Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance (1990)

Original ad featured in the November 1990 issue of EGM (no. 16).
Press to view or download image in higher resolution.
Terrific artwork, terrible game

Heralded as one of the worst games ever for the NES, this side-scrolling action RPG featured terrible graphics and gameplay, yet decent music. It was a ported to various different systems, including DOS, but never gained any traction on Nintendo’s console. Having said that, the box art and publicity material was absolutely beautiful.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance was developed by Natsume and published by Fujisankei Communications Group (FCI) and U.S. Gold, who saw an opportunity to capitalize on the huge AD&D craze of the 80s. Sadly, they were also known for their mediocre NES games. This game was another one of those terrible PC ports, where the game was first released on 1988. The NES version saw daylight during the first months of 1991. Modern reviewers have not been kind to it. 

Now the printed artwork of the game is fantastic. There’s the huge dragon in the lower left of the frame being flown by a cool warrior with a huge lance. The really neat part of the illustration, obviously hand-made, is its depth. Take a look at the lower levels of the page. There are two dragons in the distance, mountains and lava. Even if the lower third of the page has some bland copy (which heavily emphasizes this is an official AD&D game, for some reason), the ad stands out. 

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance print ad copy

The biggest News in the History of Krynn!

Big news for AD&D gamers! Now you can play the first official Advanced Dungeons & Dragons action game made for the Nintendo Entertainment System! Heroes of the Lance is a challenging action-adventure game based on the popular Dragons of Despair DRAGONLANCE module. The player takes control of eight fighting fantasy characters, guiding the brave companions through exciting encounters with dragons and dwarves…magic and monsters, in their quest for the precious Disks of Mishakal. Decide the fate of the world of Krynn. Vanquish the ancient black dragon Khisanth or be doomed to failure! Look for the Official Advanced Dungeons & Dragons trademark to be sure you’re getting the only authorized AD&D Nintendo products. Get Heroes of the Lance, the newest fast-action game from FCI. 

Action-packed animation graphics
Eight characters each with special skills
Fight giant spiders, Gully Dwarves, dragons and monstrous Draconians
Defend yourself with magic and an arsenal of weapons

Not just kids stuff

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