Some gamebook adaptations in ZIL


I’ve been adapting some game books into z-machine story files for the past 2 months, mostly from the Virtual Reality Adventure book series. They were part of efforts to study the ZIL language and to provide a proof of concept that other types of interactive fiction can be done in it.

  1. Green Blood by Mark Smith and Dave Morris
  2. Down Among the Dead Men by Dave Morris
  3. Necklace of Skulls by Dave Morris
  4. Secret of the Knights by Jim Gasperini

The last one is part of the Time Machine book series of Choose Your Own Adventures.

Although, I’ve gone through the code lots of times (links in their individual IFDB pages), it is still possible that I still missed some bugs may, so any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thanks and I hope you fine folks enjoy these :slight_smile:

Additional Notes:

Save and Restore functionality is available. Press using S or R keys to save or restore your game during action selection.

I’ve gotten permission form Dave Morris to release the Virtual Reality Adventures. If they decide to go commercial, these will be withdrawn. I am still in the process of reaching out to Jim Gasperini.


We’ve discussed packaging up the maps and art as a feelies PDF, I still endorse that plan.

And I’d also love to see an attempt to bash the awesomely terrible Virtual Reality Adventure logo into ASCII (well, ZSCII but you get my point) and optionally display it at the start of the game, but that is a perverse wish at best. :slight_smile:

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I’ll try to scan some full-page art and do my best “desktop publishing/graphic artist” impersonation :slight_smile:

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In Necklace of Skulls, while in the merchant interface (093), I can get some helper screens like C and I, but not ?/H. (Hitting one of those keys seems to just be treated like a bad keypress and brings up the “you can buy anything you have money for” list again.)

Is that intentional?

Sounds like a bug. I will look into that. Thanks for catching this.

Also looks like I isn’t documented in the README.


I made the following fixes:

  • Added Restore option during character selection
  • Documented ‘I’ (inventory) command key in-game and in README
  • Pressing keys that are not among the available options should no longer trigger a response, except for situations where H (help), I (inventory), C (character) are applicable

@jcompton I really appreciate you taking the time to test these and for the numerous suggestions :slight_smile:



Just to let anyone interested know, that the last of the Virtual Reality Adventure gamebook that I possess, Heart of Ice has been adapted to ZIL

Check it out at IFDB:
Heart of Ice by Dave Morris

ZIL source code at:

I hope you fine folks enjoy this one. Cheers!


Missing Coils of Hate and Twist of Fate? What can we do to put them in your hands?

… I’m not having any kind of luck tracking down local sources so I electronic versions, pdf or epubs would be nice.

For now, I’m looking at Stuart Lloyd’s update/fixes to Coils of Hate that he has published for free as a PDF.

For Twist of Fate, I may have have more luck with ‘Once upon a time in Arabia’ Critical IF.

Maybe Dave Morris has copies he’d be willing to scan or part with?