A heads up that for the first time an interpreter for 8-bit Atari computers capable of running version 4,5,7 or 8 stories has been developed and released, along with a website that uploads then packages .z3/4/5/7/8 files into standard Atari 8-bit disk formats.
Kudos to Jindroush for this development.
The interpreter is a modified version of Infocom’s late Atari 8-bit z3 interpreter as used in Plundered Hearts.
z3 stories are playable on 48K machines of any flavour; z4+ stories require a minimum 128K, e.g. 130XE or other machines with extended memory.
Disks can be compiled to run on standard 40-column video, software 64 or 80 column modes, or hardware 80 columns via the VBXE video expansion.
All can be played on a suitably-configured emulator.
I always compile to z3 and z5. I tried the z3 for Submarine Sabotage and it worked fine (single-density disk image, 40-column display), but the z5 crashed on startup with ‘Internal error 04’. No idea why. I’ve sent details to the developer. Hopefully, he’ll have a solution.
Well, that was quick. He found the cause. It was because PunyInform uses the GetCursor opcode in z5 files and he hadn’t implemented that. It’s now fixed.
EDIT: I should have mentioned that the fix hasn’t been posted to the web site yet. He sent me a new version of my z5 atr file. This works fine. Unfortunately, the interpreter doesn’t support UNDO, so I might stick with z3 for the Atari.