Tag Archives: zork

Remembering Infocom's Enchanter

Congrats to jeffro on beating Infocom’s Enchanter! (OK, that’s a really old post, but sometimes I get way behind on my blog reading.) I played the Zork trilogy like crazy back in junior high and high school, but for some reason I never picked up any of the Enchanter trilogy. It’s too bad, because playing it now I think I might actually have enjoyed Enchanter even more than I liked the Zork games—the Zorks are essentially gonzo Gygaxian dungeon crawls, whereas Enchanter seems a bit more traditional and plot-oriented, and in general I prefer the latter to the former.

I played Enchanter for the first time ten or so years back after acquiring a copy of the wonderful Infocom Classics collection. I got maybe two-thirds of the way through before getting stuck and then distracted by school, but I’ve always intended to revisit it. The puzzles that I recall were a little less… random than those in Zork, and I didn’t encounter any that exhibited the sheer nasty near-unsolvability that some of the Zork puzzles did. (Jeffro mentions Zork III, which was the game that finally made me break down and consult InvisiClues for help: that stupid maze with the movable walls still makes me angry just thinking about it.) I really like Enchanter’s central gimmick—you’re a magician who knows a handful of low-powered but useful spells, which must be put to unorthodox uses to solve puzzles. Some of the puzzles made really clever use of the spells.

Ahhh, now I’m in the mood to dig out Enchanter and see if I can solve it this time. It’s strangely comforting to know that should I ever want to dig into Infocom games again, I’ve got an entire unplayed trilogy to explore.

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> There is a zorkmid here.

How’s this for a blast from the past: while cleaning house the other day, I came across a little piece of gaming history:

It’s a zorkmid, which as everybody knows is the currency of the Zork text adventure games. If you’ve never seen one yourself, it’s an actual metal coin, quite hefty and very atmospheric. This particular zorkmid was packaged with the Zork Trilogy box. This was Back In The Day when they actually packaged cool stuff along with your game—and Infocom was the king of cool game packaging.

This zorkmid is one of my prized possessions, and I can’t tell you how happy I was to find it again. I’d lost track of it, and assumed it got lost during a move several years ago. (Poking around the web, I see that I’m not the only one nostalgic for zorkmids: here’s an apparently abandoned project to mint zorkmids.)

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