Advertising Blurbs

From the Infocom fold-out catalog, 1988:



    The game that started it all has a new beginning! Zork Zero is the interactive fiction prequel to the Zork Trilogy, the most popular entertainment software product of all time. In Zork Zero, an unpredictable jester challenges you with puzzles, paradoxes and plenty of fun as you seek out objects ranging from the curious to the sublime.
    • One million satisfied game players can't be wrong! Discover the origins of the Great Underground Empire in this new and exciting chapter of Zork.
    • Zork Zero integrates graphics into the game play with visual puzzles, illustrated maps and a Zorkian encyclopedia.
    • Zork Zero includes out most requested features: a friendlier parser for easier typed-in commands, on-screen hints, mapping, optional mouse interface and sound.
    • Zork Zero is by Steve Meretzky, author of Leather Goddesses of Phobos, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Planetfall.
    • Your Zork Zero package includes the game disk, a secret spell, "Lives of the Twelve Flatheads" Calendar and an unusual blueprint.
    • Zork Zero is available for most personal computers. See the order form on the reverse side for machines and prices.

    Contributed by Belboz (6581) on Oct 04, 2001.

From The Status Line, Vol.VII No.3 Fall 1988:

    Zork Zero takes you back to the beginning

    Ever since Zork I first appeared on home computers, and the Zork Trilogy became our best-loved series of interactive stories, countless fans have begged for Zork IV. Now our Steve Meretzky, doing exactly the opposite, gives you something even better by taking you back to before the beginning. Nearly 18 months in the making, we are proud to reveal our most ambitious project ever, Zork Zero.

    Zork Zero: The Revenge of Megaboz takes you back to the last days of the Empire. A wizard's curse has destroyed the ruling Flathead family and has threatened the kingdom itself. Although you are but one of many fortune hunters who have flooded the capital city of Flatheadia to try to claim the huge reward for stemming the curse, a carefully guarded family secret gives you a big advantage!

    Every corner of the kingdom

    As you begin your quest, you'll meet the court jester, whose rhymes will leave you laughing, whose tricks will leave you cursing, and whose rebuses and riddles will leave you scratching your head. You'll travel to every corner of the kingdom, visiting exotic locales from the glaciers of the Gray Mountains to the swamps of Fenshire, from the placid shores of Lake Flathead to the searing heat of the Great Underground Desert, from the defoliated Fublio Valley to the mines of Antharia.

    Zork Zero answers many of the questions that have tormented Zorkers for ages: What is it like to play Double Fanucci? Where did grues come from? And finally, most compelling of all, what is the origin of the white house where Zork I begins?

    Epic in both size and scope, this prequel covers a full century and explores the collapse of the Great Underground Empire. Straining our new "Y" development system to the limit, Zork Zero is our largest game ever, with more than 200 locations, and as many puzzles as all three games of the Zork Trilogy combined. To top it off, Zork Zero shatters one of computerdom's most sacred barriers - the first true graphical enhancements to an Infocom story.

    Double Fanucci

    Our diehard fans are probably mourning the passing of an era; but take heart. "Zork Zero has everything you've come to expect from us: lots of descriptive prose, a ton of puzzles, depth and attention to detail; it's a well-tested and polished game, all served up in a fun, handsome package," says author Meretzky. "The graphics simply add one more level of excellence. I tried to use them in a different way; rather than illustrate locations, the graphics are integrated into the puzzles themselves. I'm really pleased with the result." The graphics, created by computer artist James Shook, make possible such graphical puzzles as Peggleboz, Snarfem, the Tower of Bozbar, and Double Fanucci.

    But wait - there's more! Zork Zero abounds with exciting new features. It marks the introduction of our newest-generation parser, our friendliest ever. Now it's easier for a novice to start, and powerful enough for the experience player.

    Zork Zero includes our very popular on-screen hints. In a development made possible by our new graphics system, Zork Zero also has complete on-screen mapping. The puzzles themselves range from simple to boggling. Finally, Zork Zero is laced with that famous Meretzky humor you loved so much in Planetfall, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Leather Goddesses of Phobos.

    The packaging lives up to our usual standards. Start with a scrap of parchment containing a spell from the secret notebooks of the great magician Megaboz. Then, add a construction blueprint from Rockville Estates, the cave-bound condo complex that's targeted for Young Underground Professionals. And top it off with a handsome calendar, featuring excerpts from "The Lives of the Twelve Flatheads" and illustrations by the great painter, Leonardo Flathead. This calendar is from the year 883 GUE, but (by an incredible coincidence) it is also perfectly usable as a 1989 calendar.

    From the exciting prologue, where you come face to face with Lord Dimwit Flathead the Excessive, to the climactic epilogue, where you meet the most powerful wizard ever to set foot on the soil of Quendor, Zork Zero has something for everyone, and promises to be the best offering yet from the Master Storytellers.

    Zork Zero will be released in October on the Apple Macintosh, supporting both color Mac II and regular black and white Macs, and will retail for $59.95. Watch upcoming issues for details on other computer versions.

    Contributed by Belboz (6581) on Aug 27, 2001.

Unknown Source:
    A New Look. A New Challenge. A New Beginning.

    The Great Underground Empire is in its heyday. Upscale condos crowd the massive caverns. Subterranean highways stretch from Aragain to the Fublio Valley. And no adventurer has yet set foot in the open field west of the white house.

    But now both town and countryside are being abandoned their inhabitants fleeing in the wake of a dead wizard's curse. The curse has already disposed of the royal Flathead family. It threatens to destroy the entire kingdom -- unless you can stop it.

    Your quest will take you to every corner of the empire, as you seek out objects ranging from the absurd to the sublime. The quixotic jester will test you with games, riddles, and tricks. And the immense Flathead palace and its environs offer a multitude of surprises.

    Zork Zero combines the best of the legendary Zorkian universe with the latest technology in interactive storytelling. It has all the richness and depth you expect from Infocom interactive fiction, including such intriguing packaging elements as a wizard's secret spell, an unusual blueprint, and a "Lives of the Twelve Flatheads" calendar. Communicating with the story is easier than ever, with all the features you've been asking for:

    • a new friendlier parser
    • optional mouse interface
    • on-screen hints and mapping

    Contributed by Brian Hirt (10087) on Mar 01, 1999.