The PAW Monster Edition

PAW Monster

The PAW Monster Edition is a project of The PAW Reservoir for the development of a PAW replicant.

Another PAW replicant?!?!

The PAWME will replicate the original PAW design (database and language interpreter embedded within an editor) on the PC. The application will be self-contained and compact (no external libraries, no multiple executables, no file renaming, no compiler-interpreter architecture anymore… ). An .exe file will launch an editor that will provide the functions of the original PAW…

But why do we need another PAW system for Windows? We already have Doug Harter’s WinPAW, among others…

… hmm, that will provide the functions of the original PAW plus all many of the advanced features of the existing clones. This reset intends to upgrade the PAW design to the modern times and, while retaining all of the look & feel of the original software, make of it a serious tool able to produce top level games as many of those produced with the big ones. No object-oriented programming, no simulation paranoia, no endless lists of unaffordable plug-ins…

  • indexed database-driven system like the PAW but with extended capabilities: up to 65.000 locations, objects, dictionary, processes, flags, messages… (eventually unlimited).
  • expanded database structure with new data fields.
  • programmable PROCESS 0 (zero).
  • new PROCESS * (simultaneous to player’s input).
  • up to 20 user-defined windows for screen layout.
  • up to 65.000 flags (variables).
  • up to 100 local flags for locations and objects.
  • automatized behaviours via location and object flags: define attributes (container, non-player character, visited, foe, liquid, opaque… whatever) once and the system handles accordingly.
  • location routes.
  • stacks for FIFO operations with flags.
  • buffers for text ‘maths’.
  • flag indexation.
  • location routes.
  • authomatic & customizable light, hour and weather systems.
  • distant objects reporting and ‘atmospheric’ messaging for dynamic description effects.
  • simple macro programming
  • expanded PAW grammar: WINDOWx, WHATL(loc), WHATP (process), BITWISE condacts, OOPS and AGAIN, NPC interaction condacts, a power-boosted DOALL…
  • hard wired ‘start’ database with real and advanced functionality.
  • Hopefully, multiple target compilation: PC, DS, Java, Windows CE, etc.

… all interfaced via a user-friendly and simple editor similar to that of the original PAW. Plus some other nice and useful embellishments.

So, what are we supposed to be able to write with the PAWME?

Regardless of their beauty and retro-feeling, the 8-bit based windows versions of PAW are unfortunately too limited and cannot be used for large and text-plenty games or interactive fictions. To put it simply: they do not accommodate enough text nor database resources. SINTAC (which is, in fact, not a replicant of the PAW but of its elder brother DAAD) or CAECHO do in fact have most of the functions and the required expanded grammars that could in fact produce large and meaty text adventures. But SINTAC (absolutely beautiful) insists on the 8-bit limit of 256 of each class except for messages. There’s no use in having 65.000 messages if you can only use 256 flags to control such a monster, 256 objects and rooms with no local flags or attributes, if there’s not any bitwise operation grammar, etc. And the CAECHO system is a prodigy of design (the database is, simply, superb and massively fillable with so many values and flags and text maths and the language is so varied and so proficient…) but the paw-like grammar has been translated into a strange C-like spanish dialect. A beautiful software design by a computing engineer for computer engineeers. Mortals cannot simply make any sense of it, let aside write a game with it. And both of them only run under MS-DOS plus their authors have turned their back on the PAW forever and reject to update and recompile these fantastic tools to run under Windows. Sic.

We are starting to evaluate Superglús and ACE as both are superb PAW replicants. But we still feel that a rewrite, a new design and an editor version would be much better. Among the reviewed programming packages for our rewrite, Multimedia Fusion has taken the pole position for the time being…

You can report to the Project tab at for further information about the PAWME.


Thank you, Jacob Gunness…

… and a NOTICE.


Jacob Gunness is the head and master of the Classic Adventures Solution Archive (a.k.a. CASA), a well-known site among text adventurers throughout the world since 1999 that, in his own words, “attempts to be the most comprehensive resource for solutions for classic text adventures, covering everything from Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Apple II to BBC, TRS-80, Amstrad, Dragon or Amiga“. CASA currently contains 1223 solutions, 195 maps and 359 games with hints plus interviews, news and whatever else may be related to 8-bit text adventures (mainly written with database-driven parsers such as The Quill, The PAW or The GAC, among others) and, since recently, also the side-genre of interactive fiction (namely INFORM or TADS).

Out of his own experience and expertise, Jacob has recently reviewed The PAW Reservoir and has provided me with an extremely sensible and juicy list of comments and suggestions about this site. I intend to adopt and faithfully implement all of his ideas as they will help make of The PAW Reservoir a much better and more user-friendly site. A few have already been arranged; the remainder will follow soon, as time permits.

The aforementiones notice is:

Being as yet a one-man undertake only, The PAW Reservoir is intended to advance at a reasonable pace, meaning that the site will be updated and new contents will be uploaded as often as possible but not daily. This (current) first incarnation of the site was built and filled with an advance of contents in some six days. I am still devoted to an intensive compilation work, as the existing information about the PAW is disseminated, hidden, unavailable, lost or forgotten. But I am also re-writing and editing texts, searching and finding PAW-related people, compiling (collecting parts) and packaging files to upload here, seeking contributors, writing The PAW Monster Edition working guidelines and programming specifications, drawing graphics and writing for the forthcoming Spacerogues #1 game… Once the start-up phase of the site is completed, then the time will come for embellishments and a faster-paced life… %-}

If you are a text adventurer, writer or player, then you can’t but pay Jacob a a visit at his CASA!!!

Thanks much, Jacob, for contributing your brains. And be Welcome to The PAW Reservoir.

Welcome, Garry Capuccini

20 years after, Garry Capuccini has returned.

Snap (CrackCity) ZenobiSoftware

Garry was, back in the 1990, heartfully praised by Mike Gerrard on his Your Sinclair section as one of the most innovative PAW programmers (read review here) of the time. His talent for designing neat and superb graphic layouts, rare in the text adventuring lair, along with the refined programming skills shown in his Crack City debut, earned him a solid reputation as a PAW celebrity.

I am looking forward to hearing what’s been up with Garry as to text adventuring and PAWing for the last 20 years. It will be reported in due course. Here, at the Reservoir.

Welcome, Larry Horsfield

¡Larry Horsfield is back!

Starship Quest

Well, in fact he never quit. Larry is a PAW celebrity of the Golden Age of PAW (1985-1990+). Under the trademark of FSF Adventures, he manufactured PAW masterpieces like The axe of Kolt and Magnetic moon series, The Krazy Kartoonist Kaper and many other excellent games. FSF games were well known for being extra-fun and extremely well written and designed, pushing both the computer and the PAW software to the limits to allocate his detailed stories and many advanced programming features, always with a friendly style and a proven intelligent game planning, as attested, for instance, by things like his guide to playing and writing adventure games, published once by Your Sinclair. His games were mostly for the giant 128k machines but rarely included graphics. It all went to text, multiple-part games, fantastic routines and in-game facilities, characters, etc.

If you want to learn from a master how to programme a text adventure using the PAW language, unpaw (using the Unpaw package available at the Manuals et al. page) any of his games and have it printed for a thorough pencil and marker work.

I recently received an email from Larry in which he confimed that he is currently working on the PC version of Fortress of fear, a previously unreleased text adventure he had left unfinished back in the 90’s on the ZX Spectrum. He is no longer using the official and original PAW software but Win ACE, one of the most interesting fourth generation PAW replicants (rather “evolutions”) produced by a friend of his, Andy Clark, and available for download at the Software page of the Reservoir. Apparently, Larry has been busy with some other undertakes since the PAW times but he reports that it is still his intention to convert all of his adventure games to the PC using Win ACE. Good news, innit?

¡Welcome back, Larry!

WANTED! Infinite Imaginations’ SWAN and Tim Gilberts’ DAAD


Once the PAW had become the market standard benchmark for text adventuring all around the world (meaning in the UK, which in fact was meant the world as to text-adventuring),  Yeandle and Gilberts joined Hugh Hamer-Powell to create Infinite Imaginations and develop the next generation parser. It was known by the name of System without a name (SWAN) and put to good use by Fergus McNeill for his Mindfighter game. Along all the bells and whistles already available in PAW, the new system allowed for the use of digitised graphics instead of a line editor, an even more advanced English parser, advanced intelligent interactive characters, an alternative icon-driven system control and many, many, many other beautifulities.

Time later, Tim Gilberts was hired by the spanish company Aventuras AD to create a tailor-made, all new in-house parser featuring PAW’s and SWAN’s tools plus new enhancements suggested by Andrés Samudio. The Diseñador de Aventuras AD (DAAD) reached version 2.8 and only a few may be aware of the secret location of the vault where the DAAD backup files are kept today.

These systems belong inasmuch to the PAW culture. They have been kept hidden for years and it IS definitely hard to get hold of them by any means.

If you are Andrés Samudio or any other living identity, have a copy of the DAAD and want to contribute your treasures with the PAW culture and the worldwide PAW community, you are invited to do so. The same applies if you want to be credited for sharing your copy of the SWAN system. Any versions, any systems. Both packages, when provided, will be made available at the PAW Zero page of this site.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.