The third entry in SSI's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons computer role-playing series continues the Forgotten Realms adventuring that began with Pool of Radiance. Transfer characters from the second game, Curse of the Azure Bonds, or create your own party of six heroes to conquer a new threat. Miners from the remote town of New Verdigris have opened an ancient vault and let loose hordes of monsters throughout a maze of underground tunnels. You must prevent the creatures from reaching the surface, which means delving deep within the mines and surrounding arctic regions to stop the scourge of evil.
Fans of previous entries in the "Gold Box" series will be familiar with the play mechanics. Once again the action is primarily viewed from a first-person perspective, with individual panels displaying a list of your party members as well as description of key areas. Combat switches the screen to an overhead, isometric perspective that involves alternating turns with characters as they move, attack, flee, use items, or cast spells. Secret of the Silver Blades introduces the chance for enemies to surrender in combat, potentially shortening each encounter's duration. The game also includes a portal system that will either teleport your party to different areas within the mines or serve as a gateway back to town.
The heroes from Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds return once again. This time, they arrive naked via a magical well inside a frozen town wishing for heroes to help them. The party once again attempts to save a town under siege (once re-equipped) and struggles to learn the secret of the Silver Blades...
The gameplay is quite similar to that of the previous Gold Box games. Following the AD&D rules of role-playing, the player creates a party of characters (up to the maximum of six). Exploration takes place in pseudo-3D environments, from first-person view. Battles (random as well as pre-set) take the player-controlled and enemy party to a top-down battle screen. Commands are issued in turn-based fashion, and the player-controlled characters can freely navigate the battle field. Unlike the previous games, there is no "world map" traveling in Secret of the Silver Blades. All the exploration takes place in the 3D world.
Secret of the Silver Blades is the third in a four-part series of Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons "gold box" adventure computer games. The party's objective is to adventure through the mountain region near Verdigris, entering areas such as the ruins of Old Verdigris, the Well of Knowledge, the mines, the crevasses, and eventually to the Dreadlord's castle. The party will face off against an evil group of humans called the Black Circle, many kinds of monsters in the mines and crevasses...
In the annals of RPG gaming, few series can boast of being "pioneers" of the genre more than SSI with its "Gold Box" series, all based on AD&D mechanics and worlds licensed from TSR. Of these, four games set in the "Forgotten Realms" world stand out as the best of the bunch. Comprising four games released over four years, Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades, and Pools of Darkness remain a lot of fun even today as some of the most addictive - albeit maddeningly combat-ridden - RPGs ever created. Pools of Radiance and Pools of Darkness are my most favorite of the series. Pool of Radiance because it was a great beginning to a solid RPG system, and Pools of Darkness because it gives you a chance to meet famous NPCs from AD&D world, marvel at the non-linear storyline, and develop your heroes to very high levels. All four games are must-haves for RPG fans everywhere, although Secret of the Silver Blades is a disappointment compared to the rest.
GameSpot's nice History of AD&D gives a good overview of Secret of the Silver Blades as follows: "Secret of the Silver Blades, released in 1990, was the third installment in the Pool of Radiance saga. The game took place away from Phlan and the Dalelands; unfolding instead deep in the heart of the wintry Dragonspine Mountains. The player found his party summoned to a tiny mining town by the power of a mystical magic well to battle a great menace. A mysterious cult of spellcasters called The Black Circle has been hard at work reviving a powerful and evil lich known as the Dreadlord. It's up to the members of the party to seek what few members of the Dreadlord's sworn enemies, the Silver Blades, still exist, and ultimately take up the banner of the Silver Blades as their own in battle against the Dreadlord and his Black Circle minions.
Secret of the Silver Blades stayed true to its predecessors in the series, offering much in the way of expansion on the old and little in the way of brand-new material. Characters were allowed to advance to 15th level (18th in the case of thieves) and clerics and magic-users were allowed access to spells of up to seventh level."
People who downloaded Secret of the Silver Blades have also downloaded:
Pools of Darkness, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Pool of Radiance, Dark Queen of Krynn, The, Champions of Krynn, Death Knights of Krynn, Treasures of the Savage Frontier, Gateway to the Savage Frontier
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