Release Date :
June 27th, 1982
Along with a few other early titles, you can credit Dungeons of Daggorath for inspiring the first-person dungeon crawling that we've partaken in over the last 30 years.Â Its three-dimensional wireframe level design and use of sound effects to convey monster position were unique and state-of-the-art at the time, as was the way it handled "character progression", if you can call it that.Â As the player defeats monsters inhabiting the dungeon, his or her character gains a small amount of power (or endurance, really) that's dependent upon the strength of the monster killed.Â For example, killing a spider might be barely noticeable, but defeat a couple of oozes/blobs inhabiting the dungeon, and you'll discover that future battles become increasingly easier.
The goal of the game is to reach the fifth level of the dungeon and defeat the powerful wizard residing there.Â Along the way, you'll come across a total of twelve different monster types (though this number includes the wizard and a couple of variants) and a small assortment of swords, shields, rings, scrolls, flasks, and torches.Â Any equipment lying on the dungeon floor will be picked up by a monster traveling over it, so you'll be forced to clear every dungeon level if you don't want to miss out on a single item.
Because every command had to be typed (fully or through a shortcut), combat required you to be fast and accurate with the TRS-80's keyboard.Â Winning a battle meant that you had to defeat the monster before you without sustaining enough damage to pass out or perish from your racing heartbeat.Â Even moving around the dungeon too fast (like when you're trying to evade a tough monster) could prove fatal, as passing out at an inopportune moment left you susceptible to any monsters who have given chase or happen to wander by during your incapacitated state.