Rare Boxed Apple II Copy of Zork 1

Rare Boxed Apple II Copy of Zork 1 on Ebay:

ebay.com/itm/Rare-Boxed-Appl … 6016.l4276

Thanks, I haven’t seen that cover art before.

The hero really does look like quite the jerk, but the picture is uncharacteristically faithful to the game for that era. I mean, if box art featured even three things that appeared in the game in those earliest days, that was a big deal. Especially if those things were integrated into one scene, like here with the house in the background.


I don’t remember finding a shoebox in the game.

It’s a platinum bar bar bar

I dunno about the green one, though.

Am I the only one, then, who feels that although the cover art does portray several items of the game, it also conveys a spirit that is almost the opposite of what Zork is, making it look like a hack-n-slash more typical of a dungeon crawl?

(yes, you do kill the troll and the thief, and your sword’s always about, but a typical Zork playthrough isn’t going to be about brawling)

(mind, the picture of an adventurer staring at a granite wall lost in thought wouldn’t be too exciting, I get that…)

Like Wade said; for the time, box art having anything to do with the actual game play and/or game contents was pretty iffy.

We could do a judge by the cover though, I’ll start:

Zork is a game about a robber turned rural house burglar. Throughout the game, you loot a plantation home and assault the staff from an inter-dimensional work exchange program. With your mal-trained warthog-monkey and sporty porn mustache, you take what is not rightfully yours.

At the time that cover was made, if you had tried to explain the difference between Zork and a “typical dungeon crawl”, everybody would have looked at you funny. D&D had combat. Zork had combat. It wasn’t an out-of-place or anomalous element.

Damn you, now I want to play that game.

EDIT - I thought I’d seen someone express a similar opinion. Turned out it was in Maher’s blog.

It’s quite possible that, even if at the time the standard was low, then-Infocom was disheartened that the image conveyed little of what the game was. So I am not inclined to be any more lenient.

Though, again, I actually appreciate the little touches which are, taken individually, exactly correct. I even find the idea of an AFGNCAAP wielding a sword and making a tremendous effort to carry all the loot quite funny and appropriate!

ANOTHER EDIT - The green thing may be a funny-shaped emerald, or the world’s dullest jade figurine.

I totally agree that the pic botched the spirit of the game. That’s what my ‘the hero looks like quite the jerk’ line was about. Presumably it was outweighed in impression-making by the time I spent talking about faithfulness of the art for the period. But I just mean mechanical faithfulness. The image depicts a scene which actually has the house, a warrior and treasure in a spatial presentation not entirely incompatible with the game. That’s the quality that I think is uncharacteristic for the time. A lot of box art was impressionistic and a lot was ignorant of game content. This isn’t either of those, but is ignorant of tone.


This is the original distribution by Personal Software, who didn’t do what the Infocom folk wanted for the packaging. At this point the Infocom people decided to publish their own games.

You can read about this in the Infocom Paper: Down from the Top of Its Game :slight_smile:

Anyway, this is pretty rare if you’ve got a copy. It didn’t sell well and all the unsold stock has been disposed of by the Infocom crew.

A guy called Wade sees that illustration for the first time…

Anyone else getting serious Ready Player One déjà vu? :slight_smile:

I loved that book.

I can’t say I remember all of the portion I played of Zork, but when does THOR happen?

Right after THIR and just before THUR. They’re both formal forms of address - the first one is how it’s written, the second one is how it’s pronounced, sort of. Oh, and it must be an Igor saying it, because of the lisp.

Or maybe it’s the adventurer after his fight with the troll. I don’t know about you, but me, I’d certainly be thor all over.