Title: The Dark Queen of Krynn
Developer: MicroMagic, Inc.
Publisher: Strategic Simulations, Inc.
Date Published: May 6, 1992
This game has a lot in common with other gold box games, specifically the previous two in this series -- links are at the bottom. Like almost all CRPGs, a lot is missing from the system it is based on: 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Again, the story will be more palatable to veterans of the Dragonlance campaign setting or novels.
The interface is much prettier than the previous games -- or at least someone other than me might think so. Rather than the highly customizable avatars your party members had before, here there are a fairly lame selection of character icons.
There are a lot of groovy touches that set this game apart from its predecessors. There is a more compelling, unified storyline with NPCs that develop and earn the player's empathy, a very cool section early on where your party ends up underwater in a city of sea elves, more involved side-quests, an evil dictatorial government to topple, a castle made of lava, and even more good stuff.
That said, there is a dependence on mazes in this installment. No less than three areas (two of which are on side quests, two of which are HUGE) are large mazes where you cannot use the map feature. The one plot-centric area like this is one of the big ones, is right near the end, and always takes me faaaar too long to wander around to continue being fun. You may like this kind of stuff, but it seriously limits the game's replay value for me.
Quick, slightly fuzzy, plot run-through (minus many significant side-quests):
So your now-famous band is asked by Laurana to investigate strange happenings in Caergoth. In the city's (very small) ruins you meet some sailors, leave with them in pursuit of the dragons who razed the place. You follow the trail to the island of Taladas, but the ship is wrecked before you arrive. After saving the sea elves from the sahuagan and sea dragons, they deliver you to Taladas. Here you are confronted with the brutal minotaur civilization in the north and the evil human civilization in the south. To cut a very convoluted story short, Takhisis is trying to use the Graygem to bring her avatar back to Krynn. This is a Bad Thing, especially if you happen to be standing around nearby when it happens. Anyway, to this end she is manipulating various events on Taladas, which culminate in you travelling to the abyss. While there you meet a distinguished personage and confront the Dark Queen.
I was able to find this for download at http://gamebird.dk/ and http://www.classic-trash.com. Once again, I can dig around for my original disks if you're desperate.
Champions of Krynn - Death Knights of Krynn - The Dark Queen of Krynn