Games I remember, with a remake - Dungeon Master

Well the time has finally arrived, it's time for Dungeon Master. The most epic of Dungeon Crawlers ever created, a game so popular that if you went onto any gaming forum today and said Dungeon Master you'd probably get every retro gamer going in a posting frenzy. But what is Dungeon Master? Dungeon Master is an early grid-based 3D real time rpg, that was first developed and published by FTL Games for the Atari ST in 1987.  It was so popular that it sold over 40,000 copies and became the ST's best selling product of all time, but even though it's home was the Atari ST, it went onto other platforms.

During 1988 the Amiga version was released which further pushed the game into excellence with 3D sound effects, it also, as it did with the Atari ST, won many gaming accolades in specific magazines. Due to the competition of the two systems, some will say that the Amiga version was the more popular, I myself had the Amiga version and actually thought at the time that the game was created on and for the Amiga.

Amiga version ( not much difference at all, apart from the sound )

The game was also ported to other systems, well why shouldn't it have been, it was so damn popular. It arrived on systems like the PC, Apple IIGS, TurboGrafx-CD, SNES, Sharp X6800 and the PC-9801

SNES Version ( Note the change of UI to suit the console controller )

But did you know that the original name for Dungeon Master was actually going to be called Crystal Dragon? This might've been due to the fact that the original development studio was called PVC Dragon before Doug Bell & Andy Jaros joined FTL Games in 1983.

As time progressed the next version was in 1989 titled Chaos Strikes Back. This was an expansion and sequel to Dungeon Master and once again was ported to many different systems, however unlike Dungeon Master, Chaos Strikes Back had new graphics and new creatures but using the same engine. The difficulty was also altered from Dungeon Master in the fact that whereas the first game saw the player following a pretty linear situation, flat levels then stairways down, Chaos Strikes Back featured a choice of paths from specific areas and levels. The puzzles were also changed and became more demanding of the player through the mastery of the control system to deal with more intense combat and the frustrating puzzled rooms.

What I did like about the history of many long Amiga series was the ability to import previous save game characters and Chaos Strikes Back was no exception. Because of the higher difficulty especially that first starting room, the player can choose from a selection of increased leveled players or import them from Dungeon Master.

Chaos Strikes Back also had a more involved story with the player's task being to collect four pieces of corbum, a magical material from which the evil Lord Chaos draws his power. This requires the traversing of four separate paths each leading to a piece of corbamite and each themed around one of the disciplines open to characters in the game.

Chaos Strikes Back

In 1992 another Dungeon Master appeared, titled Theron's Quest which was a modified version of Dungeon Master for the TurboGrafx/PC Engine video game console. Although it has a different story, it could only be described as a light version of Dungeon Master. Not containing all of the items, spells and monsters featured in Dungeon Master. The main goal was also regarding Theron finding seven parts of a blue knight's armor (Shield Defiant, Taza Poleyn, Tazahelm, Taza Boots, Taza Armor, Soulcage, The Retaliator).

Dungeon Master: Theron's Quest ( TurboGrafx/PC Engine )

Finally from 1993-1995 we had a proper high end sequel, it was time for Dungeon Master II: The Legend of Skullkeep. Again a multi platform release available on PC as a DOS program, Amiga, Macintosh, Mega-CD/Sega CD PC-9801, PC-9821 and FM Towns. It was a version that I remember very well and had more fun with, mainly because of the great graphics, ease of controls and easier spell system. The game also fused real-time battles with puzzle solving and traveling, with all new new auto-maps. Rain and magic usage effects that are incorporated into the engine. The first part of the game is spent above ground, visiting villages with shops and temples, and trawling through forests.

Another interesting difference between Dungeon Master and Dungeon Master 2 was the selection of the characters, whereas in the earlier versions you selected specific painting portraits in Dungeon Master 2, the selectable characters are in what look to be futuristic capsules. Not sure which I'd prefer to be stuck in ;)

The story in DM2 is that the evil is returning. Defeated and banished from Zalk long ago, the despicable Dragoth, is amassing his dark minions and preparing to return with the intent to destroy the peace and tranquillity of the land. Your mission is to find the four keys that unlock Skullkeep and reactivate the Zo Link portal that leads to the Void. Only then can you and your party of four would-be heroes (chosen from 15 Champions, each with unique attributes), confront Dragoth's  army of dark denizens, and prevent the evil from gaining entrance into your homeland.

In the very late 90's,  Dungeon Master Nexus came out on the Sega Saturn. It was only ever released on the Sega Saturn and only in Japan. It was the first game to ever use a 3D graphics engine and featured 15 levels though the core specifics of the game remain the same.

Through all the games ever released they all had the same style of spell system, in which each set of runes gives a unique spell. I myself never enjoyed this way of casting spells, another reason why Eye of the Beholder and Lands of Lore always appealed to me, it was simply selecting the spell you wanted and it would be cast, but the remembrance of runes in Dungeon Master put me off.

But the enemies in which you come across always fascinated me, especially as you didn't know what type of enemy would appear and how it would damage you. This is where the fighting comes in, the fighting almost appears to be more or less turn-based. You have to choose which Champion performs what combat action by selecting his or her weapon and an appropriate action.

Though what has always given me such enjoyment from any dungeon crawler, is the moving through dark menacing dungeons, hearing the creatures walking about and the feeling of being trapped in closed spaces with no way out. Something as simple as pressing a button on a wall, waiting to see if a door opens or a trap is tripped, or the revealing of a secret wall of goods gives such gaming pleasure that will last the ages. This is why today, Dungeon Master and many of it's like have a massive fan base and it's here we move onto the Remakes!

- Before visiting the links, make sure you have either JAVA, CBS WIN or Return to Chaos (RTC ) which is a Windows version of the FTL classic "Dungeon Master. RTC through the editor enables you to run most of the remakes and fan based games based on Dungeon Master.

Dungeon Master Java

Improved graphics from the original, however still work in progress and not new, thus it may not work on Windows 8, 2.10 was being developed but as of yet not released. A new graphical pack is also in development, see link


Dungeon Master HD

ALL of the graphics have been painstakingly updated. RTC supports a maximum resolution of 640x480 but it's still twice what the original 320x240 was. You will need RTC to be able to play this

Alt link

Chaos Strikes Back HD  

ALL of the graphics have been painstakingly updated. You will need RTC to be able to play this

Download CSB_HD.ZIP here
alt link

Theron's Quest HD

A re-release with new features added/updated. Experience and equipment that didn't carryover to new levels. This is about as close as you can get to the real deal. You will need RTC to be able to play this

Download TQ_HD.RTC here
alt link.

Tower of Champions ( Fan Based )

A fan based game using RTC, this isn't the original Dungeon Master but there has been a lot of work put into it, with new texture tiles, sound effects, monsters and more. You may need RTC!

VERSION 4.0 ...

Ravenhood ( Fan Based, Massive Dungeon )

It works on RTC windows version of DM
(put rtc file to modules, run exe and select it from list)

Features: 10+ hours of play * 10 replayability
40 champions, with above 100 unique skills
6 large areas to explore 70+ new monsters
1300+ new graphics and 80+ new sounds


Dungeons Matter

Special feature of Dungeons Matter

・Orthodox evolution of the old style.
・Location of the game is inside the mountain.
・As many as 18 floor will await you.
・You must break through floor and go up stairs to advance.
・All the floor have clearly theme.
・Elaborate artistic dungeon construction.
・Battle situations are elaborated.
・Easy to understand what is happening by switch.
・The challenging puzzles.
・The item meets all your needs.
・You don't have to read English text to play this quest.
・The difficulty of the early stage is not so high.
・But conversely,the part of latter half become really hard.

Download and Screen shots ( You may need RTC ) ... screenshot
Alt download link: ...

Conflux III

Conflux is a free, fan-made 2012 ampliation and rework of the original game Dungeon Master. The engine was reverse-engineered by Paul Stevens in 8 months of hard work and subsequently enhanced through the years.
Conflux is a fan-made custom dungeon. It is a basic dungeon crawl over many levels. Like the offical expansion Chaos Strikes Back, Conflux is a very non-linear affair. Unlike that dungeon, Conflux allows you to explore the various realms of the Undercity freely. While there are central quests, there are many endings. Party choice matters, one of the fundamental original ideas. Waiting to retrieve the guild leaders allows access to their endings. Possessing a certain character, especially a guild guide, allows you to open secrets or gives you information.

Conflux boasts many features not found in the original game - myriads of secrets and side quests, and most importantly atmosphere by the bucketload. Of course, a dungeon based upon a 20 year old game will not visually compare to anything today. However, a good game is a good game, a good custom dungeon is a good custom dungeon, and conflux is a masterstroke of depth and genius ideas.
Download latest version (Conflux WIP004) for Windows here
Further versions here 
CBS WIN Needed ( )

Dungeon Master v3.6

A full package Compilation Dungeon Master 3in1 : Dungeon Master v3.6, Dungeon Master II: The Legend Of Skullkeep, Chaos Strikes Back. 

Every original Amiga DM ever released in a full compilation, in one easy to run exe! Play the Amiga originals on your pc using an inbuilt emulator and high end graphical filters.


Listed from DM website
  • CSBwin: A true port of DM and CSB on not just Windows, but Linux, MacOS X and Pocket PC. The project has expanded the engine with advanced features and new expanded dungeons are available, but will of course still play the original dungeons.
  • Return to Chaos: An adaptation of DM and CSB for Windows, though the engine itself is made from scratch and allows high resolution graphics beyond the original DM as well as dungeons much bigger than those DM could originally handle. It also features a full editor with many fun new features to create traditional or completely new feeling dungeons.
  • Dungeon Strikes Back: Another remake of the DM engine for Windows, also allowing high resolution graphics and much larger dungeons than the original. The Lua scripting language is extensively integrated, to allow dungeon designers almost complete freedom in what they are able to create.
  • Dungeon Master Java: A platform independent game inspired by DM, but with some significant differences in gameplay as well as high-resolution graphics. It includes a full graphical editor. Its original author has stopped working on it but others continue to maintain the project. There are separate Dungeon Master Java Forums for this game.
  • Visit the Custom Dungeons section for a list of other dungeons and read Custom Dungeon Reviews.
    Another List of dungeons is available in the forum.
Even more custom dungeons!

Don't forget to download RTC & CBS for the original DM/RTC and most of the fan based dungeons above. I hope you enjoyed this long article and let me know if you come across any other great DM fan based games so I can add them.

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