|Developer||Robert Alan Koeneke, James E. Wilson, others|
|P. Language||C, Pascal|
|Platforms||Linux, MS-DOS, Mac Classic, Atari ST, Amiga, *NIX|
|Game Length||50+ Hours not unusual|
|Official site of Moria|
Moria, first released in 1983, is one of the earliest clones of Rogue. In 1987 it was rewritten in the C language and released as Umoria. Although this was originally a port, it can very much be considered a continuation of the Moria game.
Written by Robert Alan Koeneke, Moria was based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, where the player has to go down in to the mines of Moria and defeat the Balrog to win the game.
This game was the first roguelike to have a "Town" level, where you may buy your weapons, armor, spell books, potions, and various other item to help you on your quest. The game world is "The Dungeons (or Mines) of Moria", and although the name comes from the world of Tolkien, there is little that the game shares with the books. In the deepest level, you must find and defeat the Balrog. This is a hard quest for which you must prepare with the proper equipment and character enhancement items. It is not unusual for a game win to take over 50 hours.
It was the first open source roguelike, which made it possible for it to be ported to many different computer platforms, in a time when that was hard to achieve. Although the game is not as popular as it once was, it is still considered a major Roguelike.
Robert Alan Koeneke became hooked on "Rogue" while at the University of Oklahoma. Around 1981 he got a job in a new department where the game wasn't available, so he decided to write his own Rogue game written in Basic and called it Moria Beta 1.0. In 1983 he enrolled in a Pascal operating systems class and that summer finished Moria 1.0, rewritten in VMS Pascal. In 1985 he started sending out the source code to other Universities, and it was during this time that the game became popular.
Koeneke was working on Moria 5.0, which was an almost complete rewrite with interesting features like streams, lakes and new weapons. It was, however, never released. A different version called Moria UB 5.0 appeared at the University at Buffalo; this is the last VMS version ever, and is often called VMS Moria 5.0.
The last official "Koeneke" Moria, v4.7, was released in 1987.
The release of the source code allowed Moria to survive its VMS origins. After the creation of Umoria (moving to the C language), the game became available on many different computer platforms such as DOS, Amiga and Atari ST, and also spawned many variants, with the most successful being Angband.
It is also known to have been an inspiration for the first commercially successful Roguelike, Diablo.
- Bruce Moria
- Colour Umoria
- CWM Moria (Amiga)
- Druid Moria (and colour Druid)
- jsMoria (a web Umoria port)
- Purple X (Apple)
- Russian Moria
- Umoria.org: Windows and macOS executables for v5.7, information, and links to source code.
- David Grabiner's Moria Page
- Beej's Moria Page
- Usenet article, where the author himself describes the origins of Moria
- Moria newsgroup on Google Groups (rarely used).
- rec.games.roguelike.moria FAQ (last updated 2010)
- free-moria, a successful 2007 project by Ben Asselstine to re-license UMoria 5.5.2 under the GPL by permission of all contributing authors
- Archived UMoria source code history, and Windows ports of UMoria 5.6