Zork Nemesis

(Originally published in the July 1996 edition of the Dallas/Ft. Worth Texas Computer Currents magazine. Reprinted here with permission of the author.)

by Joe DeRouen

I've long been a fan of Infocom's text adventure games. Such titles as Zork, Deadline, Planetfall, and Enchanter filled many long weekends for me as a kid. I miss those games. Activision took over Infocom in the late 80's, just as the bottom was falling out of the text adventure game market and graphic adventures were coming into their own. Since then, Activision has released several games under the Infocom banner, most notably the critically-acclaimed Return to Zork.

The 3-CD Zork Nemesis is the sixth direct sequel (there were several offshoots, like Enchanter, not to mention different genre crossovers such as comics and novels) to the wildly-successful original, and arguably Activision's best effort since acquiring Infocom. Though parts of Zork Nemesis do resemble the fright and terror of Sierra's Phantasmagoria more than they do the fantastical whimsey of the original text games, Activision has managed to create an exciting, compelling adventure.

When you begin, you're outside a temple beside the locked gateway into a graveyard. You must journey through the fantastic realm of the Forbidden Lands, a doomed region in the darkest corner of the Great Underground Empire. There, the souls of the Empire's four greatest alchemists are trapped in perpetual hell at the hands of the Nemesis. The forces of the underground beckon you to uncover the mystery behind the Nemesis' curse. You must discover the ancient secrets of alchemy in order to free the trapped souls before the Nemesis imprisons them for eternity. Only by mastering the ancient and mysterious art of alchemy can you discover the Elixir of Eternal Life and unlock the secret of the Forbidden Lands.

Featuring five fantastic new worlds, more than 40 hours of game play, and more than 60 innovative puzzles, fourteen live actors, an hour of dramatic live-action video, spectacular SVGA graphics, 360-degree 3-D movement, and immersive ambient music and dazzling special effects, this is truly an experience not to be missed. Whether you played the original Zork or not, Zork Nemesis will draw you willingly full-force into the world of the Great Underground Empire.


Infocom Gets Webbed

If you remember and love the old Infocom text adventures like I do, you won't want to miss the Infocom Home Page. Though not sponsored by Infocom's parent company Activision, this page (located in Canada and created by Peter Scheyen) pays homage to these wonderful games of yesteryear. If you enjoyed playing such titles as Zork I, Sorcerer, The Witness, Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Heads or Tails of It, and Trinity, this is one site you just can't pass on.

You'll find hints, walk-throughs, maps, scans of original boxes, articles from the old Infocom newsletter "New Zork Times", reviews, and much more on the Infocom Home Page. Believe it or not, you'll even find a copy of this article on the page, donated by yours truly. If that doesn't prove this site has excellent taste, nothing will.

You can reach the Infocom home page at http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pete/Infocom.

Copyright (c) 1996, Joe DeRouen. All rights reserved.

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File last modified on September 19th, 1996