[Coco] Infocom text adventures

Allen Huffman alsplace at pobox.com
Tue Apr 29 10:28:26 EDT 2014

> On Apr 28, 2014, at 1:24 PM, Nick Marentes <nickma2 at optusnet.com.au> wrote:
> Cool! Has anyone else got this patch?

I hope to dig out all my CoCo stuff at some point this year, since I have to go through everything and sell off extra stuff and repack so I can move to a cheaper place.

I wrote Terry and he described how he did it, more or less. See my note after this quote:

> Terry wrote:
> I just started at the executable address and started disassembling.  What I found was a program that ran a proprietary tokenized language.  Each infocom game runs on the same interpreter.  Then I started disassembling each command and all the common subroutines until I found the one that output to the screen and just redirected it.

Note that, at this time, no one outside of Infocom seemed to know how Infocom games worked. As soon as Terry found out it was running some kind of language (today we know it was called the Z-machine), he searched BBSes all over the place trying to find documentation on it but nothing came up. It's likely others figured this out, but it wasn't easy to find information back then. During the early 90s, I think he found someone who had managed to cross port some other Infocom games to a Texas Instruments computer. Actually, I seem to recall that someone did the same thing for the CoCo and brought over many other adventures that we never had officially.

I seem to recall we had Zork, Hitchhiker's Guide, and Sea Stalker, at least. Maybe Planetfall too?

Today, there are open source Infocom interpreters (like Frotz) and I wonder if they would be portable to the CoCo.

I have the Infocom collection on my iPad, and a former CoCo guy worked on it (Jeff Vavasour, of the famous original CoCo emulator).

		-- A

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