There are 9 different races in Demise that your character can be.
Your race determines how long you live, your basic characteristics(some
races are faster/stronger/smarter than others), resistances to any special
forms of attack(such as poison or acid), what alignment you can be(good,
neutral or evil), and which guilds you can join.
There are 12 guilds in Demise, and your standing in these guilds represents how powerful your character is. Some guilds only accept certain races, and some only certain alignments, so think carefully about making these choices.
Guilds represent a way of life, and gaining levels as a member of increases the skills your character has that a particular guild teaches. The warriors guild teaches characters how to fight, the thieves guild teaches characters to open chests with setting off traps, and the sorceror's guild teaches characters how to cast powerful spells at enemies. A character can be anywhere from level 1 to level 999 in a guild they are a member of, with a level 1 character being a wimp, and a level 999 character being extremely knowledgeable and powerful in the ways of the guild.
A character may be a member of more than one guild at a time, but they can only learn(gain experience) in one guild at a time, and may switch their active guild at any time. However, since guilds represent a way of life, certain guilds cannot use certain items. The sorceror's guild will not allow their member to swing a huge sword at his enemies like he does as a member of the warrior's guild, but similarly, when acting on behalf of the warrior's guild, he may not be able to use that powerful magic wand that he found.
The dungeon in Demise is comprised of 31 dungeon levels. In each of these levels there are rooms, which are in turn made up of squares of space - since Demise is a square by square movement game. Each level is comprised of 45 by 45 squares(that's 2025 squares). A room could be 1 square big, or it could be 10 or even greater. Rooms are where monsters are found. In each room there may(or may not) be a monster, or several monsters. Monsters can come in up to four groups. Each monster in a group is of the same type, but there may be four groups of differents types of monsters. There could be four groups of slaves in a room, OR there could be a group of 2 slavers, a group of 12 slaves, a giant centipede, and two black bears in a room. If they delight in killing or think the characters have something useful/valuable on them, monsters might be hostile, but if the characters look powerful, they might claim peace and possibly even run away.
Every time a character damages or kills a monsters he or she gains experience. If a character gains enough experience, they can gain a level in their current guild, making them more powerful, and more likely to survive the dungeon. When a character defeats a monster they may also find some gold, and possibly an item. As the characters grow more powerful, they can defeat stronger monsters, who will have more gold and better items. The characters may also come across books of magic, which they can give to the magic using guilds(who will pay them), to allow research into powerful spells. Characters can then learn these spells, provided they are a high enough level.
Eventually, after many, many hours, the characters may become powerful enough to face any monster in the dungeon, so you might consider then, that you have beaten the game. Other players might consider that it is time to consider to play a new character, a different race, or a member of different guilds, which offer different skills to the characters, and might repeat the process over and over and over...
But, you don't need to go overboard - and remember you have different SP & MP characters, just because your single player party can beat the strongest monster in the dungeon, what's to say there aren't players or parties in MP that can do it without raising a sweat?
If you've played the game, and liked it, I hope you enjoyed this discussion of Demise.
If you HAVEN'T played the game: What on earth are you waiting for? Check it out now!
Either way, you might want to check out the rest of my pages on Demise.