Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance is based on R. A. Salvatore’s Icewind Dale Trilogy, and it features Drizzt’s greatest companion: Guenhwyvar.
By Theo Kogod
Published 2 days ago
The new Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance video game allows players to control four classic fan-favorite characters, including the drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden. This action-RPG is set in the Forgotten Realms and is directly inspired by the best-selling Icewind Dale Trilogy of novels by author R. A. Salvatore.
Along with Drizzt, the other playable characters are the dwarven Fighter Bruenor Battlehammer, the human Ranger Catti-brie, and the human Barbarian Wulfgar. Each comes with their own unique play style and abilities.?Interestingly,?Dark Alliance also includes another of Drizzt’s companions, the one he depends?on the most –?the black panther Guenhwyvar
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D&D?has remained the gold standard of high-fantasy tabletop roleplaying games for nearly?50 years. One reason for this is the game’s fantastic lore, which allows players to explore worlds filled with powerful magic, ancient ruins and some familiar recurring characters. It has been adapted into some beloved video games, including?Baldur’s Gate?and Neverwinter Nights.
Likewise, novels like?the Icewind Dale Trilogy are?widely read, even by many people who have never played D&D. The author recently discussed his thoughts on adapting his book’s characters into?Dark Alliance’s?narrative,?saying “Video games are very different than novels but the storytelling is the main aspect that’s different, and I wanted the characters to really capture what I tried to capture in books.” This difference in mediums explains some of the narrative changes of?Dark Alliance.
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However, many of the changes from the source material feel unnecessary. In fact, the game eschews most of the plot and mostly just involves mindlessly hacking through throngs of enemies. This near-exclusive focus on combat has also resulted in the omission of one of the most important characters, the charismatic-but-cowardly halfling Rogue Regis. Thankfully, the same fate does not befall Guenhwyvar, Drizzt’s most steadfast companion.
While she is not a playable character, Drizzt can summon Guenhwyvar as his Ultimate attack, which is unlocked by performing a certain number?of combo attacks. This is an example of the game’s mechanics and narrative working together. In the novels, Guenhwyvar is actually from the astral plane, and Drizzt summons her into the material world with a small onyx statue that she has been bound to. The panther can slip between planes and has frequently saved the Drow Ranger and his companions from threats they could not otherwise survive. By having Drizzt summon Guenhwyvar to his aid, Dark Alliance captures the same dynamic that the two characters share in the books, which fans will be sure to appreciate.
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About The Author
(485 Articles Published)
Theo Kogod is a freelance writer, educator, researcher, and activist. He helped found the magazine 3 Feet Left as its Resident Writer while working as an English teacher in Japan. Since then, he’s written for various online publications, including CBR, Screen Rant, The Gamer, and The Comics Vault. His published fiction includes the prose superhero story “Typical Heroes” released by Diabolical Plots and the sci-fi story “Antediluvian” in the anthology A Flash of Silver-Green. He currently lives in North Carolina with his spouse, two adorable cats, and an ever-growing book-hoard.
You can find him on Twitter at @TKogod.
You can also watch his videos on YouTube under the name Theo Kogod, where he posts sporadically.
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