Final Thoughts

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  • Pix

    Final thoughts may not be quite the right title for this as I’ll probably go back in again. At any rate, I’ve got the week off and thought I’d sit down to give this a go today and was slightly shocked to finish it about two hours later. I’ve been using All Seeing Eye which sped things along but this is not a big game.

    These “blobbers” are a genre I’ve always liked. This is a solid example of them but I have to say Dungeon Master did it better prior to this, just not on the PC where it wouldn’t come out for several more years. EOTB didn’t really build to an epic conclusion like DM – it’s more like I wandered around a lot and eventually bumped into the beholder. The puzzles were the standard fare also, nothing that slowed me down for long and the combat is fairly easy going. That said, I did really enjoy myself with this while it lasted. It did at least have different environment graphics for some locations which is one up over DM. I much prefer later efforts like World Of Xeen, Stonekeep, Lands Of Lore etc. though.

    I can’t say I fully explored all the levels. I’d intended to but ended up falling down the occasional pit or discovering stairs so I’d follow them to see where I ended up. I was expecting to have to loop back at some point but it never happened. There is a leaflet in the box about a code that is revealed if you get all the “Beholder Bonuses” in the game. There is one of these on each level achieved by finding some sort of secret and a chime sounds when you find one. You could send the code off and the first people to do so would win some real life prize.

    The plot of the game didn’t progress anywhere while playing – I do prefer to have a little more story in these games. I never did find the dwarf prince who went missing having said that so am tempted to retrace my steps and fill out the rest of the maps before I go on to EOTB2.

    I won’t spoil it but the ending is one of the weakest in PC gaming. Famously, the cost cutting decision was taken not to include the end cutscene as it would have needed another disk. It was left in the Amiga version and is available on Youtube thankfully for us DOS gamers


    Haha amazing you beat it already, Rich 😀


    No story??? Dang, that’s what usually keeps me going through these old school RPG’s. Maybe I’ll hop into 2 instead if that’s got some more flavor.

    you mentioned liking blobbers. Have you played Legend of Grimrock 1 or 2? I’ve heard lots of good things about those games if you want more of a modern take on this genre.


    I finished the first Grimrock, only had a quick look at the second one. The first was very much inspired by Dungeon Master so again quite low on any storyline but very well made. I was a bit disappointed if I’m honest but I seemed to be in the minority at the time. Some of the games from the 90’s had more scope and ambition if you ask me and I expected a bit more with all the hype.

    The sequel started outdoors which was certainly a change. I didn’t get far enough to form any opinion. I should go back and try it some time.

    I didn’t go back into EOTB1 to fill in the gaps as I couldn’t find any route out of the final level back to the earlier ones. So I’ve been playing the sequel instead which is far, far larger and also more difficult. The engine appears identical but there are story elements throughout to flesh the plot out. It’s a better made game all round. Possibly a little too difficult at times but nothing a little cheating can’t solve.

    Mr Creosote

    Hrm… I fear I won’t make many friends with this, but I really feel this game has not aged that well. It was really flashy looking at the time, but that has worn off. It filled a gap as Dungeon Master wasn’t out on IBM, as mentioned. Not a factor anymore today. The only thing which really kept me occupied in the first one back in the day (I bought 1+2 back then) was the lack of automapping plus those secret passages, spinners etc. Without these obscurity factors (which I really don’t like anymore), there isn’t much holding you up, is there? The second one at least is a little less linear. Or pretends to be so.

    For sure there must be a lot of nostalgia involved in all those glaring “look back” videos etc. these days.


    If I can distance myself from my nostalgia, then I’d have to say EOB 1 is … fine. If all you’re after is a straightforward first person dungeon crawler then this should tick most of your boxes. I think it looked and still looks great, what with everything being hand painted and no ugly scaling. A few more frames of animation for the enemies would have made a massive difference, but whatever.
    The game loop is not too bad either. A few unnecessarily tedious aspects aside (picking up all your daggers, darts and arrows after a big fight!), the controls and interface are a lot smoother and more intuitive than many games of the era.
    But for me the levels and story are just so-so. I will say there is (slightly) more story and interaction with NPCs than you might expect of a simple dungeon crawler, but it’s all pretty perfunctory. The levels also feel mostly abstract and soulless to me, but that could just be me.

    Long story short, I’d agree the first title isn’t some kind of standout gem (different story for number 2!), but it’s enjoyable enough if you don’t set your expectations too high.


    Yeah, the pretty graphics and realtime combat are probably EOB’s best qualities. But EOB1’s design is annoying in several ways. I suspect this goes for EOB2 and 3 too, though I haven’t played them.

    In the voice message I sent, I said I prefer Might and Magic 3: I now started playing World of Xeen and that game is much more fun than EOB. The combat is simpler, but improving your characters, finding treasure and solving quests feels so rewarding. I’m having a blast.

    EOB almost seems to take pleasure in punishing you for playing it and not in a good way. Especially the hostile level design/traps and general lack of guidance and explanation suck away the fun. The only thing going for it is more freeform real-time combat, and arguably “smarter” puzzles. But even for those, I think Dungeon Master 2 just did all of that better.

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