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Angband
  PCRoguelikeEUR  
  opened by paleface at 13:00:57 11/18/21  
  last modified by paleface at 18:57:48 12/04/22  
  paleface [sys=PC; cat=Roguelike; loc=EUR]
           

 
Playing the extensively developed keyboard and ASCII-based fantasy dungeon crawler Angband via web browser on angband.live!
 
Angband is "a free, single-player roguelike dungeon exploration game" with a loose Tolkien theme. You can play over the web, download stand-alone versions to run on Windows or OSX (I incorrectly kept saying it was Linux, not OSX; Linux users are of course 1337 enough to compile their own), download the open source code and compile it for the system of your choice, participate in discussion with developers and players, and contribute to development yourself!
 
Here I'm playing the latest nightly build, 4.2.3-127; as it happens, the last couple nightlies contained fixes the dev team were good enough to make to a few obscure quirks I found while messing around with the nifty color editing feature. : )
 
Pretty sure the lagout was on my end; I have the absolute cheapest plan I could get from my local cable monopoly, and it's kind of prone to bottoming out for a second or two every once in a while. : P
 
1:40:24 - I got confused after messing with so many variants based on older Angband--in current Angband, there's no gender!
 
1:40:58 - 14 pounds in a stone, says Google
 
2:16:40 - A new Firefox browser window popped up when I was trying to make noise by digging soon after 2:12:33 because in Angband's roguelike (aka vi keys, aka hjkl) control scheme, which I'm currently using, CTRL+N is what you hit to dig SE--but in Firefox, it's the shortcut for New Browser Window. Mozilla for some reason is very strict about absolutely preventing users and extensions from changing or disabling that shortcut. Why? Maybe so pirates or hackers couldn't exploit it? Urhg. I looked into it, and while there is a painstaking way you can temporarily disable it (the command is bound in browser.xhtml in the omni.ja optimized zip file), it can easily cause the browser to take more CPU time, and you'll have to redo it every time Firefox gets updated. So eh. I have yet another new keyboard on the way this week with a numpad, so I'm going to be trying out the regular control scheme anyway; maybe I'll be sticking with that. Also I don't plan on doing much mining; and I suppose if I have to, I can probably get away with just using S and E instead of SE. :P
 
  paleface 19:55:35 11/18/21
           

 
Okay so I haven't got used to the Moria/Angband thing of having lots of escape methods; my default is still just duking it out. : o What I *should* have done against those ochre jellies--which by the way were severely out of depth on level 5, they're native to level 13!!!!!!! and do they really need THREE acid attacks per round, anyway? =ooo--was to Phase Door away immediately when I found myself toe-to-toe with them; against the second one, where I was blind, as soon as I found *something* bathing me in acid--melting down all my armor to a puddle ;_;--I should have quaffed that Cure Light Wounds potion (sooner than I did; I foolishly wasted time trying to back away), which cures Blindness, and then read a Phase Door scroll.
 
Oh shoot and there was the ochre jelly visible right at the back of the room in that one good glimpse I'd got at first (1:18:32)--and then I looped around, and ended up shooting apart the molds in front of it, so it had a path to come out and drench me! ;_;
 
Angband has a lot of stuff that doesn't seem all that fun: having to manage light sources and food, for instance, and yeah getting bathed in acid. It feels like legacy stuff that should probably be re-examined.
 
Really not keen on the acid thing.
 
The extreme maze-like layout of the corridors is a bit much, too--maybe I'm just not into exploring enough, but they do wind around an awful lot; actually it isn't that so much as all the little juking around through single-square bits, or nested tiny corridors.
 
That rainbow-colored mold-packed room was pretty interesting. What little I glimpsed between getting blinded all the time, I mean. ; ) And then that jelly crept up on me... And I forgot about Phase Door, phooey.
 
There's also a tad more latency than I would like playing on angband.live; traceroute suggests the server is in London--and I'm in WA, USA, so that would explain it. Just makes all the button pressing you do crawling around the tiny little tunnel turnings a bit slower and clunkier than it would be otherwise.
 
  paleface 05:10:22 11/22/21
           
What I was doing wrong here was trying to play Angband as a non-grindy game; it lets you try to do that, which is nice of it I suppose, but it doesn't seem to work very well--or at least, not for a noob by me; there's too much terror of having your gear perma-wrecked by status effects (and stats? that happened in Moria, but I had something drain a few points from some stat in a test run, and then the stat came back a little while later, on its own).
 
That fear goes away if you just play Angband like it was designed to be played: going back to town for restocking and shopping when you need stuff, and playing through a set re-randomizing levels repeatedly until you feel strong enough to continue.
 
Because it *is* a grindy game. That can lead to very long play times, which seems like it might be pretty cool. So, note to self: if you're still looking for a meaty fantasy roguelike, try playing Angband normally.
 
  paleface 01:28:58 11/23/21
           
I tried it briefly, and the wild variant Frogcomposband (wilderness, multiple themed dungeons, multiple towns, etc), but I really do begrudge the time spent shopping and hunting around.
 
  paleface 18:46:54 11/29/21
           
According to ROGUELove's "Let's Play Angband" videos, as of at least Angband 4.2.2, drained stats are restored when your character goes up in level.
 
For the digging SE on angband.live using vi-keys thing, a somewhat clunky workaround is to set a small movement delay, say 10 ms (= m 10), then dig by pressing ^J^L in quick succession.
 
  paleface 19:15:06 11/29/21
           
I put in an issue on the Angband github repository about the digging SE thing, and was quickly informed that there are not one but two function keys than can perform that same function without triggering interfering browser shortcuts: Shift+6, T (the ^ character, followed by T) and Shift+=, N (the + character, followed by N) effectively duplicate ^T (dig a tunnel) and ^N (dig a tunnel southeast) (where "^" stands for CTRL+).
 
  paleface 11:06:23 12/07/21 [relations updated]
           
Currently playing Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (see entry 1413) which is kind of the anti-Angband as far as amenities goes--don't need to manage hunger, light sources, returning to a town, etc--but doesn't have the "just plunge down an endless dungeon, dude" flavor that may be unique to Angband; if/when I *do* return to Angband, way to go may be to play with more or less standard-ish settings--probably still randarts, and definitely vi-keys--but just returning to town only when absolutely necessary.
 
  paleface 12:27:51 12/07/21
           
Download added: 01_angband_live.jpg (86447 bytes)
  "Subwindow setup, full-screen, zoom on angband.live."
 
Current settings on angband.live, game:Angband, version:nightly
 
game font: Droid Sans Mono
font size: 20
subwindow right cols: 40
subwindow right split: 30
subwindow top rows:
subwindow bottom rows: 8
 
In game (=):
 
w) Subwindow setup
Term-1: Display monster recall, Display object recall
Term-2: Display monster list
Term-3: Display messages
 
a) User interface options
a) Use the roguelike command keyset: yes
c) Show damage player deals to monsters: yes
w) Allow mouse clicks to move the player: no
 
b) Birth (difficulty) options
Generate new, random artifact set: yes
 
Browser window tweaking for angband.live recording:
- once in, game, expand to full screen (via menu since F11 intercepted by game)
- zoom 110%
- switch chat to people
 
  paleface 12:42:26 12/07/21
           
Supposedly, most of the acid-spewing monsters are in the first 20 levels, later you get acid-resistance-conferring items, and most artifacts can't be damaged by it--so basically it's there to annoy noobs. : P
 
  paleface 00:46:39 12/15/21
           
Download added: 02_ascii_compile.jpg (69749 bytes)
  "Up-to-date console version compiled & running in Windows through Cygwin"
 

 
Based on reading the official manual and help on the forum from Angband devs backwardsEric and Nick : )
 
Please note:
 
- The steps given here do NOT make a Windows executable of Angband; rather, they make a Cygwin-specific executable of Angband that can only be run through Cygwin: in Windows, you first run Cygwin, then you run this Angband executable through Cygwin
 
- The steps below only make the single-window, ncurses ASCII console version of Angband, with its optional integrated "subwindow" terminal areas
 
- This process will take at least about 1.2 GB of drive space
 
- You can play the latest console versions of Angband and a bunch of variants, without all this bother, right through your web browser at https://angband.live
 
- I have almost no idea what I'm doing; I just wanted a local console version I could run on my Windows laptop
 
(Old instructions removed--see below for newer ones)
 
  paleface 07:31:54 12/16/21
           
I was able to compile a Windows console version through MSYS2:
- MSYS2 download and setup instructions here: https://www.msys2.org/
- Angband compiling instructions here: https://angband.readthedocs.io
- and then you can just run the created angband.exe, or make a shortcut and give it subwindow parameters like "-mgcu -- -n4" for instance
 
Hm and it doesn't seem to be loading my last saved character automatically, like the Cygwin version has been. I wonder why that is. Oh well it's just a matter of sticking with one char name and adding the "-u[name]" option to the shortcut, so like "-u[name] -mgcu -- -n4"
 
I'd also have to get a better terminal program, I'm not fond of the default Windows terminal (is there a way even to get it to do 256 colors? 'p'). Heck I really like mintty or whatever it is that comes with Cygwin, I guess I'll just keep using that. 'D'
 
  paleface 19:38:48 12/16/21
           
(Update: tried a few terminal programs, none could actually run my compiled Windows angband.exe--well except for Microsoft's new "Windows Terminal," but that has real problems like auto line wrap and stuff, ugh.)
 
  paleface 19:48:40 12/16/21
           
For an even nicer-looking font for Angband, try "Droid Sans Mono." It's the default font angband.live uses.
 
  paleface 20:30:56 12/16/21
           
(Droid Sans Mono doesn't have all the extended characters used in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, but Angband sticks to ASCII, which Droid has covered.)
 
  paleface 18:09:42 12/17/21
           
Under 4c (Cygwin window options), add
Window: Default size: Columns: 60; Rows: 30
 
(Then remove the "wipe out subwindows" warning under 5b : )
 
  paleface 23:48:49 12/17/21
           
Ah, for the MSYS2 build, the proper shortcut parameters would be "-uPLAYER -mgcu -- -n4"
 
  paleface 12:03:00 12/20/21
           
[Add step 2d] d) (Optional) If you want to have a custom version number showing on the title screen, put it in a text file named "version" in the root angband folder (where README.md is located)
 
  paleface 15:00:07 12/20/21
           
Download added: 03_title_edit.jpg (58684 bytes)
  "Customized title screen =p"
 
OR (At any time, doesn't have to be before compiling: ) Edit your version number directly into the title screen file \lib\screens\news.txt ; colors for the markup ("Magenta-pink" doesn't work) are listed in \lib\customize\message.prf
 
I'm attaching an edited example, for instance--I used the full hash of the last commit made for the code tarball from which I compiled (note that that is so long if used in the "version" file that it will squeeze out text on the ? and V screens, so I'd probably put just the first 8 chars of the hash and a "+" in there), lowered the tail on the "g" in "Angband" to fit that long version number in, and changed some colors and things (can't change the color of the version number if leaving it as a variable name, you have to hard-code it, it seems).
 
  paleface 12:51:26 12/22/21
           
Updated compiling steps: using "git" for getting the latest source code:
 

1) Cygwin
 
a) Download the Cygwin set-up utility: cygwin.com/setup-x86_64.exe
b) Run it
c) I installed under a directory of my own (c:\downloaded\cygwin) rather than under Program Files or other Windows dir)
d) I don't know what download "site" is best to select during set-up; I used https://mirrors.sonic.net because it sounded fast 'p', and actually was faster than the two others I tried
e) In Setup, get these nine additional packages: clang, make, libncurses++w10, libncurses-devel, automake, autoconf, m4, libtool, git
 

2) Angband
 
a) Run Cygwin
b) In the Cygwin terminal window, enter:
 
git clone https://github.com
/angband/angband.git
 
(On one line.) (That command pulls down the full Angband source code into a folder in your Cygwin install directory, /home/angband/ . Now that you've done that, whenever you want to update to the latest code again in the future, you can just enter: "cd ./angband/src/" followed by "git pull")
 
c) (Optional) If you want to give your compiled version its own version number, you can:
 
i. Put the number in a text file named "version" in the root angband folder (where README.md is located)
 
and/or
 
ii. (At any time, doesn't have to be before compiling: ) Edit your version number directly into the title screen file /lib/screens/news.txt ; colors for the markup ("Magenta-pink" doesn't work) are listed in /lib/customize/message.prf ; here's an edited example, for instance--I used the full hash of the last commit made for the code tarball from which I compiled (note that that is so long if used in the "version" file that it will squeeze out text on the ? and V screens, so I'd probably put just the first 7 chars of the hash and a "+" in there), lowered the tail on the "g" in "Angband" to fit that long version number in, and changed some colors and things (can't change the color of the version number if leaving it as a variable name, you have to hard-code it, it seems):
 

3) Compile
 
a) In the Cygwin terminal window, enter:
cd ./angband
b) If you downloaded the latest Angband source files rather than a tagged release, enter:
./autogen.sh
and wait for it to finish
d) Enter:
./configure --with-no-install
e) After that finishes, enter:
make
 

4) Set
 
a) Click the green/black Cygwin icon in the upper left window corner and select "Options..."
b) Under "Terminal," set "Type" to "xterm-256color"
c) Set other settings as you like; I like
Looks: Cursor: Block; [ ] Blinking (unchecked)
Text: Font: Consolas, 20pt
Window: Default size: Columns: 60; Rows: 30; Scrollbar None
d) After make finishes, exit Cygwin to reset the terminal type by entering:
exit
 

5) Run
 
a) Run Cygwin
b) If necessary for your terminal font and/or window size settings, press Alt+Enter to toggle to full-screen
c) If you don't use the game's subwindows, run the angband.exe game executable you compiled by entering:
./angband/src/angband
d) For subwindows, run the game by specifying the number of subwindows with the -mgcu option in the command line, where the -n digit is from 2 to 6: subwindow count + 1 for main display; I use 3 subwindows, so I do:
./angband/src/angband -mgcu -- -n4
e) Hopefully, Angband runs!
 

Notes:
 
- If you ran with the subwindow command line option, once you can see your @ character in the game, you can set up the subwindows by pressing = for options, then w (and you can save them for all users by =, s, "user.prf"--thanks Nick)
- For an even nicer-looking font for Angband, try "Droid Sans Mono." It's the default font angband.live uses.
- The game stores settings in the directory where you installed Cygwin, under /home/[ username ]/.angband/Angband , and save files in the game folder, under /lib/save/
- Running from the command line with -? (ie "./angband/src/angband -?") will show you the available command-line options
- If something here didn't work for you, I probably won't know how to make it work because this is just my second day with this stuff and after some trial-and-error here and there due to my own rank ignorance, mine somehow--thanks in great part to the solid compile instructions in the Angband manual, and the command-line "--" suboption separator tip from backwardsEric--has just worked, even six more times now from scratch as I wrote up these steps
- If you didn't set a custom version number before compiling (step 2c above), then only the latest full release number--"4.2.3," for instance--shows up under the title on the game's splash screen, and with "V" (Shift+v) in-game
- Again, in Windows, you have to run the compiled ./angband/src/angband.exe through Cygwin--if you try to run the angband.exe directly from Windows--by double-clicking it in a Windows Explorer window, for instance--rather than through Cygwin, Angband will abort, with Windows popping up System Error windows saying it couldn't find Cygwin dll files
- Cygwin setup stores temp files in folders per download site URL in Windows' Downloads folder; these may make later set-up with the same packages faster, but they can also be deleted
- Angband's last native Windows console version released was 2008's 3.0.9b, I think
- There are warnings about missing ncurses wide character support during configure and make--it wants version 5, and Cygwin only has version 6--but Angband seems to stick to 8-bit characters (ASCII), so wide character support, ie more than 255 characters--Unicode, for instance, shouldn't be needed anyway, which may be why these are warnings and not errors: I saw an Angband github issue where some that were errors were changed to warnings to work under a particular Linux distribution
- I was able to get Angband's graphical X11, SDL, and SDL2 front-ends to compile by getting a large number of additional packages for them through Cygwin's Setup utility (and then adding the --enable-sdl or --enable-sdl2 options to the ./configure command, as needed), but they still seemed to require further, separate configuration for Cygwin to be able to run them, and I couldn't find easy answers by googling, so since I very much prefer Angband's ASCII console--GCU, aka "curses"--front-end anyway, I didn't do any more messing with them
 
  paleface 16:24:49 12/22/21
           
You can get the latest tag and commit IDs--if you want to put those in your version number, for instance, with git log -n1" while in ./angband/src/.
 
  paleface 16:34:28 12/22/21
           
Your local news.txt could be replaced when you next sync to the latest code with "git pull" if the one on the repository has been updated in the mean time, so you should back your edited one up somewhere. ("git status" from ./angband/src/ will show you all the files in your Angband directories that differ from the repository. )
 
  paleface 00:16:54 12/23/21
           
The MSYS2 Windows console version doesn't load the PLAYER save by default, so you have to run it with -uPLAYER; if also using subwindow options this has to go in the order "angband.exe -uPLAYER -mgcu -- -n4" for instance.
 
  paleface 14:27:05 12/25/21
           
(According to Wikipedia, MSYS2 is a fork of Cygwin!)
 
Merry Christmas!! I think I got so obsessed with building, color customizing, Smeagol and Santa hunting, and just dungeon exploring--I seem to lose track of time completely while playing this game!!--that I forgot to give the season's greetings explicitly! 'D'
 
This is with the latest, version 4.2.3-193 source code:
 

 
Notes:
 
3:27 - According to Wikipedia, author Linus Torvalds' quip about his name for his "git" source control software he wrote for Linux was "I'm an egotistical bastard, and I name all my projects after myself. First 'Linux', now 'git'"
 
44:02 - That "dirty" version number is currently on the game's manual site https://angband.readthedocs, so I guess it is the actual name of the current latest build; I'm not sure why it isn't reading the one I put in the "version" file, it did before
 
1:55:56 - Tolkien pronouncing "Smeagol" (or "Sméagol," if you want to get technical) in-character as Gollum: https://youtu.be/AEDsyTE8YuI?t=90 (says it kind of like "shmee-gall"; the beginning and end might be his idea for Gollum's coarse pronunciation; at any rate, he doesn't seem to get caught up in trying to pronounce any special accent mark over the "e"
 
3:36:21 - According to I think a forum post, the "red-hatted elves" and "Father Christmas" can appear from December 24th through the 26th, as set by your system clock; the elves are aggressive and will come right after you and attack; Father Christmas comes right up to you, but does not attack; he's got a lot of hit points; I didn't get any loot from the elves; the elves seem to spawn more frequently (25%?) than Father Christmas (10%?), but you can get another spawn chance for them just by popping down to the first level of the dungeon and right back up to town again; probably inspired by Tolkien's "Father Christmas" letters ah and sheesh that explains the relatively early years: they were written to his children, not his grandchildren 'p' (I should have thought more about one of them being named 'Christopher' 'pp')
 
3:51:22 - Ahh I'm a chump: damage per round from missile weapons is shown under their ammo types, not under the weapons themselves
 
4:07:10 - I really didn't think Smeagol would reappear after I had failed to catch him, then gone back to town; good to know uniques will come back after such foolishness! Also, that infravision will spot warm-blooded invisible creatures
 
  paleface 18:16:47 05/15/22
           
Level 27 human warrior at dungeon level 22. After a few floors, things got real vs a unique EIGHT levels above me, who could summon both ME and assistants of nearly his own level!
 
Plus surprising loot: A ring of digging! A +40 cloak!! A helmet with telepathy!!
 

 
0:00 - L22
7:40 - Phase Door around a strength loss dart trap 'p'
10:47 - L23 - winding cave 'p', more traps 'p'
23:00 - Rod of Detection
32:32 - L24, Meat & Honey-cake
47:30 - Ring of Digging
52:40 - Staff of Destruction = oo
1:05:20 - Khim, Son of Mim & his Brigandine of Resistance
1:19:21 - L25 ("nervous") & back to town
1:30:51 - Rod of Hold Monster 'p'
1:34:14 - Lugdush, the Uruk & his +40 Cloak of Gilinach!!
1:51:26 - black oozes are hard to see?
1:57:38 - Lorgan, Chief of the Easterlings -- & his minions!!
2:36:07 - Steel Helm of Helote (telepathy!) & Wand of Teleport Other
2:39:06 - L26 & back to town
2:51:16 - Light Crossbow of the Haradrim
 
Wearing the Ring of Digging let me tunnel as if I had a pick or shovel, at a fraction of the weight. Still, it takes an inventory slot...so I guess I'll just keep relying on Phase Door for those hopefully rare times I may have to skip past a bad trap.
 
I'm surprised I'm spotting just about every trap! It's a lot different from Hengband where I think my Weaponsmith almost always runs into them blindly.
 
The Rod of Hold Monster turned out to be a bust--it would hold tough enemies...for a turn or so. ; P
 
A +40 cloak!!!! = ooo It raised my AC from 129 to 165!!!
 
I was level 28 when I got bushwhacked--summoned, blinded, and surrounded--by the (I saw once I got my vision back, when I was almost dead--thank goodness I had some good curing potions--oh yeah and those cured the blindness, I forgot they did that : ) level 36 Lorgan; and he, over the course of a long and roving battle, summoned multiple level 30+ critters! And kept moving me into inconvenient positions with his summon ability. I guess that's what Phase Door's for, though--that, and a lot of Speed and Cure potions. Wish I knew how to tell how long the Slow Monster was lasting on them.
 
I guess that young multi-hued dragon he summoned was "only" level 30. The level 35 wereworm turned out to be a total wimp, and the level 34 troll priests didn't seem to do much. That invisible level 34 blinding "shade" was a bit of a pain though, and the level 27 vampire (I think) did drain my XP--but only by 200 or so, huh. The level 34 "Eog golem" was the real brick; that guy took forever to wear down; didn't hit much, but when it did: ouch!
 
That Steel Helm of Helote has telepathy (as well as a Light beam, Acid & Fire resist, and good armor)! Which made the enemy-sensing of the Rod of Detection near obsolete, I think, since it seems to be able to monitor any intelligent creatures (not something real dumb like a gelatinous cube or whatever) nearby constantly, rather than single pings. I guess I can see why telepathy is always so talked about!
 
I wish the descriptions of ranged weapons included a clear explanation of what all their numbers mean. At least this "Light Crossbow of the Haradrim (x4) (+14, +12) {+4, +1}" explains its two ADDITIONAL numbers (which are actually in pointy brackets rather than wiggly brackets): the +4 is "shooting speed" and the +1 is "shooting power" which means eh I don't know. (And I had thought the x4 was speed or something? Oy. Now I dunno what that is.) Now that I look, my regular bolts fired from this thing are doing even more damage/round than my silly light-weapon-exploit rapier: 84.8 vs the rapier's 83.7--and a "turn" is 1.4 of these crossbow shots or 2.3 rapier "blows," apparently.
 
Clear as day! ; )
 
At the end I realized the medium-lightish blue I've been using for the text color is now not bright enough for my eyes--which have recovered a bit from recent months of photo-sensitivity caused by bad lighting and sleeping--so I'll have it at a very light gray shade next time--a bit brighter than what I've been using in Hengband (which I'll also have raised to this "EF" shade).
 
  paleface 00:01:43 06/27/22
           

 
Ran into trouble with a few key-combination commands, eventually got them sorted:
 
- CTRL+H (aka ^h) in Angband's roguelike keyset is "tunnel west"; but I'm playing under Cygwin, and in Cygwin, CTRL+H is a shortcut for Backspace--and it looks like somehow, I'd managed to erase what I think is the default keymap for CTRL+H in Angband, "+4" ("+" is the "alter grid" command, which includes tunneling, and "4" is "west" on the numeric keypad); so the real solution here is keymapping "+4" back onto CTRL+H (in this session I ended up doing the sillier thing of keymapping "+4" onto Backspace, so CTRL+H does Backspace but Backspace does "+4" ; ) : P)
 
- I found fancy new Bolts of Wounding for my crossbow, but to make them fire with the auto-fire key, I had to set them as the "default" ammo; and to do THAT, you have to inscribe the non-vanilla ammo with "@t0"--for the roguelike keyset--or "@f0"--for the regular keyset
 
Oh man that Potion of Dexterity I can't quite afford in the store. : P Think I'm going to buy a pick and do a bit of fund-raising next time...
 
The description of the abyss worm mass mentions "It is invisible and rarely detected by telepathy" and "It shrouds its surroundings in darkness." A real recipe for creepiness! = oo Plus, SOMETHING in that same area was draining my XP, I suppose that was probably the worms, too. = ooooo
 
Found a Rod of Disable Traps, keen. : )
 
Was able to raise the armor bonus of my telepathy-granting, laser-shooting (I'd forgotten about that part) Steel Helm of Helote from +13 to +14 (1:16:05) with a Scroll of Enchant Armor--well, 2: the first attempt failed. Not sure what the max enchant is; forum says the "theoretical cap" is +15)
 
  paleface 14:29:13 06/27/22
           
I'm told that while the "theoretical cap" is +15, the "practical limit" is still +10, and I just got extremely lucky getting anything above that on only the second try. ^ _^
 
  paleface 22:55:38 06/27/22
           

 
At one point I was complaining that ESC didn't back out from the Quiver to Inventory, when I had switched to Quiver with | from Inventory; but | is the universal command for opening the Quiver, which is a top-level exploration menu, like (I)nventory and (E)quipment, so, I gotta wrap my head around that. ; )
 
That shardstorm in the wight's crew was kinda ridiculous! All that bleeding. : P
 
Got a nifty new shield (extra resists and +4 strength!) and one of those "set of Caestus" gloves that gives hit and dam bonuses.
 
With those and two +10 dam rings, I seem to have pretty good damage output from my 3.7 attacks/turn rapier. A dagger would give me 3.8 attacks per turn, though... Maybe some time I'll have to try enchanting one up and see how it compares.
 
Too many monster types now to fit in my monster list subwindow, I'm gonna have to reduce the font size. ; )
 
  paleface 22:53:44 07/20/22
           

 
First time I've seen an Angband level this tiny! So tiny it didn't even have a down staircase! = o And first time I've seen an "Elfstone" (amulet). Quite the stat and armor buffs on it!
 
Messed around with my customized colors since the previous episode; this medium gray text is definitely working better for my eyeballs than the near-white text was. B)
 
  paleface 15:55:35 07/21/22
           
Developer backwardsEric pointed out that I missed exploring two squares; hard to spot in a tight maze like this, but two squares at the ends of dead ends are missing floor dots, which means my character didn't see what was in them--could'a been stairs!
 
  paleface 22:53:19 07/25/22
           

 
"Etten" is definitely the Tolkien spelling (which confused me as I was more familiar with D&D's "ettin"). I don't think Tolkien ever used "catoblepas" though... ^ _^
 
"Nrulings" are apparently from Oangband (Angband maintainter Nick is a big fan ; ) ; not sure what inspired the name itself.
 
I'd forgotten; you can look around square by square with "x" and then "o"--so those light colored, unmappable walls of the nruling den are described as "a permanent wall"; they look just like the unbreakable wall that surrounds each dungeon floor, but you can't examine that one. You can also find them under the "Walls" group in the Knowledge browser ("~"), which tells me I know of three kinds of wall: the light-colored permanent wall, red "lava," and the usual purple (in my customized color set; the default is gray) "granite wall."
 
Angband programmer backwardsEric already looked into the item detail window's "Ignore" shortcut bug, and turns out it's specific to the "roguelike" keyset, which I use, and it was indeed a result of the fix made to a minor aesthetic bug I'd reported earlier concerning the display of the results of a keymap query--so yeah the Ignore bug is kind of my fault, in a way. ; D
 
  paleface 19:19:23 07/28/22
           

 
10:09 - Oh I see, Beorn did shape change into a bear, and his title changed
 
Finally found a melee weapon that should be a little better than my plain rapier, once I get the to-hit enchantment up a bit!
 
As a noob I'm confused about the difference between bow and crossbows. As far as I can tell (not far), in general crossbows are a lot heavier, but do a little more damage, and have less chance of their missiles breaking? ??
 
I wish it was easier to see the damage output of a missile weapon; unlike a melee weapon where you can just look at its details, to see a missile weapon's damage you have to equip it, then drill down to a specific piece of ammo for it in your quiver--quite a pain, especially if you're trying to compare it with another missile weapon and can't remember all the numbers and so have to keep equipping and quiver-diving back and forth; and you can't get a damage over time number at all for it if the weapon is in a shop, or you don't have any ammo for it.
 
Couldn't a missile weapon show damage per turn or round or whatever =p inflicted by its most basic ammo, or something, just to give the player some idea? Missile weapons also seem to have like twice as many numbers on them as melee weapons, and there's shooting power and some kind of multiplier and who knows what else, it's very confusing. = P
 
And finding that Rod of Recall, at first I was happy thinking oh cool now I don't have to bother with Word of Recall scrolls anymore, but then I remembered that I buy like 4 scrolls at a time because I'm paranoid that some could get stolen and then I'd be stuck having to take the long hike out of the dungeon, and if I just had the Rod well that would maybe be stolen easier.
 
But does stuff aside from money even get stolen anymore in Angband? Now I can't definitely remember any items being stolen. Maybe some consumables? I know certain things can get damaged in certain ways, like scrolls can be destroyed by fire--but the Rod says it can't be damaged by lightning.
 
So...would this Rod of Recall be secure if I carried it around? Could it get stolen or destroyed? I would REALLY like to ditch the darn scrolls but I just don't know! = o
 
  paleface 20:16:46 08/12/22
           

 
I looked it up after recording, and it's "litch." : P
 
Also after recording, I finally realized that I can solve my split keyboard problem simply by using the game's Keymap option menu to move the roguelike keyset's movement key maps to the right by one key each, so the traditional roguelike HJKL becomes JKL: -- and since the diagonal movement keys radiate from the left-most of that set of four, that puts down-left movement on the N key which, unlike the former key, B, IS on the right-hand side of the split keyboard along with all the other movement keys, enabling moving @ around the map with just the right hand, as it should.
 
It also means my right hand now has the same resting position for playing Angband as it does for typing--so it'll no longer be confused for a while when I try going back to doing other stuff on the computer after I've been playing Angband. ; )
 
Sweet! Why in heck didn't I think of this like a year ago. : P
 
When I found the Rod of Recall a few episodes back I'd hemmed and hawed about switching to it from the cumbersome ol' Word of Recall scrolls, concerned that it could be stolen and then I'd be down on the dungeon without a scroll, as it were--but then I couldn't think of any actual incident of someone stealing an item like that in the dungeon, so I went with it. Now it HAS been stolen--in town. And I was able to get it back very quickly. ARE there dungeon monsters who steal such things? There were back in the Moria days (@ROGUElove was always having his paladin's spell book stolen), but I don't know that that happens in modern Angband. Well...possibly some day I'll be in for a long trudge back to town. 'o'
 
  paleface 20:03:06 08/20/22
           
Still had to set up my Shift and CTRL keymaps for that one-to-the-right change to fit the roguelike movement keys on the right side of the split keyboard (it's a Microsoft "Sculpt" keyboard), and ran into a couple CTRL key conflicts there--and implemented some really hacky keymap workarounds that are probably going to end up messing with me in practice 'p':
 
- Some CTRL keys functioned like Tab (^i--Angband hard-coded command), Enter (^m--Angband hard-coded command), or Backspace (^h--Cygwin terminal option, needed for Backspace to work correctly in Angband's text fields)
- tunnel up-right should be ^i but ^i is Tab in Angband and if I try keymapping something to ^i it kills my auto-shot key, so I put tunnel up-right on the key next to it instead, ^o; that kills the default "show previous message" button but I don't use that command 'p'
- tunnel right would be ^; but there is no such input, I guess--nothing at all happens when I press that, anyway--so I put it on the other side: ^h 'p'
- Enter is now functioning like tunnel down-right and Backspace like tunnel right but I haven't been using those keys outside of text entry, which still seems to work okay, so I guess it's all right 'p'
- moved I (Inspect) and i (inventory--had managed to forget about that one...) to Y and y
- killed the "Take notes" key (:, now my move east key), but I don't use that one
 
So yeah kinda messy, eesh. Fortunately--maybe--I don't currently do much tunneling; mostly just clearing the occasional rubble patch.
 
  paleface 21:51:06 08/30/22
           

 
Back to Word of Recall scrolls (one got toasted by The Ant Queen's giant fire ants! 'o') until I can find another Rod of, and eventually, back to the default Roguelike keyset: my shifted-one-right keymap attempt ended up failing because a) I'd forgotten m and M are sorta needed (magic and Map) shortcuts, and those were being stomped by my down-right movement key; and more immediately, b) m is a toggle option in x (eXamine) lookaround mode, which stomps my keymap, so I couldn't look down-right!
 
(Is "lookaround mode toggle option stomps movement key keymap" a bug? I can see why you might want a submenu option to stomp a keymap in a lot of submenus, where you can't engage in normal gameplay, but in lookaround mode, you still need to use the movement keys.)
 
By the end I didn't screw up using my split-B key to move down-left about three times in a row, so maybe I can manage this split keyboard okay without it getting me killed too often. = oo
 
  paleface 23:25:39 10/15/22
           

 
Found the Angband manual section about inscribing items (customize.html#inscribing-items) and yeah it looks like !r would prompt me to confirm before I accidentally read a scroll of Word of Recall and leave a bunch of loot behind again. ; )
 
I'm reporting the two graphical glitches I encountered in this version--blanked game screen after Windows lock screen, and accented letters displaying incorrectly--on the Angband github.
 
  paleface 01:03:22 11/01/22
           

 
Master vampires and white wraiths for Halloween. : ]
 
Ah one thing I missed about the Rapier (Defender) was its AC boost: +2, I guess?
 
Oh, ammo details say "average damage/round" not "/shot" so I guess it ISN'T necessary or correct to look up shots/round in the Character sheet and multiply that by the avg damage shown in the ammo details--so this bow ISN'T doing 40% or whatever less damage than the old crossbow. Sweet. (I guess I could test that but it's a pain and I don't want to. :P) I find it delightfully amusing that the DEX bonus on my newly adapted missile weapon gives me a huge melee damage boost. ^ D^ MAN those DEX boosts really do shoot melee damage up something fierce, crrrraaaayzay. : D
 
Also, a katana feels cooler than using a little ol' dagger or whatever--and finally I have melee weapon options larger than those little knives I'd been using up to this point because their attack speed trumped everything else.
 
After a hideously long period of shuffling things around and scratching my head, I've now got protection or whatever from blindness, confusion, and traps (immunity!)! Along with fear (I get from from being a level 30+ fighter anyway), paralysis of course, and I think most of the usual resists. Now if only I had a good piece of gear that gave nexus protection; happened across those nexus resist store boots by chance but I would prefer not to have to lug them around...I guess we'll see how many more nexus breathers I run across. Darn those hounds in that long tunnel!!! ; D
 
Actually I guess what I really want is teleport protection--darn those mages, too! : PP
 
backwardsEric gave me a tip on preventing myself from risking killing my character when accidentally hitting ^c instead of ^x (Save): save a blank (or otherwise harmless) keymap over it! : )
 
  paleface 21:16:45 11/19/22
           
Oh yeah I've started compiling Angband in MSYS2 with its SDL2 front end for graphics and sound; I was having a tough time coming up with an ASCII color palette my eyeballs could hang with, also I guess I just wanted some more sensory candy. Was using the painted Shockbolt Dark tile set but it's a bit blurry and I think THAT was also messing with my eyes (in addition to some of the lingering text color changes I'd made; now I'm back to NEAR default colors, just toning down a few of the brightest and up a few of the darkest, like that near-invisible dark blue), so I'll be trying the more pixel-art style Gervais tiles next.
 
And made some UI tweaks, moving the status bar to a subwindow sidebar to let it use a more readable font (unfortunately, Angband's graphical tile system is wedded to ASCII character rows and columns, so unless you use a square font on a multiple of 8 size in the main window--and those square fonts are danged hard to read, even harder than the rest of the jagged bitmap fonts with which you're stuck in the graphical front ends--your tile graphics will be warped and blurred) and free up a row of display for the dungeon tiles, and also hack bitmap fixing the rubble tiles that otherwise currently don't display correctly due to a code limitation (actual code fix has been put off by devs until 4.3 because it will require a save format change).
 
My forum posts on that stuff:
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Moving status bar to "compact" subwindow:
 
ui-display.c
- 1254 rem "+ len"
- add below 1262:
row++;
- comment 1311-1317 (status bar)
- add ++ to "row" in 2087, then the following:
prt("", row, col);
prt_speed_short(row++, col);
prt("", row, col);
prt_depth_short(row++, col);
prt("", row, col);
prt_title_short(row++, col);
{
typedef size_t status_x(int xrow, int xcol);
static status_x *xsbr[] = {prt_level_feeling, prt_light, prt_moves,
prt_unignore, prt_recall, prt_descent, prt_state, prt_study,
prt_dtrap, prt_terrain};
unsigned int xsc;
for (xsc = 0; xsc < N_ELEMENTS(xsbr); xsc++) {
prt("", row, col);
xsbr[xsc](row++, col);
}
}
{
int xclr = 12;
int xcc;
xcc = xclr;
while (xcc) {
prt("", row++, col);
xcc--;
}
row = row - xclr;
}
prt_tmd(row, col);
- add after 2242:
set_register_or_deregister(statusline_events,
N_ELEMENTS(statusline_events),
update_player_compact_subwindow,
angband_term[win_idx]);
 
ui-target.c
- add " Term_clear();" below line 1507 (redraws map in help line after targeting)
 
- optional text tweaks--12 char limit to fit narrow sidebar
in
lib\gamedata\
store.txt
terrain.txt
 
lib\help\
symbols.txt
 
lib\tiles\
adam-bolt\graf-new.prf
gervais\graf-dvg.prf
nomad\graf-nmd.prf
old\graf-xxx.prf
shockbolt\graf-shb-dark.prf
shockbolt\graf-shb-light.prf
 
src\
cave.c
ui-knowledge.c (this one's extra optional 'p')
 
change
 
down staircase to stairs down
General Store to Trading Post
pile of passable rubble to light rubble
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Rubble bitmap hack fixes:
 
I stumbled across Angband github issue 4337 recently, which describes how the Gervais and Shockbolt tilesets currently have no visible floor around their rubble piles, just blackness--and a robust fix for that, which would support variants with different floor tiles than Angband's, would break save compatibility, so it's being held off on until 4.3, whenever that is.
 
I thought in the meantime I'd just go ahead and make my own local fix in the tileset graphic since I don't care about variant compatibility. In doing that, I noticed that in the Shockbolt tilesets, there are no partially lit tiles defined (in lib\tiles\ shockbolt \ graf-shb-dark.prf; I don't care about the Light version 'p', and rubble in it will end up looking oddly "Dark" with this crude temp "fix" to the tileset bitmap) for pile of passable rubble, just a single * one to cover all light levels
 
feat:pile of passable rubble:*:0x88:0xBF
 
Regular rubble on the other hand has tiles defined and made for all four light levels.
 
If/when the lighting around the base of the rubble piles gets fixed, it seems to me this may result in passable rubble piles kind of glowing or something in the dark, especially as you move around them and they stay perfectly light while the regular rubble next to them--right there on the west half of town, say--is responding to illumination and shadow. So I figured well heck I'll make shaded versions of them in the bitmap; this is easy enough: there's plenty of blank space in the tileset to put in the two other gradations, and the darker ones just need 20% and 40% black over them, like the already created regular rubble ones have; then in the .prf define them something like
 
feat:light rubble:torch:0x8C:0xB2
feat:light rubble:los:0x8C:0xB2
feat:light rubble:lit:0x88:0xBF
feat:light rubble:dark:0x8C:0xB3
 
(I've renamed my piles of passable rubble to "light rubble" to fit in the sidebar, where I moved my status display. 'p')
 
  paleface 21:22:57 11/19/22
           
After watching scrarth wreck 99% of the high end in frogcomposband j5qEVsH1wg4 with the Destruction or whatever it's called spell thing, which I think Angband has, I started to wonder if maybe stuff like rods too have made Angband just a little too generic-super-power solvable; like, I've read the thing to do is wipe clean big vaults with rods of Teleport Other. With rods, every character type can have more or less the same power arsenal.
 
Is this maybe a reason to stick with rod-less and much less forgiving all around Umoria? I dunno. I dunno.
 
  paleface 05:08:47 11/20/22
           
I don't think so--at least not until I'm crushing my way all the way through Angband with all the character types I want to play--and I'm nowhere even close to that. I've barely started!
 
Not really digging the full look of the Gervais tiles. Gonna go back to Cygwin-built ASCII (GCU) front-end, but with "block" characters for the walls--lots easier to read than Gervais tiles or ASCII # signs. Was inspired by playing Angband 2.4frog-knows DOS v1.1 in DOSBox, and the nifty checkerboard characters it uses for walls--kinda like was attempted to be simulated in the HunterZ Umoria 5.6 (I think) port on GitHub, but doesn't look quite as nice as frog (I set the monochrome option, of course; the limited colors, for just some creatures, was a bit weird anyway).
 
  paleface 02:49:11 11/21/22
           
For cygwin GCU with sound:
 
Use Cygwin Setup to get the following additional packages:
 
libSDL2-devel
libSDL2_mixer-devel
libSDL2_ttf-devel
 
cd angband
./autogen.sh
./configure --with-no-install --enable-sdl2
make
cd ..
 
If you don't also have the libSDL2_image-devel package installed, you can then simply the game run with
 
./angband/src/angband
 
If you do have libSDL2_image-devel installed, Angband's SDL2 front end will be enabled as the default, so you'll need to specify the GCU front end with the -mgcu parameter when running the game, ie
 
./angband/src/angband -mgcu
 
(-mgcu comes before "--" parameters, so for instance for my usual subwindows I would do
 
./angband/src/angband -mgcu -- -right 46x24,* -top *x12
 
)
 
  paleface 03:17:24 11/21/22
           
In the game, you'll need "Options Menu > a) User interface options > b) Use sound" set to "yes"; you can do that from the dungeon screen by entering "=aby" --and you may also want to hit "s" to save after that.
 
  paleface 07:36:20 11/21/22
           
turn off redundant ^c suicide key:
 
ui-signals.c
121 comment line
 
  paleface 01:20:52 11/22/22
           

 
Going back to the GCU (ASCII) front end of Angband, compiled in Cygwin--but I also wanted sound, so worked out how to do SDL2 sound with ASCII through Cygwin.
 
The first widely distributed version of Angband, version 2.4.frog-knows, and specifically the 1.1 version of the PC (DOS) port of that, which I was running here through DOSBox (free from https://www.dosbox.com) , can be downloaded from the official Angband site's "Releases" section, except that the PC version 1.1 link is currently typoed to 1.2 there, so you have to alter it manually.
 
The HunterZ Windows port of DOS Umoria 5.6 is on GitHub.
 
The John Harris (rodneylives) article in which he talks about frog-knows and other past Angband versions is on his blog site setsideb.com.
 
(And the podcast in which an episode with him was often one of the best is roguelikeradio.com.)
 
- FORGOT Angband programmer backwardsEric told me (and further FORGOT this discussion took place on the Angband github page for software issue 5542, not the forum) that overriding the ^c suicide key with a blank keymap won't work in the GCU front end
 
- FORGOT the capitalization fix for CTRL characters (ie the game now showing CTRL plus the "d" key as "^d," not "^D") was a recent fix and so isn't in the downloaded 4.2.4 Windows front end version still available as the latest on rephial.org, with which I was testing at one point here and confusing myself mightily 'p'
 
After being hopelessly confused about the ^c thing during the recording, I looked up Angband's code on the ^c suicide key, and it is NOT a function of my Cygwin terminal that's killing the character, it's the game, sort of simulating an old-style ^c terminal break function or something. That seems dangerous and pointless to me, at least in Windows where you've got Task Manager to kill processes if you really need to do that, so I've disarmed this bizarre suicide function in my local Angband version by commenting out one line of code.
 
disarm redundant (in Windows) ^c suicide key:
 
ui-signals.c
121 comment line
 
  paleface 01:54:27 11/22/22
           

 
Setting up and running Angband version 2.4.frog-knows, and specifically the 1.1 version of the PC (DOS) port of that, through DOSBox.
 
My DOSBox Options file (*.conf) settings: to get fullscreen (ALT+Enter) frog-knows scaled up a bit on my 1080p screen and sharp rather than blurry:
 
fullresolution=desktop
scaler=normal2x forced
 
That leaves it black-bordered from its doubled 480p--to 960p--at my 1080p fullscreen, but sharp, and the checkerboard patterns of those nifty DOS wall blocks intact.
 
And you can enter your "mount c" command at the bottom of the Options file so you don't have to re-enter it each time you run DOSBox; like
 
mount c [full path to your dos programs, like c:\mydos or wherever you're putting your stuff]
 
~~
 
Once in the game, pressing "=" opens the Options screen, where I turned the "monochrome" option on.
 
  paleface 06:51:34 11/23/22
           
The correctly capitalized title of the original wide release of Angband is "2.4.Frog-knows"--the "F" is capitalized.
 
  paleface 02:23:31 11/28/22
           
I'm still a roguelike noob, and also don't really know what I'm talking about. I liked the look of a couple DOS Moria/Angband ports I happened to see, and wanted to find out where it came from.
 

 
~~~~
 
I downloaded the following files from the following places for this:
 
- DOSBox from www.dosbox.com
 
DOSBox config stuff:
 
fullresolution=desktop
scaler=normal2x forced
 
- PC-Moria 4.873 from myabandonware.com /game/moria-27f
 
- Umoria 5.4, 5.5, and 5.5.2 DOS versions and various source files from www.nic.funet.fi/ pub/unix/ games/moria/ (operated by "CSC, the Finnish IT center for science"--Finnish government)
 
- Moria 5.5.2 386, aka the DJGPP port ("DJGPP is a 32-bit, protected-mode compiler, which means that programs compiled under it require an 80386 or higher to run"), from archive.org/ details/m552-386
 
- Umoria 5.6 Windows port from github.com/ HunterZ/ umoria/releases
 
- Various Umoria source files from umoria.org/highlights/
 
- Angband DOS versions and various source files from rephial.org/release
 
- Current Angband from github.com/ angband/angband/
 
- The 1984 DOS freeware game Castle Adventure from dosgames.com /game/ castle-adventure/
 
^^ Those are free software. This one cost a couple bucks:
 
- Rogue - 1985 DOS Epyx 1.49 version from store.steampowered.com /app/1443430/Rogue/
 
~~~~
~~~~
 
Rogue
 
Steam installs Epyx's 1985 DOS Rogue port version 1.49 in a custom DOSBox arrangement; the config settings left it blurry on my display and anyway I wanted to be able to run it from the same DOS prompt as other games, so I collected the various files from where Steam had installed them, and made my own set-up for them. One tricky part is that there's no unified way to start a new game and restore a previously saved game from the same Windows shortcut; you may need to do like Steam partially did and set up separate start and restore shortcuts, using an appropriate Rogue command-line option--probably "/r"--for one of them; here's a Rogue command option list with definitions, from a copy of the old PC manual I found at britzl.github.io/ roguearchive/files/ misc/EpyxRogueDOSManual/ manual.htm
 
rogue — Starts a new game.
rogue /r — Automatically restarts a saved game using the file name rogue.sav on the rogue disk.
rogue /s — Displays the current rankings in the Guildmasters Hall of Fame without having to start a game.
rogue /bw — If you have a color graphics card and are using a black and white monitor, starting a new game of ROGUE with this option will improve the clarity of the screen.
rogue (file name) — Restarts a new game using a game saved in (file name).
 
"/bw" didn't seem to work on mine.
 
DOS Rogue's "!" or F10 "Supervisor Key" hides the game with a fake DOS screen; type "rogue" to get back to the game once the boss leaves ; ].
 
Did the "Supervisor Key" become a bit of a running joke in Moria and PC Angband? "!" in DOS versions of Moria pops up the DOS shell, with "type 'exit' to resume your game" at the top; in PC Angband, it prompts a dry retort: "Sorry, Angband doesn't leave enough free memory for a subshell." ; D
 
After PC Angband, though, any such joke may have been lost: in Angband 2.7.4, "!" is used to write in-game macros, and in 2.8.0 it does not appear to have its own game function. There could be a hint of a revival from at least 2.9.0 on, but the new, functional DOS-specific game option menu that "!" brings up there is presented with an entirely straight face. : =|
 
~~~~
~~~~
 
Moria
 
For Moria, I ran I think all the non-variant DOS versions I could find (and a couple related games):
 
- PC-Moria 4.873 - 1988
DOS port from Wilson's Unix code by Don G. Kneller: no Options menu, no [number][command] repeat input, no auto-rest, no Shift-W; default keyboard config is on non-roguelike setting ("MORIA" rather than "ROGUE"; a later DOS port says "VMS" was the other setting(?)--or is it just anything other than "ROGUE"?); can change char for walls (and floors) in Kneller's MORIA.CNF config file--but doesn't change char for SECRET doors (later versions do), so easy exploit to spot secret doors just by changing rest of walls to something else; ^r redraws screen (somehow this breaks after this for a long time, at least as far as DOSBox is concerned); relatively slow character saving and loading; no [executable] -h command line descriptions (not until Angband Frog-knows)--not sure there are any command line options
 
- Umoria 5.4 color - 1991
David J. Grabiner takes over as Moria maintainer from James E. Wilson, "making only minor changes"; Justin Martin Anderson adds DOS color, probably after an official monochrome DOS port by Grabiner (the official Mac version had had 8-color support since at least version 5.2.0; the official Amiga version had 4-color support by at least version 5.4.0); 5.4 has the last still-extant DOS support note until support for DOS and other old systems is officially removed in 2016's version 5.7.0; despite saying so in ? command list, ^r does NOT redraw screen like 4.873 did (does not work again until PC Angband 1.3)
 
- Umoria 5.5 - 1992 (Grabiner)
 
- Umoria 5.5.2 - 1994
Grabiner's releases ended with 5.5.2 in mid-'94; DOS port by Roland Roberts
 
- Moria 5.5.2 386 - 1994?
DOS port by Ben Shadwick; Grabiner names this version as "the executable for the PC" in his FAQ; high CPU usage in DOSbox
 
- UMoria 5.6 msvc3 - 2015
Windows terminal port of 2008 Umoria by Ben Shadwick with "enhancements from the MS-DOS ports," most obviously a Unicode approximation of the DOS checkerboard block; some minor graphical glitches
 
~~~~
 
Robert A. Koeneke enrolled in engineering courses at the University of Oklahoma "around 1980 or 81," and one night while hanging out with some sysadmins in the engineering lab, on a DEC UNIX minicomputer--which despite the name was the size of a very large refrigerator, fronted with four spooled tapes--got hooked on playing the original Rogue. But the DEC minicomputer in the department where he got a job was a VAX running VMS, and "no games were available for it at that time," so he decided to write his own. The developers of Rogue had not released the source code for their game, so Koeneke wrote the best clone he could of what he remembered of it, in BASIC, on the VAX/VMS minicomputer. He named it "Moria" after the deep dwarven mines in novelist J.R.R. Tolkien's "Middle-Earth" fantasy world.
 
A year later--'83 or so--when he started taking a course on Pascal, its functions gave him more ideas for a Rogue-like game, so he started writing another Moria: not an exact Rogue clone, this time, but his own new game. Other UO students got hooked on HIS game, and he challenged them to beat it, and himself to prevent them from beating it. In '85, he started sending his Pascal VAX/VMS source code to other universities. His last release, 4.7, came "around 1986 - 87": "my last official release"; other UO students continued Moria through v4.8 after Koeneke left for the commercial world.
 
Koeneke was establishing the development pattern for the Moria & Angband DOS period: students working in a university computer lab release well-received game version, are encouraged to make more; when they leave, repeat with others.
 
The pattern could jump between schools: James E. Wilson, at the University of California, Berkeley, got the Moria 4.8 source, and ported it to Unix C as "Umoria," numbering the first official release in 1987 version 4.85. Wilson said of why he ported it "I did not have access to a VMS machine, and both the Pascal and Assembler code would not work with Unix because of many uses of VMS extensions. Since C was a more common language for Unix anyways, I decided to just convert the whole thing to C."
 
Wilson's "history" file included with his versions of the game lauds Don Kneller's "PC-Moria 4.873" DOS port--but not Kneller's slightly earlier PC-Moria 4.83, which Wilson calls "extremely buggy" and "unplayable"; Wilson recommends PC-Moria 4.873 over a perhaps slightly earlier "PC-Moria 4.00+," described as "a port of the Moria 4.8 Pascal sources to the IBM-PC by John W. DeBoskey," which he calls "faithful" but "unfortunately" having "quite a few bugs."
 
Of how the game spread, Wilson said "I started work on Umoria in February 1987. I somehow acquired play testers in April. I don't recall exactly how, but I was at a university, so maybe they saw me playing it on a public terminal and asked for a copy. The game slowly spread around the Berkeley area. By November, the game was in good enough shape that I could post it to comp.sources.games."
 
I haven't been able to find DeBoskey's version anywhere; interestingly, it's the only Moria branch Wilson lists as not derived from his Unix port. And while his "history" describes various post-Moria-4.8 Unix and VAX/VMS lines, and an Amiga version, Kneller and DeBoskey's are the only two DOS branches mentioned.
 
Wilson adopted Kneller's DOS port into his own set-up: although no compiled Wilson DOS ports seem to have survived, starting in the next available Umoria source code, 5.2.0, there would be an extensive multi-platform structure in the code base that was not there in 4.87, with explicit support for various platforms: Unix, DOS (present in some form since at least 5.0 in '89, which mentions a save tweak for MSDOS; a change in January 1990's version 5.0.10 may have broken the DOS version; a month later, 5.0.16 notes a change to "get MSDOS version working again," as well as "add files from binary PC-Moria distribution"), Atari ST, Mac, VMS, and by at least 5.4, Amiga; Kneller is credited in many of the DOS-related Umoria 5.2.x+ source files, with 5.x DOS update credit to Wilson; Kneller's DOS .CNF config file and options continue to be used, with some Wilson updates; all later Moria/Angband DOS ports use Kneller's visual template and checkerboard walls--which perhaps not coincidentally were used for passageway graphics in the 1984 and 1985 DOS versions of Rogue.
 
~~~
 
In 1984, one of the original designers of the 1980 game that had so hooked Koeneke, Rogue, had co-founded Artificial Intelligence Design Systems to sell a commercial, DOS version of Rogue. They struggled to break even, but later that year, game developer/publisher Epyx contacted them, and struck a deal under which Epyx began distributing a repackaged version of their DOS port of Rogue in 1985. The '84 AI Design version--from what I can see in screenshots and YouTube videos, anyway--and the '85 Epyx version--at least, the 1.49 version now available for on Steam--both use for their hallways the same DOS checkerboard block that Kneller would use for Moria's walls in '88.
 
That checkerboard block is part of what Wikipedia calls "Code page 437," "the character set of the original IBM PC": "The set includes all printable ASCII characters as well as some accented letters (diacritics), Greek letters, icons, and line-drawing symbols. It is sometimes referred to as the 'OEM font' or 'high ASCII', or as 'extended ASCII' (one of many mutually incompatible ASCII extensions)."
 
Kneller made it easy to change the block character--or "Medium Shade," as Wikipedia's CP437 chart labels it--used for Moria's walls, and the dot character used for open floor spaces, to different characters from the 256-character CP437 set: enter the numeric ID for whichever character you want in the appropriate spot in the moria.cnf DOS config text file (angband.cnf in the early Angband DOS ports). The default config line is
 
GRAPHICS 177 249
 
with 177 being the block, 249 the dot. In CP437, character 176 is a more sparse dot pattern, 178 a thicker one, and 219 a solid block, while 250 is a slightly smaller dot. So changing the default GRAPHICS values in the .cnf to for instance
 
GRAPHICS 178 250
 
would give you heavier-looking walls and lighter floors. If you remove the "GRAPHICS" line altogether, the game reverts to using standard "#" signs and periods instead. A handy debugging feature: if you type a line incorrectly in the .cnf, the game will flash a warning about it, with the line number, at runtime.
 
Wikipedia notes that "some APIs will not print some code points, in particular the range 0-31 and the code at 127. Instead, they will interpret them as control characters" and indeed, the few I tested yielded various behaviors:
 
- In PC Moria, middot 7 and eighth note 14 rendered as "^G" and "^N"
- In Frog-knows, 7 and 14 rendered as nothing and an eighth note, respectively
 
Tripping through the listing of "adventure" games on dosgames.com, I noticed another game using, like Rogue, one of those DOS checkerboard blocks to represent worked stone structures in 1984, prior to PC Moria: freeware game "Castle Adventure," written by then-14-year-old Kevin Bales, used the block for its titular castle's walls.
 
~~~~
 
Grabiner's Moria FAQ, which he reposted to both Moria newsgroups -- rec.games .moria and its successor, rec.games .roguelike.moria (remove the spaces) at intervals through 2010, says that versions back through 5.3--the end of Wilson's run, in March 1991--were "essentially identical" to his last release, 5.5.2, which he continued to refer to as "the current version" even in his last posting of the FAQ to the newsgroup in 2010--which was after 5.6.0 was out, with various maintenance fixes and an update to the Umoria sharing license--changes by him and Rene Weber. Umoria has, in effect, been in maintenance mode since Wilson's departure in '91:
 
Grabiner made two minor updates in '92, none in '93--the year Angband came out--and two in '94; then a gap to some fixes in 2000-01, another gap to 5.6--a 2008 license change--and another gap to 5.7.0 in 2016, a substantial code clean-up, adding support for Windows and macOS, and removing support for old systems, including DOS. Regular maintenance updates have continued in the dungeons-of-moria repository on github since 2017.
 
~~~~
~~~~
 
Angband
 
Ran all the early Angband DOS ports; after that I skipped between the many available in rephial.org/release, so the things I note may have appeared first in versions between the few I looked at:
 
- Angband 2.4.Frog-knows 1.1 - April 1993
DOS port by Charles Teague; color off toggle (through at least 2.7.4); beginning of Teague's clear WHATS.NEW documentation; "g"et command but doesn't tell you what you're standing on, so less efficient than y/n pickup prompt; if color on, uses colored checkerboard block for mineral seams (through 1.4)--but old % signs if color off; terse angband -h command line descriptions
 
- PC Angband 1.2 - May 1993
Teague; beginning of his gameplay/balance changes
 
- PC Angband 1.3 - August 1993
Teague; Precision targeting from Moria 5.5 variant Morgul; after PC-Moria, ^r finally works to redraw screen again!; verbose angband -h command line descriptions
 
- PC Angband 1.4 - 1994
Teague; finally works out "g"et command first telling you what item you're standing on, so it becomes worthwhile; confusing splitting of messages across multiple lines
 
- Angband 2.7.4 - 1995
First post-Teague DOS version currently documented/available; the official DOS version of Ben Harrison's (UPenn) "first stable release": he credits features from PC Angband 1.4, Umoria 5.5, and PC Angband 1.31 variant FAngband (by David G. Kahane; per the tangaria.com/variants table, other variants deriving from PC Angband include BAngband and QAngband); vastly expanded in-game option menus, including menu to reassign ASCII chars on the fly--although it can't save them?; bug where map walls are not drawn if using checkerboard blocks rather than "#"; DOS config file changed from angband.cnf to A_IBM.TXT, entirely reformatted from Kneller's MORIA.CNF; macros and apparently user prf pref support--but no manual in-game loading/saving them?; starts player off w/ CLev4 "Whomper" paladin with artifact gear; no readme, minimal documentation--Harrison never much for writing up changelists, claims too many changes to document efficiently; vastly reorganized file structure; torchlight color; like the Umoria 5.5.2 386 port, the versions from here on out have high CPU usage in DOSbox; uses "%" for mineral seams even if color on
 
- Angband 2.8.0 - 1996
Ben Harrison official DOS version; somewhat glitchy: map checkerboard block drawing problem remains, -more- prompts and monster health bar may still be in color with color turned off in Options--and everything is bright white! ;P; now has "repeat obvious commands" for automatic door-opening etc; other checkerboard block denotes mineral seams, for a smoother look in monochrome than the old %; ibm prf files replace DOS config file
 
- Angband 2.9.0 - 2000
Robert Rühlmann official DOS version - 2.9.0 was his 1st release; has graphics and a taller screen display with built-in subwindows and multi-res options (can turn off graphics & subwindows with "-mibm" command line option); can randomize character generation options; birth options; ! DOS options menu; ? command list replaced with help doc menu--can't find a concise in-game command list; color toggle option is gone
 
- Angband 3.0.6 - 2005
Robert Rühlmann - his last release and last Angband DOS release
 
~~~~
 
In 1990, University of Warwick, England students Alex Cutler & Andy Astrand began expanding Umoria 5.2.1's Unix C code. Students Sean Marsh and Geoff Hill, with others, continued the work after Cutler and Astrand graduated. They gave their version, dubbed "Angband," a wide release in April 1993, with a simultaneous DOS port by Charles F. Teague II, who had been working on it at UMass Boston for several months thanks to alpha Unix versions sent by Marsh. Teague's DOS port kept the checkerboard block walls, config file, and probably lots more, DOS-wise, of Kneller's PC-Moria, and added color via code adapted from the color Umoria 5.4 DOS port, with permission from its author Justin Martin Anderson. Nine days later Teague uploaded a self-extracting bugfix DOS version, ang11exe.exe, to his preferred distribution site, the ksu.edu ftp server.
 
(The KSU FTP had, or would have by December 1993, at least, its own "Archive Manager for Moria and Angband": KSU engineering student Karl S. Hagen. Angband maintainer Ben Harrison would later refer to the KSU FTP as "the 'official' Angband site." Hagen graduated from KSU--or was expecting too--in 1995, but still posted about the "Angband KSU FTP site" in December 1996, calling it "pretty much automated.")
 
(I haven't run them, but hunting through source code and release notes, it looks like the Unix versions of Angband widely released in 1993 and 1994 did not have color; color based on the color added to DOS Umoria 5.4 was added specifically just to the DOS ports of the first versions of Angband. Release notes for non-DOS versions do not mention screen colors until Angband 2.7.0, in 1995, whose changelist notes: "Macintosh and X11 support (and soon IBM), with colour." The changelist of the next version, 2.7.1, mentions adding color to torch light, without specifying a platform. The next-earliest non-DOS source code still available to examine today, version 2.7.4, contains color support for any platform capable of handling it; as in Teague's earlier DOS versions--possibly not added until his 1.1 bugfix version, as he notes there people on monochrome monitors were having trouble seeing dark gray monsters--and until somewhere between 2.8.0 and 2.9.0, when it was removed, the in-game options include a color on/off toggle, defaulting to color being on.)
 
Teague started adding his own features, and balance and gameplay changes, to the game with his next release, uploaded as "ang12exe.exe" in May 1993; the print out from its in-game "V" (Version) command calls this line of updates "PC Angband" and gives their numbered ftp file names, but does not assign specific names to his releases. His August 1993 release, a quick bugfix to version 3 of that same month (Angband's site does not have version 3 available), uses the name PC Angband 1.31.
 
For 8+ months after Frog-knows, DOS, through PC Angband, was the epicenter of Angband development. Besides making more and more balance and game changes of his own, Teague was also incorporating more code from past and present versions of Moria, as well as more key additions from Moria variants: targeting code from Morgul, and the "auto-roller" character generation option from Druid.
 
With Sean Marsh out of contact after the release of Frog-knows, Charles Swiger at Carnegie Mellon University took up the mantle of Angband Unix development, releasing versions starting with Angband 2.5.0-beta in December 1993. There are no recorded Swiger DOS releases; a 1996 reply by Swiger to a newsgroup post by Koeneke asking about Angband said "I believe that you could build 2.5.x under DOS, but almost all DOS players went with Charles F. Teague's PC Angband 1.4 instead, since it had color and performed better under MS-DOS' memory limitations."
 
Teague released one more DOS version, PC Angband 1.4, in March 1994, saying "That's all for now, folks"; he added that he intended to continue working on Angband, but his releases would slow until "someone out there invents a 36-hour day." He had been working a day job since at least January. He did not reappear in the newsgroups.
 
With Teague's departure, there was no further official DOS development until a year later, when Ben Harrison, as Wilson had with Moria, made a vast code overhaul of Angband and established wide multi-platform support. Skimming only lightly across Harrison's numerous DOS version releases left me with an impression of fitful progress, perhaps due to the appearance of some new, possibly DOS-specific visual glitches, and a lack of regular release notes.
 
After Harrison, maintainer Robert Rühlmann seems to have had an affinity for Windows, DOS, and Mac: those are the three versions of his builds that he compiled and released himself through his thangorodrim.net (viewable now via archive.org), and the first and third screenshots on his screenshots page there are of DOS versions: the first's caption includes "2.8.3 MS-DOS version with my new graphics and terminal code," the fourth is a smaller shot of a Windows version, and the second is a contributed, smaller shot of Amiga ZAngband. The finale of the Angband DOS ports was a tremendous expansion of menu, graphics and sound options under Rühlmann--except for the color toggle, which was removed, making color fully mandatory.
 
~~~~~
~~~~~
 
In writing this I used information from umoria.org, rephial.org, John Harris' Moria and Angband articles on his setsideb.com blog, Wikipedia's Code page 437, Rogue, Moria, and Angband articles, newsgroup posts on the aforementioned Moria groups and rec.games .roguelike.angband (remove the space) by Sean Marsh, David J. Grabiner, Ben Shadwick, Ben Harrison, Karl S. Hagen, Geoff Hill, Robert Alan Koeneke, Charles Swiger*, James E. Wilson, Charles F. Teague II, and David G. Kahane, Ben Shadwick's HunterZ github, Rühlmann's thangorodrim.net via archive.org, the Angband Variants Table by Tangar Igroglaz, mentioned earlier, and from files in the releases I downloaded from the sites listed at the top.
 
* Swiger also posted as "Chuck Swiger" and "Charles William Swiger."
 
~~~
 
Notes on running some of these DOS ports now:
 
- The Moria 5.5.2-386 DOS port and the Angband 2.7.4 through 3.0.6 DOS ports chew up a lot of CPU in DOSBox--at least one of those Angband ports also mentioned being compiled for 386 processors, so maybe whatever that involves just forces a lot more work out of DOSBox
- Renaming the containing directory of PC-Moria 4.873 will prevent it from being able to load a previous save file (but it can run without one)
- The Frog-knows DOS aka PC Angband 1.1 and 1.2 README.PC files say the user should create a subdirectory called "bones" before running the game; this would be for storing dead characters to bring back to attack later characters as Frog-knows' "ghosts": there's a "/lib/bones" in 2.7.4, and the 2.8.0 readme notes dead characters were stored for later haunting purposes in /lib/bone in that version, for instance. I wonder if Teague just forgot to ship an empty "bones" directory with Frog-knows and the 1.1 DOS update...but then why didn't he include one in DOS 1.2? (Or did he, but later recompilations have omitted it?) His PC Angband 1.31 and 1.4 do come with pre-made empty "BONES" directories.
 
Of the bones files themselves, Teague posted that a player could even write their own, as "bones files are just text files, with 4 lines in them": "Just makeup a name, put it in the 1st line; pick a number of HPs, put it in the 2nd line; pick a race, figure out the number for it, put it in the 3rd/4th line (sorry, I forget); pick a class, figure out the proper number, and put it in the other 4th/3rd line. Then name the file to the dungeon level where this fictional ghost died. (1000' = 20th lv, so filename is '20', 50' = 1st lv, so filename is '1', etc)."
 
Angband's player ghosts were removed with version 2.7.7 (thanks to John Harris' "Angband version history" article on setsideb.com for pointing that out; the build notes on rephial.org seemingly redundantly also note ghosts were removed in the next version, 2.7.8, so I hadn't looked back further) as Harrison deemed them "a total hack"; a ghost return under rewritten code was promised for 2.8.0, but did not materialize. As of 4.2.4, player ghosts have not returned.
 
  paleface 16:18:11 12/03/22
           
There's zaniness with a lot of the download links in the Release section on rephial.org, for instance just last week I happened to find, on Ben Harrison's site, a compiled version of Angband 2.8.3 for DOS, which is NOT available from rephial.org for some reason; it isn't zipped up on Harrison's site, and probably has some redundant texture files and other "extras" scattered around its numerous folders, but it runs and appears to have the correct features for that version; it's at (remove the spaces) www.phial.com/angdirs/ Old-Tree/ angband-283-dos/ .
 
Another one: the download link on rephial for 2.4.Frog-knows 1.1 DOS version is typoed, with a 2 at the end instead of a 1; type a 1 instead though and the download will work (remove the spaces): github.com/angband/ angband/releases/ download/v2.4.fk/ pcangband-1.1.zip
 
  paleface 18:57:48 12/04/22
           

 
Playing a Dunedain warrior the DOS port of the first widely distributed version of Angband, 2.4.Frog-knows 1.1, in DOSBox!
 
0:00 - 50 ft (heading up)
6:48 - town - helm, cloak, gauntlet, boots
26:40 - 50 ft (heading down)
41:06 - 100 ft
54:26 - 150 ft
1:07:55 - town - lantern, shield
 
Here's that apparently deleted LotR movie clip with that lady telling Aragorn what a "Doo-nuh-dign" is--with pronunciation--while he grins smugly: https://youtu.be/ 1g75laLtd_k?t=303
 
The Frog-knows ANGBAND.DOC says this of the Dunedain:
 
~~~
Dunedain
Dunedain are a race of hardy men from the west, this elder
race surpasses human abilities in every field, especially
constitution. However being men of the world, very little is
new to them, and experience is very hard to gain... They
can play all classes. Their constitution can never be
reduced.
~~~
 
Their stats and skills in Frog-knows:
 
~~~
Str Int Wis Dex Con Chr Hit Dice Rqd % Exp/level
 
Human 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 +0
Half-Elf -1 +1 0 +1 -1 +1 9 +10
Elf -1 +2 +1 +1 -2 +1 8 +20
Hobbit -2 +2 +1 +3 +2 +1 7 +10
Gnome -1 +2 0 +2 +1 -2 8 +25
Dwarf +2 -3 +1 -2 +2 -3 11 +20
Half-Orc +2 -1 0 0 +1 -4 10 +10
Half-Troll +4 -4 -2 -4 +3 -6 12 +20
Dunedain +1 +2 +1 +2 +3 +2 10 +80
High-Elf +1 +3 -1 +3 +1 +5 10 +80
 
Racial abilities as compared to each other, with 1 the lowest, or
worst, and 10 the highest, or best, are listed in the following
table.
 
Disarm Search Stealth Percep Fight Bows Save Infra
 
Human 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 None
Half-Elf 6 7 7 6 4 6 6 20 feet
Elf 8 9 7 7 3 9 7 30 feet
Hobbit 10 10 10 10 1 10 10 40 feet
Gnome 9 7 9 9 2 8 9 40 feet
Dwarf 6 8 3 5 9 5 8 50 feet
Half-Orc 3 5 3 2 8 3 3 30 feet
Half-Troll 1 1 1 1 10 1 1 30 feet
Dunedain 9 8 7 8 7 8 5 None
High-Elf 9 8 8 9 7 10 5 40 feet
~~~
 
Apparently in Frog-knows--build notes say this wasn't changed until PC Angband 1.4--the stat maxes for all races and classes are the same, so chugging lots of stat potions will in theory level that side of the playing field eventually, if you play a character long enough.
 
I tend to play pretty slowly, so uhhh I don't know how exactly that means this will balance out. I'll probably die stupidly at some point, anyway. ''D But for now, make mine Doo-nuh-dign!
 
Oh, ANGBAND.DOC also says
~~~
Disarming is the ability to remove traps (safely), and
includes picking locks on traps and doors. A successful
disarming will gain the character some experience.
~~~
I'd thought maybe it wasn't but supposedly it is so anyway the idea is good, let's just assume it's working correctly. : D (Because I tried looking up how the EXP change works in the source code and it looks like it's original old Koeneke Moria code and anyhow it's way over my head. ; D)
 
I learned to sell items to the proper shop in order to make money! : D
 
Found a bow and some arrows, haven't used 'em yet though. : P In Frog-knows, you just throw ("Throw/Fire" or whatever it's called) the arrows while having the bow equipped. Also you can swap your weapon to an extra Swap slot with X, so I guess I'll use the bow that way. (Alternatively you could use it with say a digging tool...but I wanna use a bow, anyway I seem to be able to do my small amounts of wall $ excavation okay with my sword so eh. ; )
    
 
references:
· Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (PC)
· FrogComposband (PC)
· Hellband (PC)
· Hengband (PC)
· Rogue (PC)
· Umoria (PC)
· Zangband (PC)

 
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