Zork game source code from January 1978 via @MIT #Gaming #VintageComputing

Zork

If you’re into classic games, like from the DEC minicomputer days and into the early (vintage) computer days, you probably remember Zork (or from the opening screen: Dungeon).

This week, the source code for an MIT January 1978 version of Zork, written for ITS on a PDP-10, was posted on GitHub. The files are a part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tapes of Tech Square (ToTS) collection at the MIT Libraries Department of Distinctive Collections (DDC).

What is Zork?

Zork is one of the earliest interactive fiction computer games, with roots drawn from the original genre game Colossal Cave Adventure. The first version of Zork was written between 1977 and 1979 using the MDL programming language on a DEC PDP-10 computer. The authors—Tim Anderson, Marc Blank, Bruce Daniels, and Dave Lebling—were members of the MIT Dynamic Modelling Group. Infocom later brought out personal computer versions.

Zork distinguished itself in its genre as an especially rich game, in terms of both the quality of the storytelling and the sophistication of its text parser, which was not limited to simple verb-noun commands (“hit troll”), but recognized some prepositions and conjunctions (“hit the troll with the Elvish sword”). (Wikipedia)

If you would like to dig through ITS system code, it’s also available on GitHub. There are other versions of Zork on GitHub including the Infocom Zork I in C (public domain) with history of ports to other computers.

Do you know of other source archives with Zork?


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