Dragon Balls and Other Seemingly Unnecessary Items

Hi Cat,

HOL I provides a number of items that don't seem to have any purpose:

Dragon Balls, Mirror of Transformation, Scroll of Invisible Hare's Note, Scroll of Illuminated Enchanted Manuscript, Scroll of Thieftouch (none of these scrolls can be cast), Snowbird Feather, as well a few unique (gold text) but unnecessary weapons which are under-leveled for what it takes to acquire them, such as Savirian Sabre.

Is there anything meaningful to these items? Were they leftovers from ideas that were never implemented or something?



  • It was our first game and we didn't think anything about their usefulness. : )

    Dr. Vlad liked exotic names and did not care much what you did with the item afterward. You can toss them or keep them for nostalgia value. As to the weapons, it was our first game. : ) We did not know then what we know now and not sure if we know that much more but hopefully some more.

  • Oh, wow - that's fascinating. I didn't realize that HOLI was the original. It's always felt a little different from the others. Emptier, but with a charm to it.

    I was impressed by some of the foreshadowing of the later entries, although the Basic Facts of Gluhomanye and the Map of Lukomorye don't seem to match either the geography of HOLI or HOLII exactly. Is the Great Friendship Road intended to be on the HOLI landscape? I had assumed that it was when I originally played the game, but the road that I thought was the GFR actually only connects Baba Yaga, the crossroads, Dookh Village, and the Pech Caves. There's reference to the Northern Road connecting to the GFR, but nothing there in practice (no paved road, at any rate).

    There's reference to the Eastern Road going to Ezersk and the GFR going to Belovodsk (although it says that the GFR is West of the temple of Mokosh, which we know it can't be because west of Mokosh is the sea), but I looked around HOLII and found that there weren't any roads going to either of those cities.

    Altogether, it makes me think that Basic Facts of Gluhomanye and perhaps the Map of Lukomorye were developed before the HOLI landscape was complete? Like, that they were developed during the original design of HOLI, but before everything was finalized?

    I've had fun digging into the little details now that I'm on my third playthrough. Well, my third for HOLI through HOLIII. I've played HOLIV and HOLV only once each, but I'll get there and I'm looking forward to it.

    Thanks Cat!

  • The Great Friendship Road is part of the many elements Dr Vlad wove into the background but that are not actually in the games. He's Russian and drew heavily on his heritage in designing books and other things, I put the map itself in and didn't think of any inconsistencies. I just asked him what he wanted. It's probably the luckiest of our maps. Future maps have more contour.

  • That's interesting. I like learning about the design history. Thank you for sharing!

    The only inconsistency with the Map of Lukomorye is that it referenced a Northern Road leading to the GFR. We enter through a teleporter that could have been the teleporter to Belovodsk before it was reprogrammed, and the split in that tunnel that goes to the west of Zlatograd ultimately opens in the north, which are both areas controlled by the Savirian army as described by the map.

    The natural path is to take the narrow tunnel to the crossroads (t's called very long but is actually shorter than the tunnel to the teleporter or to the West of Zlatograd), as described.

    Is there any way to see the year of release for each expansion? Google Play shows when it was uploaded, but I don't think it matches the development date. In my head, Thor's Hammer had been first - but that was clearly not correct.


  • The release of our early games goes back to the time when Stewe was the main programmer and there was only a pc and Palm version. I don't even recall the sequence of the games. I'm sorry. It's complicated because at one point Dr Vlad was too busy to continue and Liz came on board so I finished up some stories with him while starting new stories with Liz.

  • That must have been mid 2000s-ish. It's been awhile, hasn't it. Thanks for sharing

  • It goes back at least that far. Dr. Vlad used to do the records so I don't know what years the early games were released or even the order any more. And at some point, when Elendil got involved, the Quest Gold emerged. That was when the game was finally available on Apple and then Android.

    Elendil would know the exact order but I dare not bother him while they're working on the finalization of the Quest 2.

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