Zork machine implemented in hardware

The venerable Infocom text-adventure game Zork spawned the Infocom Z-Machine V3, a virtual machine that could run "programs" (games) from the commercial to the hobbyist, including "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Planetfall and Curses."



If you're thinking of running these games and you have your own chip fabrication facility, then the 2014 Opencores file has you covered with a hardware implementation of the Z-Machine V3, supporting all functions of the VM except save/restore (which are tricky to pull off in a chip).

I'm pretty sure you can also cook this into an FPGA if you don't wanna go the full ASIC.


A Verilog implementation of the Infocom Z-Machine V3. The spec the Z3 follows is http://inform-fiction.org/zmachine/standards/z1point0/index.html. Specifically version 3, the so called "Standard" games. These were released between 1982 and 1987 and covers most Infocom games. Z3 passes the "CZECH - Comprehensive Z-machine Emulation CHecker" by Amir Karger. And is known to run at least Zork I, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Planetfall and Curses (by Graham Nelson).

To provide the input/output a terminal is implemented in a BIOS (in Z-machine code) which exists in the ROM above 120Kb. The IO related opcodes (like @print) vector into the BIOS which provides the terminal. A small number of extra op codes were added so the BIOS could interface with an LCD touchscreen and access the top 64Kb of RAM (which shadows the ROM).

Z3 - The Zork CPU :: Overview [Opencores]


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