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Classic Games (Games)

Boot To Zork 106

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the you-have-been-eaten-by-a-grue dept.
Seemingly to inflict more suffering upon himself, Matthew Garrett (lord of getting things to boot using EFI) decided that booting directly into Zork would be cool. Quoting his weblog entry: "So, Frotz seemed like the natural choice when this happened. But despite having a set of functionality that makes it look much more like an OS than a boot environment, UEFI doesn't actually expose a standard C library. The EFI Application Development Kit solves this particular design decision. Porting Frotz ended up involving far more fixing up of Frotz bugs that tripped up -Werror than anything else. One note, though - make sure you include DevShell in the list of required packages at build time, otherwise file i/o will mysteriously fail." Grab the code, assuming you have a copy of Zork (or any other Z-machine game, as long as you name it ZORK1.DAT, I think).
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Boot To Zork

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @06:12AM (#44932401)
    What is this word salad?
    • by asylumx (881307)
      I don't know, but if this same guy wrote the hack instructions then nobody will ever figure it out.
  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @06:14AM (#44932407) Homepage Journal

    It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

  • Someone do this, I loved playing the text-based adventure games as a kid. Someone should bring these back. They had amazing graphics as you saw the world in your head. Nothing like the 1080p games they make now. But Zork is a classic and the ability to play it now is incredible. Pity that graphics now is the selling point instead of gameplay and story development.

    • by dwheeler (321049) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @06:42AM (#44932491) Homepage Journal

      These games are now typically called "Interactive Fiction"; there are LOTS of them, and they are still being developed. It's a small community, but active. Two good post-Infocom games are Bronze (by Emily Short) and Anchorhead (by Michael Gentry).

      More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_fiction [wikipedia.org]

      A gentle intro: http://emshort.wordpress.com/how-to-play/ [wordpress.com]

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Also, Spider and Web by Andrew Plotkin. ifdb.tads.org is a good site to browse for IF. I'd suggest the Gargoyle interpretor, as it runs fine on Windows and Linux, looks quite nice, and is skinnable.
        And try out Olivia's Orphanorium. Not quite straight IF, but it's hilarious and quite an interesting blend of IF and time-management sim.
      • I've always enjoyed that rockpapershotgun (game review/news site) has an error page http://rockpapershotgun.com/503test that is an interactive fiction game made using https://code.google.com/p/parchment/
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      there's plenty of "interactive fiction" nowadays.

      pretty much nobody gives a shit about it though. and then there's plenty of indie games and jap rgp's where the graphics are just a sideline.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        "there's plenty of "interactive fiction" nowadays."

        The economy, for one.

    • by mendax (114116) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @06:42AM (#44932501)

      I agree. The text-based adventure games are much more fun. The cyberspace equivalent of the Theater of the Mind.

      I loved the Fortran-based MIT Adventure. I still have the source code of the version ported to Control Data Cyber mainframes that was floating around the lower-tier (not UC) California state universities, all of whom had Cybers, in the 1980's. I'll probably port it to C one of these days for shits and giggles one of these days so I can relive my undergrad days a bit.

      • Ah, the memories... and time wasted on the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology's CDC Cyber. Sometimes I wish I could just "xyzzy" back there ;)

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @07:06AM (#44932589) Homepage

      Someone do this, I loved playing the text-based adventure games as a kid. Someone should bring these back.

      If only there was a way to search for things like that on the Internet...

    • 1080p will never match the resolution of your imagination.
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        It is a poor imagination that cannot imagine 1080p, which would be a perfect match.
    • "Pity that graphics now is the selling point instead of gameplay and story development."

      Oh that old chestnut, whheeeeeeee... Here's some facts:

      #1) Things weren't as great as you remember them
      #2) There were always shit products that focused on graphics. There were always fantastic games that focused on graphics. Here's one that people love: Doom. Yet its one of the all time best ever games, and an immediate classic. Why? Graphics.
      #3) There are many many games that have great stories, intriguing gamepl

  • by cheetah_spottycat (106624) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @06:18AM (#44932427)

    I think it's only fitting, keeping in mind, that in the old Amiga/Atari days, booting directly into your games was an absolutely normal thing to do - hardware resources were scarce, and the last thing you wanted was sharing RAM and precious CPU cycles with an OS running in the background.

    • by Yetihehe (971185)

      It helped that you had VERY limited set of possible configurations.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      I think it's only fitting, keeping in mind, that in the old Amiga/Atari days, booting directly into your games was an absolutely normal thing to do - hardware resources were scarce, and the last thing you wanted was sharing RAM and precious CPU cycles with an OS running in the background.

      Actually it was because of copy protection we booted from floppies.

      • by i.r.id10t (595143)

        Or a total lack of a hard drive.....

        • by Nyder (754090)

          Or a total lack of a hard drive.....

          Even with harddrives there were few games that let you install and run from it. Granted there was hacks to get around that for a lot of games, it wasn't built into games until the end side of the Amiga's life. and even then usually only for games that came on a large amount of disks.

      • And even booting from floppy most of the OS was still there it just didn't execute the presentation layer for instance on the Atari ST TOS was available as were all the other OS level API's.
        • by qubezz (520511)

          And even booting from floppy most of the OS was still there it just didn't execute the presentation layer for instance on the Atari ST TOS was available as were all the other OS level API's.

          Star Trek: The Original Series was available on the Atari, as were all the other OS-level APIs? Wow!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by operagost (62405)
      Heck, we had to do this with PCs in the late 80s through the mid 90s before OS/2 and Windows 95. People had DOS boot menus in autoexec.bat so they could choose to boot up with maximum conventional memory, or to emulate EMS in XMS for Lucasarts games. I loved OS/2 because, while the Windows 3.x people had to exit and maybe reboot to play a game, I could fire it up from my desktop for a quick break of X-Wing and quit right back to the paper I was working on. That was amazing back then... unless you had an
  • Sounds like over-design yet having to patch around under-utility to me. As in, "we herd u liek OSes..." etc.

    I still think something like OpenBOOT would've saved a lot of masochism here. Opinions? Discuss.

    • Of those actually mucking about in implementations, the most common complaint I've heard is that vendor implementation are too inconsistent. I cannot imagine the same people making that call have had experience dealing with x86 BIOS, which is a landmine of inconsistency vendor to vendor. Should an option rom hookn int18? will hooking int19 be catastrophic? Does the vendor implement BBS or not? How should you leave the stack on exit to assure that subsequent boot devices are not hosed?

      I'm not happy with

  • by SirGarlon (845873) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @06:31AM (#44932469)

    Never mind the Steambox, here comes the Zorkbox!

    For bonus points, someone do this on a Raspberry Pi. :-)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!

    • by BobNET (119675)

      For bonus points, someone do this on a Raspberry Pi. :-)

      One of the first things I did with my Pi was hook it up to a VT101 terminal and run Colossal Cave Adventure and Dungeon (the free version of Zork) on it. But there was still a modern Linux (or at least as modern as SlackwareARM gets) running underneath of them, so it's nowhere near as interesting as booting directly into the game. :-P

      • by SirGarlon (845873)
        I think the fact that you have a working VT101 is cooler than the fact that you have a Raspberry Pi. :-)
        • by operagost (62405)
          I think I still have a VT-420 somewhere, but an inferior VT-101 is way cooler now with its heavy spring keyboard and robust beeps.
        • by Dadoo (899435)

          I must be really cool, then. I have a working Zenith Z29 and Data General D420. :-)

          I still can't believe I used to work on a screen that small.

        • by BobNET (119675)

          Thanks! I agree about the coolness factor. (The Pi is easier to obtain now, but maybe in 35 years a working one will be more interesting.) The only reason I have the VT101 is because a friend, who was working as a research assistant at a university at the time, cleaned his office and left it sitting in the hallway to be trashed before I saw it and asked if I could keep it.

          I should install SIMH on the Pi and get Adventure and Dungeon running in something resembling their original forms. Plus it would amuse m

  • I thought it was pretty dorky already when I had a communal PXE boot into Arkanoid - simply loads a 1440KB MS-DOS 7.10 .img with the game and an autoexec.bat that launches the cutemouse driver, the game, and then a REBOOT.COM program. You had to type 'arkanoid' at the : prompt though, else the default was to boot as a LTSP thin client.
    But you could run it from any thin client, regular computer and even dead computers (unstable, dead hard drive, dead controller etc.)

    That was a script kiddie job though (down

  • Transcript (Score:5, Funny)

    by jabberw0k (62554) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @07:59AM (#44932771) Homepage Journal
    > BOOT
    Your way is blocked by a tall, bald pirate.
    > KILL PIRATE
    With what, your bare hands?
    > INVENTORY
    You have:
    One hard disk drive, /dev/hda
    One CDROM drive, /dev/cd0
    One USB drive, /dev/sda
    A rather large magnet
    A DVD containing LinuxMint
    > EXAMINE HARD DRIVE
    The disk appears to contain a bootable copy of Windows 8.
    > ATTACK PIRATE WITH MAGNET
    The pirate parries, and your magnet hits the hard disk drive.
    READ ERROR, SECTOR 0
    >
  • Boot to CircleMUD?
  • by Brucelet (1857158) on Tuesday September 24, 2013 @09:41AM (#44933883)
    This is going to sound sarcastic, but in all sincerity, thanks, Slashdot, for posting a geeky story full or technical jargon. You used to be able to come here and find tons of stuff like this: obscure notes with enough confusing details to inspire you to go look something up and maybe even learn a thing or two. Good to know that News for Nerds still does occasionally happen.
  • I asked a colleague for a connection to a database. He gave me a login to a MS Windows remote desktop.

    I asked again. And he gave me a port and an IP address. I followed this down to where I wanted to go.. I could see where I needed to be. Open this door, unlock this puzzle. In my mind's eye I knew the path because I'd drawn the map.

    I didn't need the visual metaphors that someone else had made. They were mere fantasies, imagined by minds that saw things the same way. Distractions. Illusions.

    Give me th
  • by jeff13 (255285)

    Well, yea but, how can we make this Obama's fault?

  • I understood the title without having to read TFS, where's my trophy?

  • I like the quote I saw on someones sig.
    "It's pitch black, you are likely to be shot by Vin Diesel."
    Combining the Zork statement of the VD movie.

    I always think a movie should be made out of Zork.
    I don't know how it would be done but it sounds cool.
    Even though it is based on a game I might like it.
    Ominous red eyes staring out from darkness just waiting for the light on your torch to flicker out.
    Plus it wouldn't need much action, more cerebral.

    • I see a black screen with green text. Only a black screen with green text. :)
      It would be much better than the Doom movie.

Contemptuous lights flashed flashed across the computer's console. -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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