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"It all comes down to this."
Complete walkthrough written by Darrell Wong (DKW 001).
OBLIGATORY BORING DISCLAIMERS -
I wrote this walkthrough as a service to fellow gamers who need help with this
game. I gave this FAQ to GameFAQs and nowhere else, and everything on their
site is free for the viewing. So if anyone tries to sell you this walkthrough,
don't pay a cent. And DEFINITELY never never ever try to claim it as your own
and sell it. That's plagiarism, you can get into serious trouble for it, and
the risk of that is definitely not worth whatever laughable pittance you could
get for my works.
The Zork trilogy and everything related to it is copyrighted by Infocom. All
I never got anywhere with this game. I remember playing this on an old portable
PC. It wasn't easy under the best of circumstances, but not knowing what to do
was killer. I never even saw about a quarter of the game (which is astonishing
when you consider how small an area it is). Etc., etc...well, can't think of
anything more to add. Enjoy the walkthrough! :-)
After a long tumble down the Endless Stairs, you arrive at the final part of
your adventure. You've made it to the deepest, most mysterious part of the
Great Underground Empire, where no adventurer has ever set foot before. This is
the domain of the Dungeon Master, a much more crafty and subtle adversary than
the thief or wizard. While he won't reveal himself to you, he will test you
several times during your explorations...perhaps without you even realizing it.
You will need a sound mind as well as a strong body to meet his challenges.
Prove yourself worthy, and a wondrous reward awaits you at the end. Fail, and
you may never again see the light of day...
This game is quite different from the previous two. Collecting treasures and
defeating a persistent enemy are *not* your main tasks. In fact, you will
collect only one treasure in the entire game. As you progress through the
Dungeon Master's land, he will give you various tests. He won't tell you when;
part of the challenge is realizing when this is happening. As you complete
these tests, you'll gradually accumulate items which serve as proof of your
worthiness. You must get them all, then confront the Dungeon Master at his
inner sanctum. There, the final test awaits. At least one of your tests is
nearly impossible, so be prepared.
There are only 7 points to earn this time (and no ranks), and you will reach
that plateau long before finishing the game. So don't worry about your
score...only your ultimate success or failure matters.
GENERAL TIPS -
Death is a much lesser threat in this game than it was in the last two, but it's
still a good idea to save at least once in a while. There are quite a few areas
where doing the wrong thing will make the game impossible to finish, and you
probably won't even know until much later. In fact, if you're new to this game,
it's probably advisable to have several save games, so if you inadvertently save
*after* blundering...believe me, it happens... you can go back to an earlier
Darkness isn't a problem at all in this game...if you follow the walkthrough.
As always, spend no more than one move in darkness and you'll stay out the
Don't worry about being weighed down. All of the items are quite light, and a
few of them are wearable (and thus don't count against your eight-item limit).
You will almost never have to drop anything.
That's pretty much it. Again, this is a *much* different game than the last
two, so the best advice is to just follow the walkthrough. Really.
COMPLETE WALKTHROUGH -
[Notes: For convenience, I use abbreviations for all directions, including up
(U) and down (D). I've included location notes so you know where you're
supposed to be. As with most text adventures of the Infocom era, many commands
have to be typed in precisely to work (one of the main raps against the genre).
This is especially true for enter/exit commands and using items. My walkthrough
is designed to minimize the dangers and get all the tasks accomplished as
quickly and smoothly as possible. There aren't that many areas to visit and a
few tasks have to be done in a certain order anyway, so you may as well stick
with it. As always, feel free to look around, although there isn't really all
that much to see here that isn't vital to your quest.]
As the game begins, you receive visions about the events leading up to your
tumble down the Endless Stairs and the challenges that lie ahead of you. You
then receive a short greeting from a mysterious old man. This is, of course,
the Dungeon Master, and it looks like he just threw down the gauntlet. With
that, the final stage of your grand adventure begins. You begin at the foot of
the endless stairs, where, once again, that good 'ol brass lantern has somehow
found its way to you. GET LANTERN. TURN ON LANTERN. S. S. S. S. ENTER
LAKE. Cold...so cold, in fact, that you drop the lantern! Don't worry, though;
another light source is coming right up. W. S (Scenic Vista). GET TORCH.
This torch, like the ivory torch in Zork 1, never stops burning. Unless, of
course, you foolishly drop it into the lake. Stay here and wait until the
indicator says "II". (Go ahead and L AT TABLE in the meantime for a hint to
what it's actually for.) TOUCH TABLE. You're instantly zipped to another
room...from Zork II! Room 8, to be exact, west of the Carousel Room, and the
location of a can of grue repellent, which was pretty useless then. You need it
now, though, so GET CAN. Z. You're zipped back to the Scenic Vista as quickly
as you left. Z. The indicator will change to "III". TOUCH TABLE. And this,
of course, is a different part of Zork III, which you'll arrive at normally
later. DROP TORCH. Wait until you return again. ("I" leads to the mine in
Zork I, but there's nothing there that you need, and *never* touch the table
when it shows "IV"!) You're done here, so return N. Now things gets a little
tricky. You have to take the southern path from the lake with the grue
repellent *and* something from the bottom of the lake. You'll drop the can as
soon as you enter, so you'll have to dive to get it. Unfortunately, the cold
doesn't do wonders for your grip and it may take you more than one try to get
both items. Worse, you can only stay underwater for so long. Plus there's a
hungry fish lurking underwater, and sometimes a roc comes by and snatches you
when you enter from the west bank...anyway, *save your game*, as if you haven't
figured it out by now. ENTER LAKE. D. You see the grue repellent, the
lantern...and a shiny object. GET CAN AND OBJECT. If you don't get both the
first time, try again. Once you have them, U and S. You can finally put the
lake behind you(whew!). By the way, leave the lantern...it's dead for good.
That's right, you only needed it to get to the lake. (Told ya this game was
different!) Well, it gets dark up ahead, and you're without a light source;
that's why you have that grue repellent. SPRAY GRUE REPELLENT ON SELF. S. S.
E. Salvation! And you've also found an item you'll need later...much later.
DROP CAN. GET KEY. By now the repellent will have worn off. Since you can't
go back...OPEN COVER. D (Aqueduct). What do you know, this entire area is lit
from an unknown source. N. N. N (Damp Passage). This is the room you dropped
the torch in, and here it is. GET TORCH. W. W. SW. Save here. There's
nothing of note in the Land of Shadow...except for a sinister figure that's
going to confront you and attack. Wander around (or just wait) until he does.
The sword from the junction will instantly appear in your hand. Waste no time
using it: ATTACK FIGURE WITH SWORD and repeat. You'll almost certainly take
some damage here, but attack relentlessly and you should disable the figure
before he kills you. If not, restore. Keep attacking until he's "badly hurt
and defenseless". *Do not* finish him off; instead, GET HOOD. Oh my god,
it's...the Dungeon Master, as it turns out. After you unmask him, he
acknowledges defeat and vanishes, leaving the cloak behind. Needless to say,
you don't want to kill him; you can't confront him at the end if you do. GET
CLOAK. You're done here, so make your way back to the Junction, then go W twice
to the Cliff. Hang onto that sword, by the way. GET BREAD. D. Ah, a treasure
chest. But it's locked, and your key won't work for some reason (try it!).
Never fear, though; sit tight and wait, and help will show up. It's a fellow
adventurer, and he claims that he can open the chest. Well, you obviously
can't, so you may as well trust him. TIE CHEST TO ROPE. Wait until he returns,
then GRAB ROPE. Unfortunately, it seems that your trust was misplaced, as he
keeps all the valuables from the chest. Fortunately, it *wasn't*: he also gives
you a staff, which is the ONLY thing you need from the chest. No kidding;
you'll find out why later. At any rate, you're done here. D. D. S (Flathead
Ocean). Save, then wait until a ship shows up. SAY "HELLO SAILOR". This is
just what the sailor wanted to hear, and he shows his gratitude by tossing you a
vial. It *looks* empty, but actually contains an invisible liquid (which should
give you a hint as to its purpose). You must have this vial, and you only have
one chance to call out to the sailor before he leaves, so restore if you mess
up. GET VIAL. N. NE. SE (Barren Area). By this time an earthquake should
have struck; if not, wait until it does. E. S (Creepy Crawl). E. E. S. S
(Great Door). The door is unopenable, but the earthquake created a new way in.
E. N. PUSH GOLD MACHINE S. (Nothing else in this room is of any use.) OPEN
STONE DOOR. PUSH MACHINE E. Here lie the crown jewels, just out of reach. You
will need to obtain *one* of them with the help of the machine (the sole
treasure mentioned earlier). TURN DIAL TO 776. ENTER MACHINE. PUSH BUTTON.
You're instantly blasted back in time to the year 776...and everything you're
carrying, as well as the machine, vanishes! You'll also notice that you're not
alone, so stay put. GET RING and wait until the guards leave. *Do not* take
the scepter or dagger. OPEN DOOR. W. OPEN WOODEN DOOR. N. The time machine
is here, allowing you to return to the present with the ring...with one slight
precaution. PUT RING UNDER SEAT. This prevents it from vanishing. Neither of
the other crown jewels will fit, and they also do weird things to the time
machine, which is why you can't take them. TURN DIAL TO 948. ENTER GOLD
MACHINE. PUSH BUTTON. You're back, and this time the machine doesn't vanish.
GET OUT. LOOK UNDER SEAT. There's the ring; now to get everything else back.
OPEN DOOR. S. OPEN STONE DOOR. E. GET ALL. You'll notice that the other
crown jewels have vanished, and I'll leave it to you to ponder why.
Incidentally, if you want to play around with the time machine, go ahead. Most
of the years will just get you killed, however, and it's easy to permanently zap
something you need (including the machine itself), so save beforehand. Okay,
there's one more item you need, and getting it is a beast. W. S. *Save*, then
go D into the Royal Puzzle. This puzzle is right up there with the marble board
in Riven for absolute, utter unsolvability. There's exactly one solution, and
if you make ONE wrong move, you'll never succeed. I mean, it's just flat-out
impossible. I don't see how anyone can solve it without knowing the exact
solution beforehand. Well, now that you know the bad news, here's the solution:
PUSH S WALL. E. S. E 2 times. PUSH S WALL. GET BOOK. PUSH S WALL. PUSH W
WALL 2 times. E. S. PUSH E WALL. N 5 times. PUSH E WALL. W. S 4 times. E
2 times. N 3 times. PUSH W WALL. E. S 3 times. W 4 times. N 3 times. W.
N. PUSH E WALL 3 times. W 2 times. S 2 times. E 2 times. S. PUSH E WALL.
W 3 times. N 3 times. E 2 times. PUSH S WALL 2 times. W. S 2 times. E 2
times. N. PUSH W WALL 2 times. S. W. PUSH N WALL 3 times. W. N. There's
the ladder, right beneath the hole, and you can now *leave* the Royal Puzzle
with the book! U. Congratulations, you've just completed what's undoubtedly
the most absolutely impossible task in the entire Zork trilogy! (Oh yeah, save
save save.) By now there's just one part of ZORK III where you haven't been yet,
and not coincidentally, that's where you have to go now. N. W. N. N. W. W.
N (Junction). E. NE. An old man should be here. If not, leave the room and
return. When you see him, WAKE MAN, then GIVE BREAD. He immediately jumps to
life, pointing out a secret door before leaving. Before you go further, check
to see that you have each of the following: book, vial, staff, cloak, hood,
sword, torch, key, amulet, ring. (If you don't, well, you screwed up; nothing
you can do but restart from the beginning.) Hmm...notice anything interesting
about that particular list of items? OPEN DOOR. N. N. PUT SWORD IN BEAM. S.
PUSH BUTTON. N. N. A mirror bars your way, but your bit of swordsmanship
(beamsmanship?) has opened up a panel below it. N. Hoo boy...here we see the
biggest limitation of the text adventure. I have no idea what this room even
looks like. Anyway, what you need to do is get the compass rose pointed south,
then open up the panel in the back, which will allow you to exit to the north.
RAISE SHORT POLE. PUSH WHITE PANEL. G. PUSH PINE PANEL. That's all there is
to it; the pine panel opens and you may proceed. N. You have to get past the
guardians, and they have other ideas. No problem; OPEN VIAL. DRINK LIQUID.
Not only is this an invisible potion...it's an *invisibility* potion! Clever,
huh? N. N. N. The moment of truth; you are just oustide the Dungeon Master's
inner sanctum. KNOCK ON DOOR. The DM answers the door and explains everything
that led up to this moment. In a nutshell, he was testing your strength
(fighting the figure), compassion (not killing the figure after he was
helpless), trust (following the friendly adventurer's instructions),
unselfishness (not begrudging the adventurer the treasures in the chest),
intelligence (figuring out how to recover the ring), temperance (not trying to
take all the crown jewels) persistence (the Royal Puzzle), and generosity
(giving the bread). You've proven yourself worthy in every case and may now
begin the final test, which the Dungeon Master himself will assist you with.
And with that, he lets you in. N. E or W. N. N (Parapet). TURN DIAL TO 4.
PUSH BUTTON. S. OPEN DOOR. S. Pushing the button with the dial at 4 has
caused a brass door to appear (otherwise the back wall will be empty), which you
must unlock with the key that you've been carrying all this time...which you
can't do just yet. For the final part, you'll need the DM's help. DUNGEON
MASTER, GO TO PARAPET. DUNGEON MASTER, TURN DIAL TO 1 (or any other number
except 4; they all work). DUNGEON MASTER, PUSH BUTTON. UNLOCK BRONZE DOOR WITH
KEY. OPEN BRONZE DOOR. Save your game for posterity if you want to before
Congratulations! Your final task is complete, and all the wealth, knowledge,
and magic of the Great Underground Empire is now yours! In recognition of your
triumph, the Dungeon Master also annoints you his successor. The GUE is now
your dominion, to use and develop as you see fit. Perhaps someday you will
create your own tests, tricks, and puzzles for the next adventurer who arrives
at that ordinary-looking white house in the middle of the forest, imagining what
might lie below...
END NOTES -
I would like to thank GameFAQs for being so kind as to put up my walkthroughs.
I know text adventures aren't exactly en vogue right now, but I *also* know that
there are plenty of gamers out there who grew up on them and were sad to see
them leave the mainstream. At GameFAQs, there is no such thing as dead,
obsolete, or out of date; without them, I would not have even considered writing
walkthroughs in the first place.
Zork is a, well-written, well-programmed, thoroughly entertaining trilogy, and
it's unfortunate that I'm only now able to appreciate it for what it is. I have
Gaming Depot to thank for having the chance to play these classics again and the
Infocom Documentation Project for reprinting the original instructions.
Abandonware is a wonderful development in computer gaming, one which I
I have an essay on text adventures on my website, home.hawaii.rr.com/dkwff.
There's a whole lot of other goodies on there too. Check it out.