Key & Compass presents:
Frobozz Magic Support
by Nate Cull

Frobozz Magic Support is a TADS 2 interactive fiction game and is © 1996-1997 by Nate Cull. At the 1996 XYZZY Awards, it was a co-winner of the Best Individual NPC award and was also a finalist in the Best Puzzles category.

You play as a novice glyph support clerk but no one's around but an animated burin. It seems the more experienced support clerks are either lost, got themselves un-implemented, or got stuck in a timeloop. And, of course, everyone else in Zork wants assistance too. No one said your first day on the job would be easy!

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 4, February 1997 of the game.


Blacknessand Void Curvingpassage Darkchamber Crater MainEntrance ScenicOverlook die random nw u z z n u w s d d anywhere z d z.z.z e u Forest Insidethe Tower Atopthe Tower GUE Tech,ModernQuendor Outsidethe Tower GUE Tech,OldQuendor InsidetheTesseract Cross-roads Army Camp-or-Battlefield In theTemple Highway OutsideTemple Inside theWhiteCube Ocean Dead end Corridor Under theOcean End ofpath Chasm,on thebridge via ritual •••



Inside the White Cube

> x me. i. x bar. x book. open book.

"What's your name?" > Fiznol (Or whichever name you like.)

"You say your name is Fiznol?" > yes (+5)

> x burin. x sphere. x rose. read book. (+5)

> ask burin about log.

> touch sphere. (+5. 1st vision: maiden's request; you can now go north.)

> touch sphere. (2nd vision: shark's request; you can now go east.)

> touch sphere. (3rd vision: battery request; you can now go down.)

> touch sphere. (4th vision: Zuzvuz's request; you can now go up.)

> touch sphere. (5th vision: someone wants a pot of gold; you can now go south.)

> touch sphere. (6th vision: a voice wails near crater; you can now go west.)

Note that that last voice was wailing backwards: "Use the old key! Not the new key!"

Also, only one exit is open at a time, the exit associated with the last image. If you examine the rose, it tells you which exit is currently open.

> x rose. w. (+5)

Main Entrance

> x void. x cube. read it.

> x mailbox. open it. take all from it.

> x envelope. open it. x scroll. read it.

> x packing slip. (Note that the envelope is magic-proof.)

> x syllabus. (Oo, that's an infodump.)

> w.


> x vault. x logo. x key. x note.

CAUTION: If you turn the key, the vault explodes and you die. By the way, if you do die, you go to "Blackness and Void", then you visit GUE Tech briefly before finally returning to the inside of the white cube with the entire game reset.

> take key. (You take the note at the same time.)

> e. sw.

Scenic Overlook

> x cliff. x vault. x signpost.

> throw key. (It falls weirdly towards the vault.)

> ne. w.


> take key. (It's now rusty. The fall aged it.)

> unlock vault with key. (+15)

> open vault. x rule. take it.

> e.

Main Entrance

> burin, log task.

> read book.

> take cube. (You are instead transported to...)

Inside the White Cube

> drop note. drop key. drop syllabus.

> touch sphere. g. (Maiden wants scroll.)

> n.


> e.

Army Camp

This black cube can cause problems for you if you don't hide it inside the envelope.

> x black cube. read it. (antimagic) take it. (+5)

> take scroll.

> put cube in envelope. close envelope. (This should isolate the cube's effects?)

> x tents. w. s.


If you go down this route, the billboards read, one word at a time: "Why walk when you can take a cube? Frobozz Magic Billboard Company." (The billboard just reads "..." afterwards.)

> n. nw.

Outside the Tower

> x door. u.

Atop the Tower

> x chimney. nw.

Are you sure you want to climb into the chimney? > yes

Inside the Tower

> x princess.

> give scroll to princess. (+10. Door blasts open. She's gone.)

> take blindfold. x it.

> x fireplace. nw. look in fireplace.

> take grey cube. x it. read it.

> open book.

> burin, log task. (+10)

> read book.

> se. se.


> e. (The camp is now a Battlefield; you can't stay there.)

> touch white cube.

Inside the White Cube

> touch sphere. (Shark request.)

> e.


Caution 1: If you simply enter the ocean unprotected, you drown.

> drop grey cube. (+5. Giant bubble!)

Caution 2: The bubble won't last forever.

> enter bubble. d.

Under the Ocean

> open envelope. give black cube to shark. (+10. It turns into an enchanter.)

> u.


> out. (The enchanter returns the cube to you.)

> put black cube in envelope. close envelope.

> x enchanter. (+5. You learn a spell. The bubble bursts.)

> spells. (You know the qwerty spell.)

> open book.

> burin, log task. (+10)

> read book.

> touch cube.

Inside the White Cube

> touch sphere. g. g. (Pot of gold request.)

> s.

End of path

> x sign. x arrow. (Points south, toward sun.)

> x shadow. x moss. (Shadow points north. Moss is to the north.)

> x sun. (It's south of here.)

> x path. x footprints. x bridge.

> s.

Chasm, on the bridge

Do your sightseeing of this location before finding the tourist.

> x chasm. x waterfall. (to southwest) x rainbow. (southeast)

> n. n.

Forest (one step in)

The clues to navigating the forest are the sun, arrows, moss, shadows, and footprints. Sun and arrows point sunward; moss, shadows, and footprints are anti-sunward. (Arrows may be scratched on trees.)

Both the directions and the clues are randomized, so be very careful!

First, head away from the sun to find the tourist.

> EXAMINE CLUES. (That is: x sun. x moss. x shadow. x footprints. x arrow.)


Forest (two steps in)

> x tourist.


> tourist, SUNWARD. (The forest changes, so recheck clues.)



Forest (one step in)


> tourist, SUNWARD. (+5)


> go SUNWARD. (+10)

End of path

The tourist will head south as you emerge from the forest or soon afterwards.

> s.

Chasm, on the bridge

If necessary, first wait for the tourist to get here and see the "gleam of gold".

> give blindfold to tourist.

> tourist, wear blindfold.

> tourist, se. (+10. He grabs the pot and throws something to you. Then he runs into the mist.)

> look. take coin. x it.

> burin, log task. (+10)

> read book.

> n.

End of path

> touch cube.

Inside the White Cube

> touch sphere. g. g. g. g. (Battery request.)

> d.


> x timbers. w.

Dead end

"Frobozz Magic Vending Machine Company 'Frotzen' Vend-O-Magic

This state of the art automagic vending machine is guaranteed never to jam, fault or misfeed during a full mining season, or double your zorkmids back!"

> x machine. x slot. ("zm 1")

> x red button. (on right side, "Batteries")

> x black button. (on left side, "Granola", very recessed)

> x plaque. x left chute. x right chute. x mechanism.

Okay, the idea is to get a 2-for-1 refund by trying to buy a granola bar, then using the credit to get the batteries. That way, we can keep the coin.

> put coin in slot. put bar in left chute. (It's now jammed.)

> burin, push black button. (+10)

> look in right chute.

> take coin and disk. x disk. (It's worth one zorkmid.)

> put disk in slot. push red button.

> look in right chute. take battery. (+5)

> x battery.

> e.


You can't safely venture south without a light source. We're about to use drastic measures to get a rather unlikely one:

> touch white cube.

Inside the White Cube

Make sure you have the silver slide rule, the zorkmid, the battery, and log book! Make sure you've logged the log book has four tasks logged! If you forgot to log a task, go do that now and return!

> i. read log book.

> x rose. (Verify that it still points downwards.)

This next part is timed, and you should save first. You'll be setting the compass rose on fire as a light-source for delivering the battery, then heading to the temple before the white cube is destroyed!

> save.

> open envelope. (Burin hides! Black cube vaporises! Sphere falls! Rose burns!)

> take rose. (+10)

> d. s. se. (+10)

Dark chamber

Don't waste time examining the adventurer or anything else here.

> give battery to adventurer. (+5)

> take lantern. open book.

> burin, log task. (+10)

> nw. n.


> touch cube.

Inside the White Cube

The rose explodes!

> touch sphere. (Sphere explodes!)

> u.

Outside Temple

The white cube vaporises!

> x mountains. x temple. x frieze.

The inscription on the temple frieze is a simple substitution cipher, made even easier once you realize that it's based on a QWERTY keyboard layout, replacing each letter with the character above and slightly left of it.

Temple of Implementation

3j34t3hd6 w7jj9h8ht 8hw547d589hw r8he 5y3 oqj0
9r 8hw084q589h 5y3 47o3 9r ih9o3et3 5y3 d98h 9r
oqg974 qhe 5y3 d9j0o353e g99i 9r 548qow 0oqd3 5y3j
9h 5y3 d7g3 8h 5yq5 94e34 5y3h dqw5 123456 r974
58j3w e9h5 t35 85 249ht w8th3e 5y3 8j0o3j3h594w

> ne.

In the Temple

> x cube. x roof.

Follow the instructions from the frieze:

> put lantern on cube. put rule on cube.

> put coin on cube. put book on cube.

> qwerty. qwerty. qwerty. qwerty. (+10)

Inside the Tesseract

> x cubes. (A white-shadowed figure arrives and talks to "Dave".)

> x figure. z. (+10. The universe is turned off.)

Blackness and Void

> z. (The universe restarts.)

GUE Tech, Modern Quendor

> zorgo ANY-DIRECTION. (+5)

Helistar congratulates you on saving the universe and gives you an envelope.

*** The adventure is now over ***





There are several ways to die. You can die by:

But if you die, you go to Blackness and Void. One turn later, you're at GUE Tech, Old Quendor, where Helistar tells you in backwards speech that you're the only one who can break the timeloop. Then you're back inside the white cube. Your score and turns are reset to zero, and everything else in the game is reset too. (Although the burin experiences some deja vu.)

So dying doesn't end the game, per se, you just have to start from the beginning again.

There's only one ending:

Frobozzco divisions

This is a Zork game, so of course Frobozzco gets some shout-outs:



In a total of several turns, you have achieved a score of your-score points out of a possible 200, giving you the rank of ranking.


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