Posted September 3, 2014 by Peter in Announcements

Seven Dragon Saga – return of the RPG gold (box) standard?

Seven Dragon Saga logo
Seven Dragon Saga logo

Seven Dragon Saga may sound like any other forthcoming RPG announcement – promises of a great combat system, important choices, an original world and the like, things we hear regularly. Except… when it is being developed by former SSI staff, whose record include some of the truly great RPGs of the 80s, I will admit to being more excited by this announcement than most.

When Strategic Simulations Incorporated (SSI) was founded in 1979, the aim was to produce some in-depth strategy games. Three decades ago they branched into RPGs, bringing some of that complexity and strategy to classics like Wizard’s Crown, the Phantasie series, and most notably the AD&D games (commonly known as the Gold Box series)… Pools of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Champions of Krynn, as well as Eye of the Beholder… these are just some of the names that should bring a tear of nostalgia to an old gamer’s eye.

Now several former SSI staff members are looking to relive the strategy of turn-based combat with this new title, being developed as a new company under the name of Tactical Simulations Interactive (TSI).

Seven Dragon Saga claims to avoid regular RPG tropes with characters being relatively powerful right from creation – “This is not a tale of farmers or aspiring novices learning how to swing a sword; Seven Dragon Saga is a tale about the use of power,” the release says.

This will hopefully mean the promised strategy of turn-based combat will feel substantial from the outset – and given the development legacy being emphasised here, there is hope of that combat being both accessible and complex.

Sadly there are no screenshots available yet, although the game is being developed using the Unity3D engine – the same engine as Wasteland 2 and Shadowrun Returns. Indeed, a lot of the interest is based on its promise – and it’s a big promise to live up to.

The Gold Box series of games – mentioned as a comparative goal, with Seven Dragon Saga seeking to provide a “meaningful player experience” in the same manner – were some of the most in-depth titles of their time. And on a personal level, in more than 30 decades of gaming the first Gold Box title – Pools of Radiance – still stands out as one of the best paced RPGs in terms of narrative, depth and challenge… and possibly just one of the best RPGs, ever.

It’s a big legacy to live up to. This is a title we’ll be keeping an eye on.

Seven Dragon Saga is due for release on PC, Mac and Linux; no release date is yet announced.


Peter can be described as an old, hairy gamer, a survivor of the console wars of the 1990s, and a part-time MMO addict. He has an especial fondness for retro gaming and observing the progressions in long running gaming series. When scandalously not caught gaming, he can also be found reading comics and fantasy fiction, or practising terrible photography.