The SSI Gold Box games were a fondly remembered series of computer [=RPGs=] produced by SSI, based on the DungeonsAndDragons license. They were not the first D&D licensed games, but they were the first to appear in the 16 bit era, when home computers got sophisticated enough to implement substantial chunks of the game system. Their name comes from the distinctive gold-colored cardboard box that most of them came in.

The games were based on variations of the same engine and took place in a first person dungeon/city (with some games having an overworld map). Battles were turn-based and happened on a square grid.

The games were collected at various times, the most recent being the ForgottenRealms Archives in 1997, which includes the five Pool of Radiance games and the two main Savage Frontier games, along with other ForgottenRealms-based games. Playing them on modern computers generally requires {{Dosbox}} or other emulation software.

Games in the series include:

* Pool of Radiance series:
** ''PoolOfRadiance'' (the original version) (1988)
** ''Hillsfar'' (a spinoff used to boost character stats)
** ''Curse of the Azure Bonds'' (1989)
** ''Secret of the Silver Blades'' (1990)
** ''Pools of Darkness'' (1991)

* Savage Frontier series:
** ''Gateway to the Savage Frontier'' (1991)
** ''Treasures of the Savage Frontier'' (1992)
** ''Neverwinter Nights'' (the original version, not [[NeverwinterNights that one]]) (1991)

* {{Dragonlance}} series:
** ''Champions of Krynn'' (1990)
** ''Death Knights of Krynn'' (1991)
** ''The Dark Queen of Krynn'' (1992)

* ''{{Spelljammer}}: Pirates of Realmspace'' (1992)

* BuckRogers series: (Lorraine Williams, owner of {{TSR}} at the time, inherited the rights to Buck Rogers, leading to a lot of promotion of Buck Rogers-based TSR products)
** ''Countdown to Doomsday'' (1990)
** ''Matrix Cubed'' (1992)

* And ''VideoGame/UnlimitedAdventures'' (1993), which is a GameMaker to create games in this style.

-----
!!Tropes in these games include:

%comment% The [==] prevents the slashes from being misinterpreted by the parser.
* AnEconomyIsYou: The only visible stores sell weapons and armor, and temples, inns, and training halls are the other buildings you can go into. Averted in ''Death Knights of Krynn', where shops sell candles, apples, and shoes (which have no game effect.)
* ArmorAndMagicDontMix: As per 1st-ed D&D rules.
* ArtificialStupidity
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: The final bosses in each game tend to be the hardest fought encounters and for good reason, usually having AC well into the negatives and having strong weapons.
* BagOfSpilling: Justified in ''Curse of the Azure Bonds'' by the villains ambushing and stealing your equipment, and then in ''Secret of the Silver Blades'', the villagers summon you, but forget to summon your equipment.
** Zigzagged in Treasures of the Savage Frontier. Turns out you just have to put on the gear you got from the last game.
** Averted in ''Pools of Darkness''; characters imported from ''Secret of the Silver Blades'' will have all of their money and will likely still be wearing all of their equipment; only a few items from the previous game will not carry over.
* BodySurf: [[spoiler:Tyranthraxus twice. Once to a bronze dragon, the next time to a storm giant.]]
* BonusDungeon: The Shrine of the Dark Queen in ''Death Knights of Krynn''; and "Dave's Maze" in ''Pools of Darkness''. Ye gods, Dave's Maze.
* CharacterLevel
* ClassChangeLevelReset: As per 1st-ed D&D rules. But you do keep your hitpoints.
* CopyProtection - not only required you to state a word on the codewheel, but also to translate in-game texts. It also involved looking entries in a [[AllThereInTheManual journal]] that contains {{RedHerring}}s if you try reading it without playing the game.
* CutAndPasteEnvironments: Extensively present in ''Secret of the Silver Blades''. Also present in ''Curse of the Azure Bonds'' in the optional extra dungeons.
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: At the end of Dark Queen of Krynn, you go through the Abyss, free Raistlin from his chains and soon come upon Takhisis planning to cross over into the Material Plane. The most you can do to stop her from getting to the portal was throw a fireball at her which may as well have tickled, but it keeps her from crossing over.
* DragonTheirFeet: If you kill Dracandros but didn't defeat the Dracolich, he will attack you soon after leaving the village.
* ExtendedGameplay
* FauxFirstPerson3D
* GladiatorSubquest: In ''Gateway to the Savage Frontier'', and optionally in ''Curse of the Azure Bonds''.
* GoodBadBugs: A character that was under the influence of a spell that raised his or her Strength when ''Curse of the Azure Bonds'' wrapped up was treated as if that spell were permanent going into ''Secret of the Silver Blades''. In a melee-heavy group this could trivialize many encounters.
* GuideDangIt: Especially when obscure D&D game rules were involved, like the formula for controlling a Sphere of Annihilation or the fact that you need to take 30 days to use a stat-raising Manual.
** Which led to some GoodBadBugs - for example, in the 1e D&D rules only clerics or magic-users could control a [[NegativeSpaceWedgie Sphere of Annihilation]]. If you choose to use a different class in the part of the game where you challenge an enemy wizard to control a sphere, [[LogicBomb the computer won't know how to handle it]] and continually pushes the sphere against the wizard, much to his sorrow.
* ImprobablePowerDiscrepancy: Most obvious in the Buck Rogers games, where enemies have more hitpoints during the second game for no clear reason--the Mercurians go from strongest to weakest in the sequel, whereas the reverse happens for the pirates.
* InterfaceSpoiler: Open gaps in walls on a battlefield correspond to doorways in the FauxFirstPerson3D view. Seeing a gap in combat where a visible wall was present in exploration mode means that the wall is a secret door.
* ItsUpToYou
* LevelScaling: Many of the random encounters in Pool of Radiance contain more enemies for higher level parties.
* LightIsNotGood: [[spoiler: The Pool of Radiance was thought by most denizens of the Phlan and Dragonspire area--including one very luckless bronze dragon--to be a font of noble wisdom. Turns out it's really nothing more than [[SealedEvilInACan Tyranthraxus's prison]]--the light is actually from his nimbus of fire. And he's managed to circumvent the prison problem by ''dragging the prison'' with his current host.]]
* MassMonsterSlaughterSidequest: 'Clearing the block' in Pool of Radiance, particularly near the beginning.
* MissionPackSequel
* NewGamePlus: Not officially, but some games allowed you to pull party members from a late-to-end-game save and start a new adventure with them, complete with their existing levels and equipment they were holding. Any shared items, such as the bank accounts in the Buck Rogers games, would not transfer, however.
* NintendoHard: A few optional battles that can usually be avoided (the Kernen gate battle in ''Champions of Krynn''), and the aforementioned Shrine of the Dark Queen and Dave's Maze.
* OldSaveBonus: Advancing your character through the various Pool of Radiance games, for instance.
* OnlyMostlyDead
* OutsideTheBoxTactic: You can stop trolls from regenerating by standing on the squares they were on after they are killed.
* RequiredPartyMember: This was humorously subverted with Skyla in the town of Jelek in ''Champions of Krynn', where he would keep you from resting, join the party again if dropped, and disappear before a fight started. He betrays you, and you finally get to kill him later in the game.
* RolePlayingGame
* RomanceSidequest: True to some extent with Siulajia/Jabarkas in ''Treasures of the Savage Frontier''.
* ShoutOut: Traveling between overworld areas in ''Curse of the Azure Bonds'' would have your characters randomly come across an old man in front of a bridge across a deep chasm who asked three questions; failing the third question (which involved the game's [[CopyProtection code wheel]]) would end the game with the message [[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail "An unseen force hurls you into the abyss!"]].
* SoLongAndThanksForAllTheGear: A rather instantaneous version: temporary NPCs who join the party can be given items, but items in their inventory cannot be given to anyone else. Any equipment given to them ''cannot'' be recovered. ''Secret of the Silver Blades'' offers a (likely unintended) exception: Vala's equipment can be "deposited" in the city vault and retrieved by a player-controlled character.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: Averted in more free-form games like ''Pool of Radiance'', more played straight in more railroad-ish games like ''Champions of Krynn''.
* SummonBiggerFish: At the end of Gateway to the Savage Frontier, the heroes use the Macguffins to defeat the Zhentarim and their allies by making a variety of creatures pretty much slaughter the evil armies.
* StandardStatusEffects: Some variants--poison kills you outright instead of regularly losing HP, but you can still get paralyzed, charmed, or blinded.
* StarterEquipment: In the later games. Pools of Darkness would actually equip newly created characters with +2 weaponry.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: In ''Curse of the Azure Bonds'' the character screen for the NPC Alias, a visibly adult human, claims her to be two years old. This is not explained in-game (and so some players might assume it to be a developer error), but it is actually based on her ForgottenRealms backstory.
* WretchedHive: Phlan starts out like this at the start of Pools of Radiance, but after clearing it out block by block, as well as dealing with all sorts of monsters and villains throughout the series does the city well and finally get some much needed peace.
** WorldHalfFull

<<|WesternRPG|>>