Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance

Heroes of the Lance NES
Heroes of the Lance NES

Heroes of the Lance NES Cover

Heroes of the Lance NES Credits

  • Published by: FCI
  • Developed by: Strategic Simulations, U.S. Gold
  • Released: 1991
  • Genre: Action, Fantasy, Licensed
  • Also on: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS, MSX, SEGA Master System, ZX Spectrum

Heroes of the Lance The Game

Heroes of the Lance is the first title from the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games, inspired by a book game series. The game is an old action-RPG, considered quite addictive during its time.

It places the player in a dungeon with a roster of Dungeons and Dragons characters. It is often considered one of the worst games released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, due to its slow, confusing gameplay. It received a similarly cold reception on the Sega Master System.

The game is based on the first Dragonlance campaign module, Dragons of Despair, and the first Dragonlance novel Dragons of Autumn Twilight. It focuses on the journey of the eight heroes through the ruined city of Xak Tsaroth, where they must face the ancient dragon Khisanth and retrieve the Disks of Mishakal.

The eight heroes that make up the party are:

  • Goldmoon, a princess who brandishes the Blue Crystal Staff, an artifact whose powers she seeks to fully understand.
  • Sturm, a powerful and solemn knight.
  • Caramon, a not-so-bright warrior.
  • Raistlin, Caramon’s brother, a sly and brilliant but frail mage.
  • Tanis Half-Elven, the ‘natural leader’ of the heroes, and good with a bow.
  • Tasslehoff, a Kender pickpocket. He fights with a sling weapon known as a hoopak.
  • Riverwind, Goldmoon’s betrothed. He’s noble, wise, and a solid warrior.
  • Flint, a grizzled dwarf.

Several gameplay features render Heroes of the Lance unplayable by most:

  • A constant side view perspective with a ninety degree turn in map direction when entering doors.
  • Stat based auto-attack combat with little time for decision making.
  • Tedious menu used for re-arranging party members.
  • Defeated characters are moved to the back of the party while another is instantly brought forward.
  • Enemies can quickly kill multiple characters at a time.
  • Story inspired extra damage such as exploding Draconians, and related party characters taking additional damage.
  • Bottomless pits that give permanent death to party members.
  • Lack of a level-up system.

Is Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance Naff?

While Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes of the Lance is a faithful representation of the game module Dragons of Despair, the tremendous difficulty and tedious interface have discouraged many who have attempted to play it.

The graphics are poor, the sounds are poor but the music isn’t too bad. The gameplay though, which is what it is all about, is poor and frustrating. All in all the game is just terrible.  I wouldn’t recommend Heroes of the Lance to anyone.  Have you ever played it? Let us now if you have in the comments below.


2 / 10

Heroes of the Lance NES Gameplay Video

Heroes of the Lance NES Cheats

We have no hints or cheats for this game. If you know of any please let us know.

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