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Menzoberranzan is a computer game developed by DreamForge Intertainment and published by Strategic Simulations in 1994. It is based on the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd edition system and is the first video game to star Drizzt Do'Urden.
Menzoberranzan is a first-person role-playing game, similar in style to Eye of the Beholder, Ultima Underworld, and Might and Magic. The game uses the same engine that was used for Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession.
The player starts with two heroes in a small village, which is under attack by evil drow. They follow them into the Underdark to the mighty drow city of Menzoberranzan. Along the way, they encounter companions of varying races, and fight off foes from gnolls to yochlols.
to serve their Spider Queen.
The world below is the Underdark—
a blinding darkness to behold.
If you dare upon the drow elves' lair,
their dark hearts and swords will fly.
Like spiders in their webs they wait,
A group of local adventurers from a village in Icewind Dale set out to slay a monstrous beast. During the battle, a member of the party thrusts a spear into its neck. Despite injuring the creature, the spear-fighter is torn from the ground, and eaten alive. As the battle continues, the party's magic-user casts a mighty spell at the many-legged creature. The foe is slain, and the two remaining heroes return to the village to the greetings and cheers of the locals. But as the festivities carry on late into the night, the village is raided by a drow party. The drow invasion force capture a group of villagers and escape with them, and the heroes are charged with a quest to retrieve them.
As the heroes take their first steps out of the village tavern to aid in the defense against the remaining drow, they also have to put out a fire started in the village store. When the invaders have been repelled, and the fire put out, the heroes are given a special helmet by the village's innkeeper as a reward.
The two heroes venture out into the plains of Icewind Dale, and they encounter gnolls, drow, verbeeg and other monsters. As they move around the plains, they find the house of the wise old druid Vermulean, who knows a lot about the world and its wonders. He tells the heroes that to venture into the Underdark, they will need protective stones so that the radiation doesn't harm them and to allow them to see as an underground dweller would. This leads the heroes to quest for the gems all over the plains. Their hunt leads them to meet Drizzt Do'Urden in a mountain pass, where he saves them from fighting a giant and offers to join up with the heroes.
Further away in the plains, the heroes meet the kenku Vonar, a friend to Drizzt, who had his wing wounded by the drow who invaded the village. He also offers to join the party. After gathering all the gems, they take them to the old wise man who transforms the gems, so that the heroes may venture into the Underdark.
Into the Underdark
- See Helm of Spiders for the full plot involving the drow artifact.
Although they do not know it, the gem and helmet they received are actually parts of the legendary Helm of Spiders, an ancient and powerful drow artifact. The party ventures deeper into the Underdark, finding friends and foes along the way, some of which join the adventurers. They travel through dwarven mines, the Temple of Dumathoin, and caverns of myconids, galeb duhr and driders. On their journey, they find out much about the treachery of the dark elves, and eventually reach their infamous city of Menzoberranzan.
Here, they find themselves amid raging wars between drow houses, all vying for the ancient Helm of Spiders. After the heroes recover the last part of the ancient artifact, the adventurers use it to rescue the prisoners. Drizzt leads them out of the Underdark, and all the villagers are united again.
- Azarell • Baldassar • Borenorak • Drizzt Do'Urden • Maeldithar • Manahath • Vlakverdling • Vonar
- Dorn Black Axe • El Viddenvelp • Feerus • Galentha • Grumsznar • Guenhwyvar • Jalynfein • Jarlaxle • Malice Do'Urden • Matron Baenre • Maznafein • Rizzen Do'Urden • Ssar Tarell • Vermulean • Vierna Do'Urden
- Playable races
- dwarf • elf • gnome • half-elf • halfling • human
- aboleth • bugbear • centaur • carrion crawler • cloaker • derro • drider • drow • fungi skeleton • galeb duhr • gnoll • hook horror • illithid • kenku • leucrotta • myconid • myrlochar • night hunter • ochre jelly • osquip • panther • roper • rust monster • shrieker • spitting crawler • stirge • svirfneblin • troglodyte • umber hulk • uropygus • verbeeg • violet fungus • yochlol
- Buildings & Sites
- Bazaar • Sorcere • Temple of Dumathoin
- Referenced only
- Cavern of Cloven Heads • Narbondel
- Inns & Taverns
- Carpathian's Tavern • Gollvelius' Tavern
- Icewind Dale • Underdark
- Galentha's Goods • Ssar Tarell
- bracers of protection • cloak of protection • gauntlets of stone giant strength • helm of disguise • Helm of Spiders • piwafwi • shield of lightning protection
- Guenhwyvar figurine • jade spider
- Keoghtom's ointment • potion of extra healing • potion of healing • potion of flying • potion of giant strength • potion of fire resistance • potion of levitation • potion of oil of fiery burning • potion of speed
- ring of protection • ring of regeneration • ring of wizardry
- acid bolt • Aganazzar's scorcher • aid • armor • backlash • blade barrier • bless • blur • burning hands • cause critical wounds • cause light wounds • cause serious wounds • chill touch • claws of the umber hulk • cloudkill • comprehend languages • cone of cold • cure critical wounds • cure disease • cure light wounds • cure serious wounds • darkness • darkfire • death spell • detect evil • detect magic • disintegrate • dispel magic • dragon scales • draw upon holy might • enchant weapon • faerie fire • feather fall • fireball • fireseed • flame arrow • flame blade • flame strike • fly • fortify • free action • harm • haste • heal • hold monster • hold person • ice knife • ice storm • immunity to adherance • immunity to spider venom • improved identify • invisibility • invisibility, 10' radius • jump • levitate • lich touch • light • lightning bolt • magic missile • magical stone • magical vestment • Melf's acid arrow • neutralize poison • Otiluke's freezing sphere • passweb • prayer • protection from evil • protection from evil, 10' radius • raise dead • remove paralysis • shield • shocking grasp • slow • slow poison • spidercloak armor • spider shape • spiritual hammer • spook • stinking cloud • stoneskin • stop • true seeing • vampiric touch • venom bolt • venom immunity • wizard eye
- rod of antilevitation • wand of enemy detection • wand of fireballs • wand of magic missiles • wand of paralyzation
- Axe of Hurling • Icingdeath • javelin of lightning • sling of seeking • Twinkle
- Bregan D'aerthe • Clan Black Axe • House Baenre • House Barrison Del'Armgo • House Do'Urden • House Fey-Branche
- banded mail • bracers • chainmail • gauntlets • helmet • leather • plate mail • ring mail • scale armor • shield • studded leather
- diamond • Gem of Lolth
- Dwarven (Dethek)
- Metals & Alloys
- adamantine • gold • iron • ivory • silver
- battle axe • bow (with arrows and quiver) • broadsword • composite longbow • crossbow (and bolts) • dagger • halberd • javelin • longbow • longsword • mace • pickaxe • quarterstaff • scimitar • sling (and bullets/pellets) • two-handed sword • spear • shortsword • throwing knife • warhammer
- The box's front cover features a drawing of Drizzt Do'Urden by Jeff Easley, which was also used as the front cover to R.A. Salvatore's novel, Homeland. Likewise, the back of the box and hint-book cover feature an image of Menzoberranzan, both of which were also used for the second book in the Menzoberranzan box set.
- As well as an automapping feature, the game had a printing feature. If the user clicked the printer icon, their local unit would print out the same map their party was exploring, which the player could then annotate by hand.
- Later released by GOG on multiple platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux.
- Main article: Images from Menzoberranzan (game)
From the Menzoberranzan manual:
- Producer: Scott Cuthbertson
- Executive Producer: Bret Berry, James H. Namestka
- Associate Producer, Voice Direction: Scot Noel
- Lead Programming: Don Wuenschell
- Game Design: John McGirk
- Art Director: Jane Yeager
- Lead Artist: Frank Schurter
- Artist: Aaron Kreader, Craig Mrusek, Michael Nicholson, Eric Ranier Rice
- 3D Artist: Jason Johnson
- 3D Support: Jeff Zehner
- 3D Character Generator: James H. Namestka
- Music: Jamie McMenamy
- Sound Effects, Voice Production: Anthony Mollick
- Managing Doc. Editor: Eileen Matsumi
- Lead Product Tester: Jason Ray
- Testers: Kelly Calabro, Benjamin Cooley, Brandon Harris
- Test Support: Annette Grove, Rose Ramos
- Rule Book Editors: Jonathan Kromrey, Mark Whisler
- Rule Book Writer, Interaction & Game Text: Scot Noel
- Rule Book Graphic Design and DTP: David Boudreau, Leedara Zola
- Cover artwork: Jeff Easley
- Strategic Simulations, Inc.
- Associate Producers: David A. Lucca, Jeffrey Shotwell
- Product Test Supervisor: Glen A. Cureton
- Compatibility Testing: Top Star Computing Services Inc.
- Rule Book Graphic Design and DTP: Louis Saekow Design
- Rule Book Printing: Consolidated Printers
- Documentation Manager German Version: Claude Joris
- German Manual Translation: Raimund Lingen
- Susan Manley (2015-10-16). Discovering the Gold Box (Web). In Matt Chapman ed. Dragon+ #4. Wizards of the Coast. p. 5. Retrieved on 2018-05-23.
Other settingsAl-Qadim: The Genie's Curse • Planescape: Torment • Ravenloft: Stone Prophet • Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession • Spelljammer: Pirates of Realmspace