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Games Entertainment

Legends of Zork Goes Live 76

TinBromide writes "The developers over at Jolt Online Gaming have released Legends of Zork to the general public. It's a free, browser-based, adventure game based on the world of Zork. You play as a Traveling Salesman, recently laid off from FrobozzCo. You start off in a clearing, where a white house has a boarded up door. From there, you can do what you like. Explore the world, fight other salesmen in PVP, or try out your Darkvision Goggles in the dark — just try not to get eaten by a grue." It's free in that you're given 30 Action Points each day, which are consumed by moving about and fighting. Their business model is that if you want more Action Points, you can purchase more.
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Legends of Zork Goes Live

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  • 'Course you do.

  • by SuperMo0 ( 730560 ) <> on Friday April 03, 2009 @03:42AM (#27441929)

    It is dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.


    You have no more action points.

    *log on the next day*

    You have been eaten by the grue.



    • by Norsefire ( 1494323 ) * on Friday April 03, 2009 @03:47AM (#27441959) Journal
      I think it is more likely to go:

      It is dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

      > USE TORCH

      You have no more action points. Please enter your credit card details to not die.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 03, 2009 @07:07AM (#27442843)

        Please enter your credit card details to not die.

        If you're interested in the business model of Legend of Zork, you essentially buy "coconuts" with cash (a wagon load of 60 costs $20) and then these can be redeemed for action points. So while it won't work to pay not to die, you certainly can pay your way through the system instead of waiting for your AP cool down.

        Since it's a lot like Legend of the Green Dragon [], one could with a lot of cash become much better than anyone else (you need action points to battle and you need to battle to gain experience and gold). Just walk about dueling after that.

        It's slick and graphically beautiful, it's a shame that the option exists to shamelessly become better through the tendering of cash instead of dedicated play. I hope this works out for them financially though as none of these browser games seem to become mainstream (and I know I'll take flak for some classic mud that everyone knows and still plays at some site).

        • Having never played Legend of the Green Dragon all I can compare it to is Kingdom of Loathing [] which it seems to feel like so far.

        • by AftanGustur ( 7715 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @11:18AM (#27445547) Homepage
          I went through my daily "25 points" in about 25 minutes or so ..

          "Authentic FrobozzCo Bottle o' Berzio" costs 10 Coconuts and gives you 200 "Action points" which you will easily spend in an hour or two ..

          If those 200 points are one-time-shot, then this is the most expensive game I have ever seen.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Yea, it's not exactly cheap, but then it's not meant to be played for hours on end, either. You can use a maximum of 2 "potions" per 7 days, so that means max. 400 extra AP a week per character, or a bit under 7 dollars a week, depending on how many "coconuts" you buy at once. Again, not cheap for a game, but unless you have multiple characters up the wazoo, it's not going to end up being quite as bad as it would appear at first, if only because playtime is limited.
          • What I've always liked about games that run out of actions that fast is that they give a set time limit. I can play the game daily and get hooked in bits and pieces, with a clear endpoint for my play session.

            I used to play Kingdom of Loathing, I loved it for much the same reason.

  • Quick! Before the server gets eaten by a grue.
  • by shinmai ( 632532 ) * <aapo.saaristo@gma i l .com> on Friday April 03, 2009 @04:53AM (#27442253) Homepage

    Plays easy, doesn't require flash or other plugins, and everything actually is sort of "Zorky".

    Most browser-based games have perks for paying players, and being able to buy action points isn't really the worst I've seen. It doesn't overly imbalance the gameplay, at least in my opinion.

    Only time will tell how this really fans out, but I'm in positive spirits. (Between this and Battlefield Heroes I'm going to be spending even more time at my browser in the future :D)

    • by montyzooooma ( 853414 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @08:04AM (#27443173)
      I played until level 3 or 4, basically a days worth of action points and really don't see the appeal. RPS did a reasonably in depth rant here:

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      There are enough action points that you should be able to "level up" once per day. The cash-for-coconuts is for people who want to continue to grind.

      The Double Fanucci cards is where the Game part of this game is going to be found. I'm getting a sense that there is some depth to Double Fanucci, but only three days in, no one has enough cards to have figured it out yet. And the devs aren't revealing how it works.

      • by flitty ( 981864 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @09:10AM (#27443583)
        I think they should have given out 60 action points for free. 30 just isn't enough to even do any sort of exploring. The one dungeon I found was a 19 step dungeon, and there's just something about getting halfway through it and being forced to quit that left a bad taste in my mouth. I know they are trying to entice me to pay for points, but 30 is sort of silly. Unless someone pays for points, nobody will really know if it's good or not for another couple weeks.
        • by Machtyn ( 759119 )
          That's why one should work for a computer games magazine. That way they can have the publisher pay for the points. But, then, I guess you'd have to write an article or something.
        • by Taulin ( 569009 )
          I agree that point balance is important in this type of game. Urban Legions and KoL, as others have mentioned, are the two other ones, and they do a great job handling turns. While LoZ uses a turn for every action, one Urban Legions' turn consists of moving, and all the fighting and stuff that happens with it, which can be pretty lengthy if you enter a big event or dungeon. I even found the free play to last about an hour or two a day if you are not just grinding, which the game doesn't really require (e
        • It's not like you can't finish exploring a dungeon (special area) if you run out of Action Points part way through. You can continue explorations at a later date. For example, the current map I'm in is showing three special areas that I've previously discovered and can continue exploring whenever I want.
      • The cards are fun! Think there's sets of cards that work for and against each other.

        I got 3 cards (2 of same type lv0 and lv1)
        1 card gives +2
        2 cards gives +4
        3 will give either +6 or +8 (don't know if they 'add to' or 'double' the previous total.
        I've noticed that different cardsets will cause the score to go down if placed in the wrong order or go up by +1 instead of +2
  • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @05:07AM (#27442307)

    Am I the only one who reads "browser-based" as "play from work"?

    Some day I'll develop a web browser impossible to distinguish from an excel spreadsheet.

    "You | 50.22 | Have been | % | 3473N | B Y | a GRUE"

    • by Rowas ( 1055162 )
      That's exactly what I read too.
      And it's also what I do right now, keeping myself from being productive by playing.

      hmm.. indistinguishable from an excel spreadsheet.. that would be an easy way to 'avoid prying eyes'(Boss).

      -is eaten by a Grue-
    • I bet you can already embed a web component in an Excel spreadsheet. The key to change worksheets becomes your 'boss key'.

      • by Zerth ( 26112 )

        You can already put Flash in a spreadsheet. I've seen people doing that to avoid tripping mail scanners & avoid showing up on the web traffic logs.

  • tried a day or two ago when I got the email (don't believe me? check my journal)

    Move - encounter dice rolled and action happens.

    Only once did I get chance to flee - a bunch of other characters were having it out - you could join a side or flee. I ran.

    Not sure about how to go about doing things - there is a small window when it looks like you can do something. Maybe I haven't read enough to know how to try stuff.

  • I love the art style. I love the monsters. I love the locations. I love the "feel". Very well realized, but, um, activisionâ¦. THIS ISNT ZORK! This is somethingâ¦.awful. This is some horrible, Frankensteinian aberration. This is heresy. This is a gut-wrenching vomit soaked, "find out you have cancer" thing to do to the zork series. W.T.F. ?!

    This is *gasp* web-based. You've made a pretty decent web-based game, and given it the spiritual name of the most important game to EVER COME TO COMPUTERS. Do you see where I'm coming from?

    DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE?! Kingdom of loathing is a great web based game, and in all honest more deserving of the title zork. Have you guys ever played nethack? Adventure? MUD II? Do you even KNOW who Richard Bartle is?

    This is like a terrible thing to do with zork! Zork is a text-based game! text-based! that's why WE LOVED ZORK because we could imagine stuff - you know - WITH OUR IMAGINATION THINGY!!!!!

    But text based games are alive and well - both multiplayer (in the MUD and MUSH community) and single player (in the interactive fiction community).

    PS: whoever thought of the idea of buying coconuts for fucking action points needs to be eaten by a grue. you know about that, right?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Red Flayer ( 890720 )

      by peaceful_bill (661382) on Friday April 03, @06:49AM (#27442757) Homepage

      Boy, that sure is a lot of SHOUTING and swearing for "peaceful_bill".

      Did you forget your Xanax today? :)

    • To be fair, there really aren't a lot of pictures, really.

    • If you love Zork, go play a bunch of MUDs et cetera. Many of them have actual problems to be solved (more the MUSHes and MUCKs than the MUDs, but that's not a law.) They're text based and collaborative, some have PK, et cetera. Did I mention et cetera?

    • For someone getting so up in arms about Zork, you seem to be unaware of the last 15 years of Zork games that have been graphical adventures.

      • I am aware of the graphical zorks - and they all sucked.

        This latest abhorrent sin against humanity really pushed me over the edge.

        I mean, comeon! WEB BASED, ACTION POINT ZORK?!

        Sweet quivering Jesus. This get's my Irish up.
        • I dunno, I guess I don't get as upset over these things. Games progress with the times, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Zork Nemesis was even good in that "good game, but not at all zork-like" way.

    • by Creepy ( 93888 )

      Now if you can just time travel back to, say, 1986 or 1987 (guessing on production start dates there) and stop them from creating Zork Zero as a graphical adventure we'll all be saved!

  • New Business model (Score:1, Informative)

    by mac1235 ( 962716 )
    Kingdom of Loathing anyone?
    • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )
      Been playing Kingdom of Loathing for a little more than three years now; best browser-based game I've found. And I say this as a guy who liked KoL so much he went out and made his own KoL imitation browser game. I think mine is respectable, but theirs is still more fun for me.
  • Since it's slashdotted already, I'm going to assume 30 points is thirty actions.

    I could eat up 30 actions in a couple minutes... There's no way to get me to come back day after day when I can only play for a couple minutes for free... And I'm not going to pay insane rates to play for hours a day.

    If they had an 'unlimited' plan for say... $15/month... I think they'd do a lot better.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cthulu_mt ( 1124113 )
      That's the dumbest business model I've ever heard. You need to go back to business school son.

      No one would ever pay a monthly subscription for a game.
      • by Machtyn ( 759119 )
        I know I don't. I get my friends to pay my bill.

        Oh, you want me to continue to join you guys on raids? Sorry, I have no time left.

  • Out of torches in the dark you are likely to be eaten by a grue there is no chance of save betcha wish yuo had Burma Shave!
  • This is great. I'm glad to see games like this pop up because it reminds me of the old BBS days and games like Legend of the Red Dragon. You know, just with a few pieces of art thrown in.

    When I was a kid, I looked forward to getting home from school every day to play Legend of the Red Dragon to use my "10 kills a day" or whatever it was. I can totally see myself looking forward to getting home to use my "30 action points a day" in this game!

  • Summary of the game (Score:5, Informative)

    by uigrad_2000 ( 398500 ) on Friday April 03, 2009 @10:37AM (#27444863) Homepage Journal

    All you need to know is here:

    • The game is text-based, with static images of monsters to show what you are currently fighting.
    • There are no dungeons to learn. Your only options for moving is "step forward to fight a new monster" or "retreat to your home".
    • The main focus of the game is the leader board, which can be sorted by total XP or total gold.
    • Each day, you receive 30 more action points.
    • Action points let you fight monsters and level up. One Action point is needed per battle.
    • More action points can be bought with Coconuts. The best rate is +200 action points for 10 coconuts.
    • Coconuts can also be used for buying armor. The best rate for buying coconuts is 60 coconuts per $20.

    In conclusion, if your friend spends $20, in one day, then you'll need to play 40 days to catch up with him. The rankings really just show which players have spent the most money.

    I've been playing since the first slashdot story about this [], and I think it's pretty well done, when the server isn't crashing. The need to pay real money to be competitive is really a shame. Everyone who tries it should know this going in.

    • They now have a way to get coconuts through marketing, too. You sign up for "SPECIAL DEALS!" through various websites (linked from the zork site) and get 2-20 coconuts depending on the one you choose. They generally involve signing up your mobile phone, presumably to prove that you've given some real information.

  • Beaten like a redheaded stepchild. Kingdom of Loathing beat them to every aspect of this. Except that it's a little less trivial to just buy your way to success in KoL.

    (I know it's been mentioned a couple of times already, but it bears repeating.)


  • I think the grinding in this game is just a small part of the overall game. The Fanucci cards interact with one another in pretty complex ways. Gambits create bigger bonuses than weapon upgrades if you set them up right.

    Since it has only been three days, there aren't enough cards out there for anyone to have figured out how the underlying mechanics work. I don't think anyone has a face card yet.

    The combat stances interact with one another in a way that no one has figured out yet, either. Unfortunate

  • It feels like a BBS door game. I'm disappointed, as I was expecting a text interface, and puzzles. Still, it can kill 10 minutes of my day.
  • Game Comparisons (Score:2, Informative)

    by PegamooseG ( 991448 )
    First off... I enjoy various kinds of text games from the early Infocom games, to the King's Quests, to the Monkey Islands, and event a Zork or two. Yes, Legends of Zork took elements from the world of Zork, but it lacks challenge. In the text games, I like trying everything under the sun to try to get that one step further in the game, even if that meant starting over a million times. It was part of the challenge, part of the fun. This... I found very frustrating. It's like the game is so incredibly d

The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!