Ludum Dare 36 — August 26th-29th, 2016 — Theme: Ancient Technology

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Ruins of ZZT

by Dr. Dos - Jam Entry

Ruins of ZZT is an homage to classic ZZT games of the early 1990s.

Venture into the ruins, collect the purple keys, and escape with your life!

Apologies in advance for the hassle in actually playing this. It's made with ZZT, an MS-DOS game from 1991. It's definitely a relic, but I had fun making it.

Here is what you'll need:

1) Dosbox - Unless you can run MS-DOS applications natively
Download it from

2) ZZT - This is a ZZT World so you'll have to run it through ZZT.
You can get it at

3) Run ZZT.EXE, select Keyboard/Color. Press W to open the world list
and from there, pick RUINS.

4) Press P to play! More detailed help and instructions are provided
within the ZZT World itself.

Downloads and Links


Jimbly says ...
Aug 30, 2016 @ 6:51am

I'm glad mine was not the only entry that requires DOSBox to play! I completed the adventure with a score of 7739.

This seemed rather long for a LD entry, perhaps because it was quick for you to author content =). I enjoyed most of it, though often when walking and shooting I would shoot in the wrong direction (probably pressing shift before I'd released an arrow key), and I'm sure that's a ZZT/DOSBox issue, not an issue with your game ^_^.

Dr. Dos says ...
Aug 31, 2016 @ 3:40am

What's funny to me is how much I overestimated I'd be able to do with ZZT's extremely fast development process. I wanted 5 purple keys at first, and was going to do a cliche ZZT RPG Boss Battle at the end instead but had to scrap it for time constraints.

I'm glad you liked it! Unfortunately yeah, Dosbox and ZZT don't quite play along as well as you'd hope and the input handling can be a little messed up at times.

dos says ...
Sep 1, 2016 @ 6:56pm

7562! \o/

Really solid entry! The boss battle glitched out for me a few times (the bomb's mess didn't disappear, but the bomb itself did and the boss didn't die) and had to start it over, but otherwise played it from the beginning to the end with basically no disruptions, kept engaged. Pretty impressing! Loved it - and I think I'll definitely look into ZZT now ;)

eevee says ...
Sep 3, 2016 @ 6:59am

Glad it was the second ZZT game I've ever played. :) Even being somewhat familiar with the MZX development process, I'm amazed you cranked this much out in three days. Damn.

crazya02 says ...
Sep 11, 2016 @ 5:36pm

And I thought I was nuts for making a MegaZeux game a couple compos ago!

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