39

Pool of Radiance

(1988)

Scenario:

Jim Ward

 

 

Scenario Assistance:

David Cook, Steve Winter, and Mike Breault

 

 

Game Created By:

SSI Special Projects Group

 

 

Programmers:

Keith Brors, Brad Myers

 

 

Additional Programming By:

Westwood Associates, Raymond J. Huges, Peter Schmitt, and Eric Nickelson

 

 

Artists:

Tom Wahl, Darla Marasco, Susan Halbleib, Fred Butts, Maurice Molyneaux, and Vince Reynolds

 

 

Additional Art By:

Westwood Associates, Scott A. H. Ruggles, Doug Barnett, Dave Shelley, Joana Zegri, and Rob Wong

 

 

Music and Sound Effects:

David Warhol

 

 

Developers:

George McFonald, Victor Penman, Paul Murray, Russ Brown, and Dave Shelley

 

 

In House Playtesting:

Dick Vohlers, Cyrus Harris, Graeme Bayless, James Kucera, and Scott Barnes

 

 

Project Manager:

Chuck Kroegel

 

 

Rules:

Steve Perrin and George MacDonald

 

 

Customized Apple Disk Operating System:

Roland Gustafsson

 

 

Art, Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing:

Louis Hsu Saekow and David Boudreau

 

 

Printing:

A&a Printers and Lithographers

 

 

 

 

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A seminal part of my childhood, this game changed the way I played D&D, the expectations I had for computer games for years to come, and even the level of excitement my friends and I shared over what was already our favorite hobby.It would be decades before I explored every aspect of the plot, despite defeating The Boss scores of times, there were just so many secrets to be found, hidden in the wilderness or in secret areas of every dungeon.A masterwork of storytelling and a truly inspired method of bringing AD&D to the computer.NeverWinter Nights may have been resurrected for the twenty-first century, but the ultimate interface will always be the split 3D/tactical game play of Pool of Radiance and its numerous children.

Realm Rating: 5/5

 


 

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Designed by Ray Dyer (flopsyville@earthlink.net)
Reviewed by Airamil (airamil@yahoo.com)

 
I was very excited to see that Ray had converted Pool of Radiance (my favorite goldbox game) to FRUA.  It took me a little while to get through the game because I really took my time with it.  The conversation is great for nostalgia purposes and for playing the game without some of the annoying things that were in the original version and fixed later on with other Goldbox games.

The Best:
Fix button, auto spell rememorize, cool stores (although I might have liked a few more items to be able to spend all the jewels you get for completing quests in this game), graphics, close detail to sequences that amazingly match the original game, no level maximums, etc.

Few Bugs:
I didn't find much for bugs; the main one was with Codorna.  When in the Castle near the end, if you try to talk to Codorna when he is held captive, it dumps you into the Codorna map (which looks just like the Castle SE map, but none of the events work or are configured).  It took me awhile to figure this out, I thought I was in the Castle SE map at first.

Irks:
A few items were missing that are not found in the Realm item database.  The main ones were no efreeti bottle (which is fine you never actually got the item in the original game either), the other was the manual of bodily health that was found in Mandors Library was missing.  Some of this could be because Ray ran out of text or didn't want to substitute these items.  Lastly a Vault would have been nice.

Summary:
I highly recommend this module, it is great and I sure hope Ray could use his talents to convert some more of these (Curse of the Azure Bonds, hint, hint). :)

 

Designed by Ray Dyer (flopsyville@earthlink.net)
Reviewed by noyb_bg (noyb_bg@hotmail.com)

 
Good job.  I felt like I was back in 92 (when was it?) playing the game again.

Differences from the SSI version:
I'm pretty sure I fought more than 15 random encounters in the slums back there.  This is actually rather irritating as they were a nice place to rest after you were done fighting.  All you have is 'pieces of gold', but I guess that's unavoidable.  Mages and Clerics can advance above level 6.  I like to see this as an improvement on the original, though it did make the graveyard a little easy.  I really dug turning all the spectres.  You couldn't pick fights with the council guard.   I guess this isn't that big a deal but it was a fun challenge for my party after beating Tyranthraxus.  Overland and random encounters didn't adjust to party strength (there's no way to do that in FRUA unless you condition on the number of times the party enters the training hall or something).  Monsters don't use items.  Has anyone found a way to tackle this in FRUA?

One thing the game made me realize is just how easy old Pool was.  Think about it...how many times were you really challenged, besides the twelve 8th level fighters at the end?  I doubt this is a spoiler for anyone on this list. ;)

And here's a test for any of you to see if you've played the original as much as I have...did anybody notice:

You fought the vampire facing north, instead of west?
The sheets of gold in Mendor's Library are gone?
The efreeti bottle in the Kobold Caves was gone? (Or did I miss it?)

 

 

 

Game39: Pool of Radiance
by Ray Dyer (flopsyville@earthlink.net)

What a treat!  What a joy!  This game started my love of the "gold box games" oh so many years ago.  Ray did a fantastic job of recreating the ambience of POR but giving us the ability to "fix" and other things.  I still hate that maze in the pyramid as much as I did originally.

Rating:  9.95

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40

Curse of the Azure Bonds

(1989)

Game Created By:

SSI Special Projects Group

 

 

Project Leader:

George MacDonald

 

 

Programming:

Scot Bayless, Russ Brown, Michael Mancuso

 

 

Development:

David Shelley, Michael Mancuso, Oran Kangas

 

 

Graphic Arts:

Tom Wahl, Fred Butts, Susan Manley, Mark Johnson, Cyrus Lum

 

 

Playtesting:

Jim Jennings, James Kucera, Rick White, Robert Daly

 

 

 

 

*

 

:

Oh how I hated this game!But I loved Pool of Radiance so much, and the chance to use those characters again outweighed anything else.So every time I killed the boss, I suited up and road off for Cormyr, knowing full well that my group was about to be stripped naked and tattooed with the sigils of the most infamous organizations in the Forgotten Realms.But it was worth it.Especially once Secret of the Silver Blades and Pools of Darkness came about.Just imagining those meteor swarms and monster summonings was enough.More than enough.

What didnít I like?Well, I was a kid, and a lot of what I didnít get was because I didnít understand it.I recently played through it again and had a far greater appreciation of the story.I also found that it wasnít nearly as difficult as it was when I was younger.The strategy of a thirty year old seems to be far greater than that of a fourteen year oldÖSo, while Iím not sure making this game the sequel to a newly published novel was a great way to kick off the next installment of the Pool of Radiance series (and I still hate losing all that magical gear), I have to admit that I was too hard on this game when I was younger.Turns out, itís a whole lot of fun!

Realm Rating: 4.5/5

 


 

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No reviews are available for this design at this time.

 

 

 


All of the preceding modules and game worlds are trademarked property of TSR Inc, which is now the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. I take no credit for the stories or ideas presented here, I merely converted them to a playable format for SSI's Unlimited Adventures game.