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Messages - JohnH

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Once upon a time there was a game called Rogue. It was very popular among its audience, which at that time was Unix timeshare users, most of them students. It was popular enough that it inspired a lot of copycat, inspired-by, and homage versions. Eventually those produced the games we now know, but back then, outside revisions fell a lot closer to the tree. I talked (briefly, alas) about some of those in my Roguelike Celebration 2021 talk ( One of these lines of games was Advanced Rogue, which spawned its own revisions, Super Rogue, XRogue and Ultra Rogue.

As part of the preparation for my talk, I got in contact with the creator of Ultra Rogue, Herb Chong, and found out he has been working on updating and modernizing his game! This is rather a formidable task, for the game used to save by just dumping its memory straight out to disk, and loading it back in as a block when restoring. It is still an interesting game though, and notably contains a few more monster types than even NetHack!

Ultra Rogue kept going a bit longer than the other classic roguelikes I mentioned above, seeing its last versions on DOS in 1995. Now, Herb Chong is getting it in a form to be playable by current audiences. It's still a console game, it's still a game with a nearly direct line back to Rogue, and Herb says it's poorly balanced in its current form.

He says it's not ready for public consumption yet, and says he would prefer not to communicate directly with testers. But, if you'd like to test this living piece of roguelike history, please let me know.

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