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Zork I: The Great Underground Empire (Zork1_sol2.txt)

Zork I 

Stylin’ Through the GUE
A 231 Move Solution in five easy trips through the Great Underground Empire

Zorksters will quickly agree that the thief’s unpredictable and disruptive 
appearances greatly befoul strategic planning.  Despite expert advice that 
the dangerous thief must be avoided until later in the game, the efficient 
suggestion proposed by Jacob Gunness way back in 1990, recognized the 
importance of eliminating this wild card as soon as possible.  His 
solution took 311 moves, however, which can
easily be bettered.  As if to illustrate, the following scenario scores 
350 points in only 231 moves, and furthermore allows for lunch and a
drink on the way to the Stone Barrow.

But first, a few words on overall strategy:  Because the thief is the only 
one with the savvy to properly open the jewel-encrusted egg, you must have 
the egg with you when arriving at your early showdown. Likewise, since the 
thief is more susceptible to the nasty knife than the sword (the exact 
opposite of the troll) you will need both weapons on the Treasure Room 
trip.  And you might as well grab a couple of treasures via quickie 
detours on your way to the thief’s secret treasure room. 
1.  Egg Tree Trip:  (Starting at the mailbox)  N, N, U, TAKE EGG, D, S, E, 
OPEN WINDOW, IN, W, TAKE LAMP AND SWORD.  Do a couple of chores before 
turning the lamp on:  MOVE RUG, OPEN CASE, E, U, TURN ON LAMP and TAKE 
KNIFE.  (You won’t need the rope once you’ve discovered the secret of 
transporting between the Temple and the Treasure Room). 
2.  Treasure Room Trip:  D, W, OPEN TRAPDOOR, D (the trapdoor slams shut 
behind you for the first and last time), S, E, TAKE PAINTING, W, and N. 
SAVE (as 44/26 Ready for troll).  N, and KILL TROLL WITH SWORD (keep 
restoring until you kill him on the first move).  SAVE (as 44/28 Troll 
dead in 1!).  Then, into the maze!  The plan is to go W, W, W, U (or, if 
you prefer, W, S, E, U), to the Skeleton Room and TAKE COINS. (If the 
thief shows up, he can be dealt with in the same fashion as will soon be 
described in the great Treasure Room battle—and in the same number of 
overall moves—but for the sake of simplicity, should he show up, just 
restore your last save and run it through again until you get the Bag of 
Coins without incident).  After you get the coins, proceed SW, E, S, SE to 
the Cyclops Room.  Remind the monocular brute of his father’s nemesis, 
ULYSSES (or ODYSSEUS if you prefer Greek to Roman), and watch him flee in 
terror—straight through the eastern wall creating a new passageway all the 
way to the Living Room!  You’ve avoided the thief till now, but he will 
most certainly rush to the defense of his Treasure Room when you proceed 
upstairs—and this will be a real donnybrook—so SAVE (as 54/38  Ready for 
Thief).  For the next several moves you’re going to be exposed to his sly 
and lethal ways with the odds seriously stacked against you on every move. 

Impossible? Not for one who has learned all about ratchet saves at Frobozz 
U.  So here we go:  U!  The thief will no doubt attack you on first sight 
and you’ll probably be disarmed, wounded or killed.  If so, revert and try 
again.  When you finally make it uninjured and still fully armed, note the 
25 point bonus and SAVE (as 79/39  Treasure Room.)  Then, GIVE SWORD AND 
EGG TO THIEF.  When he gets distracted and stops, SAVE (as 79/40  Thief 
Stops).  Now, KILL THIEF WITH NASTY KNIFE -- and probably -- AGAIN and 
AGAIN.  Keep restoring, attacking and saving advances until you get him on 
the second or third try.  Don’t allow yourself to get even slightly 
wounded, for while you might recover quickly from a nicked arm, until you 
do, your ability to pack loads will be impaired. If you seriously wound 
him on your first attack, be sure to save it (e.g. 79/41 Artery Hit!) 
‘cause you’ll probably be able to kill him on your next attack.  Then, 
SAVE (as 79/42  Thief Dead!).  From now on, ladies, this is going to be a 
cakewalk.

TAKE CANARY, CHALICE AND EGG.  (Thanks to the thief’s dexterity, the Egg 
has been opened, and with this careful command, you can separate the 
Canary from the Egg as you take both treasures.)  Then D, E and E to the 
Living Room.  PUT ALL BUT KNIFE, LAMP AND CANARY INTO CASE. (You’ll need 
the canary to get the bauble.  You won’t need the knife anymore, but it’s 
a bit déclassé to put a nasty knife in the trophy case, don’tcha think? 

So the next time you put something down, just dump the knife as well.) 
OPEN TRAPDOOR.(Having already found one of the secret passageways to the 
Underground Empire, the trapdoor will now remain permanently open.)  SAVE 
(as 116/48  Trapdoor Open).

3.  Temple & Forest Trip:  W, W, U, type in “TEMPLE” (without the quotes), 
D, OPEN COFFIN, TAKE COFFIN AND SCEPTRE.  U to Temple, then S and PRAY. 
You are transported to the Forest just northwest of the house!  Go E, WIND 
UP CANARY, TAKE BAUBLE, then S, E, IN, W, PUT CANARY, BAUBLE AND COFFIN IN 
CASE.  SAVE (as 151/66  Hot to Trot).

4.  Reservoir & Rainbow Trip:  D, N, E, D, NE, E, N, N, PUSH YELLOW, TAKE 
WRENCH AND SCREWDRIVER.  Walk S, S, TURN BOLT WITH WRENCH (the sluice 
gates open), D, TAKE BOAT, U, W, DROP KNIFE AND BOAT.  WAIT and WAIT again 
(this costs you two moves).  Then, N, N, N, and TAKE TRIDENT, S, TAKE 
PUMP, S, TAKE TRUNK, S, PUMP UP BOAT.  PUT ALL BUT LAMP, WRENCH AND PUMP 
IN BOAT.  DEFLATE BOAT.  TAKE BOAT.  (Dang, that sucker’s not called the 
Magic Boat for nothing!)  SAVE (as 175/99  Boat Taken).  Then E, TURN BOLT 
WITH WRENCH, S, D, TAKE BAR, E, E, S, DROP BOAT AND WRENCH.  PUMP UP BOAT, 
GET IN BOAT and LAUNCH.  TAKE BUOY.  Go E, GET OUT OF BOAT and walk N. 
TAKE SHOVEL, NE, DIG SAND WITH SHOVEL (four times!).  DROP BUOY AND 
SHOVEL.  OPEN BUOY,  TAKE SCARAB AND EMERALD.  SAVE (as 195/124 
Scarab/Emerald).  Then, SW, S, and PUT BAR, SCARAB AND EMERALD IN BOAT. 
TAKE SCEPTRE.  DEFLATE BOAT.  TAKE BOAT. Then walk S.  WAVE SCEPTRE.  W, 
W, TAKE POT, SW, U, U, NW, W, IN.  On your way through the kitchen, TAKE 
SACK.  Then W and PUT SCEPTRE AND POT IN CASE.  DROP ALL BUT PUMP.  PUMP 
UP BOAT,  TAKE TRIDENT, TRUNK, BAR, SCARAB AND EMERALD.  PUT TRIDENT, 
TRUNK, BAR, SCARAB AND EMERALD IN CASE.  TAKE LAMP, SACK AND SCREWDRIVER. 
 SAVE (as 257/149 Ready to go).

5.  Hades & Mine Trip:  W, W, U.  Type “TEMPLE”, then N, TAKE TORCH, S, 
TAKE BELL, S, TAKE BOOK AND CANDLES.  SAVE (as 271/159  Ready for Hades). 
D, and keep reverting until you get the darned candles past the cave 
without having them blown out.  D to the Entrance to Hades and PUT CANDLES 
DOWN.  RING BELL,  TAKE CANDLES.  READ BOOK.  Curtail a smirk and go S. 
TAKE SKULL.  Then, N, U, N, TOUCH MIRROR, N, W, N, W, OPEN SACK, TAKE 
CLOVE, N, E, PUT TORCH, CLOVE AND SCREWDRIVER IN BASKET.  SAVE (as 281/180 
Ready for Bat Ride).  W, and keep reverting and going W until bat gives 
you a lift to the Ladder Bottom.  SAVE (as 281/181  Ladder Bottom).  Then 
S, TAKE COAL, N, U, U, N, E, S, N to Gas Room.  Then U, S, PUT COAL IN 
BASKET and LOWER BASKET down to Drafty Room.  SAVE (as 286/194  Basket 
Down).

Then W, and keep reverting and going W until you catch the Batmobile to 
the Ladder Top.  (Bat service to the Ladder Bottom has evidently been shut 
down till the next game.)  D, W, DROP ALL, W, TAKE SCREWDRIVER, COAL AND 
TORCH.  S, OPEN LID, PUT COAL IN MACHINE and CLOSE LID.  FLIP SWITCH WITH 
SCREWDRIVER, OPEN LID and TAKE DIAMOND.  Then N and PUT ALL IN BASKET. 
Then E and TAKE SKULL, LAMP AND SACK and head for the Gas Room:  E, U, U, 
N, E, S, N.  TAKE BRACELET.  (Don’t worry about the lamp battery warning 
on move 215—you’ll get warnings on moves 315 and 385 before the lamp 
finally conks out on move 400.  Not bad, considering the lamp has been on 
constantly ever since move 16!)  Then, U, S to the Shaft Room.  RAISE 
BASKET and TAKE DIAMOND, TORCH AND CLOVE.  Then W, TAKE JADE, S, E, S, D 
(sliding down to the Cellar).  Go U and PUT BRACELET, TORCH, DIAMOND, 
SKULL AND JADE IN CASE, scoring 350 points.  SAVE (as 350/231 Victory!). 

Stone Barrow Trip:  READ MAP (which has suddenly appeared in the case). 
Then E to the Kitchen.  TAKE LUNCH AND BOTTLE.  OPEN BOTTLE. EAT LUNCH.  
DRINK WATER.  Then E, S, W, SW to the Stone Barrow and barge right IN on 
move 241.

Bill Piercy, San Francisco    First written in the early 80’s. Revised 
6/3/03 and 11/11/06

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