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Rogue (computer game)

Rogue is a dungeon-crawling computer game dating from 1980. It inspired a class of derivatives known collectively as roguelikes. Some of the popular members of this gaming genre include Hack, NetHack, Larn, Moria, ADOM and Angband.


The basic premise in Rogue is that the player assumes the role of an adventurer typical of fantasy games such as Dungeons & Dragons. The player starts out at the top level of a massive dungeon, filled with a myriad of monsters and treasure. The goal is to fight one's way down to the bottom of the dungeon, retrieve the Amulet of Yendor, and make it back to the top. Until the amulet is retrieved, the player cannot go back up stairs which he/she has taken down. Unlike most contemporary adventure games when it was written, however, the dungeon and everything in it is randomly-generated, yielding a different game each time it's played.

In the original version, all the aspects of the dungeon, including the character and the monsters are represented by letters and symbols, making the game appropriate to play on a dumb terminal. Later ports of the game replaced the characters with graphical tiles, but the gameplay remained the same. The basic movement keys (up, down, left, and right) are the same as the cursor control keys in the vi editor.


The original authors of Rogue were Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, and Ken Arnold (of JINI and JavaSpaces fame). Rogue was one of the first widely used applications of the screen control library curses. Originally written on Unix, it was ported by its original authors to many platforms, including the PC, Macintosh, Amiga and Atari ST. After attempting to sell these versions on their own, they eventually handed marketing over to established video game publisher Epyx.

Numerous freeware clones now exist for modern operating systems such as PC compatibles and Linux.

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