The Infocom Gallery
Welcome to the Infocom Gallery!

Last Site Update: 2004/04/14
Please look at the update history for details.

This site is available as:

Grey Box Releases Between 1984 and 1989, Infocom released 35 games in a format referred to as "grey box" today. Releases up to Bureaucracy came in a book-like box featuring a "browsie" and a re-closable tray with all the feelies, reference card and disk. Stationfall to Shogun came in a slipcase box containing a tray with feelies, technical manual, reference card and disk. For the last two of Infocom's interactive fiction games, Arthur and Journey, a non-standard box was used, much like today's ordinary ones.
Folio Releases The first twelve of Infocom's adventures, prior to 1984, were released in packaging designed specifically for each game, today known as "folios". Starcross, for example, came in a saucer-like plastic box, Suspended in a huge box with a white face mask, or Deadline and Witness in something that resembled a police file. All the folios were re-released as grey boxes later.
Mastertronic Releases Virgin Mastertronic in Great Britain re-released ten of Infocom's games in 1990 and 1991 with a license of Activision. They all came in small flat squareshaped cardboard boxes with blue stripes.
InvisiClues For most of their games, Infocom published InvisiClues -- booklets full of hints printed in invisible ink that became readable once you ran a special marker over them.
Product Catalogs Each Infocom game came with a product catalog full of colourful advertising for Infocom's games. Especially the earlier catalogs are hard to find today.

Some messages from your hosts

Our motivation to expand this page depends to some extent on the feedback we're getting, so please sign the guestbook! (The guestbook apparently has problems with personal firewalls, so you may have to temporarily disable yours if you're using one).

Although the Gallery seems quite complete when it comes to grey boxes, there are still many scans missing. So if you own anything that is missing or incomplete and a scanner, please consider making a contribution to this page. Contact us, if you'd like to help.

Here's a little wish list of what we would like to add:

  • The Status Line newsletters
  • Folios: Seastalker, Enchanter, Sorcerer, Witness, Zork II, Zork III, Planetfall, Starcross
  • Many missing InvisiClues

If you decide to send in scans, please take a look at the guidelines.

There's also a complete update history of these pages available.

Some Related Links

About this page

A couple of years ago, two little collections known as The Lost Treasures of Infocom, parts 1 and 2 were published. Everything Infocom released in just two collections -- seemed too good to be true. And it was, in a number of ways. First, the collection was incomplete -- Leather Goddesses was not included. Second, no feelies -- no plastic palm, no AMFV pen, no Wishbringer stone, no microscopic space fleet...

Then there were the manuals. Instead of reproducing the original documentation in all its full-color glory, Activision opted for what looks like cheap Xerox copies, thrown together in reduced size as little paperback books... duh. That's why we're making this page. Infocom deserves better.

This used to be the paragraph where we asked people to not promote our site, for fear of being shut down by Activision. However, we have come to believe that Activision at least tolerates our work here, so we no longer feel a need for too much caution. So go ahead. Post it in newsgroups. Link to it.

Just to clarify: It is not the purpose of this project to damage Activision's Infocom franchise (there doesn't seem to be much left of it lately). We are only trying to do justice to the works of Infocom. The authors of this site have been consistently disappointed by the low-quality, black & white reproductions of the original Infocom documentation in collections such as the Lost Treasures or Masterpieces and have therefore decided it is time for a webpage with high-quality scans of those materials. This site does not carry anything that can be bought from Activision. All it contains is material that, in all likelihood, will never, ever be commercially available again.

Once a work of art has been abandoned, and is in danger of vanishing into oblivion, salvage rights apply. This site is a digital museum. Its exhibits are electronic replicas of some very specific and unique works of art that have touched many people's lifes in the 1980s. In digital years, that was centuries ago, much more than the 75 years it takes for copyrights to expire legally. That is why we feel that our site, while technically in violation, does not violate the spirit of copyright law. Copyright laws were never intended to be destructive, only protective. That is what this site is doing: protecting the works of Infocom, both from the ravages of time and from corporate indifference.

David and Julian

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