NOTE Google no longer allows downloads through Google Code, so please use the Downloads link under External Links to the left.
Bocfel is an interpreter for the Z-machine. It fully supports versions 1-5, 7, and 8, and contains partial support for version 6. For detailed information on Bocfel's operation, please consult the man page.
The Z-machine was designed to run text adventure games, also known as interactive fiction. Originally the only Z-machine games were created by Infocom, the company that created the Z-machine. These include such games as Zork, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Planetfall. Fans of the genre figured out the format of the Z-machine, allowing non-Infocom interpreters, such as this one, to be built.
After that, a compiler for the Z-machine, called Inform, was released. Initially a language meant for programmers, the latest iteration of Inform is intended to allow non-programmers to easily write interactive fiction. Thanks to Inform, hundreds of Z-machine story files have been written by enthusiasts, a number of which are of extremely high quality.
Although interactive fiction is today a rather niche genre, it has a loyal following of both players and authors, and can be explored through the following resources, among others:
TerpEtude running under the "dumb" interface which, despite its name, understands a bit about Unix terminals.
Mingsheng running under garglk, showing off Unicode support.
Spider and Web Russian translation under garglk, also showing off Unicode.
Only the source code to Bocfel is provided here. If you are interested in a runnable binary, Ben Cressey has integrated Bocfel into the latest version of Gargoyle as the default Z-machine interpreter.