I am happy to announce that I have taken over hosting The Zork Library from it’s former owner DAT. The Zork Library has been one of the foremost websites about the Zork series of video games for over 10 years. I intend to maintain and expand the website. For the immediate future, my Zork installation guides will remain a part of kevinbecker.net. At some point in the future, they will be moved to The Zork Library. I also plan to expand coverage of Legends of Zork, plus promote The Zork Library and Zork as a whole on social networks like Twitter and Facebook. See this post on TZL for more details.
About 7 months ago, I posted a new website related to running Zork games on modern operating systems. Over these last 7 months, I’ve been compiling feedback to the guides and working on making the website a better tool for users. The first of those changes are complete and there’s more to come.
One promising lead is that ScummVM has a work-in-progress port of the MADE engine, so Return to Zork can be played. It’s currently only available in their daily SVN builds, but once the engine is more stable, I’ll write up a guide for it. Because of the consistency of ScummVM cross-platform and the ease of use of the software, this guide will be appropriate for Windows XP/Vista, Linux and OS X without much difference between each version. A second development is the continued growth of Wine. Recently a patch was created that addresses one of the big bugs that get in the way of playing Zork Nemesis and Zork Grand Inquisitor on Linux and OS X. That patch isn’t in the main wine codebase yet, but once it is, I’ll revisit writing a guide for Zork Nemesis and Zork Grand Inquisitor on Linux. Mac OS X continues to be a problem because I can’t test on that system, but I have researched a few options that may allow for the games to be played on OS X and placed those links in the table of configurations on the website.
Back in 2004, I wrote a guide for getting the game Zork Grand Inquisitor running on Windows XP. The game didn’t work well without the guide because it was originally designed for Windows 98. I’ve been a fan of the Zork series for almost 10 years now. After receiving a message from another Zork fan in regards to that guide I wrote, I decided that it was time to look into the games again. With a few changes, the more modern games in the series are supported under Windows XP and possibly Vista. That’s when I had an idea. With Wine, DOSBox and Frotz, it should be possible to run any Zork game on Linux and Mac OS X too. With that, it becomes feasible to run any game in the Zork series on any major operating system. That’s a big task. I began a project to work on making that idea a reality. I’m not alone though. I’m receiving some help and hosting from DAT, the maintainer of the only Zork website still active, The Zork Library.
The guides are currently at http://www.kevinbecker.net/zorkguides and will soon be hosted on http://www.thezorklibrary.com as well. The project is a work in progress and needs help on the configurations I can’t test myself, mainly Mac OS X and Vista. Help with writing the guides and testing them, as well as comments and questions would be greatly appreciated!
After 19 months, the Wii is still hard to find. I’m not aware of any stores nearby that have stock for long after getting a shipment. There is economics at work here, plus the allure of a popular, hard to get item, but there’s more to it. Nintendo is making tons of Wiis. With worldwide sales of above 27 million, they’ve sold more than twice that of the PS3 and even about 50% more than the Xbox 360, which had a year head start in sales. (Source: vgchartz.com) Something is different about the Wii and its sales.
I can’t not post this. iamchris4life has finally done it. He FC’ed Through the Fire and Flames in Guitar Hero III on expert, the first person ever to do so. (That means he finished the hardest guitar hero song ever, perfectly, no missed notes and no extra notes) He’s been working on this for several months now. The Guiness Book of World Records needs to update it’s 2008 book now that iamchris4life destroyed his previous score. The necessary proof follows. The freaking out after finishing is priceless.
I’ve been meaning to do something like this… someone beat me to it. A robot that plays guitar hero.
I just wanted to let everyone I know that I’m not dead. I’ve just been busy with life. Things are going great in my life so I’m going to try and get back into writing on the website again. One thing that will keep me coming back here often is that I just started to sell on eBay. I currently have one item up, Virtua Fighter 5 for PS3. Consider buying if you’re interested. I will be selling various movies, games and books over the next month so check back for what I’m currently selling. I created an eBay page to track the current sales. Also, I have linked my eBay account with my facebook account so you can check my profile to see what I’m selling as well. That’s all for now. Hopefully I’ll write more soon!
I love Firefly. Today I learned that Bungie does too. I was playing some Halo this evening and heard a yell that sounded so familiar. One of the marines fighting along side me screamed “Here’s Vera!” as he went into gun down some Covenant Brutes. This was just excellent in my mind. Bungie included a Firefly reference. It really showed their attention to detail on the marines AI this time around. The marines in Halo 3 are actually useful and for once their voice acting mid-battle is well done. Extremely well done actually. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but something about the voice acting for the marines in Halo 3 always felt so right for the game. It just fit the whole fighting to the end mentality of Halo 3 and its storyline that revolves around finishing the fight and protecting what’s left of earth. But there wasn’t any reason I could point to in order to explain why I felt it fit so well. Then the flood gates opened… (pun intended. lol)
After I was done playing, I decided to do a Google search and see if anyone noticed the Vera comment. Apparently someone had. Then I found a second. But this second one mentions more. What? That UNSC Sergeant Reynolds is… Nathan Fillion?! Brilliant! I don’t remember noticing his voice, but there was a Sergeant Reynolds mentioned several times during the “Tsavo Highway” and “The Storm” missions, specifically in the Battle of Voi section. I had to investigate more. It turns out that not only did that “Here’s Vera!” sound like Jayne, it was actually Adam Baldwin. Alan Tudyk (Wash) is somewhere in the game too, but I’ve yet to recognize him. Someone on livejournal actually took a screenshot of the voice acting screen in the credits that shows the former Serenity crew members.
As if I needed more reasons to love Halo 3!
I finally got a chance to get a few rounds of Halo 3 in tonight. Was it everything I hoped? Yeah, definitely. There’s so much in it, it’s unbelievable. Bungie’s website for stats tracking goes beyond obsessive. Forge and Theater allow for players to train themselves to incredible levels. Mostly, I can’t wait to go at legendary with Dan. We’re idiots for doing legendary first, but we like it hard. And it will be… very very very hard.
Since I’m rambling, it’s obvious that I love the game even though I’ve played very little so far. But that’s not the main point of the post. As you can see by the title, I have way too many great games to play. But I can’t complain. It’s better than not enough great games to play. Currently, I’m still working on completing Guitar Hero 2 and Bioshock. Plus there’s a few arcade games I need to complete, like Band of Bugs, Catan, Carcassonne and Bomberman Live. Now I have Halo 3 as well. Then there’s Guitar Hero 3, Half Life: Orange Box and Puzzle Quest coming in October followed by Rock Band, Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect in November. Plus, IGN claims that Beautiful Katamari is coming in October and Army of Two in November, though those aren’t likely to make it out by then. Of those, I think I’m looking forward to Mass Effect most. And now I read some really good reviews of Eternal Sonata. I love those good ol’ traditional turn-based japanese-style RPGs and Eternal Sonata certainly looks like a good one. I haven’t had a good one since Xenosaga in 2003 (no, the Kingdom Hearts series doesn’t count, it’s neither a traditional RPG nor turn-based).
I love fall because it’s the best season for video games. Winter is pretty good too because that’s the time I catch up on my game playing.
As far as I know, efforts to hack the Xbox 360 have been mostly foiled by the hardware and software protection onboard (though, yes, I know that certain models with certain drives and at a certain update can be hacked, in this article I will refer to widespread hacks, like the original Xbox has). Why bring this up? I was looking at the Xbox website today and heard about how those who don’t hook their Xbox up to the internet can download updates on their computer, burn them to a CD/DVD and load them into the Xbox with that.
This sounds like an excellent attack vector for Xbox hackers. One small bug in the code for authenicity verification of the software could allow unsigned code to be loaded. Another possibility is that the encryption used on the downloaded files could be broken and their format reverse engineered. This would let you put things on the Xbox and it wouldn’t know the difference between something from Microsoft and something from elsewhere.
This sounds like a fun possibility to me. If only I had the time to devote to such a thing. Oh well, I know there’s people nerdier than me that will do it. Here’s hoping homebrew software on the 360 takes off soon!