"Pool of Radiance. Curse of the Azure Bonds. For some - mere titles of obsolete games. For others, sacred words, hallowed words, words never spoken without that tell-tale sigh of longing brought by years of insatiable, incurable nostalgia."

Matt Barton, Dungeons & Desktops


Introduction - A battle begins...

SSI's AD&D "Gold Box" games were released in 1988-1992 and set in the fantasy worlds of Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance. They were among the best of turn-based CRPGs and are still being played today.






Gold Box Companion is a tool for all the Gold Box games plus Unlimited Adventures and the two SSI's Buck Rogers games. It offers automapping, easy-to-use journal entries and helps with some of the interface issues to make playing a little less tedious.


Features

GBC searches for game, character and map data in DOSBox memory.

  • Fix-command for Pool of Radiance. Works with the other games as well. Instantly heals the characters. Can not be used while in combat.
  • Store the list of memorized spells and restore the spells with a single click. Can not be used while in combat.
  • Character editor. Reads/modifies memory so it's instant compared to save file editors. Can not be used while in combat.
  • Autodisable quickfight after combat. Some of the older games didn't disable quickfight between fights so you could enter a dangerous fight with quickfight on.
  • Temporarily change demihuman race to human to avoid experience level limits.
  • HUD above DOSBox window with hit points, character icons and XP meters.
  • Automap with party location.
  • Journal entries.
  • Teleporting. By using the map view you can teleport to a chosen location on the map.
  • Save Game Editor also included. You can edit party composition (swap members in/out) and edit inventories and item properties.
  • Some modding tools for changing the font and editing game data.

Requirements

  • Windows XP or newer.
  • DOSBox DOS-emulator to run old software on modern computers. If you use the GOG-versions, you don't need to install DOSBox.
  • Any fantasy-themed Gold Box game, Unlimited Adventures, Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday or Matrix Cubed. If you don't already have these, check out GOG.com for the Forgotten Realms and Krynn -games.

Downloads

Gold Box Companion
  • gbc.zip
    Gold Box Companion v2.01 (16-October-2015). Unarchive the zip-archive into some folder and read GBC.txt inside. GBC.exe is the main Gold Box Companion program, double click on it to start. SGE.exe is the Save Game Editor. There are also some experimental modding tools included.
Saved games (You can download and use these even if no plan to use GBC.)
  • krynn.zip
    Saves near ending for all the Krynn-games. Party of 2 human knights, elven cleric/ranger, human cleric, elven white mage and elven red mage.
  • realms.zip
    Saves near ending and before key moments for Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades and Pools of Darkness. Save for Pools of Darkness, at the very beginning with characters transferred from SotSB with all the great loot. Party of 3 human fighters, half-elven fighter/cleric, elven fighter/mage and elven fighter/mage/thief. 2 fighters were replaced with a human paladin and a half-elf cleric/ranger in CotAB. Also includes a save just before the Mulmaster Beholder Corps fight in CotAB and Gothmenes / Dave's challenge battles in PoD. Included two characters with the best loot in PoD.
  • frontier.zip
    Saves near ending for the two Savage Frontier-games. Party of human fighter, human paladin, human ranger, dwarven fighter/thief, human cleric and elven magic-user.
  • gods.zip
    Hacked saves for Pools of Darkness. Party of 8 dual-classed characters with hacked equipment. Saves near Gothmenes and Dave's challenge.
Mods Resources
  • formats.zip ... Description of character save file formats and lists of items in the games.
Other
  • oystein_por.pdf ... Pool of Radiance walktrough by Oystein.
  • pools.pdf ... Pools of Darkness walktrough by Matt Haag.
  • dqkitems.zip ... Some hacked items for The Dark Queen of Krynn, by Redeye.
  • passwords.zip ... Excel-sheet of passwords for the games.
  • goldboxfont.zip ... Gold Box styled font.
  • daxdump.zip ... DAXDump and ECLDump by Simeon Pilgrim. Can be used to decode the run-length encoding of the DAX files.
  • tlbutil2.zip ... TLButil2 by Itamar / Dan Autery. For extracting TLB-files (The Dark Queen of Krynn and FRUA).
  • phlan.png ... Maps of all Pool of Radiance's Phlan-locations fit together.
  • wilderness.png ... Maps of all Pool of Radiance's wilderness locations.

Limitations, bugs, future plans

  • XP meter in HUD doesn't take game or demihuman level limits into account.
  • It would be nice if the HUD could show if the character is held, berserk etc. but I'm not sure how these are stored in memory.

Links

Basic information Buy the games
  • GOG.com ... The Forgotten Realms - games can be bought legally from Good Old Games (GOG.com).
  • GOG.com ... The Krynn - games can be bought legally from Good Old Games (GOG.com).
Abandonware downloads
  • DJ Old Games ... Abandonware site. You can download the WizardWorks AD&D Collector's Edition CD-ROM image from here which has all the Gold Box games with manuals.
  • CRPG Directory / Weekend Waste Monster ... Lots of downloads and links related to old CRPGs.
  • Abandonia ... One of many abandonware sites where you can download the games.
  • Replacementdocs ... This site has game manuals, check it for the Manuals, Journal Entries and Clue books.
GameBanshee's Walkthroughs & FAQs The-Spoiler's Walkthroughs & FAQs Other Walkthroughs & FAQs GameFAQs Tools Forum threads at FRUA & Dungeon Craft Community Other forums Blogs Gold Box related blog posts at The Digital Antiquarian YouTube videos Longplays / Let's plays Miscellaneous Other

Screenshots

Some additional screenshots from modded games here and here. The modding tools are included in the GBC package.


GBC starts with a wizard to search for game/character data in the memory. You select a game, set the game folder, select the save slot then search.






HUD with combat icons. The bars are for Hit Points and XP. Map with autoexplore.






A menu opens by moving the mouse over the HUD.






Journal entries can be viewed through the menu.






Character editor.






Save game editor. You can backup saves, replace/add characters and edit inventory.






Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday and Matrix Cubed are now supported.






Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures is also supported.








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