Curse of the Azure Bonds
DOS - 1989
Also released on: Mac - Amiga - Apple II - Commodore 64 - PC-98
Description of Curse of the Azure Bonds
In the annals of RPG gaming, few series can boast of being "pioneers" of the genre more than SSI with its "Gold Box" series, all based on AD&D mechanics and worlds licensed from TSR.
Of these, four games set in the "Forgotten Realms" world stand out as the best of the bunch. Comprising four games released over four years, Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Secret of the Silver Blades, and Pools of Darkness remain a lot of fun even today as some of the most addictive - albeit maddeningly combat-ridden - RPGs ever created.
Pools of Radiance and Pools of Darkness are my most favorite of the series. Pool of Radiance because it was a great beginning to a solid RPG system, and Pools of Darkness because it gives you a chance to meet famous NPCs from AD&D world, marvel at the non-linear storyline, and develop your heroes to very high levels. All four games are must-haves for RPG fans everywhere, although Secret of the Silver Blades is a disappointment compared to the rest.
GameSpot's nice History of AD&D gives a good overview of Curse of Azure Bonds as follows: "Published in 1989, Curse of the Azure Bonds followed the story of Pool of Radiance with more monsters, treasure, character classes and level caps.
Shortly after the defeat of Tyranthraxus the Flamed One and the destruction of the Pool of Radiance, the heroic party was waylaid, knocked out, and marked with the five mysterious azure bond images stamped just beneath the skin of each adventurer's arm. Your characters recovered consciousness in the town of Tilverton on the Dalelands. Before they could even begin to ascertain who or what had attacked them, they found themselves compelled beyond their will to attack the entourage of a false prince and were beset by the city guard. Fleeing to the thieves' guild beneath the sewers, the members of the party would then begin their arduous quest to hunt down the creators of each of the five magical bonds and ultimately free themselves of the curse.
In terms of gameplay and structure, Curse of the Azure Bonds followed its predecessor more or less directly, though it broadened the path considerably. The already solid game system of Pool of Radiance benefited greatly from material that had hitherto been conspicuously missing, including the ability to advance to tenth level for clerics and eleventh level for magic-users (which meant that spells of up to fifth level were available), the ability to enlist characters of the more esoteric AD&D Paladin and Ranger (and with the latter, the line of Druid spells) character classes, and the option for human characters to dual-class."
Review By HOTUD
Comments and reviews
BWYUH 2021-10-30 -1 point DOS version
Glad I nabbed a lot of games before GOG got their mitts on them. No way I'm going to pay for DOS games. If you search, you can still find games for free that GOG snatched up.
larry 2019-12-06 0 point
gog.com is just offering the dos version of the game. and because gog has got hold of the license, all versions of the game has been removed from various abandonware and platform dedicated sites.
does that mean; it is impossible to play c64 verion of that game, anymore?!?!?!
this is also a problem for many other games!
blahblah 2019-01-02 1 point
The SSI gold box D&D games were known to be difficult, either combat-wise or puzzle-wise (eg: Pool of Radiance had parts in it where you would get utterly destroyed if you attempted them before levelling up, and there was a teleporter puzzle that was nigh-impossible without a walkthrough), but Curse of the Azure Bonds was just ridiculously hard by comparison.
IIRC, you can try to remove each azure bond in whatever order you see fit, but, much like a Mega Man game, there's definitely an order that's easier to follow then if you try it a different way. But, you will once again end up in insane combats with tons of enemies and not enough area-effect spells to deal with it all.
While I feel that cheat guides ruin some of the fun, you should definitely keep one bookmarked or on-hand just in case you get to the point of beating your head into the keyboard out of frustration. Often, the "solution" to seemingly impossible situations is "oh, you should have done this one (not so obvious) thing first before moving on". Just insane amounts of frustration.
But, if you like old-school D&D, the gold box series won't disappoint.
midnightrizer 2018-02-18 -2 points
Ralphie you are wrong about that there is a windows 98 version for download right on this page.
Stormhammer 2017-06-13 1 point
I get a checksum error every time I try to leave Hap after beating Dracondros. I answer the 3 questions, and at the codewheel screen I always end up with a checksum error. Shortly thereafter the game crashes while battling Crimdrac with a 209 error. Any ideas???
I'm running the PC version under DOSBox .74
ralphie 2017-03-03 1 point
Good game - must use DOS BOX in order to play the dos version. Does not work on modern pc's with W98, Vista, XP, 7, 8, or 10. Plenty of youtube videos out there to learn how to use doxbox. Take the time to learn, it will be worth it.
Dan 2015-03-01 -4 points DOS version
Just a heads up, the manual posted here is the Adventurers Journal, not the actual game manual. The manual for the game, along with the journal, cluebook, reference card and code wheel, can all be downloaded from replacementdocs.com
C64Playa 2015-01-12 -3 points DOS version
Can I play this on Windows 7 64bit? I downloaded it but doesn't work...what do I need to do?
Szaka 2013-09-17 2 points DOS version
Hi, I have a little problem.
I can't convert the characters from the Pool of Radiance into this program.
I tried to use the "copycurse" program, but if doesn't work for me. This program didn't find the source.
Could you help me?
guest 2012-10-03 1 point DOS version
Review of Curse of the Azure Bonds for DOS:
admin 2011-10-28 0 point DOS version
Download the game again, you will have a configuration prompt as you launch the game for the first time. The save will then work.
If you use the wrong graphic adapter or sound, just delete the CURSE.CFG file and relaunch the game.
Jason M 2011-10-28 0 point DOS version
Hey, what gives? When you create your chars, it won't save - "unexpected error save 3"
jason 2011-09-04 2 points DOS version
..same, cant use arrow keys, also on a laptop so no number pad. Isn't there a mouse interface?
admin 2011-08-02 0 point DOS version
Guys, you can scroll with your numpad, number 7 and 1. Have fun.
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Buy Curse of the Azure Bonds
Curse of the Azure Bonds is available for a small price on the following websites, and is no longer abandonware. GOG.com provides the best release and does not include DRM, please buy from them! You can read our online store guide .
Game Extras and Resources
Some of these file may not be included in the game stores. For Curse of the Azure Bonds, we have the following files:
Curse of the Azure Bonds was also released on the following systems:
- Year: 1989
- Publisher: Strategic Simulations, Inc., U.S. Gold Ltd.
- Developer: Strategic Simulations, Inc.
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