Video Game: Dungeon Master
aka: Dungeon Master II The Legend Of Skullkeep
Dungeon Master is a 3D action CRPG published in 1987 by FTL Games for the Atari ST (and subsequently for a plethora of other platforms including MS-DOS and the Commodore Amiga). It was the first Western RPG to feature real-time 3D combat (predating Ultima Underworld and even Wolfenstein 3D by five years), while The Faery Tale Adventure, released in the same year, was the first top-down action WRPG.There are a number of sequels:
- Chaos Strikes Back, a Mission Pack Sequel released in 1989.
- Theron's Quest, released in 1992, which can be considered a "light" version of the original game.
- Dungeon Master II: The Legend of Skullkeep, released in 1993 in Japan and later in its home country.
- Dungeon Master Nexus, a Japan-only 1998 release.
Dungeon Master contains examples of:
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Several monsters had armour-piercing attacks, and different armour had different resistance to being pierced.
- Critical Existence Failure: Monsters fought at full effectiveness until they ran out of hit points, whereupon they vanished in a swirl of smoke proportionate to their size. Player characters, however, could take localized injuries that impaired their abilities (in addition to having an ordinary "hit point" meter).
- Crutch Character: Any champion resurrected rather than reincarnated. They start with a few levels that make them quite strong in the early game, but the reincarnated characters soon catch up and end up stronger by the end.
- Dungeon Crawling: A single 14-level dungeon. The first level contained the "Hall of Champions", where you selected four of the 24 pre-generated characters to use as your party for the entire game.
- Healing Potion: The second spell the game provided the recipe for filled an empty flask in the caster's hand with one of these.
- Infinity Plus One Axe: Hardcleave.
- Level Grinding: You didn't need any monsters around to do it. Swinging a melee weapon trained your Fighter level, throwing things trained your Ninja level, and casting spells trained your Wizard or Priest levels.
- Money for Nothing: Most of the gold and gems you find don't have any use.
- Puzzle Boss: Lord Chaos could not be defeated in combat; you had to find the MacGuffin and the instructions on how to use it.
- The Reveal: The various scrolls on level 7.
- Rodents of Unusual Size: The aptly named Pain Rats.
- Standard Status Effects: Poison. Not a major problem most of the time - the recipe for the Unven (cure poison) potion was provided on level 2, before you even met anything that inflicted poisoning.
- Stone Wall: Rockpiles - well armoured, almost impervious to magic, very slow moving. Best fought by luring it under a closeable door.
- Useless Useful Spell: The "Zo Ven" spell turned an empty flask into a poison gas bomb. Unfortunately, the supply of flasks was strictly finite and there was nothing hard enough to kill that destroying flasks felt worthwhile.
- Wizard Needs Food Badly: There's an infinite supply of food (from the edible respawning monsters on level 4) and water (the water fountains scattered through the dungeon never run dry) available, but you can't carry it all (there are only four water skins in the entire game, and you have more important things to do with flasks).
Chaos Strikes Back contains examples of:
- Guide Dang It: Chaos Strikes Back was much less straightforward than the original game.
- Old Save Bonus: You could import your party from the original game. Not as useful as it sounded, however, since you could quite readily complete the original game with a party that CSB's monsters would just as easily wipe the floor with.