Does Gargoyle have Text to Speech Capability?

I have a cognitive and visual disability, so I would like an Infocom interpreter to read out loud the text.

Does Gargoyle have a text to speech capability? I ran it but don’t see any speech option within it.

I was also told that the latest release of WinFrotz has a speech toggle option
within it.

Since Gargoyle contains WinFrotz.exe within its directory, I assume there is some
way to get that to run and maybe it will have a speech option.

However, when I run WinFrotz.exe, nothing happens, it needs some sort of command
line. Not sure I understand what it needs to run. I get:

FROTZ V2.50 – Glk 0.7.0 interface.
An interpreter for Infocom and other Z-Machine games.
Complies with standard 1.0 of Graham Nelson’s specification.
Plays Z-code versions 1-5 and 8.

Syntax: frotz [options] story-file
-a watch attribute setting
-A watch attribute testing
-i ignore fatal errors
-o watch object movement
-O watch object locating
-P alter piracy opcode
-Q use old-style save format
-s # random number seed value
-S # transscript width
-t set Tandy bit
-u # slots for multiple undo
-x expand abbreviations g/x/z
-Z # error checking mode (default = 0)
0 = don’t report errors. 1 = report first error.
2 = report all errors. 3 = exit after any error.

Can someone walk me through a way to get speech with either Gargoyle or the
WinFrotz that comes with Gargoyle?

Thank you.

The version of Frotz included with Gargoyle is specific to Gargoyle/garglk. What you probably want is WinFrotz TTS, which can be downloaded here: It’s very nicely designed, and uses text-to-speech by default.

The other alternative is to use a screen reader like JAWS or Microsoft Narrator. Gargoyle does all its own text rendering, so it doesn’t play nicely with screen readers, but other interpreters do better. If you want to branch out beyond Infocom-style Z-code games - say, into newer Glulx games - you might want to try Lectrote. This thread goes into more detail about screen reader compatibility in other interpreters. But for Infocom and Z-code games, WinFrotz TTS is the best, in my opinion.

Thanks for the help.

From what I’ve discovered so far, the WinFrotz TTS only works with an out-dated version of WinFrotz.

Newer versions of WinFrotz supposedly already have text to speech as an OPTION in the menu. but I can’t download this newer version, because my anti-virus flags the file as dangerous for some reason and deletes it.

And it sounds like you are saying the WinFrotz included in Gargoyle won’t have speech.

I believe you, but I can’t even get it to run. Do you know how to run it?

What does this mean?

Syntax: frotz [options] story-file

Are you saying the Frotz.exe from within Gargoyle doesn’t run independently at all?

Right, the interpreter engines inside Gargoyle can’t be run on their own. They’re dependent on the host Gargoyle process.

Okay, cool.

Well I haven’t had any luck with downloading WinFrotz or WinFrotzTTS, so I guess I’ll stick with Gargoyle.

I’m sure there is some way to get it to speak :slight_smile:

I don’t think there is. It is not an accessible interpreter.

Your efforts would be better spent appeasing your anti-virus.

My anti-virus will always delete anything to do with WinFrotz, it doesn’t even like the archive website where the file is stored, and insists that it is dangerous.

Everyone does agree that it is a false positive, but I’m not sure what else to do.

Right now I am able to copy and paste text from Gargoyle into Notepad and have Windows Narrator read it out-loud.

That isn’t the best solution, but it might be my only option left.

This old post recommends the Filfre interpreter.

Is the antivirus problem with WinFrotz specifically with the website it’s hosted on, or with the file too? Because if the problem is the site rather than the file, maybe someone could get the file, zip it up, and post it here?

I’m not sure where the most recent version of WinFrotz is… I see that at least one version is hosted at SourceForge which does indeed have the reputation of packaging malware with its downloads, although the newest management promised to clean up their act.

The website is flagged as a known source of viruses, and the download itself is considered a virus.

I think this will continue to be a problem, since these programs and sites are not at all part
of the mainstream.

No worries, at least Gargoyle lets me cut and paste, that is a big step forward.

Also, there will be text to speech software that might work well with certain interpreters,…
in real time…but maybe not with Gargoyle.

You can download a trial version of JAWS (Job Access With Speech), which will work for 40 minutes per session, from Freedom Scientific. It works with numerous interpreters.


Thanks, good idea. Although I think the JAWS demo version stops working after a month,
or so I’m told.

I have been doing lots of research, and there appears to be very strong evidence that WinFrotzTTS has been confused with another program with a similar name which is in fact malware.

The suggestion of this has come up repeatedly with various websites and links.

Not saying it is a virus, but there is probably enough of a red flag on it to make people concerned.

Programs such as Narrator and NV Access don’t seem to understand the Gargoyle text format.

Seems strange, since all it is is text within a window.

I haven’t tried JAWS yet, but it seems to me that there should be an easy fix for this.

Does anyone have any ideas?

As prevtenet said earlier: Gargoyle does its own text rendering, so it’s really displaying a bitmap image in a window.

Okay, is there a comprehensive list of interpreters anywhere?

From what I can tell, Frotz, Gargoyle, DosBox, and that Filfre are the only ones,
perhaps there are others?

Yes, but I also noticed that you can cut and paste from Gargoyle into other formats, and it becomes regular text.

So I thought there might be a way to change this to text within the program itself, but maybe not.

Oh, there are plenty. Frotz, Rezrov, Nitfol, Filfre, Gnusto, Bocfel, Parchment, Quixe, Glulxe, Git, Incant, Zoom, Spatterlight…I’d suggest a command-line one, like Bocfel, might be best for TTS compatibility.

Bocfel source code is available as some sort of 100 KB tar.gz file, but that is useless.

It appears the only way of running Bocfel is within Gargoyle, but I suppose its still some
sort of bitmap graphical text so this isn’t a fix, unfortunately.

Unless you know of another way to use the source code to actually run itself.

Bocfel is a Glk interpreter and can be compiler with any Glk library, such as cheapglk.