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Zork screenshot.png
DeveloperMassachusetts Institute of Technology
PublisherMassachusetts Institute of Technology
SystemsDOS, PDP-6, PDP-10
ReleasedPDP-6, PDP-10: 1978
DOS: 1987
Added to
TADS/Glulx/Z-code: September 7, 2019

Zork, also known as Dungeon and sold commercially as Zork I, II, and III, was a text adventure game first released in 1978.


The game had the elements that would become a staple of the adventure genre, such as story-based gameplay, puzzles, and inventory. It had a point-based system, where you're awarded a number of points out of a possible total, based on whether you accomplished certain tasks in the game.


Zork, inspired by Colossal Cave Adventure, was developed on MIT's ITS operating system for the PDP-6 and PDP-10 mainframe computers between 1977 and 1978 by MIT university students Dave Lebling, Bruce Daniels, Marc Blank, and Tim Anderson.

The original name of the game was Zork, but it changed to Dungeon during development. Due to concerns of trademark infringement from TSR, the Dungeons & Dragons license holder at the time, the name was changed back to Zork.


The original version was shared over the ARPANET, the precursor of the Internet. However, when three of the four designers of Zork formed Infocom, it was split into three text adventure games so that it could be released commercially on the personal computer hardware of the time.

Volker Blasius ported Zork to DOS in 1987.

The original version of Zork has also been converted to several scripting languages: