The Delightful Home-Made Maps Of The Zork Series

Zork is one of the oldest adventure game franchises there is. The series is so old, in fact, that aside from a few rare instances you can only play the games using, and seeing, text. No graphics, no icons, no heads-up display, nothing.

So how did you get around? How did you use a map? Easy. You drew your own.

While users drawing their own guides is far from unique to the Zork series, there's something charming about these maps and their variety, showing how differently people approached the relatively primitive games.

Some, as you'll see, look like electrical diagrams, coldly scientific pieces designed to speak the same language the game was coded in: advance, progress, branch, progress, terminate, restart, etc. And that's cool! The games were so simple and so devoid of sensory elements that this approach was entirely understandable.

But others took that lack of trimmings as leaving room for them to make their own. The stark words on the screen were the building blocks for their own Tolkien-esque take on the universe, leading to beautifully-drawn maps not just of the player's progress through the game, but of the entire game world itself.

You can see a selection of hand-drawn Zork maps in the gallery above.

via Player Made Zork 3 Map [Retroist]

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As seen on The Zork Library.

As seen on Zork maps.

As seen on The Zork Library.


    Damn... some of those look like circuit boards.
    I can see those players going on to become electrical engineers.

    I remember a friend showing me Zork: Nemesis back in 97' when I was a young Padawan and was completely blown away and having sleepovers just to finish the damned thing.

    Now that I think of it, my WoW addiction relates back to these games...

    Of course, Zork was just one (well-sold) version of Colossal Cave.


    Ahh text based games.

    Yes, there were text based MMO's before the graphical ones. ;)

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