A generous benefactor has very kindly offered retro fans and the wider internet a glorious gift this morning: a dump of source code from classic Infocom text games, including the original Zork adventures, Shogun, and Infocom’s adaptation of the legendary Douglas Adams novel, Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
The code for a ton of old Infocom games was uploaded to Github and supplied by an anonymous benefactor, although Jason Scott on Twitter noted that he uploaded the files. (Scott is also the director of a documentary into Infocom’s history, which you can view below.)
“[It] represents a snapshot of the Infocom development system at time of shutdown – there is no remaining way to compare it against any official version as of this writing, and so it should be considered canonical, but not necessarily the exact source code arrangement for production,” the notes read.
“This repository is a mirror of the source code directory archive of Infocom but could represent years of difference from what was originally released.”
A playthrough of one of Infocom’s text adventures, Shogun, adapted from the James Clavell novel.
The purpose of the code is primarily for researchers, so the methods and techniques used in Infocom’s Zork Implementation Language can be studied. None of the games uploaded to Github can actually be compiled, as there’s no current way to compile them into usable “Z-machine Interpreter Program” files (aka ZIP files, but not the ZIP files you’re familiar with).
“There are .ZIP files in some of the Infocom Source Code repositories but they were there as of final spin-down of the Infocom Drive and the means to create them is currently lost.”
Included in the directories are code for Zork 1, 2 and 3, with some games having final revisions of code alongside the original files. There’s also Shogun, Beyond Zork, Plundered Hearts, Planetfall, Sorcerer, The Witness, sampler versions of Zork 1 and 2, Journey, Trinity, Infidel and more.
The same Github also has source code for Raven Software’s Heretic, Hexen, Golgotha, Apogee’s Rise of the Triad, Descent and Blood, as well as a mainframe version of the original Zork.
To browse the full repository for yourself, head to the Github here.