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Zork, written between 1977 and 1979, was one of the first in the genre of interactive fiction computer games. It was published in the form of three games: "Zork: The Great Underground Empire - Part I", "Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz", and "Zork III: The Dungeon Master". The quality of its storytelling and of its text parser was much better than the other games of its time; the text parser could not only recognize simple commands like "hit troll", but could also follow some prepositions and conjunctions such as "hit the troll with the Elvish sword". The game is set in the ruins of an ancient underground empire and the player is a nameless adventurer with the goal of returning from the "Great Underground Empire" (GUE) alive and with loads of treasure.
Zork was extremely successful, selling more than 250,000 copies of the trilogy by 1984 and more than 680,000 through 1986. In Next Generation's 1996 list of their "Top 100 Games of All Time", all of the text adventure installments of the Zork series were listed collectively as number 38 for their AI, puzzles, humor, and writing.