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Pre-ZUG map and hints

A sometimes little known fact is that Infocom had a hint service that pre-dated the Zork Users Group. One map was produced, pictures of which are included below. Also shown are examples of the hints.

From Mike Dornbrook: "ZUG started up in October, 1981, when I started business school at the University of Chicago. Prior to that, I was helping out Infocom on a part-time basis doing testing. Zork I reached stores late in 1980, and fans fairly quickly started contacting Infocom asking for hints. We decided to print up a map and provide a hint service. Marc Blank added an item to the game - a piece of paper that was found downstairs (in the Gallery, I believe). Reading the paper revealed the existence of the Movement Assistance Planner (M.A.P.) and the Hierarchical Information for Novice Treasure Seakers (H.I.N.T.S.). It was a convoluted process to actually get this help - gamers had to write to Infocom at a Kendall Sq. post office box, then Infocom sent out the details and order form, then the player mailed back his/her requests with a check, then we mailed back the answers/map.

The map is the original map that was illustrated by Stu Galley's friend Dave Ardito. When I later started ZUG, I took over this inventory of maps (and the Zork I posters that had been printed up). As I added maps for Zork II, etc., and started printing the InvisiClues books, I kept using Dave Ardito to do all the illustrations.

When ZUG took over the maps in the fall of that year, Zork II was just coming out. [This was also when Infocom took over the publishing of the games, and created the blister pack packages - prior to that, Personal Software was Infocom's publisher, and the packaging was completely different.] Steve Meretzky did the map layouts for me, and established a new "style" to the maps. He re-did the Zork I map when we needed to reprint."

Stu Galley adds: "We (the Infocom Fovnders) were convinced that customers might want to buy maps and hints, but Personal Software had absolutely no interest in that aftermarket.

We wanted to be helpful to the fan base, if any, and to gather postal addresses for future use. So a note was added inside the game---maybe it was in the mailbox at the beginning---that said to write for maps and hints to Infocom's corporate headquarters (PO Box 120, Kendall Station, Cambridge). Since I had the grand title of Clerk of the Corporation (under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts), I had the job of visiting the PO box every day and fulfilling orders.

My friend Dave Ardito designed the paperboard map, based on Dave Lebling's version. The first printing was probably a run of a thousand copies. Dave also designed the first letterhead, with the "I" logo, and drew the original of the Zork I poster, as well as supervising its reproduction."


Front of map


Inside of map


Inside of map


Back of map


Hint sheet


Hint sheet


Note included with hint sheet

OTHERS
First logo
Pre-ZUG map and hints
ZUG map - Deadline
ZUG map - Starcross
ZUG map - Zork I
ZUG map - Zork II
ZUG map - Zork III


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