The Optimized Straightforward Walkthru for Zork III: The Dungeon Master
This FAQ is copyright 2008-2009 by Stanley E. Dunigan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This FAQ may be posted and used anywhere by anyone as long as it's unaltered,
but always check one of the official websites listed below for the latest
Like all of my optimized straightforward walkthrus, this FAQ is a complete
walkthru for the game that has been optimized and organized to make it as fast
and easy as possible to complete the game. I don't give any reference-style
information, like a list of all treasures, or encourage you to do unnecessary
things. In true walkthru fashion, I just tell you the answers without explaining
or rationalizing them. If you want non-spoiler-ish hints, see the Zork III hint
file on the Universal Hint System (UHS) website at: www.uhs-hints.com.
VERSION 1.01 (4/1/2009) NOTES AND CREDITS:
This is just a slightly spiffed up final release of this walkthru.
VERSION 1.0 (3/6/2008) NOTES AND CREDITS:
This is the original release of this FAQ, so I have no special notes or credits
to report yet.
NOTE: This FAQ was written while playing the Zork III version that came with the
Lost Treasures of Infocom package that was released in 1991 by Activision. As
far as I know, everything will be the same for other game versions.
*** STEP 1: Get the wooden staff. ***
When you start the game, pick up the lamp, then go south to the junction. It's
dark, so turn the lamp on. Forget about the sword for now (the stupid thing
thinks it's Excalibur) and go west twice to reach a cliff.
Turn the lamp off to save power, then get the nearby bread. Go down in order to
reach the cliff ledge, then wait until some laughing jackass appears above you
and offers to help. Tie the nearby chest to the rope (picking the chest up first
isn't necessary), then wait for the humorous bum to re-lower the rope.
When he does, type GRAB ROPE (the command CLIMB ROPE would screw up and put you
at the cliff base). After pulling you up, the chest-opening joker will give you
a plain wooden staff. That sounds like a rip-off, since he gets to keep all of
the "valuables," but all you need is the staff, so it's okay.
*** STEP 2: Get the cloak and hood. ***
Pick up the empty chest for future use, then go southwest to reach the Land of
Shadow. Turn your lamp back on and save your game, then keep using the WAIT
command until a cloaked and hooded figure appears before you. At the same time,
your sword will quit playing Excalibur and will appear in your inventory.
Save your game again to avoid more tedious waiting in case you die, then attack
the hooded figure with the sword. Keep doing that (using the G command) until
either you die (in which case you need to restore your save and try again) or
the hooded figure is, in the words of the game, "badly hurt and defenseless."
At that point, you need to immediately remove the figure's hood (GET HOOD). That
will cause him to pull an "Empire Strikes Back" routine and vanish. Drop the
sword, since you won't need it anymore, then take the cloak.
*** STEP 3: Get the amulet. ***
Go back north to the cliff area, then head east twice to return to the junction.
Go south three times to reach the lake shore, then turn the lamp off and drop
everything you're carrying except the chest (DROP ALL BUT CHEST).
Save your game, then enter the lake and dive. You dropped the chest when you
entered the lake, so try to pick it back up. If it "slips from your grasp," try
again. If you run out of air and have to surface before you can get it, dive and
try again. If you get killed by anything, restore your save and try again.
Once you have the chest, go up if you're still underwater, then go south to get
to the southern shore. Drop the chest, save your game again, then enter the lake
and go diving for the amulet.
*** STEP 4: Get the strange key. ***
Once you have the amulet, go up if you're still underwater, then go west to get
to the western shore. Go south from there to the scenic vista, and check the
room's description to see what the table's indicator reads. If it doesn't read
"II", wait until it does.
Get the torch, then touch the table to be transported to the room that's west of
the carousel room that you'll remember from Zork II. Get the spray can, then
wait to be teleported back to the scenic vista room. Wait some more if necessary
for the table's indicator to switch to "III," then touch the table again.
You'll end up in the damp passage that's just east of the junction. For reasons
that will become clear soon, you need to drop the torch here. Do so, then wait
to be returned to the scenic vista room. Go north and enter the lake, dive down
and get the repellent can back, then go up and south. (Note that getting the can
may be a pain, just like getting the chest and amulet earlier.)
You're back on the southern shore, with several consecutive dark rooms head. Get
the chest, then go south to enter the first dark room. Use the grue repellent on
yourself (SPRAY REPELLENT ON ME), then go south and east to reach the key room.
Get the key, then move the manhole cover.
Go down to the aqueduct area, then go north to the high arch. Now's when things
might get complicated. If the random earthquake has already happened, you'll
have to do Step 4b now. Otherwise, finish this step and then go to Step 5.
Since the earthquake hasn't happened yet, you can go north from the high arch.
Do so twice to end up in the damp passage with the torch. Pick up the torch,
then go west and south three times to return to the lake shore. Type GET ALL to
pick all of your stuff back up, then drop the now-useless lamp, chest, and
*** STEP 4b: Get away with the strange key after the earthquake. ***
Since the earthquake has already happened, you won't be able to go north from
the high arch, and will appear to be stuck. You're supposed to restart the game
and do things differently (like maybe going for the strange key right off), but
I've discovered a trick way to get away with the strange key without restarting.
That's why I had you bring the chest along. Put the key and the amulet in the
chest, close the chest, then type JUMP to kill yourself. This will put you and
the lamp back at the endless stair, plus scatter your other inventory items
randomly around in areas that are accessible to you.
NOTE: I had you put the strange key into the chest because it's rigged to not
reappear anywhere accessible (supposedly making it necessary to restart the
game), and I had you put the amulet in so that you wouldn't have to search for
it separately from the chest. The repellent can is now useless, so you won't
have to waste any time looking for it.
Pick up the lamp and turn it on, then go exploring around all of the areas that
you can reach (even ones you haven't entered yet, like the rooms east of the
junction) to see where the chest got put. When you find it, open it and take the
key and amulet from it. (There's no need to take the chest itself.)
Go get the torch from the damp passage if you haven't already, then go to the
lake shore. Type GET ALL to pick your other items up, then drop the now-useless
lamp. (You can turn it off first, but that's not necessary.)
*** STEP 5: Get the ancient book. ***
Go north twice, east twice, and then south twice to reach the room with the huge
rusty door that leads to the royal museum. If the above-mentioned earthquake
hasn't happened yet, you'll have to stand and wait until it does. Then you can
go east through the hole that the earthquake made.
Go south and down from the museum entrance room to reach the start of the royal
puzzle. In order to get out of it with the ancient book, you'll need to enter
the following commands in order exactly as shown. Note that I abbreviate
directions in this list, like NE for northeast.
PUSH E WALL. S. S. SE. PUSH S WALL. N. NE. PUSH S WALL. GET BOOK.
PUSH S WALL. E. NE. PUSH W WALL. SW. NW. NE. PUSH S WALL. SW.
PUSH E WALL. NE. PUSH S WALL. NW. N. N. N. PUSH E WALL. SW. S. SE.
NE. N. PUSH W WALL. NW. PUSH S WALL. G. W. NW. NW. PUSH S WALL.
SE. SE. SE. NE. PUSH W WALL. G. SW. PUSH N WALL. G. G. NW. UP.
Save your game so you won't have to go through that mess again, then go north to
return to the museum entrance.
*** STEP 6: Get the ring. ***
Go north to the technology museum, then push the gold machine south. Open the
stone door, then push the gold machine east. After saving your game, sit on the
gold machine's seat. Turn its dial to 776 and press its button.
You're now in the past, and can get the golden ring. Wait until you hear the
nearby guards march away, then open the stone door and go west. (If you get the
extremely stupid random scenario where a guard walks in and vaporizes you with
his finger, restore your save and try again.)
In the museum entrance area, open the wooden door and go north to find this
era's gold machine. Put the ring under the machine's seat (PUT RING UNDER SEAT),
then sit on the seat. Turn the dial to 948 and press the button to return to
your own time. The mystery of the missing ring was never solved, so get up and
look under the seat to find it.
*** STEP 7: Seek out the Dungeon Master. ***
Open the wooden door and go south, then open the stone door and go east. Type
GET ALL to pick up all of your dropped items, then go west twice to exit the
museum. Go north twice, west twice, and then north to reach the junction.
Go east and northeast to reach the engravings room, where you may find an old
man sleeping. If you don't, keep going southwest and then northeast until he
shows up. Wake him and give him the bread, then open the secret door that he
points out to you.
Go north to the button room, then north again to the beam room. Put the wooden
staff in the beam to break it (PUT STAFF IN BEAM), then go back south and press
the button. Go north and get the staff, then go north twice more to enter the
complicated mirror box mechanism.
Since I didn't have you get the invisibility potion earlier, you'll need to
manipulate the mirror box to get past the Guardians of Zork. To do that, raise
the short pole, push the red panel twice, lower the short pole (to keep the box
from wobbling), push the mahogany panel three times, raise the short pole, push
the white panel four times (to rotate the box 180 degrees), then push the pine
panel and leave (using the LEAVE command).
You're now next to the door to the dungeon master's realm. Since you've gotten
all seven of the required dungeon-master-like items, you can get in by just
knocking on the door.
*** STEP 8: Discover the Treasury of Zork. ***
Go north from the narrow corridor to reach the south corridor, then go east and
north twice to reach the parapet. The dungeon master should follow you all the
way there. If he doesn't, go back to where he is and type DUNGEON MASTER, FOLLOW
ME, then return to the parapet.
Turn the parapet's dial to 4 and press the button, then go south. Open the cell
door, then go south again to enter it. Tell the dungeon master to go back north
to the parapet area (DUNGEON MASTER, GO NORTH), then tell him to turn the dial
to any number other than 4 (DUNGEON MASTER, TURN DIAL TO 8) and press the button
(DUNGEON MASTER, PRESS BUTTON).
Now all you have to do to discover the treasury and win the game is to unlock
the bronze door with the strange key, open the bronze door, and go south. Thus
ends a great old text adventure trilogy!
NOTE: You just became the second Zorkian dungeon master. You can become the
first one in the game Zork Zero, and you can become the fourth one in Zork Grand
Inquisitor. (Some loser named Dalboz becomes the third dungeon master at some
point, but that's still three out of four for you!)