VMS Based Z-Code Interpreter

Saturday 1 January 2011, 9:42 PM Posted by urbancamo

RetroChallenge progress was delayed this evening by the first clear night since Christmas, which prompted me to try out my Christmas present, a new telescope. I was rewarded with a nice view of Jupiter, I could make out some detail on the surface, and the three brightest moons were clearly visible! I also happened to spot the International Space Station making quick tracks across the sky before disappearing.

Only one day in and there have already been some interesting developments. Printstar and Aliennerd are both looking at interactive fiction, which is an area I've always been fascinated with. In anticipation of Aliennerd's literary masterpiece I decided to get a z-code interpreter of my own working, and of suitable vintage, which means running under VAX/VMS. I found a couple of likely candidates, including an X-Window based variant (XZip 1.8.2 which I may persue a bit more) but the one I got working was a modified version of zip.sh.Z available from the Interactive Fiction Archive This version had specifically been ported to VAX/VMS, but needed some tweaks because of C namespace clashes introduced by additional functionality being implemented in the standard DEC C library (such as the inclusion of getopt() for example).

My modified source code, and objects and executable for VAX/VMS 7.3 is available in the following archive: zip-vaxvms73.zip

Of course I don't expect you to believe any of this without some proof, so here is a capture of Planetfall (which I'm planning on having a game of now!): VAX/VMS Zip Z-Code Interpreter running Planetfall