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Encyclopedia > Dungeon Keeper
Dungeon Keeper
Dungeon Keeper box cover
Developer Bullfrog Productions
Publisher Electronic Arts
Designer Peter Molyneux
Engine Modified Magic Carpet engine
Released July, 1997
Genre Real-time strategy, God game
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Ratings ESRB: Mature (M)
Platform(s) PC (DOS, Windows)
System requirements Windows: Pentium 75 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Windows 95
DOS: 486DX4 100 MHz, 8 MB RAM (16 MB for Hi-res)
Input methods Keyboard, Mouse

Dungeon Keeper is a PC strategy game released by Bullfrog Productions in July 1997. The game puts the player into the role of the "dungeon keeper": instead of valiantly storming a dungeon like a hero, killing monsters and taking the treasures, the player builds the dungeons, recruits the monsters, sets the traps, and fends off the (computer-controlled) heroes that regularly attempt to come in. Dungeon Keeper box cover shot This work is copyrighted. ... A video game developer is a software developer (a business or an individual) that creates video games. ... Bullfrog Productions was a UK computer game developer that was founded in 1987 by Les Edgar and Peter Molyneux, and was one of the entrepreneurs of video gaming. ... Electronic Arts (EA) (NASDAQ: ERTS) is an American developer, marketer, publisher, and distributor of computer and video games. ... A game designer is a person who designs games. ... Peter at the University of Southampton Peter Molyneux OBE (born 5 May 1959 in Guildford, Surrey, UK) is a computer game designer and game programmer, responsible for well known God games Populous and Black & White, among others, as well as Business Strategy games such as Theme Park and most recently... A game engine is the core software component of a computer video game or other interactive application with real-time graphics. ... Magic Carpet is a video game released by Bullfrog in 1994. ... 1997 1997 in games 1996 in video gaming 1998 in video gaming Notable events of 1997 in video gaming. ... Video games are categorized into genres based on their gameplay. ... A real-time strategy (RTS) video game is one that is distinctly not turn-based. ... This article is about the computer game genre. ... In computer games and video games, single-player refers to the variant of a particular game where input from only one player is expected throughout the course of the gaming session. ... Online gaming redirects here. ... The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a self-regulatory organization that applies and enforces ratings, advertising guidelines, and online privacy principles for computer and video games in the United States. ... In computing, a platform describes some sort of framework, either in hardware or software, which allows software to run. ... A personal computer (PC) is a computer whose price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals. ... This article is about the family of closely related operating systems for the IBM PC compatible platform. ... “Windows” redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... RAM redirects here. ... Windows 95 is a consumer-oriented graphical user interface-based operating system. ... The Intel DX4 is a clock-tripled 80486 microprocessor chip. ... RAM redirects here. ... A 104-key PC US English QWERTY keyboard layout The Dvorak Simplified Keyboard layout A standard Hebrew keyboard showing both Hebrew and QWERTY. A computer keyboard is a peripheral partially modelled after the typewriter keyboard. ... Operating a mechanical 1: Pulling the mouse turns the ball. ... A personal computer (PC) is a computer whose price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals. ... Chess is one of the most well-known and played strategy games of all time. ... Bullfrog Productions was a UK computer game developer that was founded in 1987 by Les Edgar and Peter Molyneux, and was one of the entrepreneurs of video gaming. ... 1997 1997 in games 1996 in video gaming 1998 in video gaming Notable events of 1997 in video gaming. ... The dungeons of Blarney Castle. ...



The game interface is reminiscent of normal real-time strategy (RTS) games: the player uses a mouse, represented in-game as a hand, to interact with a bar on the left-hand side of the screen, allowing him to select which rooms to build and which spells to cast. Rather uniquely, the player can use the hand to pick up creatures and objects in the dungeon and carry them around, allowing for tactics such as gathering an assault force and dropping off the creatures en masse once a beachhead has been established. A real-time strategy (RTS) video game is one that is distinctly not turn-based. ... Operating a mechanical 1: Pulling the mouse turns the ball. ... A beachhead is a military term used to describe the line created when a unit (by sea) reaches a beach, and begins to defend that area of beach, while other reinforcements (hopefully) help out, until a unit large enough to begin advancing has arrived. ...

The hand also allows the player to "slap" objects and thereby interact with them: creatures will hurry up when slapped, chickens in a Hatchery will "splat," and some traps will be triggered. Prisoners in the Torture Chamber can thus be treated with a hands-on approach.

The main game view is in isometric perspective, however, this view can be zoomed and rotated. The player also has the option of possessing one of his creatures, and seeing the dungeon from that creature's first-person perspective, as well as use their attacks and abilities.

The map is divided into a grid of (mostly invisible) rectangles: an arbitrary number of monsters can be on any element of the grid, but only one trap or room section. A smaller part of the map is shown as a minimap in the top left corner of the screen. Example of an automap in the lower-right corner of the screen in Age of Mythology Automap is an abbreviation for automatic map, a navigational aid featured in many video games and computer games. ...

The world map demonstrates the developers' detailed work: at the beginning of the game, the player is allocated one of the 20 regions of a fictional, idyllic country. As the player progresses through these regions (each of which represents a level), the areas previously conquered will appear ransacked, twisted, and evil. On completing the game, the whole map will look like Hell. The Inferno redirects here. ...

Before starting a new level, the advisor will tell the player about the current region and its attributes. This has no significance on the level itself, but provides comedic effect as the advisor is unable to comprehend the good deeds of the population. For example: "This region of dreaming underlings is ruled by the beautiful Lady Catherine. She's kind, and fair, and doesn't imprison or torture her subjects...for some reason." After completing a level, the advisor will talk about the "improvement" of the destroyed region. "The streets run with the blood of the slain. Screams of pain and howls of anguish rip the night air like a vengeful siren's song. This really is somewhere you can take the kids for the weekend."


The Dungeon Heart represents the Dungeon Keeper's own life. If it is destroyed, the player loses the level, and must re-start. Along with the heart, the player begins with a small number of imps, the generic work force for all dungeon activities: they can dig tunnels into the surrounding soil, capture enemy rooms and Portals, mine gold and gems, set traps, and even attack when desperate or threatened. Slapping creatures forces them to work faster for a while, but removes some of their health and happiness. IMP or imp may mean: Imp, a fantasy creature. ... GOLD refers to one of the following: GOLD (IEEE) is an IEEE program designed to garner more student members at the university level (Graduates of the Last Decade). ... For other uses, see Gemstone (disambiguation). ...

Once the Imps are busily working, the player must then set up a basic infrastructure: Lairs for monsters, a Hatchery (where chickens, which serve as food for the minions, are bred), and a Treasury for storing gold. After connecting the dungeon to a "Portal", monsters will arrive. The types of monster that will arrive depends on the rooms possessed, and how large they are: the Bile Demon, for example, requires both a Lair and a Hatchery of at least 25 (5x5) units. As the game progresses, the player moves along a technology tree, unlocking further rooms. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A portal in fiction is a magical or technological doorway that connects two distant locations. ...

Some creatures are only accessible through special means. Creating a Prison room and leaving friendly or enemy creatures in it will result in Skeletons. Having an enemy or friendly creature die in a Torture Chamber will result in a Ghost. Dead enemies taken to a Graveyard room will result in a Vampire being born.

The strongest creature is the Avatar (Available only twice on the last level) and the second strongest is the Horned Reaper. To obtain the Horned Reaper a Dark Mistress, Bile Demon and Troll must be sacrificed in the Temple Room at the same time. If left doing nothing, Horned Reapers will become angry and start attacking the player's other creatures. This can be avoided by ensuring the Horned Reaper is busy at all times. They will only go berserk if left to their own devices. Researching, training or praying in a Temple all keep the Horned Reaper happy. Some players like to create a separate lair, hatchery, treasure room and training room covered by a locked door in order to keep a Reaper for any length of time. They are excellent in battle and immune to lava. While the games avoid overt references to religion, the system of Virtues is loosely based upon various aspects of Christianity and Buddhism, and the Avatar certainly shows some traits of a messiah. ... The horned reaper (left) looking down on a goodly Dwarf (right). ...

The dungeon has a fleshed-out ecology: some creatures are natural enemies. Flies and Spiders are often found at odds with one another, while a Horned Reaper, if it has gone berserk, will randomly attack any creatures in its path. The Horned Reaper does have one natural enemy though; if a lord of the land is seen by the Horned Reaper, the creature will, without any sort of regard for his allies (or his health for that matter), rush straight at him. At the same time, warlocks find it incredibly annoying if other races are cashing in on their research time, which ends up in them attacking if the Warlock is above level 1. Warlocks particularly dislike Vampires. Also, Skeletons hate Bile Demons due to the Skeleton's lack of weight contrasting with the abundance of the Bile Demon's. For the journal, see Ecology (journal). ...

Creatures that cannot share a lair without fighting:

  • Fly/Spider
  • Vampire/Warlock
  • Bile Demon/Skeleton
  • Dark Mistress/Samurai
  • Hellhound/Demon Spawn

The goals for each level are fairly straightforward: they generally fall along the lines of eliminating the heroic force or destroying all other Dungeon Keepers on the level.


The Deeper Dungeons

The Deeper Dungeons is an expansion pack that was released in November 1997. It features 15 new levels and an improved artificial intelligence for the enemies. An expansion pack is an addition to an existing game. ... Game artificial intelligence refers to techniques used in computer and video games to produce the illusion of intelligence in the behavior of non-player characters (NPCs). ...

Dungeon Keeper Gold Edition

Dungeon Keeper Gold Edition was not a sequel, so much as a repackaging. It contained the original game, Deeper Dungeons, the 3D patches, & a game editor. It also came with an additional novella of sorts, recounting the tale of a hero killed while exploring the dungeons. Most of the additions were put on Bullfrog's website, and the Gold Edition was discontinued.

Dungeon Keeper 2

Dungeon Keeper 2 is a sequel released in June 1999. It featured an entirely new game engine that natively supported hardware acceleration, Dungeon Keeper (the original) supported Direct3D via an alternative executable, but not out of the box. DK2 also used full-3D models for the creatures and enemies, rather than sprites. Dungeon Keeper 2 is an IBM PC strategy game developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts in 1999[1] for Microsoft Windows. ... In computing, hardware acceleration is the use of hardware to perform some function faster than is possible in software running on the normal (general purpose) CPU. Examples of hardware acceleration include blitting acceleration functionality in graphics processing units (GPUs) and instructions for complex operations in CPUs. ... This article is about process of creating 3D computer graphics. ... In computer graphics, a sprite (also known by other names; see Synonyms below) is a two-dimensional/three-dimensional image or animation that is integrated into a larger scene. ...

Dungeon Keeper 3

Dungeon Keeper 3 was not released. However, some Dungeon Keeper 2 CDs contained a trailer showing some features of Dungeon Keeper 3, amongst them above-land battles. One member of Bullfrog stated on his personal website that Dungeon Keeper 3 was going to be named: War for the Overworld.[1] This project was discontinued because, according to Ernest W. Adams (one of the developers), Bullfrog had decided not to do any other RTS of any kind. This decision was in effect the end of Bullfrog as a brand; the company had already been owned by EA for several years, and EA laid off some employees and put the remainder onto other projects such as the Harry Potter line. Dungeon Keeper 3: War for the Overworld[1] was a cancelled IBM PC strategy game developed by Bullfrog Productions for Microsoft Windows. ... This article is about the Harry Potter series of novels. ...

See also

Overlord is an action-adventure game developed by Triumph Studios and published by Codemasters, in which the player takes the role of an Overlord with a goal to regain power through command of a horde of goblin-like creatures known as Minions. The game was released in North America on... Evil Genius is a tongue-in-cheek take on the 1960s spy thriller genre offering the player the chance to play the villain himself and control a secret island fortress complete with powerful henchmen, loyal minions and a wide range of gizmos, gadgets and traps. ... Startopia is a computer game from Mucky Foot Productions (formed by ex-Bullfrog employees) and published by Eidos in 2001, in which the player takes the role of the administrator of various derelict space stations with the task of rebuilding them to their former states. ... Theme Hospital is a simulation computer game developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts in 1997, in which the player designs and operates a hospital. ...


  1. ^ Ernest W. Adams - Game Credits Retrieved at 04-11-07

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Dungeon Keeper - MobyGames (218 words)
Dungeon Keeper takes real-time strategy into a fantasy setting.
You command a dungeon and its hellish minions, and must take them to glory against the hated good guys.
As well as being able to rotate the 3D view, and control the light source, you can enter the direct viewpoints of your men, to see life through their eyes (one character's mode goes into fl and white for this).
  More results at FactBites »



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