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Eye of the Beholder

MobyRank MobyScore
PC-98
...
4.5
Amiga
84
3.8
SNES
70
3.0
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Description

Something evil is lurking below the city of Waterdeep. The Lords of Waterdeep summon a group of heroes to investigate, but someone or something has been watching the proceedings. After the heroes enter the sewers, the ceiling collapses behind them. The only way out is the way down, into a dungeon filled with monsters, traps and puzzles.

Eye of the Beholder is a dungeon crawler RPG with a first-person perspective based on the 2nd Edition AD&D rules. The starting party consists of four characters and up to two NPCs can join later. Combat and magic happen in real time, similarly to Dungeon Master. There is a variety of monsters to fight and spells to cast. The game features a point-and-click interface for fighting, spellcasting and handling objects.

Screenshots

Eye of the Beholder Amiga Main Menu
Eye of the Beholder Amiga Character generation screen.
Eye of the Beholder Amiga Character info
Eye of the Beholder PC-98 Title screen

Alternate Titles

  • "EOB" -- Abbreviated title
  • "アイ・オブ・ザ・ビホルダー" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

One of the first good dungeon crawling RPGs of the early DOS times DOS Optimus (80)
A decent AD&D dungeon crawl DOS pogalogen (14)
Awesome for the time, still a great game today. DOS Gothicgene (83)
Dungeon Hacking at it's best... DOS Chris Martin (1098)
A champion RPG for it's time. DOS Andrew Morgan (2)
A great game, but I liked its sequel much better. DOS Tomer Gabel (4394)
Any game with Larry Elmore's art on its cover is a good game. DOS OlSkool_Gamer (99)
Wow!!! DOS lomikin (4)

The Press Says

Computer and Video Games (CVG) DOS May, 1991 96 out of 100 96
Amiga Points of View Amiga Dec, 2003 92 out of 100 92
The One Amiga Jun, 1991 92 out of 100 92
Amiga Power Amiga May, 1991 88 out of 100 88
Amiga Action Amiga Jun, 1991 82 out of 100 82
GamePro (US) SEGA CD Aug, 1994 4 out of 5 80
Power Play DOS May, 1991 79 out of 100 79
Video Games & Computer Entertainment SEGA CD Oct, 1994 7 out of 10 70
Game Players SNES Aug, 1994 63 out of 100 63
JeuxVideoPC.com DOS Apr 21, 2006 10 out of 20 50

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Trivia

1001 Video Games

The PC version of Eye of the Beholder appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Boss

The final big boss, Xanathar is actually The Beholder, as he (is it he? or was it she? :-) says to you (when you get to the endgame for final confrontation) that all those traps you encountered, and minions you fought was just a play to watch, and that he was watching you all the way (that only gets him beholder title). Now, as you can notice, he looks like a big bowling eye, with many pipes that ends also with an eye (that gives him eye title). So, Eye of the Beholder would actually be himself.

As in this game he's the main bad guy, in Eye of the Beholder II, there are actually many creatures that are from his race, and are no such threat.

Cancelled Lynx port

This game was being ported to Atari's Lynx by NuFX, Inc., but development was halted. Prototypes have since been leaked to the internet.

Character portraits

A number of the portraits in Eye of the Beholder were Westwood employees. These include Paul Mudra (Music and Design), Phil Gorrow (Lead Programmer and Design), Joseph Hewitt (Lead Artist and Design), Mike Legg (Programmer and Design), Frank Saxxon (Artist), Aaron Powell (Artist) and Eydie Laramore (Lead Writer and Design).

Ending

Eye of the Beholder was praised for its stylish cinematic opening sequence, which dazzled players and set the stage of the game to follow. However, since the final game's size weighed in at 5 3.5" disks, SSI decided to cut the ending cinematic, figuring very few players would see it anyway, and it was not worth the extra cost of the sixth disk.

However, many players who did slog it out to the end of the game and were not amused when they were "rewarded" with a simple text message and unceremoniously dropped to DOS. SSI soon realized their mistake, but the damage could not be undone. Many players assumed the game simply never had an ending, never suspecting it existed but was not included.

The Amiga version was later released with the final endgame graphic.

Also, there was one bit of the ending that most players never saw. Players were able to do what the developer's called the "EoB Two-Step," side-stepping, turning and side-stepping again, they were able to fight many monsters including the boss with risk of taking much damage. It was possible, though time consuming, to use this technique to kill Xanathar. This is not the way the game's designers had in mind for his defeat though. The player were supposed to lure and push Xanathar into one of the spike traps where there was a small animated sequence (basically 4 frames) of him being impaled and dying.

Title

Eye of the Beholder is one of many games that shares its name with a song by the heavy metal band Metallica.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #2 Least Rewarding Ending of All Time
Information also contributed by Игги Друге, Martin Smith, and MAT

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by psychofish (855), Stillman (7515), Terok Nor (18320), Chris Martin (1098) and MAT (70372)