Retro Gaming: Pool of Radiance part 6


(This is part of my journey going checking out Pool of Radiance. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

Six episodes into this playthrough and… I’m still on the very first quest. Enjoying the breeze back there as I roar down this highway? Well, at least slumming it up is proving to be a bit interesting, particularly now that I seem to be past the “random encounters” portion of the mission and can explore in relative peace*.

*Peace being “No fighting until I break into a home filled with — I kid you not — 25 very angry orcs.”


Three random observations:

  1. Money has weight in this game. So Michael actually got overloaded with currency at one point, forcing me to spread it between the characters. I am now richer than many kingdoms, which is weird since I got all of this from a slum.
  2. While Pool of Radiance does have a limited first-person view while adventuring, most of the time I use the above map screen to move about because otherwise it would be way too difficult. Also, that map screen is poo.
  3. Without random encounters, I can now rest for as long as I like anywhere in the slums without worry.


We come upon a room of “monster leaders,” or as every other RPG ever made calls them, “bosses.”

Apologies to D&D purists, but I do not have the time or patience to manually control these lengthy fights. Thank GOODNESS there’s auto-attack, because I just set that to go and let my melee fighters (and my pathetic sling-wielding hobbit) go at it without much worry. People had a lot more time on their hands before the internet, is all I’m saying. Even on auto-attack, some of these fights go on for five, six minutes. Ain’t nobody got time for that, unless they can tab out and web surf while their party is fighting for their lives.

Also, what is up with the XP payout in this game? I fight a room of extremely tough orc guards — of which there are at least 30 — and each of my characters gets a whopping 78 points each? I got more from that from Kobolds two rooms earlier!


Legend has it that there was one — one — kid who once selected “No” to this question and then had to turn himself into the police for his crimes. Seriously, why ask, game?


Upon stepping into “The Rope Guild,” the game informs me that it’s too twisty to use a map and then forces me to use first-person perspective as I move about. Even with the adventure guide’s map, it’s not the easiest thing in the world.


Trolls! Here’s where the slums’ toughest battle ensues. I actually get creamed here and I didn’t remember to save my game right before. Shame on me. Yeah we need some flaming arrows or something here. Trolls suck.

Well instead of beating the trolls (I tried twice), I navigate the maze of the Rope Guild, get the potion, and then navigate my way alllllll the way back to Ohlo the magician. He gives me a sword in exchange for my task, so I’m guessing that it’s magical or something.

Finally, my party emerges from the slums and heads back to city hall… where the clerk does NOT recognize that I cleared out the slums. Seriously? I fought like a bazillion monsters in there. There are no more random encounters. Pretty sure I cleared it out.

Oh well. It was… interesting while it lasted, and at least I feel that my party accomplished something. On to another title I suppose!


4 thoughts on “Retro Gaming: Pool of Radiance part 6

  1. soulboundlife October 18, 2015 / 12:12 pm

    Dude! I used to play this as a teen! Not sure if I ever beat it, but it was memorable.

  2. baldwinp October 19, 2015 / 10:18 am

    I had this for NES and I think you have to clear every single room before the quest completes. Also, while finishing a long rpg is certainly not a reasonable expectation for your retro gaming column, I appreciate you taking pool of radiance on because it was fun to watch you play one of my favorite games as a kid.

  3. Beroli March 4, 2016 / 7:34 am

    To clear the slums out, you need to kill all the monsters there, not just the random encounters.

    To be more explicit: I can see the clerks’ eyes rolling and hear her muttering “ugh, adventurers” when you tell her, “I cleared out the slums! That group of trolls in the rope guild is really mean. What? No, I didn’t kill them, they’re still there. Now give me my reward for clearing the slums!”

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