Curse of the Azure Bonds Cheats

Here is a list of the cheats I’ve found so far in Curse of the Azure Bonds.

Adding STING to the command line (first parameter) will:

  • Skip the Title screen
  • Allow toggling debug mode, press CTRL+D. Output is put in the DEBUG.txt file. While in debug mode:
    • Each executed Byte Code is logged to the debug file
    • Press CTRL+Z to dump the affects that each party member has
    • Press CTRL+C to exit the game straight away

Adding Wooden to the command line (second parameter) will allow you to:

  • Display the area map in all areas
  • Skip the copy protection, so you don’t need the code wheel, not that it matters as most abandon ware sites have the cracked version.
  • Turn on “Free Training” when in a trainer, press J. This means:
    • You don’t pay the 1000 gold pieces
    • You don’t need to have the required EXP to train
    • Your character doesn’t need to be conscious
    • Training centers will train all classes
    • You will be given the required EXP to be the level you have just trained for
  • Pressing Alt-x or ‘-‘ (minus) in combat will cause “The Gods intervene!” and kill all enemies

Thus you would type “start.exe STING Wooden” at the DOS prompt.

I hope this helps someone may be stuck in the game.

Edit: Here’s a video showing these cheats in action.

55 thoughts on “Curse of the Azure Bonds Cheats”

  1. Nice cheats there. That skipping of the title screen and the alt-x trick really works very well especially on those really tough encounters where you have to reload a lot of times. Anyway, I was wondering how are you able to find these codes?

    I’m starting on the 3rd installment now (Secret of the Silver Blades) and apparently they’ve changed the command line paremeters. Any idea what are they now? (also for other SSI Gold Box games)


  2. How do you decompile the start.exe back to readable assembly format? I’m a programmer myself and always curious how that is possible.

    I’m replaying the whole Gold Box series at the moment and these cheats will be very useful in the upcoming tougher combats found in Pools of Darkness and Dark Queen of Krynn (which I never finished last time). It’s quite surprising these command line parameters cannot be found on Google at all (except this page of yours).

  3. Hi Shen,

    The class of tool you would use are disassemblers, IDA Pro was the (commercial) tool that I used. I have a write-up of the process here

  4. Seems pretty complicated. I guess I’ll just have to download an evaluation version of IDA Pro and see. What’s this debug.exe you mentioned in that article… Was that part of IDA Pro?

    Anyway if you find out the command line parameters for the other SSI Gold Box games, please let me know… Thanks!

    Have… To… Get… That… Alt-X… Working…

  5. Windows\system32\debug.exe, it’s the DOS debug program.

    Presently I have no plan to work on other games in the series.

  6. The keyboard codes and parameters where found by decompiling the .exe back into assembly, and then making sense of what was happing.

    This is part of my bigger, re-make of the game. Which is really just a “how they do that” for my favourite games (the Gold Box) of all time.

  7. This is a fantastic cheat, and reading this motivated me to go and solve Curse of the Azure bonds (…again…). Using alt-x to blast through random encounters lets me get to the interesting battles. (Mulmaster Beholder Corps., Tyranthraxus, et cetera).

  8. I’m really frustrated trying to win that big battle with mulmaster beholder corps and I just can’t get those cheats working. Pressing alt+x does absolutely nothing and same with that training cheat… I must be doing something wrong.

  9. Hello Mikko, I have just re-tested this in my dos version, the training works correctly, as long as you have “STING” and “Wooden” as the two parameters passed to start.exe. Then in the training menu press ‘j’ to turn it on/off.

    The God Intervene is actually, the above parameters, and pressing the ‘-‘ (minus) key in combat. Will fix the notes above.

  10. I have version 1.3 and I still can’t get it to work. I start the game with start.exe -STING -Wooden and nothing happens… Thank you for efforts with this game, I started playing coab with commodore 64 and it’s still the best game I have ever played (haven’t tried other SSI games though). Ultima IV is only one that comes even close.

  11. Ah, there’s the problem, remove the minus before each word, it should look like “start.exe STING Wooden”

  12. Oh, and it should be start STING Wooden without (-) in front of the parameters… Now it’s working perfectly.

    [Simeon:] You welcome!

  13. Quick question… slightly different problem than a cheat. How do I get the command to disable “Quick” (computer control) in combat?

  14. This is an awesome cheat! Especially as I’m trying to figure out some of the more intricate game mechanics (dual classing with mages, thief backstab damage relation to level, etc.) and it’ll save a lot of time testing them out.

    Out of curiosity, have you noticed that using Windows to directly play (instead of Dosbox or other emulators), if you’re lucky enough to get it to work, there’s some sort of menu overflow that happens on occasion (it doesn’t scroll back to the top but keeps moving down the choices). Most interestingly, it’ll overflow when you create your characters, thus allowing you to choose classes beyond the normal options, such as gnome cleric/ranger, dwarf fighter/mage/thief, etc. They don’t have the level restrictions for classes that the race normally don’t support, so you can play to max levels for those combos.

  15. I am unable to use curse of the azure bonds in regular dos format, I need to use VDMsound otherwise the game refuses to save or load. As there isnt a file called start.exe STING Wooden I cant use these parameters with VDM. Any ideas?

    I’d love to actually solve this game once and for all.

  16. I’ll assume your talking about running the original game, for this I recommend DOSBox on any platform, as it’s fantastic and the game runs at the correct speed, and can run in a window vs. full-screen.

    Then just use the in-game settings of VGA and PC Speaker.

    I’ve read the Tandy had better sound, but I’ve not tested this out in DOSBox to see if it supports it or if the sound is better.

  17. By the way, if you’re using Dosbox, and you’re getting a “unexpected error during save: 3” when you try to create characters or load a game, you’ll need to either change how you’re mounting the drive (in Dosbox) or change the CURSE.CFG file. For example, say you’re putting Curse in the directory c:\games\curse\, so the saved games are in c:\games\curse\save\. You can either mount the entire c: in Dosbox, or (the way I do it) mount c:\games\curse, and manually change the third line of CURSE.CFG to be “C:\SAVE\” (without the quotes), since your root drive (c:) is effectively c:\games\curse when mounted that way.

    This little tidbit alone made me unable to play the game for many years until recently, because I had always thought that the error was due to some Windows thing or something.

  18. I loved this game as a kid and was so psyched to find it and play it again, but I just made my first character and the game asks me if i have a save disk in drive “squiggly symbol”. It won’t let me save the character. i tried putting a blank cd-r in the drive and it didn’t change anything. I think I might have to do something like Vanshalar above me mentions, but I am not a programmer and have only the faintest clue as to how to do what they suggest. can you help me simeon? i bet it’s simple, huh. omg i wanna play this!

  19. Sorry if i sound like a fool. I am writing this reply so i can check the email notification box this time.

  20. I was trying to play the original via dosbox and having trouble. then after some more googling I found your port and that seems to be working fine. i suppose i would exit to dos if i wanted to use the cheat codes?

  21. i have been playing your port version 1.0.19 and it keeps crashing on me while in battles in the theives guild in tilverton.

  22. In the DOS version, the configuration is written to a file called pool.cfg, if you delete this file, then run the game, it will ask where you want to save, which should fixed the saving problem.

    My ports supports all the normal cheats plus more, just right click on the game window and turn them on. They will stay enabled until you upgrade to a newer version of the port.

  23. Hmmm, that doesn’t completely surprise me, as I rewrote large chunks of code in build 18. If you can flick me your save game, that would be the fastest way to test/resolve the issue, otherwise, I’ll give that area a play though tonight.

  24. This port is great. It does sometimes crash in the middle of a battle if I try something it doesn’t like, like manually aiming off the grid, or accidentally pressing esc or something, or sometimes for reasons I can’t tell, but I’ve never been unable to get past anywhere.

    I do have one more question though. I dual classed a fighter to a magic user, who is now 4th lvl, but every time they go up a lvl they are presented with the same 4 spell options to learn. i cannot memorize any 2nd or 3rd lvl spells. Do I have to scribe them into the spellbook? all of the spells on scrolls I have found so far are 4th or 5th level spells. (except for one 1st lvl which i think i was able to scribe but I may have already had it I can’t remember) none of the magic users i have made have been able to scribe these spells even being 6th lvl. I looked through the rulebook and can’t find anything that says you have to be a certain lvl above a spell to scribe it. Is it a bug? am I just stupid?

  25. Thanks for the combat related crash tips, will try these out…

    As to the spell learning problem, I’ll test the behaviour of the DOS game. But I thought you could only scribe spells of your level or less (this is first edition AD&D), but if your the level of the spell you should be good, as long as you have not already exceed you spell learning limit (based on Intelligance), but I’ll check the behaviour of this code also.

  26. I seem to be able to scribe spells that are 4 levels below my current one. but when i go up a level, it asks me what spell I want to learn and only gives me spells I already have as options.
    couple more things i’ve found;

    foes killed with fireball or other magic spells don’t show up as crossbones icons and disappear from the field. they are invisible until you walk past or into them. if they are directly in your path, you will attack them and then they will show crossbones and disappear. If you go past them, dead and dying foes will attack you as if they were alive and sometimes hit. they can be taken off the board with non-magical missiles too.

    I cannot alter the order of my party.

    I’ve tried taking screen captures of stuff, but i don’t know where they get saved. oh well.

  27. manually change the third line of CURSE.CFG to be “C:\SAVE\” (without the quotes), since your root drive (c:) is effectively c:\games\curse when mounted that way.
    what do u mean by that im having the same problem.

  28. John, they are accessed from the right-click context menu, verse having to add command line options, this allows setting a cheat, and then for it to remain turned on until you turn t off.

    If your going to cheat, (to make the game easy) I might as well make it easy to the cheating to work also.

  29. i seem to remember a cheat back when i played this when it first released, that involved duping items. but it being several years ago lol, i dont remember all of whats needed… just that it involved dropping chars and adding them back, while saving at certian points and not others…

    i know you do a similar trick in Silver blades with the bank, since the bank is a seperate save file from your game lol.

  30. It’s a pretty easy cheat to find. A bit of a pain to do though. I’ll save you the effort of using google and just paste it here:
    Curse of the Azure Bonds Duplicate a character’s inventory items
    Remove a character from the party and save the game.
    Reassign the character to the party, transferring all of the items to be duplicated into his or her possession.
    Remove the character again.
    Load the saved game and reassign the character to the party. The newest member will now possess the same items in his or her inventory as the character that originally provided them for duplication.

  31. The cheats above listed are cheats the game it’s self supported, for testing purposes I assume.

    As with any game of this age, editing files, or coping files was uncontrolled.

    Jake notes how to-do the duplicate gear from within the game, where-as I just copied the player files, transferred the wanted equipment, then just overwrote the player files, so the player was restored.

    I also edited the files so the stats were all 25, gave them lots of money and exp.

  32. Newest bug I’ve found; game quits whenever I try to cast “find trap” from a game menu. not as a spell. this has happened twice so far, first at the altar in the temple of bane in zhentil keep, 2nd time searching the dead elf’s remains int he cave of the beholder.

  33. Simeon I finished the game without cheating using your version was pretty sick well done with your version man.

  34. Fast forward 2 years later, I’m still looking for the cheat codes for the other games hehe. I remember being able to ‘decipher’ the cheat parameters for Secrets of the Silver Blades, & Champions of Krynn, but for Pool of Darkness they changed the engine completely. :(

    I can’t remember exactly what are the cheat parameters for the two former games I mentioned, but for those who wants to know, I do remember just opening the .exe file up using a hex editor and being able to see it.

    So… Anyone knows how to cheat in Pools of Darkness? It’s one tough game to beat without cheats.

  35. Prolly a silly question… Im playing the dos version of this game. The actual 5 1/4 inch disks on an old 386 computer. Will these cheats still work? When I go to play, do I just type:

    start.exe STING Wooden

    at my Dos screen?


  36. I can not get it to. Are there spaces in between the words STING and wooden? Do i have to hit something once inside to turn this on? I am typing:


    No Spaces.

    Please help!

  37. Wow. All I can really say is THANK YOU. Thank you for helping me. It works great. WOW. You’re a good man. Does this work for all Gold Box games? Thank you SO much for getting back to me so quickly. All I can say is WOW.

  38. Also, do you know where a comprehensive Weapon list for the game can be found?

    What does FROST or FLAME Long Swords do?
    Just hit higher against certain creatures?


  39. There isn’t a list as far as I know. I have as part of my port created a item’s library to collect all items, thus later I’ll be able to add them to players, and also understand them.

    Extra damage, from memory.

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