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Default SSI - The Roots of CRPGs @ Bitmob

December 7th, 2010, 21:34
Bitmob has kicked off a retrospective series written by Reggie Carolipio that looks back at influention ompanies in the history of CRPGs. This first entry is about Strategic Simulations Inc:
Their biggest coup was in scoring the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons license from pen-and-paper RPG publisher TSR. So named because of the gold-colored paper used to label the boxes, the “Gold Box” series would prove to be one AD&D's biggest splashes on PCs until the arrival of Bioware's Baldur's Gate under the Interplay label almost a decade later.
SSI opened up TSR's worlds to players with fancy graphics, turn-based tactical planning, and all of the nitty gritty details stuffed into every statistic. It would be the biggest impression that AD&D would make on CRPGs in years — if not for the gameplay, then for the sheer body of work that would follow.
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December 7th, 2010, 21:34
Ah, Pool of Radiance. I played that on a PC from the 3.5" floppy disk version and you had to swap disks all the time.

They had another "hybrid" game that I always thought was better than their pure AD&D games. Try out Sword of Aragon if you ever get a chance.
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December 7th, 2010, 22:10
I played it on C64 and drove over one of the 5" floppies with my chair.

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December 7th, 2010, 22:52
This brings back memories.

Me and my IBM PC jr playing games till late into the night.

I played and loved many of the SSI games back then.
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December 7th, 2010, 22:54
It would take like 3 minutes to load up on a disk then you'd move to the next map and have to put in another disk. Each time anywhere from 3-5 minutes would pass and this was perfectly acceptable to us I gripe now if a game takes 30 seconds to load and it just BETTER not have a lot of loading screens!

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December 7th, 2010, 22:55
I think my favorite SSI gold-box game might have been Curse of the Azure Bonds. I thought it was better written and more coherent than the Pool of Radiance series. However, Secret of the Silver Blades was a combat-fest.

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December 7th, 2010, 23:00
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I think my favorite SSI gold-box game might have been Curse of the Azure Bonds. I thought it was better written and more coherent than the Pool of Radiance series. However, Secret of the Silver Blades was a combat-fest.
I thought they went downhill a bit from the first one.

One of the first 2 Dragonlance ones was quite good plot and story wise. The game was totally flawed though because if you ran into dragons and if they went first then half your party would die every time. 2e AD&D dragons were silly.
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December 7th, 2010, 23:11
Treasures of the Savage frontier was always my favourite one.
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December 7th, 2010, 23:29
I loved the SSI strategy game Fantasy General. I still play it in DOS Box. Also, in a way Thunderscape was fun but not as good as other RPG's that came out at the same time like MM6.

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December 7th, 2010, 23:47
I just got Fantasy General from Ebay - unopened with an attached shrink-wrapped strategy guide.
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December 7th, 2010, 23:55
Why didn't you guys install the games to the hd? If I remember right you could install them entirely to the hd for most of the games.

PS. My most favorite was Treasures of the Savage Frontier also.
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December 8th, 2010, 00:28
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
Why didn't you guys install the games to the hd? If I remember right you could install them entirely to the hd for most of the games
You young kids are so cute. PCs didn't have harddrives back then. Or rather, not all of them did. (seriously)
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December 8th, 2010, 01:19
The old floppy disk days when you played off your disk.To bad they never made more games based on the Darksun setting.

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December 8th, 2010, 01:47
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
Why didn't you guys install the games to the hd? If I remember right you could install them entirely to the hd for most of the games.

PS. My most favorite was Treasures of the Savage Frontier also.
lol, hard disk. Hell, I didn't even have 2 floppy drives and the game "required" 2 drives to play, but I really desperately wanted to play it, so I had to swap disks about 20 times every 5 minutes
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December 8th, 2010, 01:50
Loved those games. They were, indeed, more about the strategy than anything else, but the plot was always enough to keep the combat interesting. There was nothing like fireballing rooms full of orcs.
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December 8th, 2010, 01:50
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
To bad they never made more games based on the Darksun setting.
I'd love to see a modern crpg based on the Dark Sun setting. I tried to play Shattered Lands last year, but found it too dated for me to get immersed.
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December 8th, 2010, 01:56
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
lol, hard disk. Hell, I didn't even have 2 floppy drives and the game "required" 2 drives to play, but I really desperately wanted to play it, so I had to swap disks about 20 times every 5 minutes
For a while my PC (a second generation original IBM PC) had *four* floppy drives. Two 5.25" ones and two 3.5" ones.

And of course my original PC (TRS-80) didn't even had a floppy drive.
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December 8th, 2010, 02:03
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
And of course my original PC (TRS-80) didn't even had a floppy drive.
Ah…good ole Tandy.

My first PC was the TRS-80 Color Computer. I spent untold hours playing my first crpg, Dungeons of Daggorath, on it.
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December 8th, 2010, 02:32
Did you load games load off a tape recorder for the TRS-80? The Witcher would be light speed in comparison.
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December 8th, 2010, 03:34
The TRS-80 actually used cartridges.

Iirc you could purchase a tape recorder or floppy drive as seperate peripherals, but I never had either.
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