Worlds of Legend: Son of the Empire
|a game by||Action Sixteen|
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Scene one: the prosecution
Prosecution: May I call the only witness in this travesty of justice? Mr Ranahaaan K'kaaanda (son of Zenehan).
Ranahaaan: (After being sworn in). Yes, I am Ranahaaan K'kaaanda, son of Zenehan, of the dark tribe from beyond the mountains (and beneath the waterfall).
Prosecution: Also known - correct me if I'm wrong - as Barry Buckworth... of Kent?
Ranahaaan: Aye. I have been known by many names and have travelled to places such as ye couldst not even dream.
Prosecution: And you claim to be the most boring fantasy rpg computer games playing fanatic in the entire country?
Ranahaaan: Aye. In this land and perhaps in others too. Tis no idle boast. Many have attempted to usurp me. They are now vapour in the mists of time.
Prosecution: Er, quite... your honour, if the witness may be shown exhibit A?
The Judce: Proceed. Prosecution: Ranahaaan K'kaaanda. do you recognise the article I am now holding?
Ranahaaan: Aye. I do. Tis Worlds Of Legend from Mindscape... or 'tis its box, at least.
Prosecution: And you are familiar with the game itself.
Defence: Objection, your honour. My learned friend is leading the witness.
The Judge: Objection sustained. Don't lead the witness. Prosecution: I apologise, m'lud. Ummm. Mr K'kaaanda. let me put it to you that the point'n'click system within the dungeons is less intuitive than it might have been...
Defence: Objection, m'lud.
The Judge: Objection overruled.
Prosecution: ..And that the graphical content is of. shall we say. a limited nature?
Ranahaaan: It is sufficient for my fantasy requirements. Besides, all characters within the game move along at a merry pace. Prosecution: Yes. the character animation is very good. But let me put it to you that on opening (for instance) a chest - a chest which to the eye looks full of treasure - a search will often reveal nothing inside.
Ranahaaan: Nought of importance I'll concur. However, 'tis only the impatient who wish all to be explained by pictures alone. The true journey should be in the mind.
Prosecution: But the interface, as I said, is not all it might have been. For instance, consider a switch on the wall that you want one of your party members to operate. Pointing directly at it will have no effect. Why? Because the program only deals in floor tiles. Mr Ranahaaan. only in floor tiles.
Ranahaaan: And this is not palatable to you?
Prosecution: Indeed not. It is confusing.
Ranahaaan: It takes an ounce of intelligence to follow a picture of a switch down from its isometric position and locate the floor tile upon which 'tis placed. I have this ounce of intelligence. You are underweight, it would seem. (Smug RPG player's chortle).
Prosecution: (Annoyed that Ranahaaan thought anybody would find his joke funny). The game is small.
Ranahaaan: No! The game comes on one disk. This does not mean it is small. The locations are too numerous to mention. There are also interactive text screens, where one may banter with strangers... and trade.
Prosecution: Have you ever played Ultima Underworld? And do you not think that such a game has altered the aspirations of fantasy rpg players for ever.
Ranahaaan: Fah! Mere programming trickery. I refused to sully my computer with it. It is not real.
Prosecution: I conclude the prosecution m'lud.
Scene two: the defence
Defence: If I may cross examine the only witness, m'lud? The Judge: Of course.
Defence: Ranahaaan. you are a wizard of some note. Ranahaaan: That I am.
Defence: And you would be aware if the spell section of a game were lacking in any way.
Ranahaaan: So it is said.
Defence: Then talk the jury through the spell section in V/or\ds Of Legend.
Ranahaaan: Aaaaah. the spell section. Yes. Of your party of four explorers, one is a wizard. He requires ingredients, such as wing of bat. brimstone and mandrake (to name but three). He also requires runestones. All can be bought, or found. Once equipped with stones and mix. yon wizard can begin to prepare spells of all natures. He uses a bowl.
Defence: A bowl.
Ranahaaan: Aye. that is what I said. A bowl. The mage has several screens all of his own where his magical experiments can be carried out.
Defence: And what spells can he 'invent? In his 'bowl?
Ranahaaan: Anything he wishes of course - from a simple missile of Damage to... to... an example is necessary.
Defence: Then please supply one. Address the jury though, not me.
Ranahaaan: So be it. Using the correct mixing ingredients (which I shall keep a secret), a mage may use these runes in a spell: Heal. Antimage. Surround. Paralyse. Continuous. Damage. Missile and again Damage. When cast, this spell would heal the caster, award him temporary immunity from magic and transfer the effects of the latter part of the spell to the eight surrounding floor tiles, where continuous paralysis and damage would inflict themselves on any who were present. Furthermore, missiles of Magical Damage would be fired away from the eight floor tiles in directions directly away from the caster's location.
Defence: It sounds like a complex spell.
Ranahaaan: I am a complex adventurer. To me it is a simple spell.
Defence: And while all this magic was... er. 'happening'. The other members of your party, they, would be doing what exactly?
Ranahaaan: They would be fighting in the way each knew best. My ninja would be ninja-ing, my berserker would be berserking and my bard would be singing a song... a song which would give heart to his gay fellows. Together they will become legends.
Defence: I rest my case, m'lud.
Scene three: the summing up
The Judge: Members of the jury. We have heard, ahem, both sides of the argument. We have learnt that Worids Of Legend is a fantasy rpg with appealing, although perhaps basic, graphics. We have learnt that Worids Of Legend is not the most modern of games, but have been assured by Mr Ranahaan K'kaaanda (son of Zenehan) that a game such as this appeals to folk who care little for mere 'technical trickery'... or indeed for the twentieth century. He assures us that for a game which comes on but one disk. Worlds Of Legend is not only large, but has a definitive spell section with scope for much experimentation. There are shops. There are battles. There are logic problems. Apparently there are amusing touches too. In short it would appear that, to a person of Mr K'kaaanda's disposition. Worlds Of Legend is an engrossing product with which one could while away many a moon. Others, however, may find it simply 'old fashioned'. Members of the jury, consider these facts and then pass your judgement. May the court please be upstanding.
Scene four the sentence
The Judge: May the court be seated. Members of the jury, have you reached a verdict on which you are all agreed?
The Foreman: I. Thorann Gandalf of Xantala. say that aye. we have reached agreement.
The Judge: Then how should Worlds Of Legend be scored?
The Foreman: We suggest you give it about 99 out of 100.
The Judge: I will give it 73.