No game has made more, “Worst Game,” lists then Dungeons and Dragons: heroes of the Lance for the Nintendo Entertainment System. How is it that one game can be remembered by so many as being so bad? With the thousands of games that have been created over the years, how is it that this game can be constantly listed as the worst of all time?
The idea of the game is fairly simple. You control eight characters from the Dungeons and Dragons, “DragonLance,” book series. The point of the game is to lead these characters to acquiring the Disks of Mishakal in the ruined city of Xak Tsaroth. The premise of the game is the only part that works.
Control of the characters in Heroes of the Lance is very difficult. Gamers were very upset to constantly find that whenever they wanted one action, another would consistently happen. It was not uncommon to have to hit a button three or four times to receive the intended outcome.
Jumping in Heroes of the Lance was extremely difficult. Characters would sometimes be in the middle of a jump and just fall through a crack in the floor. Most characters will not respond when given the command to jump, and this will cause many gamers to need to reload the game so that they can jump when they need to.
The characters move very slowly through Heroes of the Lance. Even when running, most players will become board with how slow the game moves. This also adds difficulty when jumping. Most players were never fully able to get the timing down for a running jump, and became stuck at what should be simple parts of the game.
The graphics of Heroes of the Lance even looked out of date when it was released. The blocky feel of the characters was something that Nintendo games had abandoned long before this game was completed.
The sound for Heroes of the Lance has also been rated among the worst aspects of the game. The chopping quotes, and chance for the music to become stuck on one or two annoying sounds drove many gamers near insanity.
Nintendo Power Magazine once reported that Heroes of the Lance could actually be beaten within five minutes of play. The scary thing about this revelation is that it took most gamers months to complete the game because of the inability to master the game’s issues.
On an interesting note, many game emulation sites list Heroes of the Lance in their listing of most popular games to download. The only explanation for this would be that gamers that lost hours, if not days, of their childhood trying to beat the game are downloading it. They have decided that it is a goal for them to finally beat the game that gave them so many problems years ago.