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Akalabeth - World of Doom - MAME software

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Main data
Romset and title:
aklabeth Akalabeth - World of Doom
Software list:
apple2_flop_misc Apple II miscellaneous disks
Publisher:
California Pacific Computer
Year:
1979
Rankings
Average user rating:
Romset
First release:
Mame 0.207 released on feb-27 2019
Last release:
Mame 0.246 released on jul-31 2022
Status
Software:
SUPPORTED
Additional infos
  • History (en)
  • History (it)
  • XML
  • Apple II 5.25 disk. published 42 years ago:

    Akalabeth - World of Doom © 1980 California Pacific Computer

    TRIVIA
    The game was made by teenager Richard Garriott in Applesoft BASIC for the Apple II while attending high school in the Houston, Texas suburbs. Begun first as a school project during his junior year using the school's mainframe system DEC PDP-11. The game continually evolved over two years under the working title DND with the help of his friends and regular Dungeons & Dragons partners who acted as play-testers.

    Final development of the game began soon after his initial encounter with Apple computers in the summer of 1979, on an Apple II bought for him by his father and, later, on an Apple II Plus, but Garriott did not expect that the public would see his work.

    When the game reached version DND28B later that year (where 28B refers to the revision), he demoed the game – now renamed to Akalabeth – for his boss, John Prosper Mayer, at a Clear Lake City, Texas-area ComputerLand, who suggested he sell the game in the store. Garriott consented and spent $200 to package and sell the game for $20 inside Ziploc bags, with photocopied instructions and a cover drawn by his mother. It warned "BEWARE FOOLISH MORTAL, YOU TRESPASS IN AKALABETH, WORLD OF DOOM!!", and claimed to offer "10 different Hi-Res Monsters combined with perfect perspective and infinite dungeon levels". California Pacific Computer Company received a copy, and contacted Garriott to publish the game. Garriott flew to California with his parents and agreed to receive $5 for each copy sold. The retail price of the California Pacific version, with cover artwork by Denis Loubet, was $35; Garriott claims that the game sold 30,000 copies, with him receiving $150,000, and that Akalabeth had the best return on investment, with later games "all downhill from there". The company suggested that for marketing purposes "Lord British" be credited as the author, and organized a contest for Softalk readers to figure out his true identity.

    In creating Akalabeth, Garriott was primarily inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, for which he held weekly sessions in his parents' house while in high school, and the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, which he received from an in-law of his brother. The name derives from Tolkien's Akallabêth, part of The Silmarillion, though the game is not based on Tolkien's story. In the original game, the last monster on the need-to-kill list is called "Balrog", like the demonic monsters from The Lord of the Rings, and unlike the later name for the monster in the Ultima games, Balron.

    While not explicitly stated, Akalabeth is seen as the first game of the Ultima series, a very popular and influential series of role-playing video games.

    The game used concepts that would later become standard in the Ultima series, including:
    First-person gameplay in dungeons.
    Requiring food to survive.
    A top-down overhead world view.
    Hotkeys used for commands.
    The use of Elizabethan English.

    STAFF
    By: Richard Garriott
    Title artwork by: Keith Zabalaoui

    CONTRIBUTE
    Edit this entry: https://www.arcade-history.com/?&page=detail&id=107051&o=2
    Informations provided by © Alexis Bousiges
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Data updated on august 3 2022


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