29 Nov '14, 9pm

The Zork Virtual Machine Implemented In Hardware

The Zork Virtual Machine Implemented In Hardware

Zork , Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy , and all the other Infocom text adventures are much more clever than the appear at first glance. They actually run on a virtual machine, with all the code for the game files squirreled away in the Z-machine format. This is great if you’re writing a game for a dozen platforms; once you have an interpreter running on one system, the entire library of games can be shipped out the door. While the Z-machine has been ported to all the retrocomputers you can imagine and a few different brands of microcontrollers, no one has yet implemented the Z-machine in hardware. There’s a reason for this: it’s crazy. Nevertheless, [Charlie] managed to implement the Z-machine in an FPGA , using only a few extra commands for driving a display. The circuit is constructed with a $10 eBay special FPGA, the Cyclone II EP2C5. Other than that, it’s just some F...

Full article: http://hackaday.com/2014/11/29/the-zork-virtual-machine-i...

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