happyponyland.net / The Slimy Lichmummy

Artists interpretation of a graveling. Illustration by Elin Karlsmo.

The most important component of being a roguelike game is actually being a game.     - Jeff Lait in rec.games.roguelike.development

Make a giant slimy skeletal rat bat ghoul lichmummy with a severed hand and floating skull.     - smatthews in #udic

The Slimy Lichmummy is an adventure game by Ulf Åström, similar in style to the classic "Rogue".

You play the role of an adventurer exploring a bleak and hostile underworld. Battle peculiar beasts and overcome sinister traps. Improve your character by replacing body parts with machinery. This is no ordinary "fantasy" setting. Everybody loses, everybody dies.

TSL has quick gameplay and high replay value. Each game is randomly generated and has different levels, item and monster placement. Turn-based gameplay gives you ample time to think about each move and there many ways to deal with each situation.

There is no need to "grind" and "level up" - only player skill counts. You start each game with the accumulated knowledge of previous sessions.

TSL is not easy and forgiving - it is actively trying to kill you and requires great skill to outsmart. Death is permanent: when you die, there is no way to bring a character back. While this might sound discouraging at first, the appeal lies in the trial and error, discovery itself. Even death tries to be fair and educational: every time you die, you will know what killed you and learn not to do that again. Eventually you will master the rules.

the first time I played TSL I got polymorphed into a penis and I'm not even joking    - tomku

TSL has a delicious grayscale interface (using Allegro for graphics or curses for textmode) and runs on Windows and most UNIX-like systems. You can also build the game from source code on any machine you like.

For more information about roguelikes, pay the RogueBasin wiki a visit! There is also a TSL page that discusses technical details in greater depth.

TSL has been in development since 2006, with some code originating from an older project. Development usually happens in bursts of a couple creative months followed by long spans of inactivity.

My devblog (not updated very often).

Announcement (January 2017):
TSL development has stalled for a long time, in favor of other projects. It's not abandoned, but I honestly don't know when/if I will resume working on it. There have been discussions to turn it over to another maintainer, but I don't feel comfortable doing this since there is still so much I would like to do with it. I'm a control freak and do not want my vision for the game diluted. I will reach a decision eventually.


The latest version is 0.40 and was released 2012-09-26. It is available as:

Note: TSL is not free software. The source code is provided so you can compile it for your particular machine (and verify what runs inside your computer!), but it does not come with any license to distribute modified versions or sell it.


Q: I'm playing in textmode but the floor tiles look terrible. What can I do?
A: There are two possible solutions. 1) Adjust your terminal font (odd fontsizes don't go well with the dither). 2) Turn on "dotfloors" for traditional . floors. See README.TXT for instructions.

Q: Why are the walls garbled in PuTTY?
A: There is a mismatch between codepage translation (most probably), shell environment and curses capabilities. Your server is sending characters PuTTY does not understand. Experiment with Configuration - Window - Translation and let me know if you find a solution.

Q: Why did you add a graphical mode, after stating for 6 years that you would not?
A: To prove my skill as a programmer. There still won't be any 3D, multiplayer or realtime modes, sorry.

Give me €€€

If you like the game, you can send me money. Please send at least 500 € or it will probably go unnoticed in my vast vault. No, seriously, any amount is welcome as a token of appreciation. This won't directly affect the development of TSL, but I will use it to purchase food and other items to aid my survival.


Building TSL in a UNIX(-like) environment with GCC should work something like this:

gzip -d tsl-version.tar.gz
tar xvpf tsl-version.tar
cd tsl-version

Now you can either

./build_console.sh (to link with curses and play in a terminal)

./build_gui.sh (to link with Allegro and play in a graphical mode)

The game binary is called tsl.

Technical details

TSL is written in C using the ncurses API. The source should compile and run without problems on most GNU/Linux and BSD systems. It has also been run on Windows, Solaris, Mac and probably a couple of other systems. Portability needs a bit of tweaking, but I'm trying to resolve any problems that appear.

Contains a Mersenne-Twister implementation.