Creating z3 story files.

I’ve been having a hunt around for some software that will allow me to create and compile a small adventure into a version 3 or z3 story file. I’m not having much luck, the platform can be Windows 95 up or OSX Tiger up for the development.

I started using Inform but as far as I can tell it currently compiles to z5 and above?

I hope I’m making sense.


Well, the very obvious question here is: why?

You don’t say which version of Inform you’re using. Inform 7 definitely doesn’t support anything before z5. Inform 6 did, at least partially: the latest version of the Inform compiler and library that was useable with z3 was Inform 6.05 and library 6/2, I think. You can get these from the IF-Archive if you really want to, but expect it to be a pretty minimal environment to work in.

Thanks chaps for your help. In answer to the question why? :smiley:

I’ve set myself a challenge for the Retrochallenge Winter Warmup to create a new adventure that I can play on my Epson PX-8 which is a CP/M based machine from the early 80’s.

The z-machine interpreter I have for it (Infocom) only supports version 3 story files as far as I can tell.


Looking into it further, it turns out that Inform 6.15 was what I meant here. Also worth looking at is
Dave Bernazzani’s mInform library, which was written to allow z3 games for old systems:

Thanks David, I might even go for Inform 5.


You might also want to look at ZIL ( It defaults to z3 story files.

Josh Lawrence made a Cloak of Darkness (

Ok, thanks very much I’ll take a look at that as well.


I’m a bit late in responding to this thread, and aliennerd won with Inform anyway (congrats!), but since that link only has the compiled version of ZIL Cloak, here’s the source code for posterity… … evision=21

If anyone does want to look at ZIL then one of the repositories is here… … tukV27wMoA


(ps - yes this is an extremely old thread, but the discussion is relevant to current ZIL activity, also yes I know BitBucket and GitHub are way better; just treat this is a quick & dirty grab of code files!)