Friday, October 15, 2021

Game 436: Rogue Clone (1986-1993)

I wonder if the Regents of the University of California are aware they have the copyright to this game.
       
Rogue Clone
United States
Independently developed and published
Released in 1986 for Unix; ported to DOS in 1988; updated repeatedly for DOS, Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and other platforms through the present day
Date Started: 11 October 2021
Date Ended: 12 October 2021
Total hours: 4
Difficulty: 4.5/5 (Hard-Very Hard)
Final Rating: (To come later)
Ranking at Time of Posting: (To come later)

In a perfect illustration of "Exactly What It Says on the Tin," Rogue Clone is a clone of Rogue, to the extent that I couldn't tell much difference, although admittedly it's been 12 years since I played Rogue. You may recall that my desire to share my winning screen, after 80 hours and dozens of unsuccessful adventurers, prompted me to start this blog in the first place. 
     
If I have the history right, the reason that Rogue needed a "clone" was that its developers (primarily Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, and Ken Arnold), in ironic defiance of later "roguelike" mores, never released the game's source code, even after the 1985 commercialization (published by Epyx) flopped. Individuals who wanted to keep the game in the public domain (and who arguably didn't have any right to do so) were forced to recreate it. Most went their own way with the concept, as with Moria (1983) and Hack (1984), but some sought more direct replication.
     
A random shot from Level 21 of the game. I've used a Potion of Monster Finding to identify the locations of monsters and avoid them.
     
The so-called Rogue Clone series starts with a 1986 effort by Tim Stoehr to create an open-source replica of the original game on UNIX mainframes. I've been able to find very little information about Stoehr, but I gather he was 27 years old at the time and employed at the University of California at Berkeley, where Michael Toy's final pre-commercial version of Rogue resided. Most modern ports of Rogue derive from Stoehr's recreation. For some reason, some of them got their own names (e.g., TileRogue, MacRogue, LinuxRogue) while others became known as Rogue Clone, starting with a 1988 DOS port by Steve VanDevender, a student at the University of Oregon. I find the copyright to "the Regents of the University of California" amusing; I can only imagine that the theory is that since Toy developed the game on UC Berkeley time and resources, the university "owns" the game, and thus it was acceptable for Stoehr to clone it. I suspect Epyx wouldn't have felt the same way, had the commercial version been more successful.
          
The command list seems daunting, but I found it easy to memorize and master.
      
After I failed to get VanDevender's version working, I resorted to version IV of the DOS version, which was originally released in 1993. The documentation sometimes calls it Rogue Clone IV, sometimes DOSRogue, and sometimes just Rogue. Frankly, I'm not sure it should be listed as a separate game, and I toyed with rejecting it as just a port of a game I've already covered. But I found myself sucked into it, and I reasoned that if I didn't adhere to permadeath, it wouldn't take that long to cover.
         
I'll probably never win another roguelike again "honestly." The 250 hours it took me to ascend in Nethack is still too fresh in my mind. Rogue took me 90 hours back in 2009. So in approaching Rogue Clone, I decided to see how far I could get with five characters and then how many reloads it would take, saving at the beginning of each level, for the sixth character. 
     
As much as I'd like to adhere to the spirit of permadeath, I don't have 80 hours to spend on this game.
     
All the features of pre-Hack roguelikes are here. The adventurer is a fighter looking to qualify for the local adventurer's guild. They've sent him into the Dungeons of Doom to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor. Along the way, he fights a variety of monsters with a variety of equipment, always with the threat of starvation pushing him downwards, always with the threat of permadeath hanging over his head. There are no character classes, no attributes beyond strength, no spellbooks, no "intrinsics" or eating enemy corpses to gain them, no complex interactions among items, no stores, no altars or blessings, no backtracking to earlier levels--those are all elements of Hack and Nethack.

Levels are randomly generated using limited graphics. This version uses the same limited graphics as Epyx's mid-1980s release for DOS, but it includes a few characters that wouldn't have been available in the original, including a smiley face for the character and double-piped walls. Potions, wands, and scrolls are randomly assigned colors and other appearance factors for each new game. Identifying these items is a key part of the game, as once you know that a "blue potion" is a Potion of Extra Healing, you know what all blue potions do. I typically just quaff potions and read scrolls as soon as I find them, at least on early levels, as there are never enough identify scrolls to go around.

Every character starts with 12 hit points, 16 strength, 1 unit of food, a +1 ring mail, a +1 mace, and a +1 short bow with 25 arrows. Enemies don't drop items; they're just randomly seeded across the dungeon level. There is no correlation between the difficulty (depth) of the level and the items that you find on it. An early magic weapon or Ring of Slow Digestion does wonders. Gold is only useful for increasing your final score. 
     
The fates of a few characters.
     
Character #1 died on Level 3. There was a large room full of treasures and monsters, and I defeated all the monsters, rising to Level 5. Afterwards, sorting through the treasure, I read an unknown scroll and it turned out to be a Scroll of Monster Summoning. It summoned a rattlesnake, which killed me in two hits. Perhaps my "always-read-scrolls" strategy is flawed, but it's the only way to find Scrolls of Identification.

Character #2 died two rooms into the game on Level 1 when he ran prematurely into one of those rooms that will come to be called "zoos" in Nethack. An ice monster froze him to death.
     
Chester begins a new game in a room with two bats and a snake.
   
Character #3 got another zoo on the first level, but he was alerted to it by a Potion of Monster Seeing in the first room. Even though I tried to stay back and shoot arrows into the room, the monsters swarmed me and I died.
      
Character #4 did pretty well, bolstered by several food rations found on Level 1. He made it to Dungeon Level 9 / Character Level 7, but on Level 5, he unwisely drank a Potion of Hallucination and thus couldn't differentiate monsters. It never wore off. I tried to fight with missile weapons and wands to keep on the safe side, but on Level 7, I encountered something in a corridor that killed me in three hits. The game said it was a centaur, but that was probably just a product of my hallucination.

Character #5: Another goddamned zoo, this time on Level 6. I tried to flee but was run down and killed. I think a rattlesnake struck the killing blow.
     
That brought me to Phase II, in which I allowed myself to save on each level and reload if I died. I managed to win with six reloads. The character got lucky with a Ring of Slow Digestion (and plentiful food anyway) early in the game, but I never found a very good weapon or suit of armor. I eventually ended up using three Scrolls of Enchant Weapon on the mace I started with just because I never found a decent replacement. I found the Amulet of Yendor on Level 26 at character Level 12, which is 4 levels less than when I originally won Rogue in 2009. I suppose I was being more cautious back then, adhering to permadeath rules.
        
You'd think joining the Fighter's Guild is something that would happen at the beginning of a career, not the culmination of it.
       
There are a handful of things that I think are different about the Clone versus the original, although the "original" went through several permutations. I'm most familiar with the 1985 Epyx release, which may have notable differences from the version at UC Berkeley that Stoehr consulted. In any event, this is what I wrote down:
   
  • Clone seems to feature a lot more snakes and rattlesnakes, both of which can weaken the character.
  • There are a lot more "zoos" in the Clone.
     
Stumbling into a "zoo" on Level 6. It looks like a horribly unfair one (a jabberwock, a troll, a medusa, and two dragons on Level 6?!), but I think this character is suffering from a Potion of Hallucination.
     
  • Hunger is perhaps slightly relaxed, or food more plentiful. None of my characters were ever in danger of starving, in sharp contrast to my experience with Rogue.
  • I don't remember Rings and Scrolls of Protect Armor in the original. They save you from traps and Aquators which damage armor.
  • There are no "dark" rooms in the Clone nor, therefore, means of light.
  • The corridors in Clone frequently form mazes on lower levels. I don't remember these in the original.
    
In NetHack, this type of corridor configuration would suggest that a xorn or a dwarf with a pickaxe had been through here.
       
  • I never found a Scroll of Mapping in the Clone.
  • "U" is for Ur-viles in the original, black unicorns in the Clone.
  • In the Clone, after you find the Amulet of Yendor and are ascending the levels, everything that looks like an item (e.g., potion, scroll) turns out to be a "Xeroc," this game's version of a mimic. I don't remember that in the original.
     
I created a video of key moments in the game, along with my narration, which really would have benefited from an antihistamine. 
     
        
I'm curious to see how this game GIMLETs compared to the original. It should be about equal, but it's been 12 years, and I applied the original rating retroactively (I created the GIMLET five months after I won Rogue).
   
  • 0 points for the game world. You're barely told anything about the world and why you're in the dungeon.
  • 2 points for character creation and development. "Creation" is only a name. For development, you have both traditional leveling and improvement of strength. Both do a good job making you feel more powerful as you advance.
  • 0 points for no NPCs.
  • 3 points for encounters and foes. That all goes to "foes." The game's menagerie has a satisfying variety of special attacks that create different tactical situations. You want to shoot snakes from afar, take off your armor before fighting aquators, and avoid nymphs and dragons entirely.
  • 3 points for magic and combat. There's no magic in Rogue, but the complex inventory system helps create a number of options for combat. Permadeath gives a weight to combat that you don't find in other games, and a smart player knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.
  • 5 points for equipment, easily the best part of the game. Not only is there a large variety of weapons, armor, rings, potions, and scrolls, they're completely randomized throughout the dungeon.
        
I consider my inventory options while in a room with a leprechaun.
      
  • 1 point for economy. Gold just adds to your score, though. You can't actually spend it.
  • 2 points for a main quest with no options.
  • 3 points for graphics, sound, and interface. The graphics aren't advanced, but they do their job well. Until graphics get good enough to really "wow" me, I'd rather have unambiguous letters depicting my enemies than fuzzy icons. The control system is exactly what I want--each action mapped to a unique key. I hadn't played Rogue in years and yet I had no problem settling in immediately. There is no sound, alas, except a piercing error tone.
  • 5 points for gameplay. Though linear, both Rogue and its clone offer a solid challenge at a reasonable length of time and are eminently replayable. 
   
That adds up to a final score of 24, exactly where I rated Rogue in 2010. Wow. There are some individual differences, though. I apparently thought the bare-bones store was worth at least a point in Rogue, but not the economy. I rated character development lower but gave a surprising 5 points to "graphics, sound, and interface." Maybe the Epyx version had some sound? Anyway, it's nice to see the GIMLET hold up in consistency.
    
Once you've experienced late roguelikes, like NetHack, which add so much more fun and complexity, Rogue can feel hopelessly quaint. But there's something to be said for the shorter, simpler game. It has a directness and briskness that's hard to capture in a quantitative rating. As much as I don't really think Rogue Clone is a separate game, I'm glad for this excuse to dip back in to the game that started the blog.
 

53 comments:

  1. "Anyway, it's nice to see the GIMLET hold up in consistency."

    Well, we've been through this before, but I personally deem the alleged consistency of the GIMLET rating system a deep-seated illusion.

    Still, we want to be able to compare different games in an abstract manner, and this is probably as good as it gets.

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  2. Also, I'm getting a strange sense of déja-vu on the blog, aren't you rather looking forward to try new games than revisiting the ones you already covered? Just asking...

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    1. Yes, I’m looking forward to new games. But there are a number of things I want to accomplish with this blog, and the occasional retread of an old game meets some of those goals. Anyway, I HADN’T played this one before. I just played one that was a lot like it.

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    2. I'm looking forward to when you reach Diablo clones and get to experience deja vu in every second game! :p

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    3. Yeah, I'm sort of siding with Jarl here again, we've experienced that before with the 48th Ultima clone, and maybe it's time to introduce another criterium like: We've seen this type of game x times before, and it doesn't bring y enough new to the table, therefore it's going on the z pile of negligible...

      Not trying to write the rules, but to offer constructive criticism :)

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    4. I really like the "glimpses of the past" posts, I read the originals so long ago and can hardly ever be bothered to re-read them.

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    5. Personally, I like the comprehensiveness of the blog, and enjoy the occasional chance for you to backtrack and reflect on earlier games.

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    6. The whole idea is to play every single CRPG ever made.

      Also, I'm getting a strange sense that BESTIEunlmt has posted before under Anonymous making inflammatory posts.

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    7. Naah, that's not my style!

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    8. I feel like trying to determine how clone-like a particular game is just adds another layer of subjectivity that's also never going to please anyone.

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    9. Unfortunately for some preferences, I will always err on the side of comprehensiveness over freshness.

      Harland, BESTIEunlmt has been commenting since 2014 and designed my headers and the logo for Gimlet Publications. He can offer whatever opinions he wants.

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    10. I’m here for the comprehensive nature. Obviously you have to make decisions on how to keep things moving along, but I love the BRIEFS and continued reviews of early games as they come to light.

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    11. I wasn't being ironic in my Diablo clone post. I'm genuinely interested to see how Chet will react to the flood of low quality hack & slash RPGs that invaded the market in the wake of Diablo and especially Diablo 2.

      I used to like them when I was a teen, and there are some genuinely good games in the subgenre, but I've long grown out of it and there are just so many of them.

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    12. @JarlFrank... sounds like a good era to BRIEF or just do a couple of columns documenting several clones at once depending on what Chet feels at the time! I think the other issue is that each of these probably takes a good bit of time to play and win / finish. Unlike so many of the early 80s titles that could be finished in less than 10 hours.

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    13. By the time you can determine that a game is just a pure clone without new value, you'd have to have put a lot of time into it. Can't remember specific titles right now, but I'm pretty sure we've had more than one "thought this was a crappy clone for three hours, and then was pleasantly shocked" game on here.

      Besides, RL games are exemplars of the pure dungeon crawl game, so they're always rewarding to look at.

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    14. Yeah JarlFrank can't wait to talk shit about Chet behind his back on RPG Codex using bigoted, homophobic language while simultaneously kissing his ass here.

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    15. That's a little unkind, Anonymous. JarlFrank is only one of easily six or seven people who talk shit about me on RPGCodex while simultaneously pretending to enjoy my blog here.

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  3. Roguelikes are games about minimizing risk, so your "always-read-scrolls" (same with potions, or even equipping weapons/armor) strategy is fine with the caveat that you should do it in the safest manner possible. Once you know a scroll of summon monster is a possibility, read the scroll in a room you can lock, or near the stairs if monsters can't follow you, or when having means of teleportation/invisibility, etc... , unless you're about to die and doing it as a desperation move, of course :P.

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    1. Playing MSDOS Rogue, I always liked to save the scrolls and potions until about L7 (before the rattlesnakes appeared). Then - after clearing the level - I'd read scrolls, quaff potions and wear armour according to a system. If I recall correctly, I would start with potions. When quaffing, I'd lay down all unknown items around a corner out of sight, and try them one by one. If I got lucky, I'd quaff a potion of magic detection early - then I'd know everything that was blessed or cursed, and the armour problem would be solved, along with whether scrolls or other potions were good or bad. After the potions were done, I'd pick up everything.

      Assuming I had lots of scrolls, I'd put on tempting armour / wield tempting weapons next, then read scrolls if they turned out cursed. There were two kinds of scroll that would uncurse each, so the odds were good.

      At that point I'd have some space in my inventory and hopefully some useful identified things... so it was time to move onward.

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    2. Ooh, I like that strategy. Although somehow I usually managed to fall into a pit trap anytime I laid items out on the floor to use Detect Magic. (Or it felt that way; obviously that was actually rare.)

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  4. AlphabeticalAnonymousOctober 15, 2021 at 5:20 PM

    Wholly unrelated to this game: our host has occasionally expressed a nostalgic fondness for the old sci-fi TV show, Babylon 5. I'd be curious to hear his (or others') thoughts on the recently-mooted reboot. I'm at least hopeful, though not wildly optimistic -- I think B5 was one of the last TV shows that I watched through, enjoyed, and still enjoy today (we watched it through again during lockdowns). Who knows, maybe they can hack something together; it would be worth it just to hear Peter Jurasik onscreen again!

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    1. I'd say Aaron Sorkin and J. Michael Straczynski probably the only two writers/producers whose work I will absolutely watch no matter what the subject. But, yeah, I'd rather he tell a new story in the spirit of Babylon 5 than reboot the series. It was perfect as it was.

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    2. I think Straczynski said it's more of a reboot-with-new-story than a reboot-that-retells because he doesn't want to do the same thing twice. So that's good.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. I’d love a new Babyon 5. It was a pretty amazing accomplishment for the early 90s.

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  5. If you think you would have a use for it, I have source code for a version of Rogue. The version file says it's version 1.4, dated 4/2/90.
    There are mazes possible starting on level 10.
    In this version, U = Black Unicorn. A is for Aquator, while I seem to remember it was R for Rust Monster in the first version I played at Olivetti. That would be around 1981 +/-. I'm pretty sure the monster names in that version were lifted straight from D&D, which (avoiding lawsuits) might have been the incentive for changing them.
    The early versions of Rogue didn't start you out with a missile weapon or arrows. You had to find them separately, and never had enough ammunition to be useful.
    I'm pretty sure my first win involved save-scumming.

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    1. I used always dump the bow first thing, and just throw arrows. They still did damage, and you saved a space in your inventory, and didn't have to spend time swapping back to a melee weapon when the monster got to you.

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    2. Hi, Corey. I appreciate the offer, but I can't imagine what I'd do with it. I'm curious what lineage it belongs to, though, as the Clone series would have been well past 1.4 by 1990.

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    3. This was a hand-me-down from a friend, so I don't know the original source. Comments in the earliest files are dated 5/11/82, with the latest files dated 6/18/82. Internal version numbers in the comments range from 5.1 to 5.3, roughly matching the dates.

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    4. main.c (C jargon for the main controlling file for the program) has a big block comment that says:
      /*
      * ###### ###### ###### # # ########
      * # # # # # # # # #
      * # # # # # # # #
      * ###### # # # # # ######
      * # # # # # #### # # #
      * # # # # # # # # #
      * # # ###### ###### ###### ########
      *
      * Exploring the Dungeons of Doom
      * Copyright (C) 1981 by Michael Toy, Ken Arnold, and Glenn Wichman
      * All rights reserved
      *
      * @(#)main.c 5.2 (Berkeley) 5/11/82
      */

      monsters.c - the monster generator - says:
      @(#)monsters.c 5.2 (Berkeley) 6/18/82

      While init.c and rip.c have the same date, but version 5.3. Ten files have that latest (6/18/82) date.

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    5. (Formatting is different here. All those # characters spell out ROGUE in giant letters in the original comments.)

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    6. That sounds an awful lot like you have source code for the original game. I was going to suggest that you get in touch with the owner of the Rogue Archive . . .

      https://britzl.github.io/roguearchive/

      . . . and see if they could use it--but there doesn't seem to be any contact info on the site. I think it's run by the same person who runs RogueBasin, which would be helpful if there was any contact info on that site, either. Maybe another of my commenters can help.

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    7. Not an expert, but 1.4 sounds like it comports with Epyx's version numbering. The Rogue Archive that Chet linked does have source code for Epyx's version 1.48, but the comments don't match what Corey Cole quoted.

      As for contact info, https://twitter.com/bjornritzl seems to be the same person (linked from their root github page).

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  6. There are a couple subtle UI tweaks I like in this version. I like still being able to see the dungeon while your inventory's up. Going to a purely black screen with text on it was jarring. I like that your attack and the enemy's attack both appear at the same time; it saves mashing through a bunch of tedious -MORE- messages.

    I'm sure purists would sneer at me, but I hate the dark rooms, and discovering there's a version of Rogue without them might get me to actually try to finish it. It's by far the most obnoxious element of the original. Once you hit the point that all the rooms are dark and you have to move excruciatingly slowly all the time lest you aggro an enemy you're not prepared to fight, it becomes more of a tedium management challenge than a game. The fact that RC4 lights up the room you're in and darkens all the other rooms when you leave makes thematic sense. No one is maintaining this dungeon. There are no gas lamps lighting up certain rooms, obviously your character is carrying a torch with them (this is even depicted on the title screen of the Epyx version.) Dark rooms were a badly thought-out anti-fun mechanic that only proliferated in roguelikes out of tradition

    One final difference that doesn't really matter today but made me go "huh, that's neat": the boss key doesn't display a fake DOS prompt, it actually drops you back to DOS and keeps Rogue running in the background. You can do all the normal DOS stuff and type "exit" when you're ready to go back to the game. I only recently learned that "terminate and stay resident" programs were a thing, and I've never seen a game that does it, just driver and utility software, so the idea of a game running in the background in DOS is kind of wild

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    1. Thank you for covering these additional differences! I had forgotten about some of them, like the map window disappearing when you bring up the inventory.

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  7. Wow, a video! Awesome! Nothing better than kicking back with the host and enjoying an hour of gameplay. This should happen with every game!

    Even something as simple as a half hour of midgame gameplay would be great. Just a trip fighting monsters and then back to town to heal. Would give us a much better idea of the game.

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    1. I too appreciate the video. I enjoy reading more than other media, but I have to admit seeing the gameplay with the Addict explanation is great, I could even take it over the blog

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    2. It's easier for short games, of course, but I am going to try harder to capture video at various points throughout longer games and create summary videos. I'm trying to decide if the best way to do this is:

      1. Just capture video at regular intervals and edit them into a single "highlights" entry later, with voice narration recorded later.

      2. Capture multiple save points during the game and, once I've played it, use those save points to create a summary video in which I narrate the action "live."

      #1 seems like the better option for a professional-quality video standpoint--I can "script" it better--but I worry about getting the timing just right. #2 seems easier but more likely to result in less smooth, professional narration. I guess I'll have to experiment.

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    3. Live narration is fine. If you screw something up just flash some text on the screen in editing. If it gets to be too much work it's not fun any more. It don't hafta be professional, everyone knows what gaming videos look like.

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  8. I've won Rogue Clone IV a few times (without save scumming), from hundreds of games over several decades. A couple of observations:

    (some spoilers below)

    - Very rarely, a 'zoo' room will be the size of the entire screen (level). It's pretty exciting, but a death trap unless you head straight for the exit.
    - A nymph will drop an item when killed.
    - There's a bug: If you run down a corridor that loops back on itself, and there are no doors (or rather, the door is hidden), you will run around and around the loop until a monster interrupts or until you get a hunger warning.
    - I horde unidentified scrolls for as long as I can (normally, until I run out of save-slots), to increase the odds of having a decent armour and weapon if some of the scrolls are protect/enchant armour or enchant weapon.
    - Knowing how the scroll of scare monster really works is pivotal to winning.

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    1. Very cool! I would love to hear some elaboration on that last point.

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    2. The scroll of scare monster has a second, less obvious function, that makes it one of the most useful items in the game. I think this behaviour carries through to any rogue-likes that have a scroll of scare monster (Nethack?)
      Progressive hints, getting more spoilery (ROT13 encoded):

      - Gur frpbaq hfr qbrf abg vaibyir ernqvat vg.
      - Lbh pna fgnaq ba na bowrpg jvgubhg cvpxvat vg hc.
      - Abgvpr gung vs lbh qebc gur fpebyy bs fpner zbafgre, cvpx vg hc ntnva, gura qebc vg ntnva, vg gheaf gb qhfg. Jul jbhyq gur tnzr jnag gb cerirag lbh sebz qebccvat vg ercrngrqyl?
      - Jngpu ubj zbafgref vagrenpg jvgu vgrzf ba gur tebhaq. Gurl jvyy gerng gur fpebyy bs fpner zbafgre qvssreragyl sebz bgure bowrpgf.

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    3. Wow, that's impressive. I'd never have thought of that.

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  9. Fully dissecting the original features of any game in the Rogue family tree seems like it'd be a tough nut to crack even if the games themselves weren't so challenging (or literally went around calling themselves Clones for that matter). There's frequently so little to separate most of them, but then a lot of that comes from being on the outside looking in and only seeing those familiar ASCII characters running around getting one-shotted by cursed altars and monster zoos.

    I recall you bailing on Larn fairly quickly (the only ASCII roguelike I ever completed, albeit after a long while) because you didn't have the time to conquer its typically merciless RNG nor was able to find enough fresh material to cover its particular nuances. You've grown as a writer since 2010 and become much more thorough in the process, and the approach of having a few permadeaths before settling on a save-state run seems wise for time's sake, but it can't be easy trying to delineate between these games unless they're really doing something graphically or thematically distinct (like with Ragnarok or Mission: Thunderbolt).

    Angband's up soon so I'm curious to read what, if anything, sets that one apart as well.

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    1. Lairn is one of many games that would have benefited if I'd come up with my "alternate two games" strategy during the early years of the blog. I have vague plans to reconsider it some day.

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    2. I still have my old 5.25" floppy copy of Larn. For some reason... because I haven't had a floppy drive of that size since the 90s!

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    3. Larn? It's not too difficult. It's pretty short, honestly. And it's got a good endgame. An afternoon roguelike.

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  10. Every time you quote tvtropes I was half a day on it

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    1. The only reason that's not true of me is that I think I've read the entire site three times by now.

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    2. Well, at least it looks like we're the same learn obsessive, as you make this site and I read it. If COVID allows one year, and you pass that far as Singapore, let me get you a gimlet

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  11. Wow! I had no idea Steve VanDevender did a port! I haven't talked to him in quite a while, but I know him. Neat.

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I welcome all comments about the material in this blog, and I generally do not censor them. However, please follow these rules:

1. Do not link to any commercial entities, including Kickstarter campaigns, unless they're directly relevant to the material in the associated blog posting. (For instance, that GOG is selling the particular game I'm playing is relevant; that Steam is having a sale this week on other games is not.) This also includes user names that link to advertising.

2. Please avoid profanity and vulgar language. I don't want my blog flagged by too many filters. I will delete comments containing profanity on a case-by-case basis.

3. Please don't comment anonymously. It makes it impossible to tell who's who in a thread. Choose the "Name/URL" option, pick a name for yourself, and just leave the URL blank.

4. I appreciate if you use ROT13 for explicit spoilers for the current game and upcoming games. Please at least mention "ROT13" in the comment so we don't get a lot of replies saying "what is that gibberish?"

5. Comments on my blog are not a place for slurs against any race, sex, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or mental or physical disability. I will delete these on a case-by-case basis depending on my interpretation of what constitutes a "slur."

Also, Blogger has a way of "eating" comments, so I highly recommend that you copy your words to the clipboard before submitting, just in case.

I read all comments, no matter how old the entry. So do many of my subscribers. Reader comments on "old" games continue to supplement our understanding of them. As such, all comment threads on this blog are live and active unless I specifically turn them off. There is no such thing as "necro-posting" on this blog, and thus no need to use that term.

I will delete any comments that simply point out typos. If you want to use the commenting system to alert me to them, great, I appreciate it, but there's no reason to leave such comments preserved for posterity.

I'm sorry for any difficulty commenting. I turn moderation on and off and "word verification" on and off frequently depending on the volume of spam I'm receiving. I only use either when spam gets out of control, so I appreciate your patience with both moderation tools.