Jump to content

My half-arsed collection of D&D games


Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, Camel said:

Loads of these are on the Commodore 64. Are they essentially the same games on Amiga/PC?

Hmm not sure. There are a few on the Speccy too although mainly the arcade style ones as it couldn't cope with the RPGs I don't think ... I will definitely look into it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

From your picture above, Curse of the Azure Bonds and Heroes of the Lance definitely came out on the C64. Wonder how similar they are to the PC versions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read through all of the Dragon Lance books recently and its amazing to see just how many games they had based around them. I picked up Heroes of the Lance on Master System specifically to play because its based around them. Always dismissed it before as a poor RPG style dungeon crawler but now knowing what I do of the lore and histoy going to be very interesting going back to play in a new light.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a number of the old Gold Box D&D RPGs on the C64 and did attempt to play them back in the 90s but they're really hard going. Like a lot of these games they require a significant amount of deprogramming of the brain, to try and forget everything you've learned about RPGs in the last 25-odd years. My main issue was finding the combat difficult to follow, a jumble of icons and messages that, if you're not concentrating, can be overwhelming. 

 

There are a ton of these on GOG and pretty cheap too. I've been meaning to have a proper go but was a bit put off when I attempted to play Ultima III on the C64 a few years back and found that really difficult to get into due to its age. It's going to take some proper effort. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Vimster said:

I have a number of the old Gold Box D&D RPGs on the C64 and did attempt to play them back in the 90s but they're really hard going. Like a lot of these games they require a significant amount of deprogramming of the brain, to try and forget everything you've learned about RPGs in the last 25-odd years. My main issue was finding the combat difficult to follow, a jumble of icons and messages that, if you're not concentrating, can be overwhelming. 

 

There are a ton of these on GOG and pretty cheap too. I've been meaning to have a proper go but was a bit put off when I attempted to play Ultima III on the C64 a few years back and found that really difficult to get into due to its age. It's going to take some proper effort. 

I think this is part of what appeals to me about them. I've got quite a lot of experience of very early RPGs, having played the early Ultimas and countless roguelikes. But these are a sort of middle step towards things that would come later like Baldur's Gate that pretty much set the mould for modern crpg games. They are still slow, turn-based and stat-heavy, but they mix in detailed graphics (compared to say Ultimas of the time)and much more emphasis on scripted storytelling. A good example is in the first dungeon of Pool of Radiance, where instead of just bumping into monsters randomly wandering the corridors, they are all doing something - you get a little text description about bursting in on a group of kobolds being trained, for example. Lots of the locations have little text descriptions of what's going on, too. To modern eyes it's somewhat jarring because the text doesn't match what you see on screen (which might be an empty room, while the text says you're in a busy marketplace). But like I said, it's steps toward starting to build the complex and busy environments we're used to seeing in RPGs now. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

Thanks for that, I was thinking it may have been DA where I'd seen these covered in the past, but couldn't quite remember!

 

I have no interest in these games but loved his series on them. It's why I entered the topic!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to love playing D&D but I missed a lot of the home games of the time as they largely came out on systems I didn't own. I've played a lot of them since due to numerous features I've written over the years and there's some really interesting stuff. Outside of the more obvious titles like Baldur's Gate.

With regards to your collection size isn't important, it's what you have that matters. We've featured more than enough smaller collections that are interesting because of their focus.

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, jdanddiet said:

I've just written about Buck Rogers Countdown to Doomsday on the Mega Drive which is a port of the original Gold Box SSI game.

Interested to see where this collection goes!

Oh, that's interesting - because until now I thought I owned every single D&D game released on the MD (i.e one ... Warriors of the Eternal Sun). I guess this is new?

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

Oh, that's interesting - because until now I thought I owned every single D&D game released on the MD (i.e one ... Warriors of the Eternal Sun). I guess this is new?

It's not a D&D game. I think the Gold Box collection covers a number of different game, not just D&D titles. Your Mega Drive collection remains complete (although Eye Of The Beholder came out on Mega CD and has a soundtrack by Yuzo Koshiro).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a lot of time for Mega CD EotB, not least because the Koshiro/Kawashima music is completely at odds with the game; battling fantasy creatures while phat beats play remains a pleasantly strange experience. It's also one of the rare Mega CD games to support the Sega Mouse, so it plays just as well as the home computer versions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

CE659A61-EE31-4B40-9936-F065E36A14C7.thumb.jpeg.2f0d867fe26ce8b1804fb0ce09ad3617.jpeg

 

I too have a half-arsed collection of D&D games! The SSI ones are particularly nice to collect, as the boxes are absolutely stuffed with stuff, and the clue books fit in there nicely too, which makes for a satisfactory feeling of completeness if you can find them. 
 

Ive tried to keep it to games that I personally have some kind of connection too, so rather than trying to buy every game in the series, I’ve only bothered with games I actually played back in the day (except Eye of the Beholder III, which never came out on the Amiga). While it’d be nice to have Secret of the Silver Blades and Pools of Darkness on the shelf, I don’t have any emotional attachment to those games and it would be pure collectorish indulgence to track them down. I occasionally wonder about getting some of the Dragonlance games too, but I’ve only got so much shelf space, and lockdown seems to have pushed the prices of retro games (and especially the prices of this era of CRPG) through the roof. 

 

The game I have the most affection for, despite it being objectively an awful game, is Hillsfar - this weird ‘training package’ that was hacked out by Westwood as a stopgap between Pool of Radiance and Azure Bonds. It consists of a set of very poor mini games and minimal RPG elements that are supposed to net your PoR character some extra experience before sending them off to CotAB, but I used to spend hours and hours it, played on some godawful laptop with a mono LCD screen that updated about twice a second. My kindle probably has a more responsive display than that thing did, but I somehow managed to get through most of the arcade bits. 

 

I keep meaning to replay Pool of Radiance. There’s a companion programme called ‘Gold Box Companion’ that runs alongside the game and adds all kind of modern QOL improvements that makes the series a bit less irritating to play now, but annoyingly there isn’t a Mac version. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Camel said:

From your picture above, Curse of the Azure Bonds and Heroes of the Lance definitely came out on the C64. Wonder how similar they are to the PC versions.

 

The versions of Pool of Radiance / Azure Bonds were pretty similar, IIRC. The original Gold Box games were developed with the C64 and Apple II in mind, hence the dungeons being of a fixed, small, size, and most of the in-game text being stored in the journal that came in the box. The PC versions were not much more advanced than the 8-bit versions.

 

The Amiga version of Pool of Radiance is slightly more advanced than the others, as it came out later and (I think) Ubisoft re-drew the graphics, so it looks a bit nicer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Lorfarius said:

Just read through all of the Dragon Lance books recently and its amazing to see just how many games they had based around them. I picked up Heroes of the Lance on Master System specifically to play because its based around them. Always dismissed it before as a poor RPG style dungeon crawler but now knowing what I do of the lore and histoy going to be very interesting going back to play in a new light.

 

It's still a pretty bad game, unfortunately. I was obsessed with Dragonlance as a child, and was almost frothing at the mouth when I learned they'd made a game based on the first book (or rather, the first half of the first book). The actual game was immensely disappointing - I could occasionally fluke my way onto the second level, but the combination of the insane difficulty, the logistical issues in mapping a dungeon that's viewed side-on, and the fact you couldn't save your game meant that I never really got anywhere.

 

I gave it another try recently, and it hasn't aged well. It's slow, unresponsive, and generally extremely hostile towards the player.

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, K said:

CE659A61-EE31-4B40-9936-F065E36A14C7.thumb.jpeg.2f0d867fe26ce8b1804fb0ce09ad3617.jpeg

 

I too have a half-arsed collection of D&D games! The SSI ones are particularly nice to collect, as the boxes are absolutely stuffed with stuff, and the clue books fit in there nicely too, which makes for a satisfactory feeling of completeness if you can find them. 
 

Ive tried to keep it to games that I personally have some kind of connection too, so rather than trying to buy every game in the series, I’ve only bothered with games I actually played back in the day (except Eye of the Beholder III, which never came out on the Amiga). While it’d be nice to have Secret of the Silver Blades and Pools of Darkness on the shelf, I don’t have any emotional attachment to those games and it would be pure collectorish indulgence to track them down. I occasionally wonder about getting some of the Dragonlance games too, but I’ve only got so much shelf space, and lockdown seems to have pushed the prices of retro games (and especially the prices of this era of CRPG) through the roof. 

 

The game I have the most affection for, despite it being objectively an awful game, is Hillsfar - this weird ‘training package’ that was hacked out by Westwood as a stopgap between Pool of Radiance and Azure Bonds. It consists of a set of very poor mini games and minimal RPG elements that are supposed to net your PoR character some extra experience before sending them off to CotAB, but I used to spend hours and hours it, played on some godawful laptop with a mono LCD screen that updated about twice a second. My kindle probably has a more responsive display than that thing did, but I somehow managed to get through most of the arcade bits. 

 

I keep meaning to replay Pool of Radiance. There’s a companion programme called ‘Gold Box Companion’ that runs alongside the game and adds all kind of modern QOL improvements that makes the series a bit less irritating to play now, but annoyingly there isn’t a Mac version. 

Your collection is what I aspire to have in 2 -3 years time if I really put my mind to it. 

Will have a look at Gold Box Companion - will it work with my GoG versions?

My version of Pool had a different box to yours, so I'm guessing that it's because it's the Amiga version. Weirdly though it has the manual and adventurers journal from your "proper" gold box version - I can tell because it doesn't fit into the box and is squashed in. (I've flattened it out and put it in the Dragons of Flame box now, where it fits perfectly).

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Lorfarius said:

Just read through all of the Dragon Lance books recently and its amazing to see just how many games they had based around them. I picked up Heroes of the Lance on Master System specifically to play because its based around them. Always dismissed it before as a poor RPG style dungeon crawler but now knowing what I do of the lore and histoy going to be very interesting going back to play in a new light.

I was always fascinated by Heroes of the Lance because it looked fantastic and when I read that you could control any of the characters my head basically exploded. 

But yeah it's not great. Dragons of Flame is the follow-up and is a bit better from a Dragonlance fan's perspective if you want to play a game that is fairly contemporaneous to the books. It's still arcade style like HOTL but it has some slightly deeper RPG elements, and an overworld map rather than being entirely set in featureless underground caverns. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Anne Summers said:

Your collection is what I aspire to have in 2 -3 years time if I really put my mind to it. 

Will have a look at Gold Box Companion - will it work with my GoG versions?

My version of Pool had a different box to yours, so I'm guessing that it's because it's the Amiga version. Weirdly though it has the manual and adventurers journal from your "proper" gold box version - I can tell because it doesn't fit into the box and is squashed in. (I've flattened it out and put it in the Dragons of Flame box now, where it fits perfectly).

 

 

Thanks! Gold Box Companion should work with the GoG versions, I think.

 

The boxes in my pic are from the US versions of the Gold Box games, and are in the same tall and thin format all of SSI's games were up until that point. They switched to the then-standard bigger PC box size in the early nineties, hence the box for EOTB 2 is much larger than the previous games.

 

US Gold published SSI's D&D games in the UK, and used their own box formats - hence Heroes of the Lance and Shadow Sorcerer having the grey livery and different packaging (although the documentation is the same on both the US and UK versions). Your copy of Dragons of Flame is a US one. I think that US Gold only published the games in the UK, so the European markets used the SSI version - hence you used to be able to get relatively cheap copies of the games from Germany sometimes. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got big box versions of all the baldurs gate games and neverwinter nights. I really should get rid of them. as I own them all on gog too. But I really like the maps and manuals. He I can't even play them properly as the rules are a mystery to me. I've even gone and bought enhanced versions. I shouldn't have bothered with nwn enhanced. It just hasn't aged well.

 

Are there any none turn based dnd games worth playing?

 

Also dragon Lance books, worth a read?

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, strider said:

It's not a D&D game. I think the Gold Box collection covers a number of different game, not just D&D titles. Your Mega Drive collection remains complete (although Eye Of The Beholder came out on Mega CD and has a soundtrack by Yuzo Koshiro).

 

Don't tell the boss, but there's a pitch for a making of Warriors incoming ;-)

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bplus said:

I've got big box versions of all the baldurs gate games and neverwinter nights. I really should get rid of them. as I own them all on gog too. But I really like the maps and manuals. He I can't even play them properly as the rules are a mystery to me. I've even gone and bought enhanced versions. I shouldn't have bothered with nwn enhanced. It just hasn't aged well.

 

Are there any none turn based dnd games worth playing?

 

Also dragon Lance books, worth a read?

 

I absolutely loved the dragonlance novels as a teenager - really fell for the world and characters

haven't read them in years

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, strider said:

Here’s the only book stuff I have left.

I have all the other Drizzt books on kindle as a humble bundle.

DBEA9716-7DFB-41E9-A337-1345E912A209.jpeg

Love RA Salvatore's icewind trilogy. As you know!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.