Musus Umbra's RISC OS Angband Ports FAQ

Last (really) updated Monday 1st August 1999
Small update to the RO4 question made 22nd September 1999

Will these ports work with RISC OS 4?

It's still early days... I've had RISC OS 4 for a couple of weeks now, and everything seems to be well.

There is/was a potential for problems, however. Because the games use some files with names longer than the tradition 10 characters, they won't work properly if installed with truncated filenames on filing systems which don't have this 10 character limit.

In practice, this means that if you were to backup your harddisc, reformat it using the new RISC OS 4 format, and then restore your !ZAngband (for instance) from the backup, the chances are that it wouldn't work - and might even wreck your savefile into the bargain.

The problem here is that the filenames were truncated to 10 characters when you first installed the game (and therefore they are truncated in the backup). Your newly formatted harddisc allows long filenames and so things go pear shaped.

As of front-end version 1.25 (which all the current ports I maintain are built with) this situation should be corrected automatically.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only RISC OS 4 issue that affects these ports.


I've downloaded and installed the game(s), but it won't start - it just gives some message about the 'Lib' folder being missing or broken then says 'sofware bug' and quits. What's happening?

This is almost always caused by the game having been dearchived wrongly. Older versions of SparkPlug can sometimes cause this because they extract files with 'dot extensions' differently to the RISC OS standard.

If this is the case then files such as ! will be dearchived as news_txt which won't work.

The best course of action is to download a newer version of SparkPlug, eg. from here.

All the ports do, however, either include a couple of Obey files that will fix the name mangling if this has happened (see the !Read1st file in the archive), or will automatically correct the problem (versions built with version 1.25 or later of my front-end).


If I try to use the font-acn/prf file in the archive all the dungeon characters turn into rubbish or +/- signs and accented characters! What's gone wrong?

This is almost certainly happening because the font you're using doesn't define the 'top-bit set' characters IBM PCs (and font-acn/prf) use for simple graphics. Or, if you're getting the accented characters, etc. then it's because your font uses those top-bit set characters for accented characters rather than graphics.

Most Zap fonts (and the system font) aren't suitable for use with font-acn/prf for this reason.

The solution is to select a font that does define these characters to be the IBM graphics characters. Of the fonts supplied with my ports (ie. the ones in the Default Fonts menu), the CboldPC, MooglePC, PC and the Script fonts are definitely suitable.


What other variants are you going to port?

That depends a lot on how things go with these ports. Keeping these ports up to date requires a significant amount of time and effort on my part. I'm mentally handicapped, for want of a better term, so I'm not keen to take on too much at a time.

But I will try to do ports of anything that's in (reasonable) demand, and I'm happy to let someone else use my code if they want to support a RISC OS port of a variant that I don't have the time/space/inclination to.


The game doesn't want to load my savefile - I know it isn't broken so what gives, huh?

The savefile may be wrongly filetyped and trying to load into the wrong variant, or possibly it belongs to an earlier version of the variant you are trying to load it into and the savefile format has been changed.

Sangband 0.9.5 in particular cannot load savefiles from earlier versions. Other variants may have similar restrictions - see their ReadMe files.


Can I move saved characters from my PC to this port and back again?

Yes, and also from Macs, Unix machines, Amigas and all other computers that run the current version of the game. The savefiles are platform independent.

Note, however, that you can't move them back and forth between different versions of the same game. Forwards (ie. loading into a newer version) will generally work OK (although not always - Sangband 0.9.5, for instance, cannot load savefiles from earlier versions), but backwards won't work.


What a great game! Where can I discuss it with other fans?

The newsgroup is the general discussion place for all things related to Angband and its variants, and a good source of gameplay strategies etc.

There are even other Acorn/RISC OS based players reading and posting in the group :)


I can't work out what to do! Wah!

Load the game, and call up the help menu with '?'. Read the instructions carefully if you are the sort of person who likes doing that, or otherwise just look at the commands and start experimenting :-)

Most people find it easier to play Warrior characters at first, then when they feel more at home in the game they progress to the more complex classes like Mages, etc.

You should probably also see The Angband Newbie Guide which contains lots of information and help for new players.


I'm playing Sang/Zang/Kam/Cthang and I'm having difficulty understanding what's going on. What should I do?

Play "vanilla" Angband for a while, until the gameplay becomes second nature. Then progress to one of the variants. Also be warned that Zang, in particular, is harder than standard Angband.


I can't decide which variant to play. What should I do?

If you've never played Angband before, try "vanilla" (standard Angband) first, until you get used to it. After that, try whichever looks the most interesting to you!


My thanks to Thomas Harris (Hotseat) for some of the questions (and answers :) on this page.


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