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Rogue, published in 1980, is usually considered the original game, the one that set up the genre and inspired the other roguelikes.


Rogue's storyline was very light: the point of the game was to go down all levels of a dungeon, in a world based on Dungeons & Dragons, starting from the top, killing monsters and plundering treasures, until finding the Amulet of Yendor. Then, the player had to climb every level up.

Rogue was one of the first games to use a spatial representation of the world where the action unfolded instead of textual descriptions. This was possible using a C function library called Curses, and this brought important advancements into the cRPG and in general PC gaming genre.

Contrary to many other computer RPGs of the time, all levels were randomly generated.

Rogue was intended to be played on Unix terminals. Thus, the dungeon was displayed in text mode, characters and monsters being represented by letters. Actions were issued by single keystrokes.

Rogue defined the very roguelike genre. Random generation, basic plot, text (or tiled) based display still are the usual features of roguelikes.

The more direct descendant of rogue was Hack, although Larn and Moria are closely related to it as well.

Versions and platforms

Rogue was written in 1980 by Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman and Ken Arnold for Unix. It was ported to several platforms.

Rogue clones can now be found for nearly every existing platform.

Related topics

Related links