Convert Dat files to Z5 (Z code) Possible? (for Dungeon)


I have the latest mainframe version of Dungeon as found here:

This version is supposed to be the most complete version. The website says,

" As was customary at the time, computer games were free. The source code for this one bears an Infocom copyright, however it allows free noncommercial distribution. I obtained it in 1991 and compiled it for MS/DOS. Of course it will run under Windows! The program was written in Fortran, and I’m not providing the source, lest it spoil the game!

Back around 1980, the folks at Infocom wrote a game interpreter and rewrote Zork to run on it, making it possible to play the game on Apples, TRS-80’s, CP/M boxes, and other systems of the day rather than being limited to mainframes. THIS program is the original mainframe version. It is equivalent to Zork I + about half of Zork II + the endgame of Zork III."

Trouble is I hate the interface and would love to play this version on Windows Frotz 2002.

The game consists of a dungeon.exe and two .Dat files - DINDX.DAT and DTEXT.DAT.

Is this possible? or is there a Z5 version of this exact Dungeon version already out there?

This version was created 11-Feb-87 - Although that date doesn’t sound right this is the date that appears when you run the game.

It isn’t possible to mechanically translate the DAT files to Z-code, as they’re just data used by the custom logic in the Dungeon executable. There have been re-implementations of Zork / Dungeon in both TADS and Z-code: see

“TADS Dungeon” in
“ZDungeon” in

Alternatively, a build of the C version of the Dungeon code with a Windows interface is available: see “dungeon_winglk” in

There’s also the absolutely original MDL version, for which we now have an MDL interpreter but the Windows build of this just has the basic Command Prompt user interface.

Thanks David for your reply.

I have seen those versions, and in fact already have most of them.

One thing I don’t like about playing the game is I use windows 7 64 bit and it doesn’t play 16 bit games. I have to use DosBox to play Dungeon, and at my default desktop resolution it’s window is really small. That and the small fonts with white on black background bug me. Thus the need for another version.

The owner of the above mentioned website has the source code but he’s not giving it out. If that could be acquired, perhaps it can be used to make a Z5 version.

Edit: I just found out about the “version” command.

The WINGLK version is 3.2b. The version from the above website is 2.6a. It is possible I suppose the the person was mistaken about his version being the final version of the program as he claims on the website. I was excited by this writeup and wanted to make sure the version I was playing had all the things that were missing from previous versions.

The website states:

“If by some chance the only version of the game you ever played was on a mainframe, this version may be somewhat of a treat as it is the last mainframe version and has the Bank of Zork and Maze puzzles which didn’t appear in early versions.”

Sorry I can’t be much help, but I think you could adjust the windowresolution setting in Dosbox, or start in fullscreen with fullresolution=original.

I can’t imagine why the owner of the website won’t make source code available: it’s all widely distributed. The IF-Archive has source code of several releases, notably 2.6B, 2.7A and 3.2B, see There is no way to convert any of these to Z-code other than re-implementing the whole game.

The original Zork / Dungeon was written in the Lisp-derivative MDL at MIT, and then converted to Fortran by Bob Supnik, a famous DEC engineer. Version 3.2B was his last release, so any claim about 2.6B being the “last” is quite wrong. You can also get the source to both these from Bob’s SIMH website at (look at the bottom of the page).

Just a quick question - is “Zork - release 13” the same as “Dungeon - release 3.2B”?

By “Zork - release 13” do you mean the ZDungeon.z5 file on the IF-Archive, which is at release 13?

Assuming you do, that depends on how good a re-implementation it is. It claims to be based on the original MDL Zork (which ran on ITS on a PDP-10 at MIT), and since Dungeon is a conversion of MDL Zork to Fortran, so it should have all the same text, puzzles, etc.

I did mean that version, yeah - in this sort of discussion, if I meant Zork I I’d have to call it “Zork I”, or risk getting the whole conversation confused. :slight_smile: Thanks, just wanted to check that by playing one I’d get the same puzzles and text as by playing the other.

That should be what you get. If you haven’t already, though, I’d recommend Zork 1-3 over Zork/Dungeon: Zork 1-3 have quite a few of the annoyances removed (fewer sudden deaths etc.) and generally they have a higher standard of polish.

Oh, I’ve played all three already, thanks - even have their reviews up at IFDB. At some point, though, I will want to check out Zork/Dungeon, simply for completeness’ sake, and wanted to make sure that I had the latest version.

I suspect I won’t be willing to play it to the end, but I’ll see just how far I get before I get too frustrated by its old-school-ness. My previous knowledge of Zork I-II-III should give me a little bit of an edge.