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Below The Root

DOS - 1984

Also available on: Apple II - Commodore 64

Year 1984
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Adventure
Theme Fantasy, Licensed Title, Platform, Puzzle elements
Publisher Windham Classics Corp.
Developer Dale Disharoon, Inc.
Perspectives Side view, Fixed / Flip-screen
Dosbox support Supported on 0.65
4.35 / 5 - 63 votes

Description of Below The Root

I discovered this game on a Commodore 64 site about 13 years after its release, but I sure am glad I did! Below the Root is an epic fantasy adventure with some RPG flavor that is truly one of its kind.

As one of three possible characters, you must save the "treehouse" world from certain destruction. From Matthew Murray's thoughtful review of the game:

"As another interesting game from Windham Classics, Below the Root is far more original than Alice in Wonderland, since the story is devised completely from scratch, with few real ties to the series of books on which it is based. You can choose one of five characters, each of whom has different skills and levels of magical powers, which make the game easier or more difficult. Each of the games is otherwise the same, however.

For originality, Windham Classics deserves high marks, though the execution is far poorer. There is little direction in this game, and the series of books it is based on, unlike the other games from Windham Classics, are hardly famous reading material. The endgame is also very difficult, and requires too much time and exploration to be the exciting ending it should be. A good game, but designed primarily for the young and patient who are willing to replay the game the numerous times that may be required."

My impression of the game is a bit more impressive than Matt's, since I believe that the vast and unique gameworld that requires intensive exploration is one of the game's strongest points. But it does require a lot of patience to solved, so be warned. With unique atmosphere and NPCs, non-linear path, and a truly vast gameworld, this is really one of the games dying for a facelift. Two thumbs up!

Review By HOTUD

External links

Comments and reviews

Pastor Bob 2022-06-25 -8 points DOS version

My childhood was wasted, friendships lost and never made nor remade as I became lost in the downpull of sinful computer games invented by the brainwashed of Satan and his minions. Now I spend my time warning the young to repent else ye shall suffer the fires of Hell for all eternity if you fall prey to computer games! Although I do like bible games and have been known to miss preaching on a Sunday because of that. Oh well.

jaggz 2020-09-07 6 points

Many wanted to play this, so I made a video showing how to get it running in an emulator. I used the Vice emulator.

Roadrunner 2020-06-21 1 point DOS version

Does anyone still have this game on 5 1/4" floppy disk. I just got a Tandy 1000 and wish I still had the game.

Neric Generic 2020-02-23 -2 points DOS version

This was the first game I ever played on a PC, back in 86. I fell in love with it, and would love to play it again, but I cannot get this emulator to work on either my Windows 10 machine or my old Windows 7. Download or browser play, neither work. I even tried the Apple version with no luck. Any advice?

DaleBryTheScienceGuy 2020-02-14 1 point Commodore 64 version

Below The Root, is a fantasy, role-playing game; one, of the very first, of its kind!
I began playing this game, back in 1992, after having discovered it for sale, at $7 - at a local gas station! Much thought was put into this, and this becomes obvious, throughout the gameplay. It took me around 5 months to solve (with lots of interruptions, by real life!), the GreenSky "quest"....
Around my 4th month, my 5 year old son, Aaron, sat down, at my primary Commodore 64, one afternoon - and solved the game in under 15 minutes!! I was stunned. STUNNED!
I don't know how he did it, as, I wasn't watching, most of that 15 minutes....
But, after a few minutes of play, you really get into the game: discovering new people, both, friend, and foe; new places, habitats, new tools, food, etc. I actually began drawing my own map of the tree-tops, the ground area, the root areas, and, ultimately, what was below the root area.
Below The Root is a game I'll always remember. The 8-bit graphics, are, well - 8-bit. So what? The gameplay negates all of that. There is a pleasant, hopeful, theme song to help you along, at certain points in the play.
Out of 5 stars (divided!), I would rate this game a "4.8"! I'll never forget it, and neither will Aaron! (Who now works for NBC Boston/NECN, as a meteorologist!)

Trisha 2019-12-30 0 point DOS version

I played this game all the time as a kid and was so excited to find it here to download! But unfortunately, it didn't work for me. I did everything right with dosbox but it just wouldn't run. Even after running the directory and finding the file, when typing it in, it would just restate the directory name. Bummer!

Lenni 2019-03-04 0 point

One of the best game I had on Apple IIe.
I established the map, it was very big, about 500 screens.
We need to make the map to understant and win the game.
Very interesting !

Tom 2015-10-03 0 point

Here's a similar game Phoenotopia. The sleeping music reminded me of Below The Root.

Hoytman 2015-05-03 1 point DOS version

Wow, played this game back in school. Great find!

Skully 2015-03-03 -1 point DOS version

Is there anything around on modern consoles that mirror this, loved, loved, loved this game as a kid on the good old 64

Ty 2014-07-29 2 points DOS version

Thank you, thank you, thank you.....this was the first game I every purchased as a kid and played it through to the end countless times.....what a blast from the past!! Love this game!

Jackie 2014-06-15 0 point DOS version

I played this game when it came out. Loved it!

Eyal 2014-04-15 0 point DOS version


Boleros 2014-02-20 1 point DOS version

To play this game and many of the " ancient" Dos Games in modern computers, you need to use a softwsre calle DosBox, It emulates the MS-DOS Operative System.

You only need to download it from:

You install It, the there will be an DosBox icon in your Dektop, then You only need to open your game directory and drag the main file exe to the DosBox icon in your desktop.

Some keys:
Control+F11 to decrease the cycles or the Mhz of the emulated Ms-Dos

Control+F12 to increase the cycles or the Mhz of the emulated Ms-Dos.
Alt+Enter to fullscreen.

Read the FAQ in tho Dos Box web page.

valdecir 2014-01-27 0 point DOS version


wolf 2013-09-23 1 point DOS version

This was the first game I bought when I was a kid. Very much ahead of its time. An obscure but noteworthy classic.

Notes: Win7 x64: You may need to launch the LOADER.COM file instead of the default BTROOT.EXE.

misery 2013-09-01 0 point DOS version

what os does this run on and is this a pc version

admin 2013-06-05 0 point DOS version

@rigo or read the "how-to" ? ;)

Rigo 2013-06-05 0 point DOS version

This freaken awesome. Now I just have to find a non-64bit pc.


guest 2012-10-03 0 point DOS version

Review of Below the Root for DOS:

CheshireCat 2012-04-28 1 point DOS version

Played it on the C64. It was way ahead of it's time and it's still fun. A classic.

Naz 2012-01-14 0 point DOS version

Loved this game when I was a kid

whitehorizon08 2010-07-28 -2 points DOS version

Looks a bit like IronSword (Wizards and Warriors 2) of NES fame. I wonder if it plays similiarly.

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DOS Version

Apple II Version

Commodore 64 Version

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