Android, Interpreters and 80's Adventures !

Hey guys,

Im looking for some information regarding the availability of the story files for Z Code or Z Machine interperter for Android. Ive installed both JFrotz and TextFiction on my Android Tablet and they both work. Well Text Fiction seems to work better but nevermind that for now. Anyway they use .Z files for their story files and Ive located loads of these including all the Scott Adams ones on the IF Archive. Anyway what im really after is all the Level 9 and magnetic Scrolls adventures as these were the ones i primarily played on my MSX and later my Commodore Amiga. I managed to play through quite a few of these and always intended on returning to IF… I still prefer to call it Text Adventures :smiley: but anyway time carried me on and i found other pleasures to distract me as i grew older. Now i’d like to return to those titles I wished to buy but missed at the time and they then were no longer in production so I lost my opportunity… SO Oh im also after the Infocom Zork Triology etc but again I need them to be in a format that I can run on a tablet. !!! this is the tricky part i guess as im not sure if emulators will work on a touch screen ! Although I do have a keyboard it dosent seem to be compatable with all interpreteurs. For instance Jfrotz seems to have problems with the enter key ! Making entering commands very difficult ! Anyway your advice, suggestions and observations are greatly appreciated and I lookforward to hearing from you all . Merry Adventuring and Happy Orc Slaying :smiley:

Hi ScotsFurian!

The Z-machine format was originally created by Infocom for their games, so all of the old Infocom classics should be playable on your interpreter. The Zork trilogy was released for free by Activision at some point, so those at least can be found on the IF Archive.

Level 9 and Magnetic Scrolls unfortunately used different formats, and to the best of my knowledge their games have never been ported to the Z-machine. You could try to find an A-code interpreter for Android, but I do not know if any exist.

While the Zork trilogy was posted for free download by Activision, it was only available for a short time, and they never said that people could copy and repost the files forever. So we do not in fact have those games on the Archive. (Although there are many many ports of the original, pre-Infocom Zork/Dungeon game.)

However, it is easy to find Z-machine files of all the Infocom games on the Internet. There are probably still copies of the Lost Treasures CD on Ebay, for that matter.

The files may be posted with .DAT suffixes rather than .Z3/.Z5, but your interpreter will handle them.

I found that to make my old Infocom .DAT files work with Frotz (albeit with the iPad version and not the Android), I had to convert them to .Z3. It was as simple as saving the games to the computer from the disc and changing the suffix on the file. Everyone else said that the .DAT files worked for them, but I couldn’t get my computer or Frotz to upload them.

That said, I also splurged and bought the Infocom app. It doesn’t have all the games, but it has a lot.

For Level 9 games, there’s a free app called L9Droid. I got it from F-Droid, but it’s on the Google Play Store as well.
As far as I can tell, the app has to download the story for you instead of playing one you already have, so that can be a problem.
For one thing, the app doesn’t know any source for Knight Orc, so you can’t play that.
Also, when I play a game with JFrotz on my phone, I have to make my first entry using the screen tap. After that the Enter key works.

JFrotz is horrible with its tiny letters on smartphone. Perhaps in 10" tablets…

best IF terp I know for Android is Son of Hunky Punky - despite the lame name. It works for both zcode and tads games.

still, as a matter of fact I bought a new desktop pc and am playing IF here. There’s no true substitute to a real keyboard when it’s all about typing… so, while mobile makers don’t make it really easy and standardized to just plug the device to a TV and keyboard, it’s a no-no…

I was going to suggest Son of Hunky Punk as the best Z-code interpreter on Android (with a touchscreen), but I see that namekuseijin has already beaten me to it. Long holiday!

Sorry for the necro-post, but wanted to mention that Text Fiction is another really good Android z-code reader. It’s got a bunch of nice features: a configurable quick bar with common commands, you can touch the edges of the screen in 8 directions for ‘go’ commands, and you can touch any word on the screen to make it appear in the command bar. It also has a variety of font and theme choices. I still find it a little unwieldy, simply because you don’t have a real keyboard, but you can definitely play IF just fine with it.

Since the thread is back up and at 'em, I’d like to just note the L9droid app for Android, which enables play of all the Level 9 adventures.

I second Son of Hunky Punk and L9 Droid. Also can I recommend SwiftKey as a keyboard app for input. It’s the best I’ve found to date.

They have since fixed the Knight Orc download, just tested it. Also of note is that the current source code is on Github: