Original Zork Manual Draws Big Bucks On eBay

Original Zork Manual Draws Big Bucks On eBay

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Oh, if only I had a real job, then maybe I'd be able to buy things like the owner's manual for an original version of Zork that recently went up for auction on eBay.

Bear in mind that this isn't "original" as in a first print for the TRS-80 or Apple II; this is a manual for an original Zork, developed and released for the PDP-10 and PDP-11 mainframe computers. This particular version is for the PDP-11, a 16-bit DEC mainframe that was designed and built in the early 70s. According to gameSniped, less than 100 copies of the game were sold, making it an extremely rare find.

The manual has been autographed by three of the game's authors, Mark Blank, Dave Lebling and Joel Berez, and includes an Infocom business card from that era; the original 8" floppy disc, sadly, is not included. Still, the historical significance of just the manual and business card are considerable; the sale of old games on eBay and specialty game auction sites is big business, and as these titles get older, they just get more valuable.

This isn't some kind of nerd fad, either. Videogame preservation efforts in both the U.S. and the U.K. recognize the cultural contribution of electronic gaming and are striving to preserve both digital and physical media associated with early games, while amateur efforts like the Origin Museum attempt to do the same thing, typically on a smaller and more specialized scale. A small but deeply-engaged community of private collectors also helps ensure that historically significant videogame material isn't lost to the ravages of time - and that prices for the best of it remain high.

On that note, there are two things you should be aware of before you charge over to eBay to place your bid: One, the auction is over, and two, you never had a chance: The final sale price was $2,348. But you can still see the completed auction, and get a glimpse at one of the most unique pieces of game memorabilia to ever hit the market, at eBay.com.

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Heh, $2,348 might be a bit excessive for a manual but if someone really had to have it, that amount is not about to send you into debt for the rest of your life.

Maybe some chap was stuck on Zork and couldn't figure out the controls.

Do want!!

But I'd be just as happy as a copy that came complete with the original feelies.

Two thoughts:

1) Buying that Zork manual for $2,348 may seem like a lot of money now, but preserve it and it'll be worth even more once the economy comes back and people have more money to spend on collectibles. Who knows how much money that manual would've commanded, say, in 2006 when money and credit were still widely available?

2) Susan, where did you get that "OMG Pony" badge?

I'm fortunate enough to have a good number of Infocom games with all the original goodies, some re-releases, a few originals and all amazingly well put together. It's a shame developers won't do that sort of thing anymore. These days you have to fork over extra bucks for some half-assed "collector's edition," and most of the time they still don't include stuff anywhere near as cool as what Infocom threw in just for kicks.

And yeah, that manual would be sweet.

I think it would be a cool piece to own, but not for over $2,000

So...my complete collection of every Sierra On-Line adventure game is worth money? Does that include all the mildew and rotting effects the basement has been having on them?

i think at times bids on rare things are Insane and weird

hmmm at least the person who bought it won't be eaten by a grue every time they play, i always forgot my torch and got eaten by a grue

L.B. Jeffries:
So...my complete collection of every Sierra On-Line adventure game is worth money? Does that include all the mildew and rotting effects the basement has been having on them?

It makes me sad when you say such things.

Malygris:

L.B. Jeffries:
So...my complete collection of every Sierra On-Line adventure game is worth money? Does that include all the mildew and rotting effects the basement has been having on them?

It makes me sad when you say such things.

Aw, I'm sorry man. They're floppy disks (as in 5.25 in.) if it makes you feel any better.

L.B. Jeffries:

Malygris:

L.B. Jeffries:
So...my complete collection of every Sierra On-Line adventure game is worth money? Does that include all the mildew and rotting effects the basement has been having on them?

It makes me sad when you say such things.

Aw, I'm sorry man. They're floppy disks (as in 5.25 in.) if it makes you feel any better.

That makes it worse.

fish food carl:
Maybe some chap was stuck on Zork and couldn't figure out the controls.

Ha, ha. Just imagining such a scenario in 2008 amuses and terrifies me no end.

Ralackk:

L.B. Jeffries:

Malygris:

L.B. Jeffries:
So...my complete collection of every Sierra On-Line adventure game is worth money? Does that include all the mildew and rotting effects the basement has been having on them?

It makes me sad when you say such things.

Aw, I'm sorry man. They're floppy disks (as in 5.25 in.) if it makes you feel any better.

That makes it worse.

AAAAHHHH!!!! Alright, I'm sending an e-mail and making sure their okay. It's a tightly sealed box, I just haven't looked at it in ages because there was never a reason for me to even get inside of it. The mildew was just a joke, I don't actually know what condition they're in.

Man, I can't believe how guilty I feel now. They aren't mint condition or anything. I was a kid when I was handling them.

That's right, YOU, yes, YOU, can own your very own copy of WING COMMANDER III on 4 cd's for the PC! Bidding starts at, oh I'll give a conservative sum, say, $500?

I HAVE 500, 500, (randomauctioncallergibberish), who'llgivemeFIEFITTY?!

 

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