Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Digging For Gold

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 25, 2010

Many years ago, I bought the entire SSI Dungeons & Dragons “Gold Box” series from WizardWork as a discounted bundle. I even sprang for the hint books. It was plenty “old school” even when I grabbed them (mid-to-late 90s).

I wanted to revisit them recently, as I’ve been dissecting these old first-person dungeon crawlers. Apparently, while they were always underfoot once upon a time, they disappeared with my last move.  It’s not a big deal – it’s not like I have time to devote to them right now anyway. I have a ton of old-school RPGs and new indie RPGs demanding my “spare” minutes on my hard drive already. But it would be nice to check ’em out again. And kind of infuriating that they disappeared.  I’m sure they are merely tucked away in some drawer somewhere… if only I could figure out where.

But if GOG.COM is looking for suggestions for future additions to its line-up… might I suggest SSI’s old catalog? Assuming the licensing issues aren’t a problem…

Filed Under: Retro - Comments: 5 Comments to Read

  • Tom said,

    I was on the exact same search just this past weekend and it introduced an ethical dilemma. As a musician, writer, and halfway-decent guy, I’m not cool with stealing people’s creative works. I love GOG.com because I’m very willing to pay money for something I know I’m going to enjoy. But I couldn’t find anyone to take my filthy money for the Gold Box games. And I know for a fact that these games exist on the web and can be freely downloaded. If GOG could get the SSI catalog there’s a ton of stuff I’d love to acquire. Microprose, too.

  • Aelfric said,

    When I learned of GOG, this was precisely my first thought. I still have my fingers crossed. Sadly, I still have the compilation CD, but it is worn out beyond all my abilities to revive it. But yes, I wish to revisit Phlan with a party of all Fighter/Mage/Clerics (maybe one Fighter/Mage/Thief)!

  • WCG said,

    I loved the “Gold Box” games! The combat was wonderful. Admittedly, some of the masses of low-level opponents were a bit much, but it was still better than most of the RPG’s I’ve played since.

    I remember the twang of a bowstring in some of the later games. That sort of simple sound-effect was just great. I always turn off the music in a game first thing, but I love the sound-effects. Still, I can’t remember a game where the simple sound of a bowstring was so evocative.

    Games got much better graphics, but rarely were as much fun. Oh, the “Gold Box” games were far from perfect, but I really enjoyed playing them.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Between reading Matt Barton’s book and showing some people the indie awesomeness that is Knights of the Chalice, I was also wanting to play the ol’ Gold Box games a little for a reminder of how that tactical combat worked. I remember that it could get pretty tedious at times – but that at other times it was riveting. Hopefully I’ll uncover ’em soon. Not that I have any TIME to play…

  • Talorc said,

    I am also reading Matt Barton’s book (which is most excellent!) and now I have a big list of classic RPG’s to hunt down and try! 🙂 A gold box pack on GOG would be awesome. SSI eventually got bought by Mindcraft which then went into Ubisoft, so theoritcally they are holding the rights

    Big problem is the D&D licence – it probably didn’t last forever. Wizards of the Coast would have little to no interest in re-licensing them either, as the games are a long way away form the current ruleset and setting. They might not even be able to if they wanted to, as whoever has the current D&D licence (who is that now? Atari still?) might have exclusivity rights.