|SSI wants to make sure you know this is an official product.|
Ah, the memories that rush over me just seeing the opening screen again. Even though my first run through of the game was on the Commodore 64, the other times I solved it were on the PC (including a run through that I did just this last Summer). It's hard not to get nostalgic just looking at it.
|Just in case you forgot what game I'm talking about here.|
|My first character, before his stats are "magically" enhanced by unseen spirits.|
I've played the Gold-Box games so much that I have a standard party that I use that seems to work for me. I even use them when I play user-created designs in Unlimited Adventures, a game that any fan of the Gold-Box games should definitely check out...you will have a Gold-Box orgasm for months just playing the better modules that are out there.
My party will generally consist of the following characters -- all of which are based on real PCs I played at one time or another in real Dungeons and Dragons campaigns when I was younger:
Lord Benjamin - Paladin - Human - Lawful Good - Male
Kavina Do'Arden - Ranger - Human - Neutral Good - Female
Thaddeus Durin - Fighter/Cleric/Mage - Half-Elf - Chaotic Good - Male
Wil Dhargon - Fighter/Thief - Half-Elf - True Neutral - Male
Tamera Beldon - Cleric - Human - Lawful Good - Female
Janessa Waylan - Magic-User - Human - Chaotic Good - Female
Let me just start by saying that I have nothing against dwarves, gnomes or elves. I just don't ever play them in these games...I have played them in Dungeons and Dragons. These were just the characters I ended up with over the years, and I liked the balance and the fact that it was a ratio of three males and three females.
Unfortunately, Pool of Radiance is the only game of the series that doesn't allow me to play Paladins or Rangers, so the first two characters have been changed to the class of Fighter for this game. It's the only time that ever happens.
So, after the party is assembled, the game starts...
|Oh, Rolf...don't ever change...you loser.|
Once Rolf finally sets us free, we're off to see the council clerk about some jobs. We don't find out much about her in this game, but in Pools of Darkness, we discover that she is named Sasha...and will eventually become a member of the council in New Phlan. I'm glad to see that she works her way up from menial jobs. I would hate to return a decade later and still find her stuck behind a desk.
|C'mon Sasha, give us a smile.|
She gives us a couple of jobs...clearing out some slums...investigating a keep across the bay...and mentions something about something going on in a nearby graveyard. I've heard it all before, sister.
And this is how the adventure begins. It doesn't begin with some big event like modern day CRPGs. The characters just saw a notice somewhere about New Phlan needing people to help them out, and they hopped on a boat and headed there. It's easy and simple, and I kind of like it. It's not heavy-handed in any way. Modern games, I feel, sometimes try too hard to get a player roped into an adventure, when the adventure itself is really the reward, isn't it?
Oh well. My generation was the MTV generation, and this is what we have wrought upon the world.
Until next time, when the adventure continues...