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( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 )
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Archive-name: games/interactive-fiction/part2
Maintainer: Stephen van Egmond <>
Version: 1.7 - December 2003

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
A strange little man in a long cloak appears suddenly in the room. He is
wearing a high pointed hat embroidered with astrological signs. He has a
long, stringy, and unkempt beard.

The Wizard draws forth his wand and waves it in your direction. It begins
to glow with a faint blue glow. The Wizard, in a deep and resonant voice,
speaks the word "FAQ!" He cackles gleefully.

  (2.1) Infocom
  This is part 2 of the Frequently Asked Questions list for the group, a Usenet newsgroup for the discussion of
  Interactive Fiction games and related topics. To read a specific
  question, use your newsreader's search function on the string "(n)",
  where n is the question number, or click on one of the links below if
  you are viewing this in HTML.

  Contents of this file:
  (2.1) Infocom
  (2.2) What happened to Infocom, anyway?
  (2.3) How did Infocom make those neat packages?
  (2.4) Hey, anybody know how I can reach Steve Meretzky?
  (2.5) Classic Infocom titles
  (2.6) Previous Infocom compilations you still might find
  (2.7) Recent Infocom products
  (2.8) Infocom's historical artifacts
  (2.9) Missing game pieces
  (2.10) What is a Z-Machine?
  (2.11) Where can I get free Infocom games?
  (2.12) Creating your own adventure games

  Part 1 covers the elements of Part 3 covers
  non-Infocom game producers.

  The current maintainer is Stephen van Egmond. Questions and information
  should be mailed to The most recent
  version is at

The dream dissolves around you as his last words echo through the void....

As you cast the spell, the moldy scroll vanishes!

After a momentary dizziness, you realize that your location has changed,
although Ford Prefect is not in sight...

You can make out a shadow moving in the dark.

The shadow is vaguely Ford Prefect-shaped.

This is a squalid room filled with grubby mattresses, unwashed cups, and
unidentifiable bits of smelly alien underwear. A door lies to port, and an
airlock lies to starboard.

Ford removes the bottle of Santraginean Mineral Water which he's been
waving under your nose. He tells you that you are aboard a Vogon
spaceship, and gives you some peanuts.

A long silence tells you that Ford Prefect isn't interested in talking
about Infocom.

Ford yawns. "Matter transference always tires me out. I'm going to take a
nap." He places something on top of his satchel. "If you have any
questions, here's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (Footnote 14).
Ford lowers his voice to a whisper. "I'm not supposed to tell you this,
but you'll never be able to finish the game without consulting the Guide
about lots of stuff." As he curls up in a corner and begins snoring, you
pick up the Guide.

The Guide checks through its Sub-Etha-Net database and eventually comes up
with the following entry:

  (2.2) What happened to Infocom, anyway?
  This information is taken from [what was once] the
  FAQ, with thanks to Infocom's Stu Galley for passing it along:

  [Thanks to Dave Lebling (Infocom co-founder) for the definitive info on

  Infocom never went out of business. It went deeply into debt to develop
  a database product (named Cornerstone) that was a commercial flop. It
  went shopping for a merger and found Activision, which later changed its
  name to Mediagenic. What did happen is that in May of 1989 Mediagenic
  closed down the "real" Infocom in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and laid
  (almost) everyone off. All the releases up through Zork Zero, Shogun,
  Journey, and Arthur were developed in Cambridge.

  Mediagenic licensed the UK rights to the games to Virgin Mastertronic
  some time ago.

  Mediagenic went nearly bankrupt, was taken over by outside investors,
  and taken through a so-called "pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy" in
  January, 1992. As part of that process, they changed their name back to
  Activision, moved from Silicon Valley down to LA, and recently merged
  with a company owned by the investors (called The Disc Company).
  Activision continues to release new products under the Infocom label,
  including collections of Infocom's text adventures. Their graphical
  CDROM adventures have been greeted with dour grunts on
  rec.*.int-fiction, but the games seem to be improving in quality with
  every new release.

You begin to feel distinctly groggy.


  (2.3) How did Infocom make those neat packages?

 From: Dan Schmidt <>

 Fredrik Ekman <> wrote:
 >I am wondering who wrote the stuff that came with the classic Infocom
 >packages, such as the Enchanter "History of Magic" or the Leather
 >Goddesses comic-book. Was it the game authors or someone else?
 >Was there some kind of "editor" for the game packages that had the
 >over-all responsibility for art, text and extra gimmicks?

  I work with Mike Dornbrook, so I asked him. Here's his response: [MD
  developed InvisiClues and had an illustrious career in Infocom's
  marketing department.]

  There were actually quite a few people involved in creating the package
  elements for Infocom games. The game authors (we called them "the
  implementors") were the primary writers. The first exotic package was
  for Deadline (the third game, after Zork I and II). It was created
  because Marc Blank couldn't fit all the information he wanted to include
  into the 80K game size. Marc and the ad agency, Giardini/Russel (G/R),
  co-created the police dossier which included photos, interrogation
  reports, lab reports and pills found near the body. The result was
  phenomenally successful, and Infocom decided to make all subsequent
  packages truly special (a big benefit was the reduction in piracy, which
  was rampant at the time).

  The first 16 packages were done in collaboration with G/R. David Haskell
  was the primary copywriter for Infocom materials (ads, catalogs, package
  elements, etc.). G/R typically did the "fluffier" pieces. Infocom's game
  implementor (and one of the co-founders) Dave Lebling wrote "The History
  of Magic" in Enchanter, but G/R wrote the "True Tales of Adventure" in
  Cutthroats. [The attentive reader will note that Sorcerer has a creature
  named "Jeearr", which is absolutely not a coincidence. --SvE]

  We were spending a fortune on package design ($60,000 each on average in
  1984 - just for design!), so we eventually decided to bring it in-house.
  I hired an Art Director, Carl Genatossio, a writer, a typesetting/layout
  person, and someone to manage all the "feelies" in the packages. These
  folks (plus an occasional contractor during busy periods) did all the
  packages, hint books, New Zork Times, sell sheets, etc. from 1985 until
  the end in 1989. There were two writers during that time period -
  Elizabeth Langosy for most of it, then Marjorie Gove. Again there was a
  mix of game implementor writing and "marketing" writing. For instance,
  Steve Meretzky wrote the comic book in Leather Goddesses, but Elizabeth
  wrote the newspaper in Sherlock.

  An unsung heroine of Infocom was our Production Manager, Angela Crews.
  She was responsible for acquiring the scratch-n-sniff cards, ancient
  Zorkmid coins, glow-in-the-dark stones, etc. which made the packages so
  distinctive. It was often an incredibly difficult task.

  As for who oversaw all of this, again, there were many responsible. The
  Product Manager (first me, then Gayle Syska, then Rob Sears) worked with
  the Implementor and the Art Director to come up with a concept for the
  package and hammered out the details of the elements. All of these folks
  were intimately involved in the approvals, editing, tweaking, etc. which
  all of the elements underwent over a 3 to 4 month period. And many
  others (from the President, to Sales, to Testing) put in their two cents
  along the way.

  I would estimate that each Infocom package had 1.5 man-years of effort
  invested in its creation.

  -Mike Dornbrook

You begin to feel indistinctly groggy.


  (2.4) Hey, anybody know how I can reach Steve Meretzky?
  The members of the original Infocom crew have moved on to other
  positions. Any kind of "where are they now" would probably be wrong, out
  of date, and almost certainly unwelcome. David Lebling has recently
  surfaced on rec.*.int-fiction to comment from time to time, and so has
  Liz Cyr Jones, Brian Moriarty and others. Other implementors may be
  lurking; nobody knows.

You see nothing else interesting.

The Guide checks through its Sub-Etha-Net database and eventually comes up
with the following entry:

  (2.5) Classic Infocom titles
  Classic Infocom is generally defined to be anything before Return to
  Zork. Activision owns the rights to all the Infocom games and
  trademarks, and occasionally releases them in some repackaged form or

  Activision is currently [footnote 42] selling a few compilations, but
  they are not (as of December 200) mentioned nor available on their
  website. Yet they are for sale on, and of course
  there's always ebay.

  Infocom Mystery Collection
          Contents unknown.

  Infocom Adventure Collection
          Contents unknown.

  The Zork Collection
          Contains Zork I, II and III, Enchanter, Sorceror, Spellbreaker,
          Wishbringer, Beyond Zork and Zork Zero: The Revenge of Megaboz.

  The packaging in all three cases is a CD in a box, with the game files,
  interpreter, and PDF versions of the documentation.

  If you are looking for pirated copies of classic products, don't bother
  asking on this newsgroup. In fact, don't bother at all. Many of the
  games rely on materials in the game package for copy protection, either
  in the form of knowledge you would have by reading it, or data that you
  need to look up.

Ford is curled up on the bed, snoring loudly.


  (2.6) Previous Infocom compilations you still might find
  Infocom, in its pre-Activision days released trilogies containing a
  subset of the trinkets found in the original packages. Like almost all
  other original Infocom packages, these are now collectors' items.
  Infocom released the Zork, Enchanter, Classic Mystery, and Science
  Fiction trilogies, and Activision continues to bring out new trilogies
  from time to time.

  There is a service (see that tracks places
  on the net that have these packages for sale.

  Activision has released its own series of compilations:

  "The Lost Treasures of Infocom I"
          is a collection of 20 Infocom games. You may be able to obtain
          it through mail-order outlets or used from someone who doesn't
          want it anymore. The package was available for the IBM PC, the
          Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga. The CD and floppy
          editions were identical.

          The games in LToI I were:
             * Zork I
             * Enchanter
             * Deadline
             * Starcross
             * Zork II
             * Sorcerer
             * Witness
             * Suspended
             * Zork III
             * Spellbreaker
             * Suspect
             * Planetfall Zork Zero
             * Ballyhoo
             * Infidel
             * Stationfall
             * Beyond Zork
             * Moonmist
             * Lurking Horror
             * Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
          The LToI 1 package was available for the Apple IIgs through the
          Big Red Computer Club, which sought and received permission from
          Activision to produce a IIgs version which used a hacked-up
          version of the InfoTaskForce (ITF) interpreter and did not
          include Zork Zero. Matt Ackeret's IIgs port of Zip is far

          The package includes a manual which contains photocopies of all
          the original manuals and game pieces (such as the trading cards
          from "Spellbreaker", which are needed to solve a puzzle in the
          game), but some information is missing -- see section 2.7 below.

          The package also contains a hint book, which looks like somebody
          took all the Invisiclues booklets and typed them into a text
          file. The hint book is riddled with spelling mistakes,
          formatting errors and other problems, but in most cases the
          mistakes are not serious enough to keep you from using it.

  "Lost Treasures of Infocom II"
          contained most (but not all) of the remaining Infocom text
          adventure games, and retailed for $29.95 through retail and mail
          order outlets. The games in the 3.5 disk version were:
             * Seastalker
             * Wishbringer
             * A Mind Forever Voyaging
             * Trinity
             * Cutthroats
             * Hollywood Hijinx
             * Bureaucracy
             * Border Zone
             * Plundered Hearts
             * Sherlock
             * Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It
          The CD-ROM version contained Shogun, Arthur and Journey in

          LToI2 was produced for the Macintosh and PC only. Users of other
          platforms can play the non-graphical games by transferring the
          files to their machine and playing them with a ZIP. (See
          question 2.10.)

          This package contains photocopies of the original packaging, but
          does NOT contain a hint book: Instead it contains a 1-900 number
          which you can call to receive hints which is probably dead by
          now. Some information is missing for Bueaucracy. See question
          2.7. LToI2 also incorrectly identifies Kevin Pope as the author
          of Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It. Kevin Pope
          drew the cartoons which were included in the package. Jeff
          O'Neill wrote the game.

  After Lost Treasures, Infocom released its topical Collections. These
  are considered inferior to just about every other collection.

  Mystery Collection
          Ballyhoo, Deadline, Witness, Moonmist, Sherlock

  Adventure Collection
          Border Zone, Plundered Hearts, Cutthroats, Trinity, Infidel

  Comedy Collection
          Bureaucracy, Hollywood Hijinx, Nord & Bert

  Fantasy Collection
          Enchanter, Sorcerer, Spellbreaker, Seastalker, Wishbringer

  Science Fiction Collection
          Hitchhiker's, Suspended, AMFV, Starcross, Stationfall

  Zork Anthology
          Published by Activision in 1994 as a CD companion to the
          pseudo-Infocom title "Return to Zork". It contains Zork I, Zork
          II, Zork III, Beyond Zork, Zork Zero, and oddly, Planetfall.

  And, most recently:

  Classic Text Adventure Masterpieces
          This CD (released for PC and Mac, and works on other OSes) meets
          practically every wish of the readership.

          The CD includes the following games: A Mind Forever Voyaging;
          Arthur: The Quest For Excalibur; Ballyhoo; Border Zone;
          Bureaucracy; Cutthroat; Deadline; Enchanter; Hollywood Hijinx;
          Infidel; Journey; Leather Goddesses Of Phobos; Lurking Horror;
          Moonmist; Nord And Bert Couldn't Make Head Or Tail Of It;
          Planetfall; Plundered Hearts; Seastalker; Sherlock; Sorcerer;
          Spellbreaker; Starcross; Stationfall; Suspect; Suspended;
          Trinity; Wishbringer; Witness; Zork Zero; Zork I; Zork II; Zork
          III; Beyond Zork. Also included is the top 6 winning entries
          from the 1995 Interactive Fiction authorship competition, a
          "Very Lost Treasures of Infocom" section containing old game
          ideas, statements of principle, and e-mail archives from
          Infocom's heyday.

          Notable by their absence are Hitch Hiker's and Shogun, which are
          not included since the rights to distribute those games have
          reverted back to the original authors. Douglas Adams has made
          Hitchhiker's freely playable on his website,
 It is also possible to save the .z5
          file to your hard drive for playing with one of the interpreter

          All maps and documentation are included in Adobe Acrobat format
          which can be printed out.

          The packaging of Masterpieces bears little resemblance to the
          originals; notably absent are the plastic or metal trinkets that
          were included in packages (for example, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide
          to the Galaxy included peril-sensitive sunglasses, a "Don't
          Panic" button, a zip-lock baggie containing a microscopic space
          fleet, and orders for the destruction of your home and planet).
          Infocom's original packaging is legendary in the software

You begin to feel groggily indistinct.

You feel stronger as the peanuts replace some of the protein you lost in
the matter transference beam.

An announcement is coming over the ship's intercom. "Ed tgrykonx jcavfluu
nx jchotha otoyefti ltruvupirbi swrotrueft ochoollzitchogrya rd tfudeftd t
ow ctrufudx jp wkonvuphuvd te h oulpkonz zollcava ri li lo ti l oe hfudx
jirbtrugrys gvupp work oo sthaquio ta btoyr gkonr ga r or gz zr gi
skwazitz zkwaa rerl ow cfluirbwroorktoyfimthad tulp oe he hfluo
simbchogryr gu ni s."

The Guide checks through its Sub-Etha-Net database and eventually comes up
with the following entry:

  (2.7) Recent Infocom products
  Activision is working to build a following for Infocom's universes based
  on the modern trend to humongous games sprawling across hundreds of
  megabytes. Their offerings to date:

  Return to Zork
          A mid-1993 entry for the IBM PC, set far in the "future" of the
          Zork series. Difficult, hunt-the-pixels, graphical interface. A
          Macintosh version was released in mid-1994. PC Demo is

  Zork: Nemesis
          A graphical CD-ROM adventure released in 1995. The interface has
          improved somewhat; the game includes amusing references to the
          Zork universe, but the plot is said to be irregular and the
          puzzles somewhat inconsistent. Said to be a huge improvement
          over RTZ.

  Planetfall: The Search for Floyd
          Originally said to be due out in 1995, this project was killed
          at Activision, revived with a release date in January 1997, then
          finally killed. The publically-accessible vestiges of this game
          include the demo included on the Masterpieces CD and some posts
          made by an Activision representative under the name
          "", available from Deja News.

  Zork Grand Inquisitor
          Released in 1998, this is Activision's most recent effort in the
          Zork universe. Additional information is available at

  Zork: The Undiscovered Underground
          This is a text adventure prequel to Zork Grand inquisitor
          written by Marc Blank and Mike Berlyn (former Infocommies),
          programmed by Gerry Kevin Wilson. Available at

The Guide checks through its Sub-Etha-Net database and eventually comes up
with the following entry:

  (2.8) Infocom's historical artifacts
  There are a handful of games and other Infocom products that are not
  included in any of the compilations. These products range from
  hard-to-find early Infocom products to non-IF games made by other
  companies and marketed under the Infocom brand name.

  For more information about Infocom products, version numbers and Infocom
  products that were never released, see Paul David's Doherty's "Infocom
  Fact Sheet", which is periodically posted on and
  is also avaialable at

  Hard-to-find and early products

  The Infocom Sampler (pre-1984?)
          This was the first of three demo products written by Infocom,
          containing (we think) excerpts from Zork I. The existence of
          this sampler is deduced mainly because a later version of the
          Sampler has serial number "ID2", suggesting an earlier "ID1".

  The Infocom Sampler (1984, 1985)
          This was the second of three samplers, containing excerpts from
          Zork I, Planetfall, Infidel and The Witness, and also containing
          a unique two-room puzzle that involved catching a butterfly.
          Available for virtually every computer on the market in 1985
          (including the Osborne, Kaypro II, TRS-80 Color Computer, etc.)
          Superseded in 1987 by the third and final Infocom Sampler.

  The Infocom Sampler (Fall 1987)
          Third and final sampler containing puzzles from Zork I, Trinity,
          Leather Goddesses of Phobos and Wishbringer. IBM PC, Apple II
          and Commodore 64.

  Fooblitzky (Summer 1985)
          A graphical game involving deductive logic, by Marc Blank,
          Michael Berlyn, Brian Cody, Poh C. Lim and Paula Maxwell. IBM
          PC, Apple II, Atari XL/XE series.

  Shogun, Journey, and Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur
          Versions for the Apple IIe and Amiga were produced, but are now
          rare. IBM and Mac versions are on LToI 2 CD-ROMs as well as
          Masterpieces. Shogun has been seen running on an Apple IIgs; it
          used IIe graphics rather than the IIgs' super-hires mode.

  Leather Goddesses of Phobos (Summer 1986)
          Activision chose not to include the original LGoP in either of
          the Lost Treasures packages, possibly to prevent confusion with
          the inferior sequel (see below) that was published at about the
          same time. A coupon in the LToI II package offered the IBM PC
          version of this game for an additional $10; versions for other
          machines, including the Apple II, Macintosh, Atari and Amiga,
          can only be obtained used, and you will probably have to look
          for awhile.

  Leather Goddesses of Phobos II: Gas Pump Girls Meet the Pulsating
  Inconvenience from Planet X
          This 1992 offering from "Infocom" had more in common with
          Leisure Suit Larry than with the original Leather Goddesses.
          Available for the IBM PC.

  The New Zork Times and The Status Line (1983? - 1988)
          The legendary Infocom newsletter. The name was changed in
          mid-1986 due to threatened legal action by a lesser-known
          newspaper serving a smaller area (Infocom promptly began using
          old newspapers for packing material when shipping games to their
          customers; by coincidence the NYT was the paper of choice for
          this purpose). Thirteen issues were published under the name
          'NZT'; one issue (Spring 1986) was titled '****' and the
          remaining ten were published as 'TSL'. The newsletters are now
          collector's items, and a complete set is rare.

          The Infodoc project has a complete archive of all 24 issues in
          PDF format: see Some text articles
          are archived at
          and at

  Cornerstone (Fall 1984)
          Infocom's one and only attempt at a commercial business product
          (see section 2.1, above); probably of interest only to purists.
          IBM PC version only; description in Winter 1985 NZT.

  Non-Infocom "Infocom" offerings

  Infocomics (1988)
          Many believe that this is the point where Infocom-as-a-publisher
          ended and Infocom-as-a-brand-name-for-lesser-products began. IBM
          PC, Apple II, Commodore 64/128. At least four of these $12
          'comic books' were published:
             * Lane Mastodon vs. The Blubbermen
             * Gamma Force in Pit of a Thousand Screams
             * ZorkQuest I: Assault on Egreth Castle
             * ZorkQuest II: The Crystal of Doom
          Some comments from Steve Meretzky on Infocomics:

            How depressing, I thought that InfoComix were long forgotten.

            [...] The InfoComix were a joint venture between two Cambridge
            companies, about a mile from each other: Infocom, and Tom
            Snyder Productions. TSP was most well-known for doing
            educational software and kids games; probably their most
            successful product was Snooper Troopers. (We're talking early
            '80s here.) (An aside: Tom Snyder went on to create a
            successful animated cable TV show, something like "Dr. Katz".)
            (Another aside: the programmer who created the InfoComix
            engine, Omar Khudari, went on to found Papyrus, a very
            successful creator of computerized car racing games.)

            TSP created the InfoComix engine (of course, it wasn't called
            that yet), created a rough version of the first product on it
            ("Pit of a Thousand Screams" or something like that), and
            approached Infocom about creating more products using the same
            engine. The Infocom top brass was attracted to the idea, I
            think particularly to the idea that we could put out $10 games
            and still make money.

            Various people at Infocom then wrote scripts for the
            InfoComics. I wrote the Lane Mastodon script. TSP then took
            those scripts and did all the artwork and programming. I think
            Infocom might have contributed some testing personnel toward
            the end of the project cycle. It's a while ago, and I didn't
            pay too much attention to it after the initial script, so my
            memory is fuzzy. I believe there were a total of 4 Infocomix;
            a fifth one was killed in mid-development; it was going to be
            a much more adult-oriented product, a murder mystery inspired
            by the movie "Body Heat". And yes, I wrote the LGOP comic book
            (although the idea of doing it as a 3D comic was Brian
            Moriarty's idea).

                                                          -- Steve Meretzy

  Quarterstaff: The Tomb of Setmoth (Fall 1988)
          Activision purchased the rights to this Macintosh game from
          Simulated Environment Systems in late 1988, and reworked the
          text and user interface. The game is a graphical RPG similar to
          a number of D&D-type games on the market. Infocom planned to
          release this game for the Apple IIgs and IBM, but only the
          Macintosh version was ever published.

  BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception (Fall 1988)
          Activision now sells this game and its sequel (BattleTech: The
          Crescent Hawk's Revenge) as part of a three-game package of
          BattleTech-related games. Developed by Westwood Associates.
          "Available in November [1988] for the IBM, in February [1989]
          for the Commodore 64/128, and in [Spring 1989] for the Apple II
          series and the Amiga." The IBM, Amiga and Commodore 64 versions
          have been sighted; the status of the Apple II version is

  Simon The Sorcerer
          Infocom was used as the label for IBM and Mac distribution for
          this Sierra-style graphical adventure. Amiga distribution was by
          Adventure Soft, who in 1993 released the IBM version themselves.
          The Activision package looks like a leather-bound book. If you
          look at the left edge, you see a drawing of the spine of a book.
          If you look at the right edge of the package, you see a drawing
          of the edge of the pages. Same goes for the top and bottom

          The picture of Simon on the front cover is slightly different on
          the Activision package than it is on the AdventureSoft package.
          However, both are reportedly reminiscent of the Harry Potter
          books released in 2000.

  Circuit's Edge
          IBM and "other 8-bit platforms". A science-fiction RPG based on
          Effinger's world in the story "When Gravity Fails". An Amiga
          version may have been planned or in production, but it was never

  Mines of Titan
          IBM, Apple IIe and "other 8-bit platforms". A science-fiction
          RPG set on the moon Titan. Originally released as _The Mars
          Saga_ on the 64. Written by Westwood Associates. An Amiga
          version may have been planned or in production, but it was never

Guards burst in and grab you and Ford, who comes slowly awake. They drag
you down the corridor to a large cabin, where they strap you into large,
menacing chairs...

This is the cabin of the Vogon Captain. You and Ford are strapped into
poetry appreciation chairs. The Captain is indescribably hideous,
indescribably blubbery, and indescribably mid-to-dark green. He is holding
samples of his favourite poetry.

One of the guards lightly bashes your skull with the butt of his weapon
and says (Ford translates for you):

  (2.9) Missing game pieces
  The Infodoc project is rebuilding a complete library of Infocom packages
  and paraphernalia. They have secured permission from Laird Malamed of
  Activision to recreate the game packages of the games that were in
  Mastererpieces (which is everything except Arthur and HHGG). See When their work is complete, this section
  will be obsolete.

  However, for now, here is a list of missing or hard-to-find info in the
  Lost Treasures game packages. All have been typed in and are available

          The original packaging included an advertisement for a radio
          station, WPDL AM at 1170 KHz. You will need to tune the radio to
          this frequency (or TUNE RADIO TO WPDL) to get a vital clue.

  Lurking Horror
          Your Login ID, an important part of one of the early puzzles, is
          *not* missing from the LToI manual. It's just hard to find.
          (Hint: It's written somewhere on your Student ID Card.)

          Some important information from the Popular Paranoia
          advertisement is missing, as well as the Beezer card application
          in triplicate is absent from the LToI 2 package.

          Your friend Tamara will make frequent references to the letters
          she wrote asking for your help; unfortunately, these letters are
          not included in the LToI package. The full text of these two
          letters is available from the archive, with
          many thanks to Mark Howell for typing in these letters from the
          original package.

  Zork Zero
          The original documentation for Zork Zero contained information
          about the game's on-screen mapping, which may be activated by
          typing in the command "MAP" at any time during the game. No
          mention is made of this in LToI 1.

          Also, some versions of the LToI package may be missing a (vital)
          map of the "Rockville Estates" section of the game. The map is a
          bluesprint of a construction site ("Frobozz Magic Construction
          Company") showing an 8 x 8 grid of octagonal rooms connected by
          lines representing passages. You cannot win the game without the
          information on this map.

          Some copies of the LToI manual include this map on a page that
          is apparently numbered "40b" (the preceding page is "40a", and
          the next page is 41 -- the page with the map is not numbered),
          suggesting that the map was inserted after the first printing.
          Early IBM versions of the LToI manual include the map on page 2
          of the Zork I instructions.

          If all else fails, the ASCII drawing on the next page is a rough
          but accurate rendering of the "Rockville Estates" blueprint for
          Infocom's Zork Zero. This map is provided for use by legitimate
          owners of the Lost Treasures of Infocom package only.

   0     1     2     3     4     5.... 6.... 7        Goobar -
                             .'    .'    .'           I left my hardhat
   8     9    10    11    12....13    14    15        out in lot 0.
                           : .'          .'           Please pick it up
  16    17    18    19    20    21    22....23               Thanks,
           `.          .'    .'    .'                         Quizbo
  24    25    26....27    28    29    30....31
         : .'                .'  :
  32    33    34....35    36    37    38....39
   :       .'          .'              : .'       To
  40    41    42....43    44....45    46    47....GUH-95
   : `.    .'  : .'    `.          .'    .'
  48    49    50    51....52    53    54    55
     `.              : `.        :       `.
  56....57....58    59    60    61....62....63
  Work still to be performed in Phase Two:  |Frobozz Magic Construction Co
    * Removal of temporary passages         |       ROCKVILLE ESTATES
    * Installation of emergency exits       |  Phase Two, showing all work
    * Installation of sprinkler system      | completed through 29-Mum-880
    * Construction of Concierge apartment   | 1:440 | drawn by S. Fzortbar

The Vogon Captain says, "Ofudgrythafudo tw cchoe ho tz z ocavtrup wwroz zl
mfluz ztruqui." A guard grabs you and Ford, and drags you toward the hold.
Ford whispers, "Don't worry, I'll think of something!"

In the corner is a glass case with a switch and a keyboard. It looks like
the glass case contains:
an atomic vector plotter

Ford begins trying to talk the guard into a sudden career change.

The hold of the Vogon ship is virtually undamaged by the explosion of the
glass case. You, however, are blasted into tiny bits and smeared all over
the room. Several cleaning robots fly in and wipe you neatly off the

  **** You have died ****

Your guardian angel, draped in white, appears floating in the nothingness
before you. "Gotten in a bit of a scrape, eh?" he asks, writing
frantically in a notebook. "I'd love to chat, but we're so busy this
month." The angel twitches his nose, and the nothingness is replaced by...

It is pitch black. You could be eaten by a zmachine.


  (2.10) What is a Z-Machine?
  A zmachine or ZIP (Z-machine Interpreter Program) is a program that
  interprets and runs Infocom game data files. Infocom used a
  way-ahead-of-their-time implementation scheme that allowed them to
  develop one game that would run on any of 26 different computers, using
  a ZIP program specific to that computer and a data file common to all

  The Z-machine specification underwent several extensions at Infocom. The
  first two versions are obscure and you aren't very likely to encounter
  them. Version 3 ("Standard") is the format for the majority of the files
  in the Lost Treasures of Infocom series. Version 4 ("Plus") was a brief
  experiment that quickly lead to version 5 ("Advanced"), a size suitable
  for creating fairly large adventures of the magnitude of Curses or
  Trinity (about 256K). Version 6 ("Graphical") has recently been
  deciphered and can handle story files about twice as large as version 5.

  Until version 6 arrived, all the Z-machines were text-only. Version 6
  added some graphics primitives and is the format used in Arthur,
  Journey, Shogun, and Zork Zero.

  With the release of Inform 5.5, the free compiler for Infocom format
  files (see below), Graham Nelson has proposed two new versions (7 and
  8), the first non-Infocom "extensions" to the standard. Version 8 is
  identical to version 5 but with twice the storage (512K).

  Mark Howell wrote "ztools" -- a collection of C source files for dumping
  vocabulary, version, font, graphic and other information from Infocom
  games, for converting IBM bootable disks into story files, and for
  disassembly of story files to Z-code assembly language. Ztools is
  maintained by Stefan Jokisch. There are also numerous other "tool"
  programs for Infocom files available by other authors for other

  As a point of history, Infocom generated their Z-code files by compiling
  the Zork Implementation Language (ZIL) with a compiler named ZILCH. ZIL
  is a dialect of a Lisp-like language called MDL. MDL is ancient history,
  and ZIL seems to have disappeared entirely, though some code fragments
  can be found in back issues of the New Zork Times.

  The ftp site has a considerable collection of Z-machine interpreters.
  Frotz is the most accurate implementation, but other interpreters may
  have more bells and whistles for your particular platform. They are at

  Gareth Rees maintains a mini-FAQ with information on which interpreters
  are recommended for which platforms, and what to do if you can't find an
  interpreter for your computer.

  There are some other ZIP programs at the if-archive that are not listed
  in Gareth's mini-FAQ. They range in quality, but some are fairly
  portable and have interesting source code. The best all-around is Frotz.
  These are available at; remember to
  look in the 'old' subdirectory.

Recommended interpreters

  DOS, Windows, OS/2, BeOS, Windows CE, Amiga, (sort of) Linux, Psion
  Series 5
          Frotz by Stefan Jokisch. Plays all games, version 1 through
          version 8, and conforms to Z-Machine Standard 1.0. Supports
          timed input (Border Zone), graphic font (Beyond Zork and
          Journey), mouse and function keys, command line editing and
          history, small save files, sound effects (Lurking Horror and
          Sherlock), cheat functions, multiple UNDO, input line recording
          and playback, and European characters (Zork I German).

  Psion 3c, some Unix variants
          itf by the InfoTaskForce. Uses resources for configuration under
          X11. Supports V1-V8 games (except V6), color and proportional
          fonts, command history, command-line editing, and compressed
          save files.

  Apple Newton
          Yazi by George Madrid and Sanjay Vakil. The shareware version
          present here ($25) is somewhat crippled: you can save your game
          at any time, but the games saved after more than 50 moves cannot
          be restored in the shareware version.
 the most
          recent version.

          Zax by Matt Kimmel. Supports all z-code versions except v6, and
          is very nearly compliant with Specification 1.0 of the

  Nokia Nokia 9000-9110i Communicators

  Acorn RISC OS, Macintosh, Unix
          Zip by Mark Howell. Zip implementations vary somewhat in their
          features, but it has proven to be an excellent interpreter.

          There are a number of Zmachine interpreters for the Macintosh
          based on Zip. The most popular is probably Andrew Plotkin's
          MaxZip, which behaves like a proper Macintosh program with
          resizeable windows and proportional fonts. It does not, however,
          support the graphical games. Matthew Russoto's Zip Infinity is
          another option. It supports the graphical font used in Beyond

  You may notice increasing discussion about a particular interpreter
  being Specification (n) compliant, where (n) is some number like 1.0.
  The "specification" is a document by Graham Nelson, based on earlier
  work by the InfoTaskForce, which describes rigorously how a Z-Machine is
  supposed to behave. An interpreter is said to be Specification-
  compliant when it conforms to this document. Frotz is the only
  interpreter compliant with the specification available for all
  platforms. Zip 2000 on the Acorn complies with the specification as

  Some games may eventually require your interpreter adhere to a
  particular Speficiation version, especially as the Specfication is
  extended over time.

  As a point of note, there is some debate over whether Z in "Z-Machine"
  should be pronounced as "zed" or "zee". Nobody seems willing to agree on
  which sounds better. [Though I can't imagine why anybody wouldn't prefer
  "zed". -Ed] Everyone says "zed" with the exception of Americans and
  Canadians raised on American programming, who say "zee". The original
  prounciation was probably "zee".

> NE
Oh, no! A lurking Z-machine slithered into the room and devoured you!

  **** You have died ****

Now, let's take a look here... Well, you probably deserve another chance.
I can't quite fix you up completely, but you can't have everything.

This light room is full of pot plants, flowers, seeds, ornamental trowels
and other miscellaneous garden implements.

A pair of yellow rubber gloves hangs from a hook on one wall.

Aunt Jemima, who has for years collected varieties of daisy, is engaged in
her regular annual pastime of deciding which species make the best chains.

Jemima screeches with irritation.

  (2.11) Where can I get free Infocom games?
  Since Activision bought Infocom, Activision now owns the copyrights and
  trademarks on Infocom's products. This means it's illegal to have a copy
  of any Infocom product you didn't pay for.

  However, Activision made Zork 1, Zork 2, Zork 3 and Zork: The
  Undiscovered Underground freely downloadable as a promotion for Zork:
  Grand Inquisitor. These have been archived at Peter Scheyen's Unofficial
  Infocom Home Page ( and are available
  for downloading there.

  Don't bother asking publically where you can get copies of Infocom's
  other games, or any other copyrighted IF work. You will be met with
  impatience and hostility. Some developers of older games (e.g. Polarware
  and Scott Adams) have disclaimed any commercial interest in their games
  and have permitted them to be redistributed on the IF archive. If you
  are interested in game archaeology and want to preserve old works, try
  to get in touch with their owners, get permission, and upload what you
  can to the if-archive.

    The regular posters here are fans of the art form of interactive
    fiction, and admirers of the software developers who create that art.
    They are the last people in the world that you should expect to agree,
    or to remain silent, when some loser advocates ripping off those
    developers by pirating their work.
                         -- Patrick M. Berry, poster

  Infocom's complete collection was sold by Activision in compilations for
  around US$20. Although the boxes indicate support for only Macintosh or
  IBM PC computers, owners of non-PC, non-Mac computers need not despair.
  If you can find one of the anthologies listed above, you can transfer
  the data files to your computer (via floppy, networking, or something)
  and use one of the available interpreters to run it. See question 2.10
  for information on interpreters.

  Your interpreter should support at least v3 files. Some of the larger
  games (Trinity) are version 4 or 5. Zork Zero, Arthur, Journey and
  Shogun are v6 games, for which the only currently-available interpreters
  are Frotz (for Mac, Amiga, and Unix) and Zip 2000 for the Acorn. There
  may be more. Check the index files under

  There probably isn't a legal problem with doing this. Of course, if you
  sell your package, you should destroy the copies you've made.

You sleep unexpectedly deeply, but just as you think you are starting to
wake up, you experience a sudden...

It is a frosty, clear night, but there is a scent of camp-fires burning in
the distance. You are passing through the landscape as if a ghost, and all
seems faintly unreal. To the east is one side of an animal-hide tent, but
there is no way in from here. To southwest, some soldiers sit around the
embers of a fire. There is a terrible sense of something about to happen.

> SW
A motley platoon of soldiers are sitting about the embers of a fire.


  (2.12) Creating your own adventure games
  There are numerous systems available for developing interactive fiction.
  A detailed comparison and exposition of their features is available from
  the FAQ. Briefly, though:
    * Inform, a freely distributable compiler which allows you to generate
      Infocom-format story files that can be played with any Z-machine

      The Inform language and libraries are excellent. They were designed
      to support the requirements of a Zork I-style game and provide the
      means to modify the parser, manage timers and daemons, change
      personalities and much more. It has C-ish syntax. This system does
      require a certain degree of programming knowledge. The documentation
      (in 3 parts) is pretty good; the 500+ -page Designers' Manual should
      be read even if you don't want to use Inform in favour of a
      different system, as it provides an interesting insight into what
      goes into developing a game.
    * TADS also has a strong following; it has its own web page which is
      available at
    * Hugo is a fairly recent system whose only weakness appears to be a
      lack of popularity and an established source code base to learn
      from. Its home page can be found at
    * ALAN is useful for people who are not able (or willing) to program.
      It is a language, but not a very complex one and most people are
      able to get started quickly. It's more useful for games with a
      greater focus on writing than complex behaviour. Make sure that the
      demands of your game can be handled by Alan before you start coding. Newbies may also like Adrift,

  There are many other IF development systems available, and some
  background and information on them will appear in the next section. For
  the best information on the subject, visit and read
  its FAQ.

The Druid catches sight of your ghostly hand taking the mascot, and
immediately begins her occultations, cursing you and your ill-gotten
gains. But she is unable to make contact with you, and turns furiously to
the tapestry, hissing "lagach" to the Bear. At once a sudden swirl of wind
seems to pull her into the rough cloth, dissolving her to nothing.

You wake up, shivering with dread.

Something feels very wrong indeed. Your hand begins to burn.

In an astonishing freak accident, a meteorite hurtles through the Earth's
atmosphere and then straight through your head. Anyone would think you had
a curse on you (anyone, that is, still able to think).

  **** You have died ****

Press any key to continue.


                                                        Stephen van Egmond

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM