The Return to Zork (and eventually bed)


It’s currently a little after 2:30 am and I can’t sleep. I bought the equivalent of the game Rush Hour on my phone and I’ve played it a lot tonight so all my dreams have been a frustrating stream of me solving unsolvable puzzles (or so they were in my head, I am actually quite good at the game). I was so bored I woke up and now I’m leery of going back to sleep in fear of having the same said dreams.

But now that I am awake I considered this the opportune time to write a blog post, since I have the free-time, even though it is technically the middle of the night. Oh well. I’ve been thinking a lot about video games, especially those I used to play back in the good ol’ 90s (I miss that era). I grew up a Windows/MS-DOS player when I was a child. We didn’t get our first console until after the Playstation 2 came out (I remember it was Christmas). One game that comes to mind is The Return to Zork, a first person point and click video game released in 1993 that was very much like my other favorite game, Myst.

I’m sure anyone whose played this game is getting misty-eyed nostalgia right now. 

One of the best parts of that game, which also happens to be a running joke in the family, is the scene in which the player encounters a man named Boos Myller. He offers you shots of rye, and the purpose is to drink him under the table so you can take his keys or something like that. But his catchphrase is, “Want some rye, course you do!” (pours the player a shot of rye whiskey). My family has joked about making tee shirts out of that.

In your travels throughout the game, you meet all sorts of characters along the way, I think one of the first people you come across, other than the wizard in the snow-globe and the lighthouse dude is a teacher. My eight-year-old brain equated her to scary person, perhaps because she was an authority figure who liked to give impossible test questions. Seriously, the first question on the test she hands you the moment you walk through the schoolhouse door is, “Barbel of Gurth, the tenth century arbiter and diplomat, is famous for inventing what spell?” My eight year old brain was like WTF and thought I missed something earlier in the game, but oh no, you just had to answer questions that made no sense. But later on in the game it becomes relevant to know said answers because you get interrogated by a woman who punches you out in her bathroom (you were intruding while she was brushing her teeth so it was justified). And if you answered wrong, you got your brains blown out with a shotgun. Game over.


I’d be mad too if someone snuck up on me in the bathroom

There were so many good moments in that game, like annoying the blacksmith, trying not to be eaten by a grue (unknown creatures that live in the dark. Hence why it was VERY SMART to be afraid of the dark in the game), traversing through the Forest of the Wandering Spirits (the music there was lovely, but make a wrong turn and you’re dead), and last but not least was trying to get through the bog without a stick. That always ended badly. SO MANY WAYS TO DIE!

It’s after 3:30 am now and I believe it is high time that I attempt to go back to bed. I hope you all enjoyed this post and I look forward to hearing from you! So, what was YOUR favorite childhood video game? I’ll make more posts about games, I HAVE TONS.