Pool of Radiance (NES)

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Pool of Radiance
Pool of Radiance - NES - USA.jpg
Platform: NES
Year: 1991
Developer: Marionette
Buy: Amazon

Pool of Radiance is quite large in scope for early RPGs, and does a good job of translating the rules of AD&D into a vide ogame. For some reason the team that ported the game to the NES thought that a brown background would look good for most of the game. Luckily, the music department upped the ante and gave the game some atmosphere. Your team of adventurers must clear the city of Phlan from monsters and then search for the legendary Pool of Radiance. Combat is turn-based, offering you plenty of time to plan ahead, but there is an unfortunately large amount of combat. There is also a rather small amount of gold early in the game which makes equipment and leveling up a bit slow. All-in-all, the game offers many hours of adequate adventure.

While the Nintendo version is a great port, it has several things missing from the computer ports; you can't customize your character's portrait, spells like "Bless" have been replaced with "Empower" (due to Nintendo of America's censorship policy), not being able to gamble in the city taverns, slightly subpar graphics, only one save feature (the computer featured ten) and the random caves that can be found in the computer versions were removed. Though the Nintendo version has some advantages of its own; there's no copy protection so you don't have to pull out the instruction manual to hear what people are saying, the game has a better difficulty than the computer versions, gold as your only form of currency (in the computer versions, you had electrum, copper, silver, gold and platinum) and the addition of in-game music really helped the game's atmosphere.

Because of a contract with Strategic Simulations, Inc. and FCI, the developers, Marionette weren't allowed to put their names on the game.

Screenshots

Pool of Radiance - NES - Title.png

The title screen.

Pool of Radiance - NES - Combat.png

In combat.


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Music

Pool of Radiance has a large soundtrack for the NES era. Because Pony Canyon published the game, they chose one of their musicians signed to their record label, Seiji Toda, to compose the game's music, and he did a good job composing the numerous tracks. None of the music is particularly memorable, but the music is very cohesive through the game, fitting to the action on the screen. When you're walking around the civilized and safe area of Phlan, the music sounds happy and upbeat. When you're in a dungeon, or other place where there's enemies, the music is suspenseful, and when you encounter an enemy, or what could be an enemy if you don't make the right decisions, the music sounds scary. When you're fighting Tyranthraxus, the song is an action-packed scary-sounding song. There is also an unused song. It sounds like it was a possible in-game theme when you're in a certain shop or temple, but it also sounds like it was used just to test the audio driver of the game to make sure it was working correctly. It could have also been used in the random caves in the wilderness in the computer versions that was taken out of the NES version. Seiji Toda later went on to compose the music for Ultima: Quest of the Avatar (NES).

Seiji says he wrote the music in Music Macro Language. Hironari Tadokoro programmed the game's sound driver. Yoshiyuki Ishii only coded the music into the game.

Recording

# Title Composer Length Listen Download
01 Intro Seiji Toda 1:40
Download
02 New Phlan Seiji Toda 1:49
Download
03 City Hall Seiji Toda 0:47
Download
04 Inn Seiji Toda 0:51
Download
05 Shop Seiji Toda 1:00
Download
06 Tavern Seiji Toda 0:54
Download
07 Temple Seiji Toda 1:12
Download
08 Training Fanfare Seiji Toda 0:02
Download
09 Training Hall Seiji Toda 0:56
Download
10 Dungeon 1 Seiji Toda 1:36
Download
11 Dungeon 2 Seiji Toda 2:25
Download
12 Dungeon 3 Seiji Toda 1:48
Download
13 Gypsy Seiji Toda 0:36
Download
14 Wilderness Seiji Toda 1:44
Download
15 Diogenes Seiji Toda 1:54
Download
16 Valhingen Graveyard Seiji Toda 1:13
Download
17 Yarashi's Pyramid Seiji Toda 1:46
Download
18 Stojanow Gate Seiji Toda 1:37
Download
19 Tyranthraxus Seiji Toda 1:32
Download
20 Encounter Seiji Toda 1:05
Download
21 Battle Begins Seiji Toda 0:02
Download
22 Combat Seiji Toda 1:32
Download
23 Tyranthraxus Combat Seiji Toda 1:22
Download
24 Victory Fanfare Seiji Toda 0:01
Download
25 Battle Won Seiji Toda 0:56
Download
26 Game Over Seiji Toda 0:29
Download
27 Ending Seiji Toda 2:34
Download
28 Unknown Seiji Toda 1:33
Download

Credits

(Source: USA 1 USA 2 USA 3, Japan 1, Japan 2, Japan 3)

The credits in the USA version give the real names of everybody involved with the sound except for Hironari Tadokoro, who goes by "H. Tadokoro". The Japanese version contains the names in hiragana and gives Hironari's full name, and he was also later credited with his real name in Phantom Fighter (NES). Hironari created the audio driver and Yoshiyuki programmed it into the game.

Game Rip

Format

Download

Size

NSF.png VGM.png

Download 6 KB

Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site.

The VGZ files were logged by opening the NSF in a modified version of NEZPlay. Then the files were trimmed to loop properly. The VGZ rip has yet to be uploaded to the site.

Releases

  Japan.svg   Japan
Pool of Radiance - FC.JPG
Title: プール・オブ・レイディアンス
Platform: Famicom
Released: 1991-06-28
Publisher: Pony Canyon, Inc.
  USA.svg   USA
Pool of Radiance - NES - USA.jpg
Title: Pool of Radiance
Platform: NES
Released: 1992-04-??
Publisher: Fujisankei Communications International, Inc.

Links