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Bookworm Adventures

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Title Screen

Bookworm Adventures

Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: PopCap Games
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS X
Released in US: November 5, 2004

CodeIcon.png This game has unused code.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.
PiracyIcon.png This game has anti-piracy features.

To do:

Bookworm Adventures is a word-based fairytale RPG of the classic Bookworm and also one of the most expensive casual games ever made, with a $700K budget. Wow!

Unplayable Words

The following words are contained in the game's dictionary, but cannot be played in the actual game due to the fact that they contain a Q not immediately followed by a U:


The word list also contains words with 5 or more instances of the same letter, which are also impossible to play since the game never lets more than 4 of the same letter tile onto the board.

Debugging Material

To do:
Enable this if possible.

Developer Cheats

scripts/cheat.luc appear to have developer cheats, functions are modify HP, level up, modify XP, instant kill, complete chapter, complete book, modify tile architectures, set particles, nuke profile, status testing, load debug profile, add items, beatdown multiplier modifiers, die, save, get selected chapter, modify treasure count, bypass/repeating tutorials, give player+enemy buffs/debuffs, enabling minigames, enabling bestiary, delete words, forcing an attack, and hiding treasures.

The game also looks for this file on bootup.

Beta Support

Some files mention BETA_BUILD, likely referring to builds distributed from PopCap's game beta testing page and is also a flag for what current build type is used when released to the public.

Crash Handler

If the game crashed, a popup saying Fatal Error will appear to report the crash and see a log. A file called crash.txt will be created or replaced in the game's root install directory, containing the exact same text in the error message box.

LUA Error Handler

If a LUA has an error, the game will say: Oops! A lua error occurred and the game needs to shut down. Please contact customer support and provide them with your lua.log file. It will be created or replaced in the game's root install directory.

Bad String Handler

To do:
Where is this detected? The LUC/LUAs and/or plaintext data?

If the game detects a bad string, this text from scripts/common.luc will show in red: Someone passed in a string with invalid characters. Probably because they forgot to save the file as plain text and it contains some specially formatted Word characters. This is bad. We can't render those. I'll let the program continue, but it may result in messed up text. This would probably be a bug for Steve if you get this. I'll let the program keep running though, as this is just cosmetic.

Debug Commands

To do:
There may be more.

Pressing CTRL-ALT-D will play a sound (c:\windows\media\Windows XP Menu Command.wav) to indicate debug key input is enabled, allowing options of typing unique keys for debugging displays or mechanisms, another use will disable it.

  • F2 - Start/Stop perf timing
  • F3 - Toggle FPS display
  • Shift F3 - Toggle FPS/mouse coordinate display
  • F8 - Show current Video Stats (mostly used to see if 3D acceleration is currently on)
  • Shift F8 - Toggle 3D acceleration
  • F11 - Take screenshot (goes into the ProgramData/OEM/ZumasRevenge/_screenshots) directory.
  • Shift F11 - Dump all program images in memory to the ProgramData/OEM/ZumasRevenge/_dump directory.

Cheat Detection

To do:
What triggers this? Memory edits, developer cheats or both?

scripts/BattleEngine.luc mentions CHEAT and YOUCHEATED in flagging terms. The game would most likely detect the use of memory editing or some sort of cheat format and force your best and longest word to be CHEAT and YOUCHEATED (the later of which is impossible in normal gameplay).

Developer Notes

Some Luc and XML files contain developer notes.


A documentation on Settings nodes.

		<!-- 	title: The credit heading, such as Programmer/Artist/etc
				bgpam: background PAM to use (minus extension), will crossfade from previous.				
				frame: PAM animation frame to play if using the above			
				bgimage: FILE name of image to use for background instead of pam
				y: Y coordinate to start drawing the background at. The BG will be clipped to a viewing region
					of x=0, y=195, width=800, height=215 so you can use this to offset the image.
				idlecount: how many frames to delay after the text fades in before the creature PAM attacks
				fadein: how fast the alpha fades in
				nextalpha: alpha value item must reach before the next item can fade in

A documentation on Entry nodes.

		<!--	pam: file name (minus extension) for character anim to use
				x, y: coordinates to draw at
				attack: specifies which attack to use. If not specified, won't attack.
				targetx: After the name gets attacked by the creature, the name flies at the creature. This specifies
					the X coordinate at which the name must reach to kill off the creature.
				priority: a greater value indicates that the anim should be drawn on top of those with a lower priority

A note saying no codex entry is present and one will be used when possible, unfortunately, none was added at anytime...

<!-- currently missing codex entry: when we have one, use it -->

Marketing Modes

On builds of the game, partner.xml is present in properties, stating the marketing type, preferably for trials. These are multiple types of them, a .sig and .sig2 (for DRM) file also exist, to verify integrity of the file.

  • None: Nothing, PopCap's 60 min trial, custom OEM DRM or no DRM may be used.
  • 60Normal: 60 min trial (In-game DRM).
  • 60Trailer: 60 min trial (In-game DRM), restricting up to Chapter 8.
  • HydraTrailer: Infinite time (In-game DRM), restricting up to Chapter 8.
  • Hydra: ???

Copy Protection

If you remove or rename properties/partner.xml from your installation of the game and use the extracted game executable from the wrapper to play, the keyboard and main in-game GUI other than the pause button will stop working after about 2 seconds of gameplay. This affects the entirety of the in-game GUI, and even the keyboard too. The pause menu also doesn't have the black background fade.

Revision List

  • 1.0 = Initial release!
  • = Bug fixes.

Two revisions were pushed. PopCap.com's CDN, CD-ROM, and Steam/GameHouse/Zylom all have the latest versions.