Zork: Flood Control Dam #3

whitehouse(This is part of my journey playing through Zork.  You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lanes page.)

Wow, I had totally forgotten until today that I had played another Zork title — that terrible online travesty of a pseudo-MMO.  Legends of Zork.  Anyone remember that?  Is it still running?  No it is not.  I don’t think I appreciated then just how much the superficiality of that game degraded its forefather until now.

Anyway… back to the game!  I left off in the Troll Room, which should now be named the Dead Troll Room because I rock with a textual sword.  I’m starting to kick myself for not having explored more of the above world before entering the cellar here, because I think that this is the bulk of the game.  It’s absolutely HUGE down here — I’m going nuts trying to cram in all of the rooms on my notepad without running out of space.

To the west of the Troll Room is a maze, and I don’t think I want to do that just yet.  Instead I go east, where I find a series of rooms branching out from each other.  There’s an Engravings Cave, a Round Room, and a Loud Room (which is exactly what it sounds like), among others.

The Loud Room has a platinum bar on the ground, which I obviously want because… platinum!  But when I go to pick it up, any command I utter is echoed back to me, suggesting that the room is too loud for the game to hear what I want to be done (huh?  Just go with it.). I head up some stairs and find myself on the edge of a canyon.

This is one of the things that’s bugging me about this game.  Without an overall narrative (that I’ve discovered, at least), I have no purpose for my wanderings other than just exploring.  And since each of these locations isn’t tied together with an in-game story (so far), it’s coming across as a jumbled set of rooms that are disconnected with what came before and after.  I haven’t even encountered many obvious puzzles yet.  I guess it feels like a dungeon crawl without all of the combat.

It certainly is giving my map-making abilities a workout.  It’s a little confusing how everything is pieced together, and I find myself branching out to make new sections in my notebook only to realize that these sections are part of previous sections.  At some point I’m going to have to redraw all of this; it’s getting messy.

Going east of the deep canyon leads me to Flood Control Dam #3, a previous tourist attraction and one of Zork’s major landmarks.  The dam is closed right now (hmm…) with an unhelpful control panel nearby (hmmmmm…).  I go into the dam lobby and pick up the dam guidebook as well as some dam matches.  I’m just glad I’m not reading this account out loud, you’d all think I was rather uncouth.  The guidebook has a little history behind the dam, but I leave it for now.

Some further investigation (i.e. stepping into the next room) finds a maintenance room full of buttons, a screwdriver, a wrench, and, of course, toothpaste.  Curse my limited inventory!  Why can’t I carry all of this?

I’m a little concerned about trying to open up the dam right now before I map out the rest of the region, so I’m leaving things be for now.  I think that the wrench + bolt/bubble on the console might be a good combination, however…

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