Z-Machine Wednesday: The Lurking Horror (1987)

Released into the wilds of various retail outlets in 1987, the Lurking Horror was Infocom’s first and only foray into the world of horror for interactive fiction. Programmed by Dave Lebling, who also had a hand in crafting Zork I, II, III, Starcross, Spellbreaker (Third in the Enchanter series), Suspect, and James Clavell’s Shogun. Obviously influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft it was originally released for DOS, the Apple II, Atari ST, Atari 8-bit family and Commodore 64. An Amiga version was later made available and it had the added feature of sound effects to heighten the tension in key moments of the game. They didn’t really need that I reckon because I can remember how I felt while playing this title for myself on my C-64! If you’ve had the pleasure of playing this game yourself you might remember the nightmarish situation that occurs with the janitor…that still gives me goosebumps thinking about it.

A big thanks to the Infocom Gallery for the awesome front and back box art as well as the scans of the “Feelies” that were included in the package.

How about this impressive Student I.D. card…that you can now print out and carry with you at all times?

Let’s not forget the very important G.U.E. at a Glance booklet to help new students get use to the new surroundings! I like the slight wink to the Zork series Great Underground Empire.

The major lifesaver of all interactive fiction adventurers…the map!


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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