Review: "Hibernated 1: This Place is Death" by Stefan Vogt

You’re correct. My only excuse is that the keys on my laptop are not that crisp anymore.

My plan is to play the DC version first and then try the Quill version. I’m just a little curious about the Quill one because i played around a bit with Quill back in the day.

I tried it out an hour or so and is already up to 99 points. I like SF and get a “Starcross” feeling in this one (in a good way).


Oh yes, I hear you. The original game had roughly about 35k of uncompresssed text available once the interpreter was loaded.

What you could do is using Infocom’s TRS-80 Model III interpreter which you find here: TRS-80 Disk Game Software Page ( and create the game using Inform 6 and a minimal library, where PunyInform is recommended.

Thank you very much for the kind feedback. The version in the archive actually is the original Quill version transported to DAAD, a system which I resurrected together with Tim Gilberts, the original creator (and founder of Gilsoft which also released Quill). If you really want to go down that rabbit hole and play the original Quill version, I’ve attached it here for you as a reference :slight_smile: (21.0 KB)

1 Like

Thanks for the links to the trs-80 stuff. Actually, what would be really quite cool would be to rebuild the Z interpreter.

I wonder if there’s a minimalist interpreter in C that would cover the Puny function set?

I’ve been cross compiling from C, as an experiment to see how well this works. Back in the day, this would not have worked, but the idea is to cross compile using a modern system targeting trs-80 binary. Surprisingly the code generated is quite good - if you’re careful :slight_smile:


As for features which not all interpreters support, these are the ones I can think of:

  • Modifiable alphabet table. This is not needed for a typical PunyInform game.
  • Full Unicode support. Not needed for a typical PunyInform game.
  • Printing to memory. Not needed for a typical PunyInform game.
  • Z-machine versions. A typical PunyInform game uses z3 or possibly z5.

As for using C for writing an interpreter for typical 8-bit computers. Many fans of C have talked about it. The number of successful projects I know of: 0. Why? Because the most suitable C compilers can generate code that’s “quite good”, and that’s far from good enough. I think you can hope for code that is ~25% as fast as carefully optimized assembler, and 50-100% bigger. On a 16-bit machine, that may suffice. On a typical 8-bit, it won’t.

1 Like

I know exactly what you’re saying, which is why I’ve been experimenting with cross developing for 8 bit.

I would have said the exact same thing.

However, it’s not quite as bad as that. Firstly, i would say the compiled code is about 75% performance and probably 25-50% fatter.

It’s totally vital that the source code be careful. So for example, i couldn’t just try building frotz in its current form. It’s definitely too fat. Firstly, the things you mention would definitely have to go, and probably a few more.

Writing C code for 8 bit needs work, you have to approach the project differently. It’s absolutely essential that you use char variables everywhere - especially loops.

The usual C convention of passing parameters everywhere also needs to change. For small projects, make everything global, for more complex ones, pass in a single “context” structure which holds everything. Passing lots of parameters all the time, kills code size.

On the upside, there are things you can do which can give an advantage over hand assembly;

For example, you can mess with your data structures and recompile everything. The order of data in your structures makes a difference to the code.

Typically with hand designed code, you don’t have the option to re-arrange data deep into the project. For compiled code, you can.

Other obvious things are to not pull in libs you don’t need, have a really bare-bones c-lib etc.

If anyone knows of a really really cut down C, Z3 emulator. I’d definitely look into it.

but really cut down :slight_smile:

Maybe you could use Index: if-archive/infocom/interpreters/foblub as a starting point. It’s written in C and runs on a calculator, albeit one with a 16-bit, 10 MHz CPU and 188 KB of RAM.

Ryan Gordon’s mojozork may fit the “cut down” criteria, but it appears to have been written (“just for fun”) with Zork I as its only test case. I tried Infocom’s ZipTest which showed some failures.

Thanks for the link. I had a look at foblub, but it’s too heavily bound up to the ticalc headers and libs. Nevertheless, it’s origin, pinfocom looks interesting. I think version 3.0 is the best bet.

I’ll have a go at compiling it as a pure console program. This is the first step, ie to get it working at all. A lot of the code will need work for 8 bit. Bit it could well be possible.

I just stumbled upon this review from May 2018 and must say that it is an excellent review. Thank you @lft. I wish all reviews were as well written and comprehensive, yet without giving away any spoilers to the puzzles. It points out the good and the bad in a very diplomatic way, complete with examples.

The game has now been through various incarnations and I’m sure the newly released Director’s Cut will be much better than the original Quilled game, thanks largely to your review.

I think I need to clarify here that the game’s not been through various incarnations. There is the classic game, which was first developed in Quill and then ported to DAAD and Adventuron to approach more platforms, but the game always remained the same, none of the content ever changed. Now there is the Director’s Cut which is a complete rewrite that only has the story, a few basic riddles and some room descriptions in common.

So much has been redesigned and yes, @lft has been a great source of guidance for the Director’s Cut. I wouldn’t go over the bridge that it’s a “much better” game now. The classic game was great for its target audience, which was the European adventure scene, mostly even the UK adventure scene, that still was playing tape based adventures mid-80s.

I’ve completed it!

The game wasn’t especially hard and I only stumbled on two things when I needed to search objects that only was described in the scenary.

The knife in the sick bay that is only found when searching equipment and the apparatus and gem that appears when you touch the sphere in the sphere room.

I liked the atmosphere in the game that reminded my a lot of one of my favourites, the Infocom classic Startcross.

I only got 306 points out of 311.

The score was made up as follows:
    66 finding sundry items
   117 visiting various places
   123 performing noteworthy actions

   306 total (out of 311)

Any idea what I’m missing? (Everything in the game awards 3 points so 3 points could be from a room I missed visiting or something I missed asking IO. But what in the game awards 2 points or maybe 5 points?)


Let me just briefly suspend my mini-IF-timeout and say that this is great news! It looks amazing, and I’m honoured to be mentioned as a catalyst for it.

My review from 2018 had a biting tone that I’ve come to regret with time; I tried to be witty and funny, but a better reviewer would have achieved that without hurting the author’s feelings. So I’d like to apologize for that, Stefan.

Still, I never regretted the actual points I made about the game, and I’m really looking forward to see what you’ve changed and how you’ve done it.

Oh, and by the way, I still think that one puzzle was absolutely brilliant.


Linus, that really means the world to me! No need to apologize. Thank you so much!


Congratulations on completing H1DC and I am glad you enjoyed the game! It’s particularly great to know the atmosphere reminded you of Starcross. One of the reasons why I do what I do is because I want people to take a trip down memory lane. It’s all about reliving childhood memories!

Regarding the missing points: there is one riddle in the game that may be solved with alternate solution. If you do that, you won’t get 3 but 8 points as a bonus for being creative. If you like to try to find it out yourself, please don’t click on below spoiler.

When you’re in the creepy passage, there’s a grille blocking the entrance to the maintenance shaft. It’s the location where you release Vlad (the little spider robot) as well. Instead of doing the obvious thing: unscrewing the grille, you can also shoot at it with your laser rifle and cut it out of the wall. If you do so, the game rewards you with bonus points.


I decided to replay to reach full score and reached 314 points!

  *** You have won ***

In that game you scored 314 out of a possible 311, in 1039 turns, earning you the rank: Alpha Centauri Survivor.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE, give the FULL score for that game or QUIT? full

The score was made up as follows:
    66 finding sundry items
   117 visiting various places
   131 performing noteworthy actions

   314 total (out of 311)

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE, give the FULL score for that game or QUIT? 

Very strange… Below is the breakdown of how I aquired my points (as far as I recorded it correctly) if you want to hunt down where it went wrong. (Beware! Contains lots of spoilers).

Open Eye                        3
Enter Lower Corridor            3
Enter Private Area              3
Get Biometric Pass              3
Enter Upper Corridor            3
Enter Bridge                    3
Ask Io (Mission)                3
Ask Io (Network Hub Code)       3
Get Io                          3
Enter Laboratory                3
Enter Storage Space             3
Get Flashlight                  3
Get Toolbox                     3
Enter Docking Bay               3
Get Laser Rifle                 3
Get Spacesuit                   3
Enter Airlock                   3
Enter Alien Spaceship           3
Enter Sphere Room               3
Ask Io (About Sphere Room)      3
Enter Control Room              3
Enter Video Surveillance        3
Enter Small Quarter             3
Ask Io (About Alien Corpse)     3
Enter Cargo Bay                 3
Enter Checkpoint                3
Enter Gloomy Corridor           3
Ask Io (About C64)              3
Enter Base Station              3
Ask Io (About Droids)           3
Shoot Droid                     3
Disassemble Droid ith Toolbox   3
Get Droid Spares                3
Enter Quarters                  3
Enter Sick Bay                  3
Enter Regenerating Chamber      3
Ask Io (About Tube)             3
Move Locker                     3
Get ID Chip                     3
Ask Io (About Cuneiform)        3
Ask Io (In Cargo Bay)           3
Put Connector in Io             3
Enter Alien Spaceship (Hull)    3
Ask Io (About Spiders)          3
Shoot Spiders                   3
Get Chipset Parts               3
Search Equipment                3
Get Vibro Knife                 3
Cut Corpse With Knife           3
Get Hand                        3
Enter Hall of the Dead          3
Ask Io (About Capsule)          3
Open Capsule                    3
Cut Body With Knife             3
Enter Oppressive Place          3
Enter Ship Hangar               3
Enter Starfighter               3
Enter Decontamination Room      3
Ask Io (About Decontamination)  3
Enter Star Gallery              3
Ask Io (About Projection)       3
Enter Energy Stream             3
Operate Console                 3
Unscrew Cell With Toolbox       6
Put Cell On Mounting            3
Get Vacutainer                  3
Get Blood                       3
Operate Computer                3
Eat Vaccine                     3
Enter Elevator                  3
Touch Sphere                    3
Get Gem                         3
Get Apparatus                   3
Put Hand On Scanner             3
Enter Specimen Exhibition       3
Ask Io (About Priestess)        3
Search Priestess                3
Get Dagger                      3
Enter Robotics Laboratory       3
Ask Io (About Robot)            3
Give Chipset to Robot           3
Ask Io (About Robot)            3
Give Dagger To Robot            3
Enter Homeworld Exposition      3
Enter Creepy Passage            3
Shoot Spiders (Paralyze)        3
Get Spider                      3
Shoot Grille With Rifle         8
Operate Computer (with spider)  3
Put Spider In Shaft             3
Enter Soul Collector            3
Enter Lounge                    3
Search Group                    3
Get Crystal                     3
Put Crystal In Niche            3
Enter Officers Quarters         3
Get Badge                       3
Enter Startship Bridge          3
Put Io on Mainframe             3
Enter Sanctum                   3
Ask Navigator                   3
Get Disc                        3

EDIT: @8bit_era I PM:d you the transcript starting from a restore-file with 213 points and ending with 314 points.


Oh that’s strange. In the playthroughs none of my testers reached a number higher than 311. Maybe it’s a bug and you got two points for the same action? I will take a close look before releasing R7 on the weekend. Thank you so much!

1 Like

Thank you so much! I counted wrong on the only things I had to count by hand. Never let idiots do important tasks :rofl:

The total score of the game is 314.

It will be fixed in the upcoming R7, which probably is due to release next weekend if I am not able to push it out earlier. Still working on some ports though.


I am thrilled to announce that the physical edition of #Hibernated1 Director’s Cut is NOW available for preorder from my publisher! Get that trip down memory lane in all its #Infocom glory for 25 classic #8bit and #16bit systems. Hibernated 1 - Directors Cut


Stefan, out of interest have you thought of putting it on Steam? Digital download of course.

Adam :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like