Exploring the Dungeon

Once your character is adequately supplied with food, light, armour, and weapons, he is ready to enter the dungeon. Move on top of the dungeon’s entrance and use the “Down” command >.

Your character will enter a maze of interconnecting staircases and finally arrive somewhere on the first level of the dungeon. Each level of the dungeon is fifty feet high (thus dungeon level “Lev 1” is often called “50 ft”), and is divided into (large) rectangular regions (several times larger than the screen) by permanent rock. Once you leave a level by a staircase, you will never again find your way back to that region of that level, but there are an infinite number of other regions at that same “depth” that you can explore later. Monsters, of course, can use the stairs, and you may eventually encounter them again, but they will not chase you up or down stairs.

In the dungeon, there are many things to find, but your character must survive many horrible and challenging encounters to find the treasure lying about and take it safely back to the town to sell.

There are two sources for light once inside the dungeon. Permanent light which has been magically placed within rooms, and a light source carried by the player. If neither is present, the character will be unable to see. This will affect searching, picking locks, disarming traps, reading scrolls, casting spells, browsing books, etc. So be very careful not to run out of light!

A character must wield a torch or lamp in order to supply his own light. A torch or lamp burns fuel as it is used, and once it is out of fuel, it stops supplying light. You will be warned as the light approaches this point. You may use the “Fuel” command F to refuel your lantern (with flasks of oil), and it is a good idea to carry extra torches or flasks of oil, as appropriate. There are rumours of objects of exceptional power which glow with their own never-ending light.


Objects Found In The Dungeon

The mines are full of objects just waiting to be picked up and used. How did they get there? Well, the main source for useful items are all the foolish adventurers that proceeded into the dungeon before you. They get killed, and the helpful creatures scatter the various treasure throughout the dungeon.

Several objects may occupy a given floor location, which may or may not also contain one creature. However, doors, rubble, traps, and staircases cannot coexist with items. As below, any item may actually be a “pile” of up to 40 identical items. You may be able to “stack” several items in the same grid.

You pick up objects by moving on top of them. You can carry up to 23 different items in your backpack while wearing and wielding up to 12 others. Although you are limited to 23 different items, each item may actually be a “pile” of up to 40 similar items. If you take off an item, it will go into your backpack if there is room: if there is no room in your backpack, it will drop onto the floor, so be careful when swapping one wielded weapon or worn piece of armour for another when your pack is full.

You are, however, limited in the total amount of weight that you can carry. If you exceed this value, you become slower, making it easier for monsters to chase you. Note that there is no upper bound on how much you can carry, if you do not mind being slow. Your weight “limit” is determined by your strength.

Many objects found within the dungeon have special commands for their use. Wands must be aimed, staves must be Used, scrolls must be read, and potions must be quaffed. You may, in general, not only use items in your pack, but also items on the ground, if you are standing on top of them. At the beginning of the game all items are assigned a random ‘flavour’. For example potions of ‘cure light wounds’ could be ‘red potions’. If you have never used or bought one of these potions, you will only see the flavour. You can learn what type of item it is by using it and noticing an effect (for example, quaffing a healing potion when injured), or casting the spell identify. Lastly, items in stores that you have not yet identified the flavour of will be labeled ‘{unknown}’

Chests are complex objects, containing traps, locks, and possibly treasure or other objects inside them once they are opened. Many of the commands that apply to traps or doors also apply to chests and, like traps and doors, these commands do not work if you are carrying the chest.

One item in particular will be discussed here. The scroll of “Word of Recall” can be found within the dungeon, or bought at the temple in town. All classes start with one of these scrolls in their inventory. It acts in two manners, depending upon your current location. If read within the dungeon, it will teleport you back to town. If read in town, it will teleport you back down to the deepest level of the dungeon which your character has previously been on. This makes the scroll very useful for getting back to the deeper levels of Tangaria. Once the scroll has been read it takes a while for the spell to act, so don’t expect it to save you in a crisis. During this time the word ‘recall’ will appear on the bottom of the screen below the dungeon. Reading a second scroll before the first takes effect will cancel the action.

You may “inscribe” any object with a textual inscription of your choice. These inscriptions are not limited in length, though you may not be able to see the whole inscription on the item. The game applies special meaning to inscriptions containing any text of the form ‘@#’ or ‘@x#’ or ‘!x’ or ‘!*’, see inscriptions.

The game provides some “fake” inscriptions to help you keep track of your possessions. Wands and staves which are known to be empty will be inscribed with ‘{empty}’. Objects which have been tried at least once but haven’t been identified yet will be inscribed with “tried”. In addition while carrying or wielding weapons or armour you may learn qualities of these items. ‘{average}’ means that the item has no magical bonuses. ‘{magical}’ means that it has magical bonuses although these bonuses may be negative. An item with negative bonuses is not necessarily cursed. An ‘{ego}’ item has special abilities. If the abilities are not obvious to the wielder the item will get an ‘{excellent}’ tag. If the item has obvious abilities, such as an increase to a statistic it will be labeled ‘{splendid}’. Lastly, if at any point you pick up an Artifact you will learn its name immediately and it will be labeled ‘{special}’. However, you may not be aware of all its powers. Note that these inscriptions are fake, and cannot be removed.

Only weapons and armour will receive these pseudo-identifications. Wands, staves, rods, scrolls, potions and mushrooms can only get the ‘{tried}’ label. However, if using or consuming the item creates an obvious effect, you will learn the flavour.

It is rumoured that rings of power and extra rare spell books may be found deeper in the dungeon…

And lastly, a final warning: not all objects are what they seem. The line between tasty food and a poisonous mushroom is a fine one, and sometimes a chest full of treasure will grow teeth in its lid and bite your hand off…



Some treasure within the dungeon can be found only by mining it out of the walls. Many rich strikes exist within each level, but must be found and mined. Quartz veins are the richest, yielding the most metals and gems, but magma veins will have some hoards hidden within.

Mining is rather difficult without a pick or shovel. Picks and shovels have an additional magical ability expressed as ‘(+#)’. The higher the number, the better the magical digging ability of the tool. A pick or shovel also has plusses to hit and damage, and can be used as a weapon, because, in fact, it is one.

When a vein of quartz or magma is located, the character may wield his pick or shovel and begin digging out a section. When that section is removed, he can locate another section of the vein and begin the process again. Since granite rock is much harder to dig through, it is much faster to follow the vein exactly and dig around the granite. Eventually, it becomes easier to simply kill monsters and discover items in the dungeon to sell, than to walk around digging for treasure. But, early on, mineral veins can be a wonderful source of easy treasure.

If the character has a scroll, staff, or spell of treasure location, he can immediately locate all strikes of treasure within a vein shown on the screen. This makes mining much easier and more profitable.

Note that a character with high strength and/or a heavy weapon does not need a shovel/pick to dig, but even the strongest character will benefit from a pick if trying to dig through a granite wall.

It is sometimes possible to get a character trapped within the dungeon by using various magical spells and items. So it can be a good idea to always carry some kind of digging tool, even when you are not planning on tunnelling for treasure.

There are rumours of certain incredibly profitable rooms buried deep in the dungeon and completely surrounded by permanent rock and granite walls, requiring a digging implement or magical means to enter. The same rumours imply that these rooms are guarded by incredibly powerful monsters, so beware!



There are many traps located in the dungeon of varying danger. These traps are hidden from sight and are triggered only when your character walks over them. If you have found a trap you can attempt to Disarm it, but failure may mean activating it.

There are some magical means to detecting all traps within a certain radius. If you cast one of these spells, there will be a Dtrap green label on the bottom of the screen, below the dungeon map. At some point in the dungeon you may see a line of green squares on the floor. This line represents the extent of your detection. Beyond the green line you are no longer in the safe region.

Some monsters have the ability to create new traps on the level that may be hidden, even if the player is in a detected zone. The detection only finds the traps that exist at the time of detection, it does not inform you of new ones that have since been created.


Staircases, Secret Doors, Passages, and Rooms

Staircases are the manner in which you get deeper or climb out of the dungeon. The symbols for the up and down staircases are the same as the commands to use them. You must move your character over the staircase before you can use it.

Each level has at least one up staircase and at least two down staircases. There are no exceptions to this rule. You may have trouble finding some well hidden secret doors, or you may have to dig through obstructions to get to them, but you can always find the stairs if you look hard enough. Stairs, like permanent rock, and shop entrances, cannot be destroyed by any means.

Many secret doors are used within the dungeon to confuse and demoralize adventurers foolish enough to enter. But with some luck, and lots of concentration, you can find these secret doors. Secret doors will sometimes hide rooms or corridors, or even entire sections of that level of the dungeon. Sometimes they simply hide small empty closets or even dead ends. Secret doors always look like granite walls, just like traps always look like normal floors.

Creatures in the dungeon will generally know and use these secret doors, and can often be counted on to leave them open behind them when they pass through.


Level and object feelings

Unless you have disabled the option to get feelings you will get a message upon entering a dungeon giving you a general feel of how dangerous that level is.

The possible messages are :

1 – “This seems a quiet, peaceful place”
2 – “This seems a tame, sheltered place”
3 – “This place seems reasonably safe”
4 – “This place does not seem too risky”
5 – “You feel nervous about this place”
6 – “You feel anxious about this place”
7 – “This place seems terribly dangerous”
8 – “This place seems murderous”
9 – “Omens of death haunt this place”

Once you have explored a certain amount of the dungeon you will also get a feeling about how good are the objects lying on the floor of the dungeon.

The possible messages are:

1 – “there is naught but cobwebs here.”
2 – “there are only scraps of junk here.”
3 – “there aren’t many treasures here.”
4 – “there may not be much interesting here.”
5 – “there may be something worthwhile here.”
6 – “there are good treasures here.”
7 – “there are very good treasures here.”
8 – “there are excellent treasures here.”
9 – “there are superb treasures here.”
$ – “you sense an item of wondrous power!”

The last message indicates an artifact is present and is only possible if the preserve option is disabled (if preserve is enabled, an artifact will guarantee a feeling of 5 or better).

You may review your level feeling any time by using the Ctrl+K command. You may also consult it by checking the LF: indicator at the bottom left of the screen. The first number after it is the level feeling and the second one is the object feeling. The second one will be ‘?’ if you need to explore more before getting a feeling about the value of the treasures present in the dungeon.


Winning The Game

If your character has killed Sauron (a difficult task), who lives on level 99 (4950′) in the dungeon, a magical staircase will appear that will allow you to finally reach level 100. Morgoth lurks on this level of his dungeon, and you will not be able to go below his level until you have killed him. Try to avoid wandering around on level 100 unless you are ready for him, since he has a habit of coming at you across the dungeon, the Mighty Hammer ‘Grond’ in hand, to slay you for your impudence.

If you should actually survive the attempt of killing Morgoth, you will receive the status of WINNER. You may continue to explore, and may even have the game and play more later and try to save the world from destruction… there are rumours of a powerful ring buried somewhere in the dungeon and a suit of dragon scale mail that resists everything – these items may help you to accomplish your mission.

Also you may want to retire, simply by using the Q key to have your character entered into the high score list as a winner. Note that until you retire, you can still be killed, so you may want to retire before wandering into yet another horde of greater demons.


Upon Death and Dying

If your character falls below 0 hit points, he has died and cannot be restored. A tombstone showing information about your character will be displayed. After some time your character will appear in Hall of Fame.

To report typo, error or make suggestion: select text and press Ctrl+Enter.

Leave a Reply

🇬🇧 Attention! Comments with URLs/email are not allowed.
🇷🇺 Комментарии со ссылками/email удаляются автоматически.