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Proto:Dungeon Keeper

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This page details one or more prototype versions of Dungeon Keeper.

To do:
Replace still map previews with animated ones flashing neutral rooms like in the game, now that there's a tool to generate such previews.

There are two known prototypes of Dungeon Keeper. The dates are going by those in the executable files, though much of the data have different last modified dates.

21 May 1997

General Differences

  • The intro has additional sounds after the Knight enters the dungeon: he makes a sound before he attacks the Trolls, there are fighting sounds, the Bile Demon growls at him, and the Horned Reaper roars after beheading him. However, the last two seconds are cut off, so the player is abruptly taken to the main menu, rather than there being the smooth transition the final game has.
  • The menus are unpolished (text too big or out of alignment etc.).
  • The 'paused' notice appears at the top-right rather than the top-centre.
  • Going to the map screen whilst in Forced Perspective mode forces you back to the default mode, and the change does not register on the Graphics Menu.
  • Bile Demons are not immune to the Wind spell.
  • There are some creature stats not present in the final game.
  • Creatures types that you have lost all of are greyed-out in the Creature Panel rather than disappear entirely from it.
  • There is a hidden level select function that uses the /level n parameter (where n is the level number).
  • Continue saves are updated continuously, and loading one can take you straight into the middle of a game. In the final, it saves only where you are on the level map and what secret levels are unlocked.
  • The Call to Arms spell haemorrhages Gold even when cast on your territory, and also does not seem to work properly. This is presumably a bug, as a message in level 4 Flowerhat states that it only costs Gold when used outside your territory.
  • Unresearched spells appear as greyed-out icons in the Research Panel. In the final, they appear as question marks and greyed-out icons represent researched spells that you do not have enough Gold to cast.
  • The Keeper's Heal spell heals nearby creatures as well as the target creature.
  • The Dynamic Map cannot be zoomed in further than the default.
  • Tooltips and the map screen zoom box do not appear to work properly in low resolution, and give graphical glitches.
  • Icon scintillations do not disappear when going into possession or map screen mode.
  • When two creatures fight each other in a Lair, other creatures in the Lair join in the fight. This does not happen on the 28 May build or the final build.

Graphic Differences

  • The map screen shows the lighting, and creatures' levels are shown at the top-right of their icons.
  • Creatures' thought bubbles are much smaller.
  • The Dynamic Map has a different font for the compass (also, hero-owned tiles are coloured orange rather than white).
Prototype Final
DungeonKeeperDynamicMapProto.png DungeonKeeperDynamicMapFinal.png
  • Buttons on messages are of a different style:
Curiously, the "raised" buttons only appear in high resolution mode. Low resolution mode has the same style buttons as the final game.
  • The battle panel has a 'Vs' icon rather than swords:
Low resolution mode has the swords icon seen in the final game.
  • The Control Panel question mark looks different:
Prototype Final
DungeonKeeperQuestionMarkProto.png DungeonKeeperQuestionMarkFinal.png

Sound Differences

  • There is variation of the pitch of the sounds of creatures being dropped, and of battle screaming. In the final, those sounds play with no pitch changes.
  • There is no Lord of the Land Speech.
  • There is no 'Bad' level speech after winning each level, though the files are present.
  • There is no SoundFont support.
To do:
Apparently the unused (in the final game) FANFARE3.WAV is used in prototypes. Check whether it's used here.

Level Differences

  • Level 7 Wishvale:
Prototype Final
DungeonKeeperWishvaleProto.png DungeonKeeperWishvaleFinal.png
  • Blue also starts with only 3000 gold, as opposed to 7500 in the final.
  • Level 8 Tickle has some minor differences:
Prototype Final
DungeonKeeperTickleProto.png DungeonKeeperTickleFinal.png
  • Level 11 Hearth has some significant differences:
  • Missing are the extra rooms and the path to the water.
Prototype Final
DungeonKeeperHearthMapProto.png DungeonKeeperHearthMapFinal.png
  • The southwest corner has an Increase Level instead of a Transfer Creature.
  • You can attract Flies.
  • Wooden Doors and Alarm Traps can be manufactured. This also means that the message that tells you what the Alarm Trap does is displayed.
  • The Bridge, Guard Post, and Barracks are not available at the start.
  • There are no pre-built Traps and fewer pre-built Doors, which in turn means that some rooms have a reduced efficiency.
  • Heroes spawn slightly earlier and carry less Gold.
  • It uses the snowy textures:
Prototype Final
DungeonKeeperHearthProto.png DungeonKeeperHearthFinal.png
  • Level 18 Blaise End appears to be an early version of The Deeper Dungeons level Morkardar. The Blaise End of the final version is level 19 Mistle here. The Mistle of the final game is nowhere to be found.
Prototype (level 18 Blaise End) The Deeper Dungeons Morkardar
DungeonKeeperBlaiseEndProtoMap.png DungeonKeeperMorkardarMap.png
  • It also has some other significant differences:
  • The generation speed is 900 turns rather than 700.
  • Red and Blue have increased creature limits of 45 and 50 respectively.
  • The heroes in the eastern water room are neutral and a level lower.
  • In the top-left room is a Locate Hidden World instead of a Reveal Map. This is very significant, because it may well be the missing 5th Locate Hidden World. It seems that Bullfrog forgot to put another Locate Hidden World in when this level was scrapped, leaving Secret 5 inaccessible in the final game. There are also no Fairies in this room like there are in the final.
  • There are also no Fairies on the water below the room.
  • The Treasure Room is neutral rather than hero-owned (this is indicated by the different white shade).
  • Blue must research Speed Monster. In the final, it is available to him from the start.
  • In the eastern room with the heroes is an Increase Level instead of a Resurrect Creature.
  • The level objective is 'It appears you have a rival. Another Keeper believes he is more ruthless and evil than you. We shall soon see.'
  • This version of the level uses the snowy textures.
  • The Prison to the east is a lage pool of water with Prison tiles where the neutral creatures are. There is also only one door rather than two.
  • The Blaise End of the final game has a few differences:
Prototype (level 19 Mistle) Final (level 18 Blaise End)
DungeonKeeperBlaiseEndProto.png DungeonKeeperBlaiseEndFinal.png
  • The room near the left gold seam, instead of a Hatchery, has a Guard Post with several Archers. The room near the one to the right has two Guard Posts and some Thieves. In the final, these are replaced with Action Point 7.
  • Level 20 Skybird Trill is a completely different level not present in the final version:
  • There is an unnamed, unfinished, and unused level (23), that is also not present in the final game:
  • Level 22 (another unused level) appears to be an early version of the level Skybird Trill ended up as:
Prototype (level 22) Final (level 20)
DungeonKeeperLevel22Proto.png DungeonKeeperSkybirdTrillFinal.png
  • There are also numerous other differences between this level and the final Skybird Trill:
  • It uses a different texture set.
  • Blue starts with 60000 gold. In the final, he starts with 2460000.
  • Blue can attract up to 35 creatures from the Portal. In the final, he can only attract 30.
  • The Portal generation speed is 700 turns rather than the final's 600.
  • Blue doesn't start with any Imps or creatures, and his Dungeon Heart area isn't booby-trapped.
  • The Avatar is actually inside Blue's Prison, which has its centre tile and is not surrounded by Lava.
  • The Avatar and his (very different) army respawn at Hero Gates in the Hero cavern to the east, rather than nearby Red's dungeon.
  • There are no neutral Beetles or Flies at the Hero Dungeon Heart. There are also some heroes (including some Skeletons) scattered around the fortress.
  • There is no neutral Horned Reaper in the fortress.
  • The west of the fortress holds a Reveal Map special instead of a Resurrect Creature, and it is guarded by a level 8 Giant who is absent in the final.
  • There are no Hero Tentacles in the water to the south of the fortress.
  • Several Hero Skeletons spawn upon reaching Action Point 3. The final has no Hero Skeletons, spawned or already-present.
  • Reaching Action Point 17 triggers a timer which spawns Hero Ghosts. The final has no Hero Ghosts.
  • The Hero fortress has no doors to the rooms west of the Dungeon Heart.
  • Wooden Doors and Braced Doors can be manufactured.
  • The Bridge is available for research right from the start. In the final, it only becomes available after defeating the Avatar for the first time.
  • On destroying the Hero Dungeon Heart, Blue receives a level 10 Horned Reaper instead of a Vampire.
  • Having a Torture Chamber spawns Thieves in the Hero fortress.
  • Red can research the Sight of Evil spell, and both Red and Blue can research the Hold Audience spell.
  • The Creature Pool is as follows:
  • Fly - 20 (not in final)
  • Spider - 25 (not in final)
  • Demon Spawn - 45 (not in final)
  • Troll - 30 (same as final)
  • Warlock - 17 (same as final)
  • Bile Demon - 25 (20 in final)
  • Dark Mistress - 20 (30 in final)
  • Vampire - 11 (21 in final)
  • Dragon - 11 (21 in final)
  • Hellhound - 30 (same as final)
  • Orc - 30 (17 in final)
  • Additionally, all creatures can be attracted by both Red and Blue. In the final, only Blue can attract Warlocks, Dark Mistresses, and Vampires, and only Red can attract Orcs.
  • There are three unfinished secret levels that were cut from the final game:
Secret 4's objective is to kill your 21 Bile Demons using Boulder Traps hidden around your dungeon, and the reward is three "superior" Imps, which you're supposed to get on the next realm. Secret 5 seems to be some sort of obstacle course; you're evidently meant to possess the given Fly to transverse the realm, but you lose as soon as the level loads. Secret 6 is clearly unfinished, and you lose as soon as it loads.
  • There are four other unnamed, and apparently unused, levels:

A comment in level 106's script gives the impression that the level may have been a candidate to be level 1. These levels' scripts were last modified in September and October 1996, and contain commands that were cut, modified, or renamed by the final release, such as CREATURE_INBY (ADD_CREATURE_TO_POOL), NEUTRAL_ENTRANCE_LEVEL (according to a comment in level 106's script, this command sets the maximum level of creatures on the map. If so, it's an early version of SET_CREATURE_MAX_LEVEL, which sets the maximum level for a particular creature belonging to a particular player), and COMPUTER_SPEED and COMPUTER_DESIRE (possibly early commands for what ended up as SET_COMPUTER_GLOBALS). This prototype does not support these commands, so these levels must be leftovers from an earlier prototype.

The COMPUTER_PLAYER command in these scripts only takes one parameter: the player. In the final game, the command takes two: the player, and the type of artificial intelligence it has. The scripts' ADD_TO_PARTY command takes only four parameters: the party name, the creature type, its experience level, and the amount of gold it carries. The final game's command takes two additional parameters: the creature's objective, and an omitted command that is supposed to always be set to 0.

There is also an unused script for 'level 1 as of 16.12.96' (however, it was last modified on 23 January 1997), under the strange filename MAP00000.TXT. The script language at this stage still has the CREATURE_INBY and NEUTRAL_ENTRANCE_LEVEL commands, but the ADD_TO_PARTY command now has all six parameters that the final game uses. Unlike the final game, the final parameter is actually in use, though the script offers no clue as to what it does.

Unused Leftover Icons

The leftover icons in the final game are also here (in the same files).

Editor Code

Elementary, my dear Cactus.
This needs some investigation.
Discuss ideas and findings on the talk page.
Specifically: Does this build have the developers' level editor? If so, how is it accessed?

During development, the game had tools such as the level editor (different to the one released to players several months after the game's release) built into the game executable; they were not discrete programs. There is evidence of such tools in the executable file; it contains references to functions such as (note, this list is not exhaustive):


As well as functions pertaining to features such as editing icon data. Also referenced is a file called jtyedit.cpp; jyt likely refers to Jonty Barnes, who wrote the level editor. The references to these functions are not in the retail build.

Cheat\Debug Menus

Dungeon Keeper Cheat Menu Prototype.png
Dungeon Keeper Cheat Menu 2 Prototype.png

The first menu is activated by pressing Enter during a game, the second by pressing F12 while posessing a creature. These menus either don't exist or cannot be accessed in the final game.

Cheat Mode

Dungeon Keeper Prototype Cheat Mode.png

Pressing F11 during a game displays this screen momentarily. This does not happen in the final game. It is unclear exactly what (if anything) this does, because the above menus can be accessed without doing this.

Easter Egg

There is an Easter Egg that appears not to have made it into the final game: if you sacrifice 4 Imps and 4 gold piles, you'll get a Spider (of a random level) from the Portal for each Chicken you sacrifice, starting from the 10th.

28 May 1997

This executable file's last modified date is 5 June 1997, but the build date inside it is 28 May 1997. This version of the executable file contains Jonty Barnes' developer message written on Dungeon Keeper‍ '​s last day, suggesting that this may have originally been intended to be the final version.

Graphic Differences

  • The UI for the most part resembles the final version, although the Battle Panel still says 'Vs'.
  • The No-CD Screen is different:
Prototype Final
DungeonKeeperNoCDProto.png DungeonKeeperNoCDFinal.png

Level Differences

  • Level 7 Wishvale is closer to the final than the previous prototype, but there are still differences (Blue still starts with only 3000 gold):
Prototype Final
DungeonKeeperWishvaleProto2.png DungeonKeeperWishvaleFinal.png
  • Level 20 Skybird Trill is another level not present in the final game (this also exists as level 21 in the previous prototype):
  • Level 23 from the previous prototype is still present.
  • The level 20 of the previous prototype is gone. The level 20 of the final version appears to be here as level 21. The level 22 of the previous prototype is still here.
  • Hearth now resembles and is much closer to the final version. However, unlike the final, the Prison is available from the start.
  • Mistle as seen in the final game is still nowhere to be found.
  • Apart from Secret 6, the secret levels all appear to be the ones in the final game.
  • Level 106-109 from the previous prototype are still here, and this prototype has another one (level 111):
Dungeon Keeper Level 111.png
  • Level 22 differs slightly from the previous prototype:
21 May 1997 Prototype 28 May 1997 Prototype
DungeonKeeperLevel22Proto.png DungeonKeeperLevel22Proto2.png
  • This version has some differences to both the final the the previous prototype:
  • Blue's Prison is neutral, as are its surrounding tiles and walls.
  • The imprisoned Avatar is level 1 rather than 10.
  • The Hold Audience spell is no longer available to either player.
  • Blue now starts with 260000 gold.
  • Warlocks and Dark Mistresses can now only be attracted by Blue, but Orcs and Vampires are still available to both players.
  • Portal generation speed is now 600, matching the final.
  • Red can attract up to 35 creatures (25 in the final), and Blue 40 (30 in the final).
  • Flies, Spiders, and Demon Spawns are gone from the Creature Pool. The only differences to the final are:
  • 20 Bile Demons instead of 25.
  • 30 Orcs instead of 17.
  • Many of the previous prototype's differences to the final remain.

Other Differences

  • The PRINT script command for obtaining a fax in-game seems to be present in this build.
  • The get-a-Spider Easter Egg now requires 18 Chickens rather than 10.