Loading blorb files for infocom games in Gargoyle windows?

Not sure if this is in the right forum.

I’m having trouble getting the blorb files to work when playing some of the infocom games with graphics and sounds like lurking horror and beyond zork.

Gargoyle doesn’t seem to read the .dat files from the infocom compilation discs so I found the old infocom games in z3, z4, z6, etc format. I also found .blb files on the if-archive for the games with graphics and sounds but I can’t get them to work. I put the in the corresponding folders like the z3 and blb for lurking horror both in the same folder, but I can’t get the sound to play.
Beyond zork won’t play at all since the graphics won’t load.

I am using the windows version of gargoyle. Sound and graphics are enabled.

Anyone know how to get them to work?

I read that it is possible to insert the story file into the blb file. How would I go about doing that? Would it help? Is there anyway to open the blorb file and look at it or edit it?

Thanks for any help.

***edit: I guess it does play .dat files. I just had to configure it to. Still doesn’t play with sound or graphics though.

Gargoyle doesn’t offer (much) support for V6 games, and can’t display graphics in Z-Machine games. You will need to use Windows Frotz for Beyond Zork.

For sound support, it should work if the files are in the same folder as the Lurking Horror game file and have names like SND3, SND18 etc. You can extract these from the ifarchive blorbs with a tool like gblorb.

You should also be able to reassemble the blorb to include the Lurking Horror story file. Extract the files using gblorb, then edit the SPEC file in a text editor. Add the first line so the complete file looks like this:

3	SND3
4	SND4
6	SND6
7	SND7
8	SND8
9	SND9
10	SND10
11	SND11
12	SND12
13	SND13
15	SND15
16	SND16
17	SND17
18	SND18

Now, rename your copy of the Lurking Horror data file to STORY0. Open gblorb and load the SPEC file you edited, then type create. Save the resulting file as lurking.zblorb. If you see errors, make sure all the files (including gblorb.ulx) are in the same folder.

I’ve only tested this as far as creating the unified blorb file. I’m not familiar with LH and don’t know how to get it to play sounds.

I gave it a try to edit the blb file with gblorb, I was able to extract the files from one of the blb file, but I keep getting errors when I try to load them.

I got this error when trying to load the spec file.

Loading the resources table from a specification file…
Error: unable to open file, at line 1: 0 STORY0
Error: unable to open file, at line 2: 3 SND3
Error: unable to open file, at line 4: 4 SND4
Error: unable to open file, at line 6: 5 SND5
Error: unable to open file, at line 8: 6 SND6
Error: unable to open file, at line 10: 7 SND7
Error: unable to open file, at line 12: 8 SND8
Error: unable to open file, at line 14: 9 SND9
Error: unable to open file, at line 16: 10 SND10
Error: unable to open file, at line 18: 11 SND11
Error: unable to open file, at line 20: 12 SND12
Error: unable to open file, at line 22: 13 SND13
Error: unable to open file, at line 24: 14 SND14
Error: unable to open file, at line 26: 15 SND15
Error: unable to open file, at line 28: 16 SND16
Error: unable to open file, at line 30: 17 SND17
No resources were loaded into the table. There were errors in 16 entries.

I was trying this with sherlock holmes btw.

You will get those errors if the files don’t exist, or if gblorb.ulx is in a different folder.

So gblorb.ulx has to be in the exact same folder as the files I want to put together? I put all the files into another folder called sherlock which is in the gblorb folder.

The files are all there. I just extracted them.

Yes, exactly the same folder (not a subfolder). For example if you follow the steps for Lurking Horror you would have a folder that looks like this:

For Sherlock it would be this:

Then you would just need to supply STORY0, and you could load the edited SPEC and build the file.

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I did it exactly as you said with all files in the same folder, but no luck.

I extracted the blb file
Then took the z5 file and renamed it story0
opened the spec file in notepad and added story0 to it

But then when I try to load the spec file to create the new blorb file, I get that same error. :frowning:

Well, if you’re not able to create the blorb file, you can still run the game with the SND* resources in the same folder as the story file. It’s not as compact but the functionality should work.

For the life of me, I can’t get it to work.

I’m using sherlock.dat version 26 which supports sound.

Tried putting the sound files in the same folder, in a folder named “sound”, putting the blb file in the same folder, and in a sound folder. No luck.

Tried using frotz that came with gargoyle and tried windows frotz.

Is there some sort of setting I’m missing? Maybe another interpretor? I’m using windows xp btw in case it matters.

Can you post a transcript of a series of turns that would produce a sound in Sherlock?

from the first screen,

“Knock on door” to enter the house

“UP” to go up stairs

“N” to go into Holmes’ room

“get violin” to pick up the violin in the room

“Play violin” to play the violin which should trigger the first sound sample.

Seems like it doesn’t like the AIFF format. I’ve repackaged Lurking.blorb and Sherlock.blorb with Ogg conversions of the sound effects.

Unfortunately Gargoyle currently fails to identify external Ogg resources. I’ve fixed the bug but until the next release, extracting the SND files using gblorb won’t help. You’ll need to add the story file to the blorb instead.

So I would have to download the repackaged blorb sound files that you made and insert the story file the way you described earlier in the post but I need a different program other than gblorb? What program?

Should the story file keep the .dat extension? Would it be “story0.dat”?

When you say that you “fixed that bug”, does that mean you made gargoyle?

Have you tried this out and gotten the sound to work then? Did you use Windows Frotz?

Thanks for all the help.

I did fix the bug in Gargoyle, and tested the sound effects - such as they are.

The Lurking Horror ones seem to be not much more than samples of white noise. (I wonder if Audacity was playing them correctly?) One was recognizable as a scream. The violin sound effect from Sherlock was identifiable as such. But I didn’t get much out of the others; perhaps they would make sense in context.

It would be cool to see a fan project that offered a high quality sound pack with new source files.

would the same principle of adding the story file to the blb files found on the if-archive into a blorb/zblorb file work for the graphical z6 games like arthur or journey?

Gargoyle uses frotz and frotz is supposed to run z6 files (at least that is the impression that I have), but I can’t seem to get them to work with it.

I’ve just quickly checked the sounds with Windows Frotz and it all still works for me, with both Lurking Horror and Sherlock. For Windows Frotz the Blorb-format sound files (from http://ifarchive.org/indexes/if-archiveXinfocomXmediaXblorb.html) need to be in the same directory as the Z-code file with the same name, e.g. “Sherlock.z5” and “Sherlock.blb”.

The sounds I recall in Sherlock are a violin and horses hooves (try “blow whisle” then “wait” at the start of the game). Lurking Horror sounds are various chants and screams, not white noise.

This is not necessary: the AIFF sounds in the Blorb files were mechanically converted from the original Infocom sound files, which in turn were raw waveform data: the Blorb contains exactly the original Infocom sounds. If Gargoyle (or anything else) is playing those as white-noise, it would suggest a problem with the AIFF sound decoder somewhere. Fix the AIFF decoder! It would be good if Gargoyle were also fixed to look for a suitably named Blorb file if it is run on a Z-code file (so it would pick up “Sherlock.blb” if run on “Sherlock.z5”).

Just to be sure I’ve checked the Z6 games under Windows Frotz with the Blorb graphics files from the same URL, and they still all seem fine, too. (To answer Legend’s last post: The Z6 games won’t work under Gargoyle: Gargoyle uses a screen model that isn’t really compatible with the way the Z6 display works. Windows Frotz goes out of its way to support Z6, though that causes other annoying limitations in Windows Frotz’s screen handling that Gargoyle doesn’t suffer from. You pick an interpreter that best suits you …)

Audacity played the files as white noise. Every other sound program I tried - Windows Media Player, VLC - refused to do anything with the sounds at all. I’ve just attempted to use iTunes and afplay on OS X, and neither would play anything. I can accept that Audacity did a poor job of it but the rest are all nominally programs that support the format. That’s a lot of decoders to fix!

If AIFF is as temperamental a format as that, it seems like a high quality Ogg conversion would be more generally useful.

There’s at least one Gargoyle bug here - it can’t play AIFF sounds that differ from SDL_mixer’s preset sample rate of 44.1k. (It can handle Ogg / MP3, but does a relatively terrible job of resampling the files.) That is more of an upstream library issue: I will either need to replace SDL_mixer or find a way to patch SDL_sound with a quality resampling algorithm.

I agree (the AIFF files play fine for me on a number of players, but it’s an annoying format at any rate, and Ogg Vorbis files should be smaller, to boot).

I tried your Vorbis blorbs, and the sound was very distorted; this is due to a bug in oggenc’s AIFF reader (I’m almost certain that it treats the samples as unsigned when they should be signed). If you have Sox, it does the conversion properly. I’m apparently too dense to get perlBlorb working properly, or else I would have created blorbs with Sox-encoded files.

I’ve just extracted the sounds with BlorbScan and the resulting AIFF files play fine in Windows Media Player for me. Not sure why it wouldn’t work for you. As cas notes, the Blorb files you posted with Ogg format versions of the sounds in are definitely not right: would you remove those files for now?

I’ve removed the files.

After extracting the sound resources with blorbscan, I was able to play them easily and they sound just fine. Looks like a bug in gblorb.