Help me build a list of props for a Zork adventurer Halloween costume.
October 21, 2010 6:02 PM   Subscribe

Attention ZORK fans! Help me build a list of props for a Zork adventurer Halloween costume.

I'm going as the Zork adventurer for Halloween this year, and part of the gimmick will be that I'll be carrying as many game-props (in pockets (cargo pants!), hanging from belts, tied with straps, attached to carabiners, etc) as I can manage. Obviously I'll have the most important two props (an elvish sword of great antiquity a battery-powered brass lantern). My good memory of the Zork I game and some internet searching means that I've got a good list of the items that showed up in the first game. Obviously, I won't be using all of them, but I'll be including those that are easy to find (wrench, screwdriver, candles, bell, sack lunch, bottle of water, clove of garlic, coil of rope, hand air pump, etc.) or easy to make (leaflet, book of matches from the dam, dam guidebook, etc.), and maybe some special ones that I remember fondly. But I feel like it's still not enough, so I wanted to extend my list to include some of the items from Zork II and III. Sadly, my memory there is pretty weak. Just about the only item I can remember from those games is the can of grue repellent.

Where you come in is to help me remember some of the more interesting, easy-to-obtain, or easy-to-make objects from the two main sequels (ignoring Return to Zork, Beyond Zork, Zork Zero, Enchanter, etc.). Ones that fit one of the above criteria are best, but feel free to chime in with whatever objects you happen to remember.

Other suggestions for how to improve the costume are also welcome. I'm already thinking about troll- and thief-battle scars and maybe tying a mini chalkboard around my neck with the Zork prompt on it so that people can write me commands.
posted by ErWenn to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (22 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
here are walkthroughs of the Zork I, II, and III. they're a quick read, and reference every item in the game.

really, though, the lamp, rope, bottle of water, brown paper bag, letter welcoming you to Zork, glowing sword, jewel encrusted egg, and a handful of Zorkmids would probably get you everything you needed. anything more than that is less iconic and more nerd-list.
posted by radiosilents at 6:15 PM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would just read some walkthroughs. That'll give you everything. You'll definitely want a sack of the various treasures.

ignoring Return to Zork

Ah, really? Too bad. Otherwise you could bring a bottle of rye whiskey and say "Want some rye? Course you do!"
posted by jedicus at 6:20 PM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

You should consider going as the Zork game itself. If you can remember enough of it to allow people to play you/the game, you could just dress in Commodore 64 desktop blue with a t-shirt with a > on it. You'd be a hit.
posted by fatbird at 6:43 PM on October 21, 2010

You should have a grue!
posted by Addlepated at 6:48 PM on October 21, 2010

Or a sign that says "It is dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."
posted by elsietheeel at 7:01 PM on October 21, 2010

Response by poster: The walkthroughs are nice, but does anyone have any links that mention the full descriptions of the objects (e.g. "an elvish sword of great antiquity" instead of just "sword")? I found a complete playthrough transcript for Zork I, which is perfect, but I couldn't find one for either of the sequels.

The rest of the objects are really just there to give the impression that I'm carrying a crapload of stuff. The fact that I'm insisting on using items from the game itself and not just picking up any old items is due to my own nerdy obsessiveness, of course, but the impression that I'm carrying way more things than would seem reasonable is what I'm really going for. Also, I know my audience, and there will definitely be people at the party who will appreciate the attention to detail.

Things like the can of grue repellent and the Flood Control Dam #3 paraphernalia are best because while the items themselves aren't iconic, they are a good reference to very iconic parts of the game. Perhaps there just aren't very many really iconic aspects to the sequels. It would certainly explain why I can barely remember them. (But that might also have to do with the fact that I played Zork I a lot more. When you've accidentally left out one of the important rooms in your map of the maze, you have no hint guide, and the web doesn't really exist yet, it can take a long time to finish that game.)

And I'll be bringing a grue, but I'll only show it to people if they turn out the lights first.
posted by ErWenn at 7:29 PM on October 21, 2010

a newspa
posted by Miko at 7:54 PM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Zork III was very thin on itemcount, so there isn't a lot to remember there inventory-wise.

if you want more official stuff, don't forget the inflatable raft, the tube of viscous fluid, i believe there was a matchbook at the dam(?), a couple of tools, the thief's knife, the axe, the rug covering the trapdoor, the trophycase which was/would be filled with each of the 20 treasures, and make sure the lantern is brass.

also, here's a link to the Encyclopedia Frobozzica, 1699 GUE unabridged abridged version, which will give you more detail than you really want but will fill in those gaps.

also, here. there's a complete extract (NOT a brief read) of all the text in every game.
posted by radiosilents at 7:58 PM on October 21, 2010 [3 favorites]

Wasn't the thief's knife specifically described as a "rusty knife"? If you can find or create a rusty knife, that would be a nice touch.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:52 PM on October 21, 2010

Get a t-shirt that says xyzzy on one side, and plugh on the other.
posted by the Real Dan at 9:33 PM on October 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Go as your own tombstone with "Eaten by a grue" as your epitaph.
posted by Shepherd at 2:26 AM on October 22, 2010

"You have adopted a grue." Keep a puppet made out of black cloth and sharp teeth and carry it around in a baby carrier.
posted by seventyfour at 7:34 AM on October 22, 2010

A hand puppet, I should say. Then when someone looks in the carrier, go for the face.
posted by seventyfour at 7:36 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You definitely need a jewel-encrusted egg, which could be as simple as a plastic easter egg with lots of glitter paint.
posted by aimedwander at 10:13 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You know I'd thought of trying to glue bits of glass to a plastic easter egg, but that seemed like too much work. Glitter never once occurred to me. I guess I could also just cover it in glue and roll it around in sequins or something.
posted by ErWenn at 10:55 AM on October 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

i think the sequins idea sounds more "jewel encrusted" than the glitter idea. go for it! or those little plastic gem-beads they sell at craft stores.
posted by radiosilents at 11:36 AM on October 22, 2010

Response by poster: Or you could do what I just did and buy a $2 Christmas ornament that's already a gilt, jewel-encrusted egg.
posted by ErWenn at 7:05 PM on October 22, 2010

Maybe you can write the objects' names in terminal font on the objects themselves, to emphasize.
posted by gregglind at 11:52 PM on October 22, 2010

Kill troll with nasty knife.
posted by CodeMonkey at 11:45 AM on October 23, 2010

Response by poster: Costume report from last night's party:
West of Duplex
You are standing on a road west of a gray duplex, with 
purple lights strung around the front door.

You are carrying:
 A white t-shirt (being worn)
 A pair of cargo pants (being worn)
 A sword
 A brass lantern
 A coil of rope
 A brown sack
 The brown sack contains:
  A hand of garlic
  The remains of a lunch
 A glass bottle
 The glass bottle contains:
  A quantity of water
 A leather belt pouch
 The leather belt pouch contains:
  A jewel-encrusted egg
  A large diamond
  A large emerald
 A faux-velvet pouch of coins
 A wrench
 A screwdriver
 A pair of candles
 A brass bell
 A matchbook
 A leaflet
 A small piece of paper
 Several keys
 A makeshift bandage (being worn)

>x t-shirt
It's a plain white t-shirt. It is smudged with streaks of 
soot. A large, blood-stained rip (probably made by an axe) 
stretches across the chest. Two small holes, in the front 
and back, have been made (probably by a stiletto) through 
the fabric. It is stained by few spatters of green troll 

>x pants
The pair of khaki cargo pants has many pockets and is being 
held up by a leather belt. Various items are visible 
sticking out of the pockets. The bottoms of the legs have 
been cut off, just above the ankles. The pants are stained 
with soot, grass, and blood (human and troll).

>x bandage
The arm bandage is made from a strip of cloth cut from the 
leg of a pair of khaki cargo pants.

>x sword
The sword appears as though it began life as a cheap, 
plastic sword, a uniform shade of stone-gray. The blade is 
now a more silvery gray and has a very faint green glow 
after it has been exposed to a very bright light and then 
thrust immediately into darkness. The handle has been 
wrapped in faux black leather and electrical tape. The sword 
hangs from a makeshift rope belt.

>x lantern
Upon closer inspection, the brass is actually gold chrome 
paint, and the wire handle appears to be cut from an old 
hanger. The latnern hangs from a makeshift rope shoulder 

>read matchbook
"Visit Beautiful FCD#3"

posted by ErWenn at 9:58 AM on October 24, 2010 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!
posted by ErWenn at 9:58 AM on October 24, 2010

Response by poster: Photo with my girlfriend (as Carmen Sandiego).
posted by ErWenn at 7:08 PM on December 13, 2010

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