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A suite of tools for creating disassemblies of ZX Spectrum games

Project description

SkoolKit is a collection of utilities that can be used to disassemble a Spectrum game (or indeed any piece of Spectrum software written in machine code) into a format known as a skool file. Then, from this skool file, you can use SkoolKit to create a browsable disassembly in HTML format, or a re-assemblable disassembly in assembly language. So the skool file is - from start to finish as you develop it by organising and annotating the code - the common ‘source’ for both the reader-friendly HTML version of the disassembly, and the developer- and assembler-friendly version of the disassembly.


With SkoolKit you can:

  • use to generate a control file (an attempt to identify routines and data blocks by static analysis) from a snapshot (SNA, SZX or Z80) or raw memory file

  • enable to generate a much better control file that more reliably distinguishes code from data by using a code execution map produced by an emulator

  • use along with this control file to produce a disassembly of a snapshot or raw memory file

  • add annotations to this disassembly (or the control file) as you discover the purpose of each routine and data block

  • use to convert a disassembly into a bunch of HTML files (with annotations in place, and the operands of CALL and JP instructions converted into hyperlinks)

  • use to convert a disassembly into an assembler source file (also with annotations in place)

  • use to convert a disassembly back into a control file (with annotations retained)

  • use to convert a disassembly into a raw memory file

  • use to convert a TAP or TZX file into a ‘pristine’ Z80 snapshot

  • use to analyse a snapshot or raw memory file and list the BASIC program it contains, show register values, produce a call graph, find tile graphic data, find text, or find sequences of arbitrary byte values

  • use to analyse the blocks in a TAP or TZX file, and list the BASIC program it contains

  • use to convert a snapshot or raw memory file into a TAP file

  • use to convert a raw memory file into a Z80 snapshot

  • use to modify the register values or memory contents in a Z80 snapshot

  • use to convert graphic data in a disassembly, SCR file, snapshot or raw memory file into a PNG image

In an HTML disassembly produced by you can also:

  • use the image macros to build still and animated PNG images from graphic data

  • use the #R macro in annotations to create hyperlinks between routines and data blocks that refer to each other

  • use [Bug:*], [Fact:*] and [Poke:*] sections in a ref file to neatly render lists of bugs, trivia and POKEs on separate pages

For a demonstration of SkoolKit’s capabilities, take a look at the complete disassemblies of Skool Daze, Back to Skool, Contact Sam Cruise, Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy and Hungry Horace.

Quick start guide

SkoolKit includes fairly detailed documentation, but if you want to get up and running quickly, here goes.

To convert a SNA, Z80 or SZX snapshot of a Spectrum game into a skool file (so that it can be converted into HTML or assembly language):

$ game.z80 > game.skool

To split the disassembly up into code and data blocks, you’ll need a control file.

To turn this skool file into an HTML disassembly:

$ game.skool

To turn it into a file that can be fed to an assembler:

$ game.skool > game.asm

Project details

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