Activision's Portal (1986)

Does anyone know where I can buy a copy of Activision’s Portal? The interactive fiction game (obviously) and not the video game Portal by Valve (also fun but clearly easier to find).

Is it still for sale? I mean, I can talk about abandonware in the full knowledge of how legally speaking it’s actually piracy, but… I really doubt you can buy it anywhere…

Maher’s blog post at gives links to transcripts and the C64 version (right at the end). It’s very unlikely that Activision would still be interested in selling it, given that it would need non-trival setup either from them to package it to run on modern computers or from customers to run an emulator.

Yeah, I haven’t been able to find it for sale anywhere, but I thought people may know sites beyond the usual rounds of GOG or Steam et al.

If there were a source, you would have found it. (Most likely because it would be on GOG or Steam or the Humble Store. There’s not a lot of reason to sell a downloadable game only in one place these days!)

A vintage copy might turn up on Ebay.

eBay! I hadn’t tried that yet. Thank you!

Are you looking for it because of collection purpose or were there any specific manuals, feelies that came with the original?


Just to play it. I missed it the first time around and just heard about it now.

Playing it will be easier and more stable in emulation.

If you have a thing for purchasing your software, I recommend you find a copy on ebay and then play the emulated version anyway.

As Zarf said, get it from an abandonware site and run it in Dosbox.
Are you running Windows or Mac OS X?


An emulated version? Where would I find that?

I’m using a Mac, though I also have access to a Windows computer if that is easier.

It’s a DOS game, so you’ll need DosBOX (I used to prefer VDMSound, but it went defunct and DosBOX got better). If you need a frontend, I recommend D-Fend, but I think that one’s Windows only.

…in fact, I don’t know whether you can run DosBOX on a Mac… maybe using Wine or something?

Hey, I’m on a Mac too! You should get Boxer (
It’s really easy to setup and run old games with it. If you need Portal itself, pm me.


Boxer may be my new favourite thing. Now the only thing I need is a good joystick for the Mac. Totally distracted by non-IF games. That software is so great. Thank you!

Glad I could help. I replayed a lot of old games over the last years and even some which slipped past by me back in the days. In addition I got two Competition pro joysticks (with USB). Even my two sons have a lot of fun from time to time to play those old C-64 games dad used to play back when he was young.