You are Taran, an assistant pig keeper, undertaking a quest to stop the evil Horned King, who sought for Hen Wen, the magical pig of the wizard Dallben, for her visionary abilities. With these abilities, the King would be able to discover the Black Cauldron and rule the land.
Taran's first mission is to lead her to the Fair Folk while the King's dragons are looking for them. Should the pig be captured (the game allows either possibility), Taran can go to the King's castle and rescue her. Once inside, Taran will meet and rescue Eilonwy with her magic bauble and Fflewddur Fflam, as well as discover a Magic Sword. The Cauldron is in possession of three witches of Morva who will trade it for the Sword. Unfortunately a dragon grasps the cauldron and Taran goes back to encounter the evil man himself.
The story echoes the movie, but anywhere you could do something different from the action in the movie, you received more points for doing so. The game also featured multiple endings depending on many variables, such as whether Hen Wen the pig was saved, how the cauldron was destroyed and what reward was chosen afterwards.
The Black Cauldron was originally written in 1965 by Lloyd Alexander, as the second book of his five-part fantasy novel series "The Chronicles of Prydain". In 1985 Disney turned it into an animated movie with a simplified storyline. "The Black Cauldron" was the last of the pre-Michael Eisner Disney animated feature-length movies. Disney had no software developers back then and had seen Al Lowe's very early game, Troll's Tale. They asked him to do a movie spin-off using a simplified interface in order to make it more accessible for children. Instead of using a text parser, the character is controlled with 4 function keys: to select, use, do or look. They gave Al Lowe complete access to the original hand-painted backgrounds, the original Elmer Bernstein score, even the original animation cells, which were still literally lying in heaps, before being sent off to the dump! (Eisner fixed that tradition quickly!).
The Black Cauldron used Sierra's AGI engine and EGA.