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Fables & Fiends: The Legend of Kyrandia - Book One

aka: Kyrandia 1, The Legend of Kyrandia: Book One
Moby ID: 394
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

The Legend of Kyrandia is the first in a trilogy of adventure games by Westwood. In this game the player controls Brandon, grandson of Kallak - a wizard of the realm of Kyrandia. Malcolm, a psychotic jester imprisoned in the past by Kallak, has broken free and wishes to take over the land as well as lay down his revenge. He turns Kallak into stone leaving him with only his eyes, so that Kallak is not denied his tears for Kyrandia's sake.

This is where Brandon steps in; returning home shortly afterwards only to find that his grandfather has been turned into stone, Brandon is being told by a messenger from the Realm of the Land that he has been chosen to embark on a journey that will rid this realm of Malcolm and his evil. He has to prove himself not only a hero, but a worthy heir to the crown and ultimately of becoming a king.

Throughout the journey Brandon will collect many items and also learn how to master magic. Available spells include disappearing, healing yourself, summoning ice upon fire and shifting into a wisp. Interaction with the environment is confined to highlighted items, and a single cursor is used for all actions, without differentiating precise commands.

Spellings

  • דברי ימי קירנדיה - Hebrew spelling
  • ザ レジェンド オブ キランディア - Japanese spelling
  • 凯兰迪亚传奇 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 키란디아의 전설 - Korean spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

53 People (49 developers, 4 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 33 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 114 ratings with 7 reviews)

Unforgiving

The Good
Beautiful imagery, good dialogue, excellent music and feelings of nostalgia...

Also combine this with wit and a perfect fairy tale story and you're onto a winner, no problems there at all. Very playable even today 23 years later - I'd know, I played this 23 years ago when I was a very young child, and I played it earlier tonight!

The Bad
It's so, so, so hard! There is a particular sequence which involves a cave which, with one mistake, will set you back around 30 minutes or even kill you - and yes, this game will let you die with great ease and without a second thought. It's incredibly difficult and I've never actually been able to finish it!

The Bottom Line
Give it go - if nothing else, very nostalgic and something different. I personally prefer games like the Monkey Island series where it's all a bit more tongue-in-cheek and you're not going to die, but this game is a challenge which can be enjoyed, even if you find yourself dead many times during the process.

DOS · by Quackbal (45) · 2015

A great alternative to the King's Quest series

The Good
The player controls Brandon, a young prince who is sent on a quest to deal with Malcolm, an evil jester who escaped from prison and turned Kallak, his grandfather who put him there, into stone. To make matters worse, he plans on using the stolen Kyragem to take over the land, killing off the native vegetation in the process.

The game's interface is laid out nicely, with the blue options button to the left of the ten inventory slots, and the amulet on the right side of that. The amulet is used for spells that you need to cast throughout the game, to help you on your quest. I like what effect they have on you. One spell allows you to cure wounded animals, while another lets you float in mid-air. Somewhere in the game, you have to make different potions to further help you, and I found it interesting to see what I come up with.

What I noticed the most about Kyrandia is the beautiful environments. You start off exploring forests, but eventually move onto caverns, homes, beaches, and castles. When you walk far left or right as you can in the forest, you come across the cliff with breathtaking views of the ocean. There were some amazing scenes within the labyrinth as well. The individual inventory objects look good as well.

The music is well composed and it goes well with the environment that you are in. Of course, the CD-ROM version contains full speech, and I was lucky to get hold of this. Out of all the characters in the game, I enjoyed Malcolm the most, as I can always remember his infamous laugh. Other than that, I liked clicking on Brandon himself and having him saying these random quotes. As for the sound effects, the only ones that I like were those when picking up and placing objects in an inventory slot, and also when potions were mixed together.

The Bad
Kyrandia has some insane puzzles. Early in the game, you are supposed to put four gems in a marble altar in order to receive something from it. You are not told what these gems are or where you get them. Instead, you have to do some trial-and-error to see what gems do or do not work. Most of the gems are scattered around the forest, but whatever gem that you see might already be the ones that you tried. Another illogical puzzle is getting through the maddening labyrinth without getting killed. You are required to light up each room, and you have to know where to put the lights.

Your amulet can only hold up to four spells, as mentioned above, which appear as colored jewels. What is bad about this is there is no text on or below the jewel to indicate what the spell does. You have to try the spell out to see what it does. I know that someone tells you what the spell is before it is even given to you, but some people have short memories.

The Bottom Line
The Legend of Kyrandia is an adventure game that the whole family will enjoy. The game contains no violence or bad language. The interface looks neat; with the control panel, inventory, and amulet laid out in that order. The game features some amazing environments, and the graphics are great. The music goes well with what you are doing, and users with the CD version of the game can enjoy full speech, with a well-thought out script. If you are looking for an alternative to the King's Quest series, why not start with the Kyrandia series?

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2008

A gorgeous fable with mesmerizing music for your gaming pleasure!

The Good
The graphics in this game are really wonderful as is evident from most of the earlier adventure games developed by Westwood studios. The voice acting is good and suits each character well (only in the CDROM version). The CD version is definitely worth having (if you can still find it) because of the poster that came in the box with it. The music in this game is brilliant, perhaps the best in any fantasy adventure game ever (IMHO). Thanks to the incredible genius of Mr. Frank Klepacki. The story is very interesting, typical of a mystical, fantasy adventure game. Best of all the game has memorable characters especially Malcolm, the evil jester.

The Bad
The game has a few terrible and rather tedious puzzles like the maze in the caves, the gems puzzle (gems have to be placed in a specific order without any use of logic) is especially difficult, since the sequence to place the gems is random each time the game is played.

The Bottom Line
It's a point n' click adventure game made in the days when Westwood studios was creating some wonderful games at par with Lucasarts and Sierra. The plot keeps one interested, as you help Brandon to solve puzzles on his quests while he learns about his true identity as the rightful heir to the throne. A nice adventure game for the whole family, highly recommended!! I sincerely hope Westwood decides to create Kyrandia 4. I sincerely hope Mr. Brett W. Sperry is reading this!!

DOS · by Roger Wilco (1144) · 2008

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Modify the title? RetroArchives.fr (709) Nov 21, 2020
Game Compatibility George Halls Apr 17, 2009

Trivia

CD version

The CD version adds speech and support for Windows 3.x (albeit completely identical to the DOS version).

Development

The Legend of Kyrandia is based on the text adventure Kyrandia: Fantasy World of Legends, a BBS game. It was designed and programmed by Scott Brinker and Richard Skurnick in 1988, and based on multiplayer interactive game concepts by Tim Stryker.

According to Rick Gush, Mike Legg and Brett Sperry played the game online, bought the rights to the game and were sued later on by the person who sold the game to them, but after several years the court case was decided in favor of them.

The game introduced a single-icon cursor for all actions, and Brett Sperry and Louis Castle, thinking that this was their secret weapon, presented a demo of the game to Ken Williams. But Ken showed them King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder which was in development then. It had its own new icon-driven interface, so it was a big letdown moment. Ken liked the game though and asked them if they want to sell Westwood to Sierra, but at that moment they preferred their freedom and control.

Extras

The Legend of Kyrandia CD-ROM version came with a free poster based on a painting by Roger Loveless.

Awards

  • Amiga Joker
    • Issue 02/1994 – #2 Best Adventure in 1993 (Readers' Vote)
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #88 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1993 – #2 Best Adventure in 1992
  • PC Games (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1993– #3 Best Adventure in 1992

Information also contributed by game nostalgia and Roger Wilco

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Related Sites +

  • Game Nostalgia
    Provides extensive background info for The Legend of Kyrandia, pictures of the cast and examples of voice-overs, full credits with shots and info about the design team, a demo of the game, specific details about the game, various goodies, all musical themes, shots of every location in the game, saved games, a list of reviews, including a "nostalgic "review and tech specs.
  • Kyrandia Shrine - Germany
    An Fan Site of the Kyrandia Trilogy. Only in German.
  • ScummVM
    Get "The Legend of Kyrandia", as well as many other adventure games, to run on modern systems by using ScummVM, a legal and free program.
  • Walkthrough on Gamer Grand Central
    No frills step-by-step walkthrough

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 394
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Contribute

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Amiga added by Martin Smith. Windows added by lights out party. Macintosh, PC-98, FM Towns added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: MAT, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Apogee IV, Rüdiger Müller, martin jurgens, Crawly, CaesarZX, ymihere, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto.

Game added November 7, 1999. Last modified January 19, 2024.