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Designer(s) Rusty Rutherford
Platform(s) PLATO network
Release date(s) NA Winter 1975[1]
Genre(s) Dungeon Crawl, RPG

pedit5 was perhaps the first dungeon crawl video game (predated only by m199h, a "lost game" about which little is known), written in 1975[1] by Rusty Rutherford for the PLATO system. The name pedit5 refers to the programming workspace on the PLATO system. Like all PLATO software, the game was executed on a mainframe computer, but played on terminals located elsewhere.

In the game, the player guides a character who wanders a single-level dungeon accumulating treasure and killing monsters. When a player encounters a monster, he can use one of several spells. Characters can be saved from one play session to the next.

Pedit5 was eventually deleted. A new version of the game, based on the original work but significantly improved, was written by three other programmers as orthanc, named after a tower in The Lord of the Rings. The original version of pedit5 was resurrected as orthanc1. Both orthanc and orthanc1 remained on the PLATO system.

Even though the game was short-lived, it was very popular. The games mentioned here still exist and may be played on a PLATO (Cybis) system, or an emulator of it, connected to the Internet.


  1. ^ a b Rusty Rutherford (31 August 2008). "The Creation of PEDIT5". Armchair Arcade. 

External links[edit]

  •, website dedicated to PLATO, with emulators for a variety of operating systems