Make checks payable to Potomac Computer Systems
November 20, 2013 6:32 PM   Subscribe

ZZT was awesome. It was one of my unacknowledged paths to enlightenment, so to speak; it contributed to my career as a programmer, along with the less-fondly remembered Adventure Game Toolkit. I spent hundreds of hours building towns and cities of aumated townspeople... not even "games," per se, just imaginary places.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:35 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]

posted by Jon_Evil at 6:35 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Anna Anthropy is currently writing a book on ZZT for the Boss Fight Books project!
posted by griphus at 6:39 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

...I need to stop skipping introductory paragraphs.
posted by griphus at 6:40 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Not familiar with what this ZZT thing is, but getting the last one of any artifact like that is way cool.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:48 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

It was on disk?

Seriously, I still have some zip files.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:52 PM on November 20, 2013

Every few years something like this reminds me that that kid Tim Sweeney in my high school class, who I never really knew anything about, became a really important software designer.
posted by escabeche at 7:02 PM on November 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Even the internet can barely keep ZZT fandom alive. There's the archaic ZZT Heaven site and not much else.

I remember posting my first ZZT game to the AOL board, and the excitement I felt when somebody reviewed my game in some sort of ZZT magazine -- which, if memory serves, was also a ZZT world.
posted by HeroZero at 7:04 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

HeroZero: What about Although probably no longer updated, I think that's still up.
posted by BiggerJ at 7:20 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Few things have the power to bring me back to the feeling of "being a kid" - ZZT ranks among kicking piles of leaves with my feet in this respect.
posted by 3FLryan at 7:23 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

oops for a moment there I read the last ZZK disk
posted by Tom-B at 7:47 PM on November 20, 2013

It was on disk?

Get off my lawn.
posted by mhoye at 7:50 PM on November 20, 2013 [4 favorites]

ZZT hearkens from an era where both it and the internet I downloaded it from required some relatively complex explanation
posted by maus at 7:57 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

"Pure" ZZT is not much played anymore, in the same way that not many people play "original" Doom-- the source ports are just better. MegaZeux will do what you want.
posted by LogicalDash at 8:11 PM on November 20, 2013

OH! I read this as "the last ZTT disk", and immediately thought "Zang Tuum Tumb will never stop finding ways to recycle Frankie Goes To Hollywood or Art Of Noise material!"
posted by hippybear at 8:32 PM on November 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oh man, ZZT/MZX.

All wondering if some day, someone would release a converter for ZZT worlds to MZX format

All trying out Super ZZT and giving up on it forever after an hour

All yellow borders like a National Geographic cover

All tossing in a bunch of tigers for artificial difficulty

All feeling like a boss for eventually beating Town of ZZT

All loading a TSR beforehand to change the ASCII graphics set to something allegedly cooler looking

All ?zap

All wondering when Weirdness Part 2 would come out

All playing the hell out of the Booshkies demo, being seriously impressed with it in all ways

All checking out Carlos DaSilva's web site to see if the graphics-mode Z2 ever got an update

All tracking down Zeux 1 and having my mind blown by the way it was a side-scroller

All playing the Cans games and feeling like I only got half of the references, if even that

All joking about how Sivion was just never going to come out

All "This… is Greg. [ding]"

All megazeux -[alt+254] for cheats

All Set Speed to 5

All wondering if the other Zeux games after Caverns were as good
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:40 PM on November 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

All Geocities, Tripod, and Xoom

All AOL file depositories

All PC speaker
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:42 PM on November 20, 2013

brb colossal nostalgia bomb

gonna go pick up the pieces and recover gradually
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:42 PM on November 20, 2013

All reading fictionalized chat logs done vaguely in the style of stage direction
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:44 PM on November 20, 2013

Fuckin love the fact Sweeney's dad was still filling random orders. I wonder if that's the last ZZT disk or the last disk of anything he had floating around (I don't know what they were filling at the time... I think all the other shit was published under SoftDisk, no? I thought I purchased like Jazz and some other stuff from SoftDisk - or at least one of those catalogs).

Anyways, Tim Sweeney is right up there with Carmack in nerd cred. When I saw that he frequents Lambda: The Ultimate (a programming language site - of the Compilers and Comp Sci level of nerdery) it just made me feel that much more in awe and respect...
posted by symbioid at 8:54 PM on November 20, 2013

Cosmo Wright, previously mentioned (though I can't find the post) for his world-record efforts to speed run Legend of Zelda: Windwaker, recently achieved a (possible) world record for Town of ZZT. In case you'd like to experience the nostalgia very quickly, I mean.
posted by sixohsix at 8:50 AM on November 21, 2013

I misparsed the title as ZTT and for a moment thought the author had found a 12" of ultra-obscure Fairlight-driven synthpop from 1984 or so.
posted by acb at 3:59 PM on November 21, 2013

ZZT to MZX Convertor
posted by LogicalDash at 4:11 PM on November 21, 2013

You have no idea how many hours I spent trying to recreate Rocky's Boots in ZZT. I wonder if I still have those files anywhere...
posted by flyingfox at 4:33 PM on November 21, 2013

LogicalDash: "ZZT to MZX Convertor"

About damn time.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:49 PM on November 21, 2013

« Older Titillatio   |   do not pass go Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments