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In a postmodern conceit, the gamebook opens with the reader having the option of going down to the bookstore and purchasing this very book! Eventually, the reader-player begins directing the travels (courtesy of multiple-choice questions) of mundane modern children June and Bill through their adventures, as Juranda and Bivotar, in the magical lands of Frobozz. Their uncle Syovar sends them on a quest into new chambers of the Great Underground Empire in search of Max and Fred, elvish companions from the previous gamebook, The Malifestro Quest. The subsequent cave crawl includes typically Zorkian strange machinery and fantastical creatures such as the dragon Leblong and evil wizard Grawl, plus cameos from grues and the thief, leading through 16 ill ends and one true path.

The original gamebook's page-flipping narrative-navigation has been streamlined through computer automation; just use your keyboard (in the Z-code version) or click your mouse on a hyperlink (in the HTML conversion) to follow the tenuous thread of the plot, such as it is.


Zork: The Cavern of Doom Browser The best ending
Zork: The Cavern of Doom Browser Early options in the land of Zork
Zork: The Cavern of Doom Browser An early death
Zork: The Cavern of Doom Browser Transporting into the fantasy realm

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Alternate Titles

  • "La caverna del destino " -- Spanish title

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The gamebook was initially published by Tor Books in September 1983 in the US (later by Puffin in the UK) as the third in a Zork gamebook series, part of the fledgling "What-Do-I-Do-Now" gamebooks line. It was also converted wholesale into a Z-code port in 2003 by one anonymous porter known as MP.

Related Web Sites

  • Play the Cavern of Doom online! (Free, legal play of the gamebook through your web browser!)
  • Play the Z-code version! (For those who prefer to use their keyboard and forego pictures, the gamebook's Z-code incarnation can be run through your Java-equipped web browser.)
  • Read the book (Scans of the entire contents of the book in its original setting, including the colour cover.)
Pseudo_Intellectual (62519) added Zork: The Cavern of Doom (Browser) on Jul 02, 2008