Zork 1

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 frequently, such as after putting each treasure in the trophy case and before dangerous or randomized actions.

Above Ground

Open the mailbox. Get the leaflet and read it, then drop it. Go north twice to a Forest Path location and climb the tree. Get the egg from the nest and go back down. Try to open the egg, but you'll find that you can't do it. (This action is essential, otherwise the Thief won't open the egg for you later.) Go south and east to Behind House. Open the window and enter the house.

In the Kitchen, get the sack and bottle. Open the sack and you will see that 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 to the Living Room. 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. (save first; you need it)

Regarding the Thief

At any point underground, the Thief may come by and steal treasures directly from you, or he may steal any item you have seen from any room while you are not present. 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 don't purposely attack him until near the end of the game. The nasty knife from the Attic is a slightly better weapon against the Thief than the sword is -- according to the source code, his strength is calculated at -1 if you use the knife. (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 in the Cellar 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. (That troll sure is agile, isn't he, if he manages to simultaneously block three compass points? Maybe he's just really big...) Attack the troll with the sword. (The troll is vulnerable to the sword in the same way the Thief is to the knife.) Repeat, and save and 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 the inventory limits are annoying in this game), save the game again, 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 to the Cyclops Room.

Here, you have a choice of two solutions to deal with the Cyclops: 1. say "Odysseus" to scare him away (my preferred solution because it opens a direct path between here and the house), or 2. give him the lunch, then open the bottle and give him the water. Neither choice makes any difference to your score.

If you said "Odysseus", you can now exit the room through the destroyed wall; 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 make sure 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.

Either way, now that you have found another exit from the Great Underground Empire (besides 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 and drink the water too, if you like). Keep hold of the brown sack itself, since it's a container, as well as the garlic.

Open the trap door again and go down. Go south, then east to the Gallery. Get the painting, then go west, north, and up to the Living Room 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.
Cut or burn the painting.

The Dam and Reservoir

Go down, north, then east three times to the Loud Room. Type echo. Get the platinum bar. Go west, west, west, south, and up to the Living Room and put the platinum bar 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 to the Loud Room to get it while the Reservoir fills up again. See the next moves if that solution interests you.)

Go down, north, east 3 times, up, east, and north to Dam Lobby. Get the matchbook. Go north or east to the Maintenance Room. Get the wrench and screwdriver. Push the yellow button. (This releases the bolt at the Dam.) Go south twice back to the Dam. 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 to Reservoir and get the trunk of jewels. Go south, southwest, southwest, west, south, up to the Living Room and put the trunk in the trophy case. Return to the Reservoir: down, north, east, north, northeast, and north. Go north again to Reservoir North and get the air pump. Go north again to the Atlantis Room and get the crystal trident. Go up, north, north, west, and then down from the Slide Room to the Cellar. Go up and put the trident in the case.

For Your Amusement:
Read the matchbook.

The Temple Area

From the Living Room, 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 to the Dome Room. Tie the rope to the railing and go down to the Torch Room. Get the torch and turn off your lamp. Go south to the Temple 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 to the Egyptian Room and get the coffin. Open it and take the sceptre. Go west, then south to the Altar. Ignore the candles and book for now and pray at the altar. You will be teleported to a Forest location. Go east, south, east, in to the house Kitchen, and west to the Living Room. Put the coffin and sceptre in the trophy case.

Return down, north, east, east, southeast, east, down, south to the Temple, where you dropped everything. Get the matchbook and bell. Open the matchbook. Go south to the Altar. Get the candles and black book. Put out the candles. Check inventory and be sure you're carrying nothing but the book, candles, bell, matchbook, and trch. Go down twice to Entrance to Hades. Ring the bell. You will drop both 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 to the Land of the Dead. Get the crystal skull. Go north, up, north three times, west, west, south, and up to the Living Room. Put the skull in the trophy case. Get the sceptre again while you are here. Return down, north, east, east, southeast, east, down, south to the Temple and collect all your belongings. Check inventory; 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 elsewhere than Entrance to Hades.
Light the candles with the torch. (save first)
Burn the black book. (save first)
Try a little necrophilia in the Land of the Dead. (Kiss body will get you one response. I'm afraid you'll have to use a naughty word for the other, since unlike Leather Goddesses, Zork doesn't recognize constructions like have sex with.)

Old Man River

From the Temple, go south, down, north, north, north, east, up, east, east to Dam Base. Inflate the pile of plastic with the air pump. Drop the pump. Read the label (notice that the boat is made of "thin" plastic), 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 on the Frigid River.

When you see the red buoy, get it. Go east to Sandy Beach (the boat will land). Stand up out of the boat. Open the buoy, take the emerald, and drop the buoy. Get the shovel. Go northeast to Sandy Cave and dig in the sand with the shovel four times. Drop the shovel and take the scarab. Go southwest back to Sandy Beach.

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 weight to get the pot of gold at the moment, so go southwest, up, up, northwest, west to Behind House, and west twice to the Living Room.

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 didn't have the sceptre, skip to the next section, The Coal Mine. Otherwise, go back for the pot of gold by going east four times to Canyon View, then down, down, north to End of Rainbow. However, it is likely the Thief will have stolen it, since the End of Rainbow location is technically "underground". Return southwest, up, up, northwest, west, west, west and put it in the case too, if it was there.

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. From the Living Room, go down, north, east twice, and south twice to the south Mirror Room. Touch the mirror and you will be transported to the north Mirror Room. (The game's description doesn't really make it apparent that anything like that has happened.) Go north, west, north, west, and north to the Bat Room. The vampire bat is "holding his nose" because you are holding the garlic. (If you don't have the garlic out, the bat will grab you and drop you in a random location in this area.) Get the jade figurine. Go east to the Shaft Room. Put the candles and screwdriver in the basket. Drop the torch here and turn on your lantern.

Go north, then down to the Gas Room. Get the bracelet. Go east, northeast, southeast, southwest, and down twice to Ladder Bottom. Go south and get the coal. Go north, then up twice back into the 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. Get the candles, light a match, light the candles, then put them back in the basket.

Lower the basket. Retrace your steps to Ladder Bottom: north, down, east, northeast, southeast, southwest, down, down. Go west to the Timber Room, drop everything, and then west again to the Drafty Room. Get the coal , screwdriver, and candles from the basket. Go south to the Machine Room. 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 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 candles. Put out the candles. Get the torch if it's still here (it's quite likely the Thief will have stolen it).

Go west, south, east, and south, then down to the Cellar. Go up to the Living Room and put the diamond, bracelet, figurine and torch (if you have it) in the trophy case. You can drop the garlic (or heck, eat it) and the candles.

For Your Amusement:
Enter the Gas Room with an open flame, such as the torch or candles. (save first) ("What is the coal gas good for?" "It's great for blowing up dimwitted adventurers who wander into a coal mine with an open flame.")

The Treasure Room and the Barrow

Go east and up to the Attic and pick up the nasty-looking knife. Return down and west to the Living Room. 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 to the Treasure Room. If by chance the Thief is not there, go down and return up until he appears. Attack the Thief with the nasty knife. Repeat. When you have killed him, take the silver chalice, egg (notice that it has been opened and inside is a golden clockwork canary), and any treasures that he stole. (If he stole treasures you didn't take immediately when you saw them, like the pot of gold, you will receive the points now.) You don't need to get the stiletto. (If you have number or weight problems wtih inventory, you may have to make multiple trips back to the Living Room.)

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). Turn off the lamp. Put the chalice in the case. Get the canary from the egg. Put the egg in the case. Put any stolen treasures in the case as well.

Leave the house by going east twice to Behind House, and go north twice to a Forest Path location. Wind the canary. Get the brass bauble. Return south and east to Behind House, go west twice to the Living Room, 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 an "ancient parchment" has appeared. Take it and look at it. Go east twice, then south and west to West of House. Go southwest down the "secret path" which has appeared, then enter the Stone Barrow to the west.

Congratulations, adventurer, you're now in Zork II!

For Your Amusement:
Say hello to, listen to, and take the Thief.

For Your Amusement at various times:
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:
Lists of bugs in Zork I: Nathan Simpson external link, Graeme Cree external link, XyzzyNews external link
Posts about this game at The Digital Antiquarian external link, The Adventure Gamer external link, and SPAG external link
Source code external link, and for Solid Gold version external link


You score points for picking up a treasure for the first time and then further points for putting it in the trophy case in the Living Room of the house:

Treasure Take Case
Above Ground
Jeweled egg55
Cellar and Maze
Bag of coins105
Dam and Reservoir
Platinum bar105
Trunk of jewels155
Crystal trident411
Temple Area
Ivory torch146
Gold coffin1015
Crystal skull1010
Old Man River
Pot of gold1010
Coal Mine
Jade figurine55
Sapphire bracelet55
Treasure Room and Barrow
Silver chalice105
Clockwork canary64
Brass bauble11
Other Actions Points
Enter the house 10
Enter the Cellar 25
Get past troll 5
Enter the Drafty Room 13
Enter Treasure Room 25
Total 350

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last updated 4/28/2021