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Classic SSI RPGs Wizard's Crown and Questron II released on GOG

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Classic SSI RPGs Wizard's Crown and Questron II released on GOG

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 3 December 2021, 18:14:14

Tags: Questron II; Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Sword of Aragon; Westwood Studios; Wizard's Crown

Back in June, it came to our attention that an obscure indie publisher by the name of Forthright Entertainment had acquired the rights to a number of SSI titles from the 1980s. Although no formal announcement was ever made, three of those titles appeared on GOG yesterday. The most notable of them is probably Wizard's Crown, the 1986 hardcore tactical fantasy RPG whose combat engine became the basis of the Gold Box series. Here's its description:

Wizard's Crown is a fantasy role-playing game in which the player creates a party of up to eight adventurers and takes them on a quest to retrieve a magical crown from a wizard named Tarmon, who sealed himself and the crown in his laboratory five hundred years ago.

The game features tactical battles, during which the player navigates the party members in turns over the battlefield. Different weapons demonstrate unique characteristics; for example, spears can attack two squares away, flails ignore the enemy's shields, and axes have a chance of breaking them completely. Shields are used to defend against frontal attacks and those coming from whatever side the shield is equipped on. The player can opt to skip these details and have the battle proceed automatically.

Experience gained by characters is spent on skills, attributes and life points. Unlike in most comparable games, classes and their unique abilities are not assigned to the characters, but must instead be "bought" by using intelligence points. The classes are Thief, Ranger, Fighter, Priest and Sorcerer; any of those can be combined with another one for a single character.

Weapons can be imbued with various enhancements. Magical weapons inflict elemental damage (called "injuries" in the game); "Plus" weapons cause extra bleeding, which may affect the character's health, making him faint; "Life Blast" weapons can kill a character in such a way that he cannot be resurrected afterwards.​

Another SSI classic released yesterday is Questron II, Westwood's 1988 sequel to the 1984 Ultima clone Questron, which for whatever reason was not released alongside it.

The follow-up to SSI's Apple II classic Questron and spiritual cousin to EA's Legacy of the Ancients, Questron II picks up the story years after its predecessor ends.

This time, Mesron the Great Wizard sends you on a journey into the past to prevent the Mad Sorcerors from creating the Evil Book of Magic. Excellent plot, puzzles, and many nice touches (e.g. the casinos you can gamble in) make this one of the best solo RPGs ever and a true successor to Legacy of Ancients in spirit.

As the second title in the Questron series, this game follows the same basic formula as the original. You start out as a lowly peasant with only a few gold coins in your pocket and a bad attitude to defend yourself. By stumbling around the countryside and fighting hordes of creatures, you gain wealth, experience, and title.

Questron II spans two continents, Landor and the Realm of Sorcerers. Additionally, there are the requisite tombs, castles, and dungeons. In the first Questron, your goal was to defeat the evil Wizard Mantor. Now, in Questron II, the good Wizard Mesron has sent you back in time before the Book of Magic was created. Your goal is to defeat the six Mad Sorcerers before they can create the book.​

Wizard's Crown and Questron II along with 1989 fantasy wargame Sword of Aragon are available on GOG for the standard $6, with a 20% launch discount until December 30th. CD Projekt recently revealed that GOG was losing money and that the site would now be focusing more on its "core business activity". I'd say this is a good start. Let's hope more of these are on the way, including the Phantasie series.

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