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The Zork Games

In order by Release Date and by Fictional Historical Data.  Also included are some fan developed Zork Games.  Thanks to ARTHUR for supplying most of this information.

The commercial Zork games were developed by Infocom (first 9 text games) and Activision (next 3 graphical games) in the following order by Release Dates:

  1. Zork I  (1980 - Text)  by Infocom
  2. Zork II  (1981 - Text)  by Infocom
  3. Zork III  (1982 - Text)  by Infocom
  4. Enchanter  (1983 - Text)  by Infocom
  5. Sorcerer  (1984 - Text)  by Infocom
  6. Wishbringer  (1985 - Text)  by Infocom
  7. Spellbreaker  (1985 - Text)  by Infocom
  8. Beyond Zork  (1987 - Text)  by Infocom
  9. Zork Zero  (1988 - Text)  by Infocom
  10. Return to Zork  (1993 - Graphical)  by Infocom / Activision
  11. Zork Nemesis  (1996 - Graphical)  by Activision
  12. Zork Grand Inquisitor  (1997 - Graphical)  by Activision
  13. Zork: The Undiscovered Underground  (1997 - Text)  by Marc Blank and Mike Berlyn, members of the original Infocom Team.  Written to promote the release of Zork Grand Inquisitor.

Their order by Fictional History within the games is:

  1. Zork Zero
  2. Wishbringer
  3. Zork I
  4. Zork II
  5. Zork III
  6. Zork Nemesis
  7. Enchanter
  8. Sorcerer
  9. Spellbreaker
  10. Beyond Zork
  11. Zork: The Undiscovered Underground
  12. Zork Grand Inquisitor
  13. Return to Zork

According to the Strategy Guide, Zork Nemesis is actually 'caused' by events in Zork III (time travel, you see).  Many people don't believe this, and many also say that Wishbringer should actually take place after Beyond Zork because of an in-joke in Beyond Zork.  But if you disregard that in-joke, then Wishbringer comes behind Zork I (and almost every other little clue in Wishbringer puts it there).  Anyway that's all interpretation; it gets confusing when you're dealing with an imaginary world as mixed up as this one.  And actually Beyond Zork takes place DURING Spellbreaker, but you won't have the foggiest idea what's going on in Beyond Zork unless you play Spellbreaker first.

The following list includes games developed by fans (in order of Release Date).  The fan games (all Text Adventures or Interactive Fiction) are marked by an asterisk  ( * ).

  1. Zork I  (1980)  by Infocom
  2. Zork II  (1981)  by Infocom
  3. Zork III  (1982)  by Infocom
  4. Enchanter  (1983)  by Infocom
  5. Sorcerer  (1984)  by Infocom
  6. Wishbringer  (1985)  by Infocom
  7. Spellbreaker  (1985)  by Infocom
  8. Beyond Zork  (1987)  by Infocom
  9. Zork Zero  (1988)  by Infocom
  10. Return to Zork  (1993)  by Infocom / Activision
  11. * Balances  (1994)  by Graham Nelson
  12. * Frobozz Magic Support  (1996)  by Nate Cull
  13. * Spiritwrak    (1996)  by D. S. Yu
  14. Zork Nemesis  (1996)  by Activision
  15. * The Meteor, the Stone, and a Long Glass of Sherbet  (1996)  by Graham Nelson
  16. Zork Grand Inquisitor  (1997)  by Activision
  17. Zork: The Undiscovered Underground  (1997)  by Marc Blank and Mike Berlyn, members of the original Infocom Team
  18. * Zork: A Troll's Eye View  (1998)  by Dylan O'Donnell
  19. * Enlightenment  (1998)  by Taro Ogawa
  20. * Perilous Magic  (1999)  by David Fillmore
  21. * Return to Zork: Another Story  (2000)  by Canali Stefano

Not all of the fan made games above actually 'fit in' with the rest of the Zorks, but almost all of them are VERY good.

This list arranges all of the games in order of Fictional History.  Again the fan games (all Text Adventures or Interactive Fiction) are marked by an asterisk  ( * ).

  1. * Perilous Magic
  2. Zork Zero
  3. Wishbringer
  4. * Enlightenment
  5. * Zork: A Troll's Eye View
  6. Zork I
  7. Zork II
  8. Zork III
  9. Zork Nemesis
  10. Enchanter
  11. Sorcerer
  12. * Frobozz Magic Support
  13. Spellbreaker
  14. Beyond Zork
  15. * Balances
  16. * Spiritwrak
  17. Zork: The Undiscovered Underground
  18. Zork Grand Inquisitor
  19. Return to Zork
  20. * Return to Zork: Another Story
  21. * The Meteor, the Stone, and a Long Glass of Sherbet

Some people may contest this timeline, what with the fan games being even more mixed up than the official ones.  For example, the game Balances is actually one long dream sequence: you're HAVING the dream in the time period after Beyond Zork but, presumably, the dream is ABOUT events just before Spellbreaker.  Enlightenment, on the other hand, doesn't really belong anywhere: it's not actually in the normal Zork universe, it's just that much of its tone and setting comes from Zork, like some 'alternate Zork universe'.  It is placed just after Wishbringer because that's where it fits in terms of tone, right before the Zork Trilogy and (if you ignore some factual contradictions) that's where it could very well take place.  Zork: A Troll's Eye View actually takes place during Zork I (again), but through the eyes of a different character.  It is placed before Zork I because the whole of Zork: A Troll's Eye View takes place during the very beginning part of Zork I.  Some may quibble about the placing of Spiritwrak after Balances, but the setting of Spiritwrak isn't established until after the events in Balances, and Balances 'feels' much closer to the original Enchanter Trilogy than does Spiritwrak.  And though Frobozz Magic Support is rather ambiguous, it does contain a character who isn't introduced until Sorcerer, so it seems unlikely that it could happen in any time except the time of peace after Sorcerer.

The first three Zorks of Infocom (Zork I, Zork II and Zork III) and Zork: The Undiscovered Underground have been made available free to the public by Activision. They can be downloaded HERE. They come without instructions on how to play them, but you can use the instructions supplied on our website called HOW TO PLAY TEXT ADVENTURES.

The fan text adventures are all available for free at the following sites:

Baf's Guide to the Interactive Fiction Archive  This site will help you locate the games you want, provide reviews, solutions (walkthroughs), and assist you in getting the programs (interpreters) you need in order to run the games.

An Interactive Fiction Archive Mirror  This is an Interactive Fiction Archive Mirror of the following site at the German National Research Center for Information Technology.  This site is a fast-access replica in the eastern United States and offers everything that the ftp link below offers.

Interactive Fiction Archive  This is the actual Interactive Fiction Archive.  It is an FTP site ( located at the German National Research Center for Information Technology.

Perilous Magic can be found HERE and Spiritwrak can be found HERE.

This should be enough to get you started in the Wonderful World of Zork.  ENJOY!

Mr. Bill's   Adventureland
Copyright  January 2001
All Rights Reserved