Before I discuss Moria let me explain what a 'Roguelike' is. Rogue
developed in 1980 is understood to be the first in the true style of
dungeon based on Dungeons and Dragons where events unfold in a
spacial visual way instead of text detail. The idea being that you
enter the dungeon kill mobs to gain treasure. The game combines the
dice based games with the interactive book style of say of the Colossal
Cave Adventure by Crowther Woods.
Moving next to the Dungeons of Moria or just Moria as it became we
find a 'Roguelike' game based on the Lord of the Rings, set in the
mines of Moria. The aim being to adventure deep into the mines and
defeat the boss mob Balrog. Kinda your bread and butter Dungeons
and Dragons game and food for nearly all MMORPGs that exist even
to this very day.
Moria was also released as open source and is still in development.
The game was created by Robert Alan Koeneke in 1983 who had become
hooked on 'Rogue' while at university in Oklahoma 1980-81. In 1981
he decided to write his own Rogue game. He used VMS BASIC and the
first game was called Moria Beta 1.0. This game was converted to
VMS Pascal and was released as v1.0 the following summer. The last
release of the game was Moria 4.8 dated November 1998.
One variant of the game is Amiga Moria (CWM Moria) and that is where
I come in ... or not.
In amongst my K-RAM PD disks I came across the Moria game. I knew a
little and got quite excited. Unfortunately the disk wouldn't work.
So I set to copying what I could and then using my special 'scuzz'
skills and rich variety of Amigas to pull the 'ROGUE' files off the
disk. By 11 o'clock last night I had a working copy of the disk and
it was already ADF copied and tested on Amigas and the PC emulator.
'This version of Moria is based on the excellent BSD UNIX C port by
James E Wilson of UC Berkeley, which in turn is based on the original
4.8 VMS Pascal sources written by Robert Koeneke, James Todd, Gary
McAdoo and others at the University of Oklahoma.'
For me it is an important piece of gaming history simply cus I know
the guys at Blizzard were hooked on the game. I do feel very lucky
to have found the disk, and even more happy that I was able to revive
the disk. So pleased.
The game has to be seen in the context of its age and what it
represents. From the very start you know you are thrown into the
now common place style of dungeon raiding game. The graphics may
look simplistic but the depth is still there.
I can track my love of this game from Games Workshop board games,
interactive books, Dark Tower, Oracles Cave, Advanced DnD, Ishar
and onward to World of Warcraft and beyond. I found yet another
stepping stone to my very own magical dungeon quest. So pleased.
This is Version 3.0 for the Amiga.