"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.







Features

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.

  • HUD above DOSBox window with hit points, character icons, XP meters and effects. Shows good effects in green, bad in red. Also shows if a character is level drained.
  • Fix-command for Pool of Radiance. Works with the other games as well. Instantly heals the characters. Optionally also fixes level drained characters. Can not be used while in combat.
  • Temporarily change demihuman race to human to avoid experience level limits.
  • Optional level up without visiting training halls and without race-/game-related level limits.
  • Store the list of memorized spells and restore the spells with a single click. Can not be used while in combat.
  • Automap with party location. Notes can be added to the map.
  • World map view. Shows party location in some games.
  • Combat view. Shows character / monster locations. Shows if character/monster is held or helpless.
  • Journal entries.
  • Optional auto-identify of items.
  • Optional auto-ammo increases the amount of arrows / bolts / darts to a wanted level.
  • 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.
  • Character editor. Reads/modifies memory so it's instant compared to save file editors. Can not be used while in combat.
  • Teleporting. You can teleport to a chosen location on the map. You can also teleport on the world map in some of the games.
  • Save Game Editor. You can edit party composition (swap members in / out), edit inventories and effects.
  • Some modding tools for changing the font and editing game data.
  • Lists saved games chronologically with a description of the location (map name).
  • Able to backup to latest save game with a description.
  • Playing paladin or ranger in Pool of Radiance. Can be exported to Curse of the Azure Bonds.
  • Very experimental monk class for Pool of Radiance. Can be exported to Curse of the Azure Bonds.

What's new in v2.34 (15-August-2017)

  • New optional feature: auto-ammo. This will automatically keep the amount of arrows, bolts and darts at a certain configurable level if you have at least one item of the type in your inventory. May please those who don't like to micromanage the ammunition after combats or buy them at small amounts at a time from shops. Does not work while in combat. You can configure the max plus level of ammunition to be affected.
  • ECL-Tool which can browse and edit the commands and parameters in the ECL.DAX files (script files for Gold Box games). Now also supports The Dark Queen of Krynn and the Buck-games.
  • Optional Limbo-mod for Pools of Darkness. Your items won't be destroyed when moving through Limbo. See the Mods-section below.

What's new in v2.33 (22-July-2017)

  • New feature: quick menu. Pressing Control + the section-key (key left of "1" in most european keyboards) opens a quick menu over the game window from where you can encamp-fix, restore/store spells, read journal entries or start the level up. The menu can be fully used by the arrow keys and enter so you don't have to use the mouse. The key combination for opening the menu can be configured. See below for a screenshot.
  • Searching for characters tweaked and the default address range increased. If you previously had problems with GBC not finding the characters, this version may fix that.
  • Different Pools of Darkness world maps (Realms, Moander, Web) are recognized and the party location is shown.
  • World map teleport in Pools of Darkness and Champions of Krynn.
  • The auto-identify was bugged as it was always on regardless of the setting. Fixed. Also fixed auto-identifying of scrolls in the Krynn-games.

What's new in v2.32 (15-February-2017)

  • SETUP GOG button for quickly setting the game folders for GOG-installed Gold Box games.
  • When the GBC level up is used, character names are no longer colored as to able to level up in game. Note that you have to somehow refresh the DOSBox screen (going into a menu etc.) for the color to return to normal.
  • Party location arrow was previously drawn with the Wingdings font. On some Windows country/region settings the glyph could be wrong. The arrow is now drawn as a polygon.
  • Hopefully better indoors / world map identification.

What's new in v2.31 (30-January-2017)

  • Hopefully fixed a bug where the HUD and map windows were not shown on multi-monitor setups.
  • Setting for the HUD window to stay on top. Off by default.
  • Added a hack for paladins and rangers in Pool of Radiance to get fighter-levels during combat so that they get the sweep-ability. These levels are removed after combat.

What's new in v2.30 (18-December-2016)

  • Optional level up from the HUD. Also adds some modding options for the classes.
  • Encamp-fix optionally fixes level drain.
  • Optional auto-identify of items. Identified when put in a character's inventory. You still need to cast "detect magic" to detect magical items in loot.
  • Paladins and rangers in Pool of Radiance.
  • Monk in Pool of Radiance / Curse of the Azure Bonds. Very experimental...
  • XP tables as text files (can be opened from the search wizard and editor windows).

Requirements

  • Windows XP or newer. This might help if you use Linux (it's in german, Google translated).
  • 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 (with or without UAShell), 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 v2.34 (14-August-2017). This is meant to be used with the GOG-versions of the game but might work with others too but then you have to use vanilla/plain DOSBox 0.74. 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.
  • gbc201.zip
    Gold Box Companion v2.01 (16-October-2015). Older version that is not so picky about DOSBox version / game versions but lacks the effect display, combat view and world map view.
Saved games (You can download and use these even if no plan to use GBC)
  • realms2.zip
    Big package of saves for Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades and Pools of Darkness.
  • 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.
  • krynn2.zip
    Big package of saves for all the Krynn-games.
  • krynn.zip
    Saves near ending for all the Krynn-games.
  • frontier.zip
    Saves near ending for the two Savage Frontier-games.
  • 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. List of all effects and items in the games.
Other
  • 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.
  • phlan.png ... Maps of all Pool of Radiance's Phlan-locations fit together.
  • wilderness.png ... Maps of all Pool of Radiance's wilderness locations.
  • 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).
  • unp411.zip ... If you want to hack old DOS game executables, you probably need to unpack them first with this utiliity.
  • hackdocs.zip ... File formats of many FRUA related files.

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. Saved games are listed chronologically and the map name is also shown.






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






World map view in Pool of Radiance.






World map view in Dark Queen of Krynn.






Combat view. Stats and effects can be viewed by targeting a monster with the mouse.






A menu opens by moving the mouse over the HUD.






Level up dialog. Usable anywhere so you don't have to visit training halls. Ignores demihuman/game level limits.






Journal entries can be viewed through the menu.






A quick menu can be opened by pressing Control + the section-key. The key combination can be configured.






Character editor. When in combat, monsters can also be edited.






Save game editor. You can backup saves, replace/add characters and edit inventory/effects. You can even add monsters to your party.






With the Monster Modder you can browse and edit monsters.






GBC supports Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday and Matrix Cubed.






Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures (and UAShell) is also supported.






Pool of Radiance modded with the font from Pools of Darkness. Paladins, rangers and monks can be played as hacked classes. In the character editor, level 1 fighters can be converted to paladins or rangers and level 1 thieves to monks. GBC needs to be used for level ups. Imported paladins and rangers can be trained in training halls in Curse but monks always have to use GBC to level up and can not be further exported to Secret.





Links

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 Basic information Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures (FRUA) 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 Speedruns Miscellaneous