Past time for a new one of those. Next game on the list is venerable Angband, which turns out to be younger than I was expecting, only beginning development in 1990 according to Wikipedia. It is the first example on this play-through of what are called the 'major roguelikes', the iconic examples of the genre. Ancient Domains of Mystery probably should have shown up first, if I were being thorough, but what I've read about it has never quite been interesting enough for me to take up the game and play, and I try to stay out of the business of playing games I don't want to. Anyway, the objective here is to descend 99 levels deep into the dungeon, defeat Sauron, then defeat Morgoth on the hundredth level. Unlike AliensRL, I've played this game before, sort of. Last time I played was about a year ago with 126.96.36.1996 beta; this time around its the 3.1.2v2 beta and I don't know what's been changed in the meanwhile. Identification, pretty sure, don't know what else. Not going to duplicate the changelist here and probably not expert enough to notice much of it in play anyway. Let's find out! I like to play randomly generated characters in these. It feels fun trying to work with what I get and see how well I do. In this case I had to be even more random than recommended, because without a right arrow key I couldn't work out how to make the point based ability assignment work. Kay, that's a surprise. The first game screen I see actually is different. At least, it's brown. The '@' symbol represents the player character and the 't' is one of the townsfolk. Those brown blocky things with the numbers are the shops in town. The first thing I do is read the controls, set some options (mainly to enable more visual information cues) and inspect my gear. No armour, already wielding a sword and light source. I hope I will think to use that protection from evil scroll at some point. Possibly should try and learn another prayer from the prayer book to start and see about buying another Word of Recall... wouldn't do to lose my only escape scroll to an unfortunate incident. On second thought, those cost nearly my entire cash supply. Hopefully I can reach an interesting depth and make them more worth the expense, or have more available for other things. That may not be wise, we'll learn. My god decides I'm learning Detect Evil for my first spell. Should make it easier to know when to use that scroll. It seems that snake (represented by 'J') is not evil, merely asleep. I back away, exploring, but come to another large white snake blocking a corridor and decide to kill it. As battles go that was simple, but the path it opens takes me to a large brown snake and a pack of jackals, at least three but possibly more. How could I not risk such an ignominious end? I think the monster knowledge feature has been beefed up. The personal encyclopaedia that fills in as you observe monsters over successive plays, this was a fresh install but the creatures I've seen so far have more detail already than I think used to be accumulated over several encounters. Perhaps I am misremembering - it starts with only dungeon depth and experience value, but I had to wake the white snake to find out they move erratically. Ow. Merely walking into the room and out cost me nearly half my health and got me an ongoing wound. There were... many jackals. Lots of loot too. I was a bit careless, overconfident. Best rest and hope they come to me. As I recall, jackals can be annoying that way. But easy to kill. 13 dead jackals gets me level 2 and a bit of relief. Clearing out the rock lizard, another snake and the loot for that room gets me a bit of safety. Am rewarded with the prayer 'Cure Light Wounds', which is to be cast immediately. Two down staircases, but I think I will keep exploring this level a bit longer. I discover two useful things: as a dwarf I can see at least some invisible things, as I had no trouble defeating the clear icky thing, and I'm either lucky or not bad at spotting traps. Looking at the character screen, probably lucky. Forgot how vast Angband's dungeons are. Much huger even than AliensRL's multiscreen towers. There's a grey mould here. Avoiding that. Have lost many characters to stubbornly attacking immobile fungi. ... and then I go and stupidly attack a grey mushroom patch, falling victim to its confusion spores (they do health damage too). Eek! The next room contains a scroll, a potion and a white worm mass asleep at the far end. Running over to kill it before it can wake. Phew. Only multiplied once. And now I know the Bless prayer. Time to try some identification. Picked up 6 gloopy green potions earlier, so let's drink one of those. Turns out Sellisrekh the gallant paladin has 5 potions of Cure Light Wounds, 1 potion of Heroism and 1 grey speckled potion of I don't know what that does. Hurrah for pseudo-ID. Turns out both the robes I picked up are magical. I have no armour yet... dare I put one on? One of them gives an armour penalty, the other an armour bonus. Despite my fear, even the robe with the negative enchantment is removable. Angband soldier ants are indeed easy to carve through. Time to head down. Level 2: Took a while to find a way out of that doorless room, only to be confronted by a novice mage. I tried blessing myself to be safe but failed. Fortunately the mageling also failed at blinding me, and now only one of us still lives. Another novice mage. That's a worry. I remember them being a little deeper. Then again, I remember them being significantly tougher. Note to self: beware salamanders. Don't want to get any of my stuff burned. You know game, nobody needs that many jackals. And hiding another worm mass amongst them is just cruel. Find another grey speckled potion, quaffed one, still don't know what it does. Found a stack of light blue potions... those turned out to be poisoned. Maybe I can dip my sword in it to poison the blade? Better not try it - not very paladinly. (ed: there is no command for dipping anything into anything anyway) I seem to have killed one of Farmer Maggot's dogs. Not my preference, but if people are going to code them into the game as hostile... Ack! Blubbering icky things! No can has eating my food. Close fight with Farmer Maggot's other dog and a novice ranger. Time to head down again, I think. Level 3: 4990 turns and I'm getting hungry at last. There are floating and radiation eyes here. Avoiding those. Scroll testing! "in pro vit" = Deep Descent. Suddenly am on level 5. Never encountered that scroll before. Level 5: "fuludo sertus" = no noticeable effect. Better be cautious down here. Found a sleeping rot jelly. Going to leave it there. Torch is running out of light. I feed it one of my other torches. Unknown (grey) snake, unknown (grey) icky thing. Welp, I better engage something if I'm to be down here. Oops, didn't mean to slay that novice warrior in one hit. Becoming increasingly convinced dwarves have a treasure-sensing ability, and me without a digging implement. Went back to fight the radiation eye, confidence bolstered by it draining mana. Sadly, they still drain strength too. Hope that can be restored soon. But won some leather armour, to be identified. Probably should return to town, being at the limit of inventory capacity, but let's risk another step down. Level 6: "This place seems reasonably safe". But I'm in sight of a salamander and a soldier ant! Nearly killed by a swarm of novice warriors, then even more nearly killed by a green naga. Throwing a sleep potion at it didn't work, so I enacted an emergency plan: read another scroll of deep descent, then read the word of recall scroll to get back to town. It actually worked pretty well. Had difficulty resting in town due to annoying townsfolk, so I killed them and bought some replacement words of recall. Read one of those, taking me back all the way down to dungeon level 8. Still at the point of full inventory and use-testing items to clear space for new finds. I suspect the game had a theme in mind, because I found myself in possession of a wand of light, a staff of light, and then a rod of light. Considering I can already cast the spell Call Light, that didn't seem so helpful. Well, death comes to us all. One of my scroll-reading experiments turned out to be of summon monster, and one of the monsters was a strength-draining jelly. C'est la vie; you die and you learn. Or not. I think that's what killed my last character too. Cause of death: a variety of self-induced complications. Because it was late and not suitable for starting anything else before sleep, I ended up running a few other random short-lived characters. Mostly mages with a dearth of intelligence. At least one of those also died to summon monsters. Sellisrekh is one of my longer-lived characters.