What an awesome old game! This was my first ever introduction to the D & D games on a 4 color VGA 286 IBM clone.
I used to spend hours upon hours in the Coliseum fighting the various opponents and trying to level up my various player characters. Key opponents included variations of Lizard men and Orcs. Many times there was only a different colored waist band to differentiate various opponents, and their individual skill sets.
I was too young to really get a feel for what was supposed to be going on, but to be able to go back and play it now is such a great opportunity!
Same goes for the SSI gold box collection.
I cut my teeth on The Secret of the Silver Blades!
As far as game play goes, there are numerous games aspects that deserve special attention. Many of the scenes that I remember involve various wild and crazy horse chases on the various roads between Hillsfar and the other points of interest on the world map. I also remember various target practice ranges through-out the game. I believe that their were spear throwing ranges, bow and arrow ranges and my personal favorite, the wizard class dart ranges.
SSI did a great job of taking the Red-plumed ruled Forgotten Relams City of Hillsfar and translating it into an easily accessible PC port, in which true D & D fans could wander an actual game based city and
experience game-play through a slightly different point of view. Rather than the typical first person view that was adopted for all most all of the other gold-box series games. Hillsfar was a typical side-scrolling faction arcade game that at times had more of a feel of golden axe or ghouls and ghosts than some of the other SSI hits. I believe that it is this "different" feel that has kept Hillsfar so dear to my heart after all of these years. In the true fashion of the D & D inspired games that kept fans coming back for more, it was games like Al-Quadim, and the Darkson games, including Wake of the Ravager, in combination with Hillsfar, that made these early games so interesting and enjoyable. For the First time, D & D could be played on a PC, rather than with pencil and paper!
Koudos to SSI for such a brilliant accomplishment! Cheers! And Enjoy!