The Average Gamer

Dungeon Master – Return to Chaos

Retrun To Chaos - DungeonDungeon Master is a bloody brilliant game, period. I’ve spent so much time playing over the years on several different platforms (Atari ST, Amiga, PC Engine and SNES).

Originally released on the Atari ST in 1987 by the now defunct developer FTL, Dungeon Master was an instant classic as well as being the first real-time 3D roll playing game.

Chaos Strikes Back followed a couple of years later built on the same 3D engine but with some very fiendish level design and tough new monsters. All this produced what was a very challenging game. You could also play Chaos Strikes Back using the characters you’d previously developed whilst playing Dungeon Master which led to many people revisting DM to bulk up their characters.

Finally, after a 6 year wait Dungeon Master II appeared on the PC in 1995 with much improved graphics and sound but with the classic gameplay intact. It was more evolution rather than revolution which is probably why the game didn’t perform well at retail and that was the end for Dungeon Master.

Skip forward to the present day. You can now relive Dungeon Master on your PC thanks to George Gilbert and his Return to Chaos programming project. You can download the latest version of it here (12.6mb). Unfortunately, no Dungeon Master like game has ever appeared on any of the recent consoles (there was Labyrinth on the PSOne, promo screenshots in EDGE in 1995 but the game was never released. Anyone remember this?) Well, maybe Dungeon Siege has been the closest we’ve got to a modern version of DM come to think of it. We’ve really got enough football, driving and GTA games at the moment thanks very much, how about some dungeon action?

Return to Chaos Features:

  • Only 8.9mb in size
  • No installation required – unzip to a folder and run the RTC.exe
  • DM and Chaos Strikes Back both fully playable as well as a zoo level populated by all the monsters in DM
  • DM II has recently been added (some levels of the game are still in development though)
  • Dungeon Editor – create/edit dungeons/traps/monsters
  • Custom dungeons – create your own with the editor or download them from here
  • Frequent updates – bug fixes, additional features like new maps and new spells

If you fancy a bit of classic 3D adventuring then Return To Chaos is the game for you.


RTCEditor-tb DMInventoryScreen

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  1. Tikipod

    6th Jul, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    no one cares :(

  2. Tikipod

    7th Jul, 2006 at 8:30 am

    heheheh – ooonly kidding (was a bit drunk when i posted that) :)

    they are doin a dungeon like thingy on ds – its on magicbox website, but you are in woods instead. But DM on ds wud be coool – link up multiplayer n all, casting spells with touch panel etc…

  3. Josh

    11th Jul, 2006 at 7:16 pm

    I spent probably months of life in that dungeon on the Amiga version.

    There was a Sega CD port as well, which I have but (sadly) have only played with a tad bit.

  4. Rick

    23rd Apr, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    I tried RTC, but several times the game kicks me with some exception. Im on winxp sp2. Might be because I chose RTC instead of the “original”. Who knows…

  5. Robin

    19th Nov, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Dear Coders or Creator Of RTC,

    Please could you tell me how to make RTC, Fullscreen, as the
    screen is a bit small for my gaming need, i’d be most greatful
    if you could point me in the right direction

    yours hopefully
    PS: I finished DM on the amiga twice (took me 12 years)

  6. Nathan Baker

    21st Feb, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Dungeon Master took my Dad and my Sister’s years to complete Dungeon Master. The only thing is that we only had it on Atari and we use to die every so often not because when did it wrong, it just mest up. Until I downloaded it from this website i have been playing Dungeon Master. I think today it is still Legendary game, if someone made a updated version for the PC like putting realer texture’s and special effect’s it would be a very good game.

  7. TheFluffyFist

    21st Feb, 2008 at 8:01 pm

    Nathan> Yep, I fist played the Atari ST version before I bought an Amiga. DM was the sole reason for buying the 0.5mb RAM upgrade it needed to run. I was worth it!

    I also wish that someone would make a new version on either the PC/360 or PS3. I keep mentioning this to Tikipod as a good idea for his next game.

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  10. Adamo

    30th Aug, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    If you liked RTC, you should try a game called Conflux III then. It`s DungeonMaster-like, fan
    based custom project, while the original engine from 1986 is almost completely rewritten, so you can play it on windows PC. The story is completely new, plus there are tons of new graphics and stuff. I highly recommend this one, the game is *really* huge, and although the 16-bit graphics seems to be out-of-date, it`s even better than original Dungeon Master.

    You can find it if you type “conflux cyberskald” in your browser. The first thing that`ll appear is the game. No installation, just get and play. Check this out, I spent weeks playing this game!!!! Out of all the fan-made customs, this is definitely the best one.

    • Nick Silversides (CaptSkyRocket)

      31st Aug, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Adamo> Thanks! I’ll check out Conflux III. It sounds awesome :)

      • Adamo

        1st Sep, 2013 at 12:29 am

        Apart of tons of addons and stuff, like new characters, wallsets, spells, etc., CIII has at least 9 endings, and I must say I finished it with 3 guild bosses a year ago, and now I`m going to beat it with the Maleficient Guild, which is ultra-hardcore way of playing designed for *real* crazies. As for now, there’s no more than 5 persons, which managed to do so (when I`ll do it, I`ll put the whole video on YT, which is easy, because the program allows to make a sort of a movie file out of your game).

        Basically, there are 4 times more monsters in the game comparing to the original; each of them has it own advantages and disadvantages. After the years of reverse engineering of original monster’s AI’s (for that time, it was *really* complex), they were able to design special kind of monster’s behavior). And a lot of unique items.
        But that’s not the best point of that custom: I was shocked, when I found how many work the creators put into designing of all the “logic” stuff (puzzles and traps). Also, the game designers found originally unused routines in the disassembled code (that couldn’t be put to use in the 80-s because of the CPU/memory limitations in weak 16-bit computers of that time), that were found the appliance for.

        There’s a special forum dedicated to the custom-made games and a special thread devoted for Conflux, if you had any problem. There are also maps somewhere in the net (very useful stuff, if you’re not afraid of the spoilers).

        While playing, you can also set a “record” option, which makes a file, that contains sort of a queue of binary orders; this allows you to make a sort of a movie out of your game (not a *real* movie, like in YT, but the recording program is repeating every action you did in RT, so after you finish a game, you can look at it like it was on video tape to play the record and see how you played; you can rewind or fast forward respectively). Then, out of that, you can put your gameplay on YT for people to see how you were playing if you want ;) Just make sure to dl the *proper* (newest = bug free) version (WIP004) from the creator’s site (cyberskald site).

        I had to write all that, because – being a devoted fan of the Dungeon Master from the 80s – I’m just amazed of this game, it’s like a time machine, I wasted few weeks of my life playing this gem few hours a day and felt like I was back in the 80s again :)

        • Nick Silversides (CaptSkyRocket)

          1st Sep, 2013 at 5:26 pm

          Great, thanks for all the details. I’ve been playing it today. Water? Agggh, that’s new.

          I will write a post on this new game very soon and if you manage to complete the game with the Maleficient Guild I’d love to post your video here on the site.

          It’s great to see the old girl still entertaining people even if it’s a little odd playing a game that looks like DM but we I don’t know the layout of the whole dungeon!

          • Adamo

            2nd Sep, 2013 at 2:48 am

            Well, it seems I’ve got to go abroad this month, so I wouldn’t play it now :(

            Antman did the job once, and his video is here:

            (his old video is valid for corresponding – now outdated – version of the program; it’s all in the same file, you can take a look at the gameplay, but don’t try to mess the new vid file with the old version of the program: just dl the file, unpack it and run “play” and set “speed” option to “fast” or “quick as bunny”, not to fall asleep in front of a monitor ;) ).

            …but, as playing Maleficient Guild, this particular video is rather *DULL*, and I doubt it would interest people… A simple fight lasts one minute… Plus, he although he *did* finish the game (one of MG endings), he didn’t even clawled 10% of the whole game.

            Meanwhile, I’ll try to find more interesting and complex vids of CIII gameplay.

            …as for the water – the water container that you can find on level 2 is cursed; it has extremally low capacity. Try to find a “regular” one.

            There are maps avaliable somewhere in the net, but don’t use them, as it will spoil the game. It’s much more fun *not* to use maps.

            Good luck! :)