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The Ghosts of Blackwood Manor is an award-winning interactive horror from Stefan Vogt, the acclaimed author of Hibernated and The Curse of Rabenstein.

Take on the role of novelist Thomas King and his wife Cora as they move into a remote Scottish manor house, just days before Christmas 1986. Seeking inspiration for his next book, Thomas begins to explore the history of Blackwood Manor, only to uncover a dark secret that dates back centuries to the days of the Great Scottish Witch Hunts.

The Ghosts of Blackwood Manor is a complex interactive fiction piece written in Infocom's advanced Z-machine format XZIP. The game has three different endings, a bad, a neutral and a good ending, depending on the player's choices. It is very likely that the player, on a first playthrough, will not reach the good ending, even though it is possible. Reaching the bad or neutral ending first is part of the experience and helps the player understanding the true intentions of some of the NPCs and the impact of decisions made, so they may be reconsidered.

SYSTEMS

The game is available for Commodore 64, Spectrum +3, Spectrum Next, Amstrad CPC and PCW, Commodore Amiga, Atari 8-bit, Apple II, Atari ST, MS-DOS, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Commodore 128, Mega65, MSX 1 and MSX 2, Commodore Plus/4, SAM Coupé, TRS-80 Model III, TRS-80 Model 4, classic Macintosh and modern PC. For playing the game on a modern machine, a .z5 file is provided, which allows you to run the game in a Z-machine interpreter of choice like Frotz, Lectrote or Fizmo. 

PHYSICAL RELEASE

The physical release comes in a box that resembles the original Infocom packaging back from the day. You can order it through my publisher PolyPlay. rtro.de/blackwood

DONATIONS

It took me almost a year to create Ghosts, so any donation is much appreciated. It helps me to continue writing new games for the retro community. Don't worry though if you can't afford to donate something. Just proceed to the downloads and enjoy.

TEXT ADVENTURES IN THE MODERN ERA

The Ghosts of Blackwood Manor is following the path of some of the most iconic interactive fiction works from the 80s and early 90s, trying to resemble a retro look and feel but it also aims to meet modern era expectations. There are no dead ends and the diffculty level is moderate. Generally it's more about experiencing a story rather than drowning the player in frustration.

HOW TO PLAY THE GAME

You'll find a PlayIF card in this archive which also has been printed on a postcard for the physical release. This is your introduction to interactive fiction gameplay. The game makes use of a few additional verbs but it is very verbose in telling you what these are and how they are applied correctly. When the game starts, you are prompted to type HELP. Please do so at least once to learn about the specific game mechanics. 

WARNING: never save your progress on the game disk. Always use a separate disk for this purpose. This applies to all versions.

LOADING THE GAME /  VERSION NOTES

Commodore 64:

  • Insert the game disk
  • Type: LOAD"*",8,1
  • When the computer has finished loading, type RUN

Amstrad CPC:

  • Insert the game disc 
  • Type: RUN"DISC
  • You have to press a key to dismiss the intro screen

Spectrum +3:

  • Insert the Spectrum CPM Plus disk and then use the machine's LOADER feature.
  • Once CPM Plus has finished loading, insert the game disk
  • Now type PLAY GAME
  • You have to press a key to dismiss the intro screen
  • Moonmist Entertainment has an agreement with the copyright holder of Locomotive CPM Plus, so that we are allowed to distribute the system together with Ghosts. If you're planning to play the Spectrum +3 version of the game and you don't own CPM Plus legally, it is mandatory that you pay the suggested donation, as we need to compensate the licensing costs.

Spectrum Next:

  • Your Spectrum Next has Z-machine support built-in. Just put the .z5 file on the SD card and load it from the Next file browser

Amstrad PCW: 

  • Insert the game disc 
  • Type: VEZZA

Amiga:

  • Just insert the game disk and the game will load automatically
  • You have to press a key to dismiss the intro screen

Atari 8-bit:

  • Insert the game disk and start the machine with BASIC disabled
  • The game will load automatically

Apple II:

  • You need a CP/M softcard to play this game on your Apple II
  • Additional requirements are a 80-column card and 2 disk drives
  • Insert disk 1 in drive A: and disk 2 in drive B:
  • Wait until CP/M is booted then type EMULA
  • When prompted to use ESC for shift modes type Y
  • Press RETURN for system wboot
  • Type VEZZA B:STORY.DAT

Atari ST:

  • Insert the game disk and open it
  • To watch the artwork launch ARTVIEW.APP and select ART.PI1
  • To launch the game set the machine to medium resolution
  • Double click on PLAY.PRG in the disk directory
  • This version of the game supports the UNDO command

MS-DOS:

  • Copy the contents in the DOS directory to your hard drive
  • Run PLAY.BAT to start the game
  • You need to press SPACE to dismiss the intro screen
  • This version of the game supports the UNDO command

BBC Micro / Acorn Electron:

  • Insert the game disk
  • Type *EXEC !BOOT to run the game
  • The game is compatible with the BBC Model B, BBC Model B+ and BBC Master 128 computers. It will run without sideways RAM, albeit slowly. Having at least 16K of sideways RAM or a 6502 second processor is recommended. Shadow RAM will make things even smoother. The game also runs on Acorn Electron computers, provided you have at least 16K of sideways RAM, which is a requirement. On the Elk, I recommend playing it with an ElkSD64, as with this device you won't need to worry about anything.

Commodore 128:

  • Insert the game disk
  • Type LOAD"*",8,1
  • When your C128 has finished loading, type RUN
  • If you wish to play the game in 80 columns, which is supported type this in BASIC:
  • 10 GRAPHIC 5
  • RUN
  • And now load the game (see above)
  • This version makes use of the extended memory of the Commodore 128

Mega65:

  • Insert the game disk
  • Type BOOT 

MSX 1 / MSX 2:

  • Insert the game disk
  • The game will boot automatically
  • You'll have to press a key to dismiss the intro screen
  • The game will run in 40 columns on a MSX 1 computer and in 80 columns on a MSX 2 machine

Commodore Plus/4:

  • Insert the game disk
  • Type: LOAD"*",8,1
  • When the computer has finished loading, type RUN

Sam Coupé

  • Load Pro-DOS from the provided Pro-DOS v2 disk
  • Insert game disk
  • Type LOAD

TRS-80 Model III

  • Insert game disk
  • Turn on your computer
  • The game will auto-boot
  • In case your computer was already turned on, you need to reset
  • You may need to enter a date between 1980-1989

TRS-80 Model 4

  • Insert game disk
  • Turn on your computer
  • The game will auto-boot
  • In case your computer was already turned on, you need to reset

Classic Macintosh:

  • Insert game disk
  • Double click on the Moonmist Ent. disk image
  • Double click on Interpreter
  • Select -> File -> Import Z-Code file
  • In the menu select -> Display -> All files
  • Double click on the .story file
  • You need at least MacOS 7.5 for playing this game

Modern PC:

  • Just launch your Z-machine interpreter of choice and open the ghosts.z5 file

COPYRIGHT

The Ghosts of Blackwood Manor is copyright (c) 2023 Stefan Vogt and Moonmist Entertainment.

CREDITS

Please type CREDITS in game for wise words, dedications and the beta ghosthunter crew.

Special thanks to my buddy Shawn Sijnstra who heard my cry of distress and created the Z-machine interpreter VEZZA so that this game could be enjoyed on way more systems than I initially thought I could target. If you find your beloved childhood computer in the list above, there is a pretty good chance that Shawn made it possible. He's a rockstar!

This game has been written using Graham Nelson's Inform 6 language, words can hardly express his gift to the community. It uses PunyInform, an alternate library by Fredrik Ramsberg and Johan Berntsson, optimized for classic 8-bit and 16-bit targets. Without the hard work and support of these individuals, none of this would have ever been possible. I'd also like to thank Infocom for being a constant inspiration since my youth and for creating the Z-machine standard, allowing us to still honor their heritage so many years after they disbanded. I played many Infocom games on my beloved Commodore Amiga and now after more than 30 years I can neither forget nor let go. My deepest appreciation goes to Andrew Plotkin, whether it's for his work on the PlayIF card that comes with this game, the MaxZip interpreter that's been used for the classic Macintosh version or for helping us with feature requests and bugfixes on the current Inform compiler. Thanks to my friend Uto for the MSX loader, my buddy aka lab assistant "The Geek" aka ZZAP!64 editor in crime Christian Simpson aka Perfractic for all his support on his channel, again Fredrik and Johan for their amazing Ozmoo interpreter that is used for the C64, C128, Plus/4 and Mega65 versions of this game, Steve Flintham for his outstanding work in porting Ozmoo to the BBC and the Elk, the one and only George Beckett for igniting my Sinclair ZX Spectrum +3 love but also for his incredible work with ZXLDR on the CP/M Plus .SCR renderer and of course for connecting me to the copyright holder of Locomotive CP/M Plus, allowing us to bundle it with the game, Henrik Åsman for powerful ZAbbrevMaker, Juan J. Martínez for the CPC loader code and the dumpal utility, Chris Pile for his work on Pro-DOS, Jindroush for his amazing Atari 8-bit interpreters.

If you feel that you have been forgotten here, please bear with me. It did not happen intentionally. The work of countless individuals made this game possible and the term "countless" generally does not work well with my brain as I get older. Give me a nudge and I'll add you here to the golden hall of heroes.

Updated 14 days ago
StatusReleased
AuthorStefan Vogt
GenreAdventure

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The Ghosts of Blackwood Manor (Release 12) 3 MB

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