Getting started playing IF, it’s a given you’re going to need an interpreter (at least until there’s a way to make executable files for every platform in your authoring system of choice!)

There are several options here, but the ones I use are as follows:

Gargoyle, for Windows. Found at

Gargoyle is an interpreter that has included the following interpreters in it’s package: Agility 1.1.1, Alan 2.8.6 and 3.0a1, Frotz 2.43 (glk port), Glulxe 0.3.5, Hugo 3.1, Level 9 4.0, Magnetic 2.2, Scare 1.3.3, Tads 2.5.9 and 3.0.8. That means it will play any of the games those interpreters run.

Spatterlight, for Macintosh. Found at

Spatterlight is an interpreter, similar to Gargoyle, that can run AGT, Adrift, AdvSys, Alan, Glulx, Hugo, Level 9, Magnetic Scrolls, TADS (text-only), Quill, and Z-code (except v6) games.

Those two interpreters will play most of the games you’ll encounter (although sometimes without the included graphics, if they have any.) Usually around competition time, I’ll use more full-featured interpreters so I can see and hear everything the authors included in their games.

There are plenty more out there, so let’s hear what you use.

How is Cugel? It’s for Macintosh too, right? I think it’s by the same author (Tor) as Gargoyle.

Might be best to have a “sticky” topic here for this, along with the appropriate links for downloading them.

Cugel turned into Spatterlight.

Yeah, I could see doing a “sticky” topic that has several sections – the “multi-purpose” ones (Gargoyle and Spatterlight), followed by platform-specific interpreters for each system (Tads 2/3, etc).

I have a page with download links for Hugo interepreters:

I think it’s up to date.

As cool as I think Gargoyle is, I’d recommend a native Hugo interepreter to anybody wanting to run Hugo games. Because it’s a GLK implementation, graphics and windows don’t work correctly. It does support graphics inline, but I’ve really had to do things differently to keep from crashing Gargoyle (things like printing text and then clearing the screen before attempting to calculate the screen width for graphics sizing). I chased a quirk for two hours the other day, before I figured out the work-around (otherwise Gargoyle would crash running my WIP).

I just noticed that Tor is a member of the forum already. Maybe I could send you an example .HEX program showing how Gargoyle crashes if you try to calculate the screen with before you’ve printed anything?

You are right in recommending other interpreters than Gargoyle for Hugo games,
since it as you say uses Glk which doesn’t always work that well.

Spatterlight does NOT use Glk. It implements graphics and windows more accurately compared with the original hugo interpreters. It’s not perfect, there are occasional glitches. Sometimes the window background colors are off, sometimes you have to push space an extra time between splash screens. That’s the price of window resizing and scrollback (which none of the original hugo interpreters have, and the display model of hugo was never designed for).

Merk, please send me anything that bugs out either Gargoyle or Spatterlight.

I just installed the latest version of Gargoyle. I notice that it no longer does green text on the input line.

(edit) It seems to be a setting in garglk.ini, which doesn’t exist in the latest version. I copied the one from the prior version over, and now it’s showing green text.

Yeah. I botched the installer test for not overwriting an existing garglk.ini.
Fixed now.

Does a Gargoyle game .INI work the same in Spatterlight? Or are they completely different?

No, Gargoyle and Spatterlight are completely different beasts.

I’m creating my game in Inform 7, and using the Frotz interpreter at the present time. If possible I will be including graphics in a limited number of parts of the game so will need an interpreter that allows me to call graphics.

However, I was also hoping to find an interpreter that will allow the player to highlight and copy text from the game (Upon completion of the game a code is generated that the player is then to enter somewhere online and rather than give them the option to mistype it, it would be very handy for them to be able to copy/paste it).

Is there an interpreter that will allow this?



From the discussions I’ve been seeing, you might be better off switching your game to Glulx-format so you can call up graphics in your game. AFAIK, both the Git or the Glulxe 'terps have a “scrollback” function so the player can highlight selected text and copy/paste it somewhere.

When switched over to Glulx, ensure the story file has the extension .GLORB or .GLB, or even .BLB, so it will be picked up easily by the Glulxe/Git terps.

Hope that helps!

Thanks for the advice. When I attempt to run the game in Glulx I get an error, which I understand is known about and will be fixed in the next release of I7…so I will wait until then to switch over and add the images.



No problem. It’s too bad there hasn’t been a lot of work made from the V6 part of the Z-machine, but that’s usually the advice given in the newsgroups for authors wanting to use graphics in something like Inform.

Good luck!

Sorry to say, but this is not the right forum for your question. “Interpreters” here mean those software that run interactive fiction programs.

Googling will help. :slight_smile:

It’s a spam account, most likely.

I know about the major interpreters for the Mac, which I use (Gargoyle, Spatterlight and Zoom), but on the PC side, do people use anything apart from Gargoyle to play glulx games these days? I’m developing a glulx game and I just wanna get a feel for what the state of the art is generally.

Er, yeah. I use Git, and whenever a game doesn’t like Git, I use Glulx. I never used Gargoyle because it doesn’t support v6, or graphics in HTML TADS, and I figure I might as well stick to the “official” interpreters which do support everything.

I assume you mean Windows Git and Windows Glulxe. Those are the names of the applications. (Gargoyle uses the interpreters git and glulxe under the hood, too, but with a different display library front-end.)

I would guess that these are more commonly used that Gargoyle for Windows, just as Zoom is more common than Gargoyle on the Mac.

This puzzles me. Windows Git doesn’t support Z-code nor TADS games. Or are you just saying that you prefer applications that provide only one interpreter to those that provide many? There really isn’t any difference, at least with Glulx–they are all using the same interpreters under the hood, but with different Glk and display libraries.