I hereby anoint this topic AWESOMESAUCE!
So... on the subject of Roguelikes I've played.
Rogue (of course) the father of them all and very good. Amadeus, I have never had treasure drops that good that early and to have them yanked so soon thereafter is sad but seems fitting somehow. Welcome to the Roguelikes.
NetHack is my favorite, I've spent countless hours playing it, I ascended to the astral plane ONCE, whereupon my deity personally smited me for being a heretical ass before I could claim godhood for myself. Apparently karma IS a bitch. Some people supposedly have games they've spent in excess of a decade playing without completing and then you have guys who have completed it in excess of 20 times within a month. I'm happy with my puttering around and getting my ass handed to me. Most embarrasing death? I polymorphed into a red dragon which was fucking epic. I tore ass through level after level of the dungeon, ripping my foes apart with claws and melting them with my fire breath. I was unstoppable. But... I made two mistakes. Mistake 1. I didn't remove my armor before polymorping, which destroyed it in the process. 2. I drank the wrong potion, which instead of healing me reversed my polymorph. You can imagine how long I survived in an advanced level of the dungeon with no armor... Second most memorable death was being killed by my own ghost who had starved to death on a previous play through (yes, you can encounter ghosts of your previous failures.)
Related to NetHack I dabbled briefly with it predecessor Hack but NetHack had so many more features I didnít stick with Hack for long.
Angband is very good. Based heavily on Lord of the Rings lore, it had a predecessor, Moria that I never played. Angband was hellishly hard even by Roguelike standards and I never got very far into it, repeatedly being gangbanged by Nazgul and Balrog discouraged me after a while and I havenít fired this one up in years.
Doom the Roguelike is awesome, I first heard about this one from one of my college buddies who remembered my misspent time in college either playing NetHack or surfing www.doomworld.com
and I canít repay him for the joy Iíve had playing this beauty. If you like Roguelikes and Doom you just canít go wrong.
Shiren the Wanderer. I got this for Christmas when it first came out for the DS from my cousin who thought it was just a JRPG. Just glancing at the box I had the same impression and I put off playing it for about two weeks. But once I did I quickly realized I had been given solid gold. Despite the graphics (I usually prefer my Roguelikes in ASCII) itís a real honest to goodness modern roguelike. The only concession it makes to the player in the way of ease is that you CAN stash items that will last between lives. This may not seem like much but if you can keep taking a sword out, grinding a few levels into it and then stashing it for later it WILL make your ďfinal runĒ playthrough a LOT easier. However this also adds a further sadistic level of soul shattering horror when the ďfinal runĒ fails short of the mark and you shriek to the gods ďI JUST SPENT FOUR FUCKING MONTHS LEVELING THAT GOD DAMN SWORD!!!! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM ME!?!?!?!Ē Iíve gotten closer in Shiren to completion than I have in any other Roguelike, like close enough to see the finish line only to have it snatched away at the last possible second with the maximum amount of anguish rubbed into my already salted wounds. I still havenít recovered enough to play it again but the itch is still there, I think any day now Iíll start climbing that damn mountain again.
Iíve heard the Pokemon mystery dungeons are ALMOST roguelikes but I havenít played them.
I think that's enough ranting for now.