[ZILF] Infocom’s Z-Machine Specifications (YZIP)

I have tried to transcribe the Z-machine YZIP specifications as close to the original as possible.

Throughout the document there are a number of comments from an unknown proofreader that I have incorperated as much as possible, otherwise the document tries to be as faithful as possible to the original.

I have also added hyperlinks in the ”Table of Contents”, the ”Index” and some internal references.

I have used the font “Bookman Old Style” throughout the document.

Prrofreading would be greatly appreciated!

(The document can be found here).


I’m thinking of uploading this document and my pdf-transcription of the The Z-Machine Standards Document ver 1.1 to The Interactive Fiction Archive.

Is this a good idea and would this directory be the right place?

Yes and yes.

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If you’re uploading the ZMS 1.1 document and incorporating corrections, there are a couple of places where the string “$1\times 1$” shows up that I’m pretty sure should just read “1x1”. (These errors are faithfully replicated in the online version.)

I’ll look into that. thanks.

There are also other versions available as described in Infocom's Z-Machine Specifications

Yes. I used this as a source. The ZIP, EZIP and XZIP was already transcribed so I went along and did the YZIP. The ZIP, EZIP & XZIP should probably also be uploaded but because I didn’t produce them myself, I’m a bit hesitant to do that.

The string $1\times 1$ appears both in ZMS 1.0 and ZMS 1.1 in chapter 8 and chapter 16. The text in chap. 8 is:

It's recommended that a Version 5 interpreter always use units to correspond to characters: that is, characters occupy $1\times 1$ units. 'Beyond Zork' was written in the expectation that it could be using either 1x1 or 8x8, and contains correct code to calculate screen positions whatever units are used. (Infocom's Version 5 interpreter for MSDOS could either run in a text mode, 1x1, or a graphics mode, 8x8.) However, the German translation of 'Zork I' contains incorrect code to calculate screen positions unless 1x1 units are used.

and in chap. 16:

9. (Apple IIc) 'BZ' uses Apple character graphics (possibly "Mousetext"), but has 
problems when the units used are not $1\times 1$.

The text doesn’t make much sense to me, but is it correct with 1x1 instead of $1\times 1$ or does the latter mean something I don’t understand?

It’s Latex notation. There was probably an original document in Latex that got converted to HTML.

Thanks. I looked up (googled) LaTeX and 1x1 it is then.

I updated the HTML on the web site. Thanks for pointing this out.

You’re welcome. Thanks for fixing the online documents!