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Pools of Darkness

DOS - 1991

Also released on: Mac - Amiga

Year 1991
Platform DOS
Released in United States (1991)
Germany (1992)
Genre Role-Playing (RPG)
Theme D&D / AD&D, Dungeon Crawler, Fantasy, Licensed Title, Turn-based
Publisher Softgold Computerspiele GmbH, Strategic Simulations, Inc.
Developer Strategic Simulations, Inc.
Perspective 1st-Person
Dosbox support Runnable on 0.72 (works best on 0.58)
4.7 / 5 - 20 votes

Download extras files
Manual and misc available

Description of Pools of Darkness

Read Full Description

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 Pools of Darkness as follows: "The fourth and final installment of the Forgotten Realms gold box series, Pools of Darkness, set the stage for your party's adventure into the lair of an evil god.

New Phlan was magically ripped from its foundations and dragged underground to the city of dark elves. The peaceful residents of Phlan, the Dalelands, and the surrounding areas of the Moonsea were forcibly kidnapped and pressed into slavery in service of Kalistes, the spider-priestess of the god of evil, Bane. It was up to the player to defeat the dark elves and their arachnoid allies, free the slaves, restore Phlan to its natural state, and eventually defeat Bane himself.

Pools of Darkness followed its predecessors closely in terms of structure; players formed a party of six adventurers (with two extra slots for NPCs), that had the ability to advance to the lofty heights of level 20 (with access to spells of tenth level).

However, the scope of the game was decidedly different from its predecessor. Combat in the game, especially later on, differed greatly from the encounters of the previous games. Your characters faced some of the toughest creatures in the AD&D universe, in addition to a number of new and formidable critters created specifically for the game, including the venomous Pets of Kalistes and the terrifying Minions of Bane (which had the magic resistances of demons and the breath weapons of dragons)."

Review By HOTUD

External links

Comments and reviews

D&D Ninja 2018-02-27 0 point DOS version

cant seem to get game started. it asks me for key words from journal which cant be found. someone plz help/

dfortae 2018-01-12 0 point DOS version

I review Pools of Darkness here:

Dervrak 2017-04-21 2 points DOS version

The "Gold Box" series were my favorites back in my teen years, with Pools of Darkness being the best of the lot. Sadly they don't hold up very well after three decades. By today's standards combat is mind numbingly slow and tedious with some larger battles taking a half-hour or more. I managed to slog through five hours before I decided, like parachute pants and Vanilla Ice, the gold box series is best left in the late 1980's/early 1990's.

lock 2017-02-12 -1 point DOS version

I cant seem to get the game to install what do I type to install on dosbox 2016-10-09 1 point

This game was both long and hard back in the day. The final fights were epic and as a ten year old I needed to get my parents to buy me the cluebook, which I still own (I just gave a quick look in my old games box and found it!). The really sucky part though is for the final challenge dungeon the cluebook doesn't offer any help! It just basically laughs at the player and taunts them to go ahead and try to beat the final challenge. I honestly can't recall if I ever did, but I remember what the battle was like. This game scared me the most, mainly due to the Pets of Kalistes and the Drider testing grounds. Such a great story though.

Miuna 2015-04-20 2 points DOS version

GJ do the following:

1) Search for the directory path of your SSB savegame folder e.g.: C:\SSB\Save
2) Open up your POD Folder
3) Open the file POOL4.CFG
4) The content looks something like this


Change whatever is under the first directory entry and point it to where the Savegame(s) of SSB are stored. Choose "save under ..." and save. After restarting the game you should be able to import characters from SSB to POD.

The other way if this doesn't work is as follows.

1) Delete the .cfg file
2) In DOSBOX presuming you are using it for playing the game - choose the profile, edit it, point the program file name to POD\START.bat
3) Setup should follow
4) You should be asked where your SSB saves are stored at during the steps following
5) Point to C:\SSB\Saves
6) Finish setup and start game

Doing this you should be able to import characters or savegames from SSB to POD.

GJ 2015-04-17 0 point DOS version

Can anyone guide me threw transfering characters from secret to pools of darkness.Keep getting a SBB directory error..

Aronatia 2013-12-02 0 point DOS version

They did make more... Pool or Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds,etc... There were several more games in the same style. I used to play thema lot when I was little, especially PoolRad.

A Wise Old Man 2013-05-02 1 point DOS version

Ask and ye shall receive:

Brother Humphrey 2013-01-04 0 point DOS version

I could use a link to download the journal, since I never owned it.

Pkpost 2012-05-19 1 point DOS version

Hands down one of the best RPG's ever made, if they made more of these I would buy them for sure.

Porky 2011-03-09 0 point DOS version

This game totally blew my mind back in the nineties. What cool story and great that the computer had all the rules under control.

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Game Extras and Resources

Some of these file may not be included in the game stores. For Pools of Darkness, we have the following files:

ManualInstruction manual English version 3 MB (DOS) MiscAdventurers Journal English version 12 MB (DOS) MiscIBM Data Card English version 1 MB (DOS)

Other Releases

Pools of Darkness was also released on the following systems:



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