List of glulx/.gblorb interpreters

I’m considering adding some images to an Inform 7 game and wonder what interpreters people use (so that I can test it out). I’m considering Simple Graphical Window by Emily Short. I’ve heard of a few but is there a definitive list and, ideally, guidance on how commonly used each is and how well it handles images?


Summary of replies. I’ve added some details also.

Strictly speaking there are only three interpreters (Glulxe, Git, and Quixe) but there are several players for glulx .gblorb files:

Player Platforms Formats
Windows Gluxe Windows Glulx only
Windows Git Windows Glulx only
Spatterlight Mac, HiDPI supported AGT, Adrift, AdvSys, Alan, Glulx, Hugo, Level 9, Magnetic Scrolls, TADS (text-only), Quill, and Z-code (except v6)
Fabularium Android Adrift (including version 5), AdvSys, the Adventure Game Toolkit (AGT), Alan (2 and 3), Glulx, Hugo, Level 9, Magnetic Scrolls, Scott Adams Adventures (Scottfree), Tads (2 and 3) and Zcode (Infocom)
Frotz iOS Z-code, Glulx, TADS
Gargoyle Windows; Mac, HiDPI unsupported; FreeBSD; Linux “all the major interactive fiction formats” (add details)
Lecrote Windows; Mac, HiDPI supported; Linux) Glulx, Z-code, Hugo, TADS2 and TADS3, Ink

To prepare your game for playing in a browser, having run to make any images display, you can use:

The IFWiki has been updated and its new software database contains the above information: see Drilldown: Software - IFWiki


Must admit I’d appreciate a nice new list also, I’ve lost track. :slightly_smiling_face:

My guess is you need GLULX and Lectrote.


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I’m not a technical maven but I believe glulx is a file format for games, not an interpreter – it’s the successor to the z-code format. There is a Windows Glulxe interpreter, though I think it’s not in much use these days as Git is a newer implementation? Not the friendliest terminology!

Anyway the IFWiki page on the glulx format seems reasonably comprehensive in terms of interpreters except it doesn’t have Lectrote as a separate interpreter (I think it’s Quixe behind the scenes?)

My sense is that Lectrote/Quixe (for most uses, including web implementations), Spatterlight (for Mac folks), and maybe Gargoyle (for folks a bit behind the times like me) are among the more common ones – and anyone using one of the others is probably sufficiently technically proficient and clued-in to easily switch to one of the more common ones if need be.


The IFWiki page doesn’t include Vorple or Parchment, two things I’ve not used and am not sure about. I’ve used Quixe, Windows Glulxe, and iOS Frotz.


Oh yeah, definitely Parchment! Though I wasn’t sure whether to mention Vorple since I hear people talking about it but I think it’s technically a library rather than an interpreter? I dunno, as I said I’m not very up on the technical side of things, so take my feedback as how a medium-information player might approach things rather than anything definitive :slight_smile:


There are three Glulx interpreters: Glulxe, Git, and Quixe. These three can then be embedded in various Glk interfaces. Occasionally there have been bugs in one of the interpreters, but on the whole they’re mostly extremely compatible.

So the differences are more to do with the Glk libraries. Some things to watch out for:

  • Gargoyle doesn’t have support for some stylehints (font size and justification), or resource streams
  • Windows Glk has pretty good support across the board, but it’s Windows only
  • GlkOte doesn’t support sound or stylehints, which affects Lectrote and the Inform 7 template for Quixe
  • the Inform 7 template for Quixe also takes a little bit of work to sort out images
  • My Parchment for Inform 7 template uses a fork of GlkOte which does support stylehints, but not sound. Again it will take a bit of work to sort out images
  • for now is a mess. I need to update it to use the same code as my Inform 7 Parchment template. Sorry!

Windows Glulxe and Git appear to have identical user interfaces. Is there an actual difference under the hood?

Also, why was a Glulx interpreter given the same name as the most popular version control software? That’s a worse naming collision than the “curses” one.

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Well they use the different interpreters. Windows Glulxe uses Glulxe, and Windows Git uses Git. Git is usually a little faster, but Glulxe is in theory safer as it is the reference implementation.

The Git interpreter predates the Git SCM, so… go ask Linus? :wink:


Could you think up some succinct wording along the following lines? One primarily for players and the other for authors.

  1. To play a .gblorb file on your computer you need an interpreter. Windows: (Windows Gluxe, Windows Git, …). Mac: (Spatterlight, …). Android: (…). iOS: (Frotz, …)

  2. To prepare your game for playing online you can use: Quixe, Parchment…

Also, do some people download game files and play them in their browsers?


On Android, Fabularium is the usually recommended interpreter, I think.


This will seem like a stupid question once I’ve understood the answer. But what is the difference between Quixe and Parchment? In the Inform documentation it says Quixe is used for Glulx, and Parchment for Z-Code, but now it seems that Parchment not only works with Glulx files but also uses Quixe. Thanks.

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Great, now I’m going to be hearing Grace Slick singing “Go ask Linus” for the next few days. :slight_smile:

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Now this reminds me that I wish Fabularium could be updated to support the latest inform6 and PunyInform.


Nah, I’m pretty sure it’ll still seem like a good question. Quixe and Parchment are both Inform 7 Interpreter templates, i.e., things with which one can say, e.g.,

Release along with a "Quixe" interpreter.

Here’s where it gets more confusing. One component of Quixe the I7 Interpreter template is quixe.js the Glulx interpreter. And sometimes when we say “Quixe” we’re referring to that interpreter.

Glulx was designed from the beginning to use the Glk API for I/O (Zarf on the history of Glk.) Quixe includes glkote.js, a javascript implementation of nearly all of Glk.

The current version of Inform 7 dates to 2015. The versions of Quixe and Parchment included are old and the version of Parchment that’s included with it only handles zcode. But you can get up-to-date copies and unpack them in the Templates directory of your External directory (or in the Templates directory of a given project’s .materials directory).

So now Parchment can be used with either. If you had Release along with a “Quixe” interpreter in your source and tried to compile for zcode, you’d get an error. With Parchment, you could switch back and forth. Also, the version of Parchment Dannii linked to above (the ifcomp branch in its github repo) has a different version of glkote.js that supports Glk stylehints.

Either one can work with images, but there’s hoop-jumping the Inform 7 compiler won’t take care of automatically. See Zarf’s for a way to make a Quixe or Parchment based website that takes care of it for you.

So for your purposes, to release a Glulx game that includes images, there wouldn’t be a compelling reason to use Parchment unless you wanted to use stylehints.


That would be cool!

It seems that the maintainer is unfortunately not super-active at the moment, but I could imagine that it might be doable to replace the relevant parts with the newer/different libraries and build an .apk for your own use (without needing to become an expert on the whole codebase).

Admittedly, I haven’t looked closely at the code, so I don’t know how much one would need to understand and change, but just for reference, the relevant Inform files seem to reside at:
fabularium/app/src/main/assets/inform at master · tccowper/fabularium · GitHub and at fabularium/app/src/main/jni/utilities/inform at master · tccowper/fabularium · GitHub


Just a note that gargoyle (gargoyle-free) runs well on Linux too, not just Windows, Mac, and FreeBSD.


I remember you that Fabularium doesn’t support transcript in Android.
This is the best option to play IF but you need also Hunky Punky to create transcripts.
On the other side Text Fiction under Incant is able to create transcripts but doesn’t allow to save and restore games.

Fabularium doesn’t work fine with adrift also.

There is necessary some additional work.


I’ve added that.

Is this that? GitHub - WakeRealityDev/incant: Incant is an experimental interface to a Glulx interpreter and a Z-Machine interpreter for Android


Yes, these one and launcher thunderword.

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I don’t have an Android device so all these names are confusing me :slight_smile: Could you share some links please?

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