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Eye of the Beholder

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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.


Eye of the Beholder DOS Resting
Eye of the Beholder DOS Starting out (EGA)
Eye of the Beholder DOS RATS (Rapid Access Teleport System) - nice name though
Eye of the Beholder Amiga After all statistics have been set, you select a portrait and enter your character's name.

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 (1112)
A champion RPG for it's time. DOS Andrew Morgan (2)
A great game, but I liked its sequel much better. DOS Tomer Gabel (4416)
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
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Amiga May, 1991 95 out of 100 95
Amiga Points of View Amiga Dec, 2003 92 out of 100 92
Nintendo Magazine System UK SNES Jul, 1994 90 out of 100 90
Amiga Joker Amiga Sep, 1991 87 out of 100 87
GamePro (US) SEGA CD Aug, 1994 4 out of 5 80
Power Play DOS May, 1991 79 out of 100 79
Total! (Germany) SNES Jul, 1994 2.25 out of 6 75
The Video Game Critic SEGA CD Aug 09, 2002 B 75
GamePro (US) SNES Aug, 1994 3 out of 5 60


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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.


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.

When the became successful, many players who slogged it out to the end of the game 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.


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


  • 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

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Contributed to by psychofish (858), Stillman (7518), Terok Nor (17840), Chris Martin (1112) and MAT (66286)