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Menzoberranzan was developed by DreamForge Intertainment, Inc. in 1994 and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc., who also published other titles of the Forgotten Realms Setting, like Al-Qadim: The Genies Curse.

GameplayEdit

It was a first person role-playing game in a similiar style like Ultima Underworld and Might and Magic games of that era. The player starts with two heroes in a small village, which is under attack of evil drow. They follow them into the Underdark to the mighty drow city of Menzoberranzan.

BlurbEdit

FORGOTTEN REALMS®: MENZOBERRANZAN™ is a CD-ROM computer roleplaying adventure based on the popular AD&D® 2nd Edition games rules and characters found in the New York Times best-selling book The Legacy, by R.A. Salvatore. The game invites your characters to explore the world of Drizzt Do'Urden, the most famous of the dark elves. Venture into the Underdark to take on the challenges of Drizzt's homeland. Visit Menzoberranzan, the city of Drizzt's birth, and fight to free captured villagers from their evil, drow captors. With the power of CD-ROM, the land of the drow comes alive. Drizzt speaks, as do over thirty NPCs and opponents, all brought to life by voice actors with the terror of Lolth, the Spider Queen, pounding in their veins. Rich cinematics take your characters from the plains of Icewind Dale to the dark and dangerous passageways of the Underdark, then on to Menzoberranzan where all the power and magic of the drow await.

PlotEdit

PrologueEdit

A group of local adventurers from a village in Icewind Dale set out to slay a monstrous Behir. During the battle, a member of the party hauls a spear into the neck of the huge magical beast. Despite injuring the creature, the spear-fighter is torn from the ground, and eaten alive. As the battle continues, the party's magic caster conjurers a mighty spell and aims 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 at 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 the quest to retrieve them.

As darkness falls, the dark elves rise

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,

for you alas, are simply bait.
— Introductory note

First stepsEdit

As the heroes take their first steps out of the village tavern to aid in the defence against the lingering drow, they also have to put out the fire that was 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 in to the plains of Icewind Dale, and they will encounter gnolls, drow, verbeeg and other monsters. As they move around the plains, they will 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 the Underdark, they will need protective stones so that the radiation doesn't harm them, and 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 the heroes 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 it to the old wise man who transforms the gems, so that the heroes may venture to the Underdark.

Into the UnderdarkEdit

See Helm of Spiders for the full plot about 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.

IndexEdit

CharactersEdit

Companions
AzarellBaldassarBorenorakDrizzt Do'UrdenMaelditharManahathVlakverdlingVonar
Other
Dorn Black AxeEl ViddenvelpFeerusGalenthaGrumsznarGuenhwyvarJalynfeinJarlaxleMalice Do'UrdenMatron BaenreMaznafeinRizzen Do'UrdenSsar TarellVermuleanVierna Do'Urden

CreaturesEdit

Playable races
dwarfelfgnomehalf-elfhalflinghuman
Other
abolethbugbearcentaurcarrion crawlercloakerderrodriderdrowfungi skeletongaleb duhrgnollhook horrorillithidkenkuleucrottamyconidmyrlocharnight hunterochre jellyosquippantherroperrust monstershriekerspitting crawlerstirgesvirfneblintroglodyteumber hulkuropygusverbeegviolet fungusyochlol

LocationsEdit

House BaenreHouse Fey-BrancheHouse Do'UrdenBazaarSorcereMantleMantleGollvelius' TavernCarpathian's TavernMenzoberranzan
About this image

A basic map of Menzoberranzan. Hovering over the map will reveal named locations. Clicking will link to the article for that location.

Buildings & Sites
BazaarSorcereTemple of Dumathoin
Referenced only
Cavern of Cloven Heads
Inns & Taverns
Carpathian's TavernGollvelius' Tavern
Shops
Galenthas GoodsSsar Tarell
Settlements
Menzoberranzan
Regions
Icewind DaleUnderdark

MagicEdit

Magic items
Axe of HurlingBracers of protectionCloak of protectionGuenhwyvar figurineGauntlets of stone giant strengthHelm of DisguiseHelm of SpidersIcingdeathJade spiderJavelin of LightningPiwafwiRing of protectionRing of RegenerationRing of wizadryShield of lightning protectionSling of SeekingTwinkle
Potions
Keoghtom's ointmentpotion of extra healingpotion of healingpotion of flyingpotion of giant strengthpotion of fire resistancepotion of levitationpotion of oil of fiery burningpotion of speed
Spells
acid boltAganazzar's scorcheraidarmorbacklashblade barrierblessblurburning handscause critical woundscause light woundscause serious woundschill touchclaws of the umber hulkcloudkillcomprehend languages cone of coldcure critical woundscure diseasecure light woundscure serious woundsdarknessdarkfiredeath spelldetect evildetect magicdisintegratedispel magicdragon scalesdraw upon holy mightenchant weaponfaerie firefeather fallfireballfire seedsflame arrowflame bladeflame strikeflyfortifyfree actionharmhastehealhold monsterhold personice knifeice stormimmunity to adheranceimmunity to spider venominvisibilityinvisibility, 10' radiusjump levitatelich touchlightlightning boltmagic missilemagical stonemagical vestmentMelf's acid arrowneutralize poisonOtiluke's freezing spherepasswebprayerprotection from evilprotection from evil, 10' radiusraise deadremove paralysisshieldshocking graspslowslow poisonspidercloak armorspider shapespiritual hammerspookstinking cloudstoneskinstoptrue seeingvampiric touchvenom boltvenom immunitywizard eye
Wands
rod of antilevitationwand of enemy detectionwand of fireballswand of paralyzationwand of magic missiles

OrganizationsEdit

Bregan D'aertheClan Black AxeHouse BaenreHouse Barrison Del'ArmgoHouse Do'UrdenHouse Fey-Branche

ReligionsEdit

DumathoinLolth

MiscellaneousEdit

Armor
banded mailbracerschainmailgauntletshelmetleatherplate mailring mailscale armorshieldstudded leather
Gemstones
diamondGem of Lolth
Languages
Dwarven (Dethek)
Materials
leather
Metals & Alloys
adamantinegoldironivorysilver
Misc
lockpick
Weapons
battle axebow (with arrows and quiver) • broadswordcomposite longbowcrossbow (and bolts) • daggerhalberdjavelinlongbowlongswordmacepickaxequarterstaffscimitarsling (and bullets/pellets) • two-handed swordspearshortswordthrowing knifewarhammer

TriviaEdit

  • 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 hintbook cover features 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.

AppendixEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Later released by GOG on multiple platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux.

See alsoEdit

  • Helm of Spiders - the plot revolves fully around the components and assembly of this artifact.

GalleryEdit

Game CreditsEdit

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

Further ReadingEdit

ReferencesEdit

ConnectionsEdit