How far should we *hack* the original Infocom games?

I was referring to an uncompleted project announced by Adam Sommerfield last year, a “spiritual successor to Deadline, Witness etc but that was grittier and covered multiple overlapping plots and murders to be solved.” It’s been referred to elsewhere as Deadline II.


Thank you. Looks like it was a cool idea that ran out of steam during Covid. I hope someone will make a go of it. Not sure why folks were thinking of doing this in ZIL when it is so much easier to use a high-level language like Inform or similar.


Apparently there are plenty of people in the IF-community who have a “Why take the easier road when I can take the hard and rocky pitfall-filled detour just for the fun of it”-mentality.

More power to them. (They may need it.)


I don’t understand why some feel a need to question other peoples choices.

Just because you find Inform easier doesn’t mean that that is universal for everyone.


Still, ZIL is so much harder to use. I am trying to use it though, so I won’t question either.

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I think a lot of IF selects for stubbornness and independent thought in gamers (as well as selecting for the sort of people who want to make games in the first place), so it stands to reason that there are plenty of people who like doing things the difficult way. I know that these days the first game to traditionally be played on an unconventional device (e.g. toaster, piano) is Doom, but I feel like IF would either be the second game played on that device - or the unheralded genre of game used to check the device works well enough to try programming Doom onto it.


I’m fine with any amount of modifying of older games, so long as it is easy to tell you are playing a modded one and not an original.

When hacks start being indistinguishable form the original without careful analysis, then I’d prefer they not exist.


I’m not sure if this is the newest thread on Infocom games hacks?

Personally, I hope to play the original games with improvements such as X for examine etc. For instance, I never completed Zork Zero and Beyond Zork so there definitely is an audience, though perhaps quite small.

I recently bought “Zork Anthology” on Steam and it is just so handy how easy it is to run one of those games. I found out that it is just as easy to replace a z-code file (though the extensions are different) so that would be neat. That would of course require that the z-machine version is unchanged.

I might be dreaming but on a long term note, I would like to translate e.g. Zork or Planetfall to Danish if that is possible? (German and Japanese versions exists) Believe it or not, the structure isn’t that different from English and I have co-translated the Standard ADRIFT library to Danish so I have a little experience. The main problem may be that we have three more letters: æ, ø and å. If possible I might look into ZIL one day.


Speaking of which, are there any translations of the games into Spanish? (There is a Zork one, but it crashes the game.)


Is there a list of Infocom hacks anywhere? I can only find a few:
Modified Zork I: GitHub - heasm66/modified_zork1
Mini-Zork II: GitHub - eriktorbjorn/minizork2-renovated
Dr Grue / Grueland (Zork I very modified): GitHub - Kweepa/zork1-gold: Dr Grue (Zork I mod)
Planetfall Gold: GitHub - Kweepa/planetfall-gold: Infocom's Planetfall, modernized

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The real site for Mini-Zork II: GitHub - eriktorbjorn/minizork2-renovated


Thanks, I changed the link in my post to this one.

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Howdy, hope all are well? I know I don’t post much these days but still pop in occasionally and this came up on my feed, so I thought I’d chip back in on a couple of things. :slightly_smiling_face::v:

Looking back, I don’t think I ever found any of the languages “easy”. I don’t even think I can honestly say if I found any of them “easier” than the others. For example my initial dalliance into Inform 7 gave me the initial impression that I’d find it easier than ZIL, but actually after the initial buzz of how how quickly I could prototype a couple of rooms with a table, a box and a blue ball I immediately found it as hard to remember as anything else. Certainly I stand by my long held assertion that ZIL and Inform 6 are equally as “hard/easy” in and of themselves as languages - learning resources excluded.

So I guess my original thoughts (to answer the “why ZIL you madman, do it in in Inform or something”) were as follows. Firstly, I’d long been championing keeping ZIL alive and it’s the one I personally know best. Secondly, specifically in terms of hacking/enhancing the original Infocom games, they’re programmed in ZIL already of course so to that end the effort to edit the ZIL code is quicker and easier than re-coding the whole thing in another language. Thirdly, the hacks/edits aren’t as complex as you may think and in fact often you’re simplifying code rather than adding it.

Re’ the creation of new stuff… Yeah I can understand why you would wonder why ZIL versus a newer language. The answers though are similar to those given for hacking/enhancing. Namely its the language I personally had/have the most experience with, I never personally found the other languages that much easier, I thought it would be cool to keep ZIL going etc etc

Stay safe all, hope your 2023 is all good! :slightly_smiling_face::+1:


First of all, I just want to say welcome back to the IFCF (are those the right words? I’m bad at talking to people. My words may be a bit strange…)

Reminding me of this thread, do you (or anybody) know the meaning behind Hypochondriac? And the other two games - Boot & Bath…


Inspired by another topic ( here ) it would be great if the original games could be added an optional tutorial, either by moving the player to an off-topic playing field tutorial or a getting-started tutorial helping the player through the first few/several puzzles.

I am especially thinking of Wishbringer but perhaps also the other “introductory” Infocom games which I haven’t played.


IIRC, in the past someone implemented, in inform, the demo transcripts in the infocom documentation, let’s start with porting these into ZIL…

… albeit I think that some of those transcripts deserve being collated into a sort of unofficial “inform sampler 3”, whose seems to me an interesting idea…

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


Hi everyone!

Long-time lurker here. A bit of thread necromancy, perhaps, but I am very curious as to which Infocom games (if any) have been released with known bugs removed/corrected?

It suprises me somewhat theat the first instinct among many people seem to be to first and foremost remove hunger and similar features from the games, rather than focusing on removing the known and lengthy list of bugs (not to mention improving on the parser/vocabulary, which also seems to be way more of a priority than removal of carrying capacity and hunger mechanics), but maybe there are such new builds, based on corrected/improved source code, available for download somewhere?


There’s this project on GitHub that have the source for many Infocom games compilable with Zilf. There’s also an extensive list of bugs with potential fixes for many of them. You’ll need to compile them yourself though…


Excellent! I browsed around for a bit, but my very limited understanding of Github stopped me from grasping everything, I think.

If I have understood it correctly, though, there are no “remedied” files available, just suggestions for how to change the ZIL code?


Yes, that’s correct.