Rogue Clone (DOS)

Rogue Clone DOS Beginning a new Game. (Oliver Richman's 1998 version, release 2)


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Rogue Clone is an early variant of Rogue, the grandfather of all roguelikes, specifically of the UNIX version 5.3. The first version of Rogue Clone was first released in 1986 for UNIX.

At first glance, Rogue Clone is quite indistinguishable from the original: Enter some randomly generated dungeon, bash monsters, grab treasures, evade traps, and find the stairs to the next level, all this to recover that fabled Amulet of Yendor and make it back to the light of day -- alive, preferably... everything in glorious ASCII graphics.

On a second glance, one realizes that Rogue Clone features some additions and modifications to game play. For example, there are no dark rooms, and the difficulty level is slightly easier -- monsters spawn quicker, but there is much more items to be found. Another very helpful feature is that unknown items are automatically identified after use, so that next time you find them, you'll know what awaits you. The first version of Rogue Clone also omitted traps and secret doors, later versions have both, but traps may not go off if an inadvertent adventurer steps onto them. Mazes are also drawn differently, and there are other changes in the items and their characteristics.

Otherwise, this version plays pretty much like the original and earns its name.


Rogue Clone DOS Found some armor and some weapon. May be enchanted, may be cursed -- who knows? (Rogue Clone IV)
Rogue Clone DOS ... for example, is this really a dragon?! On level 2? Nah, very improbable. I hope...  (Oliver Richman's 1998 version, release 2)
Rogue Clone DOS Reached level 2. My survival chances just rose by 100%. (Oliver Richman's 1998 version, release 2)
Rogue Clone DOS Yet another adventurer doomed to certain death enters the dungeons... (Rogue Clone IV)

Alternate Titles

  • "Rogue 5.3 Clone" -- common alternative title
  • "Rogue" -- iPhone port
  • "LinuxRogue" -- title of the Linux port by Steve Wilson and later maintainers

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Rogue Clone is based on the original UNIX version of Rogue and was originally created by Timothy Stoehr for UNIX. He released the first version (then called i_rogue Version 1.0) on the usenet newsgroup on Feb 26th, 1986. As Stoehr says: "I wrote this code out of disgust for the inexcusable number of bugs that rogue 5.3 is famous for. I wrote this to eliminate the bugs as well as to get rid of some other things I didn't care for." When releasing the second version, he wrote: "I personally hate groping around in dark rooms."

Rogue Clone II was released on newsgroup on November 25, 1986, and on on May 11, 1987. Shortly after, Stoehr posted two patches to fix bugs and portability issues. The source of this version was often used for ports.

Stoehr donated the last version of the original Rogue Clone to Berkeley University around October 1987. Berkeley first released Rogue Clone III in Juni 1988 with the official distribution of 4.3BSD Tahoe UNIX. (The release 4.2 of BSD UNIX had been distributed with Rogue 5.3 earlier.).

Related Web Sites

  • Rogue Clone IV (The official sourceforge page for Michael Lehotay's DOS and Windows port.)
  • The Roguelike Archives (This archive features, among many other versions, the 1988 and 1998 DOS ports of Rogue Clone by Steve VanDevender and Oliver Richman.)
General Error (4144) added Rogue Clone (DOS) on Apr 18, 2007
Other platforms contributed by Pseudo_Intellectual (45182) and General Error (4144)