is a popular and influential member of the roguelike
RPGs. It features several innovations, like a town level and dungeons levels that are bigger than one screen, and was the first open source and freeware roguelike.
The goal of Moria
is to descend in the dungeons of Moria and defeat the evil Balrog who is cowardly hiding on the lowest level. Other than this, there are no other references to J.R.R. Tolkien in this game.
You begin the game by creating your character, choosing your sex and one of eight available races. You can then roll your stats and, when you got some which suit you, choose your class from six available classes (you can only some of them, depending on your stats). After entering a name, you're ready to roll.
The game is entirely played in turns, feature text-only graphics showing your environment from above, and is played by entering character commands.
You start in town, where you can visit several shops to buy weapons, armor, torches, food and other useful -- and sometimes magic -- items. You can barter with the shopkeepers to get reduced prices.
The dungeon levels are randomly generated. They contain a variety of monsters, some of which invisible, and items, as well as traps and secret doors. Each level has more than one exit. As in other roguelikes, you explore the dungeons, kill monsters as you go, and try to accumulate as much treasure as possible.
- "VMS Moria" -- informal original VMS/VAX title
- "UNIX Moria" -- Unix release
- "UMoria" -- Unix and home computer releases
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The first implementations of Moria are called VMS Moria
, as they were written in VMS Pascal running on a VAX. They were developed by Robert Koeneke
with some help of Jimmey Todd
, both students at the University of Oklahoma, inspired by playing the original Rogue
. Moria V1.0 was released around 1983, and in 1985, Koeneke released the source code code for Moria V4.0. After releasing V4.8, released 1986 or 1987, Koeneke and Todd stopped further work on Moria and gave permission to others to work on the game.Jim Wilson
and David Grabiner
then went on to create a UNIX version of Moria, based on Koeneke's V4.8 sources and using his version numbering, so that the first UNIX Moria
version was V4.83, released in 1987. It mainly fixed bugs and it was much more portable than the original sources, so that versions of Umoria were eventually created for other platforms, including IBM PC, Atari ST, Amiga, Mac and the original VMS. Wilson and others continued to work on Moria until V5.5, the last official version released in 1992.