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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Betrayal at Krondor - Review at RPG Codex

Default Betrayal at Krondor - Review at RPG Codex

August 13th, 2008, 02:58
Vintage RPG time at the Codex. Our old friends reviewed one of the best RPGs ever, Betrayal at Krondor.
Betrayal at Krondor is a vintage RPG developed by Dynamix, and published by Sierra Entertainment in 1993. Taking aside its rather old age and horribly outdated graphics it's still regarded as one of the best the genre has to offer by those who played it. The game is mostly centered around exploration, combat, the plot, and the absolutely fantastic writing, at which many nowadays RPG developers should look, and at least try to implement something similarly great into their games.
More information.
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August 13th, 2008, 02:59
This was indeed one of the best RPG's ever made. The game mechanics worked well, Feist's writing was well done, the word-locks were fun, and the game just had a tight feel that is lacking in many of today's games are lacking. The sequel, however, was complete and utter crap.
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August 13th, 2008, 03:54
Which sequel are you talking about Betrayal at Antara or Return to Krondor? When I bought Betrayal at Antara and started to play I was totally confused. I couldn't recognize any of the characters, races or locations from any of Fiest's books. I figured, at the time, that this was a part of Fiest's world he hadn't wrote about yet. After a couple of hours of playing I figured out that this game had nothing to do with Fiest at all. Sierra pulled a fast one by naming the game almost exactly the same as the first. I later found out about all the bad blood between Sierra and Fiest and why he pulled his name and world from the sequel. I ended up playing a few more days and even though I did like some of the features in the game like how you leveled and the bead chests, but I just couldn't finish it or even get halfway. I didn't like the main character at all. I think they were trying to recreate Pug in Fiest's books but fell far short of that goal.

Return to Krondor wasn't too bad. A lot more linear than the first but it was fun. The thing I liked about these games is that there were no "Longsword +1" or huge amounts of magic weapons in the world. There was magic but the equipment had a different feel than the normal RPG. Plus the combat system was done well, not as well as in the original but still pretty good and I definatly liked playing one of Fiest's main characters Jimmy the Hand. The alchemy system wasn't too bad but I seem to recall that there were a lot of heavy pieces to lug around.

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August 13th, 2008, 03:59
Betrayal at Antara wasn't really a sequel but an offshoot based on the same system. If they would have made another one based on the same novels then it probably would have been good. The original Riftwar trilogy as a game in that engine would have been great.
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August 13th, 2008, 04:11
Ok then, Spinoff because it sure looked like a sequel to me at the time. Same name different city, had the same graphics, almost exactly the same engine. I consider that Sierra's sequel to BOK just without having anything to do at all with the first

I wish Sierra hadn't skrewed up their dealings with Fiest. We might have seen a few more games from his world around, but as it is I would be very surprised if I ever saw another game based in his world.

I agree wholeheartily with you that the original Riftwar trilogy would of been great. Actually, it isn't exactly a trilogy. I don't know what they call four books in a row instead of three. There were the two Magician books, Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon.

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August 13th, 2008, 04:32
I found Return to Krondor pretty good albeit of course weaker. Simpler, more flashy, more linear and much shorter than BaK, but still enjoyable fast food. 25 hours of solid RPG entertainment. Itīs still playable today and certainly one of the games most suitable as a first serious RPG.
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August 13th, 2008, 06:11
I love (most of) Feist's books and the games Betrayal at Krondor and Return to Krondor.
I would be great if someone implements the Empire series (Janny Wurtz & Raymond E. Feist ) into a crpg. Written from a female perspective, it traces the story of Mara of the Acoma's rise to power from a convent novitiate to the most powerful woman on Kelewan.

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August 13th, 2008, 08:00
I was talking about RtK; I had found out that Antara was not Feist before I got it, so was not overly-disappointed. I hated RtK. In fact, now that I think back, in my mind anyway, that game marks the moment I began to get jaded about CRPGs. To be fair to RtK, however, I was a huge Feist fan (by then I was 6 or 7 times through Riftwar) and replayed BaK several times. When RtK came along I thought the writing/plot was terrible, the newer graphics were actually a step back in many ways, and the game play was inferior. I was not a happy camper.
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August 13th, 2008, 08:02
They were going to make another sequel to Return to Krondor but it never saw the light of the day A pity I loved both Krondor games, the first one was obviously several classes better though.

I would be great if someone implements the Empire series (Janny Wurtz & Raymond E. Feist ) into a crpg. Written from a female perspective, it traces the story of Mara of the Acoma's rise to power from a convent novitiate to the most powerful woman on Kelewan.
When I was younger I was going to make that into a multiplayer game. I never read a story more suited for a RPG, imagine how each house would have differnet players, and houses and lands. He even had rules how one house could beat the other, and the rift could do for interessing adventures and goodies if you went inside. The players could managed the economy of their house, and there could be a quest to hunt down that underground hive and be the one to strike a deal when the new one popuped up for a great bonus. I saw limitless possiblities. Unfortunately time put a stop to that also.

Too bad there is such a thing as time
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August 13th, 2008, 09:54
I think you have to consider several point if you want to compare those 3 games in a fair manner.

Betrayal at Krondor was an experiment at the absolute peak of Sierra/Dynamix success in the business. The license and the production did cost a fortune and the sales were a bit lesser than expected due to very high system requirements of the fiightsim 3D engine. I remember the german Powerplay magazine rewarding the game an 85% score but heavily criticizing the slow engine.

The following fallout between Sierra and Feist found the planned sequels dead in its tracks and it is only because of one Sierra employee's stubborness that Betrayal at Antara was produced - and the fact that the engine did cost so much. (read the introduction to the BoA manual)

Betrayal at Antara was a competent piece of work by people who on the one hand tried to imitate Feist's genius and on the other hand had no clue what makes an RPG work. The game is bloated by unnecessary combat and is heavily railroaded - in an open world environment, no less. The fact that the game was an early Windows product and quite bug ridden didn't help either. Having no Feist name on the box and the uneven art style (comic look character portraits) was a killer, too.

It is more than ironic that Feist landed back at Sierra with Return to Krondor (which originally would've been called "Tear of the Gods" as was the later released novel) after 7th level went bancrupt. Feist wanted to do something more original than Betrayal at Krondor. In an interview with PCPlayer he called the game "not an RPG, but a fantasy experience", hence the mini games and the nearly JRPG like structure of the game.

I think RtK is a good game for RPG beginners, BaK is a highlight for experts and BiA is not worth playing anymore.

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August 13th, 2008, 12:18
Betrayal at Krondor was definitely one of the best RPGs I ever played. A lot of it probably owing to the fact that it was also one of the first RPGs I encountered.

Reading the review I was possessed by a certain strange nostalgia which I think will soon result in me obtaining a copy of the game again and give it one more try. Especially since when I first played it, I didn`t finished it owing to my inexperience and a formatted disk

Btw.. the article really made me think about the element of good writing in RPG games and its role in the presentation of the game`s fictious world and its characters. This element seems to have been replaced in modern gaming era by the element of graphic representation. I believe these two elements do not necessarily exclude (but rather complement) each other since they exist on different levels of content presentation. Besides there is a certain profound peculiarity about our species `and culture`s inclination to transmit information and create (fictious) realities with the use of stories that I think plays a vital role in the RPG genre.
And I also beleive our mind has the ability to create images that far surpass anything that can be projected to a flat screen
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August 13th, 2008, 17:11
I haven't read the article and I don't know it it's mentioned, but you can download Betrayal at Krondor for free these days. It runs well in DOSBox.

When I bought Betrayal in Antara (those game titles confused the shit out of me: Betrayal at Krondor, Betrayal in Antara, Return to Krondor, at, in, to, gaaaargh!) like most here I was disappointed. Part of it was a better-looking BaK, but it didn't have the same feel to it. I never really knew about the falling out of Feist and Sierra, thanks for sharing that.

I remember being interested in Return to Krondor, but the luke-warm reviews and description of it made me think it wasn't a very good game. Maybe I should hunt it down nonetheless.
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August 13th, 2008, 17:33
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
I haven't read the article and I don't know it it's mentioned, but you can download Betrayal at Krondor for free these days. It runs well in DOSBox.
I don't even need DOSBox to run it on XP.

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August 13th, 2008, 17:36
The BaK you really want is the CD version with audio tracks (real CDA!). The sound track is phantastic.


Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
I remember being interested in Return to Krondor, but the luke-warm reviews and description of it made me think it wasn't a very good game. Maybe I should hunt it down nonetheless.
You should. Itīs a decent game. Even a Krondor-lite is a deep game according to todayīs standards. Just donīt expect too much.
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August 13th, 2008, 20:41
Just a FYI, for those interested, apparently Feist and Joel Rosenberg (pretty good writer in his own right) teamed up and wrote "Murder in Lamut". I haven't got my hands on it yet, or heard a thing about it, but saw it listed in the back of another book.
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August 13th, 2008, 22:25
Betrayal at antara wasnt so bad. I liked the demo and played it like 70% through back then. Return to krondor though I stop playing almost instantly when I realised the whole gamesystem had been changed to somthing that I consider less fun. Im planning to replay them all through one last time. I never finished betrayal at krondor even (perhaps 95% finished). Im planning to listen all the feist books while at it too. Ive allready finished three.

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August 14th, 2008, 19:07
I actually enjoyed Antara, but there wasn't much else to play at the time!!

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April 24th, 2009, 00:49
Has there been any reports or progress on remakes or update or community conversions of Betrayal at Krondor?
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Default I want the CD Version

January 10th, 2010, 13:46
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
The BaK you really want is the CD version with audio tracks (real CDA!). The sound track is phantastic.
It's been almost a decade since I first played BaK. And I absolutely loved the music—even my late grandfather once heard the music when I was in Krondor and said it was great. Funny thing is just using the "Install.exe" option you can make it play in 3 different ways!

But only recently (a couple years back) I found out that the AWESOME music that I've been hearing isn't even the original "CD Music" and that it was even better! I've tried but all the downloadable versions as well as the device driver CD on which I had found the game (among some demo versions of "better" games) contain only the MIDI version.

So I'd like to know: How much megabytes is this cd? Can anyone upload an image and send it to me by e-mail? Any help with how to play it on Win XP would also be welcome.
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January 10th, 2010, 17:43
Found it on Amazon. It's $33 which isn't too bad. Sometimes these older harder to find games are a bit pricey. Like Wizardry 8 is $55.

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