This game is based on the fantasy novels of Terry Pratchett. Reading some of the Discworld novels is recommended before you try to play the game. Not necessary, but recommended because it will give you some idea of what to expect.
You are Rincewind, a not very successful wizard of the Unseen University. The arch chancellor wants to see you and you are not going to like it. It seems that there is a dragon in the neighbourhood and you are the wizard's representative to remove the beast. Your first goal is to create a dragon detector and if you manage to do that, you've only just started on your quest.
The game is in 4 acts and you must accomplish certain goals to finish each act. Usually the goal is quite easy to determine, you are told the final goal. How to get there...that is the problem. This game has some of the most complex puzzles ever put into a graphic adventure game.
The main voices are by Eric Idle (Rincewind), Tony Robinson (many of them), Jon Pertwee (many of them) and the occasional other voice. The characters are entertaining and very well played, as one would expect from such talent. You may well get tired of hearing certain key phrases, but this seems to be the inevitable result of hitting a mental dead-end in most adventure games.
When stuck, try talking again to every character, try using every item in your inventory with other items there along with using them with the characters. You also need to be very observant, there may be a reason for something happening that isn't apparent at the time (I missed the significance of an early scene).
Be careful. There are a few locations which are of the 'hunt-the-pixel' type. Easy to get stuck if you can't find them. However, though Death himself is taking an interest in you, you cannot die in the game. You can get fairly embarrassed, and beat up, but not die.
For a laugh, do be sure to periodically use the cursor on Rincewind. He has a number of things to say when you 'tap' him with the cursor, most of them are interesting to say the least.
There are a number of characters in the game, and you'll need to talk with all of them. Conversations are icon-based. You can select a basic mood (sarcasm, anger, etc.) and Rincewind will then make his comment. Sometimes there will be additional icons available about specific things (monkeys (oops), dragons, and other items). The conversations tend to be very silly (the beggar has some truly horrendous puns) so are worth doing at least once.
As far as I can remember, there is no penalty if you choose the 'wrong' icon for your talk. In other words, characters aren't going to remember you said xxx to them early and so won't hold back information. So have fun and talk to every character about everything.
It won't hurt to periodically check and see if anyone has something new to tell you. I believe it was fairly rare though, so you need not spend a lot of time going over old ground.
I feel that it would have been improved if there were a few more hints scattered around about what you should be doing. There are not many, and I found it necessary to regularly use a hint file (and occasionally the complete walk-through.)
I have one of the older, buggy, CDROMs. I understand that the newer releases don't have nearly the number of problems, and most of the problems were minor. They were annoying though.
This is a very funny game. It is also quite hard. Sometimes, it is because the actions required are so weird, at other times, it is that you've missed a location (I missed two locations at different times.) I recommend it highly for advanced gamers and fans of Terry Pratchett must have this game. You may want to pick-up a walkthrough before you get too frustrated.
If you played and enjoyed this game, Discworld 2 is now out. The second game is not nearly as difficult to solve as the first, but it is just as funny. Eric Idle once again does the voice of Rincewind, Nigel Planer does some of the other voices this time. Improved graphics and stereo sound effects, but early releases need a patch.
Jon Pertwee (former Doctor Who and voice of the Alchemist amongst other characters) is dead (May 1996). I was quite sad to hear about it.
Just as well that one isn't horribly likely to meet the people who do the voices. Even though it has been months since I completed this game, I still would react strongly to "That doesn't work," as said by Rincewind.