Alternate Reality
the Dungeon Revisited
by Penny Ormston

What is Alternate Reality all about?


Alternate Reality was originally meant to be an entire series of inter-related fantasy role-playing games conceived by Philip Price for the Atari 800 series computers in the mid 1980s. It started with Alternate Reality the City, where the player's character was abducted by aliens and taken to the city of Xebec's Demise to just sort of... survive. The game was all done in a first person perspective, three dimensional view, that was totally mindblowing at the time. AR the City was totally immersive, with stirring music by Gary Gilbertson, day and night cycles, weather changes, and sights and sounds to bring the City to life. Those of us who were lucky enough to play it at the time were captivated, and eagerly awaited the upcoming installments that were to come.


The City was followed by Alternate Reality the Dungeon in 1987, which was programmed by Ken Jordan and Dan Pinal. In many ways the Dungeon was superior to the City, in that there were actual quests and goals, as well as the addition of magic both through spellcasting and through numerous magical items. Music by Gary Gilbertson again brought the game to life, and the entire experience was one to be savored and relished. Other installments were meant to follow: The Arena, The Palace, The Wilderness, Revelation and Destiny, but sadly these scenerios were not to come. As it was, Alternate Reality the Dungeon was only released on the Atari 800 series, Commodore 64/128 series, and the Apple II.



About Alternate Reality -- the Dungeon (Revisited)


The copyrights for Alternate Reality belong to Philip Price, and I wish I had a way to contact him and let him know how much his ideas have influenced me, and how greatly it has affected me. I had dreamed of remaking the City and Dungeon and then moving on to the unreleased scenerios. I have many pages of notes for ideas for the arena, palace, and wilderness, but I had to start somewhere. I decided to start with the Dungeon. Please note that the introduction movie is actually a video of the orignial introduction to Alternate Reality The Dungeon as it appeared on the Atari computer systems.


Even just recreating the Dungeon involved a lot of decision making, starting with how accurately I might recreate it. Would I use the same map, copy the graphics etc. and try to basically reinvent the wheel? I seriously contemplated doing exactly that, but I am afraid if I had chosen that path that it would still be in a very elementary stage of development. Instead, I decided to use the concept of the Dungeon but recreate it from scratch. The result is an entirely new Dungeon map, with similar quests and events, but from a new perspective. I have tried to keep alive the 'feel' of the Dungeon, in combat, rumors, guilds, and more, and yet to be a different game, with new maps to explore and secrets to find. I know there are some who will object to my vision of the Dungeon, it was not an easy decision to make.


Main differences between the (Revisited) Dungeon and the orignial include the maps, the number of levels, potions, wherein I have incorporated more of a AR the City version of potions. Also important treasure such as the razor ice and the mapstone are not just lying around waiting to be stumbled upon. Instead you must open safes to gain their contents. Speaking of the mapstone, another major change is the addition of a minimap, but this requires either use of the mapstone or casting the location spell.


AR the Dungeon (Revisited) has been written entirely with Dark Basic Professional programming language. It requires Windows with DirectX 9.0c to run.


Click here to download Alternate Reality the Dungeon Revisited! It is a 67.2MB RAR file. Simply extract it to a folder on your computer and run the game from AR.exe.