Designed and developed principally by David Allen, Mordor: The Depths of Dejenol was released in 1995. Drawing inspiration from the multi-user dungeon Avatar, Mordor pits you against 15 levels of an increasingly dangerous dungeon: the eponymous depths of Dejenol. Being a fantasy role-playing game focused on dungeon crawling, Mordor has a focus on stats, items and monster slaying. Despite its name, Mordor does not draw from Tolkien's Middle-earth, and instead features an original backstory.
" 'And when the darkness fell from the land, all was well', wrote the scholars. However, since anything that once existed can never cease to exist, this evil must still be out there to be found!" - Torak, Historian of Mordor
Players create characters, choosing their race and basic statistics, affecting secondary statistics, such as alignment
, rate of experience
gain and guild eligibility. While Mordor is a single-player game, up to four characters can be run at the same time, forming a party
. Mordor features a persistent world in that every character created shares the same instance of Mordor, which autosaves after every action. This is fortunate, because death, and fates worse than death, can come swiftly. If a party of adventurers is wiped out, there is sometimes no alternative but to create a new party of adventurers to recover their bodies, so that they may be resurrected.
Character progression comes via experience gain, gained by killing monsters, completing quests, and so on. Rather than having a set character level, characters advance their guild, or class
, level. Doing so advances their statistics, and allows them to learn any new spells offered by their guild. Characters may join multiple guilds, but may only advance their level in one at a time.
Combat occurs automatically in real-time, based on the statistics of the party and the monsters. When monsters are killed they reward experience and may drop gold or items.
Ultimately, the goal of the game is to reach level 15 of the dungeon and defeat the Prince of Devils in his lair. Doing so does not end the game, however, and the player can continue adventuring.