Well, wrapped up the earth themed world of Zork Nemesis. It was very meh. I enjoyed it a great deal less than the fire themed world. Had basically 2 puzzles, all essentially code breaking. I had to look up the solution to one of them, because while I had the pieces to work it out through trial and error, apparently the answer was printed on the inside cover of the manual. Which I actually still have from way back when, but still. I hate that shit. I attempted to use the in game hint system first, but pressing the '?' key just had a generic message about not giving up, I was so close. So thanks for nothing.
Ok, scratch that last bit, did a bit more research and the proper order of the pieces I had was in an area I didn't unlock. So I guess it wasn't completely bullshit.
Anyways, I'm optimistic about the other two worlds. Even as a kid, I recall Irondune being the weakest. Perhaps the water themed zone was weak as well, we'll see.
I've been reading more older impressions, as well as some modern impressions of Zork Nemesis. I can't really find any consistency of reviewers opinions about puzzle difficulty. Some thing they are too simple, others too difficult. I guess you'd have to know the reviewer to calibrate their opinion with your own skill level.
I saw a lot of complaints about how gruesome the game is. One review basically put a trigger warning on the entirety of the wind zone, as well as a few more recent youtube videos I watched.
I saw some reviews complaining that the game lacked it's distinctly Zorky humor, and I saw others complaining about the tonal clash of some of the irreverent humor with the darker tone. Personally what humor I find in the game is often subtle, and while it pushes back against the darker tone, a lot of the humor is on the darker side as well. Like the bottle of "Prozork" in a priest's quarters. Or an organization testing fissile material in the desert blaming a massive explosion on the fact that no virgins have been sacrificed to the fire gods in 1000 years. But I guess if you were a lover of the text based Zork and it's amazing whit, this is all coming up short.
Still mostly enjoying it. It has an atmosphere I'm really digging. Though the low resolution of the game makes it a little tricky to truly immerse myself, since I'm squinting at pixels so much trying to figure out what I'm looking at and if I should care about it. I think I'm just looking forward to replaying Zork Grand Inquisitor after this, since I truly loved it's humor as a young teen.
Win95/DOS 7.1 - P233 MMX (@2.5 x 100 FSB), Diamond Viper V330 AGP, SB16 CT2800
Win98 - K6-2+ 500, GF2 MX, SB AWE 64 CT4500, SBLive CT4780
Win98 - Pentium III 1000, GF2 GTS, SBLive CT4760
WinXP - Athlon 64 3200+, GF 7800 GS, Audigy 2 ZS