ASCII Your Heart Out - Classic Rogue-Likes


Having a lot of fun with Pathos. Succeeded in making the custom character I like to play in RPGs, Red Orm the Viking (from The Long Ships) because a male Valkyrie is basically a viking, right?
Pic is me interrupting a slumber party of water nymphs.


What’s your favorite classic Rogue-likes? Tales of Maj Eyal

What do you like about classic Rogue-likes? I’m a sucker for turn based strategy anything with builds and firm loops where improvement isn’t only statistical

What got you into classic Rogue-likes? Tales of Maj Eyal Was Free and ran on a 5 year old laptop

Recommend a Rogue-like, and tell us why you love it! Tales of Maj Eyal

this space reserved for an effortpost about how good tales of maj eyal is when I don’t have to leave the house in 20 mins


Tome is great because it hones the roguelike genre down to single tactical encounters/decisions instead of the high level strategy of other roguelikes that requires low level understanding of the game’s mechanics. In Tome, you can play it like Diablo and do pretty well, or you could play it like a roguelike and make it sing.


What’s your favorite classic Rogue-likes?
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup was my first rogue-like, though I didn’t actually know it was a rogue-like because I wasn’t hooked into the community, or even the kind of person who played a lot of video games. I spent a lot of my youth outdoors b/c I live in South Florida and the concept of seasons is one we fail to grasp.

What do you like about classic Rogue-likes?
I think it’s sort of how easy they are to pick up and put down, and how simple they feel in comparison to more modern additions to the genre. I also love the concept of perma-death, because I never feel too heartbroken when I toss effort into a rogue-like and don’t win, because winning never feels like the goal. The goal is learning, and failure is the ultimate way to learn. It’s also entirely freeing. Once you fuck up and die, it’s over. That’s it. Thank god, honestly.

What got you into classic Rogue-likes?
My Marine Science teacher in high school, and the fact that the only games we installed on those computers were Dungeon Crawl, Starcraft and Warcraft III. (He was cool with it, and was the one who put DCSS on it in the first place). I sure as fuck wasn’t going to play an RTS, so I latched onto Crawl pretty easily. Later on, when the school forced him to delete all these games b/c some other kids were playing Counter Strike or something–though it may have just been the usual No Video Games Allowed In School Period attitude–I’d bring in DCSS on a Flash drive to play anyway.

Recommend a Rogue-like, and tell us why you love it!
I don’t really think I can do this one! I haven’t played any for a significant amount of time in a long while. I’m having some fun with Brogue though. It’s honestly very pretty, especially after being so used to DCSS and the tiles of that game. ASCII was really hard for me to parse before Brogue, but they manage to use it in a way I can understand a bit better.


The only one of his games that I’ve spent any significant amount of time with is Imbroglio. It’s a design that I admire more than I enjoy, I think. It’s so spare and has so few mechanics that it feels more like a puzzle game than a roguelike to me. It doesn’t scratch the same itch.

I’ve been meaning to check out Cinco Paus but it’s pretty deep in my backlog at the moment.


What’s your favorite classic Rogue-likes?

It’s been a bit since I ever really seriously played a roguelike, but wow oh wow I love Cataclysm:DDA and Dwarf Fortress. I used to sketch out fortress layouts during history classes in college whenever I was bored.

What do you like about classic Rogue-likes

That every game was different. I had a somewhat rough high school & college experience, and RLs were one of the better ways to just get sucked into a world and distract myself.

What got you into classic Rogue-likes?

The Something Awful Dwarf Fortress LPs. I’ve forgotten which one it was - I think Boatmurdered - but I read it through fully in one afternoon and immediately went and downloaded DF.

Recommend a Rogue-like, and tell us why you love it!

Out of the classic bunch, I think the one I most enjoyed was Cataclysm DDA. It’s just such a perfect encapsulation of everything I want to do in games during the zombie apocalypse. Just writing this makes me want to redownload it.


My computer’s been out of commission recently, so I’ve been trying out some more mobile roguelikes. Pathos as mentioned by @sputnik is a pretty great Hack port-thing. There’s also like a complete port of Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead that’s pretty great, if a bit unwieldy. If I decide to put some money down, I’ll probably pick up Imbroglio or Cinco Paus


My first roguelike and the one instantly think of any time the subject comes up is Sword of Fargoal for Commodore 64:

Never came anywhere close to beating it. There are modern versions of the game, but the game is so simple and antiquated at this point that it no longer has much appeal. But I remember it very fondly. I paid considerable homage to it in a RPG I made in the early '90s, also for the Commodore 64, The Castle of Kraizar.


I opened up NetHack today and the game said “Beware! Bad things can happen on Friday the 13th”

That’s :ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand:


Nethack also takes the phase of the moon into account.


That’s so good though are you kidding me


I think that Dwarf Fortress will be the only game that’ll be a constant fixture throughout my entire life. So that one’s my fav, you could say. Because it’s so delightfully fuckin’ weird, and if I want I can build punishment machines that regularly ‘purge’ a noble’s chambers if they get uppity. Aka pump lava in them.

And then pump that lava outside my fortress to annihilate a siege of elves. Or just because I want to. And then draft all the dwarfs I don’t like in a military squad to have them attempt to kill that six-legged, emaciated and winged gecko that spews gas that does lord knows what and undulates rhythmically.

God I love Dwarf Fortress…


I desperately want to get into Dwarf Fortress but I feel like I need a degree in computer science to play it


Have you tried it before? I went into it expecting to be super confused, but the adventure mode isn’t really any more obscure than a lot of classic rogue-likes, and fort mode is also pretty easy to get into as long as you follow the wiki tutorial. My only difficulty was understanding the tiles, but switching to ascii made it a lot more readable for me.


There used to be really solid guides to get started. I used one ages ago that actually included a specific save file you could follow along with, so they roughly knew when and where I’d encounter certain things. That was a million versions ago (before irrigation) so I don’t know how helpful it’ll be now. Every year or so I pick up that game again and burn a weekend getting re-acquainted with it.


@Etfynn @RobotParking
Listen I’m not saying it’s not a helpful guide but I am saying that having to read a 10,000 word guide before I even start the game is a big ask.

I will probably give the game a real go when I’m on a vacation or something and have a lot of free time to try stuff out.


Those classic roguelikes are in active development for decades, which makes them really full of features. In the meantime, their engines are usually very old, so they are hard to port to mobile devices.


Honestly? In terms of gameplay; not really. Alongside the wiki all you really need to do is have a good build order. The toughness is mostly in mastering the UI, but if you keep the legend next to it you’re fine. It’s mostly kinda tedious, but when you get to see the results the tedium becomes so worth it for me.