Opinion: ZORKWAR

Opinion: ZORKWAR

Outside of Heavily Armed Compound.

You are standing in a smouldering field of wreckage before a heavily armed compound. To the east, south, north, and west, invisible walls have sprung up. A tree with low branches stands nearby. There ?is a leaflet resting on the ground.

>read leaflet

“Welcome to ZORKWAR, a text-based secondperson adventure game of running, hiding, shooting, and further running.”

>climb tree

In the tree you find several guns encrusted with precious gems, apparently hoarded by a psychopathic bluebird.

>take loadout

Strapped.

>enter compound

Heavily Armed Compound.

You are in a warehouse with crates and barrels strewn about. Suddenly, you hear aggressive techno music and heavily armed mutants come swarming out of the air ducts. Bullets and acid bombs thud into your chest.

>shoot mutants

What do you want to shoot the mutants with?

>for god’s sake, shoot mutants with GUN

Well, why didn’t you say so? But you are too late. You slump to the ground, your heartbeat fading in your ears as your vision goes red and runny. The next thing you know, you are standing in a smouldering field of wreckage before a heavily armed compound.

>enter compound

Heavily Armed Compound.

You are in a warehouse with crates and ?barrels strewn about. Suddenly, you hear aggressive techno music and heavily armed mutants come swarming out of the air ducts. Bullets and acid bombs thud into your chest.

>hide behind barrel

Now you’re on the right track! Unfortunately, this is an exploding barrel. You have exploded. Would you like to switch to Pansy Mode? Would you, pansy?

>yes

Moderately Armed Compound.

You are in a warehouse with crates and barrels strewn about. There are dainty lace doilies on them. Suddenly, you hear chipper J-pop music and moderately armed mutants come swarming out of the air ducts. Bullets thud into your chest, but it doesn’t hurt that bad. Pansy.

>hide behind crate until they stop shooting

Ah, the penny drops at last.

>stand up and shoot at mutants with gun

You spew hot lead until your gun clicks empty.

>crouch down and reload gun

What do you want to reload the gun with?

>with fruitcake, genius

Reloaded.

>what? no! that was sarcasm

Your fruitcake ammo pelts harmlessly off ?of thick carapaces. By the way, that sarcastic face of yours? Mostly hanging off your skull ?at this point.

>crouch down and reload gun with bullets

That’s better.

>Stand up and shoot at mutants with gun

Yep.

>crouch down and reload gun with bullets

Perfect!

>so this is basically it huh?

Your health meter’s still dropping…

>Stand up and shoot mutants with gun

The last mutant falls to the ground and melts away. Something tells you to head for the door on the other end of the room. That "something" is a large, flashing yellow arrow.

>enter door

You are in a maze of twisty brown passages, all alike. 

>north

You are in a maze of twisty brown passages, all alike.

>west

You are in a maze of twisty brown passages, all alike.

>south

Mutants suddenly swarm into the twisty brown passages, raising 11 kinds of hell. Blast, bloom, and maim effects fill up your field of vision, obscuring the miles of brown environmental pattern stretching away in every direction. More mutants are rappelling down the walls! And oh my god they have tactical nukes. 

>run and shoot in a blind panic

You run and shoot wildly. So much crap is blowing up right now, I really don’t even know how to describe it. Blundering through the fiery chaos you run into a knee-high barricade blocking a mutant-free corridor.

>jump over barricade

I don’t understand the word “barricade.”

>YOU JUST SAID IT

I say a lot of things.

>hmm… roll

What do you want to roll up?

>what have you got? HEY-OH

While you dither around with a text parser, a grue gnaws on your collarbone. You’re trapped, out of ammo and at death’s door.

>plugh

A hollow voice says: “Fool.” 

You are standing in a smouldering field of wreckage before a moderately armed compound. Pansy Mode might be too tough for you. Would you like to switch to Milquetoast Mode?

>RAGE QUIT

Illustration: Martin Davies

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