Pool of Radiance

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Joystick.png Pool of Radiance
Developer Marionette
Publisher Worldwide release FCI (USA), Pony Canyon (Japan)
Composer Seiji Toda
System Nintendo Entertainment System, Family Computer, PC-98
Sound Chips NES APU, YM2203
Release date Japan 1991-06-28 United States of America 1992-04-??
VGM pack page http://vgmrips.net/packs/search?q=Pool+of+Radiance
Discuss this at forum N / A

Pool of Radiance (プール・オブ・レイディアンス Puuru obu Reidiansu) is a first-person RPG and is a port of the Commodore 64, Amiga, and DOS versions. The game was also the first Dungeons & Dragons game to use the 2nd Edition rules. In 1991, an NES version was released, making it the only version to be released on a game console. A PC-98 version was also released exclusively in Japan. Marionette is responsible for the NES version. However, they are not credited for developing the game.



Besides the minor and major graphical and audio changes, the NES version of Pool of Radiance has some differences between its computer versions.

  • In the Japanese version, the game has been translated into Japanese hiragana and katakana.
  • Characters can now carry an infinite supply of arrows and darts, where as in the computer versions, you had to buy darts and arrows.
  • Copper, Electrum, Jewelry, Platinum were removed and now Gold and Gems are the only currency in the game.
  • The game text is now on a separate screen, so when there's dialogue or encounter text, the screen will scroll down to the text screen.
  • You can no longer customize your character's portrait or battle icon. There is now one associated with each character.
  • Instead of saved games from A to J (10), there is now only one saved game.
  • The secret caves in the computer versions were removed, similar to how the Goblin room was removed from Shadowgate when it got ported to the NES.
  • There is no more copy protection.
  • You cannot gamble at the taverns.
  • After you complete the game, there is no way to fight the guards.
  • Some things in the USA version were censored from the computer versions. For example, the spell 'Bless' has now become 'Empire'. Also, when someone/something dies in the game, the game calls is 'expired' or 'slain'.


The PC-98 version is very close to resembling the DOS/computer versions, except the game has been translated into Japanese hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Also, there is most of the music from the NES version, as well as more detailed graphics.


The NES version was the first version of the game to feature a full soundtrack (save for the Amiga version which had some in-game music). The music was composed by Seiji Toda, who is a famous musician in Japan who has been working for Pony Canyon. The game's NSF file (as well as the VGM rip) contain an unused song, which was probably intended for the secret caves in the wilderness found in the computer versions. According to Toda, he had to write the music for the NES version using a sound driver which used Music Macro Language. The sound driver was programmed by Hironari Tadokoro, Marionette's primary sound programmer. The music was programmed into the game by Yoshiyuki Ishii.

The PC-98 version also contains some of the same music as the NES version, except Seiji Toda didn't port the music. Instead, Takeshi Yasuda ported Seiji's compositions.


An evil spirit named Tyranthraxus has taken possession of a bronze/golden dragon and is attempting to conquer New Phlan, as he has already conquered its surrounding lands. It is up to your party to stop him, as well as finish off his evil allies, as well as doing side quests.


  • In the Famicom version, the only place that shows the Japanese romanization of the title is the game's cartridge.
  • This was one of two NES games Seiji Toda composed, the other being Ultima: Quest of the Avatar.
  • This version of the game contains absolutely no cheat codes.