Ancient Domains of Mystery

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Ancient Domains of Mystery, or ADOM, is a roguelike game by Thomas Biskup first released in 1994. The player's aim is to stop the forces of Chaos that invade the world of Ancardia.

Like most roguelikes, ADOM uses ASCII graphics to represent the game world. It features a wilderness map that connects different types of dungeons.[1] Most dungeons are randomly generated on first entering. Once visited, they — with the exception of the Infinite Dungeon — do not change when re-entered during play.



ADOM takes place in the fictional world of Ancardia, in the mountainous Drakalor Chain. For 6,000 years, it has known relative peace, but recently reports have spread of the appearance of dangerous dungeons and frightening monsters. Khelavaster, a wise sage, discovers an ancient prophecy regarding the Coming of Chaos and propagates it to the peoples of the world. It speaks of a champion who will defend the world from the forces of Chaos in the Drakalor Chain. Hearing of this prophecy, many would-be heroes set out. The player assumes control of one such adventurer.[2]


ADOM presents an initial choice of one (male or female) player character from ten races and twenty character classes, the combination of which strongly affects gameplay, in both subtle and obvious ways. Among other traits, character development includes experience levels, statistics, and skills. Version 1.1.0 introduced a talent system,[3] allowing further customization of characters, based on a hierarchical system of prerequisites.

During adventures, a player is likely to explore many areas and complete multiple quests. Which quests are available may depend on character experience level or alignment (lawful, neutral, or chaotic). Alignment also affects NPC and deity interaction with the character. How one solves a quest can also affect one's alignment, such that a chaotic character seeking redemption can eventually become lawful through his or her actions (or vice versa).

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