Roguelike Games Mini-FAQ

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Aliza R. Panitz

Oct 7, 1993, 4:05:55 PM10/7/93
Roguelike Adventure Games [l/m 10/7/93]

I. What are the roguelike games?
II. List of major roguelike games
III. List of minor roguelike games
IV. What are *not* roguelike games?
V. How to get files by FTP


A long time ago, on a computer system far, far, away, there was rogue.
Players wandered a dungeon, hacking and slashing at monsters, gaining
treasures, becoming more powerful, and living their D&D nightmares.

Rogue was a good game; people still play it. It was even distributed
with many copies of Unix. But rogue is a relatively simple and limited
game compared to most of the descendants it has spawned...

Although the common features of rogue and its many descendants are
'obvious' to many people, they are difficult to describe in simple
terms. All of the games mentioned below are single-user, fantasy
role-playing computer games, generally set in a dungeon, run with
a simple graphic interface. In all of the games, the player controls
a single character, who roams around getting more powerful, in order
to fulfill a difficult quest. Sword-and-sorcery rule the day.
Logistically, they're all free games; executables, and generally
sources, are available by FTP.

The similarities end there, though. More information can be found
in the 6 UseNet newsgroups dedicated to rogue and its descendants -,,,,, and ( belongs in this list, but
is a poorly propagated group, which many readers cannot access.)

Below are listed basic information about all roguelike games known to
me, in alphabetical order. I've listed the main ftp site for each game;
however, it's polite to use mirror sites, if closer to you, especially
if you're outside the USA.


Listed below are the 'major' roguelike games. Please note that my
definitions of 'major' versus 'minor' games are pretty arbitrary. In
most cases, games without a well-known ftp site for sources get to
be listed as 'minor', whatever else their qualifications may be. (All
of my information comes from trolling the various newsgroups; if your
favorite game isn't listed, send mail to

GAME: Angband
Release: 1.3
FTP Site: /pub/Games/Angband
FAQ Avail: (David Grabiner)
Spoilers: At the ftp site.
Platforms: Unix, PC, Mac, VMS, Amiga, Atari, ...
Features: infinite dungeon. unique monsters and artifacts.
Misc: Still somewhat close to Moria in feel.

GAME: Moria
Release: 5.5.0
FTP Site: /pub/Games/Moria
FAQ Avail: (David Grabiner)
Spoilers: At the ftp site.
Platforms: Unix, PC, Mac, VMS, Amiga, Atari, ...
Features: infinite dungeon.
Misc: a/k/a/ Umoria

GAME: NetHack
Release: 3.1.3
FTP Site:* {}
FAQ Avail:, posted weekly
Spoilers: (Ver 7.0)
Platforms: Unixes, Mac, PC, NT, OS/2, Amiga, VMS, Atari, X
Features: Everything including the kitchen sink
Misc: ?


Listed below are what I know of the 'minor' roguelike games. In most
cases, my information is pretty skimpy, and way out-of-date.

Release: 2.0
FTP Site: /pub/Games/Moria/BOSS
FAQ Avail: At the ftp site
Spoilers: ?
Platforms: VMS only (Unix port Real Soon Now)
Features: Cyberpunk Moria
Misc: "A game you can win in a weekend"

GAME: Hack
Release: ? (1.0.2, 1.0.3, 5.2 are all floating around)
Newsgroup: or
FTP Site: check archive sites
FAQ Avail: No
Spoilers: ?
Platforms: Unix, PCs, probably others
Features: And your little dog too!
Misc: Distributed with some Unixes

GAME: Larn
Release: ?
FTP Site: ?
FAQ Avail: ?
Spoilers: ?
Platforms: PCs, Unix, more?
Features: Time-limited quest; no character classes; variable difficulty
Misc: A good beginner game

GAME: Omega
Release: 0.78
FTP Site:
FAQ Avail: ?
Spoilers: ?
Platforms: Unix, PC, Amiga
Features: Multi-dungeons; fractional speeds
Misc: Now maintained by Rob Rendell (

GAME: Rogue
Release: ?
FTP Site: ?
FAQ Avail: ?
Spoilers: ?
Platforms: Unix, more
Features: ?
Misc: This is where it all started


There are a lot of things that aren't quite in the category of
roguelike games, but that keep creeping into the roguelike

For information about commercial games like Ultima, Wizardry, etc.:

For information about playing D&D or other fantasy roleplaying games
with other human beings, face-to-face or by e-mail:*

For information about Multi-User-Dungeon games on the Internet:*

For information about other games to play when you feel like bashing
innocent bits and bytes:*

Finally, there are text-mode games, like Adventure, Zork, and the whole
family of Infocom text adventure games. I can't suggest anything better
than trolling through:


Pretty much everything mentioned here is available by anonymous FTP.
FAQ lists cross-posted to news.answers and rec.answers can be gotten
from (, under /pub/usenet/news.answers or
under /pub/usenet/

"anonymous FTP" is just a way for files to be stored where anyone
can retrieve them over the Net. For example, to retrieve the
latest version of the Moria FAQ, do the following:

> ftp /* connect to the site; a message follows */
> anonymous /* type this when it asks for your name */
> <your email address> /* type your address as the password */
> cd /pub/usenet /* go to the directory you want to be */
> cd /* one level down (no slash). */
> dir /* look at what's there */
> get r.g.m_F_A_Q /* get the file; case-sensitive */
> quit /* stop this mysterious thing */

If your FTP program complains that it doesn't know where the site you
want to use is, type the numerical address instead of the sitename:

> ftp /* connect with numerical address */

If you don't have ftp access, send e-mail to
with the single word "help" in the body of the message.

Getting binary files (executables, or any compressed files) is only
slightly more difficult. You need to set binary mode inside FTP before
you transfer the file.

> binary /* set binary transfer mode */
> ascii /* set back to text transfer mode */

FAQs and spoiler lists are generally ascii files; everything else is
generally binary files.

Some common extensions on binary files in archive sites are:

.Z Compressed; extract with uncompress
.tar.Z Compressed 'tape archive'; uncompress then untar or tar -xvf
.gz or .z Gnu gzip; use gunzip (available from
.sit (Mac) StufIt archive
.zip (PC) Extract with Zip or Unzip
.zoo (PC) Yet another archive/compress program
.lhe (Amiga) ?
.exe (PC) Self-extracting archives - just execute them.
.uue or .UUE Transfer as text file; use uudecode to convert to binary
.hqx (Mac) BinHex format; transfer in text mode

Generic help can be found in the FAQs of comp.binaries.<your_system_type> for
how to transfer, extract, and virus-check binary files. (At

If you can't FTP from your site, use one of the following ftp-by-mail servers:

For complete instructions, send a message reading "help" to the server.

If you don't know exactly what you're looking for, or exactly where it
is, there are programs and servers that can help you. For more info,
send e-mail to with the body of the
message reading send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources


That's all, folks.

Additions and corrections can be sent to

This entire FAQ is copyrighted by the author, Aliza R. Panitz.
Permission is granted to archive or redistribute it, provided that
(1) there is no charge, and (2) the file remains intact, including
this copyright notice.

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