This page is about the secrets related to Return to Zork and Return to Zork: Another Story.
The part related to Return to Zork is work of Andy Harrington.
Return to Zork
Well, everyone understood that this is one of my favorite Zork games. Who have been able to try it, surely can remember the wonderful interface, the great soundtrack, but also a bit of confusion in the story.
Yeah, I must agree. The story was really challenging, but there was the sensation that we were missing something. Initially I thought this was just because I loved the game, and I was sad that, after finished the game, my adventure with Rebecca, the Witch, the Wizard, was over. Then I found some documents on the net, and discovered a bit more...
The game have been cut off. A bit of the plot, some characters, and some locations have been taken away just before the official release. Something is lost forever, but still there are the traces of what was supposed to be in the game... ...here's all I know about plot, characters and locations. Who I must thank for all this? Andy Harrington that with the help of a book and hacking the game, have been able to unveil some dark secrets of the G.U.E.
When the script for Return to Zork was written (and recorded), there were to be two encounters with the Bowman in the forest. The entire second sequence was cut from the final version of the game.
At first when you were originally suppose to go to the mines, the Mine Leader was only there with the dwarves to mine. When you return, the dwarven general and the army has moved in. That's the two parts that were combined.
Mavis Peepers was supposed to be called Emily
In the game was planned the presence of Mushroom People (in the forest). These characters were designed and scripted, but never used. In fact, the artwork for the Mushroom People was never ever drawn. The role of the Mushroom People was to act as guides to certain parts of the Forest of the Spirits. Things were suppose to have gone something like this:
PC is in the forest. Things would go "crunch" underfoot as you walk about. They turn out to be friendly little fungi who, if you are nice to them, lead you to the Singing Tree (Tree Spirit). In turn, they would then lead you to the Money Tree. They are the "friends" that are referred to in the Tree Spirit's song.
Activision decided to eliminate the characters on the grounds that they added another, unneeded level of complexity to an already complex game.
Note: You can still read the dialog of the mushroom people! How? Just read the RTZ: AS secrets at the end of this page!
In the final game, the theme was not developed beyond the occasional reference, none of which really ever pays off by the conclusion of the game. (Now in RTZ: AS there's a bit more about this theme)
The Tree also mentions the "Mushroom People," characters that were dropped in the latter stages of the game's production. However the 'shroom folk live on in the Tree's songs whenever she sings the words:
" my friends have
brought you to me..."
Return to Zork: Another Story
Q: Secrets in the game?
A: Yes, this game is supposed to entertain you not just two hours!
Q: Talking about the two main plots and the different puzzle solutions?
A: No, something more! You know, your goal is to reach Rooper. And you can do it by yourself or asking people about him, and getting helped. But you can also add to this task the rescue of the G.U.E. And this are the two plots.
If you finish the game just saving Rooper (with or without the help of Angus and Paula), you'll get half a word. When you'll finish the game also saving the G.U.E. you'll get the other half. A magic word? No. But... ...just restart the game and type it as a command at the prompt and you'll find yourself facing a new task against Morphius! And if you're able to defeat Morphius you'll be rawarded with another bonus! A paper!(?)
Q: A paper!?
A: Yeah, but not a common piece of paper... ...it's the lost script of the Mushroom Peoples ! (See RTZ secrets for details)
Q: That sounds good!
A: You bet! And remember that there is also a secret location that will give you that loose point that you miss even if you solve the G.U.E. task correctly. But you have to found it early in the game... ...and two non-required-for-gamesolving actions that will give you the other two misterious points. (Everytime you find one of this bonus points you're notified.)
And, scattered all over the game there are hidden some links to the Frobozz Zork-Net. Convert 'em to the WWW and you'll visit great sites about Zork (these are different from the Links submenu from the INFO menu in the game)