amper = A = angle brackets

Angband n. /ang'band/

Like nethack, moria, and rogue, one of the large freely distributed Dungeons-and-Dragons-like simulation games, available for a wide range of machines and operating systems. The name is from Tolkien's Pits of Angband (compare elder days, elvish). Has been described as "Moria on steroids"; but, unlike Moria, many aspects of the game are customizable. This leads many hackers and would-be hackers into fooling with these instead of doing productive work. There are many Angband variants, of which the most notorious is probably the rather whimsical Zangband. In this game, when a key that does not correspond to a command is pressed, the game will display "Type ? for help" 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time, random error messages including "An error has occurred because an error of type 42 has occurred" and "Windows 95 uninstalled successfully" will be displayed. Zangband also allows the player to kill Santa Claus (who has some really good stuff, but also has a lot of friends), "Bull Gates", and Barney the Dinosaur (but be watchful; Barney has a nasty case of halitosis). There is an official angband home page at http://www.phial.com/angband and a zangband one at http://thangorodrim.angband.org. See also Random Number God.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Nobody has told you about the neat part of Angband: ASCII graphics!


Dwarf                                                                          
Priest       #####################  ######################  
Curate           #  |     !   P  ####               #    #           
LEVEL     27 ##  #     ^        #    #       $      #  ###           
EXP    44584 ^^#  ##           ##    ##   hp      ##  #^^#            
AU     10746   ##  ##         ##      ## TT   C T##  ##  #             
                ##  ##       ##       ^##TTT    ##  ##   #          
STR:   18/10     ##  ##     ##  d       ##TT   ##  ##    #         
INT:       6      ##  ##   ##      $     T## T## T##     #         
WIS:   18/80  ^    ##  #####            d  ####  ##      #          
DEX:      11    $   ##  ##<                 ##  ##       #           
CON:   18/20         ##^^##       ##       ##^^##       ,#   
CHR:      11 ##  h   ^##  ##    ##  ##    ##  ##^      ###    
              ##    ^^ ##  ##  ##oo  ##  ##  ## ^^    ## #    
Cur AC    96   ##  ^^   ##  ####ooo   ####  ##   ^^  ##oo#         
Max HP   240 ooo##^^     ##  ## ooo    ##  ##     ^^##o o########### 
Cur HP   240 ooo ##       ##  ##ooo   ##  ## $     ##oooo#@...          
Max SP    82 ooo  ##       ##  ##n   ##  ##       ##oo oo#.######### 
Cur SP    81 ooo   ##       ##  ## X##  ##       ##o oooo#.#                   
             ooo    ##^ d    ##  ####z ##      ^##  ooooo#.#                   
             o       ^#       ##      ##       #^     o s#.##                  
             #############################################..#                  
                               Fast (+3)      Study  Lev 27  

Now, I know, some of you really hate ASCII art. Well, you can leave now, or read on. This is not ASCII art. This is the actual playing screen of the game. Every character on screen has a meaning, it's not just there to build up a pretty picture:

@
Me, the player: a Dwarf Priest.
#
Granite walls. I'll need to be strong, or use a shovel, to dig through the wall to get into this vault.
<
Up-going stairs. I could use them to escape if I had to do so.
^
Traps. Can be a problem; I'll disarm them before I accidentally fall through a trap door, or step on a summonning rune.
$
Gold, of course, or other valuable mineral easily converted to cash. You can see I have a lot right now (AU 10746), but it goes quickly in the Black Market.
!
Potion. Could be poison, could be life.
|
Edged weapon, probably a kind of sword. As a priest, I'm forbidden to shed blood, but I might be able to sell this to a shopkeeper in town and use the gold to buy a better mace.
o
Orcs, often called goblins. Not dangerous to me.
T
Trolls. Might be a little tough.
d
Small dragon. Not a worry, but if it breathes acid, I might lose something.
C
Probably a Hellhound. Will almost certainly breathe fire and burn up a scroll or staff. Nasty.
p
Possibly a priest or mage. Probably weak and inexperienced.
h
Hobbit or Elf. Might be very dangerous. I'll find out.
The point of the ASCII graphics is that Angband is portable to a huge number of platforms, and best of all, it is blindingly fast. No time is wasted drawing animated little cartoon warriors swinging little cartoon swords at you. You run into something, hit it, it hits you, somebody dies. You get in far, far more play time, actually doing something, than in any other computer game. And it's not a twitch game; it is strictly turn-based, so if you have to go take the teakettle off the burner, you haven't died by the time you get back.

Angband is also a testimony to the right way to do open source. It is quite simply one of the finest, most stable, best documented, most configurable pieces of software in existence -- of any kind. I strongly urge you to try it today.

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