The Commodore 64 conversion of Rogue was developed by Icon Design and published by Mastertronic in 1988, and it is a bugged, incomplete, and un-finishable version of the game that demonstrates the utter contempt for which Mastertronic held for both the game, and for gamers who paid money for it.
Rogue on the C64 is a travesty of a conversion, the truth be told, and it wasn’t the fault of the developers either. Although the truth behind the state of the game may never be known, it’s likely that Mastertronic released the game in an unfinished state and just moved on.
Thankfully, though, all is not lost with this game. Many of the bugs were fixed by Hokuto Force and a reasonably playable version of the game was re-released in 2017. They even added some music, which the original lacked, so the game can now be played close to how it was intended.
Rogue is a tricky game to master, though. You use a cursor to move around, and must equip weapons and armour (by clicking on them in your inventory on the right), before you start fighting any monsters. It’s not even easy to understand how to actually fight monsters, but you simply move onto the same square as them and the fight will take place automatically. If you fight a monster without equipping weapons or armour then you’re going to die very quickly, and of course Rogue features ‘Permadeath‘, so when you’re dead: you’re dead, and have to re-start from the beginning.
You can press ‘T’ for an overview of the dungeon, and you can even save and load games, but if you do that then the saved game will only load once (I think, although I haven’t tried it – in Rogue, when you load a game, the save file is supposed to be deleted).
If you want to play Rogue on the C64 then I don’t advise playing the original version – you’ll just end up completely frustrated. Play the Hokuto Force version (download link below), or one of the remakes that have been made. The OG Mastertronic version can easily be identified by the corrupted graphical line at the raster split (ie. where the lower information panel and main game area join). The Hokuto Force version doesn’t have this because they fixed it.