The Black Cauldron is a graphical adventure game that was released in 1986 by Sierra Entertainment for the PC and equivalents (such as the Amiga and the Apple II). The game was designed by Al Lowe, a veteran adventure game designer who was also responsible for the Leisure Suit Larry series, Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist, and Torin's Passage.
Unlike many other Sierra adventure games of the era, The Black Cauldron was based on a licensed property: a 1985 Disney animated film directed by Ted Berman and Richard Rich. The film itself, and to some degree the game, is based on The Chronicles of Prydain books, written by Lloyd Alexander. The Black Cauldron game's story revolves around pig herder Taran. When Taran's magical pig Hen Wen is kidnapped by the evil Horned King, Taran sets off to win his magic pig back.
The Black Cauldron is notable for several reasons. First, the game features a dynamic storyline, with branching plots and multiple endings. Second, in order to make the game more accessible and easier to control, the designers eschewed the traditional text parser system in the favor of a function key system which mapped specific actions (Inventory, Look, Use, etc.) to a respective F-Key.
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