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Game info

ZZT is a game creation system created by Tim Sweeney in 1991, the first game developed and published by Potomac Computer Systems (later Epic Megagames, now Epic Games.) There were 4 worlds released with the commercial version of the game: TOWN, CAVES, CITY, and DUNGEONS. The shareware version of ZZT came with just TOWN. In all versions of the game, the built-in world editor is fully functional (however, it will not edit saved games or locked worlds natively.)

Later, Super ZZT was released based on this engine.

Debug mode

In all versions, the cheat menu can be opened by pressing ? and typing in a code. In versions prior to v3.2, standard cheats will not work until the +debug cheat is used. This also enables the display of how much memory is available on the heap, in bytes. In the upper-right corner, it will show the letter 'm' followed by this value. OOP code on the currently shown board and the game's entire compressed board data consume heap memory.


The latest version of the game is v3.2. Other versions of the game that can be found are v3.1, v3.0, and v2.0. Aside from improvements in input handling and visual appearance, cheat availability and copyright messages, there are no observable differences between these versions.

Version File Size (decompressed)
2.0 89,792 (89,792)
3.0 47,473 (95,440)
3.1 47,471 (95,616)
3.2 47,764 (96,080)

File formats

  • BRD Format - Board format. This is stored exactly the same as in a world, but it's just one board.
  • CFG Format - ZZT.CFG contains the startup configuration and serial number.
  • DAT Format - In 3.0 and later, ZZT.DAT contains help files and end screen messages. This is not present in 2.0; the files are stored in the directory.
  • HI Format - High scores.
  • HLP Format - In 2.0, these are standard text files. In 3.0 and later, they are encoded differently.
  • MSG Format - In 2.0, these are standard text files. In 3.0 and later, they are encoded differently.
  • SAV Format - Saved games, 100% identical to world files except a byte in the header.
  • ZZT Format - World format.