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Rogue: Exploring the Dungeons Of Doom

RPG Rogue: Exploring the Dungeons Of Doom

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Platform
DOS
Release Year
1983
Publisher
Epyx
You have just finished your years as a student at the local fighter’s guild. After much practice and sweat you have finally completed your training and are ready to embark upon a perilous adventure. As a test of your skills, the local guildmasters have sent you into the Dungeons of Doom. Your task is to return with the Amulet of Yendor. Your reward for the completion of this task will be a full membership in the local guild. In addition, you are allowed to keep all the loot you bring back from the dungeons.

In preparation for your journey, you are given an enchanted mace, a bow, and a quiver of arrows taken from a dragon’s hoard in the far off Dark Mountains. You are also outfitted with elf-crafted armor and given enough food to reach the dungeons. You say goodbye to family and friends for what may be the last time and head up the road.

You set out on your way to the dungeons and after several days of uneventful travel, you see the ancient ruins that mark the entrance to the Dungeons of Doom. It is late at night, so you make camp at the entrance and spend the night sleeping under the open skies. In the morning you gather your weapons, put on your armor, eat what is almost your last food, and enter the dungeons.
Rogue was originally developed in 1980 for UNIX-based systems. It's an RPG, employing procedural generation for its levels (meaning the levels differ per game). It's ASCII based, so graphics-wise, you shouldn't expect any impressive features, but the gameplay is somehow still addictive, even in current days. Seeing how groundbreaking it was at the time, Rogue is considered by many to be the inspiration for most of the later RPGs.

The player is identified by a smiley character (☻), while enemies are presented by a single letter (E = Emu, S = Snake, etc). Walls are represented by double lines (I.e. ║, ═, etc.), with doorways showing up as ╬. While travelling between rooms, you will only be able to see 1 square ahead. You will be looking to find the doorway (represented by a blinking green rectangle) in order to move down the dungeons (or upwards once you reached level 26 and recovered the amulet).

As you battle your way down the dungeons to level 26, where the Amulet is hidden, you will come across scores of increasingly difficult monsters and usable items that get progressively better the further down you get. Ranging from gold and food to weapons, scrolls, and potions, you will be able to use these to grow stronger, more resistant, expose hidden objects, or recover from your wounds.

Your inventory space is limited, so you will have to be smart about what you bring along, and while most items will grant you bonuses in some way, others can hurt you with the curses placed upon them. Unless you identify them upfront, chances are that potion you end up drinking poisons you, or the item you put on gives you a negative bonus.

Gameplay is surprisingly sophisticated for the time the game came out, requiring you to eat at times (or risk ending up fainting and eventually starving to death), and providing you with dark rooms, traps, pits, and even dead-end corridors and hidden doors.

Your score is determined by the amount of gold you managed to grab from the dungeons.
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