Infocom Test & Development Source Code Now Available

Infocom Test & Development Source Code now available! Thanks and enjoy! :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

So this is the curated and anonymised USR directory.

The link for the drive is in the video notes, also is a summary of due diligence done which includes reviewing of content from two of the original implementors, Dave Lebling and Steve Meretzky.

No mail files. No personal info. Just ZIL. You’ll need ZILF 0.9 to get the projects to compile.

Thanks and enjoy!




We now have three public releases of this material (jscott, me, and Adam). They’ve all been edited to remove personal information, but that happened three times and we made slightly different choices.

(This is not a criticism of anybody; I’m just pointing it out so that future generations don’t say “Hey, why are the ZIL compile logs not in all three release collections?”)

Also, catching up, I’ve added Tom Bok’s Hypochondriac to my catalog page ( Also an earlier (1979) version of MDL Zork which Lars Brinkhoff pointed out to me.

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Tom mentioned that he made other test games, I think one of them maybe Bath. I started working on that, removed most of the errors, but then time got the better of me.

From what I can see there are at least two other full ‘test’ games, and a further 3-4 that may be complete enough to get working.

I’d quite like to get Trek working, presume it’s a rework of the mainframe Trek game?

The “Classic Text Adventure Masterpieces of Infocom” collection included a “verylost” directory containing “a series of files downloaded from the old Infocom UNIX server, which made the journey from Cambridge to Los Angeles but didn’t quite make it to our current spiffy world-wide headquarters”. (Which I guess is what’s now usually referred to as “The Infocom Drive”.)

One of the files is an “Overview of an Infocom Star Trek Game”. It doesn’t go into any great detail, though. Some of it sound similar to the mainframe Trek game, while other parts don’t. For instance, the game was supposed to have multiplayer support (with the caveat that there may not be a market for that), and I don’t remember the mainframe Trek game having that.

Of course, it’s possible that the Trek files here bear little or no resemblance to the game envisioned there. It was still an open question if they should go with character graphics (using the technology they already had?), “Modify EZIP”, “Reinvent DIP” (that’s what Fooblitzky used, I think?), or just “Write a machine specific game”.

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Also, catching up, I’ve added Tom Bok’s Hypochondriac to my catalog page ( ).

I noticed that your version also includes some modified Zork I code. That looks like it’s probably the Zok game Tom mentioned in the other thread. It definitely has a Tiny Turnpike Room, and Evil Kneivel [sic] on a very small motorcycle.

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@zarf Between us do we have the full library of files for both ZOK and Hypochondriac?

I think “Bath” was another game idea I was screwing around with, involving a miniaturized protagonist trying to survive in a bathtub full of toys (and an enormous kid). All of these fragments eventually turned into adventure stories I told to my kids decades later. I had forgotten that I started actually coding this one.

I wouldn’t label any of these “games” – more like “playable game fragments”. And I don’t think I would lump them in with the abandoned work of actual Infocom game developers. I was just a teenage tester, and my “greatest” ZIL coding accomplishment while at Infocom was a lowly Sampler (playable mash-up of bits of four previously published games). I’m not trying to be humble – just stating the obvious. It’s like if you found a box of previously unseen sketchbooks from Da Vinci’s workshop and some stick figure drawings from his teenage nephew got accidentally mixed in. : )

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One other thing to mention – to help those of you who are spelunking in these test/dev directories: many of these test/dev games weren’t built from scratch. For ZIL noobs like us, it was much easier to copy the source from an existing game and strip out the parts you didn’t need. That meant your code was more likely to compile and already had a lot of the standard vocabulary and verb responses. Even some of the real implementers did this, only more elegantly. So the existence of bits of one game inside another was pretty common. This makes it harder to use just the source code to distinguish one game from another – you had to compile and play it.

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Tom, I disagree with your humbleness. I rephrase it “…drawings from one of his apprentices” (whose IS your status back then, you should agree…)

For sure outcast should have evolved into an actual Infocom game. Bathtub is definitively non-commercial grade, but is solid material in the context of the IF community. I estimate that you have (and strongly suspect you still have) potential for entering into the first 10 places of the IFComp.

on the lot, as I have pointed elsewhere, the Wishbringer directory, apparently out of place, seems to be a SG edition of wishbringer, but I haven’t started to delve into the actual content, aside the telling hints.zil.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

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@tomasbok Tom, I’m inclined to agree with @Piergiorgio_d_errico … I think you do yourself a disservice sir! :slightly_smiling_face:

When Hypochondriac first did the rounds the general consensus was (and I’m quoting @robinjohnson here so he can confirm!) that it was Infocom-level but maybe without the final QC polish … In other words it was viewed as being Imp standard. :slightly_smiling_face:

Don’t knock it, you were 15 at the time, the game is crazy good all things considered! :slightly_smiling_face:


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One thing that’s been pointed out is that the source code Adam released has a separate Wishbringer directory that contains the Solid Gold version. It does seem to be a more up to date version than what’s in your archive, because it has the storybook that was included as in-game object (presumably to save on printing costs).

So maybe there’s still hope that a working copy of that game can be compiled? (From what I remember, the other source code compiled but the game itself was broken. I could be wrong about that.)

Answering my own question, the Solid Gold version of Wishbringer that’s currently in the Obsessively Complete Infocom Catalog does not compile, since it’s missing several things. In fact, it seems to be just the V3 source with minor modifications and an added hints.zil file.

The version in Test-Dev compiles in Zilf with only minor modifications. I had to change the names of the included files to lower-case, specify that the game was XZIP, and remove a call to <USL>. (The Z-Machine specification notes that the game accidentally uses the V3 show_status opcode.)

So it looks like it is the real thing, in which case it definitely would seem to belong in the Obsessively Complete Infocom Catalog.

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A minor point on cleaning the directories: isn’t only the privacy issue, but also cleaning from own experimenting.

I noted that in the Boggle, Hypocondriac and Trek dirs the presence of release 0.8 zilf/zapf’s binaries and DLL’s, whose clearly don’t came from The Drive image(s)…

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

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@Piergiorgio_d_errico Just to answer the above, you might find some of the ZILF 0.8 files in some of the game directories, that’s me being a bit untidy I’m afraid! I had a few initial tries at compiling them - so you’ll see some “debris” from that!


It already is. Under , Sources there’s a entry. That’s what you found, right?

I did a spelunking run back in April. I believe I found everything in the dev tree, except the Hypochondria directory.

…or, if I’m wrong, could you let me know where you’re looking?

…or, if I’m wrong, could you let me know where you’re looking?

Your collection has This roughly corresponds to Test-Dev\Old\wishbringer. It can be compiled into what seems like a working .z3 file with only minimal changes.

Your collection also has This corresponds to Test-Dev\Old\wishbringer\cheap. It can’t be trivially compiled. It’s missing several things, e.g. the INIT-STATUS-LINE, the H-BOLD constant, etc. It’s also missing the storybook that was added to the Solid Gold version.

If you compare these two versions, you’ll find that there isn’t a great deal of changes between them. It looks like someone just took the V3 source code and added a hints.zil file.

Adam’s collection also has a Wishbringer directory at the top level. This contains what appears to be a working Solid Gold version. It has a lot of changes compared to the non-working version: It has the storybook, the parser messages use brackets instead of parentheses, etc. Most importantly, that’s the version I managed to compile earlier today.

While writing this post I also noticed that Adam’s collection has a Journey directory at the top level. This, too, is different from what’s in your collection. From a quick look, it might be the source code for journey-r46-s880603.z5. The .z6 versions all have the text “glowing cavern wall. Not ten paces away”, but the .z5 version - and this source code - has “glowing cavern wall. Not fifty yards away”.


Looking closer, the Journey folder is probably not that particular .z5 version. It mentions illustrations, and the enemy is called “The Dread Lord” like in the final game, and not “The Evil One”. (I don’t know when that change was made. In the earliest advertising I saw for the game it was still “The Evil One”.) Still interesting, though.

Ok, thanks. I’ll look over the new Wishbringer files.

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Two things.

I can not play that video in Firefox. What format is it anyway?

Secondly, is there a better way to share a link than a video??!!