After 2 months of obsession intense focus, I finally beat brogue. (Not so coincidentally only two days after Andrew Doull managed a win.)

Brogue is by far my favorite roguelike, and in the running for favorite “game” overall these days. The current version (1.6.4) really hits the sweet spot in terms of difficulty, and showing you “cool stuff” in the game. Basically that means that you are always just barely getting farther than you have before, and always seeing something cool and new, which in turn drives you forward.

After a particularly grueling pair of almost-wins, my actual victory game turned out to be (mostly) a breeze. I spent the first 12 levels with no weapon but the starting dagger, and no pet.

This was pretty embarassing…

On level 13 I found:

  1. A sword
  2. A captive ogre
  3. A +3 Ring of Awareness
  4. A cage zoo
I (ab)used my wand of beckoning that I had been carrying around to free a dar priestess and a troll. Now I was set. The ogre didn’t last long, but the dar priestess survived, and learned flight. I had been waiting for a good moment to use my wand of plenty that I had been carrying around all game, and then I had 2 flying dar priestesses. The troll later turned invisible which is surprisingly NOT useful when you have other pets that cannot see it… with little no regret I polymorphed the troll into a toad and left him to wander the dungeon.
About level 18 or 19 I found a golem. Between the golem and the two priestesses I basically had the perfect tank-healer-dps combination. After I (we?) plowed through two tentacled Horrors in a row, I knew I had a lock on victory… assuming I didn’t do anything stupid!’
For the rest of the game it was just a matter of aggressively destroying any discord-casting enemies (Lich, dar battlemage, pixie) and letting my pets do the rest. Eventually I found a war pike and was able to deal some decent damage of my own. Tentacled Horrors, Dragons, and Golems all fell quite easily. Revenants and Liches are much easier to kill when one of your allies can cast negate. The staff of turret destruction tunneling, which I had attained on level 1 or 2, was incredibly helpful in getting through the rest of the levels quickly and safely.
The rest of the game went something like this
A couple of other things I learned along the way:
  • Plate armor really is worth it. I never knew!
  • Some pets are not worth rescuing (dar battlemage, salamander)
  • Centaurs are easily foiled by doors
  • A staff of tunneling is surprisingly useful
  • You don’t have to pick up every key!
  • Sometimes it is OK to just take the stairs without exploring every last room…
My thanks to Pender for creating such an amazing game. Now I can relax and return to my regularly scheduled development work!