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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
Learn ZZT X
ZZT Editor Trainer X
ZZT Learner X
ZZT Syndromes X
The UNOFFICIAL ZZT Programming Guide X
ZZT Encyclopedia X
Cliche: a Guide for the Advanced ZZTer X
ZZT Crime
Emon's Guild To ZZT X
Mystical Winds Encyclopedia X
ZZT Programming Tricks and Techniques X


Author: Tim Sweeney

Year: 1991

Description: "An interactive demonstration of the properties of various items, creatures and terrains in ZZT."



  • Items Main Page
    • Ammo
    • Torches
    • Dark Rooms
    • Gems
    • Scrolls
    • Bombs
    • Keys
    • Doors
    • Duplicators
    • Energizers



  • Terrains Main Page
    • Water
    • Forest
    • Solids
    • Breakables
    • Fakes
    • Normals
    • Boulders
    • Invisible walls
    • Sliders
    • Blinkwalls (Blinker)


Author: Tim Sweeney

Year: 1991

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.

Board appearances

Learn ZZT

Author: Chris Jong

Year: 1992

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 [1]: Displaying messages (marquee text) and the #bind command.
  • Commands [2]: Directions, stacking movements together (/e/e to move east twice), and the #send command.
  • Commands [4]: #clear and #set. (Note: the ZZT flag limit is 10.)
  • (There is no 13)

ZZT Editor Trainer

Author: Herbie Piland

Year: 1994

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.


Board 1

Board 2

Board 3

Board 4

Board 5

Board 6

ZZT Learner

Author: Mike Smith

Year: 1996

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

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!

ZZT Syndromes

Author: Barjesse

Year: 1996

Description: A classic in its own right, Barjesse guides new ZZTers through issues and mistakes that were common in the AOL era.


Goofy Syndromes

Fatal Syndromes

The UNOFFICIAL ZZT Programming Guide

Author: Corey "Des" Garriott

Year: 1996

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.


Part 1

Part 2

ZZT Encyclopedia

Author: Chronos30

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

Category 2: Player Clone v1.17

Category 3: Weapons v1.15

Category 4: Counters v1.17

Category 5: Flags and Conditions v1.18

Category 6: Anti-Cheats v1.2

Category 7: Board Edge v1.09

Category 8: Randomness v1.13

Category 9: Game Engines v1.15

Category 10: Objects v1.15

Category 11: Miscellaneous v1.13

Cliche: a Guide for the Advanced ZZTer

Author: JoE

Year: 2000

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.


Intro Board





ZZT Crime

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

Author: Emon

Year: 2001

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.


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.

Part A

Game Engines


Counter Functions

Part B

Overcoming Limits



Part C


Additional Documents

Note: The museum file viewer doesn't parse .doc files correctly, but they are mostly readable.

ZZL Object Libraries


Author: ChocoboKick, Kjorteo, Celine Kalante

Year: 2005

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."

ZZT Programming Tricks and Techniques

Author: zzo38

Year: 2018

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.



Flags and counters

Strange directions


  • 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




Undocumented features

Blink walls

More miscellaneous

More about stats

Bullets and stat water

Duplicator bug

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.