The Slimy Lichmummy

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The Slimy Lichmummy
Beta Project
Developer Ulf Åström
Theme cyberpunk/fantasy
Released 2006 (0.1)
Updated 2012-09-26 (0.40)
Licensing semi-open source
P. Language C
Platforms anything with a C compiler
Interface ncurses
Game Length
[ Official site of The Slimy Lichmummy]

TSL is a hacklike with an unusual cyberpunk/fantasy setting. You start out with a shotgun and a dozen shells. Encounters include mutated ratmen and grenade-throwing chainsaw ogres. Improve your character by replacing body parts with machinery on your way to ascension.

Developed since 2006 and fairly complete and stable. Development usually happens in bursts of a couple creative months followed by long spans of inactivity.

Some defining features:

  • Persistent levels, built from manually designed (but randomly chosen) chunks. Non-linear level progression. Currently the dungeon has two main branches that lead to a common endgame. Each level has a distinct look and feel and a different set of enemies.
  • Gameplay that discourages grinding. You do not gain experience from kills or regain health by waiting. There is no reason to remain for long on a level - monsters respawn at an increasingly aggressive rate. There is no autoexplore, every level and encounter should be interesting.
  • High difficulty and learning threshold, but tries to be fair and educational. Elaborate death messages - you should always know what killed you and don't do that again.
  • Stealth is very useful. You don't want - and don't need - to pick every fight.
  • Health is a finite resource that must be conserved. You only regain it by finding medkits or other items - no natural regeneration!
  • Unique (?) field of view algorithm that is not based on "line of sight". Light "bounces" on walls and lets you see around corners.
  • Unique (?) visual style. Uses only grayscale. Walls are drawn as continuous lines, floors as raster (checkerboard character). An option exists to use traditional '.' floors.
  • Characters improve by finding and installing augmentations. You are given an a/b choice and the augmentation not chosen is discarded.
  • Interface that allows both verb-noun and noun-verb item actions. Items are autoequipped when it makes sense. All keys can be remapped, Dvorak and numpad-enabled layouts included.
  • Very quick ranged combat - when playing with vi-keys, shift+direction performs a ranged attack. Dedicated key for cycling different kinds of ammo.
  • Character abilities. You can breathe fire and poison, teleport (in four different ways), shapeshift/polymorph (yourself or others), push objects and monsters around (how about into lava?), find/set/disarm traps, hack computer terminals...
  • Many status modifiers. You (and enemies!) can be poisoned, wounded, stunned, hasted, slowed, flying, sleeping, blinded and must adapt your strategy to this.
  • Environmental hazards. You can fly over lava, swim in water or freeze it to cross. Forcefields can be disabled by different means.
  • Most items are known and usable, some must be identified to be utilized fully. Random scrolls, potions and wands. Items can interact (e.g. apply a potion of poison on darts to produce poisoned darts).