Playing Zork on the Arduino

If you’re looking for something to do on a boring Sunday afternoon, how about dusting off your Arduino and playing a text adventure? [Louis] wrote in to tell us about his project called AZIP, an app that will let you play classic 1980s text adventures on your Arduino.

The famous Infocom text adventure games such as Zork and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (reputed to be better than the book, by the way) all ran on a virtual machine called a ZMachine. We’ve seen a few unsuccessful attempts to run a ZMachine on an Arduino, but these builds usually end up going with a Linux-based single board computer. As far as we’re aware, [Louis]‘ build is the first time classic text adventures have been available on the Arduino.

[Louis] based his build on the popular Jzip ZMachine. The required hardware is fairly minimal – just an Arduino with an SD card. Right now the limitations of Flash and RAM on the Arduino means [Louis] needed to remove the game save and restore functions, but with a little clever coding and continued development those functions can be restored. Very cool indeed.

Comments

  1. lochnessduck says:

    this would be really cool if it could become a standalone program to output to an lcd (I see that size limitations are limiting that), because I do remember an arduino hack to allow access to a ps/2 keyboard like in this article

  2. andres says:

    there are already libraries on the playground for that

  3. mike says:

    [sprite_tm] has already done the same thing!, though he emulated an entire CP/M and then ran the original zork on that

    http://spritesmods.com/?art=avrcpm&page=1

  4. ScottInNH says:

    This is pretty cool.. every old hack remembers Dungeon and Zork. I’m not that proficient at porting code to a micro so I’d been hoping someone would do this.

    I’d be surprised if the game save couldn’t be made to work with the 512b-2K worth of built-in EEPROM.

  5. Phil says:

    I had an (almost) complete set of Infocom programs (legitimate copies I might add) and I can assure you that the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” game was _NOT_ as good as the book (or radio series the book was based on). The game may have been as good as the cheesy 1970s TV series, but my mind’s a bit murky on what British TV considered science fiction back then.

    What was amusing about the Hitchhiker’s computer game was it came with a cardboard sunglasses (opaque black) so you couldn’t see an accident and a piece of fluff.

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