The Legacy: Realm of Terror

aka: Haunted House, The Legacy
Moby ID: 697
DOS Specs
Buy on DOS
$57.49 used on eBay
Buy on Windows
$6.99 new on Steam
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Description official descriptions

The year is 1993. The protagonist's ancestors, the Winthrops, have obviously dealt with black magic and perhaps even pacts with the demons. Now their mansion is invaded by horrifying creatures, and it is up to the brave hero(ine) to venture inside, solve the mystery, and above all - survive.

The Legacy: Realm of Terror is a role-playing game with adventure elements. The player navigates the protagonist through the 3D locations of the mansion from first-person perspective. The environment must be explored, and items procured in order to solve puzzles and advance in the game.

Beside these adventure game features, the game plays like a RPG, with character customization, equipment, and combat. The player can select one of the eight pre-made characters (four male, four female) to control in the game. Characters' attributes and skills are divided into three categories, which correspond to pure physical traits, supportive techniques (such as healing), and dexterity in usage of firearms and smaller melee weapons.

The player relies on magic spells in combat; those can be acquired and upgraded from spell pages found in the game world. There are offensive, supportive, and restorative spells in the game. Resting, consuming food, and even meditating affects the player character's condition as well.

Combat takes place in the same environment as exploration, utilizing a real-time system, which requires the player to quickly select commands ("Aim" and "Hit" for weapon attacks, and the corresponding spell icons for magic).

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Credits (DOS version)

31 People (27 developers, 4 thanks) · View all

Design
Programming
Music / Sound Programming
Graphics / Artwork
3D Modelling
Music
Sound
Panorama Sequences
Development Manager
Editor
Cover Photos
Packaging
Documentation
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 10 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 5 reviews)

Probably the best "survival horror" game ever made - years before the genre was named

The Good
This is one of the few games I've ever played that touched nearly all the things that can make a game fun for me. It was very immersive and had a great story, but it also engaged my intellect. Figuring out what was going on, even with my knowledge of Lovecraftian horror and RPG staples, was a lot of fun. Almost all of the puzzles made sense in the simulated world, instead of being obvious game elements. If you needed to answer a riddle to get somewhere, it was because the stuff within was being guarded from those without the knowlege to use it. If a door was locked, it was because somebody had a reason to lock it. For the limited abilities of the machines it ran on, the graphics and sound were immersive and believable.

The Bad
As some others have said, it was a bit too difficult. Some combats required twitch-gamer reactions more suitable to a later-day FPS title or some of the more recent (and IMHO degenerate) "survival horror" games. The final battle, in particular, was nearly impossible.

The Bottom Line
This game, along with the original Alone in the Dark, is definitive of what a horror game should be like. Heck, just thinking about it makes me want to track down my copy and play it again after all these years.

DOS · by weregamer (155) · 2003

A terrific horror game that did just about everything right.

The Good
In 1993 "Legacy" arrived at my door and I was highly anticipating it. I had seen the striking box cover before and it was the initial pull for me to purchase the game. In a time when I lived in a remote area and before the internet this was still rare for me. I was not disappointed as it left a lasting impact on me.

"The Legacy: Realm Of Terror" did a very good job of balancing a mix of horror, adventure and action into what I was assuming to be a simple RPG game. While it does have an RPG feel there is a soup of the three aforementioned aspects that makes it much deeper. It was very satisfying to hit an enemy with a weapon, such as a fireplace poker, and see how much damage it did based on the wound. Puzzles abounded and they varied on the level of somewhat easy to downright diabolical. For mood, the horror you felt was a cross between isolation and shock. There was a great mechanic where your character would be frozen with terror depending on how bad an enemy frightened him. Not being able to manipulate your alter-ego at all inspired much dread.

The game looked good and sounded very good. I always felt that there was a bit of whimsy in the overall graphic design. Almost as if it had a comic strip feel for a newspaper delivered from Hell. There was heavy exaggeration at points on the game that would give you a good laugh or made you shiver. The art was done very well and you never had to wonder what you were looking at or needed from your inventory in a pinch. The small auto map on the bottom left corner of the screen was a nice touch. It's most useful aspect was the fact that you could see if there was perhaps a hidden area behind a wall. Very good for giving a hint but not spoiling anything.

The music and sound that was used could hit a wide range of emotion jarring effects. Hearing something groaning from behind a door or down the hall. The shattering of a stained glass window or the roar of an organ were beautiful and startling at the same time. There was a care taken by the developers on how to make the sounds interact with the living environment. They knew when to bombard you while at the same time adding nothing and leaving the silence to torture you.

The Bad
The combat could have been a bit more refined. Equipping weapons and such was simple. They would show up on your character's "paper doll" interface so that was handy. There were "aim" and "hit" buttons to click on during combat. They were supposed to insinuate a strategy when fighting creatures. Sadly though I found it lacking more often than not. A sound idea but the execution was a bit poor.

The Bottom Line
I don't see this game listed on many of the great games categories and that bothers me. I believe "Legacy" had everything you could have asked from it. I remember how much fun it was to play it. To discover new things and want to move forward but also with a charming forbidding that told me to be careful what I wished. It was a wonderful game in just about every aspect and an experience I am glad I did not miss.

DOS · by Rob Von Strahd (6) · 2013

Lot of fun

The Good
This was the second 3-D horror game I played after Alone in the Dark. The main difference here was the RPG elements; you were increasing your character as you explored the house. The 3-D monsters were creepy too. There was a combat engine, so sometimes you had to come back to monsters you could not defeat after you increased your stats.

The Bad
The interface was kinda clunky, and the game balance was a bit off (too easy in some places, too hard in others.)

The Bottom Line
A cool little horror game that hardly anyone played.

DOS · by Tony Van (2797) · 2000

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

Cancelled Amiga version

An Amiga AGA conversion was in development for a while.

Inspiration

The storyline of The Legacy (and particularly the grim Victorian house where the game takes place) was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's tales.

Savegame

Upon successful completion, The Legacy created a small binary file WINNER.INF and informed the player that the file should be kept. The contents of the file seem to indicate that it was intended for use in a planned sequel, to import the victorious player's character - unfortunately, no sequel was ever made.

Videos

The opening, title, and ending cinematic sequences were stored in a common animation format and were not hidden, encrypted, or otherwise obscured. This made viewing them very easy.

Information also contributed by Jaromir Krol, Martin Smith and saladpuncher

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  • MobyGames ID: 697
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tony Van.

Macintosh, Linux, Windows added by Rik Hideto.

Additional contributors: Trixter, MAT, -Chris, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance, Jo ST.

Game added January 9, 2000. Last modified March 6, 2024.