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Playing classic textadventures on your MEGA65

  • I can't believe that there is no announcement here for this great piece of MEGA65 software yet! 8o


    Bit Shifter has written a Z interpreter for the MEGA65 and released it last September as public domian on github: BSZ :thumbup:


    I like the oldschool textadventures especially the ones from Infocom and with this software you can play many textadventures with a so-called Z story file (Z3, Z4 or Z5).



    So let me show you how you can build your very personal textadventure disc for your MEGA65. :prof:



    First you have to download the BSZ interpreter. The easiest way is to download the "bsz-mega65" and save it in a folder e.g. named mygame.


    Then you have to get an Z story file from a textadventure. If you just can not find your prefered gamebox in your shelf within the 30 original Infocom gameboxes, maybe you take a look at this site:


    Illuminion: Infocom - classic text adventures


    Here you can find some Z story files from Infocom classic game. Or just ask your friends and neighbours for some story files. ;)


    You can also find the sourcecodes of many Infocom textadventures at this github repositories:


    historicalsource: infocom


    In some of them there is even a compiled story file which you can use with the BSZ interpreter.


    For this guide I choose a personal favorite textadventure "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" as an example.


    I have downloaded the Z story file named "s4.z3" and saved it in the folder mygame in which the BSZ is stored.


    So that are all two files we need for our D81 disc.



    Let us now use the great software "DirMaster" for creating a D81 disc image. It runs on Windows and Linux (with wine).


    After DirMaster starts press 8 or select "Disk -> New -> D81" in the menu. An "empty" D81 disc appears.


    Open your mygame folder and drag & drop the two files into the directory window:



    Then select the file "s4.z3" in the D81 window and press S for modify the extension to SEQ and then press R for renaming the file.



    The story file has to begin with a lowercase "z", so I choose "zhhg" (for HitchHikersGuide), and press RETURN:



    It is not necessary, but I want to name the disc image. So I right-click into the empty blue titlebar and select "Rename Disk" and name it "hitchhiker":



    With pressing CTRL+S a dialog opens for saving the D81 disc image into the "mygame" folder:



    Now we have a D81 disc image with we can use with the xmega65 emulator or on the SD card for the MEGA65/DevKit/Nexys board. :thumbup:


    Let me use xmega65 from LGB-Z for this guide. After the start of the emulator attach the D81 image with right-click into the emulator window and select "FD D81 -> Attach user D81" and select the saved D81 for attaching.



    A DIR command should show us the directory of the D81 disc image.


    Start the game with RUN "B*" and RETURN:



    Press RETURN again ...



    ... and here it is: Your classic textadventure on your MEGA65 in 80 column and color display! :)



    It looks and "feels" great. :thumbsup:


    If you need a manual or some gimmick stuff for your Infocom textadventure you can find them e.g. here:


    Infocom Gallery



    A little side note: With this "look and feel" patch of the C65 ROM it looks like playing it on an good-old green monochrome CBM PET: :D



    Many thanks again to Bit Shifter for this great Z interpreter! :thumbup:

  • At this site you can find many games in Z-Code, even in different languages:


    if-archive/games/zcode

    You can give them a try with BSZ. The games with z3, z4 or z5 type should work with it, but of course without warranty. So feel free to test your favorite game. :)

  • I updated the interpreter in the repository.
    It now loads the whole story file (even the 512 KB stories) into the RAM of the MEGA65.

    Many thanks for your great update! :thumbup:


    Now also another favorite Infocom textadventure of mine runs perfect: "Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels". It doesn't work with the old BSZ.


  • What are these extra large values in the window title? Is it running on raspberry-pi 400? :) Sounds like Xemu here cannot reach real-time emulation performance (86%, and at least 115% of the current available CPU time would be needed for achieve 100%).

  • What you notice! 8o


    Please don't tell anyone, but I played a little bit "Sherlock Holmes" while the laptop was busy creating the latest build of the software package for my client. :D For that, however, it had the higher priority of CPU power than the xmega65 emulator.


    Otherwise the xmega65 is already running in "real time". ;)


  • Hi Snoopy ,


    I can't believe that there is no announcement here for this great piece of MEGA65 software yet! 8o

    i was certain i've posted it, but it could be, that after i've announced the other two textadventures (Tristam and Hybernated 2) and the feedback was not so good, that i first wanted to delay the announcement of the release of the Z-Interpreter and then missed it later...
    Sorry Bit Shifter and thanks to Snoopy that the announcement is made now

    So thanks to you, for not only helping out, but writing a complete tutorial on how to get it running.


    With best regards,


    Anton

  • I added the Z engine to the file host. Bit Shifter if you like to maintain it yourself there, let me know and I will remove it. Post on mega.ms will follow as soon as I find the time ;)


    cheers

    deft

  • I added the Z engine to the file host. Bit Shifter if you like to maintain it yourself there, let me know and I will remove it. Post on mega.ms will follow as soon as I find the time ;)


    cheers

    deft

    That's OK. Go ahead. Though I don't know, what a "s4.z3" file is. Did you mean "story file of type .z3, .z4 or .z5" ?
    I recommend, to put a link to @Snoopy's installation guide to the download description.