Rogue is a turn-based role-playing game notable for featuring ASCII text to depict the environment in which your character, represented by an "at" symbol, explores. Controls involve typing various two-key commands to move, attack, and so forth, with a description of the results appearing at the top of the screen. Your hero can interact with and store a number of items as you venture into a randomly generated dungeon in search of a legendary object named the Amulet of Yendor. If your hero should die, a completely new adventure will be generated the next time you play. The game was initially designed for and distributed on UNIX platforms, with later versions adapted for release on multiple formats.
The only commercial release of dungeon-crawl classic Rogue, Epyx' version is 1.45, while Jon Lane's original release (also on this site) is 1.1. I'm not quite sure what the difference is/are between the two versions, except that Epyx probably tidied up the codes and tweaked play balance a little bit before the commercial release. For those of you who've been living in caves for the past 15 years, or started your RPG adventuring with Diablo, here's my review of Jon Lane's Rogue, also on this site:
The "granddaddy" of dungeon hack RPGs, Rogue has a long history that dates back to the 1970's. It was first released as a test application for UNIX, and quickly captured the imagination of popularity among system administrators and computer science students. It was such a popular "test" that enterprising UNIX admins and users distributed it, expanded it, imitated it, and ported it to their home computers.
The game's original concept was unique and rich enough that decades later, it has an entire genre of computer games named after it, commonly called "Roguelike Games", and today still attracts a loyal following and lively community and newsgroups.
What is so special about the game that it still attract gamers for over a decade? Many revoluationary features that have become the norm in today's RPGs. Rogue is an ASCII-interfaced (i.e. all text or text-charater based), turn-based, single player dungeon crawl. Its attraction lies neither in plot nor puzzles (both of which are paper-thin... you are a treasure hunter not unlike the Adventurer in Infocom's Zork), but in the seemingly endless combinations of features, a wide variety of monsters and loot, and randomly generated dungeon that guarantees infinite replayability. In short, Rogue is to RPGs what Crowther's mainframe Adventure is to adventures: a revolutionary game that spawned a genre. It may not stand the test of time very well after all these years, but for those who want to get a sense of where today's blockbuster dungeon crawls the likes of Diablo descend from, Rogue is it."
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