Dwarf Fortress: The Game That Takes A 238-Page Technical Manual To Learn

There are those of us who, when told, "You'll really like this game once you sit down with the 200-page how-to book," might say, "No, thank you." I am one of those likely to balk and walk away.

Dwarf Fortress is one of those games where every PC gamer knows someone who plays it, and who enthuses about it, and yet not too many of us have actually played it ourselves. In my case, the friend who spent many months enjoying delving beneath the earth told me outright, "Well, yes, it is totally impenetrable, but that's half the fun!"

I explained to him that I didn't have 20 hours a day to spend learning how the game worked and that, regretfully, I'd have to pass on the experience. Naturally, he scoffed.

It's too late for my friend. But should I ever feel his scoffing getting to me and need to mend my ways, PC Gamer reports that there's now an illustrated guide to Dwarf Fortress out there. Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress features the subtitle "Learn to play the most complex video game ever made," and it may well be accurate.

If every other simulation and strategy guide out there has proven to be too simple for you, Dwarf Fortress may be right up your alley. But do yourself a favour and look into the book before you get started. Even if you do manage to learn the game on your own, it has cute dwarf cartoons. And those are always fun.

Dwarf Fortress gets 238 page illustrated Getting Started guide [PC Gamer]


    Dwarf Fortress is simply the best video game ever made. Play it. I mean it.

    Its so incredibly deep and wonderful; Ive spent hundreds of hours in it and am still amazed by everything.

    Its so deep that when i hear people compare it to minecraft, i think "Yeah, if Dwarf Fortress is like Minecraft, Lego Bricks are like the International Space Station"

    The learning curve is a steep several hours in your first session but once you've got your wiki by your side & are familiar with the general behaviour of the UI -- dear god I've never encountered a game to provide me with such amazing entertainment!

    It's so amazing to have such an extensive sandbox which allows you to trap enemies in cages, pit them against each other in an arena, send a dwarf in there to attempt to take them both down only to lose him to the pit below before using his bones to make a flute for the children to play & have his skin made into a toga for your military leader.

    Some of my more memorable moments I've had while playing this game are:

    * Dwarf going insane after losing his dog to an invasion & proceeding to go to the kitchen, raiding a barrel of rendered yak fat & proceeding to throw globs of fat at poor citizens who wanted to eat their lunch

    * Vile force of darkness comprising of 60+ goblins & various commanders plus some mounted on flying birds arrives to lay siege to my almost dead fortress of 20 or so dwarves. As they're arriving my hunter on duty attacks the goblin commander, shoots a bolt through his head & kills him. The 60 goblins decide that it's in their best interests to retreat because these dwarves are bad-ass. My hunter decides to create a wooden bed featuring images of his triumph on it & it's given to his child to sleep in. What a role model.

    * In the middle of another siege - one of my dwarves goes mental & decides to drag his best friend who was a jeweler off to the butchery. He proceeds to kill his friend and use his bones to make a storage bin... which is then used to store jewels. Poor jeweler :(

    Suspicion #1 :
    All the info in that book can be obtained for free from the Dwarf Fortress Wiki.

    Suspicion #2 :
    All the info in that book was, in fact, obtained for free from the Dwarf Fortress Wiki.

    My militia commander lost a hand while fighting a goblin siege. After securing the inner gates, she left the fray, found a bed, gave birth, then returned to the field to chase down and beat up any goblins still fighting. She was carrying her newborn, which managed to punch a goblin.

    the first time i played all my dwarfs went insane from hunger on the eighth day and removed their own bones to carve eldrich abominations upon. i have yet to do better then that...

    I suggest Googling the story of Zaneg Thazor. If that doesn't make you want to play, nothing will.

      Reading now. So far the only story I've read so far is Boat Murdered, which also makes me want to play.

      I played for a little while, had a friend teach me the basics. But had to put it down and found that I couldn't really remember how to play again when I picked it up. I really need to read a wiki or something and get back into it.

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