Monday, April 5, 2010

Is Angband Olde Schoole?

In case you don't know what I mean, this picture will take you to the Wikipedia entry.



This is my favorite video game. Thanks are in order to reader Erik who introduced me to it in the form of Moria for the Amiga round about 1991. He is the humble acorn from which sprouted and thickened this mighty oak of . . . a stupid blog.

So, then the question I posed at the top: is it Olde Schoole?

Actually, I don't care, so sorry for ambushing you.

Here's why I love Angband:

It's pure dungeon crawl. There is a bit of a nod to social interaction in the haggling with shop keepers, but that is exactly as exciting as you would expect having a chat with a robot from 1985 to be. I am attracted to "purity" but I should really not say "purity because" that sounds like "ethnic purity" and fuck that. I'm attracted to minimalism: stand up comedy: just a guy talking. Fiction: black marks on paper. That's infantile, I guess, but that's me. Angband has one town and a dungeon. That's all it needs.

It's brutal. If you make a mage, you will die in a pit of poisoned stakes on the first or second level. Or be eaten be a snake.

It continues to hold mysteries for me after nearly 20 years of playing it (every few years or so). I have never gotten close to the level where Morgoth lurks, with his halting gait and dented iron crown. When your character dies you don't get to go back to your last save; you get to start a new pathetic 1st-level peon. You can get around that with the slightest effort, but then you've robbed yourself of 20 years of fun, you snot-nose little punk. Are you happy now?

I love this game so maybe I should try to put what I love about it into the next campaign I run. Ahh, well, that's probably going to be Marvel Super Heroes, as I have mentioned. That requires a slightly different tone.

I feel like putting together a side project while my regular group takes a couple of weeks off. Better lock your doors, America!

4 comments:

John said...

My mages usually make it down to about 750' before they die

Aaron Nuttall said...

But some of them get killed by pit traps, right? Or are you saying I shouldn't play mages the same way I play half-troll fighters?

Chris said...

Personal view: the Roguelikes (Angband, Net Hack, Dungeon Crawl, etc.) were old school(e) before the term was even coined.

Aaron Nuttall said...

Whoa. Roguelikes is a TV trope? Who's talking about Nethack on TV? I really do intend to someday learn to play Nethack too. I have t-shirt and everything.