This game is rather capricious, involving random elements that can kill you or get the game into an unsolvable state. Wise players (as well as, or maybe especially, the unwise) are advised to save the game regularly.
Open the mailbox. Get the leaflet and read it, then drop it. Go north twice and climb the tree. Get the egg from the nest and go back down. Try to open the egg (this action is essential, otherwise the Thief won't do it later), but you'll find that you can't do it. Go south and east. Open the window and enter the house.
Get the sack and bottle. Open the sack and you will see it contains a lunch and a clove of garlic. You can either eat the lunch and drink the water, or keep them as an alternate solution for a later puzzle. Either way, make sure you hang on to the garlic and the sack itself. Go west. Get the sword and lantern. Move the rug and open the trap door. Turn on the lamp. Go down into the Great Underground Empire.
For Your Amusement:
Eat the garlic.
Regarding the Thief
At any point underground, the Thief may come by and steal treasures from you, or steal any item you have seen. There is a much higher chance he will steal treasures than non-valuable objects, and he may later drop something non-valuable elsewhere. If you lose a treasure this way, don't worry; you'll get it back near the end of the game.
The Thief is difficult to defeat in a fight. If he is already in a room when you enter, it is usually a good idea to leave immediately. Alternatively, giving him a treasure will distract him from attacking you for one turn. You become a better match as you gain points, so reserve purposely attacking him for the end of the game. The nasty knife from the Attic is a slightly better weapon against the Thief than the sword is. (I didn't include picking up the knife in the "Above Ground" section for weight capacity reasons.)
The Cellar Area and Maze
Drop the egg here so the Thief can find it and open it. You may wish to save your game here, as the battle with the troll stands a good chance of killing you. Go north. Attack the troll with the sword. Restore as necessary. When you have succeeded in killing the troll, drop the sword (I know, I know, but it's not really necessary, and inventory limits are annoying in this game) and go west to enter the Maze.
Go west, west, and up. Save here so that you can restore if the Thief steals the key from you before you can use it. Get the bag of coins and the skeleton key. (If the game tells you they are too heavy "especially in light of your condition," you were wounded in the fight with the troll. Diagnose and wait until your wounds are healed. One wait command passes three turns.) Go southwest, east, south, and southeast.
Here, you have a choice of two solutions to deal with the Cyclops: 1. say "Odysseus" to scare him away (my preferred solution), or 2. give him the lunch, then open the bottle and give him the water.
If you said "Odysseus", you may have noticed a new exit from this room opened up; go east twice and you'll be back in the Living Room.
If you gave the Cyclops the lunch and water, you'll need to exit the Maze another way and make your way back to the house. Check your inventory and see if you still have the skeleton key. If not, restore and try again. If so, save the game and go northwest, south, west, up, west, southwest, and northeast. Unlock the grating with the skeleton key, open it, and go up; then go east, south, and west three times.
Now that you have found another exit from the Great Underground Empire (other than the chimney), the trap door in the Living Room will not close behind you. Open the trophy case and put the coins in it. Drop the key and bottle here, as well as the lunch if you didn't use it (or you can eat it now, if you like). Open the trap door again and go down. Go south, then east. Get the painting, then go west, north, and up and put it in the trophy case.
For Your Amusement:
Go down the chimney from the Kitchen.
Give various things to the troll, especially the nasty knife from the Attic.
Knock the troll unconscious (save a game so you can retry the battle until you accomplish this) and take his axe, then return it to him after he wakes up.
Say hello to, listen to, and take the troll and Cyclops.
Damage the painting (for example, by cutting or burning it).
The Dam and Reservoir
Go down the trap door. Go north, then east three times to the Loud Room. Type echo. Get the platinum bar. Go west, west, west, south, and up and put it in the trophy case. (This is the easier solution to this puzzle, requiring the fewest moves, but you can also get the bar by emptying the Reservoir, closing the dam gates, and coming back here to get it while the Reservoir fills up again. See the next moves if that solution interests you.)
Return to the Loud Room by going down, north, and east 3 times, then go up, east, and north. Get the matchbook. Go north or east. Get the wrench and screwdriver. Push the yellow button. Go south twice back to the dam and turn the bolt with the wrench. Drop the wrench. Go west to Reservoir South and wait two turns until the reservoir empties ("The water level is now quite low here..."). Go north and get the trunk of jewels. Take it back to the trophy case (south, southwest, southwest, west, south, up). Return to the Reservoir (down, north, east, north, northeast, and north). Go north again and get the air pump. Go north again and get the crystal trident. Go up, north, north, west, and then down to the Cellar. Go up and put the trident in the case.
For Your Amusement:
Read the matchbook.
The Temple Area
Go east to the Kitchen, then up to the Attic and get the rope. Go back down, west, and down into the Cellar. Go north, east, east, southeast, and east. Tie the rope to the railing and go down. Get the torch and turn off your lamp. Go south and drop everything but the torch.
Save a game here, since the ivory torch is a treasure as well as a light source and there's a chance that the Thief will come by and steal it from you, leaving you in the dark and likely to be eaten by a grue. It's easier to restore to this point than to deal with making your way back to where you were when you died. (You may also wish to save every ten or twenty moves until you pick up the lamp again.)
Go east and get the coffin. Open it and take the sceptre. Go west, then south. Ignore the candles and book for now and pray at the altar. You will be teleported to the forest. Go east, south, east, enter the house, and go west. Put the coffin and sceptre in the trophy case.
Return to the Temple (down, north, east, east, southeast, east, down, south), where you dropped everything, and get the matchbook and bell. Open the matchbook. Go south. Get the candles and black book. Put out the candles. Make sure you're carrying nothing but the book, candles, bell, matchbook, and torch. Go down, then down again. Ring the bell. You will drop it, and the candles. Get the candles, light a match, light the candles, then read the book. Put out the candles. Drop the book.
Go south and get the skull. Go north, up, north three times, west, west, south, and up. Put the skull in the trophy case. Get the sceptre again while you are here. Return to the Temple (down, north, east, east, southeast, east, down, south) and collect all your belongings. You should have the air pump, screwdriver, lantern, sack with garlic, sceptre, candles, matchbook, and torch; if any of the non-valuables is missing, restore.
For Your Amusement:
Read the black book at the Altar.
Light the candles with the torch.
Burn the black book.
Try something naughty with the bodies in Hades.
Old Man River
From the Temple, go south, down, north, north, north, east, up, east, east. At Dam Base, inflate the pile of plastic with the air pump. Drop the pump. Read the label, then drop it. Put the screwdriver and sceptre in the sack; they are sharp and will puncture the boat it if you board while carrying them. Get in the boat and launch. Wait four turns while the river carries you downstream.
When you see the buoy, get it and go east to land. Stand up out of the boat. Open the buoy, take the emerald, and drop the buoy. Get the shovel. Go northeast and dig in the sand with the shovel four times. Drop the shovel and take the scarab. Go southwest.
If you still have the sceptre, go south twice to Aragain Falls. Wave the sceptre. Go west twice across the rainbow. You're carrying too much to get the pot of gold at the moment, so go southwest, up, up, northwest, west, and enter the house. Go west.
If the Thief stole the sceptre from you while you were underground, go west to the Sandy Beach and board the boat again. Launch and immediately go west to land. Stand, then go north, west five times, south, and up.
Put the scarab, emerald, and sceptre (if you have it) in the trophy case. If you don't have the sceptre, skip to the next section. Otherwise, go back for the pot of gold by going east four times, down, down, north. (If the pot of gold is gone, then the Thief has stolen it; the End of Rainbow location is technically "underground".) Return southwest, up, up, northwest, west, west, west and put it in the case too.
For Your Amusement:
Continue digging in the sand after you find the scarab. (save first)
Wave the sceptre while standing on the rainbow. (save first)
The Coal Mine
Take the garlic out of the sack and carry it normally. From the Living Room, go down, north, east twice to the Round Room and go south twice. Touch the mirror and you will be transported to the north Mirror Room (though this may not be immediately apparent). Go north, west, north, west, and north. Get the jade figurine. Go east. Put the torch and screwdriver in the basket. (If the Thief has stolen the torch, put in the candles. Don't light them yet.)
Turn on your lamp if it's not already on. Go north, then down. Get the bracelet. Go east, northeast, southeast, southwest, and down twice. At Ladder Bottom, go south and get the coal. Go north, then back up twice into Coal Mine. Go north, east, south, and north through the mine, then up and south to the Shaft Room. Put the coal in the basket. If you have candles instead of the torch, light a match, light the candles, then put them back in the basket.
Lower the basket. Retrace your steps to the bottom of the ladder (north, down, east, northeast, southeast, southwest, down, down). Go west, drop everything, and then west again. In the Drafty Room, get the coal, screwdriver, and torch (or candles) from the basket and go south. Open the machine, put the coal inside, and close it again. Turn the switch with the screwdriver. Open the machine and get the diamond. Drop the screwdriver.
Go north and put the torch (or candles) and diamond in the basket. Go east, pick up your items (except the timber), and go back through the coal mine to the Shaft Room (east, up, up, north, east, south, north, up, south). Raise the basket. Take the diamond and torch (if you used the candles, you can leave them here and drop the matchbook). Go west, south, east, and south, then down to the Cellar, up, and put the torch, diamond, bracelet, and figurine in the trophy case. You can drop the garlic.
The Treasure Room and the Barrow
Go east and up to the Attic and pick up the nasty-looking knife. Return down and west. If you used the "Odysseus" solution to the Cyclops puzzle, go west twice from the Living Room to the Cyclops Room. If not, go down to the Cellar, north and west into the Maze, then west, west, up, southwest, east, south, southeast.
Once in the Cyclops Room, save the game (because the Thief can definitely still kill you) and go up. If by chance the Thief is not there, leave and return until he appears. Attack the Thief with the nasty knife. When you have killed him, take everything except the stiletto.
Go down to the Cyclops Room and then east twice to the Living Room (or return through the Maze: northwest, south, down, south, north, east, south, up). Get the canary from the egg. Put the chalice and egg (and any other treasures you may have recovered) in the case. Turn off the lamp.
Leave the house by going east twice, and go north twice into the forest. Wind the canary. Get the brass bauble. Return south and east to the house, go west twice, and put the canary and bauble in the case.
If the Thief stole the sceptre from you or you had to give it to him, you're still lacking the pot of gold. Go east four times, down, down, north. Raise or wave the sceptre and pick up the pot of gold. Return southwest, up, up, northwest, west, west, west and put it and the sceptre in the case.
Once you have all the treasures ("An almost inaudible voice whispers in your ear..."), look at the trophy case, and you will find a map has appeared. Take it and look at it. Go east twice, then go south and west to West of House. Go southwest down the "secret path" which has appeared, and enter the Barrow to the west.
Congratulations, you're now in Zork II!
For Your Amusement:
Say hello to, listen to, and take the Thief.
For Your Amusement at various times:
Swear at Zork.
Cut something with the knife or sword.
Light something on fire (such as the pile of leaves), then pour water on it from the bottle.
Get killed after praying at the altar, then wait or score while a spirit.
Walk around the house or in the forest.
Try these commands: Zork; xyzzy or plugh; chomp; win; lose; mumble or sigh; repent; yell or scream; bite myself; take myself; find, count, listen to, what is, and smell various things (house, hands, teeth, myself, candles, leaves, matches…).
For further entertainment, you may be interested in these lists of bugs in Zork I:
Nathan Simpson , Graeme Cree , XyzzyNews
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last updated 7/21/2014