In today's world of bleeding edge graphics and beastly PCs that are required to run them, it's often hard to remember where it all got its start. Today that changes, for I have found one of the very first computer games I ever played: Telengard. Just look at those graphics, and remind yourself of how little it took to entertain yourself when you were 11 and your C-64 was the cutting edge.

Telengard itself is as simplistic as it gets. Your character, the grey dude there with the sword, is nothing more than a few stats, and if you're lucky, some nice items as you can see. There is no end game goal, nor is there even much of a point to it. You run around doing various things which amount to killing bad guys and finding treasure. The dungeon itself is massive, even by the standards of MUDs. It's 50 levels, each on a grid of 200x200 squares, for a total of 2 million rooms.

You could encounter such cool stuff as the runed thrones. Reading the runes had a random chance of raising or lowering one stat, along with the possibility of a boss creature showing up. There were colored boxes, with red, green, yellow, and blue buttons. Guess the correct sequence, win a huge prize. Random treasure chests with huge amounts of gold and items, or just cobwebs and a deadly trap. Large gray misty cubes which you could use to go to any level of the dungeon you wanted. Teleporters that zap you to random locations. Plus a few other things I can't recall right now.

You can save your progress, but only if you're on the surface and can find an inn, as pictured. Go up, and your gold on hand gets cashed in for experience, you rest, and are healed to full. You can then save and come back later. The game had all of the trappings of modern RPGs despite it's miniscule size.

The best part? The C-64 copy I had back in the day had full source code written in Commodore BASIC. Yep, you guessed it, the game was moddable :P Which I actually did, giving the thing a goal and adding some extra goodies and stuff to it. I also reduced the level sizes to a manageable 40x40 grid so they'd fit on a single sheet of graph paper. Yeah, I was stupid enough to try and map the game, settling instead for most of the first level when I realized how much of the kitchen floor I was occupying with my efforts.

Telengard was originally made back in 1977 and was distributed by Avalon Hill. Feel like experiencing it for yourself? Grab the epic adventure for Windows here:
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Nov 10, 2011 2:31 pm by Samson in: | 3 comment(s) [Closed]
Hey, it's Aswerf!

Yep, this here is the game that Aswerf was born from, due to the insane number of times one dies at early levels and has to reload. You had to type your name in manually each time.

Looks like an advanced version of Akalabeth, which I never played.

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