The Legend of Kyrandia: Fables and Fiends
|The Legend of Kyrandia|
|Director(s)||Brett W. Sperry|
Paul S. Mudra
|Platform(s)||Amiga, DOS, FM Towns, Mac, PC-98|
|Release||August 1, 1992 (DOS)|
October 1993 (FM Towns)
February 15, 1994 (PC-98)
The Legend of Kyrandia: Book One - Fables and Fiends is the first video game in the The Legend of Kyrandia series. It takes place in the fantasy land of Kyrandia, where the player assumes the role of the young hero Brandon. Played in a 2D format from a third-person perspective, it uses a point-and-click interface to guide said character throughout the game's world; solving puzzles and quests, while interacting with the in-game characters and environment.
In the fantasy kingdom of Kyrandia, King William and his wife, Queen Katherine, have been murdered by the evil court jester Malcolm, a madman who possesses vast magical powers. Brandon, the prince, has been hidden in the forest by his grandfather (Queen Katherine's father) Kallak, who is also chief of the Mystics.
Malcolm has fun destroying trees of the country, and faces Kallak, turning him into stone. Brandon, oblivious of his past, soon discovers the truth about his origins. He finds out that Malcolm has stolen the Kyragem, a mystic stone that contains the kingdom's energy. Brandon has to recover the Kyragem and defeat Malcolm.
After many adventures, also including the king's chalice along the way (not to mention learning four different magical spells), Brandon heads to the king's castle, which Malcolm now occupies. Here he finds most of his former friends and allies turned to stone by Malcolm as well as a magical sceptre and king's crown. Putting these together he unlocks the way to Malcolm's personal chamber, where the Kyragem lies. He confronts Malcolm and heads into the Kyragem chamber. After becoming invisible (one of his magic powers) he walks up to a giant mirror, where Malcolm casts a magic orb, which bounces off the mirror, turning Malcolm to stone. Brandon becomes King, his friends are freed, and the Kyragem is returned to its proper place.
The Legend of Kyrandia is known for its simple interface. Though vaguely reminiscent of point-and-click adventure games of the period, the primary detail that distinguished the game was the use of a single "use" action, as opposed to multi-action interfaces. It is notable for the variety of allowed physical actions you could subject the items to, especially the great freedom of dropping and picking up objects, which was used for some of the puzzles. In general, the puzzles in the game are based on experimenting with inventory items, combining them or depositing them in the correct places.
According to designer Rick Gush, Fables and Fiends was commercially successful. He noted that it was "a solid A-minus or B-plus" title that helped to secure Westwood's "new relationship with Virgin". Its later bundle SKU with its sequels, Hand of Fate and Malcolm's Revenge, continued this success with "tens of thousands of copies [added] to the sales totals in the first few months". The Legend of Kyrandia series as a whole, including Fables and Fiends, totaled above 250,000 units in sales by August 1996.
In 1992, Computer Gaming World's Robin Matthews described The Legend of Kyrandia "as a cross between Loom, King's Quest V and Secret of Monkey Island 2", praising the "beautifully drawn" VGA graphics and humor. The magazine concluded that the "storyline is hardly original ... but the presentation of the game, the general quality and the feel, make this a promising debut and a welcome addition to the world of graphic adventures". In April 1994 the magazine said that the CD version "is a quality product throughout" that added digitized voices to the "excellent, if somewhat short" game's "Stunning graphics and sound", and advised Westwood to "just release the CD version of their titles first". The first installment in the series received 5/5 in Dragon magazine.
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