First appearance: Zork (Infocom, PC, 1977-81)
Appearance: Presumed to possess slavering fangs and razor-sharp claws
Preferred Habitats: Pitch black dungeons
Weaknesses: Light; the Grueslayer

Profile by Kat Bailey? | March 18, 2011

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

These words will strike fear into the heart of any adventurer. It means that a sinister, lurking presence is nearby; one with slavering fangs and razor-sharp claws. While no one has actually seen a grue, taking a step forward in the darkness is an excellent way by which to making its acquaintance.

The flood of grues in the Great Underground Empire was the unintentional side effect of an adventurerís prudence. Forced to fill a bottomless pit using a magical device, the adventure accidentally forced out a large colony of grues. Theyíve since wandered the dungeons looking for food; dungeon-divers being their favorite snack.

Thereís no reliable way to fight a grue, but that hasnít stopped some adventurers from trying. The Frotz spell is one possibility, as is Frobozz Magic Grue Repellent. Itís also possible to disguise oneself as a grue with a costume out of the Frobozz Magic Company anti-grue kit, indicating that grues arenít exactly smart. And of course, thereís the legendary blade Grueslayer, which does just as it says on the tin.

Rather than attempting to fight these terrifying spectres though, the most prudent course of action is to simply light a lamp or step out of the darkness. The grues, after all, despise the light. A canny individual can avoid being devoured simply by staying out of the darkest corners of the world.

But be careful; while the grues despise the light, they could appear in the unlikeliest of places. And one never knows when theyíll settle into bed only to discover that itís actually rather dark at night.

And thatís just the way the grues like it.

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