Cult Video Game Essentials

Cult Video Game Essentials: Dungeons of Daggorath

Dungeons of Daggorath was one of the first games that attempted to portray three-dimensional space in a real-time environment, using angled lines to give the illusion of depth. It was produced by DynaMicro for the Tandy (RadioShack) TRS-80 Color Computer in 1982.

 

The player gets to explore the dungeons and battle creatures by typing commands into the text area at the bottom. The white bar shows a leather shield in the left hand and a wooden sword in the right hand.
One unique feature that Dungeons of Daggorath developed was the player’s heartbeat – which rises as the player moves and takes actions within the virtual environment. The heartbeat is a direct predecessor of the “health” indicator in later games; the higher the heart rate, the more vulnerable the player is to attack. The player can faint from overexertion, in which case there is the risk of being attacked while defenseless. This heartbeat system was used instead of numerical statistics such as hit points or vitality.

For movement, the player moves around a dungeon, issuing commands by means of typing — for example, typing “GET LEFT SHIELD” or “USE RIGHT TORCH” (or abbreviations such as “G L SH” and “U R T”), gathering strength and ever more powerful weapons as the game progresses. Various creatures appear, and can often be heard when they are nearby, even when not visible.

The object of the game is to defeat the second of two wizards, who is on the fifth and last level of the dungeon.

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