Title The Legend Of Kyrandia: Book 1 - Fables & Fiends Game Type Adventure Company Westwood Studios Inc. Players 1 Compatibility OCS/ECS (see below) HD Installable Yes Submission Cathy Macdonald Profiled Reviewer Review In the beginning, there was King William, the paternal ancestor of our hero, Brandon. He and his Kyrandian subjects, being really committed environmental types, made a pact of mutual protection with Mother Nature. This alliance was symbolised by the appearance of the powerful magic Kyragem. After many generations, and some ups and downs with the use and abuse of the Kyragem, it is stolen. The culprit is Malcolm, family friend and court jester, who also murders Brandon's parents. The orphaned Brandon's grandpa, Kallak a powerful Mystic, magically seals Malcolm in the Castle. He then looks after Brandon. When Brandon becomes a young man, Malcolm escapes, starts mutilating Nature, and does something unpleasant to Kallak. Brandon is left alone to defeat Malcolm. The only way to do so, is to reassemble the Kyragem and use it against him. This is the ultimate object of the game. "Kyrandia" possibly heralded the second generation point-&-click adventure. It advanced graphically and in depth of game-play, from such as the long-running "Kingdom" series, and introduced the humour and style which clearly inspired "Monkey" and "Simon". The intro animation sets the scene and reminds you of the basic storyline. This can be skipped if required. Given the limitations of 8-bit low-res graphics at the time, the backgrounds and characters are generally nicely done and varied. Some scenes, however, particularly Castle rooms, tend to look cluttered and a bit messy. Less detail would have worked better here. The character animation is repetitive, as to be expected, but generally smooth. If the music irritates, there is the option to turn it off. As expected from this older game, there are problems with AGA. But this is easily overcome with a simple "KillAGA" scipt. Then, apart from one slight glitch in the cursor, the game runs fine. Brandon starts out at his grandpa's cottage. The old chap has been turned into stone. The chief suspect is, of course, psycho Malco. The game starts out in the usual way for the genre, i.e. you find anything useful where you are, then set off to explore. There are relatively few people to meet in this game, compared with later graphic adventures. However, there are plenty of places to visit and items to find and use - if indeed they have a use. Some appear not to. The game is played 3rd person POV, clicking on-screen items/locations. "Kyrandia" has no options for conversations (as introduced with "Monkey"). The conversations are read as on-screen text, for which there is an option to speed up if required. As a lot of information is often provided in these (sometimes protracted) conversations, it can be useful to pause while you take notes. There is no mapping facility, so pausing and careful self-mapping is a must. There is plenty of wry in-humour (visual and 'spoken') as you wander about and interact. There is rather a lot of wandering about and many tasks can be rather involved/convoluted. Thankfully there are unlimited save slots. So, how was it to play? For the most part it is an amusing and absorbing game. One or two areas, e.g. the caverns, involve a bit of wandering, but the only real downside is that a couple of tasks are just hit-&-miss guesswork until you get it right. One or two events seem to have no purpose or logic behind them at all. As such, there seem to be a few 'red herrings' - possibly deliberately? One important part of the game (getting your hands on the crown) can be a frustratingly awkward hit-&-miss and timing affair (unless you luckily hit it off first time). However, I suspect a bit of a bug here. As steps often have to be retraced through the game, it would be nice to be able to opt out of in-game cut scenes that have been viewed before. Overall? Having played later graphic adventures first, it's hard not to judge the game in retrospect. Considered with its contemporaries, it is impressive and fun enough to play at least once. Personally, I am not attracted enough to play it again, as I would, say "Simon" although I know how to solve all the puzzles (I could forget some, of course). It is a worthy advancement in the genre for its time. Was there ever a "Book 2" for the Amiga? I don't recall ever seeing it. So many good things start with Amiga then, sadly, go elsewhere.