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UnQuill disassembles games written with The Quill. It can also act as an interpreter to run the games on DOS or UNIX systems, or convert to a .Z5 file that can be run by Infocom-compatible interpreters.

UnQuill supports the Spectrum, Commodore 64 and CPC variants of the Quill.

[ZIP] unquill-0.16.0.zip
UNIX source, DOS and Win32 executables and documentation.

Related utilities

Various other families of adventure games used Quill-like engines. Here are some utilities to list their contents. Unlike UnQuill, they don't allow the games to be played or converted to Z-code.

[ZIP] unplad.zip
Produces listings of games using Artic's engine (as first seen in "Planet of Death").
[ZIP] unphipps.zip
Produces listings of games using Phipps Associates' engine (such as "Greedy Gulch").
[ZIP] unqbbc.zip
Produces listings of games written using the BBC Micro version of the Quill — the data format on the BBC is sufficiently different from other Quill versions that it wasn't possible to add support for it to UnQuill proper.
[ZIP] ungac.zip
UnGAC extracts data from games created with Incentive's Graphic Adventure Creator. This is very much not a Quill-type game engine, so the listings will be quite different in format.

QDB file format

QDB is the file format used by CP/M Quill for its datafiles. UnQuill version 0.15.0 contains some standalone tools to convert this to and from human-readable text, and can also output in a format that can be compiled to .QDB.


UnQuill running Bugsy in an xterm.

The Very Big Cave Adventure, converted to Z-code by UnQuill and running in the Frotz interpreter.

UnQuill running Hampstead in text mode on a CGA display.

UnQuill running Subsunk in graphics mode on a CGA display.

UnQuill running The Very Big Cave Adventure in text mode on a VGA display.

John Elliott 2023-09-26