How to Cross the Flaming Chasm of Zlork is a Rube Goldberg machine featuring Perilous Jack and sprites ripped from Super Mario Brothers™, Final Fantasy™, BattleToads™, and (I think) Castlevania™.
You can follow Perilous Jack across the Chasm by clicking on the gallery below. Then click here to see the whole picture.
Hero (1) leaps and grabs Steel Ring (2).
Weight of Hero pulls Chain (3), opening Valve (4). Water (5) is released from Reservoir (6),
Water douses Human Torch (7). Human Torch’s pet Phoenix (8) flies off, crying in despair. Flaming wing of Phoenix singes tentacle of Beholder (9).
Ill-tempered Beholder shoots Ray of Stupefaction (10) at harmless Quivering Ooze (11). Stunned Ooze falls onto Counterbalanced Platform (12), causing platform to descend.
Ascending Platform (13) rises, alarming dozing Luridan (14), who flashes dome light, upsetting Giant Vampire Bats (15).
Giant Vampire Bats flutter in confusion around head of Ninja (16), who slashes in wild abandon, accidentally flinging her Sword. Ninja Sword severs the Chain to which Hero still clings by Steel Ring, dropping Hero into magical Teleportation Field (17) emanating from pipe below. Ninja Sword falls into Teleportation Field right after Hero.
Hero is teleported to Platform (18) near center of Chasm. Cosmic Horror (19), disturbed by fluctuations in spactime continuum caused by Teleportation Field, lashes out with tentacles, breaking Water Pipe (20) and causing water to drip onto beanstalk seeds.
Beanstalk (21) grows, allowing Hero to climb and leap over to Platform (22). Platform begins to descend toward inevitable drop into Flaming Chasm.
Meanwhile Descending Platform (23), weighted by Quivering Ooze, dislodges Flame Vane #1(24), which swings around, dislodging Flame Vanes #2 and #3. Fire from Flame Vane #3 ignites Bullet Launcher (25), sending Bullet Bill (26) sailing across the Chasm.
Bullet Bill (26) bites head off of Zombie (27). Disgusted by rotten taste, Bullet Bill spits Zombie Head out. Zombie Head (28) strikes Launchpad (29) and sails upward.
Zombie Head upsets Giant Fly (30) from Swivel Platform (31).
Giant Fly buzzes away, crossing in front of Giant Frog. Giant Frog (32) shoots out tongue, trying to capture Giant Fly, but misses, snagging Hero (33) instead and reeling him in just before Descending Platform (34) releases from Unsecured Guide Chain (35) and plunges into Flaming Chasm. Hero uses Ninja Sword obtained at (17) to cut way out of Giant Frog.
Congratulations! You’re halfway across the Flaming Chasm of ZLORK!
Hero (36), still coated with sticky frog guts, makes easy target trying to escape on Ladder (37). He is snatched up by hungry Fire Elemental (38), who pops him into a Cauldron of Alphabet Soup (39).
Meanwhile, sudden loss of water pressure precipitated by the broken pipe at (20) sets off Alarm System (40). Wind generated by klaxons blows Balloonist Gremlin (41) off course and turns Fan (42), winding Chain (43) attached to Cauldron of Alphabet Soup.
Gremlin’s Balloon bumps against Spikes (44) and bursts, dropping Gremlin onto tail of Sleeping Dragon (45) Dragon wakes up hungry just as Cauldron containing delicious-smelling soup and Hero rises past. Dragon tries to grab Cauldron, but clumsily jostles it due to sleep-sand in eyes, upsetting Hero from Cauldron.
Meanwhile Mermaid (46), hearing retching noises as Bullet Bill (26) spits out Zombie Head (28), is reminded that it is time to clean out her smelly Pantry (47).
In Pantry she finds old Fish Bones and tosses them out of her house. Fish Bones (48) pass through Time Warp (49) and emerge as Youthful Pufferfish (50).
Pufferfish (50) smacks into leg of Giant (51), pricking him. Startled Giant drops his Marbles into Flaming Chasm of Zlork.
Marbles (52) fall into Tangle of Pipes (53) and rattle around.
Green Marble (54) emerges from Pipes and falls onto Elevator Platform (55), causing right-hand platforms to sink and left-hand platforms to rise.
Meanwhile, Hero falls out of Cauldron of Alphabet Soup and lands on uprising platform set into motion by falling Green Marble. Impact of Green Marble on left-hand platforms dislodges Landmine (56), which falls into Flaming Chasm and explodes, startling 3-Headed Snake.
In his confusion, 3-Headed Snake bites himself and keels over, poisoned, onto Swivel Platform (57).
A Coal Elemental (58) drops from a Conveyor Belt at the same moment, and the impact of his greater weight catapults the 3-Headed Snake up and across the Chasm, where he lands on a Giant Mushroom (59).
Meanwhile the Orange Marble (60) emerges from the Pipes and sails upward, striking a Music Block (61), which rings with a beautiful tone.
A second later, the Red Marble (62) flies from a different Pipe, rebounds against a Springboard (63), and flies back through the Pipe it emerged from, striking a different Music Block (64) and eliciting a different tone.
Absent-Minded Wizard (65), hearing musical tones and thinking his doorbell is ringing, opens Door To Nowhere (66) and falls from his deck onto the Giant Mushroom, next to the 3-Headed Snake.
Meanwhile Hero is carried upward by the Elevator Platform, eventually leaping off just before the roof of the Chasm. He lands in a Giant Rollerskate (67), which rolls along the Pipe and pitches him over the edge.
Hero leaps free just in time to land on a stone ledge next to the Chasm Control Center (68).
Meanwhile Absent-Minded Wizard takes pity on poisoned 3-Headed Snake and administers Purgative Medicine (69). 3-Headed Snake coughs up Control Orb, which it had previously swallowed mistaking it for an egg.
Control Orb rolls off of Giant Mushroom and into hand of Hero, who installs it in Chasm Control Center (70). Now in full command of machinery of Chasm, Hero reverses direction of Conveyor Belt and leaps down to ride out of the Chasm. Coal Elementals, normally brutish and violent, notice letters C-A-R-B-O-N stuck to Hero’s chest from his journey in Cauldron of Alphabet Soup and mistake Hero for an incarnation of their god. They fall down and worship Hero, conveying him safely out of THE FLAMING CHASM OF ZLORK.
Congratulations on crossing the Flaming Chasm of ZLORK! I hope you have fun spending the gold in those treasure chests! By the way, now that you’ve crossed . . . How are you going to get back out again? Just curious. 😉