year shift at the controls. You will remain unconcious unless an emergency develops.
The game begins as you awaken. You control six robots -- Iris, Auda, Whiz, Waldo, Sensa and Poet. With these as your hands and senses, you must determine what has happened and repair the damage. Your challenge: restore order with the fewest deaths possible.
Included with the game is a playing board (which serves as a map) and markers representing the robots (to keep track of them).
Those of you who liked Deadline, Infocom's first mystery game, will be happy to know that the second in the series is due soon. Witness! is expected to be available in May. Keep an eye out for your next copy of The New Zork Times.
It is rumoured that the next edition of the Times will announce the long-awaited InvisiClues booklet for Deadline, as well as one for Suspended (and possibly for Witness!).
The Zork Users Group carries all of Infocom's games on all but a few systems.
On the TRS-80, we have only Deadline and Starcross. (Radio Shack is exclusively marketing Zork for the TRS-80 models. Suspended is not currently available.)
Games for the Osborne are available only through Osborne dealers.
Several more systems are in the works. Watch for future issues of The New Zork Times for details.
Four InvisiClues booklets have been produced to date, and the response from users has been tremendous.
InvisiClues are planned for Suspended and Deadline. Release dates are not yet available. We are considering the possibility of writing InvisiClues for non-Infocom games such as the original Adventure. Your suggestions would be appreciated.
The January 1983 edition of the British magazine Microcomputer Printout included an article on desert island software (in other words, games to have with you when stranded on a desert island). All five Infocom games were included.
The writer had this to say: "My only regret on my island is the length of time it will take me to get in touch with the Zork Users Group. This is an organization entirely separate from Infocom, Inc. set up to help and advise stranded adventurers. Such is the hypnotic power of Zork that such a group lives and flourishes."
The Book of Apple Software 1983 had some kind words for us. "The Zork Users Group is totally independent of Infocom; however, they certainly know the fine points of those games. The clues are accurate and complete; the 'extraneous clues' are amusingly written. Even conquerers of Zork may learn something -- there is a list of suggested activities and words to try to gain the last full measure of Zork's humor.
"This reviewer, a seasoned Zorker, re-entered the game just to try the 25% of those listings which hadn't been tried, and the responses to several made the journey worthwhile.
"InvisiClues contains good artwork, writing, and printing, and reflects a very high quality production. Except for the price, InvisiClues are excellent in all regards, entertaining in their own right, and definitely allow Zork to be solved almost too painlessly."
We would like to do something about the price, but unfortunately the process is quite expensive.
It's possible that in the future, as sales and printing volumes increase, we'll be able to decrease the price per booklet.
PC magazine (December 1982 Games issue, p.99) says "InvisiClues is almost as much fun as Zork,..."
Softline (May 1982) said the Zork Users Group has "very handsome maps that enhance playing..."
PC (August 1982, p.24) "But hark -- here comes the Zork Users Group to the rescue! These folks have risen from the Great Underground Empire long enough to publish maps, clues and blueprints for the Infocom games."
Infocom's games have been racking up compliment after compliment from critics and users alike. The games have received many reviews recently -- they have been unanimously favorable.
Our last issue highlighted quite a few reviews and many comments from users. Since then we've received one comment which we must share with you (it's in regard to Zork II): "Awesome, awesome, awesome. I get tingles all over from the excitement it brings." (!)
"Zork II is a delight to play. A text adventure, it is of the high-quality, logic-loyal wing of that genre, populated only by such gems as the original Adventure, Zork, and Cyborg. Where Cyborg reached -- and retains -- the mountaintop in terms of plot and integration of player with adventure, Zork II joins Zork as the ultimate in text adventuring technique and communication."
"What?", you ask, "There's a game which threatens the supremacy of Zork?" Although Cyborg was very well received by the critics, many adventurers are not familiar with it since it was not distributed widely.
Cyborg was written by Michael Berlyn, an accomplished science fiction writer. (Michael is the author of Crystal Phoenix and The Integrated Man.) During the summer of 1982 he joined the staff at Infocom and has toiled since then on his best work to date: Suspended. You will find that Suspended thrusts you into a thoroughly believable and engrossing plot, with the creative problems and intelligent input you've come to expect in an Infocom game.
With Michael Berlyn's writing skills and Infocom's technology, how can you lose?
In response to your requests, the Zork Users Group has come out with two new products. The I Love Zork bumper sticker is 3" x 11", with white letters and red heart on a black background.
There has been a strong demand for T-shirts, but problems with sizes, styles, and colors have made us hesitate.
We now have the solution: heat transfers! The Zork logo (brown, yellow, and black) has been printed with special heat-transfer ink. We will ship you the transfer sheet which you can take to a T-shirt shop which does heat transfers. There you can pick out the T-shirt of your choice. (Note: using a standard household iron is not recommended; however, a photographer's mounting press can be used.)
Thanks to André St-Aubin for transcribing and HTML-izing this issue.