Gargoyle Fatal Error: broken story

Why do I get this error: fatal error: broken story: no prop (pc = 0xc313) with a .Z6 file when running the command: ASK GUIDE ABOUT [OBJECT]? Sorry for the no file, I’m on mobile here. Thanks!

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Which game?

Do you get the same error in a different interpreter?

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Well, yes, I get a fatal error every time (in each interpreter), but the error differs. I can’t use any other version of z-machine, it just says “[Sorry, but that sentence is too complicated.]” no matter what. So I have to use Z6. I’m not good with versions.

For the game, by the way, it’s this one (I’m still making it): (53.7 KB)

So you’re trying to update and compile Infocom’s Restaurant at the End of the Universe source code using ZILF? Is that the situation?


In case it’s useful I found a bug report on GitHub that might be a similar issue:

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Sort of, but instead of using the ZILF library, I’m using this new parser library which they used in Zork 0, Arthur and Shogun. But I’m still compiling with ZILF. So… A lot of debugging came before this. And… I think you should ask @heasm66 about it.

If it’s broken in every interpreter then that sounds like a problem with the compiler or library, not the interpreters.

Note that support for .z6 is not very good outside of Frotz.


Like, Parchmentsays it understands .z1 through .z6, but then is like: UNKNOWN STORY FORMAT. And I just don’t even know where to start on this one.

Parchment has never said it supports Z6! Bocfel (Gargoyle’s Z-Machine interpreter) says it only has “partial support for version 6”.

Are you wanting to use pictures? Otherwise I’d not be attempting to use Z6.

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The library seems to only be compatible with version 6. I get lots of errors compiling another version and when I play it, I always get [That sentence is too complicated.]

Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me. That’s the library which was written specifically for the v6 era.

It’s probably possible to port it down to v5, but you’d need to be comfortable with ZIL.

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Ouch. Would sending the source code help?

Yes, but you’ll need to send it to someone who is comfortable with ZIL and tolerably familiar with Infocom’s parser code. That is not me. :)


This is not an interpreter error. The parser (or some code in Milliways) tries to write (or possible read, but then a default value should be returned) to a property on the object that is not defined, therefore there is no slot to write to. Milliways (or maybe the parser) does something with the LDESC-property and this has to be definied on the object. It can be empty, (LDESC 0), if you want. If you make the guide-object as:

	(DESC "The Hitchhiker's Guide")
	(LDESC 0)
	(SIZE 10)
	(TEXT "Try: CONSULT GUIDE ABOUT (something).")

it should work.

Also, the “new parser” that you now use is only compatible with version 6 (YZIP). With any other version, as you see, the parser breaks.