Mr. Bill's Adventureland
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:
Their order by Fictional History within the games is:
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 ( * ).
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 ( * ).
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 (ftp.gmd.de) 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!