A magnificent archeological discovery has been made!
While tracing the prehistory of rogue and its roots… we have found what could be called its “Rogue’s long lost and forgotten brother”… the so called “Beneath Apple Manor” video game by Don D. Worth, predates rogue for two years, and sports most, if not all of its main features.
How could we not see this, in front of our own eyes, for so many years?
You also learned that just about everything was out to hurt you, which is kind of par for the course in a Roguelike. Monsters would pop out all over the place. On top of that, even items could hurt you. I remember finding a treasure chest with a potion in it. The game asked me if I wanted to drink the potion. In my youthful exuberance I naturally had to quaff the thing… and promptly lost all my memories. See, learning through forgetting. It’s the Rogue way to do things!
The game plays a lot like rogue, though it lacks its ASCII display, but as you can read, it even has some “hack” kind of effects, turn based gameplay, semi-complex items… the game also gives you some tips, which are helpful for the newbie. It even features simplistic shops, which is great for its time. The game is much more than just interesting for its historic value (like… *gasp* Escape from Mt. Drash), it is actually a fun game, worth giving a shoot!
Some words from the author itself, gathered from Psittacine Labs
I am the author of Beneath Apple Manor. It was released two years before Rogue came out. I was not influenced by Rogue (didn’t see it until something like 1983) and so far as I know the Rogue guys up at UC Berkeley hadn’t seen BAM either. We probably both came up with the same idea independently. But at least I can say Rouge is “Beneath Apple Manor like”. 🙂
I based the game on Dungeons and Dragons (paper and pencil game) and DragonMaze (the free game that came with the Apple II).
I think the release dates were as follows:
1978 – original version from The Software Factory (my own little partnership)
1980 – I handed it over to Quality Software for marketing
1982 or 1983 (I forget) – Beneath Apple Manor Special Edition (hires graphics version)
All in all, this doesn’t take away any credit for the original creators of rogue, the game we all love. It is curious and interesting, nonetheless 🙂
Post at Psittacine Labs
A thread at gamersquarter discussing it
(Source: Derek at TIGS)