Dungeons of Ekileugor

Version 1.0

Screenshot of Dungeons of Ekileugor

Dungeons of Ekileugor is a little roguelike game for the unexpanded Commodore VIC-20. Despite the limitations of this architecture, it supports a respectable subset of the usual "dungeon furniture":

  • random generation of reasonable dungeon levels, with rooms and passages
  • the contents of rooms are not visible until entered
  • levels populated with monsters, treasure, potions, chests, traps, and stairwells
  • monsters persue the hero and engage in combat with hit points
  • health potions can be collected and quaffed later
  • experience points for victory in combat, experience levels
  • queued status messages
  • progressively more difficult dungeon levels

Dungeons of Ekileugor is written in Commodore BASIC 2.0. It makes use of colour and the Commodore graphics characters, but not of sound effects or a custom character set.

Playing the Game

Use the following keys:

  • I - go (or attack) north
  • J - go (or attack) west
  • L - go (or attack) east
  • K - go (or attack) south
  • R - rest (allow monsters to move)
  • Q - quaff a health potion

The status bar shows your current hit points, out of your maximum hit points, followed by the amount of gold you have, followed by the number of health potions you have, followed by your experience level.

The dungeon level you are currently on is shown in the lower left; level A is the shallowest level, B is the next deepest, and so on.

You start at experience level zero, because, well, welcome to computer-dom.

If something notable happened during the turn, a message about it will replace the status bar at the beginning of the next turn. You can press any non-action key after that to show the stats in the status bar again.

If more than one notable thing happened during the turn, each message (except the last), after being displayed, will prompt you to press any key to see the next message, by displaying a diamond symbol in the upper-left corner.

We suggest that, if you are playing in an emulator in WARP mode, you do not press space to dismiss status messages, as the space bar repeats on the VIC-20. Just press any key not assigned to an action, perhaps Z.

You will notice that, the first time you play after starting the VIC-20 (or your emulator), the first dungeon level is always the same one. However, things will quickly get more random as the game progresses.

You will also notice that the game ends rather abruptly when you die. If you would like to see your final score (to see if you have beaten your personal record, for example), after the game ends, type:


This will display the amount of gold you accumulated, the dungeon level you died on, the experience points you accumulated, and the experience level you achieved.


To build the PRG file from the BAS file, run make.sh ekileugor. The following tools are required:

yucca is only used to remove the REM statements, and to statically check that the program is not jumping to an undefined line number. You could instead use grep to remove the REMs and blank lines.

Run make.sh ekileugor test to start the game in xvic immediately after building.


There are some things you might expect from a roguelike that you won't find in Dungeons of Elikeugor, due to the limitations of the unexpanded VIC; you'll have to wait for Dungeons of Ekileugor II (assuming it ever materializes) which will require at least 3K memory expansion:

  • more than one kind of monster
  • character generation with three stats (strength, intelligence, and dexterity)
  • multiple weapons and armor (although probably not a real inventory)
  • detecting traps and secret doors

At one point the plan was to generate MINI and FULL versions of the game from the same program source, but this soon began to seem like a fool's errand; testing that the MINI version still works on an unexpanded VIC after adding features for the FULL version was tricky and cumbersome. Since the MINI version was what was the more impressive, and hardly large enough to justify the sharing of a code base with another version of the program, I decided to concentrate on it, and save the FULL version for some potentially mythical sequel.

So, yeah, basically this game turned out to be "how much of a classic roguelike can I stuff into an unexpanded VIC-20?" I was originally thinking of writing it in assembly, with the Ophis assembler, but I suspected that that would not be much more space-efficient, and run speed was not a primary concern. Some parts of the code could probably be done in less space with strategic machine code, but I don't know if it would shave enough off the size to permit adding any new, significant features. (Currently, after the program has ended, ?FRE(0) will report that there are around 14 bytes of free memory available, which is pretty darn close to nothing.)

But really, this project was undertaken mostly just as an excuse to use the word "Ekileugor" in the title (have you figured it out yet?)