After clearing Podol Plaza, I tried to get into Mendor’s Library again, only to not be able to get in due to failing my open lock and break down door checks. So, to grind up further, I decided to go take care of clearing Podol Plaza, and dealing with some of the remaining fixed encounters there and in Kuto’s Well, to grind some additional XP. While I’m doing this, I thought I’d talk a little bit about how I’m playing this game.

To be specific, I’m not just playing in DOSBox, as the game is distributed by GOG. Instead, I’m using an assist program called “Gold Box Companion” to help play the game.

gold box companion
This is the interface of Gold Box Companion

Gold Box Companion basically introduces a whole bunch of really useful quality of life improvements to the Gold Box games. First off, it provides what is basically an auto-map on the right-hand side of the screen, which remembers your progress and allows you to annotate the map to indicate things you’ve discovered. Second, it provides an experience progress bar to help you know how close you are to leveling up, along with your current HP and ongoing status effects.

This software allows a degree of cheating – healing your characters on the fly and replenishing your magic without having to rest – both in and out of combat. I don’t edit my spell loadout or HP in combat, but I do use that out of combat, to save time when it comes to the couple minutes it takes to rest and heal up your party.

In combat, the software also lets you tell at a glance how much HP your characters and enemy characters have, which is something you could do in game anyway, though there you had to move your cursor over an enemy to tell its current status and HP total – so, again, this serves as a quality of life improvement.

Next time – once I’ve done some additional grinding, we’ll see if I’m going to Cadorna’s Textile House or to Mendor’s Library.