Key & Compass presents:
Dawn of the Demon
by Paul Drallos

Dawn of the Demon is a Z-machine 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2005 by Paul Drallos. This is a fan-written game based, in part, on Infocom's text games set in the fictional world of Zork. This game was also meant to be a prequel providing some backstory for a then-in-production graphic game called Zork: The Hidden Evil being developed by fans at The Zork Library, but that game was never released. Belated discussion about Zork: The Hidden Evil can be found on The Zork Library forum.

This game takes place in the world of Zork, in and near the twin towns of Pheebor and Borphee, but hundreds of years before the events of the Zork series. You play as a young adventurer who plans to find the treasure of the Demon reputed to be hidden somewhere in the nearby woods.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 0 of the game.


Map 1: Towns and Forest

n sw u d enter oven e ne SecretPaths n ask hungus for ride u out in North Endof Park West Endof Park Amphi-theater East Endof Park Boardwalk BorpheeMusicPark Near theelevator GalleryHall Marina PheeborJunction RiverStreet Hallway ofPheeborI.S.T. Einboz'Office Garden BorpheeHistoricalMuseum MainStreet FirstBankof Zork RoyalPalace Outside the Institute ofScience and Technology GiftShop The Brewand GrueTavern Hallway CoffeeHouse CenterStreet Plaza ThePheeborCity Gate TheRoad toPheebor TheRiverRoad TheRoad toBorphee TheSouthEnd CommercialDocks In theLibrary Outside thePheeborPublic Library Insidethe Hut Basementof Library NorthShore NorthRiverRoad RockyPoint RockyShore SandyBeach Swamp NorthernSpan ofthe Bridge SouthernSpan ofthe Bridge SouthShore RockyTrail RiverPath SouthSwamp South shore ofthe One River BridgeRoad Base ofTower Platform(Top ofTower) Meadow Marsh Beach Bend ForestRoad Fork Witch'sCottage ForestHill BigTree Cottage North ofStream Foot-bridge BeachNorth ofStream Glen Pondsouth ofstream Clearing SouthBeach SouthPath RockPile Cave LavaEdgeNorth LavaEdgeSouth RottingTunnel Demon'sLair lower-levelnearelevator Top oftheStairs WitchesOven Pheebor Borphee The One River

Map 2: Secret Paths

d u Dark-world DeadEnd ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestPath ForestHill Marsh Cottage North ofStream BeachNorth ofStream SouthPath RockPile

Map 3: Darkworld and Hades

n u d d out plugh stonesteps Institute ofTechnologyVault MuseumBasement Hard Bend North/EastBend South/WestBend South/EastBend inTunnel NortheastCavern Taverncellar Top oftheStairs North/SouthTunnel NorthTunnel SouthwestCavern WestT-junction BlackHole HardTurn TunnelEntrance South"T" RoundChamber TunnelBend WitchesOven* Cross-roads DarkPath CrumblingCavern Cobble-stonePath Cobble-stonePath Cobble-stonePath Shrine RockWall AncientSquare Gates ofHades Esias'Cell SecretPaths n d u u enter oven lower-levelnearelevator I.S.T.LowerLevel Halls ofthe Dead Beyond theGates ofHades Circle ofFire RiverStyx Field ofSouls Near theelevator Hallway Witch'sCottage


Inside the Hut

> i. x coin. x cot. x table. x maps. read maps. x lantern.

> take all from table. (+4)

> s.

Rocky Shore

> x rocks. x river. x hut.

> e.

Sandy Beach

> x sand. x sign. ("No Swimming")

> n.

The River Road

> x sign. (East to Borphee; west to Pheebor)

> e.

The Road to Borphee

> x grass. e.

The South End

We'll visit the tavern a bit later.

> x sign. ("Brew and Grue")

> n. w. s.

Gift Shop

After you spend your coin here, it will respawn elsewhere, most likely in Pheebor Junction, West End of Park, or Boardwalk. You'll need to pay attention and pick it up when you see it since the respawning place is randomized.

> x lady. x shelves. x eyeglasses. (costs 1 Zn)

> ask lady about eyeglasses. buy eyeglasses. (with your coin)

> n. n.

Gallery Hall

This location gives some background info and hints. Don't forget to swap your fake eyeglasses for the real ones.

> x exhibits.

> x plagues. push yellow button.

> x saint. x strange eyeglasses. x runes.

> take strange eyeglasses. (+4)

> put replica on pedestal.

> wear strange eyeglasses.

> push blue button.

> x civil. push red button.

> s. w.


The coins here aren't for you. Just enjoy the ambience.

> x pool. search pool. x coins.

We'll explore more of Borphee later. Let's head for Pheebor:

> e. e. s. w. w. w. w. w.


> read sign. x arch. x scaffolding. x workers.

> climb scaffolding. (A worker stops you.)

> nw.

Royal palace

The palace can't help you in your quest at all.

> x guards. s.

Outside the Pheebor Public Library

> x library. w.

In the Library

> x bookcases. x books. x librarian.

> talk to librarian. ask librarian about library.

> ask librarian about Pheebor. ask librarian about Borphee.

> ask librarian about books. (She indicates a card catalog.)

> x catalog. open drawer. x cards. (You find a blue scrap of paper.)

> x blue scrap. (Suggests asking the librarian about magic or demons.)

> ask librarian about demon. (She directs you southwest.)

If you took the blue scrap, I'm going to suggest dropping it. There's another scrap in the game that's more important, and there's disambiguation problems when both scraps are together.

> sw.

Basement of Library

> x bookcase. x book. ("Genesis of the Demon")

> read book.

> take disk. (+4)

> x disk. ("blue rhymes with plugh")

If you try to take the book out of the library, the librarian takes it from you and reshelves it.

> put book on bookcase.

> u. e. ne. w.

Center Street

> x coffee house. w.

Coffee House

The coffee house is unhelpful and you can never afford its coffee, but we're visiting everywhere.

> x customers. x books. x counter. x coffee.

> x guitarist. talk to guitarist. (She shooes you away.)

> x proprietor. talk to him. ask him about coffee.

> ask him about guitarist.

> ask him about demon. (He directs you to the library.)

> e. n.

Pheebor Junction

If the coin is here, TAKE COIN.

> x condominiums.

> e. s. ne.

Outside the Institute of Science and Technology

> x poster. (Tells about the Arch and Dr. Einboz.)

> n. e.

Einboz' Office

> x bookcases. x blackboard. (Interlock sequence: EAT + RAT + ROT = TOTO.)

> x desk. search desk. x card. take it.

> x basket. (empty)

> w. n.

Near the elevator

> x elevator. x slot.

> put card in slot. n. s.

I.S.T. Lower Level

> x door. open it. (locked)

> take paper. (+4)

> read paper. (List of gems beginning with EOATR.)

Time to see the rest of Borphee:

> n. put card in slot. n. s. s. sw. e. e. e. e. e. e.

Commercial Docks

> x ships. x gate. read sign. x sailors. x dockworkers.

> n.


> x boats. x gate. x rods. n.


If the coin is here, TAKE COIN.

> x fence. x ocean. w.

East End of Park

> x amphitheater. w.


> n.

North End of Park

> w.

West End of Park

It the coin is here, TAKE COIN.

> se.

Borphee Music Park

> s. e.

First Bank of Zork

> x door. x sign. (Closed for remodeling)

> w. s. ne.

The Brew and Grue Tavern

I'm assuming you have your coin back by now. If not, search everywhere in Pheebor and Borphee for it. It most likely respawned in Pheebor Junction, West End of Park, or Boardwalk.

> x bartender. x bar. talk to bartender. (He points to a menu.)

> x menu. (1 Zn for light ale, dark ale, special, bottled beer.)

You only need to buy the beer, because the bartender will put its bottle into the chute and you'll be able to retrieve the bottle later. If you really want to buy the other items and try them, you'll need to look for the coin yet again.

CAUTION: You must explicitly take the beer to get the points associated with it. If you drink the beer immediately, you'll auto-take the beer and won't get the points.

> ask bartender for beer. give coin to bartender.

> x chute. x beer. take beer. (+4)

> drink beer. (You put the empty glass on the bar. Leave it there.)

> e.


> open door. (locked)

Time to try crossing the One River

> w. sw. w. w. s. w. w.

Rocky Point

While this location is meant to be scenic, you can't actually see much.

> look w. look sw. x structure.

> look sorlook se.

> look e. look ne.

> look norlook nw.

> w.

North River Road

> x structure. w. s.

Northern Span of the Bridge

> x gap. x bridge. x river. jump over gap.

Well, you're not crossing here. Didn't a museum exhibit say something about hungus rides?

> n. e. e. e. e. e.


> z. (If the hungus isn't here, just repeat waiting until the hungus swims back.)

> talk to hungus. ask hungus about Mithicans.

> ask hungus about spells.

> ask hungus about The One. again. (Has hidden lair across the river.)

> ask hungus about possession.

> ask hungus about river. (Only he can swim across it.)

> ask hungus about swamp. ask hungus about bridge.

> ask hungus for ride. (+5. You're now at...)

South Swamp

> x mud. smell mud. x trees.

> w. w.

Rocky Trail

> x rocks. take rock. x rock.

> w. n.

Southern Span of the Bridge

So why isn't there a similar wheel on the north side? Just to be difficult?

> x railing. x wheel. turn wheel. (The bridge is raised.)

We'll now start to explore all of the forest, visiting a tower first:

> s. s. s. e. n.

Base of Tower

> x tower. x ladder. u.

Platform (Top of Tower)

> x hook. take hook. (securely anchored here.)

> look e. x trees. x tree. (One oak is taller than the tower.)

> look ne. look n. look nw. look w. look sw. look s. look se.

> d. s. e. se. n.


> x lady. x cottage. talk to lady. (She just laughs.)

> ask lady about demon. ("go to Hades")

> ask lady about Hades. ("Esias")

> in. (The witch blocks you.)

> ne.

Forest Hill

> x butterfly. x flowers.

> nw.


Hm. More flowers.

> se. e.

Big Tree

> x tree. x knot. look in hole. x sword. x hilt.

> take sword. (You can't reach it.)

> climb tree. enter tree. (Can't do either.)

> s.

North of Stream

> x pond. x stream.

> n. ne. e.


> x sea. x clouds. s.

Beach North of Stream

> x stream. x cave. n. n.

South shore of the One River

Nothing here.

> s. w. s.


> x footbridge. x stream. s.


> e. x path. cut undergrowth. (with just your hands?)

Come back here later. Go back to south of the cottage:

> n. n. sw. w. sw. s. e.

South Path

> x forest. e.

Rock Pile

> x rocks. climb rocks. (Can't; too loose)

> n.

Pond south of stream

> x stream. x pond.

> s. w.

South Path

On your second visit here, you see a shimmering.

> x shimmering. (Find northeast path.)

> save.

> ne. (+5)

Forest Path (several locations)

> look behind me.

Your entry path is gone. You won't be able to backtrack while on this path. You need to follow the main path without entering a side path, which will drop you back somewhere else in the normal forest.

Unfortunately, the only in-game way to learn what the main path is by brute force, re-entering the path over and over again until you choose correctly. Of course, since you're reading a walkthrough, you can skip that part.

> nw. e. se. n. e. e.

> n. nw. w. nw. (The path start improving.)

> ne. ne. ne. (+5)

Dead End

No exits but down the hole. I do hope you've got the lantern and you're wearing the eyeglasses?

> x hole. d.

Let's pause a second. I need to explain the rules of Darkworld, the dark underground world where the grues live, work, play, and lurk.

Most things, including the exits, only exist when there's no light. If you want to move around, you need to keep your lantern off. And if you see anything interesting, you need to keep your glasses on.

But the grues are here in the dark! They won't kill you immediately, but they definitely will kill you after a few turns unless you turn on your lantern. They will flee, but you'll find yourself in a featureless room with no exits until you turn the lantern off again.

So the trick to navigating Darkworld is by turning the lantern on and off again, move for a few turns in darkness while the grues inch ever closer, then repeating that cycle until you get to your destination.

If you miscount or misjudge the situation and the grues kill you, undo your last turn and turn on the lamp!

Black Hole

> x grues.

> turn on lamp. turn off lamp.

> n. n. e.

Northeast Cavern

> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. e.

Tavern cellar

> turn on lantern.

> x barrels. x crate. look in crate. take bottle. (+4)

> x bottle. x stairs. u.

Top of the Stairs

> open door. s.


While the cellar door auto-closes behind you, it remains unlocked and you can return to the cellar this way.

> open door. n. d.

Tavern cellar

> turn off lantern. n. w.

Museum Basement

> turn on lantern.

> x cobwebs. x crates. read writing. ("Borphee Historical Museum")

> x display. (Some part of it is missing; has orange button.)

> x holes. push button. (click)

> u.

stone steps

It's unclear which direction this door is and where in the museum it would connect to. I don't think this door can ever be opened and this is just a dead end.

> x door. open door. (locked)

> d.

Museum Basement

> turn off lantern. s. w. s.

North Tunnel

> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. s. w. n.

North/South Tunnel

> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. n. w. n.

Institute of Technology Vault

> turn on lantern. open vault door.

> take case. x it. open case. x sphere.

> x buttons. (red, green, blue, yellow, and black)

> take notebook. x notebook.

> read page.

> x boxes. look in box. take papers.

> x papers. (The arch will require an hourglass.)

> turn off lantern. s. e. s.

North/South Tunnel

> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. s. e. s.

South "T"

> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. e.

Round Chamber

> turn on lantern.

> x light. x sword. take sword. (+4)

> turn off lantern. w. w. s.


> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. e. e. se.

Ancient Square

This is the entrance to the outskirts of Hades. The grues won't follow you in here.

> x grues. (They are afraid to get closer.)

Our objective here is due southwest, but let's look around a little first.

> ne.

Rock Wall

> listen. x window. look through window.

> s.

Gates of Hades

CAUTION: Never go east through this gate! You'll be trapped in Hades forever!

> read sign. x gates. x scene.

> look through the gates. x shields.

> s.

River Styx

> x river. x bell. x rope. pull rope.

Charon wants two coins before he'll let you board his boat. But there's only one coin in this game, so you can never ride his boat.

> x boat. x Charon. x face. x cloak. x hand.

> enter boat. (He blocks you.)

> swim. (You don't want to swim in acid.)

> look in boat. (A sign and a something unnamed?)

> x sign.

> w.

Esias' Cell

> x man. x robe. x hair. x beard.

> x bed. x table. x chair. x rug.

It doesn't matter what you try to ask about. Esias wants something that will brighten this land of death in exchange for his help.

> ask man about Hades. g. g. g.

We don't have want Esias wants. We'll have to go get it.

> ne.

Ancient Square

> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. nw. w. w. w.

Stone Circle / Cramped Compartment / Witches Oven

> turn on lantern. open door. out.

Witch's Cottage

> turn off lantern.

> x oven. x cauldron. x cage.

> enter cauldron. (Big nope.)

> e.


Note: After you've exited her cottage from the inside, the witch no longer blocks you from re-entering.

> ne. e. s.

North of Stream

> fill bottle. (with fresh water)

> n. w.

Forest Hill

> pick flowers. put bouquet in bottle. (+4)

> smell bouquet.

Now take these fresh flowers to Elias.

> sw. in. enter oven.

Witches Oven

> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. e. e. e. se. sw.

Esais' Cell

> give bottle to Esias. ask man about treasure.

He recites a rhyme, warning you to never enter the Hades Gate or be trapped forever. Instead, find the Whimsical Grue and say the magic word p-something. From this and the clue on the disk, you can figure out you should say PLUGH somewhere special. This is the only safe way to enter Hades.

> ne.

Ancient Square

> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. nw. w. w.


> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. s. w. s.


The shrine and its statue are only there when the lantern's off.

> turn on lantern. turn off lantern.

> x shrine. x statue. x grue-lantern.

> turn on lantern. turn off lantern.

> x grue-sword. x platform. x stalagmites.

> plugh. (+5)

Beyond the Gates of Hades

CAUTION: Going north from here is fatal. You can't go east yet, but when you can go east from here, that's fatal as well.

NOTE: You can only leave Hades by this gate as long as you didn't enter by it.

> s.

Field of Souls

CAUTION: If you don't have a sword, going south from here is fatal. However, if you wish to slay a few demons, go south with the sword.

> x shields. take shield. (+4)

> n. w. s. nw.

Ancient Square

> turn on lantern.

> turn off lantern. nw. w. w. w. out. e.


> ne. e. ne. s. s.


> cut undergrowth with sword. (+5; you proceed to...)

South Beach

> x cave. x steam.

> s. s.

Lava Edge North

> x lava. put shield in lava. enter sheild. s. (+5)

Lava Edge South

> s. take shield. s.

Rotting Tunnel

> x torches. x corpses.

> s. (+5)

Demon's Lair

> save.

> x treasure. x loot. x cube.

> x Demon. x horns. x tail. x teeth. x claws.

> x amulet. (Has three gems: emerald, sapphire, ruby)

> x chain.

Okay, first, you know from a page in the notebook that if you push the buttons on your sphere in the right interlock order in the presence of a featureless cube, you can stop time briefly. You can see the cube, so this is the place for that.

Second, the interlock code is clued from Einboz' office blackboard which bears the equation EAT + RAT + ROT = TOTO. You can work this out to be 241 + 541 + 531 = 1313. Putting the digits in numerical order, 12345 corresponds to TEOAR.

Third, from the scrap of paper, you can convert those letters to colors. T(urquoise) is blue, E(merald) is green, O(nyx) is black, A(mber) is yellow, and R(uby) is red. That's the order to push the buttons: blue, green, black, yellow, red!

Once you start pushing buttons, the Demon becomes aware of you. You must do the entire sequence perfectly without pausing or else.

> push blue button. push green button.

> push black button. push yellow button.

> push red button. (Time is frozen!)

> kiss Demon. (This action is totally optional.)

> cut chain with sword. (+5; the Demon becomes a pleasant man who vanishes.)

> take cube. (Can't reach it from here.)

> take amulet.

You throw the Demon amulet into the lava then grab up treasure!

*** You're rich beyond your wildest dreams and live a quite and comfortable life for the rest of your ill-begotten days. ***

Our final score is 76 out of 80 points. Sorry, but I have no idea where the missing four points are awarded. Maybe someone can tell me that?





From the response to ABOUT:

This game, Dawn of the Demon, is a text adventure prequel for the graphic adventure, Zork: The Hidden Evil. As of this writing, Zork:THE is still under development by the folks at

This game is set at a very early time in the Zork universe - about a thousand years before the GUE dating system - and a period about which very little of Quendorian history has been documented.

I am deeply indebted to my beta testers, especially Jessica Knoch, Elizabeth Thompson and my dear wife Mary. I can't overstate the value of their contributions.

Dawn of the Demon is copyright (c)2005 by Paul Drallos and may be freely copied, distributed, and played provided no profit is involved and it is not modified in any way.

Zork is a registered trademark of Activision, Inc.



Honorable mention:


You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 80, in several turns.

I had a few ideas for where the missing points are, but none of my ideas panned out. I'll list my ideas here anyway, just in case it helps someone else find the missing points. I strongly suspect, though, most of these are all either remnants of puzzles that were planned but not fully implemented, or foreshadowing of places and items that were invented for the planned sequel.

Thank You to my Patreon supporters

This walkthrough was funded via Patreon with