Trollcrusher is a role-playing adventure game. It is a derivative of the many "Dungeon" programs for mini and micro-computers, but it combines the style of traditional complex 'conversational' games with the pace of real-time games such as 'Star Trek'. The best way to get the 'feel' of Trollcrusher is to actually play the game. These notes explain the game's structure and recommend some techniques of play - there are no instructions included in the game itself since they would reduce the space available for the simulation routines.
The player's objective is to explore a network of caves and escape alive with as much treasure as possible. Credit is also given to players who manage to kill many monsters or descend deep into the dungeon before escaping (or being slain). The game is played in real-time - consequently decisions must be quickly taken, since the longer a player delays the greater the chance that a monster will attack. The game may be played at nine different speeds, depending upon the key pressed at the start of the game, '1' (slowest) to '9' (fast).
At each stage of play the adventurer may choose between a number of courses ahead. These options are displayed on the screen, and may be selected by pressing a single key (so no vocabulary need be learnt). The meaning of some keys changes according to the situation - new meanings are displayed as appropriate.
Levels and leaving the dungeon.
The dungeon consists of about 20 'levels', although its depth varies at different points in the cave-maze. The player begins on level 1, where the monsters are fairly weak (in general) and there is not much treasure to be found. By moving down stairways (or falling into pits, chasms or other traps!) it is possible to move into the lower, more challenging levels. The deeper the level the more treasure monsters are likely to possess and the stronger they will be. The only reliable way to move UP a level is via a staircase, although teleportation sometimes changes a player's level unpredictably.