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Caverns of Zoarre

DOS - 1984

Alt name Dungeon of Mirador
Year 1984
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Role-Playing (RPG)
Theme Fantasy, Real-Time, Turn-based
Perspective Top-Down
3 / 5 - 2 votes

Description of Caverns of Zoarre

Some interesting info on this obscure Roguelike RPG from Balrog's page:

"Here's an obscure Telengard clone for the PC, possibly written before Telengard itself was ported to MS-DOS. Released in 1984. Telengard-like in most ways, a historical footnote. [The author's response]: For what it's worth, this started out as a TRS-80 game, Dungeon of Mirandor, which never quite made it out. The TRS-80 market fell off a cliff about the time I finished it. Mirandor owed a lot, conceptually, to the DEC VAX 11/780 version of Telengard, which I'd played extensively around 1983.

Zoarre was an expanded version, finished painfully at intervals over the course of a year or so. The "fight" handler was unduly tedious to program, and balked me for too long. I wrote Zoarre using the IBM BASIC Compiler, a renamed version of one of Microsoft's early BASICs. The compiler went through DOS and BIOS services for I/O, and was so unspeakably slow at updating the screen that I had to write assembly language routines for direct screen writes. Plus, it didn't support the new DOS 2.0 features like subdirectories... albeit this wasn't a major issue on the typical floppy-only system of the time.

Anyway, the assembly language routines eventually made it out as a separate product, AdvBas, which was far more successful than Zoarre. AdvBas later went commercial, and started me on my career in writing tools for programmers. But, that's certainly a great deal more than you wanted to know. Anyway, it's nice to have a copy of Zoarre again. I'll bet it cranks along very smoothly on a Pentium. :-)"

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

0z79 2019-10-04 0 point

Back in 92, I was so grateful to have this on my 286... such a weak computer, but even then... SO MUCH software from the decade before, and this was one of the better examples.

Thanks to the author, who wrote in 1983 what I amused myself with in 92-96 on a severely outdated computer.

Quadko 2015-06-03 0 point DOS version

Played some more, and makes a big difference in longevity if you actually run away sometimes - especially early in the game - rather than blindly fighting everything that comes along! Most fun is mapping stuff out. I've got the first two levels, working on the third.

Don 2015-04-23 2 points DOS version

All I've wanted to know since I was a kid is, what the hell is a "freen"??

Quadko 2015-02-25 1 point DOS version

I loved this game as a teen. It was a total enigma to me, and I never got all that far - I still don't know if survival is random or if you can map out a path of safety! But every step brought likely danger and most fights brought death. Fantastic! And I still remember and love the monochrome graphics for how they make my imagination fill in the details.

A Wise Old Man 2013-02-21 1 point DOS version

I remember the VAX version of Telengard. On the college campuses, for a short while it wound up being almost as popular as Colossal Cave or "ADVENT". Which meant that the tenured dorks running these mainframes put time limits or hours of availability restrictions so that you couldn't play it instead of going to class. Unless you knew someone in administration and got an account upgrade. Ah, those were the days :)

Trevor 2011-11-02 0 point DOS version

I have great memories of playing this game on my Tandy 1000SX around 1988. I didn't have any kind of manual, and it was actually kind of fun (though painstaking) to manually map out all 5 levels on graph paper. Coincidentally, each level fit almost perfectly onto one sheet.

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DOS Version

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