Saturday, January 4, 2014

"A Dungeons & Dragons Adventure" part 1, 1981.

Surprise! Today's ad has no bearing on video games at all, but is plainly pertinent to ads found in comic books, in the comic strip medium, and is very relevant to our newly-discovered theme of D&D's 40th anniversary ... I just couldn't resist scanning these when I came across them in my archival investigations, and filling in the blanks when I found that the suite of ads actually presented a continuous, albeit unfinished, narrative.
VALERIUS, the Fighter, GRIMSLADE, the magic user, and INDEL, the elf find a secret door in the ruins of ZENOPUS castle...

INDEL USES INFRAVISION TO PEEK DOWN THE SECRET PASSAGEWAY.

THE PASSAGE IS EMPTY...
V: SEE ANYTHING?
I: I'LL GO ON AHEAD. IT MAY BE A BOOBY TRAP...

THE ADVENTURERS PROCEED CAUTIOUSLY THROUGH NARROW, TWISTING CORRIDORS.
THEY COME TO A CORNER AND...

"LOOK! A SHADOW!"
(SQUISH! SLOSH!)
G: WHAT DO YOU HEAR, INDEL?
V: QUICK! A TORCH!

THEY HEAR SLOSHING NOISES, SMELL ROTTED VEGETATION; THEY SEE A SHAMBLING MOUND.

G: MAYBE A HOLD-MONSTER CHARM WILL SAVE US!
V: WE NEED A CHARM, QUICKLY!

G: ~~. .~ ~ ~ ~ ~..
I: WHEW!
ZAP!
THE LIGHT CAST BY THE WIZARD'S CHARM REVEALS A SHINY GREEN-COLORED SUBSTANCE ON THE CASTLE WALLS.

V: GREEN SLIME!
V: DON'T TOUCH IT! IT IS CERTAIN DEATH!
I: LOOK OUT! IT'S DRIPPING!

Apparently these are versions of characters and locations found in very early D&D reference materials. The artist of this first strip is, for the time being, unknown, though his interpretation of the "elf" racial class as a Keebler Elf of sorts has been a source of great amusement to later generations of wags. We'll be seeing more of these ads, but next: back to the video game ads!