Zork Revived as Casual MMO

By Chris Faylor, Jan 14, 2009 9:39am PST Sad that you haven't been eaten by a grue lately? Then I've got some (maybe) good news for you.

Zork, the classic PC adventure series, will return as a casual web-based MMO dubbed Legends of Zork. Jolt Online Gaming will be publishing, with the developer not yet specified.

Playable through any internet browser, including the iPhone, the game will put players in the role of a "recently laid-off salesman and part-time loot-gatherer" that is exploring the fallen Great Underground Empire after its economy and stock market collapsed.

Zork officially debuted in 1980, when Infocom published the humorous text-adventure game designed by MIT students Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling, some of which helped form the now-defunct publisher.

Numerous sequels and books followed, with the last major release hitting in 1997: Activision's full-fledged point-and-click graphical adventure Zork: Grand Inquisitor.

Made in agreement with license holder Activision, Legends of Zork will eventually be playable at LegendsofZork.com. A description of the setting follows:

The Great Underground Empire has recently fallen and the land is in disarray. The Royal Treasury has been sacked. The stock market has collapsed, leading even mighty FrobozzCo International to fire employees from throughout its subsidiaries. A craze of treasure-hunting has swept through the remnants of the Great Underground Empire. The New Zork Times reports that trolls, kobolds and other dangerous creatures are venturing far from their lairs. Adventurers and monsters are increasingly coming into conflict over areas rich with loot. It's a dangerous time to be a newly-unemployed traveling salesman, but it's also a great time to try a bit of adventuring.

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