|Developer||Noah Morgan, copx, Gibbon|
|Updated||2018 March 29|
|Licensing||Custom, Apache 2.0|
|P. Language||C, C++|
|Platforms||DOS, UNIX, Amiga, VMS, Windows|
|Official site of Larn|
Larn was first released in 1986 by Noah Morgan.
Larn was the first roguelike game to feature multiple dungeons with a sort of surface world (in this case, a town) to connect them. The town, which is persistent, like the dungeon levels (advanced for the time), and features shops to exchange items, schools to improve skills, and a bank to store valuables. The dungeon has branch offices of the town's bank. Larn is also time-limited, achieving the main goal too late counts as losing the game. The player is trying to find an item which can cure his ailing daughter, and for which there is a Nethack-like extended quest. If the time limit is reached, the daughter dies.
A few features which are unique to Larn and make it worth playing:
- Identification is always successful. The scroll/potion type will always be known to the player regardless whether the player received any clue about the usage of the particular item.
- The Scroll of gem perfection enhances the value of carried gems.
- If a character manages to win Larn, his successor will have to pay taxes, which depend on the amount of gold brought to the surface.
- Gold pieces stored in the bank earn interest over time.
- Spells are cast by typing a 3-letter mnemonic. For example, magic missile is MLE.
- The level generation is exceptionally varied: You can find mazes, rows of rooms with doors, round chambers, and open spaces with or without pillars, but still generated at random as in any other roguelike.
- Many other conventional Roguelike features are also given a unique spin (many conventions in the genre were less set in stone), and it can be an interesting change of pace.
Platforms and versions
Updated versions of Larn seem to have disappeared.
Some older copies of larn can be found here, but the host does not know if they compile or not.
Ularn v1.6, released in 2004, is available for Windows and Amiga. Source is available for other systems (v1.5 is known to compile for various UNIX systems).
Gibbon (maintainer of Larn) has released FreeLarn A significantly rewritten and modified codebase of the original Larn was released on August 11 2017. This is the first release of the Apache 2.0 version, making this version, Free Software.
Gibbon stresses however that the classic Larn remains non-free software under Noah Morgans original license.
As of March 2018 Gibbon is no longer developing or maintaining FreeLarn, the links and repositories have all been taken down. This was due to the negative responses received from the community about the direction FreeLarn was heading. Gibbon has gone back to maintaining a private repository for an older version of Larn based on 12.3.1.
- NLarn is a rewrite with the aim to bring Larn to the 21st century. It offers a nicer user interface, colour, improved monster AI, and numerous other enhancements.
- PC Larn
- Ularn — or "Ultra-Larn" — is a descendant of Larn. It has been created by Phil Cordier in 1992 and adds new features like character classes, Dealer McDope, and more levels.
- XLarn is a heavily extended version of Larn
- LarnHD is a higher quality version of Larn with sounds; compatible with more modern devices.
- The unofficial Larn game homepage with links to articles, source code, other variants of Larn, and an option to play the DOS and Amiga versions of Larn online
- Larn 12.4 alpha for Win32
- A weblog about Larn
- COLUMN: @Play: Larn, Or, I Hocked The Car To Buy A Lance Of Death
- The CRPG Addict: Game 21: Larn (1986)