Dungeons of Daggorath is a 1982 computer game and one of the first computer titles to use a 3D wireframe first-person perspective. It was produced by DynaMicro for the Tandy (RadioShack) TRS-80 Color Computer.
Dungeons of Daggorath was one of the first games that attempted to portray three-dimensional space in a real-time environment, using angled lines to give the illusion of depth. Daggorath incorporated a diverse set of features for its time, including different kinds of monsters, complex mazes, different levels of visibility, and the use of different objects and weapons.
The game was written by Douglas J. Morgan and Keith S. Kiyohara, with sounds by Phil Landmeier, in 1980-81. It was released as a ROMpak cartridge for the Color Computer, which limited the size of the code to eight kilobytes. Despite this, the game features a multi-level maze and uses sound effects to provide important clues to the locations of monsters.
The player moves around a dungeon, issuing commands by means of typing - for example, typing "GET LEFT SHIELD" or "USE RIGHT TORCH" (or abbreviations such as "G L SH" and "U R T"), gathering strength and ever more powerful weapons as the game progresses. Various creatures appear, and can often be heard when they are nearby but not visible. The object of the game is to defeat the second of two wizards, who is on the fifth and last level of the dungeon.
A unique feature of the game is a heartbeat which rises as the player moves and takes actions within the virtual environment. The heartbeat corresponds to the "health" indicator used in other games; the higher the heart rate, the more vulnerable the player is to attack. The player can faint from overexertion, in which case there is the risk of being attacked while defenseless. This heartbeat system was used instead of numerical statistics such as hit points or vitality, and was inspired by arcade games, specifically 1978's Space Invaders where a heartbeat-like sound gradually increases pace as enemies advance towards the player.
After Dungeons of Daggorath became one of the most popular Color Computer games, Tandy produced a sequel, Castle of Tharoggad, which was made without the participation of the Daggorath programming team. It did not sell well, and received poor reviews from fans of the original.
Despite the dated graphics and sound, Dungeons of Daggorath game still enjoys a cult following in the retrogaming community for its challenging gameplay, and has been ported to Microsoft Windows XP and Linux via the SDL graphic and sound libraries.
Source: Wikipedia, "Dungeons of Daggorath", available under the CC-BY-SA License.