Obey! Conform! Abstain! Ignore! Deny! Refrain! Cease! Appease! Shun! Avoid new sensations. Avoid all sensations! Avoid any sensation! Avoid unnecessary pleasantries! Avoid necessary pleasantries! Avoid libation! Avoid fermentation! Avoid all these in combinations. Save often!Floss regularly! Floss meaningfully! Floss athletically! And above all, never forget who is the boss of you.ME! I am the boss of you! I am the boss of you! I am the boss of you!
— Mir Yannick, Grand Inquisitor
Zork: Grand Inquisitor is a humorous 3D Point-and-Click Adventure Game, part of the Zork series, combining high quality (for 1997) 3D pictures, slightly lower quality animations, and text to describe the ending and the death scenes.(Full back-story can be found here, though parts of it conflict with the story in the game.)About a hundred years before the start of the game, two fellow wizards-in-training, Mir Yannick and Dalboz of Girth became friends. However, while Dalboz was the most powerful and promising wizard in training, Mir was found to suffer from M.D.D. (Magic Deficit Disorder), and flunked out of the school. The two friends had a falling out, as well as Dalboz accidentally casting an immortality spell on them, and they went their separate ways. Dalboz retired to a cottage underground and became extremely bored (yet unable to kill himself), while Mir joined the Zorkastrian Seminary and advanced its ranks. During this time, magic began to decline, aided by Mir's use of the Totemizer, an ancient invention he refurbished, which rather than killing a magical creature or user (and thus allowing their magic to escape back into the environment), it would pulverize them and squish them, sealing them in a tiny token, forever unable to escape without the use of magic.Dalboz came out of retirement to confront Yannick, but in the ensuing struggle Dalboz was nearly killed, but was transformed into a lantern (which Mir didn't see), and forgotten about.With magic on the decline and the world in his hands, Mir Yannick ruled the land with an iron fist, using Totemization for the smallest crimes, and banned all magic use, instead forcing everyone to rely completely on technology, which had previously just been a supplement to magic (Zork has a technology level somewhere around World War II. They can harness the power of electricity, and have radio, television, and movies, but don't have the technology for cars, planes, or firearms).Enter the player, a vacuum salesman from Parts Unknown, who enters Port Foozle moments before curfew, and must find someplace to stay before he's found by Inquisition guards.
This game provides examples of:
Aliens in Cardiff: One possible death sequence involves being totemized, tossed through a wormhole, and ending up spending eternity as a piece of litter lying on the side of the Jersey Turnpike.
Always Close: Averted when you pour Cola onto Zork Rocks, making them go critical, but played straight when Antharia Jack is always right about to step into the Totemizer when the power goes out.
And I Must Scream: Getting Totemized definitely falls into this category. And yes, it can happen to the player (although the game mercifully spares you the details of the long-term effects except in text form).
Breaking the Fourth Wall: If you enter the well as soon as you get the rope when you start the game but not the lantern and wait. You hear loud snarling, chomping and then a belch. The game-over text says "You were eaten by a Grue, what was going through your head? A pitch black cave in a Zork game, what did you think was going to happen?"
Canned Orders Over Loudspeaker: You encounter this a few times through the game; fiddling with a loudspeaker in Port Foozle is part of the solution to a puzzle.
Continuity Nod: One of the Cosmic Keystones is kept inside the white house. The one with the mailbox. The Coconut of Quendor was also featured in Beyond Zork, as the perfect container for the knowledge of magic during magic's destruction.
The Cube of Foundation was the main plot device in the last game in the Enchanter trilogy, Spellbreaker.
Many of the spells in the game first appeared in the Enchanter trilogy.
Flood Control Dam #3 features in several earlier Zork games.
When the player gets the door to Dalboz's house drunk, he says "Want some rye? Course ya do!" This is an oft-repeated line from Return to Zork.
Scenes from Zork: Nemesis appear as images on the pillars puzzle at G.U.E. Tech, and there's a reference to Thaddium on the soda machine (appropriately enough, the time-delayed explosive item shares some similarity with the Irondune breakout puzzle in Nemesis).
The flickering and bickering torches at the white house were first seen in Zork Zero.
Indeed, the game can be seen as one big Continuity Nod to the earlier Zork games.
Let's cut the crap, okay? You got this far, you know the drill: you're the adventurer, I'mwe're your basic two-headed guardian-of-Hades-type creature. You're looking for treasure, mana, crystals, red pages, blue pages, whatever. It's all the same, really. The point is: you wanna get by. They always do. And we gotta kill ya. We always do. There's a little banter, a little slaying, chop-chop-chop yada-yada-yada, and then I gotta string your entrails all over the place and make a big mess. [...] Yeah, that's right, pull out the old inventory! Something's gotta work!
Hypocrite: After running his entire regime persecuting and stamping down magic in favor of technology, the Grand Inquisitor succumbs to the temptation of the Coconut of Quendor's magic. This gets him killed.
Read the Freaking Manual: Early on in the game, there is a glass case with a sword, a map and a hammer that reads 'In Case of Adventure, Break Glass.' You can open the case to take out the hammer, but you cannot remove the sword or the map until you close the case and smash the glass cover with the hammer.
After sending the Griff through a Time Tunnel, he'll start to complain about what you're making him do (stealing mail, touching a dragon's tooth, etc.). Is the AFGNCAAP sharing his body, or is it just a case of Breaking the Fourth Wall?.
Timey-Wimey Ball: At one point near the end of the game, Lucy Flathead time travels back to Port Foozle before the Inquisition took over, and ends up playing a game of Strip Grue Fire Water with Antharia Jack. If you lose, Lucy would run out of Jack's house in a panic and hide in a nearby building, where she eventually becomes the unseen fish merchant that you had to take a can of Mead Lite from at the beginning of the game.
Unwinnable: At one point in the game, the Griff gets the Coconut of Quendor from within the mouth of a dragon, but then someone in the dragon's stomach says that he needs a coconut to make a piina colada and tosses you rope for you to tie to a tooth. If you decide to drop the Coconut of Quendor down the dragon's throat instead to appease the guy, the Griff will comment, "Somehow I don't think that was its intended usage."