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Rogue

I have been playing Rogue a lot lately, a game from my childhood. Rogue is an old DOS game that runs based on text graphics (see picture below). You, as a rogue, are the hero of this Dungeon-and-Dragon like adventure. Throughout the game, you'll have weapons, armors, and other items to help you.

The original publisher has orphaned this game a long time ago. Good thing I have my original copy on a 5-1/4" diskette, which is now permanently transferred to my hard disk. 8-) But I have notice that it is available to download from many abandonware sites, such as Flashback Abandonware. A quick search of "Rogue" on Google renders plenty of results on the Internet. Perhaps, this popularity is due to the game's classic quality.

Nonetheless, I have been playing it a lot. It's a great stress reliever. And I have come up with several tips and tricks, which I will write about here.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 20 Jun 2005 17:50:34 -0700

Goal

Basically, I have played Rogue for years. But I have never really known the goal of the game, other than to go as deep into the dungeon as possible . . . without dying of starvation and getting killed by monsters. The reason I've always thought that was because I have never read the manual, which has been long lost, and the fact that whenever you try to go up a stairway, it is always "magically blocked". So I have played Rogue for years by trending deeper and deeper into the dungeon, never ever thought of going back up.

It was until I read the description of Rogue on DOS Games Archive that I realized the goal of the game is to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor and return with it. I read the description only minutes after playing a session of Rogue, found the amulet, and dropped it, because the identity scroll didn't indicate it was useful.

I know better now. And after finding the Amulet of Yendor a second time, I realized that the staircase up is no longer magically blocked. However, the adventure to get back to level one is nonetheless challenging. I haven't gotten back with the amulet successfully yet.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 20 Jun 2005 18:05:10 -0700

Load Trick

The game of Rogue loads its saved game differently from other video games. Instead of loading your saved game intact, it loads the game and then deletes the saved game immediately. The point of Rogue's immediate delete is to make the adventure seem more realistic. When you die in the game, it's game over, there is no loading up a saved game to start again. The save feature is for stopping the game play temporary until a more convenient time. Unfortunately, this realism makes the game far more challenging.

So to defeat this realism adventure feature, I came up with a Load Default batch script. The default save game is automatically generated when you save a game without specifying file name. This script I wrote basically copy the saved game into another file and starts Rogue. After exiting Rogue, the script tests to see if a new default save is generated. If so, it deletes the copy. Otherwise it copies the copy back into the save file. Basically, the script preserves the default save file. The batch script is attached below.

Attached File: LoadDefault.bat

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 20 Jun 2005 21:11:40 -0700

Keyboard Commands

Rogue is controlled fully with keyboard commands. There are quite a few of them. During the game, you can access the list of keys by pressing 'F1'. But to make it easier for you, I have captured the list of keys in the attached file (text Unicode) below. That way, you can have a list of keys open in your browser or your Notepad without leaving the game screen. Keys are case-sensitive in Rogue.

Attached File: Rogue Keys.txt

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 23 Jan 2006 22:23:49 -0800

Different symbols in the Rogue dungeon means different things. The attached file (text Unicode) below provides a legend for the dungeon map.

Attached File: Symbols.txt

Chieh Cheng
Sat, 26 Aug 2006 00:17:48 -0700

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