A venerable old trophy case stands in a corner. You curiously open the lid and peek inside.
Infocom was the company that came out with some of the first and dearest adventures. Remember the Zork and Enchanter trilogies, Trinity, A Mind Forever Voyaging? Unfortunately, after the company was bought by Activision in 1986, the games soon went out of stock. If you are lucky enough to find them, that's of course the best option, as they come with really beautiful boxes and goodies, which greatly enhance the games' atmosphere. Be prepared, though, to pay collector's prices, and don't rely on the floppies still being playable after 20 years' time. They have become mostly collector's items, and non-playability is not the sellers' fault.
I put the game files here for download because it's hard and potentially risky to buy them at reasonable prices if you want them for the sake of actually playing, and because I don't see how authors could profit from their games being unplayable. Also, I do not believe that it is in the spirit of copyright law that works of art drift into oblivion through their owners' indifference. Activision have not declared the games abandonware, although they are not planning to redistribute them. The day they do, I will gladly shut this page down. Until then, have fun downloading and playing. Chances are that after playing a download version, you will want to buy the original game, for the abovementioned reason.
How to play (technical issues)
You can play the games either in DOS or - much more comfortably - with the
Z-machine (find a version for your platform on the left hand side). It was
originally designed for playing Infocom files and can interpret the .DAT or .ZIP game
file (which in some cases is in the 'Data' directory).
If your Frotz interpreter refuses to open a .DAT or .ZIP file included in some of the games below, try starting Frotz first and opening the file from there. (Don't forget to tell Frotz it can open any file, not only z*-files.) That should work.
So, here are the game files. Copy protection material is added where necessary. Mind that this is only what you absolutely need for playing. You should by all means pay a visit to The Infocom Gallery for fine replicas of the original Infocom game packages and gimmicks.
Arthur: The Quest for Excalibur
BattleTech: Crescent Hawk's Inception
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Leather Goddesses of Phobos
Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of it
Sherlock: The Riddle of the Crown Jewels
James Clavell's Shogun
The Lurking Horror
Zork 1: The Great Underground Empire
Zork 2: The Wizard of Frobozz
Zork 3: The Dungeon Master
Zork Zero: The Revenge of Megaboz
Zork: The Undiscovered Underground
Links to Infocom sites
Marco Thorek offers lots of background material and links, like the history of Infocom.
Peter Scheyens Unofficial Infocom Homepage, another great collection of Infocom material and links, is no longer available at http://www.csd.uwo.ca/Infocom/, but a copy can be found here: www.vaxdungeon.com/Infocom. For playing, you may be particularly interested in the solutions and invisiclues pages.
The Infocom Gallery
David and Julian have beautiful scans of the original Infocom material that came with the games.
If you want to buy Infocom material in Europe, this is the place.
Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe
And this is the one for the US.