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Boards are ZZT's playable map regions. Boards are 60x25 in size, and can contain up to 150 entities with stats. They are also used for the title screen.


  • Title: What the board is called in the editor's Switch Boards menu.
  • Can Fire (0-255): How many bullets fired by the player are permitted at any one time.
  • Board is dark: If yes, requires the player to light a torch to see.
  • Board ↑↓←→: Allows linking this board to others by their edges. These links are not automatically reciprocated in the built-in editor.
  • Re-enter when zapped: When the player takes built-in damage, place them where they first entered the board.
  • Time limit (0-32767): When active, the board will display a timer that counts down in seconds. When the time runs out, the player takes damage. This is typically used with Re-enter when zapped.

Storage and Persistence

Boards maintain their state as the player travels from area to area, but there is only one board context active at a time. They are stored in a compressed form using a run-length encoding scheme, and decompressed into the active board context as needed. When the player travels to a new board, the old board's content is compressed and stored again.

Boards are limited to 20000 bytes in size, and exceeding this amount can lead to ZZT crashing.


The current active board has an additional hidden perimeter of board edge tiles. These tiles are part of the system that allows the player to move across boards via edge links. They also serve as a barrier to prevent entities from stepping out of bounds. If a user zaps the edge of a board, they will create a hole in the perimeter which can allow entities to leave the board, typically resulting in memory corruption. Entities with tweaked step values can also phase through the barrier.

See also