Rogue v3.6 - The Original!

Rogue is a 1980 computer role-playing game created by Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, and Ken Arnold.

Created as a demonstration of the then-cutting-edge cursor-manipulation library Curses, Rogue was the first computer role-playing game to use a walk-through randomly-generated dungeon map rather than the original dice-based equivalents. Players would walk through passageways and rooms, finding and using scrolls and potions, fighting monsters with various weapons and wands, in search of the Amulet of Yendor in the dungeon levels beneath. Every time you'd run the game, everything is randomly generated all over again, resulting in a completely different game every time you play - no two games of Rogue are the same! And all this with only text-based ASCII graphics!

It's not as easy as you'd think - the monsters get tougher and tougher on each dungeon level, and few players have reached the Amulet, let alone brought it all the way back upstairs and won the game. You can save the game, but if you die, the saved game is deleted! This element of challenge, combined with the fact that no two games are the same, makes Rogue a fun and addicting game which has been enjoyed for almost four decades.

While Rogue was originally developed for the original UNIX, versions and clones of the game were developed for many different operating systems throughout the 1980s and beyond. Possibly the most well-known is PC-Rogue for DOS, a 1984 game by Jon Lane which added color to the ASCII graphics. This version would be the basis for commercial versions by Epyx within the next few years. Another popular version, the open-source Rogue Clone, has been the basis for countless versions since 1986, some of which (such as LinuxRogue and the DOS/Windows Rogue Clone IV) are in active use and development today. The Rogue Clone has been adapted to every system from computers and video game consoles to cell phones and calculators!

Rogue also inspired a genre of games known as Roguelikes. Roguelike games follow the formula of Rogue - randomly-generated walk-through maps, objects, fighting monsters, etc. Unlike Rogue, they are separate games with a variety of features, such as science-fiction themes, different types of dungeons, puzzles, quests, and even graphics. Popular examples include open-source games such as NetHack and commercial games such as Blizzard's Diablo series.