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Dungeon Master

DOS - 1992

Also available on: Amiga - Atari ST - Apple IIgs - PC-98

Alt names Crystal Dragon, ダンジョンマスター
Year 1992
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Role-Playing (RPG)
Theme Dungeon Crawler, Fantasy, Puzzle elements, Real-Time
Publisher FTL Games
Developer FTL Games
Perspective 1st-Person
4.61 / 5 - 69 votes

Description of Dungeon Master

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Without a doubt one of the best RPGs ever made for any computer, FTL's Dungeon Master is an epic RPG masterpiece that revolutionizes and rejuvenates the genre in much the same way as Baldur's Gate did over a decade later.

More than anything, the game epitomizes the "gameplay over graphics" tenet that is fading fast in today's preoccupation with 3D accelerated games. At the time when the game was released (whether Amiga, Commodore, ST, or PC), there were many better looking RPGs on the market. Few, however, could match the game in sheer addictiveness.

The premise, which isn't one of the game's strong points, is very tenuous and simple: you control a party of up to four adventurers of various races who must find their way through a 12-level dungeon and defeat its owner (an evil wizard, of course). There are naturally all sorts of encounters along the way that will enable you to improve your character's strengths and skills, and pocket a few nifty magical items. It's a dungeon crawl, nothing more, nothing less, played from a first person perspective. So what's new?

What Dungeon Master lacks in terms of storyline and writing, it more than makes up for with sheer playability, ingenious puzzles, and incredible atmosphere. The puzzles go above and beyond simple "find key to unlock door" puzzles of a typical RPG-- they include fiendish riddles, physical puzzles, and inventory-based puzzles that fans of adventure games will appreciate. No matter how difficult they are, though, they are very logical and addictive. I fondly recall the number of nights I've laid awake in bed, thinking about how to past that blasted mysterious door.. on nights that I wasn't hooked with the game far into the wee hours of the morning, that is.

The game's immersive atmosphere is achieved by a combination of real-time play (allowing the monsters to attack you by surprise, for example), great sound effects, and depth of role-playing features. Many races in the game had hitherto been unavailable in any RPG, and high-level spells are very imaginative (these are not your run-of-the-mill Lightning Bolts). The game's anal-retentive attention to detail, such as the fact that you must always pay attention to your party members' thirst and hunger levels and feed them when necessary, may be a nuisance to beginners or casual RPGers, but for anal-retentive gamers, it's a dream come true.

Overall, Dungeon Master is one of the most addictive RPGs you'll ever play. Although the game's depth and scope may scare beginners away, its adventure-game style puzzles that take precedence over pointless combats should entice them to try it out. For an in-depth dungeon crawl, there's no better game in town. Don't consider yourself an RPG fan if you've never played this classic. Too bad FTL never ported the sequel Chaos Strikes Back to the PC.

Review By HOTUD

Dungeon Master has an addon available: Dungeon Master: Chaos Strikes Back - Expansion Set #1, don't miss it!

External links

Comments and reviews

Rae 2019-01-24 -1 point

Do you have Dungeon Master for PC in 64 bit?
Windows version?

Zephalis 2018-04-02 0 point DOS version

This is the only RPG I've ever seen that allowed me to take a class and turn it into another with patience. Essentially, I noticed that there was a little bit of MP available to a warrior and so I sat there for a long time in the beginning of the game attempting to cast a simple spell and it randomly worked, leveled me up, and let me rocket off from there making a dual class character. I've always remembered it for this exact reason.

Davin626 2018-03-10 0 point

My favorite game ever. A pioneer in 3D real-time gameplay, though hopelessly quaint by now! A well thought-out dungeon, interesting class and level-up system, and easy to change the difficulty by choosing less than 4 characters. This was made back when developers couldn't hide mediocre gameplay behind schnazzy graphics or size of the world or number of players- games had to be GOOD, and this one was above and beyond.

RRW 2017-09-09 0 point Atari ST version

One of the best Atari ST games I ever owned. Not until I bought Baldur's Gate on PC did I enjoy a D&D type game as much.

Bad-People 2017-07-06 -3 points DOS version

I want to try it in the browser first. What's the launch command? I thought it was DM.exe but that doesn't do anything.

retrogamer 2016-08-23 0 point

Used to play this game on the Amiga. Great game. There is an indie sci-fi dungeon adventure game called Dungeon Guild that is similiar in style to DM. Worth checking out and free to play.

KungFU2009RIP 2016-01-29 -9 points

I don't like THESE type of dungeon crawlers, I much prefer the ones that use
some type of REALTIME RAYCASTING game engine that draws your gaming environment on the fly(similar to the doom games) so I prefer ultima underworld
and the like...but to each his own, many people love this game, what can I say?
I didn't like it years ago and I don't like it now, but that isn't a criticism of the actual
game itself but rather the gameplay mechanics and such, so because I can't get past the game engine limits itself I guess I will never discover what made this game such a hit with soooo many gamers.

ExarKun 2015-11-11 3 points

I played Dungeon Master on the Atari ST way back in 1987! Was immediately hooked and when I got my first PC, I waited for it to arrived on the DOS/Windows platform. This is definitely my MOST played video game ever, by far over any other game. I still, to this day, will do a session of DM using DosBox, and have as much fun now as I did before! One of the best games ever made, on any platform, and sadly, nothing today is as good in sheer entertainment!

moonbug 2015-03-28 2 points DOS version

The downside with CSBWin is that it's pure 32-bit code, so eventually you'll have to emulate it, just as you do with the DOS version. The CSB author mentioned he has no interest to update the code, because it was a very tedious Motorolla 68000 assembly to 32-bit ANSI C conversion, opcode by opcode, a process that took him about 6 months. It's a very faithful port, if you happen to have a 32-bit machine, but otherwise it's easier to just emulate the DOS game, or better yet the nicer Amiga version (check the dmweb site for version differences to get the whole story...)

dmlover 2014-12-29 -1 point DOS version

well abandonware is nice but this game is much better played through Chaos Strikes Back for Windows (and Linux, MacOS X, Pocket PC) available at:
This clone makes it possible to play the original games faithfully, both dungeon master and chaos strike back natively on a PC.

Calenzo 2014-10-11 2 points DOS version

you can use the number-pad on PC to move, or arrow keys. pretty much necessary to enjoy the game. That said, this is one of my favorite games to play through and I consider it one of the best games of all times that I have ever played.

me 2014-08-09 0 point DOS version

@DOSBOX: That's the charakter selection level... u noob ;)

some guy 2014-08-09 0 point DOS version

anybody know about a dm hint disk?

DOSBOX 2014-06-14 0 point DOS version

all i saw was an empty dungeon with a few paintings on the wall, and the click-to-move motion is annoying

batts 2014-05-12 0 point DOS version

what a game

Tbrewdog 2014-04-09 0 point DOS version

this game started it all!

Lord Ryu 2014-01-02 0 point DOS version

IS this the one where you can play as a Giant or a Shrimp? I've been trying to find that one for YEARS, and I can't find it anywhere.

contact me:

david1806 2013-12-19 1 point DOS version

Such a fantastic game - I played this to death. It was the first (and probably only) game that actually made me "jump" in fright! I think it was turning a corner and being a confronted by a mummy......pure class!! :o)

Redeye 2013-10-01 0 point DOS version

Loved this game on the Atari ST also. I am so thrilled to find it available on your website and playable through Boxer on my iMac. It's been almost 24 years since I last played this game.

Kevin 2012-12-08 1 point DOS version

Played this to death on the Atari ST. Still one of my most favorite and memorable games. Grimrock is basically an updated version of Dungeon master, however I'm finding there are many areas where DM still remains king, sadly.

Fantasyfreak_uk 2011-11-29 1 point DOS version

One of my favourite games of all time!

1GreatScott 2011-08-28 1 point DOS version

The best screens were on an Amiga.

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