If you've ever read the saga of Boatmurdered, then you should know that it was played in one of the older 2D versions.
Back then, every fortress covered one single biome (which never
ran out of wildlife) and you embarked against a totally flat cliff face. As you dug to the right, you found the Cave River (from which frogmen and lizardmen would periodically attack), then the Chasm (into which you could dump garbage, which would trigger attacks from creatures such as Antmen and Trolls), then the Magma Flow (where you had to build all
of your magma workshops, exposing them to Fire Imps, Fire Men, or Magma Men), then the Glowing Pits (from which you'd get a group of 10 Demons), then the Adamantine (which, once you started mining it, would eventually cause an Instant Game Over in the form of the "too deep" ending).
No burrows, no activity zones (Stone stockpiles were something you actually had to use), no forbidding items, and lots of nobles
. It was a totally different game, though it also had its share of annoying bugs (a decent number of which I have personally fixed - see here
for patch info).