Return To Zork Infocom / Activision Publishing, Inc. 1993

Infocom's first return to the famous Zork universe after a long hiatus is a funny adventure that retains much of the campy atmosphere that makes the original Zork trilogy a classic, but unfortunately falls victim to its own innovative adventure interface, unforgiving and illogical puzzles, and some very cheesy acting. The plot is a typical treasure-hunting quest in the spirit of the original Zork trilogy, with a dash of some magic and evil woozle thrown in for good measure. The innovative point-and-click interface allows a much wider of actions than other graphical adventures. Clicking on an object brings up a menu of possible actions you can perform with that object, and clicking the object on another usually brings up even more actions. The conversation interface is also innovative: every time you talk to a character, you can select the mood you want in order to set the tone and direction of your speech. You can also ask people about any object in your inventory, or any photo you have taken. Sometimes doing so is the only way to obtain the much-needed clues for puzzles. Acting is downright horrible, canned, and cheesy, but at least you won't find too much of that in the floppy version, and all the characters and the overall atmosphere are in keeping with Zork's wacky, easy-going fantasy mythos. The game's worst weakness is the ruthlessly unforgiving puzzles. They are not just bad - they are so illogical and obscure that sometimes you'll be solving a puzzle correctly without knowing why that particular solution works... even with a walkthrough in hand. Clues are scattered in the most unlikely places, including minute references in the Encyclopedia Frobozzica, a thick fan-made book about Zorkian mythos included free with the game. Suffice it to say that anyone who's been spoiled by LucasArts' excellent cannot-get-stuck-or-die game design will likely get very frustrated playing RtZ. A Special MPEG Version was released for ReelMagic (one of the first MPEG decoder cards available for PC). The digitized actors are fully animated and actually move and show some body language. A number of the conversations are changed as well (some are shorter, some longer). A lot of backgrounds are more animated as well- for example, the flowing water of the river behind the lighthouse or in the boat has a much higher framerate and looks much better in the MPEG version. The intro and ending movies are also noticeably better quality. In the DOS CDROM version a lot of music from the game was in redbook audio format and played off the CD. In the MPEG version the music is part of the MPEG files - there are no redbook audio tracks on the CD. This means that some of the music sounds a little different.
Full Demo 17MB ( @ Abandonia)
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Activision Classics - ISO Demo v1.2 425MB (uploaded by Internet Archive Software Collection)
XP Setup
Included in: The Zork Legacy Collection (1996) CD1 ISO ~294MB (uploaded by Molitor)
Floppy Images ISO Demo + Scans 27MB (uploaded by Egon68)
MPEG version Infos
Demo Version contained in Sigma RealMagic Demo CD - ISO Demo (provided by mklgw1985 & upped by Scaryfun) 460MB
Special MPEG Version ISO Demo (bundled with ReelMagic MPEG cards) 475MB (uploaded by Egon68)
OEM? Clone ISO Demo 274MB (uploaded by Egon68)

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