Discworld is a game released for PC (subsequently Mac, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation) by Teeny Weeny / Perfect 10 studios in 1995. The game was released both on floppy disk and CD-Rom, the latter featured voice acting by many notable actors. This included Monty Python's, Eric Idle; Radio 4's Rob Brydon; ex- Doctor Who, John Pertwee; 70s pop singer, Kate Robbins; and Blackadder star, Tony Robinson.
The game is based on the Discworld title 'Guards! Guards!', however many elements of the text have been shifted, not least, the inclusion of Rincewind as protagonist.
The game featured puzzles which were considered far too difficult and obtuse for gamers of the time, but the game itself has had a lasting legacy, now being accepted into such emulators as SCUMMVM.
A typically nasty secret order has summoned up a dragon, and is using it to wreak havoc upon the city. But it's not down to Carrot and co to stop it. It's down to Rincewind, the highly inept wizard. The player takes control of him, and try to save the city from destruction, in a journey that takes players from Ankh-Morpork to the edge of the Disc, and beyond. The game incorporates many characters from non-Rincewind Discworld adventures, such as Nanny Ogg, The Ankh-Morpork guards, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, Trolls, the Patrician, and Death.
The game begins with Rincewind (played by Eric Idle) being summoned to the Arch-Chancellor's office. Previously, a patron of Ankh-Morpork had been killed by a dragon. The Arch-Chancellor informs Rincewind that dragons only exist if people believe in them. However, because of this news, people are actually beginning to believe in them.
Rincewind is then tasked with helping to both locate and get rid of the dragon. After awaking his faithful companion (and inventory) the Luggage, Rincewind finds the Dragons-Lair Companion, and is tasked with finding the five items needed to create a dragon locator.
- A staff - which he steals from the old, deaf and blind wizard Windle Poons.
- Dragon's Breath - for which he must startle and anger the actual dragon.
- An Imp - which hides inside a hole in the toymaker's store, a la a mouse.
- A Magic Coil - which is located, of all places, in a barber's shop.
- A Metal Container - there's one of these in every kitchen.
After this, the game shifts to Act II, where Rincewind is tasked with uncovering the 'secret brotherhood' who have summoned the dragon. In order to uncover all of them, Rincewind is tasked with stealing a golden 'trinket' from each of them, so that a spell to uncover them may be summoned.
As part of this, Rincewind discovers 'L Space', a way to travel back 12 hours in time. This allows him to disguise himself as a member of the brotherhood, by stealing a monk's hood. By listening in to the conversation being had, Rincewind is able to figure out the members of the brotherhood who have conspired to make Ankh-Morpork's existence a misery - each for their own means.
The members of the brotherhood are:
- The Mason - who uses a golden trowel.
- The Thief - who has a golden key.
- The Dunnyman - who, of all people, has a golden tooth.
- The Fishmonger - who wears a golden belt.
- The Fool - who wears a cap with a golden bell.
- The Chimney Sweep - who uses a golden brush to sweep chimneys.
These items must be given to the dragon, who is to destroy his creators. Lastly, Rincewind must stop the thief from stealing the dragon-summoning book. He swaps these with Nanny Ogg's Love Custard text.
In the third act of the game, Rincewind must become 'A Hero' in order to defeat the dragon. After speaking to the 'Old Timers', the Amazonian Warrior, and The Wizards; he learns that all heroes generally carry the following items:
- A Magic Talisman - Which, in an Indiana Jones-esque manner, is taken from the Eye of Offler.
- A Moustache - Which must be taken from a guilty donkey.
- A Birthmark - Taken from the edge of the world.
- A Magic Spell - From the library.
- Camel-flage (camouflage) - very simply taken.
- A Magic Sword - Dwarves are the masters of magic swords.
The game now shifts to Act IV, where Rincewind must confront the dragon. However, as he squares off against it, he decides that rather than kill it, he give the dragon the opportunity to gain true love, and the dragon leaves, all loved up. Ankh-Morpork is saved.
The gameplay featured in Discworld is a standard point-and-click adventure game, featuring many puzzles and riddles that player must complete to advance. The game, however, features puzzles which are more 'Discworld-thought' rather than ones which the player would logically assume. This led to several negative reviews of the game, one claiming:
Too often you find yourself doing an unrelated sequence of events just to solve one puzzle and far too often the puzzles are far too off the wall for anyone but the most twisted genius to be able to work out all by themselves. Consequently you sit there stumped for ages and then hit 'trial and error' mode trying to use everything in you inventory on everything else in your inventory, and then on every piece of scenery to see if it elicits a response, then the characters and finally hunting out a walkthrough.
This was one of the greatest criticisms of the game, however many reviewers also cited the humor of the game as being irreverent enough as to make the puzzles, in some sense, seem logical.