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While mulling over potential blog ideas and exploring the
depths of Wikipedia I eventually happened upon a title from my distant past.
I'm almost encouraged to make Friday a tribute to classic games from the past
and call it Flashback Friday but I guess we'll see how it goes.
If I asked the crowd what the oldest video game they
remember playing (not the best, not their favorite, but the oldest) of course
there are going to be those who say...
(Queue the old man voice)
Back when I was kid, we played Pong on a black and white TV
while walking to school uphill in the snow both ways...
For some of us, that might be true...the Pong part, anyways.
I do remember playing Pong on a black and white TV. I have no recollection of
the name of the system, I just remember it was this nasty barf brown color and
the joysticks had a single lever and a small red button. It wasn’t the Channel
F system, but to be honest...I've searched Google trying to find it but was
unsuccessful. Doesn't really matter...the topic of this blog is about old games
from the past.
Thankfully, when thinking about the first or one of the first games I ever played, the game that comes to mind for me is one that
I came to love and still tell stories about today. My brother got a Commodore
64 (apparently brown or shades of brown was a popular color back in those days)
for some special occasion. Birthday? Christmas? I can't remember...heck, that
was too many years ago. I don't even remember where he got the game from
because finding games in the stores back in those days was often a difficult
So, the game I am thinking about is called...
Welcome to Telengard, brave adventurer! Many before you have
descended into the harsh dungeons, never to be heard from again. A few have
returned from the cruel labyrinth, telling tales of horror and despair - and
also of great treasure and magic.
Telengard is a computerized fantasy role-playing game. This
means that by using your computer you control a character whose role YOU will
assume. Your character will get the opportunity to descend into the depths of
Telengard, and there you will be given the chance to battle fierce monsters and
find gold and magically-enchanted items.
Avalon Hill's Telengard was designed in 1982 by Daniel
Lawrence and was an early example of the "dungeon crawl" video game
It featured a 50-level/2-million room algorithmically
created permanent dungeon, twenty different types of monsters to battle, and
thirty-six spells that the player can cast. Players select randomly generated
attributes for the single character of the game prior to the start of play such
as strength, wisdom, and constitution.
The interface was simple, allowing movements north, south,
east and west through a walled dungeon, while progressing through character
levels by amassing experience. Experience was gained by finding treasure (gold,
jewels, opening combination safes), and by defeating monsters with spells or
armed combat. Movement from the surface level (the only level that contains
Inns which allow the player to regenerate Hit Points and Spell Units to their
maximum levels) to lower levels of the dungeon was done by falling in pits,
using stairs, and a Level 5 teleport spell. The graphics were extremely basic,
and gameplay relied on text and keyboard interaction. Among other things, there
are fountains from which to drink with varying results, a jeweled throne upon
which to sit, an altar upon which to donate gold, and a misty teleport cube.
Magic weapons, armor, rings, boots, scrolls, potions, and treasure chests are available
to players who can find them.
The game had its moments. The random encounter generator
would often result in some of the most unusual circumstances, like a dragon
"making a quick move" and stealing your magic Elven boots right off your
feet. Now that, I would like to see.
You could also venture to the lower levels (the further down
you went the higher and more difficult the monsters became) with your teleport
spell (to get you the heck out of Dodge when something big comes your way) with
the hopes of scoring some major loot. If you encountered a high level but
rather feeble monster, you could often fight them earn enough treasure and
experience to gain many levels at a time.
It was the "World of Warcraft" of the early
1980s...I am still amazed when I think about how we came from this:
So, how about it…what’s the oldest game you can remember
playing…? (Good or bad)