June 1977 285-point Zork


A binary executable file for a 285-point Zork from June 1977 will shortly be released by MIT. I found the file on PDP-10 backup tapes, and tested it on an emulator running ITS. This version may be only a few weeks old. Per Tim Anderson: “By late May [1977], ADVENTURE had been solved, and various DM’ers were looking for ways to have fun.

Additional files will also be released, including some source code from a later date.

In related news, the final 616-point MDL Zork has been compiled, built, and played to conclusion on ITS. Welcome home, Zork!


Great news (both of them). I saw that eswenson1 found a bug in the Echo Room that I need to fix in my Confusion-prepped versions of the sources. Is there an issue on github that shows the progress of the efforts?

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That progress is not yet on display in any issue. It’s my intent that #1965 would be a place to collect all such fixes.

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Anyone played this to the end?

I only reached 275 points and don’t know where the last 10 points are.

One guess is that the missing points are:

Opening up the “Strange Passage” by saying “Odysseus” to the cyclops. But I can’t get it to work and can only pass the cyclops by feeding him the lunch and the water.

(It is a bit hardcore to play this version because there is no way to save/restore.)

These are my points so far:

Reaching “Kitchen” 10
Reaching “Cellar” 25
Reaching “East-West Passage” 5
Get Ivory Torch 14
Get Bag of Coins 10
Reaching “Treasure Room” 25
Get Silver Chalice 10
Get Painting 4
Drop Chalice in Living Room 10
Drop Bag of Coins in Living Room 5
Drop Painting in Living Room 7
Get Diamond Trident 4
Drop Diamond Trident in Living Room 11
Get Platinum Bar 12
Drop Platinum Bar in Living Room 10
Get Trunk with Jewels 15
Get Gold Coffin 3
Drop Gold Coffin in Living Room 7
Drop Trunk with Jewels in Living Room 8
Get Pearl Necklace 9
Get Grail 2
Drop Pearl Necklace in Living Room 5
Drop Grail in Living Room 5
Get Moby Ruby 15
Drop Torch in Living Room 6
Drop Moby Ruby in Living Room 8
Reaching “Land of the Living Dead” 30

I can’t find the last 10 points. I guess I’ll wait for the source code to be released.

There is a possibilty that the last points are for something thats not implemented in this version. The thing that makes me believe that is that all the scoring is exactly as in the next version (1977-12-12) for everything implemented and the only things that score 10 points in the next version that I don’t have are a couple of treasures that the parser don’t recognize and the alternative solution to the Cyclops that don’t work here.

I’ve attached a Trizbort map and my notes if anyone would like to have a crack at it.

Zork_770614.zip (20.9 KB)


I don’t think there is source code for this version.

Great work, @heasm66! I’m glad the old files are being used.

The source files that I expect to be released soon are from two tapes. The first set is dated June 26 - July 2, 1977. It consists of various files called DEFS, MAZER, NPARSE, NROOMS, and ROOMS.

The other set is rather incomplete: just two versions of the file ROOMS dated June 14. With some luck maybe the major part of the game layout and puzzles is in that file.


Sources for an April 1978 Zork are expected to be relased along with the older files. This file set is interesting because it includes the “ACT4” endgame. The key files are encrypted but has been cracked Ted Hess-style.

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