Anyone remember HTML Invisiclues?

I remember in the past, there was a website that had all the old Infocom Invisiclues in HTML format; there was no JavaScript, so you’d have to keep clicking links to new pages to see more of the clues.

Does anyone know where that site was, or if it’s still around? Search engines are mostly giving me ads to buy the original booklets from collectors, or scans of the maps, rather than the clues themselves in a nicely-readable format.

(I know the IF Archive also has the Invisiclues in Z-machine format, but navigating links is a lot faster for me than navigating Z-machine menus.)

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I don’t have any link, but the one I remember had the clues in white on white, so you would highlight them with your mouse to reveal them.

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Am I missing something obvious? The only hints I see there are Z-machine files…

The Z5 files are the Invisiclues implemented as a story file.

Sure, I understood that; what I’m confused about is what these have to do with the HTML versions that the OP was looking for?

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If I remember correctly, a site hosting Invisiclues crashed without a usable restore point a few years ago. I may be thinking of something else. I would link to such a resource on my blog if I could find it. I share parchment links to the Z5 files now, but I think HTML would be more accessible to a broader audience.

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The format of the IFArchive Invisiclues looks pretty consistent, so it shouldn’t be too much of a bother to write a script to convert them to HTML. (Having recently let an IF-related “I’ll just write a script to output some HTML” project consume most of my spare time for some three weeks, I’m not volunteering. But, truly, this one wouldn’t be that bad.)

Oh, I hadn’t seen them in any plain-text format, only the Z-machine ones.

I do in fact have a script that outputs HTML like this, from an experiment…wow, almost a decade ago now. So it shouldn’t be too hard to make that script accept whatever format the Archive uses.

And I’m weak and just wrote something that processes the questions but not the front and end matter. But it won’t be of much use to non-Rubyists.

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I actually created a program to do this for Shadow in the Cathedral and the result is here:

Shadowhints.html is the file.

No idea if I still have that program.

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Wow, those SitC clues are cool. I love the nonsense words–they feel less intimidating than ROT13.

I remember seeing the original InvisiClues as HTML and being blown away. I hoped one day to make something like them.

Juhana Leinonen had code that allowed for Invisiclues-type HTML. I used it to create a template where you could markup plain text to InvisiClues-ish format where you can keep clicking on clues until you see them all. I haven’t used it in a while. It duplicates in-game hints and a walkthrough too much, but it’s fun to create.

My invisiclues for Shuffling Around are here. stale-tales-slate/shuffling-invisiclues.htm at main · andrewschultz/stale-tales-slate · GitHub

ETA: the raw text it’s converted from is here:

It looks like the instructions are here: Invisiclues (

Might be good to convert all the invisiclues on to html and put them up in a parallel directory on

In these modern times, “click on clues to continue” is better than “highlight the white-on-white text.” The latter trick doesn’t work on mobile browsers, and there are a lot of mobile browsers.

EDIT-ADD: Also, I should note, a screen reader won’t know that white-on-white text should be invisible! (Thanks Drew for mentioning this aspect.)

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The Z5 files don’t really work with screen reader tech, so far as I can tell. The most common config reads like a form-feed printer: as a line displays on-screen, it is spoken aloud.

The menu headings are not ever form fed, so they are never read aloud. There may be a configuration that works, but it’s no good out of the box.

An HTML conversion would be a nice community service.

The output ain’t pretty, but my invisiclue script’s output seems to be complete. I’ve only tried it only on the Zork invisiclues so far. I need to do something better with the “this space intentionally left blank” case and handle the table of treasure better.


I may have accidentally mostly finished the job of HTML-ifying the Invisiclues with this twist: I haven’t played many of these yet and do plan to someday so I’ve avoided looking too closely at the output so there could be some hilariously huge problems. So if you want to report a problem, please be vague – there’s a sentence you won’t hear a developer say every day.

There are a couple of references to images where it’d be nice to dig up the actual image. On the bright side, there’s already alt text in place! And it’d be nice to turn the tables into real tables and not just dump the text into a pre-tag. But overall the parts I’ve looked at seem not bad.

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Some line breaks have disappeared from where they should be (Sorcerer, “spells, potions, and their locations”) and others have appeared (Sorcerer, sample question) but overall this is very readable!

Thanks. This error isn’t surprising and there are probably others. It’s an easy fix; I just have to put something matching the section name in the should_merge? function.

That’s a function of having implemented these as HTML detail tags. Maybe tomorrow I’ll replace that with a javascript solution.

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Ugh. I take it all back. The original Invisiclues’ structure varied all over the place and the text versions have plenty of variation in formatting. Doing a decent job of HTML-ifying them is a lost cause without part of the process being looking at the originals and hand-editing the source into something with consistent markup that can handle more things, like at least two levels of headers, and Deadline’s hidden questions.

Beyond these text files, does anyone anywhere have the actual revealed content? I assume not, or how could it not be in the Internet Archive by now?

Zork II’s text file is missing the sample question – “How do you get down off a dragon?”. For the HTML-ified Zork II Invisiclues I went ahead and filled in the obvious answer.

And, like I said, there are a couple of references to images.

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