1. There is a curious feature in several of the .z3 games. If you type EXAMINE, the game responds "What do you want to examine?" If you type EXAMINE again, the game responds "What do you want to examin?" (with the "e" at the end truncated).
Apparently this has something to do with the fact that all of these games examine only the first 6 letters of any inputted word, but there is no easily detectable pattern. It does not appear in the earliest games, but many games respond differently after the second EXAMINE command (such as with "There seems to be a noun missing in that sentence").
These are the games that this bug appears in: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (all versions except Solid Gold), The Lurking Horror (all versions), The first 4-in-1 Infocom Sampler (all versions), Stationfall, Suspect, and Wishbringer (all versions except Solid Gold).
Interestingly, all of the demos featured in the 4-in-1 Sampler feature this bug, even if the full versions of the game did not. -- Steven Marsh
2. THE "IT" BUG: There is a bug that occurs in all known versions of Zork 2 and 3, in versions 5, 15, and 20 of Zork 1, and in versions 10, 15, 16 and 24 of Enchanter. When the noun IT is used, the game does not check to see if the noun that it refers to is still present before executing the command.
Here's an example. At the very beginning of Zork 2, issue these commands: TAKE LAMP. THROW LAMP AT SWORD. TAKE IT. At this point, there will be two lamps: a broken one on the ground, and the unbroken one in your inventory. Throwing the lamp at the sword smashed it, but when you said to take "IT", the game took the (no-longer existing) normal lamp instead of the smashed one on the ground.
In Zork 3, you can do the same thing by throwing the lamp at the embedded sword, the duct in Aqueduct View, or any number of other things. In Zork 1, you can throw it at the door in the Living Room, or any number of other things.
Referring to the working lamp when both exist in the same place may be difficult. TURN OFF LAMP gets you the reply, "Which lamp do you mean, the lamp or the broken brass lantern?" Saying THE LAMP starts the process over again (There are similar problems with the bathroom door in Deadline, and the sword/nicked swords in Zork 2).
In Zork 3, if you die when both lamps exist, it is the Broken Lantern that will be waiting for you at Endless Stair, and the working lamp that will be sent to a random location. As the Grand Inquisitor would say, this is generally a Bad Thing. In Zork 1 and 2, it's the other way around; the good lamp is waiting for you, and the bad one is scattered.
This bug works with items other than the lamp. For example, in versions 5, 15, and 20 of Zork 1, you can EAT LUNCH, and then TAKE IT to get it back. World hunger solved, courtesy of Infocom.
In Enchanter, you can EAT the last of the bread and then TAKE IT. (For some reason after you do this, the command EXAMINE BREAD will produce gibberish). Or POUR WATER, getting a message about how it evaporates, and then TAKE IT to get it back. (See The Jug Bug for more on this)
Side Note: Some versions of Enchanter contain The Jug Bug, a similar bug which allows one to fill a partially filled jug with water in places where there is no other source. All versions of Enchanter which contain The Jug Bug also contain this one. Version 24 is interesting however, because in that one, The Jug Bug has been fixed, but The It Bug has not. In Version 24, if you drink the last of the water, then type TAKE IT, the response is "The only water here is in the jug". This response was created to fix The Jug Bug, but is not correct in this case, as there is no water present, not even in the jug.
It is not known what other games, if any, this might appear in. It does not appear in Infidel, and so probably does not appear in any games made after that. In Infidel, if you BREAK LOCK, then TAKE IT, you take the Broken Lock, not the unbroken one, which is gone for good. -- The Redneck (Andrew Millar)
3. THE LAMP BUGS: The lamp itself is responsible for two small bugs, that are present in Zork 1, 2, and 3.
In all versions of Zork 2 and 3, and in versions 5, 15, 20, 23, 25, 26, 28, and 30 of Zork 1, if you smash the (lit) lamp in an otherwise dark area, the area will remain lit until you leave and come back, even if you no longer have a light source.
For example, at the beginning of Zork 3, enter these moves: TAKE LAMP. LIGHT. SOUTH. THROW LIGHT AT SWORD. The lamp will smash, but the room will still be lit, for all purposes. Then try the commands NORTH. SOUTH. When you return, the room will be dark, as it should be.
The second bug is a mere quibble. In all versions of Zork 1, 2, and 3, when you THROW LAMP AT SWORD (or whatever), and break it, the response reads, "The lamp has smashed into the floor, and the light has gone out.", regardless of whether or not the lamp was lit when you broke it. -- Graeme Cree
4. Some miscellaneous parser quirks that may appear in many games:
a) In Sorcerer the IT command may become confused, like so:
>OPEN VIAL-- Graeme Cree
Opening the orange vial reveals orange potion.
You must tell me how to do that to orange potion.
>EXAMINE-- Matthew Auger
[What do you want to examine?]
You can't see examine tiffany here.
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