Meritous is an action-adventure dungeon crawl game by me. Further information is available in the included readme and in the in-game helpfile.


Meritous v 1.1 (2,774kb) for Windows 98/2K/XP

Meritous v 1.2 source, platform independent


v 1.2

v 1.1

v 1.0

First public release of Meritous.


Extract the zip file into a new directory, and run meritous.exe to run. It should begin automatically. It may be a good idea to create a shortcut to it and place on your desktop or in your Start menu.

Troubleshooting and other errata

Problems associated with running this game will likely have something to do with SDL, and trying out other applications that also use SDL may be beneficial in working out where the problem lies.

You can run meritous.exe with the command-line argument 'fullscreen' to attempt to run the game in fullscreen mode, however this may not work as intended on some systems, due to the way dual palettes (physical and logical) work in SDL.

Somewhat Frequently Asked Questions

Why are there sometimes two arrows on the compass tiles? What do they mean?

There are two different arrows that can appear when you stand on a compass tile. One is a darker grey one, and the other is a lighter grey (the same colour as the outer circle of the compass).

The dark grey arrow points to non-essential artifacts (i.e. artifacts such as the shield booster and metabolism enhancer. The light grey arrow points to the quest location you need to go to next. If the light grey arrow does not appear, that means you have not killed enough enemies to get the next essential artifact you need. If the dark grey arrow does not appear, that means you have collected all 8 of the basic non-essential artifacts.

Does the order you fight the bosses in matter?

The bosses are tied to the three PSI keys. You can get the PSI keys in any order you like, but you will always fight the three bosses in the same order, no matter which PSI key (the sword, the lance or the bow) you get first.

What did you use to make this game?

To write the C source code for the game, I used a combination of notepad2 and gvim. To compile it, I used GCC under MinGW for Windows.

I used the libraries SDL, SDL_image and SDL_mixer. SDL provided my graphical, audio and keyboard interfaces. SDL_image provided the PNG-loading code. SDL_mixer provided the code for loading the music and playing the sound effects.

I used an old version of Paint Shop Pro to draw the graphics in the game (I am not an artist--in fact, I am about the least artistic person you will ever come across). I used the Windows sound recorder and Audacity to edit and mix the audio samples to create the sound effects used.

Lastly, I created the pre-designed locations using a hex editor.

Feedback, bug reports, questions

You can email any comments and questions you may have to me. My email address is:

Spam-shielded email address



The map reveals the general layout of the dungeon to you, however you will still need to explore the individual rooms to find enemies, items and tiles. Because certain types of rooms have a distinctive shape this item is nonetheless quite useful.
The shield booster drastically increases the speed at which your shield recharges. Invaluable for getting more out of your shield.
This artifact allows you to make more efficient use of the crystals you gather, increasing the effective amount of crystals you find.
The circuit booster improves the range of your PSI attack, allowing you to target enemies that are further away.
The metabolism enhancer increases the speed at which you can move around the dungeon, allowing you to run between rooms and evade enemy attack much more easily.
The dodge enhancer reduces the likelihood of you being hit by an enemy bullet--enemy attacks will need to land closer to be able to hurt you.
The ethereal monocle allows you to see enemies you couldn't normally see. You can see enemies through walls and even invisible enemies with this artifact.
The crystal summoner calls nearby crystals to you. This makes clearing rooms much more efficient.
The PSI keys regulate PSI throughout the Orcus Dome. They must be restored to their correct locations.
The PSI seal is necessary for regulating and purifying PSI inside the Dome. It needs to be restored to its proper location to do this, however.
The Agate Knife is a hallowed artifact of immense power. Its current location is unknown, as it has been lost for a long time.