Ludum Dare 29 — April 25th-28th Weekend — Theme: Beneath the Surface

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The Monastery

by petrih - 48 Hour Compo Entry

The Monastery is a party-based RPG with an oldschool heart. You control a party of four characters, a Fighter, a Wizard, a Cleric and... a Ninja! Combats are highly tactical and turn-based. If you like games like Pool of Radiance or Ultima games, you are going to have fun with this!

The game features three levels filled to the brim with encounters, hidden treasures and notes left behind by the monks. In addition to normal ending, there is a super hard ultimate ending for veterans of tactical turn-based games. Are you the first who can defeat the ultimate end boss?


In a raging snow storm a group of adventurers seek shelter in an abandoned monastery. The occupants of the monastery are long dead now but even in death they still roam the hallways.

The adventurers must battle hideous monsters while gathering clues left behind by the monks. By using might and wits they can puzzle together what has happened in the monastery. Perhaps the secret lies beneath the surface of the frozen pond in the monastery's courtyard?


Use arrow keys or numeric keypad to move around.

In exploration mode you can use the following keyboard commands:

P = Pick up item from the floor
U = Use items you have found
C = Cast a spell to heal your characters (see belows below)
S = Search the current room. ** You only need to search each room once **

In battle mode you can use the following commands:

M = Move and attack, you can also use the numeric keypad to move diagonally
A = Attack a monster in range with targeting
C = Cast a spell
G = Start guarding. If a monster comes next to you while you are guarding, you get a free attack on the monster.
S = Skip your turn.


Contar (Fighter): Party's fighter. Very strong and durable character.
Darky (Ninja): Fast and heavy hitter.
Perel (Cleric): Party's healer. Can cast Cure and Resurrection spells but only as long as he is alive!
Sancsaron (Wizard): Ranged specialist. Can cast Magic Missile and Fireball spells that always hit the target.


Spells have fixed number of uses. If you find a scroll, you can get new spells by reading it. Remember to use the 'U' command to read scrolls that you have found. This only works outside of combat though!

CURE: Restore some health to one character. Can be used outside of combat too.
RESURRECTION: Very powerful healing spell that fully restore HP of all characters, even dead ones.
MAGIC MISSILE: Ranged attack (range 8) that always hits and does a lot of damage.
FIREBALL: Deals massive damage to all creatures in 3x3 area upto 5 squares away.


* You can use the Attack command to scan the battlefield and see the status of monsters and party members.
* Each character in the party has a different role.
* Try to keep weak party members, especially the Wizard in safe distance from monsters, preferably behind stronger characters.
* There are hidden things, especially on the second floor of the monastery.
* Manage your resources wisely. Do not wander aimlessly around as this will attract wandering monsters!


There is no official Linux version but the code is Linux friendly. If you have the dependent libraries installed you can just git clone the repository and use the following command line to compile the game:

git clone
cd ld29
gcc `sdl2-config --cflags --libs` `pkg-config --cflags --libs lua5.1 lua5.1-c++ libpng` -lSDL2_image -lSDL2_mixer LuaSDL.cpp main.cpp

Thanks to caryoscelus for helping with this!

EDIT 29th April: fixed typos in the game and updated the accompanying readme

Downloads and Links




NTR says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:42am

10/10 game. I love it.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 2:55am

I love turn-based and roguelike games, so this was a treat.

petrih says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:04am

Thank you! Your comments made the endless, almost unbearable crunch totally worth it!

I think the UI would need some streamlining but unfortunately I ran out of time... Well, at least those used to Gold Box games should feel right at home! :)

Anyhow, what would be the best way to increase awareness of my game? This is my first LD game so I don't know exactly how this works...?

PriorBlue says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 5:37am

Great design, it really looks like an old original rough like.

caryoscelus says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 8:44am

Well made as oldschool-styled game (both gfx and weird gui :D ). I guess it's just not my genre though. If controls would be simpler (e.g. moving without M, casting auto-aiming), it would highly increase playability.

Awareness: play other games and comment. Make a blog post.

Porting: not really the answer to your question, but you may want to look at next time so that you have crossplatform game out of the box.
Also, apparently you haven't included main source or some kind of project file (main.lua have no signs of exporting sdl functions..), if you'll do that, there's more chance for porting.

JackDandy says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:01am

I'll try and beat it soon!

petrih says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:04am

Thank you for the feedback! Yeah, the UI is not everyone's cup of tea. I agree it could be improved -- unfortunately I ran out of time :)

Porting: Oops! I seem to have forgotten to add the cpp files to the zip! The Source link now points to github with full source code. The code should compile out of the box on Linux and probably any platform that has Lua and SDL2 (there are no dependencies to Windows specific headers). The only thing missing is a Makefile, afaik. Any Linux gurus out there who could give me a hand?

petrih says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:15am

JackDandy: Cool! Let me know what you think!

caryoscelus says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:38pm

Well, now it compiles and runs just fine!
Here's command i was using:
gcc `sdl2-config --cflags --libs` `pkg-config --cflags --libs lua5.1 lua5.1-c++ libpng` -lSDL2_image -lSDL2_mixer LuaSDL.cpp main.cpp

petrih says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 12:47pm

Hey that's great! Thank you very much! I'll add the command line to the notes above.

Scam says ...
Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:47pm

Quite an accomplishment for a 19-hour crunch! Cool game, with a lot of surprise attacks. :)

Apr 28, 2014 @ 1:54pm

Wonderful! Really great feel to it and amazing atmosphere. Really enjoyed it.

Apr 28, 2014 @ 3:53pm

Don't normally play these games, but after a little getting used to, I was up and running!

Found the number of nothings I found a little disheartening after a while, but I had fun with the battles once I knew my way around!

kyyrma says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:07am

Captures the essence of old SSI Gold Box games really well. Possibly one of the most expansive entries I've seen this LD, and one of my favorite so far. I'm going to finish this once I have the time.

jerombd says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 12:00pm

Really enjoyed this kind of retro-RPG! The background story adds a lot of atmosphere. The controls are not so obvious, but I guess it's a flaw common for this type of games.

Jaenis says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 4:36pm

Really liked this game, great stuff!

Apr 29, 2014 @ 6:20pm

Although these sorts of RPGs aren't quite my thing, I liked your atmosphere building with the text. The game is quite deep for saying you only had 48 hours to make it. Pretty cool!

Daylon says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:43pm

The combat was very confusing for me. I did like the descriptions of the areas though!

petrih says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 7:44pm

Thanks to all for the comments! I've now fixed all known typos in the game (quite a few!) and updated the README.txt with better instructions.

otato says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:28pm

Great job! Game reminded me of a roguelike version of Might & Magic. Graphics really reminded me of 8 bit rpgs.

muh_h says ...
Apr 29, 2014 @ 11:59pm

This is gold, i would love to play this on MS-DOS from a floppy drive

Penguincat says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 5:08am

This is my favorite LD entry that I've played so far! I'm amazed you managed to get so much into it in 48 hours. I adore these kinds of old school RPGs, and I love the feel of the graphics, and the atmosphere of the text descriptions. The combat plays nicely, too. The controls could definitely be better, and it would really be something special if you could have put in a nice atmospheric 8-bit tune to set the mood during exploration and/or combat (the intro music was appreciated though!), but besides that it's perfect. Oh, except, I want more of it!

May 1, 2014 @ 10:52pm

Wooow, very ambitious for an LD game! Great job!

petrih says ...
May 1, 2014 @ 10:53pm

Thank you Linus!

May 1, 2014 @ 11:53pm

my heart just got filled up with nostalgia after playing this. Good show. Good show :,)

ThingoStudios says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 12:25am

This is really cool! Everyone's already mentioned the quality gameplay, but I just want to mention how good the title music is.

javifugitivo says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 1:35am

That's really fun! Awsome!

snooze82 says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 8:24am

love it - accidentally attacked my own party :/ (you need background music for the mood! :)

Dreii says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 9:02am

Very nice old school styled rpg rogue like!

607 says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 9:36am

Looked very cool. I also really like the music at the main menu. I did not nearly complete it, died very fast. I'm just not good at fighting :P The only thing I thought was a little weird was that when you die the corpse looks the same, no matter who just died.

cageinabird says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 10:11am

Yay! This was awesome! Definitely one of my favourite entries so far. I managed to get to the normal ending with only the ninja and priest left alive. I dread to think what the super hard ending was. :)

Sparrow says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 11:51am

Very good game, before I knew it 2 hours had passed. Have yet to finish it. Maybe this weekend.

0Creds says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 2:12pm

Awesome game. Everything from the GUI to the art to the controls is really reminiscent of an older rogue-like. Fantastic job.

Cash says ...
May 2, 2014 @ 4:58pm

Not my favourite genre but I still enjoyed it. Good job

rojo says ...
May 3, 2014 @ 5:45pm

Nice job capturing the old school experience. Though honestly it makes me appreciate modern controls / UI design that much more.

rylgh says ...
May 4, 2014 @ 7:49am

sooo old-school, in a very good way. great job

May 4, 2014 @ 12:00pm

Nice retro feeling and amazingly polished for 48 hours!

May 5, 2014 @ 12:44am

Hey! The Monastery is featured on my "favorites" post

hanoth says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 2:08am

Nice. I'm a big fan of the old Gold Box games.

littleball says ...
May 5, 2014 @ 9:57pm

Great classic game, well done!

Caridorc says ...
May 6, 2014 @ 6:55pm

This game is very complex, congratulations for making it in 48 hours.

Bernhard says ...
May 10, 2014 @ 2:07pm

Very impressive entry!

Seme says ...
May 17, 2014 @ 8:40pm

Very nice!

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