Do you know this game? This is the second of a two-game series called Alternate Reality: The Dungeon. The first game was Alternate Reality: The City. This game was formative in my view of video games. It took me from a general gamer to an RPG-heavy gamer, in a way that not even The Bard’s Tale series could.
It was an ambitious project. The concept was that there would be seven games, and you could make a character that could go in and out of the seven games at will, with transfer points that were established in each scenario. Quests in one game would be solved in others, and some games were planned to sharpen certain skills more than others.
Even within each game, a tremendous amount of features and details were crammed into these 64K systems. The area is vast, it keeps track of all the basic stats and some hidden ones, as well. Your alignment is not just good, neutral, or evil, but a range of 0 to 255, with different things affected at different levels. Your hunger, thirst, weariness, and warmth are all monitored, with multiple levels of each condition, causing negative effects at the extremes. I could go on and on, I still manage to discover something new once in a while.
As usual, money got in the way. Only two games were released. Actually, those two games were supposed to be one, but the developers were pushed to release immediately, so the 8-bit versions of The City were left incomplete, making The Dungeon a far more polished game.
Anyway, any modern RPG I play gets measured by Alternate Reality. I often search for boxed copies on eBay, trying to find a good-condition boxed version of each game. Datasoft’s boxes have a habit of creasing and collapsing. I have a pretty decent City, but no Dungeon at all.
One day, my search led me to an unexpected find: these newsletters! I never even knew these existed. I have scanned them into PDF files for anyone who wants to read them.