Rogue is the predecessor to NetHack and all other roguelike games; it is the reference in the name. Although much simpler than the other roguelikes, it is regarded as a classic, and is just as difficult to beat.
The basic plot is almost exactly like NetHack, right down to the name "Amulet of Yendor", and the interface is similarly ASCII-based, but several of the innovations of NetHack are not present in Rogue. For instance, while NetHack has six attributes, Rogue has only one: strength. (Dexterity is present, but not as an attribute.)
Rogue has fewer monsters (only twenty-six), but several are similar to those of NetHack. For example, the Rogue aquator is basically a rust monster, and an ice monster paralyzes as a floating eye does, and causes just as many YASDs - if not more, since an aggravated ice monster will actively attack you. (In very early versions of Rogue, the aquator was actually called a "rust monster", and the ice monster was a "floating eye", but the names and characters were changed around in Rogue 5.3, supposedly because of problems with Dungeons and Dragons copyrights.) Additionally, monsters do not drop corpses or leave behind food rations, making hunger an even more pressing problem than in NetHack.
Compared to other roguelike games that trace their lineage from Rogue, NetHack is much more similar to Rogue. The similarities include:
- Screen size. Both NetHack and Rogue have similar screen sizes that do not scroll.
- Identifying system. Both NetHack and Rogue have similar systems that use scarce Identify Scrolls, and in many cases encourage the identification of items through use.
- Similar types of items. Both NetHack and Rogue have scrolls, wands, potions, rings, armor, weapons, ranged weapons and matching ammo. Almost all of the scrolls and potions found in rogue are also found in NetHack in some form or another.
- Similar monsters.
- Both NetHack and Rogue use hyphens and pipes for walls, while many roguelikes use hash marks.
As a tribute to Rogue, NetHack contains a Rogue level that is an adaptation of the original Rogue.
Rogue was first released in 1980 (five years before the release of Hack) by developers Michel Toy, Glenn Wichman and Ken Arnold.
Monsters in Rogue are represented by capital letters. Each race of monsters is assigned a single letter from the beginning of their name, and therefore there are 26 different monsters.
- Level is the level of the monster.
- AC is the monster's armor class. A monster with lower AC is harder to hit.
- Treasure is the percent chance that a monster will be carrying treasure.
There are five special properties that a monster can have.
- M for "mean". Mean monsters may attack without provocation.
- F for "flying". Flying monsters are more difficult to hit.
- R for "regeneration". These monsters can regenerate health.
- G for "greedy". Greedy monsters attempt to pick up gold when you enter a room.
- I for "invisible".
|Dragon||100||M||5000||10d8||-1||1d8/1d8/3d10||Ranged 6d6 flame attack|
|Venus Flytrap||0||M||80||8d8||3||special*||Traps player|
|Ice monster||0||5||1d8||9||0d0||Freezes player|
|Nymph||100||37||3d8||9||0d0||Steals magic item|
|Orc||15||G||5||1d8||6||1d8||Greedy - runs toward gold|
|Vampire||20||RM||350||8d8||1||1d10||Drains Max HP|
|Xeroc||30||100||7d8||7||4d4||Imitates an object|
*The Venus flytrap, regardless of hit-or-miss messages, does no damage at first, and then deals one point more each time than last turn.
|Arrow||2d3||Takes bonuses from equipped short bow.|
|Two handed sword||4d4|
A lower AC gives a better chance of avoiding damage.
|Monster confusion||7||Your hands begin to glow red. Next melee attack confuses a monster.|
|Magic mapping||4||Reveals the entire map; objects are still hidden|
|Hold monster||2||Freezes adjecent monsters.|
|Sleep||3||Sleepts reader for 4-8 turns.|
|Enchant armor||7||Your armor glows silver for a moment. Improved protection by 1.|
|Identify potion||10||Identifies a potion.|
|Identify scroll||10||Identifies a scroll.|
|Identify weapon||6||Identifies a weapon.|
|Identify armor||7||Identifies a suit of armor.|
|Identify ring, wand or staff||10||Identifies a ring, wand or staff.|
|Scare monster||3||When read, you hear maniacal laughter in the distance. To properly use the scroll, drop it; monsters will not walk on it.|
|Food detection||2||Your nose tingles. Detects food on the current level.|
|Teleportation||5||Teleports to a random location on the map.|
|Enchant weapon||8||Your (weapon) glows blue for a moment. Increases hit or damage bonus by 1.|
|Create Monster||4||Summons a monster on an adjacent tile. If it fails, you hear a faint cry of anguish in the distance.|
|Remove curse||7||You feel as if somebody is watching over you. Removes curses from equipped items.|
|Aggravate monsters||3||You hear a high pitched humming noise.. Alerts all monsters on the map.|
|Protect armor||2||Your armor is covered by a shimmering gold shield. Prevents rust damage from aquators.|
Some scrolls require certain conditions to be met. If they aren't, you see the message "you feel a strange sense of loss".
|Confusion||7||Confuses the player for 19-21 turns|
|Hallucination||8||Causes hallucinations for 850 turns - can't recognize monsters or items|
|Poison||8||Reduces strength by 1-3 points.|
|Gain strength||13||Increases strength by 1.|
|See invisible||3||This potion tastes like slime mold juice. Reveals Phantoms.|
|Healing||13||Heals 1df per character level. Increase max HP by 1 if you are at full health.|
|Monster detection||6||Reveals monsters on the map.|
|Magic detection||6||Reveals magic items on the map.|
|Raise level||2||Increases experience level by 1.|
|Extra healing||5||Heals 1d8 per character level. Increase max HP by 1, or by 2 if you are at full health.|
|Haste self||5||Hastens player for 4-8 turns.|
|Restore strength||13||Hey, this tastes great. It make you feel warm all over. Restores strength to maximum.|
|Blindness||5||Blinds player for 807-892 turns|
|Levitation||6||Levitates for 29-32 turns|
|protection||9||Adds to defense and magical saving throws|
|Add strength||9||Adds to strength|
|Sustain strength||5||Prevents poison from reducing strength|
|Searching||10||Helps detect secret doors and traps.|
|See invisible||10||Reveals Phantoms.|
|Adornment||1||Worth 10 gold.|
|Aggravate monster||10||Cursed. Causes monsters to attack more agressively.|
|Dexterity||8||Improves weapon accurracy.|
|Increase damage||8||Increases weapon damage.|
|Regeneration||4||Heals 1 hp per turn|
|Slow digestion||9||Reduces food consumption by about 50%. Two rings can cancel out food consumption.|
|Teleportation||5||Cursed. Randomly teleports the player around the map.|
|Stealth||7||Allows player to move without rousing sleeping monsters.|
|Maintain armor||5||Prevents rust damage|
The rings that provide bonuses may either give +1 or +2, but can also be cursed and give -1 instead.
Rods can either be wands or staffs. While there are differences between them, they are minor.
|Light||12||Has 10-19 charges. Illuminates the room.|
|Invisibility||6||Makes a monster invisible.|
|Lightning||3||Inflicts 6d6 damage for up to 6 tiles. Bounces off walls.|
|Fire||3||Inflicts 6d6 damage for up to 6 tiles. Bounces off walls. Dragons are immune.|
|Cold||3||Inflicts 6d6 damage for up to 6 tiles. Bounces off walls. Yetis are immune.|
|Polymorph||15||Changes a monster type.|
|Magic missile||10||Inflicts 1d4 damage on a single target.|
|Haste monster||10||Hastens a monster.|
|Slow monster||11||Slows a monster.|
|Drain life||9||Drains half of the hero's hp, then removes the same amount of health evenly from visible monsters.|
|Nothing||1||Doesn't do anything.|
|Teleport away||6||Teleports a monster randomly on the map.|
|Teleport to||6||Causes the monster to teleport next to the player.|
|Cancellation||5||Supresses monster's special abilities.|
Staves normally appear with 3-7 charges.
Connection to NetHack
The game became very popular in college campuses (at the time, the only places where computers were available). The game was sold, but it did not sell well for various reasons. Rogue was not originally released as open source software, which led to "clones" of the original Rogue.
One clone was Hack, written by Jay Fenlason, which became popular after being distributed over Usenet with substantial modifications by Andries Brouwer. Brouwer's version had only minor differences to Rogue (such as the presence of pets), but was both open source and free.
- Download Rogue from DOS Games Archive
- A FreeBSD binary (and also a couple of others)
- Site with a fair amount of info on PC Rogue, including some sources in GIF format(?!). Courtesy of the Wayback Machine.
- Ports of Unix Rogue and clones to modern systems
-  Documentation of various versions of the original Rogue and roguelike derivatives.