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DOS - 1985

Also available on: Apple II - Atari 8-bit - Commodore 64

Alt names テレンガード, Castle Telengard
Year 1985
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Role-Playing (RPG)
Theme Fantasy, Real-Time, Roguelike
Publisher Avalon Hill Game Company, The
Developer Avalon Hill Game Company, The
Perspective Top-Down
Dosbox support Supported on 0.58
4.57 / 5 - 31 votes

Description of Telengard

An early dungeon-crawl RPG, Avalon Hill's Telengard is among the first Roguelike games ever made for the PC. Since the original version (for the TRS-80 computer) came out way back in 1982, Telengard should be considered one of the grandaddies of Roguelike games.

Although the gameplay is extremely simple, Telengard is by no means easy. You'll die a lot before gaining a level, and new, better weapons are hard to come by. There is only one character class to play as-- a warrior/wizard combination, although you can re-roll the starting stats and cast spells during the game. Telengard features some neat ideas that became commonplace in Roguelikes, such as scrolls, and teleporters you can use to warp around the dungeon.

All in all, a respectable dungeon hack that didn't set any standards, but probably inspired a lot of authors to program Roguelikes of their own.

Review By HOTUD

External links

Comments and reviews

RoQ 2023-05-19 1 point DOS version

I remember this game as turn based. It doesn't run like that though. It runs in real time... and too quickly to respond to any prompts. Is there a fix?

Dexter Boffin 2022-10-15 0 point Commodore 64 version

Dan's Purdue DnD group in the early '80's was amazing 15 -25 players, old timers (Grads) dropping jumping into the game was always interesting. In 1982-3, I did some of the icon animations, Hobbit, Elf, Vampire, Boxing Mummy, and others, for the Avalon Hill game. Good times that passed too quicky.. If anyone finds that version, please try to get up and running. Commadore 64?

Sarahmayaslim 2022-06-07 0 point

Telengard isnt a roguelike. It's real time.
Please fix this.

Sean 2020-05-31 2 points Commodore 64 version

Wow! Much Respect to Mr. Daniel M. Lawrence, the creator of this absolute marvel of a D&D role-playing game. It is extremely well done for the time and the platform (64). So glad to find it here. Brings back so many great memories adventuring in the underground dungeons of Telengard. I wasn't really into most D&D or fantasy/role-playing games before I stumbled onto this gem. I simply cannot praise this masterpiece enough. Thank you GOLDENSHOPPINGCTRKID/GOLDENARCADE 80SGAMER, I didn't know any of this!! BTW, this game still holds up today and it ROCKS! Much love, much love...

One of the brothers 2020-04-17 2 points

I was one of Dans friends from 1978-1985 (when I left Purdue). I enjoyed this game a lot. I used to go to Dan's house to play and we used to take turns playing it on the PET computer. Many fond memories

furroy 2019-07-27 1 point

This was indeed a classic game. I too was a friend of Dan's at Purdue and the D&D club there, and later I worked a couple cubicals down from him at MDBS back in the early 90s. Brings back memories for sure!

GoldenShoppingCtrKid / GoldenArcade 80sGamer 2019-03-18 5 points

Do you all realise, Telengard _IS_:
+ a creation of just one man -- one Mr Daniel M. Lawrence [RiP], of New York, who lived in Lafayette, IN, as he'd gone to Purdue University
+ one of the Great-Grandfathers of CRPGs (Apple][-'82, Commodore-'83, having been re-worked from the ORIGINAL "DND" title of 1976-77)
+ one of the v first random, computer-generated dungeon-crawlers
+ the first CRPG EVER to have randomised, British-pub-inspired, two-word pub ("inn") names
+ before Dan shuffled off his mortal coil, he left THE WORLD the Gift of Telengard for the PC:
(AQuest is Dan's website for his tabletop RPG system, "AdventureQuest (Jaern)".)

Rest in Peace, Dan. You were a great man, and are sorely missed by many...

Grokk 2018-12-13 0 point DOS version

for some reason, this game wont save my character.

Kilwrath 2018-12-11 0 point Atari 8-bit version

I loved this game on my Atari 800XL! My friends used to come over and play and we had lots of fun trying to survive the Telengard dungeon.

Once I figured out it was written in BASIC, I started updating the code to change the names of the enemies to my friends' names and mess with the prompt's text I loved watching their faces as they tried to figure out how the game knew who was playing! I don't know if I ever fessed up to it, so they might still be wondering what the hell was going on. :-)

BackWhenGamer 2018-01-15 4 points

Like A WISE OLD MAN, I knew Dan Personally -- but long after he'd met Dan.. ;)
I had the pleasure of making his acquaintance when I went to Purdue in the 90s, and when I went back in 2000-01. Indeed, his passing was v v sad, as he died far too young, and with his dream unfulfilled.

TELENGARD stands the test of time as being one of THE FIRST EVER "graphical" CRPGs, as well as being a randomly-generated dungeon; the "pubs" you'd come across had randomly-generated names made from two word lists..!

Dan "coded tight" cuz firstly he was a truly talented, gifted, amazing programmer; secondly as he wanted to get as much out of the limited memory capacity as he could, in order to give YOU, the player, as much of an experience as possible -- in those days!

Dan had played D&D back then; he told me how he found aspects of the system "lacking" for him, especially in flexibility in GM'ing, which led him to later create his AdventureQuest system, which he DM'd every weekend over many years, at the Purdue Fantasy Club (which is how I met him). It's available from his website, so you can still download a FREE copy of it today.

Between D&D and MUDs on the pre-internet, Dan developed what became TELENGARD.

For more TELENGARD, go to Dan's own page (his site is kept up In Memoriam)

Gra'Shropp 2017-11-26 1 point Atari 8-bit version

I also played this on my Atari 800 back in the 80's. loved this game, ya it was simple but boy was it fun for me. It was the way I was introduced to programming....and of course those mags with with example games in them. Priceless fun in my youth.

mrk 2016-12-28 0 point

I played DND (pre-Tenlengard) extensively on the VAX 11/780 at my little college in the snowy northeast in 1983, 84 & 85. I would generate characters for friends and have them play while i drew the maps on graph paper. I still have the maps in a manila folder!

Trinklet 2016-11-04 -2 points DOS version

I heard this game served as an influence for the devs of the original Diablo (1996). Worth a play for that alone. D1 was an awesome game. Back when Blizzard was still cool. Long before they turned into money hungry whores appealing to the lowest common denominator (decline started after the release of the overrated Diablo II, got even worse with World of Warcrack).

Deathstrike44 2016-08-30 3 points

Same here, I love Telengard and I'm in my late 40's. I collect many Avalon Hill games especially for the Atari 800, and despite my age, I still show these games to my sons and the school they attend. Kids get such a kick out of the games us oldsters played!!! Now this was game elegance at its finest!! No complex code, not even written in a complex language (basic) but the golden age of gaming knew how to get the most play out of the least memory.

Jay 2015-10-13 -1 point Commodore 64 version

Im 39.. played this in 1983 / 84. My older brothers were into D&D. Lived in a rural neighborhood in CT. Great memories of this and other video games. Trying to figure out how to load it onto my android.

Jake 2014-12-30 0 point DOS version

Played this on the C-64 for hours and hours. Never really saw the point to it, mostly just played to see how powerful I could get before getting teleported to level hundred and something to get squashed by the first thing I encountered. For some reason still had fun with it.

J. Utah 2014-08-09 0 point DOS version

This game was really great back in it's day... It was just like playing D&D... It would take around 30 min to load on my old Atari 800 cassette... If it loaded correctly! I spent hundreds of hours playing this game though...

spacejockey 2014-07-10 2 points DOS version

I remembered Telengard for my Atari 800!!! I spend as many hours mapping the dungeons on graph papers as I did playing the game. It was the game that got me hooked onto computer games so many decades ago. I am in my fifties now and I am still playing computer games. Long live Telengard; thank you!

@ A Wise Old Man 2013-05-05 0 point DOS version

Thanks for sharing these cherished memories. Wish I could have been there, but was "enjoying" military service at the time.

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

I played one of the late beta pre-release versions on my Commodore PET 2001 that I got directly from Dan Lawrence in early 1979, right after I got my N-series 2001 with the *real* keyboard. Dan was passing the game around at Purdue, where they'd set up a few computer labs stocked with PETs, and we'd found out about it through a computer newsletter. A couple of letters and a phone call later, and several of us PET owners had copies of Telengard on cassette tape. The program was only about 900 lines long, which barely fit in the 8K of RAM we had available at the time! Truly a prime example of how to code tight and use the hell out of tokens!

Telengard was a fun game, and Dan was a great guy who sadly passed away in 2010. He is still missed :(

mymoon 2012-01-31 -2 points DOS version

So old that most probably my grandmother played this one when she was in primary school at the age of 7. It's been around for such a long time that i can not remember a time when this did not exist. Not my cup of tea though. I liked sword of fargaol better on the C64.

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