Catacomb (video game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Developer(s) John Carmack
Publisher(s) Softdisk & Gamers Edge Inc
Platform(s) Apple II, DOS
Release date(s) 1989
Genre(s) 2-D
Mode(s) Single player

Catacomb is a 2-D top-down third-person shooter created by John Carmack.[1][2] It was originally created for the Apple II, and later ported to the PC. It should not be confused with The Catacomb, which is the second game in the series (originally named Catacomb II, but later renamed). It supports EGA and CGA graphics.

All the Catacomb titles, including the Catacomb 3D games, are now distributed legally by Flat Rock Software through their own web store and via The source code to the game was released by Flat Rock in June 2014 under the GNU General Public License in a manner similar those done by id Software and partners.[3][4]


In the game you play the magician Petton Everhail. At the start you are contacted by Terexin, High Wizard of the Kieralon who tells you how the Kieralon Empire has fallen. He convinces you to travel to the Kieralon Palace to collect his treasures and split them fifty-fifty. Catacomb consists of fifteen levels in the Apple II version, ten levels in the PC demo disk promoting Gamer's Edge, and 30 levels in the full PC version (The Catacomb, aka Catacomb II). To progress to the next level you must step through a magic teleportation mirror. These mirrors are usually behind a locked door, requiring you to obtain a key to advance.

There are four different attacks: Fireball, Super Fireball, Bolt (powerful strike in one direction), Nuke (powerful strike in all four directions). The Fireball and Super Fireball attacks can be cast an infinite number of times. The Bolt and Nuke consume a scroll each time they are cast. You start the game with three Bolt scrolls and two Nuke scrolls. Additional scrolls are scattered through the levels.

There are five different enemies: Goblin, Skeleton, Ogre, Gargoyle and Dragon. There is only one Dragon in the PC demo version of the game. It is located on the final level next to the last teleportation mirror. The enemies decrease your body points when they touch you. Potions restore your body points to full. You start the game with three potions. Additional potions are scattered through the levels. The game is over when your body points reach zero.


The Catacomb engine was used to create a 30 level sequel, originally called Catacomb II and later renamed The Catacomb. Progress is linear for the first 10 levels (although level 1 has a secret exit to level 10, level 4 has a secret exit to level 14, and level 5 has supposed exits to levels 50, 70 and 90, which however are fake and unreachable), but level 10 has exits to levels 11, 13, 16 and 17, all of which exit to level 10. Dragons start appearing from level 11 onward. To progress toward the end of the game, one has to find the invisible mirror on level 13, which leads to level 19.

In 2012 Catacom 2 was ported to SDL and published on[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ early-id-engines on
  2. ^ the-early-years-of-id-software on
  3. ^ Larabel, Michael (June 6, 2014). "id Software's Softdisk Open-Sources Some Really Old Games". Phoronix. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ Early id Software game engines open-sourced by Gareth Halfacree (9th June 2014)
  5. ^ CatacombSDL on

External links[edit]