1975 Greats #01 – pedit5 (Dungeon)

PEDIT5  (aka. Dungeon)
Year:  1975
Platform:  PLATO
Programmer:  Rusty Rutherford
Genre:   CRPG

003 - pedit5An early rogue-like, character-based role playing game on the PLATO system…  the strange game title pedit5 was an attempt at masking the name of a great game from system administrators bent on eliminating frivolous endeavors.

Loosely based on the concept of DND, this game let you explore dungeons, attack monsters and collect treasure.  It had a primary goal of amassing enough experience (20,000) through your dungeon crawling and fighting to “retire” your character to the good life.  Being on a PLATO system also meant a shared experience, where the leader-boards posted your current player level and even a HALL OF FAME to chronicle the lucky retired adventurers living the good life.

pedit5 had fairly advanced graphics for its time, being run from a powerful mainframe – but accessed via dumb terminals.  The gameplay was quite punishing – killing off unlucky adventurers in as little as one random encounter with a vastly superior enemy.  It required a healthy dose of luck, and some strategic use of your limited magic to amass the 20,000 experience points goal.

Many elements of the CRPG were established with pioneering works such as this — and later refined in further variations (Orthanc, Moria, Dungeon, etc).  Along with some other popular games on the PLATO, a great many RPG ideas and concepts can trace their heritage back to these early pioneers!  So for the trailblazing spirit, and the devious naming convention which saved this game from the administrators virtual trash can — we crown pedit5 a Videogame Great!

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