Best or favorite glulx/z-machine IF interpreters for Windows in 2023?

I’m currently stocking my new-ish laptop with IF and am looking for the best interpreter for Windows 10. I’ve previously used Spatterlight on Mac, Filfre on Windows XP, and Frotz on iPhone. I’m aware of the list here (Windows interpreters). I have already installed Gargoyle, Frotz, and ScummVM and started tinkering with them, but I’m running into some shortcomings immediately. Text in Gargoyle is small and blurry, Frotz doesn’t run glulx games on Windows, and ScummVM gave me a warning that it may not support all features of The King Of Shreds & Patches (one of my favorite titles). Perhaps there are ways to tweak these terps that I’m not aware of, but anyway… which one do you prefer and why?

I found the solution for blurry font in Gargoyle here (blurry fonts on windows terps), but now the font is even smaller. When I try to edit the font size in garglk.ini, I’m not allowed to save because it says I need permission from an admin, which I am.

I was able to delete garglk.ini and paste a copy of it into the original folder and edit THAT. Now I have adjusted the font size and the line spacing is all wonky!!

I have figured out how to increase font size and line spacing, though I’m not sure I totally understand the difference between the two spacing options. Also, letters with tails below the line (g, j, p, q, y) are getting the bottoms clipped off. Not unworkable, but a little bit ugly.

I’ve more or less got the text reading the way I want, though I don’t totally understand why!!!


For minimum fuss, Lectrote runs most things and doesn’t have an overwhelming number of configuration options. If you feel like messing with old Infocom graphical games, you’ll probably want to keep Frotz around.

I mainly use Gargoyle, though, because I’m picky about fonts and colors. However, configuring it is not a great experience for me. I don’t know what most of the options mean, and there are so many of them. I just kept changing the INI file and relaunching the program until it looked right. If you don’t care about having a lot of font and color options, I would go with Lectrote.


For glulx games that have media features like text color effects or sound, I like Windows Gluxe. I haven’t used it super recently though.


As someone who is also very fussy about fonts and colors, I recommend Gargoyle. Helps me a lot with readability.

Especially on Linux. A lot of applications that are made with Windows in mind will usually have some awful fallback font on Linux.


Thanks, all! I think I’ve finally got Gargoyle configured such that it’s readable. I downloaded Lectrote anyway, just in case.


In gargoyle.ini

  1. Increase leading until you have line spacing comfortable for reading,
  2. decrease baseline to get rid of clipping of descenders.
  3. If line spacing shifted too much at step 2 repeat from 1 incrementally.

Gargoyle has wonderful customizability but it’s a pain in the ass to actually customize it. Once you have it working properly it’s beautiful, but getting there might take some work.

Still, it’s my favorite, because I love the typography.

Apart from that, I believe Frotz is still the gold standard for Z-machine interpreters. If there’s anything Gargoyle (and specifically Bocfel, Gargoyle’s Z-machine interpreter) can’t handle, Frotz probably can.