Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Cloudy Mountain

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Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Cloudy Mountain
Ad&d cm cover.png
The original cover of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons before it was retitled to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Cloudy Mountain
Developer(s)Mattel Electronics
Publisher(s)Mattel Electronics
SeriesAdvanced Dungeons & Dragons
Platform(s)Intellivision
Release
Genre(s)Action-adventure[2]
Mode(s)Single-player

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is an Intellivision game; it was one of the first Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games to be licensed by TSR, Inc. It was later retitled to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Cloudy Mountain to distinguish it from the sequel, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin. It is the first Intellivision cartridge to use more than 4K of ROM.

Plot[edit]

In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, the player must cross difficult terrain, reach the resting place of a broken crown, and restore the crown. During the game, the player will navigate randomly generated rooms and corridors within a mountain range, collect items, and fend off monsters. The player's only weapon is a bow and arrow, which can be fired in any of eight directions by pressing the number-pad keys on the Intellivision controller.[2]

Gameplay[edit]

The gameplay involves exploring a series of randomly generated scrolling mazes, looking for treasures and weapons with which to defeat monsters, and recovering the two pieces of the Crown of Kings. The monsters' speed and the quantity of available arrows are determined by the choice of difficulty setting.

The player begins in a cabin on one side of a large wilderness map; on the other side is a huge mountain containing the crown, topped by clouds and inhabited by sleeping dragons. Smaller mountains and geographical obstacles bar the way to the goal. Some mountains are impassable, while others turn different colors as the player approaches them to indicate their difficulty level.

When the player enters a mountain, the screen shifts to an overhead view of a maze of rooms within it. The player is represented by a black figure with a bow, and must move from one room to another. Rooms and connecting passages initially cannot be seen, but gradually light up as the player moves into them. The player must avoid or destroy the monsters, collect useful items, and find an exit in order to return to the map screen. The difficulty level of the mountain determines the types of monsters and items that can be found inside. The player starts the game with three arrows to use in destroying monsters, but can find more as the game progresses.

Items include:

  • Quiver: Adds arrows to the player's inventory.
  • Boat: Required to move along the rivers on the map.
  • Axe: Required to move through the forests on the map.
  • Key: Required to pass the gates in the walls on the map.

Quivers can be found in any mountain, while each of the other three items can only be found in mountains of one specific color.

Most monsters will injure or kill the player character on contact, but evidence of their presence can be found in the form of tracks or audible cues. Spiders and bats inflict no injury; however, spiders can steal arrows from the player on contact and the flapping of bats' wings will obscure any sounds made by other nearby monsters. The player begins the game with three lives; if a life is lost, a new character respawns in the same maze.

The final maze, Cloudy Mountain, has no exit. Upon entering it, the player must find both halves of the Crown of Kings, each guarded by a powerful winged dragon. The game ends once the player either loses all three lives or reassembles the crown, whichever comes first.

Reception[edit]

Electronic Games stated in 1983 that "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons ... proves to have been worth the wait".[5] The game received an award in the category of "1984 Best Adventure Videogame" at the 5th annual Arkie Awards, where the judges noted that it was "the first videogame version of the role-playing game that has entertained millions for many years".[6]: 42 

German gaming magazine TeleMatch gave the game a very positive review, giving it a one out of six, which is the highest on their rating system, and also stating, "In Advanced Dungeons & Dragons everything just makes sense." and, "If you find yourself interested in other - and I repeat: inferior - so-called adventure games on other systems, you will find that this game is the Non Plus Ultra."[4] Electronic Fun with Computers & Games gave the game four out of four, stating in their review, "The graphics are terrific. The dragons look a lot like Godzilla ... each creature has its own distinctive behaviour and charm." but expressed their disdain for the lack of a proper ending.[3]

Levi Buchanan, in a classic Dungeons & Dragons video game retrospective for IGN, wrote that Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is a very basic adventure game similar to Adventure, and "uses so little of the license in game that you can almost see that as more of a branding deal than anything".[2] He concluded by saying: "Even though it has so little to do with the actual D&D universe, this is still an entertaining retro game worth checking out."[2]

Legacy[edit]

An updated version of the game, simply called Cloudy Mountain, has been announced for release exclusively for the Intellivision Amico.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Cartridge".
  2. ^ a b c d Levi Buchanan (March 6, 2008). "Dungeons & Dragons Classic Videogame Retrospective". IGN. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  3. ^ a b "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Review". Electronic Fun with Computers & Games. Fun & Games Publishing. February 1983. p. 60.
  4. ^ a b "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Review". TeleMatch. TeleMatch Verlag. December 1983. pp. 38–39.
  5. ^ "The Players Guide to Fantasy Games". Electronic Games. June 1983. p. 47. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  6. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (January 1984). "Arcade Alley: The Arcade Awards, Part 1". Video. Vol. 7 no. 10. Reese Communications. pp. 40–42. ISSN 0147-8907.
  7. ^ "Intellivision® Reveals Initial Details For The Upcoming Amico™ Home Video Game Console!". PR Newswire.
  8. ^ "TommyTallarico on Twitter: "I think @OpenEveryBox Pete liked the little "behind the scenes" sneak peek preview I gave of our @Intellivision Amico Cloudy Mountain game. :)"". Twitter.

External links[edit]