YMMV / Return to Zork

  • Fridge Brilliance: Why would the Orc that defends the entrance to Morpheus' chamber be intimidated by an unseen barking of a dog? The codex in the mayor's office reveals the existence of vicious Hellhounds who could go invisible, said to be inhabiting the Road to the South. The Orc wasn't willing to take a chance.
    • The bra-box in front of a house with nothing to indicate it belongs to the man in the house? Taking it results in the guardian of zork destroying your inventory. This is despite the fact that when the player talks to the man, he made it clear that it doesn't actually belong to him and that they are free to take it. It's likely that the guardian is in league with Morpheus, looking for any reason to put an end to the player's journey. As for raiding Rebecca's home, she was already inside, armed and dangerous, so he likely expected a disastrous outcome. Too bad Rebecca actually gave the player a chance to clear it up. Further more, since Morpheus can corrupt Canuk, it's possible he was able to do the same to the guardian.
    • How is the Hunter in the forest, who went blind by the curse, not fallen victim to Grues? The fairy was present and even arguing with him. As tiny as she is, another living soul to bear witness means no meal for Grues today.
  • Fridge Horror: Morphius's lair has six statues in it: Rooper, Trembyle, Canuk, Rebecca, The Holy Woman, and Witch Itah. One would assume they're all petrified... except until you go into the final part of Morphius's lair, you can backtrack and talk to any of these characters (the exceptions being Trembyle and Rooper.) Now, Canuk we know has been under Morpheus's thumb the whole time, but he still has a statue there anyway... so either Morpheus's vultures work wicked fast and can round up three people in the time it takes for the player to cross the bridge, or Morphius has had them under his control the whole time.
  • Narm: The voice acting and digitized actors are, lack of a better term... dated. In a sometimes hilarious way. Even funnier if you kill some of them.
  • Nightmare Fuel
    • The Road to the South. You never learn a single thing about it, other than that it's impassible ("absolutely impossible to pass. Impassable."), and that going that way will kill you instantly. Even the death screen doesn't tell you much about it... you get the generic gravestone and no further information. Maybe there's a lot of vultures that way?
      • The Town Hall you go to later has a codex that explains that the Road to the South is full of vicious Hellhounds that may or may not be able to turn invisible.
    • The scene with Canuk; the music clearly indicates that there's something wrong with him... but it's not until his voice starts to change that you realize that he's actually possessed by the villain. And you have to keep dealing with him if you want to get the final piece of the game's MacGuffin - and that means entering the Death Trap he offers.
    • Morphius' laugh during the death sequences.
    • Most of the death sequences. As Morphius laughs, you see a stained glass window with a metaphorical representation of how you got yourself killed.
    • The fact that you die for failing Ms. Peepers' test.
    • Every time you enter a dark place you are told that this is "just the way the grues like it." Though you never see the grues, it is possible to be eaten by them. In fact, you have until the text vanishes (about ten seconds) to light the darkness or get the hell out before you're lunch. For good measure, this can happen anywhere, including your hotel room - the one place you'd think you would be safe from nightmarish carnivores.
      • This isn't helped along by the death screen for a grue encounter: a stained-glass window covered mostly in darkness, with a pair of large, uncannily real eyes staring toward the screen.
    • Morphius's vultures deserve some mention. You only encounter them two or three times in the game (more often if you have both the magnet and the whistle, but they're not so bad after that point), but if you manage to tick them off (by getting too close), they fly at your face with decidedly un-natural features coming into full view. By the way, one of them is on the first screen in the game.
    • The Lighthouse Keeper remarks "You must be another one of Rooper's sweepstakes winners." Another one. What the hell happened to all of them?
    • Morphius himself. On his own, he's pretty unnerving, but it's his modus operandi that makes him really creepy: he's constantly trawling through the minds of the Valley's inhabitants while they dream, looking for character traits that interest him. If anyone demonstrates something he finds to be "of value," he has his vultures capture them and bring them to his citadel: there, he turns them to stone and goes about assimilating them. And guess what? ' You now have his undivided attention.
    • All of Morphius' lines during the showdown are creepy as hell. After all, he has the petrified bodies of quite a few of your allies from across Zork on display (Including Rooper, Wizard Trembyle, Rebecca Snoot, the Priestess of the Bel Nair Temple, and Witch Itah). But that voice, and that music just make it all the more disturbing.
    Welcome... to my gallery. Perhaps you know some of my collection? This is my research laboratory, and these are my subjects. I have studied them all, and have taken the best from each. From you... I will take strategy.
    (If you lose) You'll be quite a study! (Evil Laughter)
  • Ho Yay: Moodock and Canuk have this. Moodock speaks very favorably of Canuk and when Molly [Moodock's wife] says, "I don't mean to be malicious but that guy really gave me the creeps. I didn't even know who I was a'talking to when he was around. He was a real nutcase," instead of taking his wife's concerns seriously, Moodock tells you to just ignore her. Somewhat bad advice, considering that Canuk is being controlled by the Big Bad and will try to turn you into a duck, costing your game.
  • Memetic Mutation: Want some rye? Course ya do!
  • Most Annoying Sound: Morphius's laugh. Given that you will die a lot in this game, expect to hear it a lot and get very annoyed at hearing it.
  • Padding: The Creeping Bogs' maze. Oh Yoruk the bog maze…that thing definitely turned off more computers than the big blackout. It's not a grid maze, you have to use the walking stick on every screen to see if it's safe. The Whispering Woods you can at least get by with a guide…this? You will just be annoyed, showing that old-school difficulty is not always a good thing..
    • You can avoid wandering around in the bogs entirely if you passed through the Whispering Woods first, met Canuk, and got ahold of a magnet and a whistle. Then you can go anywhere in the map via convenient vulture-powered transport.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: At the time, it was Scenery Porn, and the digitized actors were considered revolutionary. Now, the graphics would be considered extremely primitive 3D models, the fact that the puzzles are so obtuse would be seen as frustrating, and the acting is pure Narm with how bad the performances are.