SOFTWARE PIRATES Inc. 10-17-84
ZORKTOOLS is a collection of utility programs which provide
capabilities not normally available for INFOCOM games. These programs were
designed to run under any version of DOS (with one exception). ZORKTOOLS
requires two drives and a minimum of 128K bytes of FREE memory to run all the
utilities. ZORKTOOLS can handle any display type.
1. ICP - Infocom Copy Program
ICP allows you to copy any INFOCOM game disk from drive A to drive B. The
result is "standard" copy of the game which IS NOT diskcopy-able. This
program requires a minimum of 11K bytes to run. (This program does not work
properly under the latest 1.8X versions of DOS.)
If when running ICP you get the error "unknown format encountered" you will
have to run IFP (Infocom Format Program) before ICP will work successfully.
2. IFP - Infocom Format Program
IFP is program which formats a disk to 40 tracks at 8 sectors of 512 bytes.
Some Target disk you use may not be formatted by DOS. ICP & IUP require that
the Target disk be formatted to 40 x 8 x 512. This program allows you to do
that without having to leave ZORKTOOLS. This programs requires a minimum of 7K
bytes to run.
WARNING!! - This program should not be used in place of DOS' FORMAT program.
IFP does NOT write a Boot Sector, FAT tables, or a Directory to the Target
disk. This program was designed, solely, as a preparation aid for ICP & IUP.
3. IGL - Infocom Game Loader
IGL will load any INFOCOM game ("stardard" or "unprotected") from disk. Once
in memory, the game will be modified to allow it to run under DOS. When the
modification are complete, the game will be started. Once the game has booted
up it should work just as it does standalone (without DOS). To return to
ZORKTOOLS simply exit the game as always (use "quit" command). This program
requires a minimum of 128K bytes of FREE memory to run.
4. IPP - Infocom Protection Program
IPP will modify the FAT tables of an INFOCOM game disk so that the sectors
which are used by the game will be protected from DOS. (This means that you
will not be able to "erase" the game or "copy" another program on top of it.
WARNING!! - This protection scheme does not prevent "diskcopy" or "format"
from working.) Once the game has been protected from DOS you can store files
on portions of the disk not being used by the game. (Most game disk leave
about 40K bytes FREE.) If you use the CATDISK Catalog Program, you can now put
.LBL files on your disk so they can be cataloged. This program requires 8K
bytes of FREE memory to run.
5. IUP - Infocom Unprotection Program
IUP allows you to copy a "standard" INFOCOM game disk from drive A to drive B.
Every INFOCOM game disk has tracks 1 - 3 formatted to 4 sectors of 1024 bytes
instead of the normal 8 sectors of 512 bytes. Diskcopy does not have the
ability to copy an INFOCOM game disk because of the way tracks 1 - 3 have been
formatted. When IUP writes track 1 - 3 to the Target disk in drive B it does
so at 8 sectors of 512 bytes. IUP also modifies the boot sector of the Target
disk so that the disk will boot up properly. The result is an "unprotected"
working copy of an INFOCOM game which IS diskcopy-able. This program requires
11K bytes of FREE memory to run.
If when running IUP you get the error "unknown format encountered" you will
have to run IFP (Infocom Format Program) before IUP will work successfully.
6. IVD - Infocom Vocabulary Decoder
IVD is a program which locates, reads, decodes, and displays the vocabulary of
any INFOCOM game disk. This program will produce a numbered listing of all the
words that any game will allow the player to type in (plus a few you can't).
This routine will compensate for a 40 column display. You will undoubtedly
notice that some words in the vocabulary will start with a space or have a
space imbedded in them. This is not an error in IVD. The decoding technique
used by INFOCOM leaves 6 "special" character codes which have no display-able
character defined for them. Some of the words contain some the "special"
characters. Too see where the "special" character are you must invoke
ZORKTOOLS with the /S (Special character) option. Since INFOCOM did not define
display-able character for the "special" character, the ascii values of 0 - 5
have been chosen. With the /S option the digits 0 - 5 will be displayed for
the respective "special" character instead of a space. In the vocabulary every
word has a 3 byte suffix which, I believe, tells the game the attributes of
the word (like adjective, verb, noun, etc.). To list the 3 data byte suffix
you must invoke ZORKTOOLS with the /D (Data bytes) option. This program
requires a minimum of 128K bytes of FREE memory to run.
A LITTLE HISTORY:
I have been, from the birth of PC to date, a brave and daring
adventure in realm of the Great Underground Empire, a space traveler who
captures a giant alien space craft, a detective attempting to locate a
murderer, a human computer backup who repaires an underground worldwide
control complex, and a experienced sorcerer who battles evil wizards to save
the world. Through all these truly enjoyable escapades I could not help the
feeling that something was missing. I couldn't get over the fact that a game
like these require you to have a pencil and a piece of paper (for maps, secret
words, notes). Think about it. A game made for a computer, that forces the
player to use something else to accomplish what could and should be done on
the computer ! That's crazy ! I started thinking about this problem and ways
to get around it. For a long time I couldn't think of a relatively easy way
to accomplish this. Then multi-tasking programs hit the scene. I found that
the multi-tasking programs allow the user to operate several DOS programs
simultaneously. The catch is that all of these programs must run under DOS in
order to work. I then had the task of making INFOCOM game run under DOS.
That is how IGL came about. With a multi-tasking program, it is now possible
to play an INFOCOM game and have an editor online simultaneously. That means
(depending on the multi-tasking program) that the player can usually use one
key as a toggle and switch back and forth from the game to editor. The player
now has a convienent place to store any game related data (maps, save image
descriptions, secret words, etc.) all, and this is the key, WITHOUT having
their hands leave the keyboard. I have tried this and it works great!
Softbeard the Pirate