The game was written in Ratfor, a C-like dialect of Fortran. At the time, I had access to a FORTRAN compiler for CP/M but no C compiler. So Ratfor was the rational choice. Orbquest actually borrows a lot more from the PLATO game DND than from Rogue. I designed it so that if you played carefully and didn't get too greedy, you could always avoid death. The difficulty of the monsters you faced was related both to the level of the dungeon you were on, as well as the amount of gold you carried. The experience you gained was equal to the gold you managed to carry out of the dungeon, so there was definitely some motivation to collect as much as possible, especially if you hit a "lucky streak" (since the treasure wouldn't be there if you left and returned). Of course, collect a bit too much and you ended up facing a monster that would kill you.A version of the game specifically for Osborne computers was sold also.
I did find someone once at a computer show playing it. He said he liked the game, but preferred to go all out and get as much gold as possible. I asked him how he avoided death. He said that he cheated by hitting Ctrl-C to halt the program before it updated the character information on disk! He had by far the highest level character I had ever seen (oddly enough I remember it was level 4617. Normally you finished the game around a few hundred levels).
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