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Video Game / The Dungeon Of Doom

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"The 40th level is Death"

A graphical Roguelike for the Mac, created by John Raymonds and distributed as unencumbered Shareware from 1985-1987. Fondly remembered for its colorful bestiary and its quirky sense of humor ("The Floor hits!").

The game deliberately cultivates an air of mystery around itself; rather than provide a Monster Compendium, it offers 26 esoteric "Rumors" such as "Beauty can tame a beast," "A Sethron is 63" tall," and "Roni is life." (Except there's no mention of any "Roni" in the entire actual game. Our best guess is that the programmer loved Rice-A-Roni.)


In 1987, an overhauled version was published by Woodrose Editions as The Dungeon Revealed—so named for a mail-in offer of the game's source code. While not introducing any color graphics, this revision did bring compatibility with the new color Macs (and remarkably, remained playable through the next 20 years of hardware and software upheaval). Other additions included digitized sounds, secret rooms, and a boss fight every five levels. However, few copies were sold, and today the Dungeon remains best known under its original name.

Not to be confused with the other Dungeon of Doom.


This game contains examples of:

  • Blob Monster: Black Puddings.
  • Boss-Only Level: The Dark Wizard is alone on the lowermost floor... but if you don't finish him there, he's willing to stalk you all the way back to the surface.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Cavemen.
  • Fakin' MacGuffin: There are two Orbs you can find, and one of them is a decoy plastic ball.
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  • Fantasy Character Classes: Knight, Fighter, Sage, Wizard, Alchemist, Jeweller, Jones.
  • The Grim Reaper: Reapers.
  • Guide Dang It!: I returned from Level 40 with the Orb... so why won't the door to the surface let me out?! (Remember the rumor "There are two 'Orbs'"? Try an Identify scroll on yours. And depending on your saved game habits, prepare to retrace a lot of steps.)
  • Healing Factor: Provided by regeneration rings.
  • Improvised Weapon: A throwable Macintosh computer, whose model changed to match the state of the art as the game was updated. It actually does tremendous damage...and smashes on contact, of course.
  • Joke Item: The "Joke scroll" only triggers the response "That was funny", but just like any other scroll can fail to take effect if you lack sufficient Intelligence.
  • Level Grinding: Wearing a monster ring causes endless waves of monsters to attack you. Retreat to an earlier level and it causes endless waves of fodder to attack you.
  • Literal Genie: Wishing scrolls will grant you nearly any object in the game... so long as you can spell it. (It's actually quite forgiving: "extra healing potion" and "an Extra-Healing Potion, please" are equally understood, while "Death Blade +9999" will net you a Death Blade +4, the maximum, rather than punishment for your greed.)
  • Master of None: Each class can identify a corresponding item (Knights: armor, Jewellers: rings and gems, etc), except for the Jones, who has no special knowledge. He does, however, have the highest starting Charisma.
    • There are two theories about the significance of the name:
      • Based on the Rumor "Jones lives across the street," that he's a hapless Everyman and therefore cannot identify any class of item.
      • Based on what looks like a fedora being worn, that he's an Adventurer Archaeologist named Indiana.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Alligog (alligator/frog) and Lizzog (lizard/frog).
  • Plot Coupon: The Orb of Carnos.
  • Poison Mushroom: Amnesia scroll, confusion potion, blindness potion, poison potion.
  • Reflecting Laser: Your wand shots can miss the monster, bounce off a wall, miss the monster again, and hit you.
  • Roaming Enemy: The Wandering Eye is the only monster that can turn up at any point of the game (with the probable exception of Level 40). Others are confined to a specific range of levels.

Alternative Title(s): The Dungeon Revealed