You got some Zork in my CoD: Black Ops!


Brings back memories...

Overnight, we heard that apparently a million people were signed into Xbox Live, playing Call of Duty: Black Ops. I wonder how many of those million are actually playing Zork

What? Classic text adventure Zork is contained – in its entirety – inside Call of Duty: Black Ops, and it’s just waiting for you to unlock it!

(There’s also Dead Ops Arcade, an awesome little arcade title smuggled in there too, if you’re not up for texting.)

Spoilers are lurking from this point onward – you have been warned!

So – how do you access these lo-fi goodies? Through the menu, of course! There’s a tiny level hidden in plain sight, which you can access pretty easily (once you escape the chair you’ve been shackled to). Try playing with the left and right triggers while looking down at your hands (use the right stick)… what’s that? You’re free? Congratulations!

Now, let’s get to gaming.
Explore the room a bit and you’ll find a computer console. Hit the button onscreen and you’ll get a terminal prompt, which is quite workable and uses some pretty familiar commands.

‘dir’ will help you explore the directory, ‘cat FILENAME’ will let you read a text file, listen to a sound file or view a picture, and ‘mail’ will activate the circa-1963 email program. Have a bit of a read – the messages in your inbox contain handy hints about what else you can get up to in the terminal (to get back out of mail, type ‘quit’).

But this is all boring, you can read email in the real world, right? Why not try typing ‘zork’?

Zork, played in CoD: Black Ops

(You may be eaten by a grue.)

Hey presto, it’s a fully-playable, fully-functioning version of Infocom’s classic text adventure, in the console, in the game, in your console. Activision currently own the rights to Zork, by the way. Nice touch!

The sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that yes, there’s a handful of achievements up for grabs here too – so even if you’re not up for some old-school gaming, it’s worth hunting down.

If you’d prefer some zombie-killing (a la Smash TV), just type in ‘doa’ to load Dead Ops Arcade for some addictive top-down retro fun.

Also tucked away in the console is a ‘who’ command, which lists the other users authorised to use the system. We spotted some familiar names – John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon… – of course, you don’t know their passwords, but I’m sure there’s some hints around the place somewhere, maybe in the mail program?

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