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Retro Gamer: Dragonlance Death Knights of Krynn

3 Minute Read
Jun 11 2020
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In 1991 the second Dragonlance game came out for your home computer, and today I played it on an emulator. Jump back in time with Death Knights of Krynn.

Death Knights of Krynn was the second game in the Dragonlance trilogy of games. Developed by Strategic Simulations, Inc. as a single player tactical roleplaying video game. Although, there is a definite emphasis on the tactical part of the game over the roleplaying.

Character creation is quick and not that difficult, giving you options between elves, dwarves, half-elves, humans, and kender for races and cleric, fighter, knight, mage, and thief for classes. Your stats are randomly computer generated, though you have the option to reroll them if you’d like, and then you get to customize the appearance and colors of your character’s little sprite. If you had played Champions of Krynn before this installment it was possible to transfer your party over, but that’s obviously not a feature you can take advantage of in this emulator. It is, however, a very thoughtful concept that strikes me as being ahead of its time for a game nearly thirty years old.

Once you have your characters made and your party ready to go the game starts almost immediately as your party is attacked by nightmares and a familiar zombie on a bony dragon.

From this point the plot of the game becomes defeating Lord Soth who has been creating an army of the undead, including Sir Karl who returning players would remember as a friend from Champions of Krynn.

Gameplay relies mostly on your arrow and enter keys to tell the computer where you want to move to or which option you would like to select and selecting it. It’s a system that’s easy enough to understand and will be eminently recognizable to anybody who has played previous Dungeons and Dragons computer games. But it’s also a system that I am not very good at.

The party defeated and the mouse floating in the center were both mine.

The visuals are about on par with Champions of Krynn, only coming out about a year later, but Eye of the Beholder was also released in 1991 and was much more impressive in terms of visuals. And perhaps most jarring to me personally is the font isn’t particularly easy to read, which is major blow for a game so reliant on text for exposition and conversation.

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At its time of release Death Knights of Krynn was well received, enjoying by and large positive reviews and enough commercial success to justify a third part to the series. Even now, it’s definitely not a bad game. The strategically based encounters remind me a little of Fire Emblem and at the end of the day it’s hard to hate a game who’s plot can be boiled down to “Kill zombies, profit.” It’s fun, it’s kitschy, and it’s a blast from the past.

If you’re like to spend a few minutes in the way-back machine experiencing a little piece of 1991,

 You can play Death Knights of Krynn Here

But you’ll want to read the comments below the emulator for instructions how to access the game. And when it starts asking you about words in journals, you’ll want to reference this link as well.


What do you think of the Dragonlace series? Which game was your favorite? Did the monsters rejoice when your party was destroyed, too? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Adventuring!

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