Stonekeep is a role-playing dungeon crawler developed and published by Interplay for the PC in 1995. The designer Peter Oliphant planned to complete the game in just nine months, but he ended up spending almost 7 years in development (counting platform shifts and delays). Though taking a record amount of time to develop, it was well worth the wait.
Set in a fantasy world and taking place completely underground, Stonekeep is a literal dungeon crawler, like Eye of the Beholder or Dungeon Master. Play as Drake, the sole survivor of the destruction of Stonekeep at the hands of the mad god Khull-Khuum. Khull-Khuum has imprisoned the other gods inside magical orbs and hidden them away. During the destruction of Stonekeep, Drake is saved by a mysterious figure. Now an adult, Drake returns to the ruins of Stonekeep to avenge his past and free the benevolent gods of his realm. There is no character creation element to this game and Drake’s initial stats are pre-set, though you can still equip him with different weapons and armor. Seeing the world from a first-person perspective fight monsters in real-time combat, avoid traps, and find treasures. Drake can also have up to three people in his party, though controlled by computer AI.
Stonekeep also has an elaborate magic system utilizing combinations of different runes that must be attached to staves. Choosing might or magic embark on an epic adventure through the castle of Stonekeep and what lies beyond.
Stonekeep uses digitized pictures and animations of live actors as the characters, pre-rendered environments, and live-action cutscenes to build the atmosphere. With original visual monster designs and an eerie soundtrack, this game definitely sets the mood. Though met with mixed opinions upon its release, it won a few awards, including Role-Playing Game of the Year and #10 Top Vaporware Title in Computer Game History. This immersive game will keep you playing for hours.