Thanks for sharing that link, Bluddy. Some good stuff there!
That’s a cool article. I remember Betrayal at Krondor was one of the first games I played when I finally got my own Windows PC in the mid 90s - multimedia, with a CD player and speakers, ooooh yeah! But I couldn’t hang with the game, it just didn’t hold me, much as with the Digital Antiquarian.
Same. I remember getting this as part of a deal that a long distance phone company (land line of course) was offering. It was a bizarre deal – sign up for our long distance service and we’ll send you three free Sierra games.
I remember when it came and my then-girlfriend (now wife) watched me unbox it and read the manual. It may have been the first time she fully realized what a nerd I was (am).
This was the first game I purchased for my fancy 486 PC back in the mid-90s. I was shocked to find out I didn’t have enough of something called system memory to play it. Thus began a long obsession or re-arranging my autoexec. bat and config.sys files. Think I played around with those files more than I played any games prior to Windows 95.
Haha, this was me. Got a screaming fast 486 that made everyone I knew jealous and bought Betrayal at Krondor, on floppy. Took me two hours to make a boot disk so the thing could run.
I think one of the original devs is creating a remake. It seemed a little too faithful to the original for my taste, but I can’t blame him.
I played the original for quite a few hours but never finished it.
Geez, yes, Betrayal at Krondor was one of my best early computer gaming experiences. Really opened my eyes to the possibilities of CRPGs. And got me into the Feist books, which I then shared with my nerdier students, some of whom read on their own enthusiastically for the first time.
Then Return to Krondor came out and opened my eyes to how improved graphical features had nothing to do with quality of a game.
I had already read several Feist books before I played Betrayal at Krondor, and it was one of the first games I ever played after getting my first PC. The outcome was a pretty magical experience, so immersive, so real. I dreamed of Krondor and became fascinated by it.
It remains to date the only game I have ever played through three times. It was only on the second and third playthroughs that I began to appreciate how much freedom many of the story chapters give you. On several of them you can roam much of the world and so doing harvest coin, equips and skill development.
Tempted as I am, this one I am leaving to nostalgia.
I played into several of the Arkania games too but despite being a hardcore CRPG who loved their brutality completed none. Each game seemed to have some really obtuse quests that I just could not figure how to progress and I eventually burned out.
I always had huge issues with Realms of Arkania’s interface, to the point I could barely play it.
Betrayal at Krondor’s interface, on the other hand, is wonderful.
I have started playing it for the first time last year, and eventually stopped playing it without me noticing it because of personal issues, but once I got past the issue of the character’s portraits, I found it really engaging. The navigation is a bit tiresome (it is really hard to tell where you are because of the early 3D, but thankfully, the game automaps everything) but the combat was surprisingly fun. And well, time didn’t change the quality of the descriptions.
Betrayal at krondor is definitely one of the all-time greats of RPGs. Its unique approach to what an RPG should be and its terrific narrative quality make it timeless.
I just freakin’ LOVED it. I remember when I was near the end of the game, my girlfriend and I were going on a ski trip for the weekend. I set my alarm super early so I could wake up and finish it before we left… which I did!
Thanks for the Digital Antiquarian link, Bluddy. I’ve only recently discovered his blog… it’s an absolute treasure. So much fun to read for the nostalgia and in-depth research.
It really is, in narrative terms, in RPGs, it hasn’t been equaled since.
The gameplay does not hold up well now, though.
A bit offtopic, but you might be interested in a sort of spiritual successor to Betrayal at Krondor.
Interesting… So it looks like the graphics are a 90s retro throwback style but the NPC’s are Hi-Rez. That gives me a sort of uncanny valley feeling when I look at the screenshots. I think it’s something I would definitely have to get used to.
The original is a veritable uncanny Mariana Trench.