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Zork Nemesis: The Forbidden Lands

Updated on June 25, 2015

Adventure Game Plus

Zork Nemesis : The Forbidden Lands was released in 1996 by Activision

This is massive / huge adventure game on 4 CD's.

This is because of the large amount of full-motion video and panoramic scenes.

Zork: Nemesis, made excellent use of live actors.

Each of the six major characters, plus several additional characters, were played by actors.

One of the actors is Lauren Koslow of Days of our Lives and The Bold and the Beautiful.

The actors, are used in flashbacks at key-locations (or objects) and the use of monologues in which a character addressed the player explaining and justifying his/her actions.

I have rated this as General viewing, but I do think it is a 16 plus game.

I have never been able to finish the right to the end, maybe that's why I like it so much.

No spoilers for this Game by giving answers, maybe some clues.

Happy gaming.

All images used in these pages are the property of Activision

Promotion Video


Z-Vision Surround Technology

Zork: Nemesis employed technology Activision dubbed "Z-Vision Surround Technology." This gave users a simulated 360-degree view of each location visited.

Nemesis was one of the first games to employ such technology. As such, although it added new depth to the gameplay, it appears dated and pixellated by today's standards. Nemesis only allows panning either horizontally or vertically at any position, not both at the same time as with later games. Details were far more difficult to make out in the panoramic scenes in Nemesis than in the still screens. The sequel Zork Grand Inquisitor made significant improvements to the Z-Vision system.

All images used in these pages are the property of Activision

The game is a foot

The game starts off in a Temple. You, the player, have to go to the Forbidden lands to investigate the disappearance of four prominent citizens:

* Madame Sophia Hamilton, voiced by Lauren Koslow

* Bishop Francois Malveaux,

* Doctor Erasmus Sartorius, and

* General Thaddeus Kaine.

And be aware of the curse ( Known as Nemesis )which surrounds the Forbidden Lands and killed the previous investigator. Agent Karlok Bivotar.

In the Forbidden Lands, you must find a message left by the spirit of Alexandria Wolfe. Then you enter the Temple of Agrippa and find the four citizens mentioned above ("The Alchemists"), held in coffins. The "Nemesis" has "killed" them, holding them in a state of eternal torture. As you purify their elements, they speak of what they have done. And you also find out what happened to their children - Kaine's son Lucien and Malveaux's daughter Alexandria.

Now you know the truth, you travel to each of these characters' dwellings to find four lost elements and bring the world back into balance.

Quest for Fire - PC screen video of game


First round of fun

Entering the Temple

From the beginning position in the courtyard, move forward to the green stone mausoleum. Move around to the right side of the mausoleum. Enter the mausoleum and click on the burning candle and stone sarcophagus for animations. The significance of the violin will become apparent later in the game. If you look inside the sarcophagus, there's a friendly note from Nemesis.

Exit the mausoleum and turn left to proceed to the back side of the mausoleum. Head across the way to the main temple entrance. Look up to see the door inscription:

All images used in these pages are the property of Activision


Finding Clue's

Exit the library into the fountain courtyard and proceed all the way left to the lab entrance. Read another of Nemesis' diaries (on the right, behind the door). Note the references to elements hidden in the temple, the colorlessness of air, and four metals corresponding to the four elements. In the center of the lab, look down to see four zodiac symbols, also seen on the temple map. Climb the creaky old ladder and check out the picture book to the right. Move into the back room of the lab and click on each of the six spinning mouth ornaments for more story background. On the drafting table, read the scroll for information on the correspondences of planets, metals and elements.

Exit the lab and proceed around the fountain courtyard to the hall on the far side. On entering the hall, note the painting on the left wall. Click on this painting to get clues to the puzzles in the temple.

Exit the hall through the doorway opposite the painting and enter an open courtyard. Examine the sundial on the far side and take its post.

Re-enter the hallway and turn right to proceed up the stairs into the nave. Click on each of the four trapped alchemists and the gold heads for more story background and correspondences. At this point, you are ready to attack the four element puzzles indicated by the corresponding zodiac symbols in the temple map.

Fire Puzzle
Fire Puzzle


More Clue's

Unlike the other three temple puzzles, this one is located away from the nave (see the temple map). Go to the temple library and face south.

Proceed through the doorway and down the passage (note those crackling flames!). On the zodiac pattern on the door at the end of the hallway, drag the man's head to the fire symbol (open triangle). This pattern may also be seen on a table in the lab. After the door opens, proceed inside.

Zoom in on the sundial and insert the sundial post you are carrying. Drag the post until the shadow line falls across the zodiac symbol (h with cross) corresponding to fire. A door opens on the far side; enter through it.

Immediately turn right and pick up the mirror. Enter the main part of the "candle room" and among the six hooks hanging from the ceiling, place the mirror on the far left one. This arrangement is the only one in which an unusual blue-flame candle can be seen in the mirror reflection. Noting the relative position of the blue-flame candle in the (reversed) mirror image, rotate to the right and click on the disguised blue-flame candle. It is the twelfth candle from the doorway in the third row from the top. Click on the blue flame to complete the fire puzzle.

Click on the flaming triangle in the altar, and then zoom in on the highlighted alchemist (second from the left). Watch the video sequence inside the coptic cross.

All images used in these pages are the property of Activision

Ice Chair
Ice Chair

Water Puzzle

On the temple map, the Fire puzzle is located to the west of and a little behind the altar area. The entrance consists of stone steps flanking a square ventilation grid.

Proceed up the stairs. You will be thrown out of either of the two doorways unless the entrance puzzle is solved. To the south, click on the pan-pipes figurine and listen to the rising sequence of notes played (if you can discern them over the background music, that is). Turn around and set the water spigots to produce the same sequence of sounds:

All images used in these pages are the property of Activision



With all four elements in place Nemesis comes to call. Forced back by the Alchemists he leaves behind a golden sphere.

This is the Sun that you need to take to the Planetarium at the rear of the Temple. Down the stairs are two control levers. Move the left hand lever to the lower position and the arm comes forwards. Drop the Sun into the cup and move the left hand lever to the central slot.

Ready for your next mission? You need to travel to four new locations and collect the metals. If you spun the mouths in the laboratory and would have learnt the four stages of alchemy: subjugation, distillation, calcification and coagulation. From this you should deduce that you need to find the raw materials, purify, apply heat and then cool the metal.

Move the right hand lever clockwise to spin the sunlight around to the Alchemist's planets. The bell rings when you are lined up and you are taken to: the Monastery, Conservatory, Irondune and the Asylum.

You can visit the locations in any order. When you do arrive at the 4 sites there will be a floating planet that you can use to return to the Temple of Agrippa at any time.


The Monastery

From the Planetarium you fly over a hot and desolate land. The only building in sight is the Monastery but before you go there take a look around. Facing the Saturnax icon turn left and go through the arch. Read the plaque on the wall. Turn left and there is something shining on the pillar. Look down and click on the golden mark. Pick up the coin and look up. Go forwards and up the staircase. Go to the main door - it has been sealed. Maybe there is another way in.

Turn to the right and there has been a bit of subsidence. Jump into the hole and you end up inside the monastery.

The End of Zork Nemesis

The original Zork Trilogy

The original Zork Trilogy

o Zork I: The Great Underground Empire 1980

o Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz 1981

o Zork III: The Dungeon Master 1982

Later additions

o The Enchanter trilogy:

oEnchanter 1983

oSorcerer 1984

oSpellbreaker 1985

oWishbringer: The Magick Stone of Dreams 1985

oBeyond Zork: The Coconut of Quendor 1987

oZork Zero: The Revenge of Megaboz 1988

oZork Quest: Assault on Egreth Castle 1988

oZork Quest: The Crystal of Doom 1989

oReturn to Zork 1993

oZork Nemesis: The Forbidden Lands 1996

Let me know if you have played Zork or what is your favourite. - Thank You

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    • Aladdins Cave profile imageAUTHOR

      Aladdins Cave 

      3 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Hi cperuzzi,

      Thank you for the thumbs up. Great game, and it was way ahead of its time. Using real Hollywood actors was a first as well.

      I never made it to the end however, never got past disc 3 :(

      Cheers from DOWNUNDER

    • cperuzzi profile image

      Christopher Peruzzi 

      3 years ago from Freehold, NJ

      I played this game back in 96 and have great nostalgia playing the text version and Grand Inquisitor. This article was spot on and I loved reading it.

      Voted UP and AWESOME.

    • Aladdins Cave profile imageAUTHOR

      Aladdins Cave 

      5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Hi sminee27. I can not blame you if you tried and gave up.When it was released, back in the dark ages, it was very advanced and a hard game to play.I never got to the end myself.Thanks for liking my lensCheers from DOWNUNDER

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      5 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I think I have tried this before but I gave up. haha.


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