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"The 40th level is Death"
A graphical Roguelike for Mac OS, created by John Raymonds and distributed as unencumbered Shareware from 1985-1987. Fondly remembered for its colorful bestiary, which drew on Dungeons and Dragons, Celtic Mythology, and a quirky sense of humor ("The Floor hits!").
The game deliberately cultivates an air of mystery around itself; rather than provide a Monster Compendium, it offers 26 esoteric "Rumors" such as "Beauty can tame a beast," "A Sethron is 63" tall," and "Roni is life." (Except there's no mention of any "Roni" in the entire actual game. Best guess is that the programmer loved Rice-A-Roni.)
In 1987, an overhauled version was published by Woodrose Editions as The Dungeon Revealed (so named for the included source code). To spread the word, Raymonds circulated an updated Dungeon of Doom with the version number cranked from 4.0 to 5.4 (even though the only change was the plug for Revealed.) However, gamers who had already beaten the original and/or paid $25 for it had little incentive to pay $37.50 for the rerelease. (Among its improvements was compatibility with color Macs, yet what artwork was new remained black and white. Other additions included digitized sounds, secret rooms, and one new monster.) Today, the Dungeon remains best known under its original name.
This game contains examples of:
- Adventurer Archaeologist: An actual class, called "Jones." This class is able to identify and use items.
- An Adventurer Is You
- Boss Battle -- Gate Keepers, the Dark Wizard
- Character Level
- Cowardly Boss -- The Dark Wizard will teleport away to catch his breath.
- Creepy Cool Crosses -- Wielded upside-down by Evil Clerics
- Critical Encumbrance Failure -- "You collapse under your load."
- Dem Bones -- Skeleton Warriors
- Doomy Dooms of Doom
- Dungeon Crawling
- Everything's Better with Penguins -- Electric Penguins
- Evil Sorcerer -- Evil Cleric, Evil Necromancer, Dark Wizard
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin -- The "worthless potion"
- Experience Points
- Fantasy Character Classes -- Knight, Fighter, Sage, Wizard, Alchemist, Jeweller, Jones
- Final Boss -- The Dark Wizard
- Fire, Ice, Lightning
- Full-Frontal Assault -- Succubi
- Giant Spider
- Guide Dang It -- I returned from Level 40 with the Orb... so why won't the door to the surface let me out?! (Have you tried identifying the Orb, to make sure it's not a cheap plastic substitute? Depending on your saved game habits, prepare to retrace a lot of steps.)
- Healing Factor -- Regeneration rings
- Hit Points
- Improvised Weapon -- A throwable Macintosh Plus (or Mac II in the rerelease). It actually does tremendous damage.
- Joke Item -- The "Joke scroll" only triggers the response "That was funny", but just like any other scroll can fail if you have insufficient Intelligence.
- Level Grinding -- Wearing a monster ring causes endless waves of monsters to attack you. Retreat to an earlier level and it causes endless waves of fodder to attack you.
- Life Energy -- Only vampires can drain it; only life potion can restore it.
- Literal Genie -- Wishing scrolls will grant you nearly any object in the game... so long as you can spell it. (It's actually quite forgiving: "extra healing potion" and "an Extra-Healing Potion, please" are equally understood, while "Death Blade +9999" will net you a Death Blade +4, the maximum, rather than punishment for your Greed.)
- Magic Wand
- Master of None -- Each class can identify a corresponding item (Knights: armor, Jewellers: rings and gems, etc), except for the Jones, who has no special knowledge. He does, however, have the highest starting Charisma.
- Mix-and-Match Critters -- The Alligog (alligator/frog) and Lizzog (lizard/frog)
- Plot Coupon -- The Orb of Carnos
- Poison Mushroom -- Amnesia scroll, confusion potion, blindness potion, poison potion...
- Random Teleportation -- Teleport scrolls and teleport wands
- Reflecting Laser -- Your wand shots can miss the monster, bounce off a wall, miss the monster again, and hit you.
- Roaming Enemy -- The Wandering Eye is the only monster that can turn up at any point of the game (with the possible exception of Level 40).
- Skippable Boss -- You can flee the Dungeon without slaying the Dark Wizard, but you'll miss out on quite a treasure drop.
- Themed Cursor -- It's a broadsword 'til you quit.
- Transformation Ray -- Polymorph wands
- Unicorn -- They're black.
- Wicked Witch
- Wizard Needs Food Badly -- But don't eat too much, or your stomach will explode.