(Shalla, 2004-12-03) The only mudding client I can truly recommend is the most recent version of zMUD available from Zuggsoft. It costs about $30, but there is a free 30-day trial, so there is no harm in downloading it just to give Darkover a try. If you are interested in that, check out [Zuggsoft's Official zMUD Page].
However, there is also an old, free version of zMUD, version 3.62a. Zuggsoft no longer supports it, and it may not work in Windows XP, but in general it works, and is free.
Before we go any further, just be clear that I have nothing to do with zMUD. I just found a copy of the old Freeware version on [somebody's blog], so I've made another copy here to help out our players who want to use it. I cannot promise that it works, or that this copy wasn't tampered with, etc., etc. I scanned it for viruses, and used it myself for 3 days, and noticed no problems, but I can't make promises. I am flat broke, and I don't need anybody suing me. To make this clear and legal, I actually have to use all caps, due to US customer protection laws. Here goes:
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS OR ANYONE DISTRIBUTING THE SOFTWARE BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
(And remember, don't sue me. I have no money.)
Now that that's out of the way, here is how to download and install the thing.
Keep in mind that although I recommend this free zMUD more highly than any other free client, the pay version of zMUD is better still. It is faster, smoother, more user-friendly, has better help, etc. This isn't to say the free one isn't pretty good. The pay one is just better.
Have fun and enjoy the game, and enjoy zMUD too!