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Zork Library External Link[edit]

To User: a number of different editors have changed your wording or removed your entry over the past few weeks. Personally, I think it's acceptable as an External Link, but apparently not everyone agrees. I realize that reverts and even edits can be frustrating, but that's just a fact of life if you edit at Wikipedia. My advice is to argue your points here, on the talk page, and not in the text of the article itself (like this).

If you believe this is a good link, and someone removes it, make your case here. I, for one, will likely back up your position (unless someone else makes a more compelling argument, that is). If you feel that your wording is superior to something that replaces it, then again you should come here to argue your case. Good luck. --Transity (talkcontribs) 19:21, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

...and then I realized that the site in question provides (likely) illegal downloads of the Zork games. That makes this an unacceptable link in WP per WP:ELNEVER. If you believe that this site is legally allowed to distribute these games (that means all of the games it offers for download, including the more recent ZGI and others), then please let us know here. Otherwise, the removal of the link (which I am repeating now) will have to remain in effect. --Transity (talkcontribs) 19:27, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

^^ The link was being removed or the description being changed and it is MY entry. I don't go to wikipedia and modify data that isn't mine nor does anyone outright have the right to just change it to how they please. I don't know where you were looking, but I do not have a download of ZGI. As for the infocom games being on there, well then perhaps you should go and try to complain to the hundreds of sites that allow you to play it online for free...

I think you're misunderstanding the entire premise of Wikipedia. There is no such thing as "your" entry, or "my" article. They are all open to be edited by anyone, as long as they follow Wikipedia policies. Your changes are being removed because they do not follow policy (as discussed above, and on the Talk:Zork page. Please understand - this isn't a personal attack, or a vendetta against you. It's just how Wikipedia works.
I think you are also missing the point of the issue. I agree that plenty of sites allow you to play and/or download Infocom games for free. That doesn't make it legal, and if it's not legal, then Wikipedia doesn't allow links to such sites. Again, it isn't personal, it's just Wikipedia policy. See Talk:Zork#Zork_Trilogy_is_not_freeware.3B_the_link_should_be_removed. for more information. If you feel you have a case to make for why these downloads are legal (and can prove it), then you should do so on the Talk:Zork page. Unless you get concurrence on the Talk:Zork page, I would advise that you refrain from adding the link back as it will likely be deleted, and you could be reported to administrators for violating WP policy. Again, not a threat, just a friendly head's up of how the policy works. --Transity (talkcontribs) 20:57, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

^^ I also find it humorous that my link is being removed but the first 3 links on the wiki page are for "illegal" copies or playable online copies of Zork 1-3, I'll promptly remove them for violation of the wiki, the same reason my site is being removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:05, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

Dear anonymous user, always remember the warning helpfully printed under "Please note" right below the edit box you're typing into: "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly ... by others, do not submit it." 2. Your threat to delete other links sounds perilously clouse to editing to illustrate a point, which is a no-no. (In the event you actually don't understand the difference, the first two links are to the original release of Dungeon/Zork, not to the later Infocom releases. The original release allowed non-commercial distribution. It is also different from the later Infocom releases. The third link is suspect, and I suspect might not survive a challenge. However, they are only distributing the original three Zorks, which were released for a while (see above). At least one person claims that they were given permission to legally publically perform Zorks I through III. It is conceivable that the third link is legit. It has been online for a decade at a major university; if the current copyright holder wanted it down, it would have been trivial. The Zork Library, however, is offering a variety of Infocom releases, including many that were never freely available. Admittedly this is more of a judgement call, personally I would let the Zork Library be on the grounds that I don't know permission has not been granted. (Has it?) Other editors would err on the other side and, as noted above, and call for the removal of the third link. But hashing out such disagreements is exactly what talk pages are for.) — Alan De Smet | Talk 00:09, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

^^ Ive calmed down a bit thanks to Transity. My complaints here were simple, I was simply defending the fact that coming straight from the horses mouth so to speak, I felt that I was the best person for making the description. Its clear no one owns the rights to the page, but then I know thats a lie, there are plenty of people who do feel they are in charge and edit it to their liking. I simply was changing my link and only my link. Furthermore the link had been there for years without any issues, but now for some reason everyone seems to be in a huff over the fact that I want to edit my link description and theres others that feel they like something better. This is like a 2 year olds argument... if its not yours then why edit it at all? Legality is another issue altogether when it comes to abandonware, I am a firm believer about warez being illegal, I havent done any for 5 years. I love Zork and have run my site for a long time and just want to share the experiences with others. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Nowhere Gaming remakes[edit]

In this edit an anonymous editor noted that Nowhere Gaming is working on an RPG Maker remake of the Zork titled. I removed it under the grounds that it was fan content. The editor replied on my talk page; I'm moving his reply here so that others can voice their opinions. — Alan De Smet | Talk 01:59, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm a little confused as to why you removed my addition of the upcoming Nowhere Gaming version of Zork. You said that "A fan remake isn't really noteworthy". Yet under the releases section in Zork I, the last line states: "Fans remade Zork I as a 3d game using the Neverwinter Nights game engine. The remake is titled Zork I: The Great Underground Empire.".
Secondly, it isn't exactly a fan remake. Nowhere Gaming has a copyright under "Nowhere Enterprises" at the bottom of their website. They are actually developing several games, including the Zork Trilogy, Ghostbusters, and Masters of the Universe.
Thirdly, the fact that it is going to be a graphical version that very closely matches the original game (with the same maps, puzzles, and gameplay), makes this an important release, considering that Zork was a text-based game to begin with.
Please reconsider the edit, as I am sure that many Zork fans, including myself, would be very excited to know that there is an upcoming graphical release of the game that closely follows the original game (unlike Legends of Zork). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately Zork has lots of fans doing remakes, art, fan fiction, and more. And regrettably most of it will not prove to be notable in the long run. We can't describe every Zork fan creation ever. This is most certainly a fan remake. As best I can tell, Nowhere Gaming does not have a license to produce the game. Activision, the current copyright and trademark holder for the games, has not authorized it. It is being produced without any intent to profit. It's being produced in RPG Maker. I would be hard pressed to identify a better example of a fan remake. (That they are claiming copyright is irrelevant, and sadly naive as they infringe on Activision's copyright and trademark.) If it receives some non-trivial third party press coverage (even in form of "Activision crushes fan remake"), it will certainly be something we should cover. But right now it's a fan project of no particular note. — Alan De Smet | Talk 02:18, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry Nowhere Gaming, but I hate to tell you that using wikipedia seems to be a WASTE of time. If you notice all the talk about my Zork Library link being removed (see above) you'll understand how contrived it is. The bottom line is that several people feel as though they are in charge of content on wikipedia(eg. Zork) when they are in fact NOT, they forget the simple fact that the content is not owned and so you technically have the right to add/edit the content as you see fit even if they do not like it. The site is supposed to be community based but all I have seen is BS in actually letting that be the case. Good luck Nowhere Gaming but you're wasting your breath. (talk) 09:36, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Sorry,, but the link to your site was removed because it contained links to download Infocom games that aren't freely available for download. This has been explained to you above, and I personally went into great detail about this on your talk page. Please don't falsely accuse people of ownership issues when the real reasons for removing your link have been clearly laid out. And remember - the fact that everyone can edit Wikipedia doesn't mean that everyone's edits will remain, themselves, unedited, especially in the case of clear policy violations. If you want to add your link back (a link to your own site, which seems like a conflict of interest to me), then your best bet is to follow the advice I wrote on your talk page - show us that the downloads you link to are freely available. Complaining on threads about other issues, and tossing around insults is not the way to go. --Transity (talkcontribs) 12:28, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

The Whole Universe is a Zork[edit]

If "Zork" means "unfinished program," then the whole Universe is one big Zork. Das Baz. Das Baz 18:07, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Intentionally left blank[edit]

'certain on-screen hint pages were "intentionally left blank."'(diff) Can anybody provide a citation? Could this have anything to do with the name Mark Blank? Paradoctor (talk) 16:42, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Other than the Solid Gold release of Zork I in 1987, the Zork games have no on-screen hints. The hints in that release were taken from the printed Invisiclues. Neither contains the phrase, although it is in the Invisiclues for three later Infocom games: Sorcerer, Suspect, and Leather Goddesses of Phobos. Ntsimp (talk) 17:07, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
There's already some speculation (yikes) on this in the Quotes section of the Zork I article. Do we really need to replicate that here, especially considering Ntsimp's comment above? Energy Dome (talk) 17:15, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Oops. I made an error. The phrase does appear in the on-screen hints for Sold Gold Zork I, as the second answer to "What do I do with the axe?" (which has only 1 answer in the Invisiclues). But we have no source for the notion that it had anything to do with Marc Blank, and the joke works well without any such connection. Ntsimp (talk) 17:46, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick replies. I wasn't suggesting any edits, I was merely trying to get info on the linked diff I quoted from. I don't know the game, but the quotes section is talking about a "message on an inside wall of the house", rather than "second answer" to a question. Is there any way to source either? Marc Blank was just something I noticed. ;) Paradoctor (talk) 19:29, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Name change from Dungeons[edit]

The article contradicts itself over the reason for the name revert to Zork, the top paragraph says Dungeons and Dragons and the Bottom says Dungeons!. Which is correct? (talk) 23:40, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

I was just wondering the same thing. I would assume it is the second one, "Dungeons!" as it is much closer to the word they were trying to use than "Dungeons & Dragons" is. I do not however actually have any sources to confirm that.
Potatoj316 (talk) 18:54, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Just two cents here folks: the conflict was with the board game "Dungeon!" that TSR, which also sold D&D, was selling. Pseudo Intellectual (talk) 22:34, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

@Zork_I twitter account[edit]

I was going to add a link to the Zork I twitter account and it's corresponding @textadventurer account to the External Links sections. Is a pop-culture reference appropriate or is this unencyclopedic? Jghaines (talk) 08:30, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Under WP:ELNO I'd say it doesn't belong in the article. - SudoGhost 16:58, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Some external links removed....[edit]

I removed external links to sites offering downloads or "play online" versions of Zork I, II and III. Although Activision has previously made the Zork Trilogy available for free download, the company has since stated that "the company's release of the original Zork titles was a limited promotion, and that the company "has since removed them from that 'free' status." Source (see Activision response to CNET). Moreover, Activision still sells a collection of Zork games (which includes Zorks I,II,III) through

In short, Zork I,II,III are not currently freeware or freely redistributable; they are still commercial games available for sale. Therefore it would appear that links to downloads or playable online versions of the Zork games violate Wikipedia's policy on external links. (However, I left the link to a download for the original mainframe version of Zork up, as it was published before Infocom was founded and, according to Infocom's Wiki entry, "is generally assumed to be in the public domain".) --Mike Agricola (talk) 17:23, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

"In Popular Culture" Section?[edit]

I was thinking that an "In Popular Culture" section would be appropriate -- Zork played a major role in the development of Season (1?) of Chuck, and Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory plays a game which seems to be based on the Zork. If we could get some other pop culture references, I think it would be a valid and informational section.  Travis McCrea (T)(C) 04:16, 3 December 2012 (UTC)

Link to the original Zork source code in MDL[edit]

I suggest linking to the original Zork source code in MDL which is available here:

Is it OK to link to that source code from Wikipedia? I don't know who officially owns it, though. It was never a commercial product, and was developed at MIT. As the Zork article mentions, the Zork source code was leaked way back in 1977, so the cat's been out of the bag for a long time. A link to the actual source code would be a nice thing to cite in that section.

It is fascinating to read, and really beautiful code, quite understandable even if you don't know MDL, and practically a form of literature.

I played the original Zork on MIT-DM and also the Infocom versions of course. Reading the source code is like seeing the behind-the-scenes underground rooms and passages at Disneyland!

While I was playing Zork, I found a bug. First some context: when you're battling the troll, you can give things to him, and he eats them! Sometimes he drops his axe, and you can pick it up and kill him with it. He blocks the exits until you kill him.

So I tried "give axe to troll," and he ate his own axe, then cowered in terror: "The troll, disarmed, cowers in terror, pleading for his life in the guttural tongue of the trolls."

Not satisfied with that, I tried "give troll to troll", and he devoured himself: "The troll, who is remarkably coordinated, catches the troll and not having the most discriminating tastes, gleefully eats it."

...Except that I still could not get out of the exit, because every time I tried, it said "The troll fends you off with a menacing gesture."

I figured there must be a troll flag that wasn't getting cleared when the troll devoured itself. And sure enough, I found it in the code, and it's called "TROLL-FLAG!-FLAG"!

Here is an excerpt of the MDL troll code, where you can see the bug, where it should clear the troll flag when the troll devours itself, but doesn't (well that's how I would fix it!):

               <COND (<VERB? "THROW" "GIVE">
                      <COND (<VERB? "THROW">
"The troll, who is remarkably coordinated, catches the " 1 <ODESC2 <PRSO>>>)
"The troll, who is not overly proud, graciously accepts the gift">)>
                      <COND (<==? <PRSO> <SFIND-OBJ "KNIFE">>
"and being for the moment sated, throws it back.  Fortunately, the
troll has poor control, and the knife falls to the floor.  He does
not look pleased." ,LONG-TELL1>
                             <TRO .T ,FIGHTBIT>)
"and not having the most discriminating tastes, gleefully eats it.">
                      <REMOVE-OBJECT <PRSO>>)>)
                     (<VERB? "TAKE" "MOVE">
"The troll spits in your face, saying \"Better luck next time.\"">)
                     (<VERB? "MUNG">
"The troll laughs at your puny gesture.">)>)
              (<AND ,TROLL-FLAG!-FLAG
                    <VERB? "HELLO">>
               <TELL "Unfortunately, the troll can't hear you.">)>>

Xardox (talk) 02:45, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

You can give something that you don't have? I was under the impression that it wouldn't work. Double sharp (talk) 13:17, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
You can give anything that's in the room or your inventory to the troll. So if his axe falls on the floor, "give axe to troll" will work without having to pick it up first, which is supposed to work. But even before he drops the axe you can go "give axe to troll" and he'll eat it while he's holding it, since it's transitively in the room. That's the first thing I did, that made me think of typing "give troll to troll"! Xardox (talk) 03:32, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

Zork III: "the second and only time"[edit]

The description of Zork III contains the sentence "Here the 'elvish sword of great antiquity' is used for the second and only time to block the beam in the Beam Room." Never having played the game, I can make little sense of this. How can the second time be the only time? Should it be "first and only time" or should it be "second and final time"? --Captain Infinity (talk) 04:03, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

It's been years so I can't recall the sword, but that sentence doesn't make any sense so I've removed that wording, especially sense I couldn't find a source to clarify one way or the other. - Aoidh (talk) 22:55, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

The entire plot entry to Zork III seems overly detailed, like a turn-by-turn walkthrough rather than a summarized overview of the game. Perhaps it should be trimmed down to be less detailed (and with so many spoilers). Crimson667 (talk) 12:24, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Summary on Name[edit]

Basically, Zork was supposed to be Dungeon but TSR had it trademarked. (talk) 21:55, 18 January 2016 (UTC)