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Castle of Tharoggad

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December 5th, 1988
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Game Description

Castle of Tharoggad was released in 1988 for the TRS-80 Color Computer, and is most famous (or infamous, I suppose) for being the Dungeons of Daggorath sequel that nobody's ever heard of. Why it took Tandy a full six years to realize that Daggorath deserved a sequel is unclear, but when they finally managed to crank one out, it really wasn't the sequel anyone wanted. That's not to say that Castle of Tharoggad is entirely bad, but unfortunately it ended up being a lesser game in comparison to its predecessor, and that's led to the title being largely forgotten about so many years later.

The same DynaMicro team that made Daggorath such an amazing experience wasn't involved with the development of Tharoggad - instead, Tandy recruited programmer Scott Cabit to deliver the sequel. I'm not sure if all of the game's faults should rest squarely on Mr. Cabit's shoulders, but some of the poor design choices included a switch to an entirely mouse-driven, precision-lacking interface, the removal of monster-specific and positional sound effects, difficult-to-navigate dungeon levels, and an unpredictable heartrate meter. Ultimately, if you preferred a keyboard-driven interface to the "streamlined" mouse-driven interface, the only real advancements you were left with were brightly colored graphics, rudimentary monster animations, and the ability to save your game without a cassette recorder.

Still, the gameplay itself remained largely the same, and for this reason only it does have some entertainment value. You'll just want to keep your sequel expectations in check before making a return to the dungeon.
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