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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 Traps abound in the Dungeons of Doom. The bear trap is one of the friendliest. (Rogue Clone IV)
Rogue Clone DOS That's NOT funny! It makes my armor rust! (Oliver Richman's 1998 version, release 2)
Rogue Clone DOS Some potions make you confused, which randomizes your movement. (Rogue Clone IV)
Rogue Clone iPhone Visual display of viable inventory

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Alternate Titles

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

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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.)
Contributed to by Ryan Armstrong (1980), Pseudo_Intellectual (61625) and General Error (4364)