The aim of ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Cartridge
is to lead a warrior across the overworld map to Cloudy Mountain and recover the Crown of Kings. Along the way, players will need to enter caves and find their way around the maze-like interiors, fighting monsters and hopefully finding useful items and extra arrows along the way. There are four selectable difficulties of play in AD&D Cartridge, reflected by the color of the large Cloudy Mountain. Grey is the easiest, while purple is the most difficult.ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Cartridge
was temporarily known as ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS CLOUDY MOUNTAIN Cartridge
, to discern itself from future AD&D titles such as ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS TREASURE OF TARMIN Cartridge
. However, considering Treasure of Tarmin was the only
other AD&D title for the Intellivision, the Cloudy Mountain addition has been dropped in most modern references to the game. Despite the innate silliness nowadays, the completely capitalized game titles and the world "cartridge" were required in the licensing agreement with TSR Hobbies.
Since AD&D Cartridge binds its weapon fire to the controller's keypad and movement to the controller's disc, it is one of the few games for the Intellivision that experiences the glitch of being unable to use the keypad and disc input at the same time. This means that a player cannot run and fire arrows at the same time on a single controller, and must stop movement to fire. However, if the player uses both of the system controllers at the same time, one for the disc and movement, and the other for the keypad and firing, this glitch can be overcome (albeit in an awkward manner).
The WorldADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Cartridge
is split between two segments -- navigating towards Cloudy Mountain on the overworld map and searching for items in caves.
In either segment, pressing the inventory button (the zero key on the controller) will emit a series of clicks, one for each arrow the warriors hold (or in the case of no arrows, no sound will emit at all).
Players start out at a house on the overworld map, located on the far left side of the screen. The three warriors hold three arrows, and are symbolized by three dots; if a warrior dies, the dots will accurately decrease by one to reflect the new party size. If all three warriors die, a tombstone will display at the cave they died in.
From here, warriors can use the controller keypad to move in any direction, including diagonals, with the intent of reaching Cloudy Mountain on the far right side of the screen. Brown mountains prohibit travel, and can never be crossed. In addition, rivers, forests, and gated fences cannot be crossed until players find appropriate items to bypass these obstacles. Black caves contain winding caverns filled with items and monsters, and will change color when the warriors are within one step of them. Grey is the easiest difficulty of cave, blue is medium difficulty, red is high difficulty, and purple is considered an extremely high difficulty.
Once a player steps into a mountain, the overworld map freezes, and the warriors are taken into the cave.
One warrior at a time, players navigate the cave, revealing new passages as they move along. Arrows are fired in one of eight directions by using the controller keypad much like navigating the overview map, and may rebound off walls for a certain distance. Walking around the cave is accomplished with the controller's disc. Monsters in unrevealed portions of caves are usually asleep, although firing an arrow into an unrevealed room will often awaken any sleeping monsters within. The main goal is to get a warrior to the cave exit, which is a green ladder often guarded by a monster. Along the way, helpful items may be discovered, and various enemies will be encountered.
The warrior's health is signified by their color. A black warrior is completely healthy, while a red warrior is near death. If a warrior is killed, he vanishes in a whirlwind of smoke and another warrior enters the cave, assuming another living warrior exists in the party.
All enemies are encountered within caves. The danger discussed therein assumes the hardest difficulty of play; for this reason, all enemies will be slower and less threatening than described if encountered on easier difficulties.
Blobs are extremely slow piles of purple goo. They are always visible in a cave (even in hidden sections), and can be easily outrun. However, blobs will instantly kill a warrior upon contact, so care must be taken not to be cornered by one.
Bats can be heard on-screen as flapping wings before they're actually visible, and are almost entirely harmless. They do not damage the warriors, and appear to have no other side effects beyond masking the noise of other monsters and being a nuisance. Bats take one arrow to kill.
While almost entirely silent, spiders steal arrows upon touching the warrior. While otherwise harmless, they should be killed quickly to prevent a deficit of arrows in crucial monster battles. Spiders are killed with a single arrow.
Despite their size, rats can be problematic if not dealt with quickly. They make a squeaking sound once awakened, and will bite and cause moderate damage to the warriors upon contact. Rats take one arrow to kill.
Dragons look like purple lizard men, and will roar and charge the player once awakened. They are reasonably dangerous and hard to evade, so killing them quickly with two arrows is advised.
Demons are blue and quite fast once awakened. They take two arrows to kill.
Snakes are colored red, and move about partially coiled. They may make a slithering sound when hidden on-screen. Once visible, snakes make a hissing sound and charge the warrior quickly upon sight. Snakes do moderate damage and take two arrows to kill.
Two purple winged dragons guard the pieces of the Crown of Kings, and can be heard snoring when nearby. They are extremely swift and dangerous, and take three arrows to kill.
Items are usually guarded by monsters, and vary depending on the cave's difficulty. All caves contain arrows.
Quiver of Arrows
Quivers contain more arrows for monster fighting or ricocheting against walls for fun. The number of arrows inside a quiver varies, and could be as high as ten or so arrows.
Holding a boat will allow the warriors to travel across river squares on the overworld map. Boats are found in blue caves.
Having an axe allows warriors to move across forest squares on the overworld map. Axes are found in red caves.
Holding a key allows warriors to cross the locked fences on the overworld map. Keys are in purple caves.
Crown of Kings
Divided into two pieces, each guarded by a Winged Dragon, the Crown of Kings is necessary to complete the game. It is only found in Cloudy Mountain. Upon grabbing both pieces, a dramatic bass sound is heard, and the overview map appears with the full crown appearing outside Cloudy Mountain.
Since Intellivision Productions no longer holds the right to use the Dungeons & Dragons name in their products, AD&D Cartridge is called either Adventure
or Crown of Kings
in modern emulations and compilations. The title screen reflects the newer names in these updated versions, but the gameplay, which made little reference to the AD&D universe, is virtually identical to the original.