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Fables & Fiends: Hand of Fate

aka: Fables & Fiends: The Legend of Kyrandia - Hand of Fate: Book Two, Kyrandia 2, Kyrandia II: The Hand of Fate, The Legend of Kyrandia: Hand of Fate, The Legend of Kyrandia: Hand of Fate (Book Two)
Moby ID: 871
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

In the first part of this trilogy, Brandon, soon to be a king and only heir to the throne, determined to stop the evil jester Malcolm. Now, Kyrandia is disappearing. The high council found the cure for that - the anchor from the center of the world. When the young sorceress Zanthia comes to that anchor, she realizes it is not the answer. Her friend Marco is in possession of a giant hand, and it looks like that hand is responsible for the sabotage. Now, Zanthia must save Kyrandia before everything else vanishes without a trace.

Hand of Fate is the second installment in the Kyrandia series. The gameplay is similar to that of the previous game. Interaction is possible only with highlighted objects on the screen, and is reduced to a single cursor, without the distinction of separate commands. There are also no branching dialogues. Many of the puzzles involve picking up ingredients and concocting magic spells out of them.

Spellings

  • キランディアII 運命の手 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

100 People (99 developers, 1 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 86% (based on 26 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 68 ratings with 4 reviews)

The weakest of the Kyrandia series

The Good
It's always nice---and unusual---to see a female character as lead in a computer game. The graphics were very well done in this game, and were very reminiscent of LucasArts or Sierra adventure games in those styles. The puzzles could be a little tricky sometimes. I think my favorite puzzle of them all was the rainbow bridge puzzle. There are some funny moments in the game, especially with the petrified trees and the Abominable Snowman.

The prologue artwork is really well done and very nicely colored. The animations for the potion book and the cauldron were very well done (this is when you initially find them). I also liked the little animations that happen in the cauldron when you're not doing anything with it. I saw a pair of eyes, a toy sailboat going by, a tidal wave, and a tentacle come out of the cauldron.

The Bad
I can't help but notice that only guys have reviewed this game, and all of them seem to have liked it more or less because they think that Zanthia is sexy. For a woman playing this game, that's not an issue. I got very tired of the constant wardrobe changes Zanthia goes through---at least one for every scene change!---for a total of eight costumes. Seriously, was this even necessary? The game design team could have spent a lot more time developing the puzzles for this game and fleshing it out more.

The plot is pretty weak---so why is it exactly that the Hand sends Zanthia instead of someone else?---and could have been made much better or much stronger than it was. The puzzles were pretty darn uninteresting, and sometimes even confusing. I never did quite understand why a Skeptic's potion had to be used to break the trance potion. It didn't make a darn bit of sense.

The dialogue was sparse and not very good, really. It could have been used to flesh out the characters more, but wasn't used to this effect very well. Some of these characters seemed downright rude! The characters from the previous game were mentioned, but I think it would have been more interesting to have actually had them in the game---only Brandywine and the magician from the first game appeared, and that was in the prologue!

I also didn't like Marko following Zanthia around like a lovesick puppy. His personality was as flat as a piece of paper---but they all were, compared to the first game, and I think this was mostly because there were too many characters and not a long enough game.

I also didn't understand the changes made to the alchemical potions. Previously, you needed a gem and something else of the same color. Here, you have to have formulas. This led to many consultations of Zanthia's potion book that could very often be frustrating, especially if you thought you had the right ingredients and really didn't. It was much simpler by far in the first game---and simpler is usually better. There are a few characters where you just scratch your head and wonder what they're doing there, especially the girl in green at Vulcania. She does give you a hint, but it's not like you can't figure it out on your own later from what Zanthia says!

The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, I cannot really recommend this game because of how weak the plot and puzzles are. You'd probably like this game if you're a guy and you're into sexy female computer game characters. If you're a woman, though, the fact that the main character IS a woman can be annoying, unless you're into sexy female computer game characters. :)

This game would have been better with a better plot and dialogue---and, of course, puzzles that make sense! I don't know how important it is to the series whether or not you play this game, but I did not see very much continuity between this game and the first game.

DOS · by OceansDaughter (106) · 2002

Worthy of a place amongst the adventure game greats

The Good
Westwood Studios are most known for the Command & Conquer games but RTS is far from the only genre they tried out. In 1992 they released a point and click adventure game called The Legend of Kyrandia. Though it wasn't a terrible game it was clearly their first effort in designing an adventure game and leaned more toward Sierra in terms of gameplay holdovers, and this often included the more dubious game design choices of that era: react quickly or die situations, items that are required for later puzzles can be lost or destroyed, others can be left behind after traveling beyond a "Point of No Return" while some items have no use at all, plus random trial-and-error puzzles with no hints to it in-game and one particularly tedious maze. One noteworthy novelty when Kyrandia was released in 1992 was its single cursor. Back then LucasArts was still verb building, while Sierra had introduced the rotating cursor only the year before.

Hand of Fate is an improvement in just about every way. You can't get stuck because you missed a necessary item and can no longer go back to obtain it, as here the main hero Zanthia loses almost all of her equipment at the beginning of each new part of the game. Anything that can be carelessly discarded will usually respawn near where you picked it up the first time. The amulet from the first game is replaced with a magic cauldron and Zanthia’s spellbook lays out all of the necessary ingredients for everything you need (occasionally with some word play). Inventory space is also much larger than in the first game.

Puzzles have improved as well. There's numerous puzzles with more than one possible solution. For example, early on, you need to get reptile tears. You can tickle the crocodile with a feather until he cries from laughter or make him cry with onions. Forgot the color memorization sequence in order to unlock a door? You can break the lock with a pair of scissors. There's even a couple optional things you can do like save Marco or open some letters. And here's something you won't typically see in adventure games from this time period - a hint system... sort off. You see, the one item that stays with Zanthia is the Alchemist's Magnet which draws gold from lead, but when used on most living beings it will make them tell Zanthia their innermost secrets. There are still several ways to die in this game but no cheap stuff here. The game doesn't kill you without warning and at any rate you should know better by now than to neglect to save frequently.

This game is absolutely gorgeous, featuring lush hand-painted background vistas showing a lot of imagination, rich colors and solid animation. And while the first one wasn't a bad looker at all, the forest areas re-used its backgrounds several times over, but in this game each screen is unique. The game's music, courtesy of Frank Klepacki, doesn't disappoint either, providing suitable and pleasant atmosphere for the many locations.

The first game was odd in that the tone slipped between deadly serious and slightly silly. For Hand of Fate they dialed back the seriousness of the story a bit while also making the world feel a lot more distinct and less like generic fantasy. No doubt there is a quirkier sense of humor here. The voice acting really brings a lot of personality to the characters so definitely get the talkie version. My personal favorite moment is the two nincompoop guards who won't let you in the city and start making up ridiculous reasons why: "No pedestrians on Tuesdays", "No women without goats", "No strangers in groups of one or three" and "No magicians without a note from a donkey". There's a pub full of reformed pirates who just sit around drinking root beer and hosting Pirate Poetry Nights, Petrified forest, a Yeti and his love pad. Center of the Earth is a sleazy tourist trap, filled with sham guides where the inhabitants are clearly wasting your time, playing with the frustration of the player.

Also what is evident straight away is that Zanthia is a far more interesting and likeable character than Brandon from the first game. Almost nothing she encounters escapes a witty word, a poignant pun, or an astute assertion. She's still feminine, illustrated by her desire to wear the perfect outfit in every situation, but this is dealt with in the same tongue-in-cheek manner that really sets the tone for the entire game.

The Bad
If there's one thing that drags Hand of Fate down for me it is the end game. The last puzzle is an inverted Tower of Hanoi (called Anoi in-game) and believe me annoy it will. That is followed by an ill-advised action sequence - react quickly or die.

The Bottom Line
You'd think that after getting so many things right with this game that the third and final one would be the same or even better. Unfortunately that is not the case, Malcolm's Revenge is a very inconsistent game, on one hand the game's first chapter is fantastic freeform design, that gives you six different ways to accomplish the goal, while the mid-game is a mess (maze, needless randomness, trial and error) then the game picks up again towards the end.

One Westwood game that you should definitely check out is Blade Runner - a superb reinterpretation of a classic film franchise that not only manages to maintain the feel of its source material yet still stand on its own. When you start a new game, it randomly decides which of the principal cast are humans or replicants, including the main hero. The choices you make, and the timed events it’s possible to miss, will result in one of thirteen different endings. Very ambitious stuff for a game from 1997.

DOS · by Infernos (45022) · 2019

Uniquely Wonderful

The Good
The humor and interesting visuals make this game incredibly charming. If you've got the CD (talkie) version, you'll never get tired of hearing Zanthia comment's on everything- make sure to use the alchemist's magnet to hear people's "True" thoughts!

The Bad
The puzzles ARE very simplistic. This game can be completed in less than 3 hours, really, if you take the time to listen to everything everyone has to say, twice, and try everything with everything.

The Bottom Line
I would not recommend paying any heed to the female reviewer's comments (OceanDaughter): my girlfriend is very fond of Zanthia, and wishes more present-day video game heroines were more like her. The costume changes are fun, and don't necessarily reflect "girly"-ness so much as Zanthia's unique sense of self- does she strike YOU as unintelligent or ditzy, based on the way she talks and what she says? I think not. That aside, my gf does tease me endlessly about my "attraction" to Zanthia = P Better her than Laura Croft, I say.

All in all- This game is a GREAT way to spend a rainy afternoon. Find the CD version for a few $'s on eBay-- it's much more worth it to play through that version that the floppy-disk one.

DOS · by Tom Ryan (1) · 2006

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Malcolm character

The Legend of Kyrandia series consists of three installments and unlike many adventure games' sequels they are connected mostly by the Kyrandia land and the life of its inhabitants. The main antagonist, Malcolm, who was defeated in the first part, does not make any substantial appearance in Hand of Fate. The second installment is a sort of a side-track story in which player impersonates into mystic woman Zanthia whose main task is to figure out what is happening with Kyrandia. Malcolm (or rather his stone statue) appears only in the end sequence suggesting that the third installment was on its way.

References

  • After Zanthia meets the Hand on the rainbow bridge, the costume she changes into is the same one worn by Sylvester Stallone in Rambo.
  • It has been suggested over on Wikipedia that the game's unusual title may well be a reference to the notorious cult movie (much-beloved of MST3K) Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966).

Version differences

The game was also released on CD-ROM. This version has full speech throughout the game, although the game is similar to the earlier disk release.

Polish version

CD version of "Hand of Fate" is one of the first names that was fully translated into Polish including voice acting. The version of the game was distributed by IPS Computer Group and was reviewed in Secret Service 18 (November 1994).

Information also contributed by OceansDaughter and Pseudo_Intellectual

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

Macintosh, Windows added by Sciere. PC-98, FM Towns added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Trixter, Roger Wilco, Jeanne, formercontrib, ymihere, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, Plok, Infernos, RetroArchives.fr.

Game added February 17, 2000. Last modified June 8, 2024.