Infocom vs. Hugo Zork?


(Derek) #1

I went to IFDB to have a look at playing Zork 1. I want to play the mainstream, classic Infocom released version. The IFDB version listed reports as being a “Hugo” version of the game and in the description it looks like it was someone’s attempt to recompile the game to work on their programming skills. I’ve also seen where there is an M.I.T version floating around.

  1. Can anyone tell me where to find the classic version to play?
  2. How many versions of Zork 1 are out there in total?
  3. Are there many works of IF where I’ll run into this same problem?

Thanks everyone!


(Hanon Ondricek) #2

I would assume the version on Steam is official. (Infocom and Activision are listed as Developer and Publisher.)

The pack includes Zork I , Zork II , Zork III , Beyond Zork , Zork Zero , and Planetfall .


(matt w) #3

Looks like you can also get the Zork anthology on GOG.com, if that’s more to your liking. These versions are for Windows only, I think?
There was an Lost Treasures of Infocom app for iOS which presumably had the Infocom Zorks on it, but when I look for it now all I find is a bunch of plaintive requests to recompile it for 64-bit systems so it can run on newer versions of iOS, being met with dead silence. This seems fairly typical of how Activision treats the Infocom back catalogue.

The M.I.T. version of Zork is even more original than the Infocom version; the people who would go on to found Infocom first made Zork on an M.I.T. mainframe. When they went to market it for personal computers they had to adapt it to a trilogy because the mainframe game wouldn’t fit. Jimmy Maher of the Digital Antiquarian tells some of that story here [click the adjacent posts for more of the story!) Also I may not have all the details right there.

I don’t think you’ll encounter similar issues with many other games! Zork is a touchstone so many people have had their hand at porting it into various languages. If you try the original Adventure, though, there are something like countless versions of it.


(Derek) #4

Great info! Thank you. I never considered Steam but that sounds like the way to go. GOG I’d never even heard of before but I checked out the site and that looks like one to bookmark for sure. I immediately saw some old stuff I loved.

I knew The MIT era was pre infocom but I didn’t know it enveloped the trilogy. Now I would rather play that version instead. Thanks again!


#5

If by Zork 1 you mean just the first part of the trilogy as adapted and released by Infocom, a total of 13 official releases has been discovered. This doesn’t include the partial demo versions called Mini-Zork I and Zork I Demo, nor various unreleased testing versions that people have somehow gotten a hold of.
Differences among these versions are mostly small, including bug fixes.