Some significant part of my middle school years (age 11-14, roughly) was spent struggling with a couple of text adventure games and none of them was more tantalizing or frustrating than Zork II. In particular, the bank and baseball maze parts of this game completely stopped me, despite my large piles of notes and countless hours spent typing increasingly random commands. My family lived in Africa at the time, so local Zork expertise was hard to come by. Moreover, I had no access to USENET, a BBS, or any similar resource (this was the mid-1980s) so I eventually shelved the game and only returned to it after we moved back to the USA and I found an employee at a local computer store who I could pester for hints. I had more or less forgotten about this odd part of my life until today the Digital Antiquarian singled out exactly those two Zork II puzzles as being particularly difficult and unfair. It was an infuriating game and I wish I could play it afresh.
About meJohn Regehr
Associate Professor of Computer Science
University of Utah, USA
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