Mangoes in Rogue

Whenever someone mentions mangoes, the first thing I think of is “My, that was a yummy mango” but this is a pretty niche thing to quote to someone that didn’t spend hours playing Rogue as a kid.
When you start to get hungry in the game of Rogue, you have to eat some generic “food,” or a fruit. I had always known the fruit in this game to be a mango, but as it turns out, my childhood experiences playing Rogue are not representative of every version of the game.

When I searched for this (to me) iconic phrase online, I initially only found one relevant result, someone on Reddit asking if anyone knew the origin of the phrase. The answer, internet guy, is yes, it came from the original Rogue.

However, upon testing the first version I could find quickly online, I discovered that I wasn’t collecting mangoes. I was now in a dungeon full of slime molds instead.

Someone replying to the Reddit post explained that “slime mold” was the default fruit item that could be found in the game’s dungeons. Supposedly this dates back to an in-joke between the original authors of the game, Michael Toy and Glenn Wichman, in reference to an actual slime mold that was growing on a drain pipe behind the dining hall at UC Santa Cruz.
In Toy’s document for the original Unix version, A Guide to the Dungeons of Doom, he explains that the fruit can be changed using the ROGUEOPTS environment variable. I can find only one version of this document remaining online that mentions mangoes. However, a lot of later roguelikes seem to reference mangoes so there’s clearly more of a pattern here. The guide for NetHack suggests mango as that game’s custom fruit, and another game, Brogue, uses mangoes as its only available fruit.

So what’s going on here? The widely available versions of Rogue for DOS online today mostly seem to be cracked versions of the original ports by Jon Lane, and from what I can tell they may have been compiled with different options set, some with mangoes and some with slime molds. Bizarrely, the version I had as a child doesn’t even seem to have been preserved online so far. Disk #J723 from the Oklahoma Book Warehouse reports itself as a copy of Rogue version 1.1, SN:1349, which is listed on the roguelike archive, but the version there has significant differences from the one I have. The most original-looking copies of v1.1, SN:1349 that I can find were located in the Total DOS Collection, have a date of 1983, and feature a copyright screen for Artificial Intelligence Design.

The next one, the version on the roguelike archive, has no text in the copyright area and so gets a glitched copy of the name prompt instead.

My copy, however, has a notice encouraging you to spread the program to friends and BBS services. Due to this, as a child I had assumed Rogue was basically free software and the disk it arrived on was the only thing you could be charged for.

So far, I haven’t come across any other version that has this message.

There are several differences in the code between the other versions and my version. There are some small textual changes here and there between this and later versions, but as far as I have found, my copy is the only one that omits the word “bizarre” from this section of text.

One other small text difference is the year that appears on your tombstone when you lose. In the original, this is 1983, same as the copyright. (Later versions changed it so it displays the current year set on the computer.) In my version however, the date is changed to 1984.

Aside from the missing word, the tombstone date, and the different copyright message, the only other difference between my copy and the “original” v1.1, SN:1349 is this chunk of code below. I don’t know what it does or how it affects the game, if at all. I’d love to find out though.

There are of course many other differences between this particular build of the game and other builds aside from whether the fruit is called a mango or not, but that’s beyond the current scope of this post. My next goal is to play enough of each copy of v1.1, SN:1349 to find out if they all give out mangoes. (They all have both “mango” and “slime mold” in the code in the same places.) Surprisingly, depending on the dungeon that is generated, it can be incredibly hard to get your hands on a mango.

When you do, though, it sure is a yummy mango.

Joust repair log

From 2017 to early 2020, I was repairing a Joust cabinet that we had acquired from a rural area. The person who sold it to us claimed that it had been in a hotel lobby for years. They also claimed that it had been “working like a champ” up until we came to see it. Regardless, it was a good price even if it was not running, so we gladly picked it up.
Joust cabinet strapped to a trailer bed

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Dream 2021.8.12

Dreaming I was at a recording of a Rick Astley concert where he was saying “this is the most important night of my life,” had his shirt unbuttoned and was crowd surfing and started to look increasingly more like Buckaroo Banzai with the crowd screaming uncontrollably while he was singing “only mortal doctors, only mortal doctors… only mortal doctors have seen it all”

It looked a lot like a giant version of my brother’s room with lots of posters of Bob-ombs and other things around the studio’s blue walls

This has happened just as I was trying to use the HD camcorder’s light to illuminate the inside of the Asteroids Deluxe cabinet so I could work on something and when I was getting ready to record what I was doing, that was one of the videos that played because I accidentally had it on play mode

In a previous dream I was being driven downtown by going away from it on the expressway

When we got downtown the sky was looking really cool and I tried to take pictures but they didn’t turn out

Then we got out and there was an extremely large building that had glass sides and a large overhang with nothing below part of it, and it was so high that there were mammatus clouds against the bottom of the overhanging area

There were lots of annoying apartment buildings too and I guess the new thing to do was to have a lot of furniture glued to the outside of your building, with various wall colors and angles, like parts facing straight down for pedestrians to look up at

Dream 2021.5.14

We were driving somewhere in St. Louis. We were on the highway but there was a road we had to cross to get to a tunnel that was an uninterrupted road to whatever street we were going to. It was a weird sloping road on the left, that looked like it went to an autobank, kind of in a place that seemed incorrect.

As we drove through the tunnel, we were walking instead and going past lots of other people who were content to stand on the moving floor. Two girls and one guy kept pace with us and we all got in a large elevator at the end of the concrete conveyor belt with steps.

The elevator had seats so I sat down. The elevator was going up at a very fast speed, sometimes slowing for a moment and then continuing up. After a while, the golden woodgrain walls were windows and I could see that we were moving backwards as well as upwards. I could feel the vibration every time the skyride carriage moved past the rollers, but otherwise it was a very fast ride that almost seemed like we weren’t moving at all. We went higher and higher away from the city center and I was trying to remember what professor this ride led to. I whispered “what a smooth ride. This is the kind of thing I’m always dreaming about,” just as my alarm went off.

Dream 2021.2.4

Trying to explain the layout of an old church to a bunch of people while we were in one section of it (but it was actually Grandma’s house) talking about a long narrow corridor that led to a section over a cliff

Ordering food from a doorway at the side of an automatic car wash where it pulls your car through

A “new” version of Batman Returns. I was viewing it from the perspective of Batman. I became aware that there was another Batman as well. He had a Brooklyn accent or something.  We both had gorillas to help us out. So far there were no supervillains but 2021 Michelle Pfeiffer seemed to be playing a washed-up Avon lady. One night the other Batman and I, along with our gorillas, were on a rooftop and some weird little triangular weights on chains dropped down from the sky.

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Dream 2021.1.16

Dreamed my dad sent me a viral post featuring 3 “song fails” about video games. The second one started off with girls driving a “taxi” (more like a black amusement park ride vehicle of some kind) with a weird sign on top of the open-air cab that said “Morocco” in volcanic letters. The lyrics were “video game marquee, imported says G-C-E” but the girl singing it pronounced it “mar-queue” so it didn’t even rhyme.

The preview of the next song was “girl meets supergun” and it showed a girl trying to sit down at a candy cab-height control panel but it had some exposed high voltage PCB/contraption on it and she zapped her knee and fell over.

Dream 2020.10.11

I was in an underground compound in the style of an early DOS FPS with Chief O’Brien and Ben and Jake Sisko. I went into one yellow room that seemed to be a chapel with rows of pews. I went to the third one from the front and clicked my mouse on a blocky sprite of Dr. Manhattan. He looked at me from the side of his face with one big round eye and disappeared, leaving a device that looked like an open TOS communicator with the handle of a phaser. There was now an outline of Dr. Manhattan’s body that looked like a gorilla in place of every closely-spaced doorway in the blue corridor that led to the way out. As the other three wandered around looking for a way to the surface, I started trying to activate a transporter that had a passport ID-style fingerprint scanner, but it had the voice of Picard and wouldn’t let me beam us out. O’Brien figured out that the weird device I found was some sort of absolute matter controller, and it was blocking the gain of our signals. He decided he would stay behind, saying “Are you crazy? We can’t take that thing back with us. It’ll destroy the universe!” Somehow though we got into the transporter booth and managed to control it enough to start beaming us out as he threw the device to the wall. We beamed out to a place at night with a fountain and a weird round shiny TOS-style turret above it that shook and blew sparks as the underground compound exploded. The turret fired three capsules, about the right size to hold in two hands, one red, blue, and yellow. The red and yellow ones bounced off the parking lot but the blue one stayed stuck in midair and rotated on its long axis quickly for a while.