Z-Machine Wednesday: Wishbringer (1985)

As I’ve mentioned in a past post, Wishbringer, programmed by Brian Moriarty (Trinity, Beyond Zork:The Coconut of Quendor) and released by Infocom in 1985 was the first interactive fiction title I purchased for my Commodore 64. It was an introductory level meant to hook young players and in my case it certainly did, soon after Wishbringer I was diving headlong into Zork!
In the game you take on the role of a young postal worker in the town of Festeron, charged to deliver an important letter to the local Magic shop. Though once tasked to help the kindly old woman who works there to find her cat, you find yourself whisked away to a nightmarish version of your beloved town, where everything is corrupted, called Witchville. Luckily you get your hands on the Wishbringer stone, and you learn that you have seven wishes at your disposal, assuming you have the right item with you to make them work. For example to see the future you must be wearing glasses when making the wish. Once a wish is cast…it is gone forever though, only can be used once per game. There were many situations in the title that allowed for a variety of ways to get out of them, and according to the Wiki you can make it through the entire game without using a single wish.

As always a big thanks to The Zork Library for the awesome scanned images below, including the Feelie, the Wishbringer stone, that I still have to this day.

Here are a few pages of the Legend of Wishbringer that was included to explain the creation of the Wishbringer stone!

And an image of the Wishbring stone itself, which by the way glowed in the dark, and it glowed purple…something that I haven’t seen in another product to this day.


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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7 thoughts on “Z-Machine Wednesday: Wishbringer (1985)

  1. TheSixMillionDollarJedi says:

    I can never decide between this and Zork as my favorite Infocom game. Keep it up with this series. Does your Wishbringer stone still glow? I always fidgeted with that stone as I played this game thinking it would help me.

  2. Thanks, SMDJ!

    My stone still glows…though to be honest…not as bright as it use to. Which is odd to me. Perhaps I’ve almost used up all of my wishes? ;)

  3. I think if it still glows you still have wishes left. That’s great you still have it and that it stills has a glow to it.

    I’m actually considering buying a old-school computer that will use a floppy disk so I can hit eBay and buy these games to play. I know there are emulators out there but it’s just not the same. Were all the Infocom games available on floppy for the Macintosh?

  4. Atari Adventure Square says:

    I played Suspended for quite a while, don’t remember if I ever finished it (came awfully close, I think I had to move the setup to the living room and then, long periods of my staring at the texted screen thinking up solutions just worried the folks, so I stopped and popped in Ghostbusters instead).
    But seeing these gloriously large images of physical gaming items reminds me of how Infocom made me feel part of something bigger than a text-adventurer.

    While there are online versions of these games, I’d now agree with a past poster who preferred the real thing over online simulation.

    I wanna play all these great Infocom games and have the items in hand, purple glow and all.
    Thanks for sharing these, Vic!

  5. Christa P. says:

    I’ve wanted to play the Infocom games for a while now. (I played Zork for a few days decades ago and have wanted to go back ever since.)

    Mentioning that Wishbringer was an introduction to their style makes me wonder though, is there an order to the games that you would recommend? :)

  6. vinvectrex says:

    @Christa – Great question. I’d like to know too. It’s been ages since I’ve touched any text adventures other than Zork, and a recent, terrible attempt at Hitchhikers Guide. Perhaps Wishbringer would be a good one to start with?

  7. Ben says:

    This was my first IF game, too, and I was fascinated by it. Unfortunately I was not very good at it, and never made much progress. Never got far in Zork, either!

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