The Legend of Kyrandia

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a game by Westwood
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 5.5/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 8.7/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Quest Games, The Legend of Kyrandia Series
The Legend of Kyrandia
The Legend of Kyrandia
The Legend of Kyrandia
The Legend of Kyrandia

Published all the way back in 1992, The Legend of Kyrandia is a nostalgia trip for many PC players – and might have even been their first dip into a fantasy point and click adventure. But video games either age like wine – or age like … well, something far worse than wine. And in the case of The Legend of Kyrandia, you might be better off remembering the game than actually playing it.

Hey, Beautiful!

At first glance, The Legend of Kyrandia looks like a great homage to early PC gaming. Developed by Westwood Studios, it was the first game in the Fables & Fiends series and at the time of release, a commercial success. But in 2021, it’s games like this that remind us how far gaming has come – and how much developers have learned from previous mistakes.

The Legend of Kyrandia is a beautiful game aesthetically. The fantasy kingdom of Kyrandia is depicted in colourful and well constructed moving scenes, ranging from breathing dragons to friendly wizards, green murky woods, and dark hissing caves. It’s a type of animation style that seemed to live and die with point and click games, and frankly a shame newer games don’t try to reinvent that look. The music in the game is also well scored. At no point does the music ever get on your nerves or conflict with what’s going on on-screen. But like all video games, looks aren’t the only thing that matters, and it’s the gameplay that suffers greatly when returning to this classic game.

Rose-Tinted Glasses

The Legend of Kyrandia is a difficult game in all the wrong ways. Modern games use reflexes, decision making, and common sense to create a proper level of difficulty; but in Kyrandia, randomization and frustration are at its heart. Take inventory for example: the game only allows you to carry 10 items at a time, but to beat certain puzzles you need more than 10 items. How do you navigate this? Drop items on the ground and come back to them when they are needed. It’s complete backwards game design and gives mundane work the illusion of difficulty. There are also puzzles in the game that change every time you play, and the only way to win is guessing. Again, guessing and randomization do not equate to difficulty. It only serves to frustrate and annoy the player.

Finally, there are some choices in the game that if the player chooses wrong, the entire game is broken. The player needs to restart the entire game, or revert back to an older save.

The game never tells you the game is broken, either. So technically a player could spend hours trying to figure out what to do next without ever knowing the game is broken. This is not fun, it’s just annoying.

Final Thoughts

While many veteran PC players have nostalgic love for The Legend of Kyrandia, new players are better suited to look elsewhere for a video game trip back to the 90’s. There are too many frustrating problems with the game that have been long-since solved by modern game developers.

4

You will probably enjoy the sights and sounds, but the gameplay will leave you dissatisfied.

Pros:

  • Inventive and colourful visuals
  • A+ music

Cons:

  • Frustrating gameplay
  • Unsatisfying difficulty

Download The Legend of Kyrandia

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

The Kyrandia series continues when some chance lightning strikes the statuary that is the evil jester Malcolm. Freed from his stone existence, Malcolm is again led by Stuart and Gunter, his good and bad consciences.

Playing as Malcolm, you can choose from three paths: evil, neutral, or follow the straight and narrow. Two endings are possible.

Mucho awaits you regardless. Deeper gameplay and more than 80 scenes filled with magic, mayhem, and pretty darn hard puzzles increase Kyrandia Three's challenge. Also added to this installment are rendered 3D cinemas and Supersound, CD-quality music.

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots