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Bill Lange

History Of Zork

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Great article, much more detailed than I expected. Thanks for the link.

 

Steve

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Interesting article but I was surprised by this passage:

 

There have been many claims made over the years (particularly by disgruntled fans of interactive fiction) that their games are simply more intellectually challenging, and that the reason so many modern gamers don't like them is that they simply aren't intelligent or refined enough to appreciate them. The very idea of a graphical adventure game is repugnant, fit only for dolts and small children. While I don't share this view, as someone who teaches writing, I can certainly understand its appeal.

 

For what could possibly teach people the power of the written word better than a text adventure game, where typing words is literally the only way to make things happen? On the other hand, I've never bought the argument that a textual description requires more imagination than a graphic. It seems to me that the same sort of thing is going on in my head whether I see the word "mailbox" or see one represented on the screen. To make sense of either, I have to have some sort of familiarity with the concept of mailboxes, and imagine the possible reasons why the mailbox is there and what role it could play in the game. It's an argument at least as old as Plato, and not one that I find very helpful.

 

It doesn't take any more imagination to visualize an object from a description than to see it on a screen? I disagree. It takes a lot of work to bring the world of a text adventure to life inside your head, just like you were reading a novel.

 

This is why movies are always going to be more popular than novels. And the main reason text adventures aren't around today.

 

I wish they were, as long as they were geared toward adults like the Infocom games were. I've still never played A Mind Forever Voyaging or Trinity.

Edited by Big Player

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Is there a version of Zork 1,2 & 3 for the 800xl? I've never seen it but would really like to get a set.

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I wonder what ever happened to the 'Zork' programming language they (Infocom/Activision)programmed the adventures in ...i believe they called it 'Z-Code'

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Howdy Carmel

 

I wonder what ever happened to the 'Zork' programming language they (Infocom/Activision)programmed the adventures in ...i believe they called it 'Z-Code'

 

Tom Hunt of "Closer to Home" did some reverse engineering on that years ago and converted a lot of stuff that wasn't available for the 8 bit Atari. Try finding his site via Google.

 

Greetings

 

Mathy

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Hello guys

 

I've found Tom's site (maybe I should bookmark it so I don't always have to use google to find it).

 

Here it is http://cth.dtdns.net/index.html

 

Go to "Atari 8 bit", "CTH software", "8 bit", click on "Z-code", bottom of the page "Download".

 

Greetings

 

Mathy

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Last night my 10yr old daughter and I downloaded Zork I and saved it to a floppy via my new SIO2PC from Atarimax. This was my first attempt to use the SIO2PC and amazingly, Zork was up and running on the first attempt! I had forgotten how much fun Zork is to play and it was great to see my daughter get into the game as much as I did when I first played it on a C64 back in the day.

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I've found Tom's site (maybe I should bookmark it so I don't always have to use google to find it).

 

Here it is http://cth.dtdns.net/index.html

 

Go to "Atari 8 bit", "CTH software", "8 bit", click on "Z-code", bottom of the page "Download".

 

This link no longer works (at least for me anyway), does anybody know anywhere else to find these Atari 8 bit conversions?

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Search for Z-machine games and Winfrotz. Winfrotz is a Z-Machine interpreter that can play all the text adventures. I have probably 200-300 text adventure games on a CD with Winfrotz. You can get all the Infocom games for it.

 

Closer To Home (CTH) FTP Archive

 

Z Machine Games

 

Zork Series

 

WinFrotzR53.zip

Edited by Guitarman

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I think I am confused, I thought the earlier poster was saying that it is possible to play Infocom games on the 8 bit that were never released for the 8 bit (later games like Beyond Zork, Sherlock, or Arthur). I guess I was thinking that there would be some kind of ATRFrotz.atr you could run and then you would have another Infocomgame.zcode file on a different ATR/physical disk that you could use, kind of like how the frotz interpreter works. Is this possible, I know it would be pushing the 8 bit memory to the limits as I remember some of the last games released for the 8 bit like Spellbreaker would grind the disk a lot.

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I thought the earlier poster was saying that it is possible to play Infocom games on the 8 bit that were never released for the 8 bit

The Atari's interpreter only went up to version 3, the games you mention used later versions that effectively increase the addressable area (i.e. bigger game data) and permitted more 'resident' data (i.e. in RAM as it can be updated) hence the need, for example, of a C128 to play titles such as 'A Mind Forever Voyaging'. Also I think they expect an 80 column display.

I guess I was thinking that there would be some kind of ATRFrotz.atr you could run and then you would have another Infocomgame.zcode file on a different ATR/physical disk that you could use, kind of like how the frotz interpreter works.

It would theoretically be possible to compile the existing Frotz interpreter using something like CC65 but the resulting exe would be too large for the A8 and would probably therefore require at least a 128K machine to run (probably more) so a cart based version would be better.

Is this possible, I know it would be pushing the 8 bit memory to the limits as I remember some of the last games released for the 8 bit like Spellbreaker would grind the disk a lot.

Avoidable by holding the data on cartridge instead, which I've already done. I'm in the process of working on modifying the interpreter to permit saving game states to FlashCart after which I hope to produce compilations (probably 3 or 4 titles per cart) of all the A8 Infocom titles. More on this as it becomes a reality though.

Regards,

Mark

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Nice article in Gamasutra today about Zork.

 

http://www.gamasutra...php?story=14492

 

It also talks about the Digital Game Cannon which has been discussed in the forum a few months ago.

 

Regards,

Bill

Decided to give the joystick a rest and have a bash at an Infocom adventure - so I've just been playing Zork and was searching for any info here on atariage.. looking forward to reading the article above :thumbsup: ... got killed and received a suitably sarcastic message when I decided to burn the sacred book using the candles (I knew it was a bad idea but you have to try everything!) Liked the loud room where it repeats what you type - yes I made atari say some bad words :D Dug out the map from Atari User Vol 2 Issue 12 to save some effort... anyone else still playing text adventures?

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I used to love playing Infocom games...but I had to cheat to get through them. I still have a few of the guides around here that you had to use a special marker to make the answers appear.

 

My favorite was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I played that enough times I think I can still get through it without any walk-thrus.

 

Decided to give the joystick a rest and have a bash at an Infocom adventure - so I've just been playing Zork and was searching for any info here on atariage.. looking forward to reading the article above :thumbsup: ... got killed and received a suitably sarcastic message when I decided to burn the sacred book using the candles (I knew it was a bad idea but you have to try everything!) Liked the loud room where it repeats what you type - yes I made atari say some bad words :D Dug out the map from Atari User Vol 2 Issue 12 to save some effort... anyone else still playing text adventures?

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Decided to give the joystick a rest and have a bash at an Infocom adventure - so I've just been playing Zork and was searching for any info here on atariage.. looking forward to reading the article above :thumbsup: ... got killed and received a suitably sarcastic message when I decided to burn the sacred book using the candles (I knew it was a bad idea but you have to try everything!) Liked the loud room where it repeats what you type - yes I made atari say some bad words :D Dug out the map from Atari User Vol 2 Issue 12 to save some effort... anyone else still playing text adventures?

Not playing - but just to be a dork, I grabbed Zork I, II, III for CP/M-80 and verified that they work via my Indus GT :)

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For those who don't know, there are a number of Infocom games available for the Coleco ADAM computer in CP/M format and they have been modified to fit the ADAM's screen width. You need a disk drive to play them on a real ADAM. Disk images of Zork I, II and III can be found here: http://www.sacnews.net/adamcomputer/downloads.html for playing on an emulator.

Edited by jblenkle

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My favorite was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I played that enough times I think I can still get through it without any walk-thrus.

 

I have a love hate relationship with HHGTTG. It's a great adventure but it is very linear in the fact you have to do everything in an exact order to continue through the game. This is very unlike most of the other Infocom adventures where you can tend to explore freely without too much consequence.

 

That said, it is still one of my overall favorites.

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I thought

I have a love hate relationship with HHGTTG. It's a great adventure but it is very linear in the fact you have to do everything in an exact order to continue through the game. This is very unlike most of the other Infocom adventures where you can tend to explore freely without too much consequence.

 

That said, it is still one of my overall favorites.

I thought I'd start off with Zork then have another crack at HHGTTG - hope everyone has read all the Scott Adams Books (all of them) they're pretty good too. Zork: So far have stored a few treasures and have a few things to try next time. Managed to revive myself once but not a second time... tried mapping the twisty little maze using objects but couldn't find a way though and then some buggers nicked me objects - you hear the comments something like what's a Zork owners manual doing here... really fun stuff :love: will resist using any hints just yet ;)

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I thought

 

I thought I'd start off with Zork then have another crack at HHGTTG - hope everyone has read all the Scott Adams Books (all of them) they're pretty good too. Zork: So far have stored a few treasures and have a few things to try next time. Managed to revive myself once but not a second time... tried mapping the twisty little maze using objects but couldn't find a way though and then some buggers nicked me objects - you hear the comments something like what's a Zork owners manual doing here... really fun stuff :love: will resist using any hints just yet ;)

 

Pretty sure you mean Douglas Adams. :lol:

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Pretty sure you mean Douglas Adams. :lol:

after I'd shutdown the PC I though I bet I'd put Scott instead of Douglas Adams! ... I bet his books were good too :D

 

Does anyone ever see "Your sword is glowing with a faint blue glow" and not think of Zork? :)

Might need some hints soon on where to focus my efforts - I'm playing late at night for added atmosphere ;) will post again with a list soon...

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