ZZT On ZZT
One of the unique aspects of ZZT is its capacity to be used as a medium for publishing about ZZT itself. Various company magazines, best-practice guides, and reference encyclopedias (collections of cool things you can do) were created throughout the years. However, the drawback of publishing information in this way is that you can't get to it easily without loading the world files in ZZT and actually playing them. The Museum of ZZT File Viewer helps greatly with this visibility problem, but the content is still spread across several publications.
This page will list out the topics of such files, specifically focusing on how-to guides.
For company magazines, see: ZZT Magazine Directory
Notes and Warnings
- For inquiries on this list, you can contact me. Keep in mind that this is mostly just hyperlinks to content on Museum of ZZT, which I have donated and submitted games to, but do not own or administer.
- The Title, Author and Year fields are taken from the Museum of ZZT directly, and could potentially change at any time. In-game copyright notices and such may be different. Worlds are listed by release date of the first version preserved.
- Files linked here may contain offensive or NSFW content. They may also contain incorrect information, or just plain bad advice (please do not use any of the ZZT anti-cheat measures described herein).
|World||Board / Contents Listing||Details and Categorization|
|ZZT Editor Trainer||X|
|The UNOFFICIAL ZZT Programming Guide||X|
|Cliche: a Guide for the Advanced ZZTer||X|
|Emon's Guild To ZZT||X|
|Mystical Winds Encyclopedia||X|
|ZZT Programming Tricks and Techniques||X|
- 1 DEMO.ZZT
- 2 TOUR.ZZT
- 3 Learn ZZT
- 4 ZZT Editor Trainer
- 5 ZZT Learner
- 6 ZZT Syndromes
- 7 The UNOFFICIAL ZZT Programming Guide
- 8 ZZT Encyclopedia
- 8.1 Category 1: Colors v1.13
- 8.2 Category 2: Player Clone v1.17
- 8.3 Category 3: Weapons v1.15
- 8.4 Category 4: Counters v1.17
- 8.5 Category 5: Flags and Conditions v1.18
- 8.6 Category 6: Anti-Cheats v1.2
- 8.7 Category 7: Board Edge v1.09
- 8.8 Category 8: Randomness v1.13
- 8.9 Category 9: Game Engines v1.15
- 8.10 Category 10: Objects v1.15
- 8.11 Category 11: Miscellaneous v1.13
- 9 Cliche: a Guide for the Advanced ZZTer
- 10 ZZT Crime
- 11 Emon's Guild To ZZT
- 12 Mystical Winds Encyclopedia
- 13 ZZT Pro
- 14 ZZT Programming Tricks and Techniques
- 14.1 Contents
- 14.1.1 Arithmetic
- 14.1.2 Flags and counters
- 14.1.3 Strange directions
- 14.1.4 Teleportation
- 14.1.5 Stats and statless elements
- 14.1.6 Centipedes
- 14.1.7 Darkness
- 14.1.8 Miscellaneous
- 14.1.9 Undocumented features
- 14.1.10 Blink walls
- 14.1.11 More miscellaneous
- 14.1.12 More about stats
- 14.1.13 Bullets and stat water
- 14.1.14 Duplicator bug
- 14.1.15 What is this strange stuff???
- 14.1 Contents
Author: Tim Sweeney
Description: "An interactive demonstration of the properties of various items, creatures and terrains in ZZT."
- Museum of ZZT: https://museumofzzt.com/file/z/zzt.zip?file=DEMO.ZZT&board=0
- Items Main Page
- Dark Rooms
- Creatures Main Page
- Terrains Main Page
- Invisible walls
- Blinkwalls (Blinker)
Author: Tim Sweeney
Description: This is a sneak peek at the official ZZT worlds (Town of ZZT, Caves of ZZT, City of ZZT and Dungeons of ZZT), with playable demo boards.
- Museum of ZZT: https://museumofzzt.com/file/z/zzt.zip?file=TOUR.ZZT&board=0
- Town of ZZT
- City of ZZT
- Caves of ZZT
- Dungeons of ZZT
Author: Chris Jong
Description: "By the time you finish playing this tutorial, you should be able to create your own simple games to start out with."
Notes: Demonstrates various ZZT-OOP commands with some commentary on usage. Unlike many other worlds about ZZT, the player does not walk through the demonstrations, but rather observes from a corridor along the bottom of the screen, pressing buttons to activate the demos. Curiously, not all topics include object demonstrations.
- Commands: Covers naming objects with @ and the :touch label.
- Commands : Displaying messages (marquee text) and the #bind command.
- Commands : Directions, stacking movements together (/e/e to move east twice), and the #send command.
- Commands : #become and #change
- Commands : #clear and #set. (Note: the ZZT flag limit is 10.)
- Commands : #if, #char
- Commands : #cycle, #endgame
- Commands : #go, #die
- Commands : #give, #idle
- Commands : #play, #lock and #unlock
- Commands : #put, #restart
- Commands : #try, #shoot
- Commands : #take, #throwstar
- (There is no 13)
- Commands : #walk, Movement shortcuts
- Commands : (Outro text)
ZZT Editor Trainer
Author: Herbie Piland
Description: "This Zzt World shows you examples of nearly every command, message, and item on the Zzt Editor!! It goes from simple to complex so no prior use of the Zzt Editor is needed to understand."
Notes: This covers built-in creatures and terrain, but stops short of describing how objects work. There are multiple topics per board. There are two copies of this on the museum dated 1994 and 1995, but the ZZT files are identical.
- Lesson 5: Breakable Walls and Ammo and Bombs
- Lesson 6: Invisible Walls
- Lesson 7: Blink Walls + Lesson 8: Text + Lesson 9: Gems (Three topics in one object)
- Lesson 10: Water
- Lesson 11: Duplicators ( or Doublers )
- Lesson 15: Spinning Guns and Stars
- Lesson 16: Ricochets
- Lesson 17: Movers ( Conveyors )
- Lesson 18: Forests
- Lesson 19: Pushers
- Lesson 20: Energizers
- Lesson 21: Transporters
- Lesson 22: Slimes
- Lesson 23: Sharks
- Lesson 24: Lions and Ruffians
- Lesson 25: Bears
- Lesson 26: Tigers
Author: Mike Smith
Description: "Welcome to the ZZT Learner! Once you have completed your journey through this land, you should know the basics of programming objects!"
Notes: This is an overview of basic ZZT-OOP object scripting. This file was locked, such that the original board names have been overwritten. The final board contains no additional content and has been omitted here.
Board 1: Insane Monster
- Intro sign: describes how to enter ZZT-OOP code in the editor and how to access the editor help.
- An object called "Insane Monster" which shoots and throws stars.
Board 2: Moving your ZZT-OOP objects
- Intro sign: describes object movement and the #cycle command.
- A ticket booth and a ticket taker are present on the board, requiring you to collect 5 gems in order to access a room containing objects which in turn control the demo object. These objects do not appear to be pedagogical (which is to say, they don't necessarily teach the user how stores and ZZT flags work), since the world file is locked and nothing about their operation is described by other objects or scrolls on this board.
Board 3: Make your objects talk!
- Intro sign: describes marquees, message boxes, and the /i command to make objects wait.
- Flashing Text 1
- Flashing Text 2 (consecutive marquee messages)
- Scroll Text 1
- Slow Flashing 1
- Necessary commands: Covers the following: #die, #endgame, #restart, #change, #become, and #send.
Description: A classic in its own right, Barjesse guides new ZZTers through issues and mistakes that were common in the AOL era.
- Museum of ZZT: https://museumofzzt.com/file/z/syndrome.zip
- MoZZT Closer Look: https://museumofzzt.com/article/318/closer-look-zzt-syndromes
- Big-empty-room Syndrome and Yellow-border Syndrome
- Big-pile-of-monsters Syndrome
- I-gotta-fill-in-the-board Syndrome
- A demonstration of Creative Contours
- One-way-board Syndrome
- Outta-sync-doors Syndrome
- ie-Ca'nt-spel Syndrome
- Zero-plot Syndrome
- Poor-man-with-a-big-dog Syndrome
- Not-enough-ammo Syndrome
- Not-enough-health Syndrome
- Overwhelming Opposition Syndrome
- Too-many-stars Syndrome
- Tryme-trap Syndrome
- Gimme-money Syndrome
- Ping-pong-path Syndrome
The UNOFFICIAL ZZT Programming Guide
Author: Corey "Des" Garriott
Description: "Want to begin ZZT programing? This game may silence some discordant items in your games!"
Notes: Describes itself as an 'intermediate' tutorial. The preserved copy seems to start on the wrong board. This is divided into a beginner section and then an intermediate section, both available from the intro board. Additional authors listed in-game: Mark McIntire and Others.
- Museum of ZZT: https://museumofzzt.com/file/u/coprogram.zip
- Learning Change Command
- Learning Play Command
- Learn to make doors
- Learn enemy object making
- Learn good puzzle skills
- Learn to lock!
- Ending Sequence
- Goodbye! (1)
- Generation Two
- Advanced Play Command
- Coloring Techniques
- Advanced Object Accessories
- Object Accessories TWO
- Put COMMAND
- Logo Building
- Helpful Hints
- Char/Set/Lock/Bind/Zap Commands
- The END
Year: 1998, 2001
Description: A compilation of tricks, glitches and engine boards.
Notes: There are multiple versions of this preserved, and also earlier versions which are listed in a history file but don't seem to be available. The old version lists Chronos30 and JDMSonic as authors, but Chronos30 is the only author listed on the museum. I'm going to put off looking into this for now, and just list out the contents of the latest release as that seems to have the most utility. Descriptions and cross-referencing will have to wait another day.
Category 1: Colors v1.13
- #put any color
- #color 1
- #color 2
- Other colors
- Color flashes
- Color sensor
- Keep Background
- Text colors (updated)
- Activated Fades
- Scroll Random
- Color Password
Category 2: Player Clone v1.17
- Object Transporter
- Give items
- Step Logger
- Anywhere Transport 3
- Key Transport
- #put LitBomb (old)
- Illusion, Illusion Room, Board w/passage
- Faster torch/energize
- #put LitBomb
- Anywhere Transport 2, Anywhere Transport 2b
- Anywhere Transport, New Board
- Direction Logger
- Bullet Logger
- Space Bar
- NextBoard Transport, Next Board
- Shooting Scrolls
- Player hold engine
Category 3: Weapons v1.15
- Sword Engine
- Bomb Engine
- Machine Gun
- Better Bombs
- Indestructible Bombs
- Boomerang B
- Boomerang Engine
- Weapon Selector
- SEEK Bug
- Enemy Ammo
- Infinite Ammo
- Wave Gun
- Super driller
- Remote Mines
Category 4: Counters v1.17
- Time A
- Counter Testing
- Time B, Time B 2
- Counter Setting
- Counter Flags
- Counter Maximum
- Status Engine
- Random Powerups
- Display Fixer
- #set health to
- T Pressed
- Inventory B
- Torch menu
- Game SuperSpeed
- Multi Value Gems
- Counter-to-counter test
- Physical counters
Category 5: Flags and Conditions v1.18
- Flag Counters
- Counter Flags
- Composer's Engine, Composer's Room
- Pressure Plates
- Color Sensor
- Memory Saving Tips
- #if at south edge
- If at edge
- Inventory Engine
- Custom Cheats
- Help File
- Password, Password ][
- Portable Store
- Quadrant Sensor
- Cross world item engine
Category 6: Anti-Cheats v1.2
- Anti-flag cheat
- Anti-Zap 1
- Anti-Zap 2
- Anti +-Flagname 2
Category 7: Board Edge v1.09
- Warning, Warning 2
- Object 1, Object 2
- Border Illusion, Yellow Border
- Edge-Board Object
- Anywhere Transport 2, Anywhere Transport 2b
- Illusion, Board w/passage, Passage lead-in (illusion)
- Can't go that way!
- Trapped!, Trapped! 2
- ("Path Revealer") Before, After
Category 8: Randomness v1.13
- Random Place, Random Place 2
- Bomb random
- Random Fighter
- Random slot machine
- Spider Web Engine
- Random Duplication
- General Randomness
- Timing slot machine
- dexter's gamething
- SEEK randomness
Category 9: Game Engines v1.15
- Racing Engine
- Arcade MaZe!
- mIMIC engine
- Side scroller
- Breakout Engine
- RPG Battle
- Running Battle, Gollum Chow, Up, Up and Away!, End of World
- Space Shooter
- LoC's UltraJumper
- Drawing Engine ][
- RPG Battle Engine
- ZShooter 2
- Drawing Engine
- Under Water
- dexter's colorlayr
- Racing Engine (A different one)
- Zombie Crap
- Sliding Puzzle
Category 10: Objects v1.15
- Power Armor
- 1 Object Fire
- Stars, Doors, etc.
- Double touch
- Alligned doors
- Terminating Loop
- Player Death
- Object Race
- Better combination locks
- Put tricks
- Diagonal Movement
- Super Speed
- untitled (Seems to have duplicate info also appearing in Category 11 Miscellaneous / Messages)
Category 11: Miscellaneous v1.13
- Special Characters
- File Reading
- No Sound
- Moving Sharks
- Sound Effects
- Disappearing Path
- Clear message
- Runtime me!
- Paused Transport
- black wall method 1
- black wall method 2
- Slime Tricks
Cliche: a Guide for the Advanced ZZTer
Description: "It's kinda like a sequel to Syndrome. It tells you what NOT to do. Have fun and try to LEARN(barf) something!"
- Notes: Cliche is divided into two subsections: "General" and "RPG". The intro board contains a couple of talking points as well. The player is transported to the ending board after all demo objects have been interacted with.
- Museum of ZZT: https://museumofzzt.com/file/c/clichegui.zip?file=CLICHE.ZZT
- Press P Cliché
- Annoying Water Cliché - This is sort of hidden, and also appears in some other boards as a topic to be stumbled upon.
- About (Board introduction)
- Silent World Cliché
- Logic Games
- Sword Swap
- Poor Writing Cliché
- Boring RPG Cliché (On a subscreen)
- Boring Cinema Cliché (On a subscreen)
- The Long Thin Pathway Cliché
- World of Cinima's Cliché
- The Infamous Author Cliché
- Drawing Help: First, Second, third and fourth subscreens.
- The Enigma Cliché
- Speedy Object Cliché
- The Dirty Bob Cliché
- Jail Cell Cliché
- Passage Left-Over Cliché and Distant Object Cliché: On a subscreen. This board is also accessible from the RPG branch's cinema boards through a hidden passage. It's unclear if this was intentional or an oversight, but the exit points back to the general board.
- -untitled: Note on board organization.
Author: Wong Chung Bang, Scorch3000
Year: 2000 (Version 2), 2001 (Versions 5 and 6), 2007 (Version 8)
Description: "A ZZT world for newbies. Points out what not to do in ZZT files."
Emon's Guild To ZZT
Description: "From basic stuff to cool tricks with ZZT-OPP."
- Notes: The first part is comprised of pretty much the same topics as ZZT Syndromes, though neither Syndromes nor Barjesse are referenced or credited. The second part gives some ZZT-OOP tips and covers some marquee and #change animation effects.
- yellow border ick!
- big empty room
- too many monsters
- BASICS TIPS WITH ZZT-OPP!: Touches on some ZZT-OOP issues: Not zapping objects to prevent duplicate behavior; Using #end to halt processing in message boxes.
- "Cool Tricks": Boards One, Two and Three.: Making marquee animations and changing invisible terrain. The final board contains credits.
Mystical Winds Encyclopedia
- Author: Nanobot
- Year: 2002
- Description: "The Mystical Winds Encyclopedia is a collection of various engines and some information about how they work."
Notes: There are versions 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 preserved on the museum site. I compiled a list of board links of the latest version, as with the Chronos30 encyclopedia. More detailed breakdowns will have to wait another day. Part C is just toolkits without commentary, but I've gone ahead with listing them because they include ZZT sound effects as well. This package also contains a number of reference docs and object libraries, which are listed out at the end of this section.
- Museum of ZZT: https://museumofzzt.com/file/m/Mwencv14.zip
- MW Math Functions
- MW Set To Zero
- MW Set Counter
- MW Value Exchange
- MW Set Max Value
- MW Set Min Value
- MW Binary Conversion
- MW Password
- MW File Access
- MW Diagonal Movement
- MW More In-Game Colors
- MW New Elements
- MW Auto-Pause 1/2, MW Auto-Pause 2/2
- MW Give Any Item
- MW Remote Placement
- MW Puzzle Techniques
- MW Text Attributes
- MW Player Coordinates
- MW Fading Bombs
- MW Painter By Player
- MW Submitted - Pachinco Machine
- MW Submitted - Dig Engine
- MW Submitted - Bullet Dodge AI
- MW Submitted - Randomizations
- Mystical Winds TK - Items
- Mystical Winds TK - Creatures 1
- Mystical Winds TK - Creatures 2
- Mystical Winds TK - Terrain
- Mystical Winds TK - Text(AllClrs)
- Mystical Winds TK - Object Speeds
- Mystical Winds TK - LitBomb Fuses
- Mystical Winds TK - Duplicators
- Mystical Winds TK - Hidden Things
- Mystical Winds TK - Art Set
- Mystical Winds TK - Art Set Adv.
- Mystical Winds TK - Ultimate Art
- Mystical Winds TK - Obj. Lib 1.4A
- Mystical Winds TK - Obj. Lib 1.4B
- Mystical Winds TK - Smooth Shades
- Mystical Winds TK - RainbowLayout
- Mystical Winds TK - Txt/Clr Grid
- Mystical Winds TK - CharSummary 1
- Mystical Winds TK - CharSummary 2
- Mystical Winds TK - ZZT Sounds
- Mystical Winds TK - All IG Colors
Note: The museum file viewer doesn't parse .doc files correctly, but they are mostly readable.
- mwencv14.txt: Main readme file.
- CharMap.txt: Info on the text mode character map
- exam.txt: ZZT technical information
- mod2zzt.txt: Information on converting MOD tracker music to ZZT #play commands.
- MW Command Reference
- MW Direction Reference
- MW Element Reference
- MW File Format
- MW Label Reference
- MW Location Reference
- MW Operator Reference
- MW Quick Reference
- MW Status Reference
- MW Template Reference
- MW Terminology
- MW Tips & Tricks (Note: This link doesn't go directly to the document because of the ampersand in the URL.)
- oop4ever.txt: "This describes a recognizable line of ZZT-OOP. It is in standard DOS parameter format."
- zexeinfo.txt: ZZT.EXE Modification
- zztop.txt: Explains the inner workings of some ZZT behaviors.
ZZL Object Libraries
Author: ChocoboKick, Kjorteo, Celine Kalante
Description: "This is a how-to help utility world along the lines of ZZT Syndromes by Barjeese and ZZT Crime by Wong Chung Bang. ZZT Pro is essentially supposed to pick up where these two fine games left off."
- Museum of ZZT: https://museumofzzt.com/file/z/zztpro.zip?file=zztpro.zzt
ZZT Programming Tricks and Techniques
Description: "Here are many kinds of tricks and techniques that may be used in ZZT. Some of them need external editors such as ZZTQED (which was used to make this world file). There are a lot of possibilities! Look at many of these programs using the editor to see how they work. If you are reimplementing ZZT, it might also help to look at these things, to see if they function properly."
Notes: Boards contain multiple subsections arranged by category.
- Museum of ZZT: https://museumofzzt.com/file/z/zztptt.zip
- Greater than variable?
- Greater than constant?
- Binary storage
- Use of the TIME counter
- Take 1 of each
Flags and counters
- Fake walls
- Colours of objects
- Numeric flags
- Other board, Extra room for flags
- Doubling counters
- Invisible walls
- Flag limits
- Repurposing counters
- Animation (of idle transporters)
- Blink walls (with tweaked XY steps)
- Sensors (remote #if blocked <dir> check using tweaked XY steps)
- Remote #PUT
- Pusher interleave
- Teleporting program (object tunneling through solid terrain with tweaked XY steps)
- Diagonal bullets
- Two hits (Separate board. Demonstrates an example of storing state with remote #put commands in the context of object binding.)
- Three hits (Separate board, similar to "Two hits")
- Auto board teleport (Using a duplicator, player clone and edge tile)
- (Unnamed) "Elbow" transport (Using objects and sliders to push a player through multiple transporters at once to travel down a non-straight path.)
- Location teleport (The classic player clone teleport)
- Unseen passage
- Noiseless teleport (On a subscreen.) This is the technique seen frequently in FlimsyTown to preserve the player's board position when traveling via edge tile.
- Programmed teleport (On a subscreen.) Places two player clones next to two passages such that moving in any direction causes the player to warp to another board.
Stats and statless elements
- (Board intro) Outlines the contents of this screen, and includes some information on player clones.
- The following statless elements are demonstrated along the top of this board:
- "(none)" (Horizontal blinkwall ray) (ID 33)
- "(none)" (Vertical blinkwall ray) (ID 43)
- "(none)" (ID 46)
- "(blankname)" (Board edge) (ID 1)
- Changing destinations (shifting a passage onto a new stat with a different board destination)
- Stat breakables
- Stat boulders
- Stat inheritance
- Instant explosives!
- More explosives (Subscreen)
- (Board introduction)
- Remote (Bomb linked to a segment)
- Reversal (Includes a stat slider as segment)
- Moving stuff (Includes stat ricochets and a transporter as segments)
- (Board intro)
- Torch outline mask
- Statless player clone mask
- Revealing hidden torches with stat inheritance
- Pushing statless player clones to move visible entities in the dark
- Locked player movement
- Program colours: Method 1, Method 2
- Enter board triggers (Subscreen)
- Warnings (Subscreen) (Touching a scroll on the edge of a connected board)
- Password (Subscreen)
- #BECOME colours
- Fast energy (Subscreen) (Consuming energizers faster with player clones)
- Messy lines (#change line line)
- Fast movement
- Put colours
- Put next to south edge -- Demonstrates that #put along the bottom row is not possible.
- #CHANGE and #PUT
- #IF ANY and Monitors
- Duplicators and Edges
- #RESTART -- Includes notes on zapping restart as a label.
- Cheat codes -- Small addendum: though I'm not sure how useful this is, the cheat prompt is accessible on the title screen by pressing the "|" key.
- Preset beams
- Stat beams
- Unblocked west (Player being pushed onto other entities by a vertical blinkwall ray)
- Passages (Under element following the player upon stepping off a passage)
- Star field
- Disappearing passages (When stepping off of one and onto another. Additionally, demonstrates some odd behavior with stats underneath the destroyed passages.)
- False room (Subscreen with explanation)
More about stats
- Speed (Tweaking the cycle setting of built-ins)
- Fast player movement ("Black hole" empties with stats)
- Creatures parameters (On a sub-screen.)
- Bullet paths
- Simultaneous execution (Running multiple pieces of code in one location using stacked stats.)
- Moving stuff when a program dies (On a subscreen.)
- Pushers over stat fakes (On a subscreen.)
Bullets and stat water
What is this strange stuff???
- (Board intro) - This board links back to the Centipedes section, but I wasn't able to find a link to it in the other direction. I may have missed it, or it may be well-hidden. This board demonstrates a very odd behavior when a player is linked to a Centipede.