The Legend of Kyrandia: Book 1


Developer:   Westwood Studios

Publisher:   Virgin Interactive

Released:    1992

PC Requirements:   386/16, DOS 5.0/WIN3.1, 2 MB, CD-ROM, SoundBlaster compatible.




by syd

The Legend of Kyrandia: Book One
Westwood Studios
Date is around 1993 or 1994
3rd person point and click fantasy cartoon adventure

This is the first game in a trilogy. The second one is Kyrandia Book 2: Hand of Fate, the third one is Kyrandia Book 3: Malcolm's Revenge.

The best introduction I could come up with for this game is the history that is found in the manual and if you're like me, you rarely read the manual so this is a good opportunity to do so. And I quote:

The History of Kyrandia

Deep within the ancient forests, the enchanted world of Kyrandia has long been known as the most magical of the ancient Kingdoms. Many centuries before our story, King William the First created a covenant with the Natural kingdom. The residents of Kyrandia and the Natural world were made partners in a plan of mutual care and protection.

An enormous gem, now known as the Kyragem, emerged from the ground on the spot where King William stood. The gem was given to the people of Kyrandia by the Land as a symbol of this sacred alliance. It was the responsibility of the Royal family to ensure the safety of the Kyragem.

Before the Kyragem, magic only existed as unconnected fragments of a temporary nature. The Kyragem has concentrated the magic powers and produced stronger magic in Kyrandia than anywhere else in the kingdoms of man. The simple stone masons faced with the difficult task of building a vault to house the magical artifact developed the first uses of the Kyragem's powers.

Originally used as the source of magic for the protective covering about the gem itself, the powers were later also used during the construction of the wondrous Castle Kyrandia.

The descendants of these early craftsmen passed on knowledge of the magic to the following generations. Each generation added to the knowledge, and expanded the applications to various sites throughout Kyrandia.

Many years later, abuse of the magical powers became common and the magic was used daily for even simple tasks. As a result, Queen Thelia the Strict created the Order of Royal Mystics to organize and control all magic from the Kyragem.
Choosing from among those stone masons possessing knowledge of the various forms of magic, Queen Thelia established the four mystical disciplines of Alchemy, Spirituality, Scrolls, and Gem Lore.
The Royal Mystics celebrate their humble origins each year with the Festival of Mortar, which is believed to be the luckiest week of the year.

During the reign of King Bernard the Fourth, nearby nations became jealous of Kyrandia's prosperity and declared war. Several long years of brutal attacks almost ruined Kyrandia. Reluctant to use magic as an offensive weapon, King Bernard eventually employed the magic of the Kyragem to turn the invading armies against the evil of their own commanders. Thus began the friendly alliances that endure today with Kyrandia's neighboring lands.

Benjamin the Gardener, nephew of King Bernard, and first king of the modern lineage, spent his lengthy tenure occupied with the complete re-creation of the forests and natural wonders that had been so horribly destroyed by the invading armies during his childhood.

The Royal Mystics assisted Benjamin in his work, and installed many of the magical natural wonders that exist to this day. Many historians also credit Pantos, a tailor to the court of Kyrandia, with the invention of trousers during this period.

Recent history has not been kind to Kyrandia. The enlightened reign of King William the Generous ended tragically not long ago when Malcolm, a friend of the family and jester to the court, murdered both King and Queen, and seized the Kyragem. For a brief and terrifying moment, Kyrandia was at the mercy of Malcolm.

Fortunately, Kallak, chief of the Mystics and father of the slain queen, was able to create a magical seal that prevented Malcolm from leaving the castle. Fearing for the safety of his grandson, Kallak chose to leave the palace and raise young Brandon in a rural area beyond the Timbermist woods and far away from the castle now inhabited by the captive usurper Malcolm.

Orphaned as an infant, and sole heir to the throne of Kyrandia, Brandon has been kept ignorant of his royal status by his protective grandfather.

Despite its long and glorious history, all is not well in Kyrandia today. Denied further access to the Kyragem, the Royal Mystics are unable to replenish their magical stores. Reserves are scarce, and the Mystics have been forced to disassemble more protective enchantments every year in an effort to maintain power for the spell which restrains Malcolm.

Now grown to adulthood, Brandon will soon be drawn into the madness of Malcolm. Alone in his confinement, and unable to escape, Malcolm has carefully planned his revenge. He has worked against the bonds that hold him and plotted against all Kyrandia, as none would crown him king.

At this very moment the shackles which held Malcolm have failed! Malcolm has broken free, and his vengeful spite has already begun to destroy the land. Brandon is Kyrandia's only hope.

The game opens up with Malcolm turning your grandfather Kallak into a stone statue. But before he does so, Kallak writes a note to Brynn asking Brynn to help Brandon. Your task is to find Brynn and figure out how to turn your grandfather back into his flesh and blood self and somehow find Malcolm and get the Kryagem back.

The puzzles are all inventory based. There are also some spells you can cast but that's only after you find the magic amulet and activate the stones in it (each stone is a different spell). You also need to save because you can die in this game. And I hate to say it but there's a maze - and a nasty one at that, because in addition to it being a maze you need to keep replenishing your "light" source. If you've played the game you know what I'm talking about, if you haven't - you'll find out.

Inventory doesn't disappear after it's used and there are only 10 slots so you have to physically drop some items. Make sure if you do drop them you know where they are in case you need them again.

Because this is essentially a DOS game you have to set up your sound card. I had a devil of a time getting the digitized speech to work. I have a SB16 in my P133 and had to change the IRQ from 5 to 7 in the autoexec.bat file and then set up the sound in setup to use #2 (SoundBlaster) for music/sounds and #3 (SoundBlaster Pro) for digitized speech. Otherwise I would get screeching or the sound would lock up and I'd have to re-boot. You can play the game with no speech as there is a text option which I turned on anyway. I don't know whether you can get speech with the newer sound cards or not. You may have luck with a boot disk. I did play it originally with W95. I've loaded it in W98 and other than I haven't tinkered with getting the sound to work it runs just fine.

All in all it's quite a fun little game - I enjoyed it very much (other than that maze). The puzzles were not all that difficult and it had an enjoyable story. Plus it's rated from Ages 6+.

copyright 2002 GameBoomers

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