What is Dungeon?

Dungeon logo

Exploration! Extremely frustrating, arbitrary puzzles! Exactly two opportunities for (unrealistic) violence! Retro gaming at its most retro!

Dungeon is our emulation of a seminal milestone in computer gaming: the classic interactive text adventure Dungeon of 1977. Running on the TriadCity platform, it's our homage to one of the most influential computer games of all time.

Later known commercially as Zork, Dungeon astounded players with its detail, inventiveness, and sophisticated command parser. SmartMonsters' co-founder Gary Smith recalls: "Dungeon was played in the dim times usually on DECWriter at 300 baud. Almost everyone I knew in 1977 was trying to solve the puzzle."

Every single-player adventure game and virtual world derives something of its flavor and many of its mechanics from Dungeon.

We base our emulation on multiple sources. We've located C-language ports from the 1980s; and there are many Zork wikis and walk-throughs online. Mostly we've relied on Gary's encyclopedic knowledge of the original MDL. We've tried to get it as close to the 1977 original as possible.

Dungeon today is Beta software. It's working but there are niches not yet complete. Watch this space.