95/98) (DVD Case) (ZORKNEMPR)
90% from PC Gamer - Editor's Choice
A from PC Games
4 stars from CD-ROM Today
4 stars from Home PC
4/5 from the Adventure
A- from Just
Do You Dare Enter the Forbidden Lands?
In a desolate corner of the Underground Empire, an evil demon torments the
Evil rules the Forbidden Lands. Here, the souls of the Empire's Great
Alchemists lie in perpetual hell... at the hands of the Nemesis.
Now the forces of the Underground beckon you to uncover the mystery behind
the Nemesis' curse... Travel through five mind-bending worlds to discover the
ancient secret of Alchemy that will free the trapped souls form evil's grip...
Before the Nemesis imprisons you with the others... for eternity.
All-New Zork Adventure. Five richly
detailed worlds entice you with over 65 innovative puzzles and more than 40
hours of immersive gameplay.
Spectacular Production Values. Fourteen
Hollywood actors (and a severed head) an hour of dramatic live-action video
hypnotic ambient music and dazzling special effects create a seamless virtual
Stunning 3-D Experience. Z-Vision
Surround Technology allows true 360 degree movement with striking 16-bit
graphics. Engaging 3-D sound with revolutionary QSound technology complete the
disturbingly realistic adventure.
Top Hollywood Talent. Live-Action
director Joe Napolitano (X-Files, Murder One) and Academy Award-Winning
Soundelux Media Labs enhance the surreal story.
Windows 95/98, Pentium 200 Mhz or greater, 32 MB RAM, 65 MB of disk
space, 4x CD-ROM Drive, Direct3D compatible graphics card.
Does not work on XP.
Home PC, July 1996
"Nemesis breathes new life into this cult favorite. Although it's still
aimed at hard-core adventurers, the newest Zork chapter downplays the series'
bizarre vocabulary, making only passing reference to classic Zork characters
(though when you wander in the dark, you still may wind up as a grue's dinner).
Instead, the game reveals the story of four great alchemists, their deaths at
the hands of The Nemesis, and their captured souls, which you will attempt to
set free. The tale, with its medieval trappings, relies on familiar themes that
anyone with a rudimentary understanding of science should be able to
"But rest assured that one element of the Zork tradition is intact: The
puzzles are great. With 65 of them spread among five worlds, Nemesis is a game
adventurers can sink their teeth into. Of course, it's not just quantity that
counts; these puzzles have depth and style, too."
CD-ROM Today, June 1996
"Zork has evolved into a hybrid graphic adventure/puzzle game reminiscent of
Myst. But Nemesis is darker and more brooding than Myst; it's also more
"Nemesis unfolds in four expansive, richly detailed buildings. Thank's to
Activision's Z-Vision technology, you can navigate through the buildings with
almost total freedom of movement. You can turn and look left to right 360
degrees at virtually every point in the game."
"The game's spooky atmosphere is supplemented by a
splendid wash of sound. The character's voices are clear as a bell, and the
sound track features a haunting ambient-style musical score."
"I can't overemphasize how spectacular Zork Nemesis looks."
PC Games, June 1996
"This three-disc set takes all the elements that make a great adventure game
and pulls them into one compelling package. In fact, this product is so
engrossing that it may spoil you for all the other so-called adventure games on
PC Gamer, December 1996
"If you've been into computer gaming for a decade or more, you're bound to
remember the great text adventures that made Infocom a legend among game
developers. These early games had no graphics whatsoever; they relied entirely
on well-written prose and clever puzzles for their appeal - and they were very
successful, even after the first graphic adventures began to show up. The Zork
series of fantasy adventures started the ball rolling at Infocom, then, a
couple of years ago, Activision released a new, graphic-intensive adventure,
Return to Zork, to good reviews. The follow-up, Zork Nemesis, features even
prettier graphics and multimedia flash than its predecessor, and yet it's also
more faithful to the old Infocom tradition. Whether you're a long-time Zork fan
or a PC adventuring newcomer, you'll find something to love in Zork
"The story is dark and gripping. Numerous subplots and twists are heightened
by a surprise climactic revelation. Character developments are complex. The
portrayals of the dark side of mankind in these characters are chilling. Strong
Hollywood quality acting performances are no doubt attributed to the direction
of Jose Napolitano. All of the Full Motion Videos are tastefully done, and are
used only selectively to propel the story forward. The graphics and sound
effects are simply astounding. Z-Vision provides full screen panoramic graphics
and is a significant improvement over any frame based engine. An upgrade patch
is available to enable subtitle display."
"A dark twist to a classic Zork adventure that sports groundbreaking
technologies in both graphics and sounds. Taken on its own merit, it is a game
worthwhile to any adventure fan."
Bill's Adventure Games
"We really don't understand why this is called a Zork game since it is one
in name only. It is actually only a thinly disguised horror story that has
little, if anything, to do with the old Zork series... But, if you like horror
stories, this one is extremely well done and is disturbingly realistic."
"This is a 1st Person, 3D, point and click
game with full 360 degree movement. The graphics are detailed and realistic,
the atmosphere is foreboding and oppressive, and the mood is deadly serious,
with eerie sound effects and music. The story is morbid and engrossing, with
numerous subplots, and it will keep you guessing until the very end. There is a
full hour of dramatic live-action video included, with 14 Hollywood actors, all
directed by Joe Napolitano ('The X-Files' and 'Murder One').
"It is an unusually long game, with 5 different 'worlds' to visit (Temple,
Conservatory, Monastery, Asylum and Castle), any one of which is as long as
some other entire games. The complex and absorbing puzzles are logic or
mechanical, and are either part of the setting or serve to develop the plot.
Clues are found scattered everywhere and you should take notes. You should also
read the hardcopy diary included in the box since it provides important
Adventure by Michael Necasek
"And Zork Nemesis is primarily a puzzle game. There are clues strewn all
around the place, many of them in old books dealing with alchemy and letters
and journals of the protagonists. There is also an intriguing story presented
in an unusual (though not completely original) way: at various places in your
travels you will see scenes from the recent and not so recent past (FMV clips).
From these flashbacks you will be eventually able to understand all the
important events and motivations leading to the final confrontation."
"Zork Nemesis is an enjoyable game with quality art, lots of puzzles and
some surprising story twists. The environment is rich and detailed and
exploring it is fun, although the amount of information can be overwhelming at
times, making it difficult to spot clues. When everything is summed up, my
final grade is an A-."
Adventure by Erik Reckase
"My first experience with the Zork universe was Zork I, when I was about ten
years old. During my grade school and high school years, I probably played 90%
of the text adventures that came out of Infocom, and I credit them for not only
teaching me to type (some words, like "open" and "rezrov," I can type faster
than others--if you've ever played one of these games, you understand), but to
reason as well. I've eagerly anticipated each new Zork release, and Zork
Nemesis was no exception. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Zork
Nemesis is probably the best "pure" adventure game I've ever played, although
some devoted Zork fans would strongly disagree with me, citing this episode's
dark atmosphere and (apparent) lack of humor. From the exquisite sound and
graphics to the detailed materials supplied with the game, Zork Nemesis
positively drips quality."
"To those individuals who have played ZN
and found it to be a significantly humorless departure from the historically
comic series--I beg to differ. Playing it a second time, I found countless
funny bits throughout the game, perhaps made even funnier by the fact that I've
played all of the games in the Zork universe. (FYI--if you own the original
text games, it's a snap to install them on a Palm Pilot--if you need details,
drop me a line.) Yes, I agree that the main plot's subject matter is not a
happy story, but there's something funny just about everywhere you explore, and
it's that great subtle humor that seems to have been fading in popularity. For
example, if you play an educational record about the makeup of a Zorkchestra
backwards, you can hear someone saying "Paul is dead" and "redrum" over the
static--what a classic. Take your time with this one, as it is definitely
apparent that quality time was spent writing it."
"(Note--this game actually played better on my old DX2-66 machine, as some
of the animations are not scaled properly for processor speed. This may make a
few of the puzzles fairly difficult...)"
Review by Gordon Aplin
"This is a huge game -- almost as big as some role-playing game environments
and what's more, it doesn't rely on miles of twisty passages that all look the
same. Each location is richly detailed -- the graphics are very impressive and
the music is superbly evocative and at times quite eerie as befits the nature
of the story..."
"Zork Nemesis is a wonderful game for those who, like me, love exploring and
becoming immersed in a story, but I did have some slight initial reservations
brought about largely by my having played the original text adventures and my
prejudice against 'smart' cursors -- oh why won't they bring back verbs? It is
very easy to navigate your way around with the mouse but I do find that the
smart cursor limits the way in which you can interact with the game. Still, I
must admit that it works well with this type of game and although it tends to
make the gameplay easier than it might otherwise be it does make it more
accessible to less experienced adventurers."
"Far too many recent adventure games have been shallow and relatively easy
to complete in just a few hours, but I'm delighted to report the same cannot be
said about this one. Zork Nemesis is a game for savouring and there is no way
that you will finish it in an afternoon."
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