Welcome to the Retroist Zork Podcast. On today’s show we talk all about the groundbreaking text adventure game, Zork. We talk about how it was made, the people behind it, how to play and much much more. For those with Java on their computer, who have never played Zork or who just want a refresher, I suggest you check out the aptly titled website, Play Infocom Adventures Online. Text adventures are a fun thing to rediscover, I hope this show inspires people to give them a try.
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One of my favorite programmers from the heady days of Infocom is Steve Meretzky (Planetfall, Sorcerer, Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) and I think his sharp sense of humor can be seen here in the video posted below where he was speaking at the Boston Post Mortem. He offers us the woes of the world and ends his speech with what he believes is the most perfect video game. Here is a hint…I hope you like cake.
A big thanks to textfilesdotcom over at YouTube for uploading this video!
Programmed by Dave Lebling (Zork I, II, and III) and released by Infocom in 1982, Starcross, was the first science fiction title for the company. For its Challenge Level it was rated Expert, probably due to many of its puzzles dealing with scientific knowledge.
Taking place in the year 2186, taking on the role of an intergalactic miner aboard your space vessel, the M.C.S. Starcross, you search the galaxy for quantum black holes. Which are such powerful sources of energy that finding one would provide you riches beyond imagining. Luckily the Starcross is outfitted with a mass detector to make your job easier. Your detector finds something but it isn’t a black hole…it’s a massive craft of unknown origin and design.
You dock with the craft and upon gaining entry to the interior of the vessel you find strange species of animals and plant life as well as an array of alien technology. Your greatest task is now set before you, you will need to come to understand the technology before you and solve their puzzles so you can find your way home.