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Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare




Remember a company called Westwood Studios? Perhaps best known for real-time strategy classic Command & Conquer (1995) and the enormous franchise that sprung from it, they were also responsible for C&C spiritual precursor Dune II (1992), as well as D&D-based role-playing classics Eye of the Beholder (1990) and its sequel (1991), followed by a new franchise set in their own original universe, Lands of Lore (1993). The company was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1998, and as was typical of Electronic Arts acquires at the time, Westwood Studios was swiftly run into the ground and finally dismantled in 2003.

Shortly before the height of their career, Westwood Studios produced a trilogy of point-and-click adventure games in the vein of Monkey Island or King's Quest. The first game, titled Fables & Fiends: The Legend of Kyrandia, was released in 1992, approximately a year after Monkey Island 2, and two years after King's Quest V (that's the one with that insufferable owl). The game was well received, despite its generic plot and occasional... issues, and was followed by a CD-ROM re-release with added voice track the following year, and two sequels with titles riddled with colons (Fables & Fiends: The Legend of Kyrandia: Book Two: Hand of Fate and Fables & Fiends: The Legend of Kyrandia: Book Three: Malcolm's Revenge), soon to come.

While the games are not, in my opinion, quite up to par with Lucasarts classics like Monkey Island or Day of the Tentacle in terms of writing, they nevertheless have a certain charm to them (the later two games in particular), and the graphics, music and voice acting are fantastic by period standards. And yet, whenever the topic of classic point-and-click adventure games is brought up, the Kyrandia games are often forgotten in favor of more famous examples. While it's certainly understandable why they don't hold the same place in people's hearts as certain other classics, forgetting them entirely is a shame, in my opinion.

Well, that's enough backstory; let's see what this is about. But before that, let's talk briefly about spoilers . The Kyrandia series does not have a deep and intricate plot, but the later two games do have a few (fairly predictable) twists, so for now the official spoiler policy is no talking about things that haven't been shown yet.

Because this is a point-and-click adventure game and there is a lot of walking around and looking at things that aren't particularly entertaining, this will primarily be a screenshot LP with transcribed dialogue and my commentary in italics. However, since we're playing the CD-ROM version, this game is also fairly competently voice acted. Therefore, text updates will be supplemented with video clips of significant conversations or events, particularly whenever a new character is introduced.

Table of Contents

Chapter 0: Introduction
Chapter 1: Wherein Brandon has a Conversation with a Wall
Chapter 2: Wherein Mistakes are Made, and an Amulet is Earned
Chapter 3: Wherein Troublesome Wildlife and Senile Old Men Feature Prominently
Chapter 4: Wherein the Mystery of the Mirth Cones is Resolved
Chapter 5: Wherein Life Choices are Reconsidered
Chapter 6: Wherein Brandon Consorts with a Witch
Chapter 7: Wherein Alchemy is Performed for Fun and Profit
Chapter 8: Wherein Steps Are Retraced, and a Seance is Held
Chapter 9: Wherein the Royal Vestments are Recovered
Chapter 10 - Finale: Wherein the Land is Saved

Bonus Update

Bonus Update: Useless and/or Unobtainable Items


Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at Sep 16, 2014 around 20:58

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Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Chapter 0: Introduction

Besides an animated introduction, the manual comes with some fairly cliché backstory that helps explain some of the things that happened before the beginning of the game. Much of it is fluff, but the important parts can be summarized thusly: In the realm of Kyrandia, all magic originates from a magical artifact called the Kyragem, kept in Castle Kyrandia and tended by wise King William the Generous and his royal mystics. Things go badly when Malcolm, court jester and friend to the royal family, murders the king and queen and takes the Kyragem for himself. Kallak, chief among the royal mystics and father of the late queen, sealed Malcolm within the castle and fled with the royal heir, Brandon, hiding his heritage from him. Over the years, now without access to the Kyragem, the royal mystics' spells have dwindled in power, until...

Video: Opening Cinematic (Youtube)

Music: Opening Cinematic

Watch the video if you can. The game looks a lot better in motion. You might notice that the video appears to stutter strangely after Malcolm talks, and some of his lines don't appear to sync properly to what he's doing. The game always does that for some reason, and as I remember it used to do so in the original, native DOS version too.



As the narrator speaks, explosions of magic energy and dying trees appear across the map.

Narrator: Malcolm the Jester has broken free. He now controls the Kyragem, source of all the magic in Kyrandia. Once a favorite of the court, he killed the king and seized the gem. Imprisoned by the royal mystics, Malcolm was held for eighteen years. But now, the mystics' spell has slipped, and vengeful Malcolm enjoys free reign...



Music: Malcolm vs the Forest

Malcolm enters and wilts a tree for no apparent reason, then laughs. Jerk. Karma is swift, however.



You dare trip me!? But no. Something special for you.



...
But I shall give fair warning. Don't jump on that tree!
...
Boo!
!



'tis funnier that way, is it not?

So here's where we get our first feel for what Malcolm the jester is like: true to his title, he's your stereotypical "mad clown" villain; clownish, sadistic, only cares about others in terms of entertainment value - and what's funnier than people (and random squirrels) dying? Aside from his backstory though, so far he's really only engaged in slightly wanton destruction of the local flora and fauna. He's more clown than killer, and this is something that doesn't really change throughout the game.



Music: Kallak's Letter

(writing) Dear Brynn, Malcolm has broken free. Soon, he will come for me. Please help Brandon.

Don't worry about it, I'm sure he's forgotten all about y--



Oh. Hey.



Music: Malcolm vs Kallak

Powerful leader of the Royal Mystics. Did I frighten you?
Malcolm. I heard yesterday of your escape, and have expected you before now.
Why would I rush? I rule this land! Your puny curse restrains me naught!
So, slay me now! I have little magic left.
I mean to harm you, have no doubt.




... yet I leave your eyes. I shed no tears for Kyrandia, but cannot deny you yours!




Meet our protagonist and avatar: Brandon, grandson of Kallak and heir to the throne of Kyrandia, though he doesn't know it yet. He also dresses like a dork, talks like a dork, and is about to have his day suddenly get a lot more complicated. You might also recognize his voice from another Westwood Studios game: he is voiced by Joe Kucan, who played Kane in the Command & Conquer live action cutscenes.



What happened to you!?

And thus, we receive control of Brandon for the first time. Next time, we'll have a look at our surroundings, engage in some good old-fashioned adventurer's kleptomania, and see if we can't figure out a way to get gramps back to normal.

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at Jul 27, 2014 around 11:10

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Chapter 1: Wherein Brandon has a Conversation with a Wall



Music: Brandon's House

Like most point-and-click adventure games, you get things done in Legend of Kyrandia by clicking on them. But unlike most other adventure games, there is no long list of verbs you can apply to objects. Everything is distilled down to left-clicking on things, which will perform some context-dependent function. Clicking on the ground moves Brandon around, and the cursor changes to an arrow when you can leave to another location. Clicking on objects picks them up or operates them if possible, or examines them otherwise. Items can be placed in one of our ten inventory slots at the bottom of the screen. You're not likely to run out of space, but if you want to get rid of something for whatever reason, you can just drop it on the ground pretty much anywhere.

To the right of our inventory is a mysterious empty space of uncertain purpose. Right now, it does nothing for us. On the left, we can access our options and save/load our game.



It's highly recommended to go to the game options and change walk speed to "fastest" ASAP, because Brandon's normal walking pace is about as fast as a snail on valium. You can also turn subtitles on - I will do so for obvious reasons. With that done, let's have a look around Brandon's treehouse. The place is a little confusing. It seems to be grown rather than built, although it has a stone tile floor. The only furniture is a desk, some pots, a hanging metal plate stacked with rocks for no apparent reason, and a single bed. Presumably Brandon and grandpa Kallak share it.

You might also have noticed that the room now contains a number of objects that mysteriously weren't there in the cutscene. Brandon goes straight for the shiny red sphere on Kallak's desk.



It's a garnet. Items that can be picked up attach to your cursor when you pick them up, and we could drop it into our inventory now. But first, with the garnet in hand, we'll click on Brandon to get his opinion on the item.



Most items can be examined this way. Sometimes, Brandon has several things to say about the same item, so keep using the item until all his lines are exhausted. Using items on other things in the world works the same way; pick the item up from your inventory, and with it in hand, click on whatever you want to use the item on. Let's check out that note Kallak was writing.

A note. Hmm? Blank, except it has Brynn's name on it! I'd better go to the temple. Brynn will know what to do!

Temple, huh. That's where we're going next. But first, let's finish looting our own home for valuables. In the pot to the left is...



This is where the game starts screwing with you. The Kyrandia series is generally better at not randomly and irrevocably screwing the player over, unlike e.g. King's Quest, but this is one of the few places where taking the intuitive action has an unintended result that can come back and bite you. Let's examine the apple by using it on Brandon.



Oh look, it's got half a worm in it.

There is no way to know for sure whether Brandon will decide to describe an item used on him, or just consume it outright. Most food-type items will generally result in the latter, though. In this case, the apple is actually an item we need to be intact for a puzzle later. You can get a new one if you accidentally eat the first one you find, but to save time I'm just going to reload and just stash the apple in our inventory.

The final item we need from here is sitting in the shadows underneath Kallak's desk; note that unlike the garnet, this item looks like it's just part of the decor. It helps to pay attention and click everything, even if it doesn't look like an item you can pick up at first.




Having Brandon examine it results in...

Ow!

Nice going, dumbass. All right, let's ditch grandpa for now and see if we can locate this Brynn characte--





Video: Treeface (Youtube)

Music: Treeface

What? Who said that?
Are you Brandon, grandson of Kallak?
I am. What are you?
We are of the Other Kingdom. We speak for the Land.
Why would the Land speak to me?
We are dying, Brandon. Magic spells of an evil intent have upset the balance of nature.
Can't you use your magic to fight this evil?
Evil exists only in the Kingdom of Man. The Land has no evil, and thus, no defense against it.
But-- why is this happening now?
The magic Kyragem, symbol of the trust between our kingdoms, has been corrupted. Now, it can no longer protect us. You, Brandon, must oppose on our behalf.
What? Why me?
You have been chosen, Grandson of Kallak. Your destiny was forged before your birth.
But I wouldn't know where to start.
Let your faith guide you, Brandon. Prepare for your journey.
Wait! What about-- what happened to my grandfather?

So to recap: One of the walls in our house is alive, and wants us to kill the evil jester that's going around exploding all the trees and squirrels, presumably so he will stop exploding all the trees and squirrels. It also throws in a good old-fashioned fantasy cliché about being the chosen one, destiny forged before birth, et cetera, to seal the deal. That kind of thing is going to be a recurring trend in the land of Kyrandia. Brandon seems to be completely unfazed by the experience. At least we can actually leave our house now.



Music: Forest

We can examine some of the stuff around here, like the sign and planter, but none of it is particularly useful to us. We can descend via the same means we saw Brandon use to get up here in the cutscene, the enchanted tree branch.



The bottom of our treehouse is another location with nothing of any use in it, so we head left.



This willow looks half dead! Ugh. Even the trunk is rotten. Boy, this willow needs help.

The Land is not doing so well after all, then. That teardrop depression in the middle of the tree looks mighty conspicuous, but there's nothing we can do to help the tree right now, so we'll continue heading left.



Another filler location. Nothing to see here.



This awkward-looking brick teetering on the precipice of a cliff is the Temple of Kyrandia.



Music: Temple of Kyrandia

Pretty. Let's have a look around.









Eesh, Brandon. Let's just talk to her.

Video: Brynn (Youtube)

Brynn, grandfather is hurt!
What happened, Brandon?
He's been turned to stone! I found a note on his bench. It's marked with your name, but the rest is blank!
May I see it?

We use the letter on Brynn.

This is an enchanted message. I will remove the spell. Brandon, you should read this.

quote:

Dear Brynn:
Malcolm has broken free. Soo he will come for me. Please help Brandon. Direct him toward the Amulet. Use the lavender rose to key the spells. Darm and Zanthia should be able to help. Be careful, he'll try to get all of us.
Kallak.

Amulet? Lavender rose? What does this mean?
If Malcolm has escaped, he'll use his spiteful magic to destroy Kyrandia.
Can't your magic stop him?
It will take all that we can gather to match Malcolm.
What about grandfather?
I am sorry, Brandon. Noble Kallak can only be saved by defeating Malcolm.
What can we do?
We are not helpless. Find a lavender rose for me, and I shall create an enchantment to help you.
What about--
Hurry, Brandon. Each passing minute dilutes our strength.

I think the game is trying to tell us we should defeat Malcolm. By now you might have noticed that we haven't really had much of a choice of what to talk to characters about so far. Just like the Kyrandia games simplified point-and-click down to, well, pointing and clicking, they also simplified all the dialogue. There are no Lucasarts style dialogue trees. Clicking a character will initiate a pre-scripted conversation. If you want to ask a character about a certain item, use it on them. Of course, the same action is used for giving items to characters, but I can't recall any instances where you can get permanently screwed by giving a character an item you didn't intend to.

In general, if you were to compare Legend of Kyrandia to its genre predecessors, one word comes to mind: Simple. The interface is simple, the story is simple, the puzzles are simple. This is especially true of the first game in the series; it plays all the fantasy tropes completely straight, with what little humor there is being derived mostly from Brandon's reactions to various things. The plot is as clichéd as it gets. Its sequels, Hand of Fate and Malcolm's Revenge, remedied this somewhat and are in my opinion better games for it. Unfortunately, we're still stuck with Brandon, dork prince of Kyrandia.



Grandfather is a rock! He needs help, not sympathy!

Brandon promptly forgets everything about the part where defeating Malcolm would, in fact, help grandpa Kallak. Next time, we'll go hunting for a lavender rose for Brynn.

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at Jul 27, 2014 around 11:10

silentbrains
Mar 18, 2009


Thank you for LPing this.
The graphics are as vibrant as I remember.

RexNebular
Jun 3, 2013


Ah, complaining--Brandon's superpower! I played the hell out of this game back in day, and I remember that clicking on Brandon makes him say two or three things on every screen. I also remember that the vast majority of his comments take the form of whining.
Lame hero notwithstanding, it's awesome to see this franchise getting some love!

Psion
Dec 13, 2002



Just imagine it's Kane complaining every time.

I know, Westwood used the VAs they had, but seriously Kane as Whiny Protagonist. Makes me laugh every time.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014



Clapping Larry

Joe Kucan is my childhood idol

mateo360
Mar 20, 2012

TOO MANY PEOPLE MERLOCK!
ONLY ONE DIJON!


I loved playing these games growing up. This is going to be fun to watch.

Geop
Oct 26, 2007



Oh my god, I've waited *AGES* for someone to LP these These were so much fun back-in-the-day!

Stabbey_the_Clown
Sep 21, 2002

Wanna see a demonstration of my school? It's called "Eight Leaves, One Very Big Stick"!


Taco Defender

Geop posted:

Oh my god, I've waited *AGES* for someone to LP these These were so much fun back-in-the-day!

There was one back in 2008, but it was never archived. The images were on Photobucket, and are still there, but you have to click a link to see most of them.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


Clapping Larry

Yes, I'm sure the rose in the giant stained glass window on the front of the temple is just for sympathy.

I'll cut the dude some slack, he's probably quite broken up right now.

Walrus Pete
Apr 16, 2008

Yo ho?


Ahh, Kyrandia. I'm not crazy about the first one, but Hand of Fate is one of my absolute favorite adventure games.

It's been a real long time since I've seen this game, so I'm looking forward to finding out if Brandon is the lovable dork I remember or just an annoying little turd-boy.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.


Grimey Drawer

Psion posted:

Just imagine it's Kane complaining every time.

I know, Westwood used the VAs they had, but seriously Kane as Whiny Protagonist. Makes me laugh every time.

Ditto. This is going to be one surreal ride.

fixelbrumpf
May 26, 2001



I remember playing this when it was included as a freebie in some gaming mag, the vibrant graphics are indeed quite something. The entire thing feels like someone crossed an early Sierra adventure game with some of the later Lucas Arts games and foresaw the interface/gameplay simplification craze from the mid-90s that brought us "masterpieces" such as King's Quest VII. Still, I liked it OK as the game really knocks it out of the park when it comes to atmosphere and dropping your items wherever you wanted was kind of neat. Thanks a lot for LPing this!

Xander77
Apr 6, 2009

Fuck it then. For another pit sandwich and some 'tater salad, I'll post a few more.


Whoops, my sandcastle post was a bit too late. Get the soundtrack and put up some tindeck links - the music is the best thing about this game.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Xander77 posted:

Whoops, my sandcastle post was a bit too late. Get the soundtrack and put up some tindeck links - the music is the best thing about this game.

You're absolutely right! However, there is a small snafu. The music for Legend of Kyrandia is in Westwood's proprietary ADL format, and only works on the OPL3 synth. Fortunately, there are programs that can play ADL files! Unfortunately, some of the Kyrandia ADL files cause these programs to crash (although ScummVM plays them fine). In addition, I can't locate some tracks - maybe they're in the files that don't work, I'm not sure. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to use the original files when I can, and take whatever I can't from in-game footage. Hopefully there won't be any huge discrepancies due to different emulation engines being used.

Music we've heard so far (I'll edit it into the updates in a bit):

Music: Opening Cinematic

Music: Malcolm vs the Forest

Music: Kallak's Letter

Music: Malcolm vs Kallak

Music: Brandon's House

Music: Treeface

Music: Forest

Music: Temple of Kyrandia

And yeah, I'd just like to add that even though I knock the game a lot for its extremely generic plot, I really enjoyed this trilogy when it first came out and I still do. The first game is just the slowest of the bunch (plus it has a certain extremely unwelcome location that we haven't seen yet).

Hyper Crab Tank fucked around with this message at Jul 26, 2014 around 12:27

Nidoking
Jan 27, 2009

I fought the lava, and the lava won.


Grimey Drawer

And let's not forget to fault the first game for purposefully making several of the things you have to do completely unclear and obscure. I suppose you COULD somehow blunder your way through the game without hints or help, but I had to phone a friend for one puzzle (and not the one you're thinking of, or the other one you're thinking of - I somehow managed those on my own) and probably just got lucky by finding the solutions to a few others. I wasn't a big fan of that sort of difficulty.

I still intend to do a full video LP of this series someday, but until then, I'm along for the ride with this LP.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Doctor Rope

This was the first adventure game I stumbled upon, and oh, boy, did it have a lot of silliness to it. It'll be neat to see how the series ends; I could never finish the 3rd game.

OminousEdge
Apr 4, 2013


Awesome. I loved playing this game as a kid. Nice seeing it getting LPed. Are you gonna do the other 2 games after it?

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


OminousEdge posted:

Are you gonna do the other 2 games after it?

I would certainly like to if this one turns out well, but we're getting quite a bit ahead of ourselves there.

There are going to be puzzles in this one where I'm going to just have to say "all right, you know what? this is just the answer, take it or leave it, I can't explain why it is this way, it just is." As an aside, the asinine difficulty of some of these puzzles was not helped by the fact that I was like 8 years old when the first game was released, and I barely spoke any English at all. In fact, this trilogy probably taught me more English than school ever did.

Alectai
Dec 31, 2008

It doesn't matter how long I live, I will never have a hat as dashing as this.

The best thing about this game is some of the deaths.

Brandon does some of the dumbest poo poo imaginable.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.


Grimey Drawer

Hyper Crab Tank posted:

I was like 8 years old when the first game was released, and I barely spoke any English at all. In fact, this trilogy probably taught me more English than school ever did.

No kidding, games are how I learned English too. I somehow managed to miss the Kyrandia trilogy despite constantly hearing about it, though.
On the other hand, I think I knew the names of at least eight different gun types before I was able to say hello.

Still can't get over Joe Kucan voicing the protagonist. "My grandfather is hurt! Peace through power!"

jaclynhyde
May 28, 2013


Lipstick Apathy

Glad to see a Kyrandia LP! I loved these games as a kid, even if did just use a walkthrough for the entire thing.

MagicalPoison
Oct 30, 2011


Oh hey, Kyrandia! Featuring the first protagonist child-me ever found unbearable, and hoped that the antagonist actually won in the end. The the fact that Jester Malcolm is basically the Joker with magic powers certainly didn't help improve my opinion of Brandon.

Also the first instance of seeing my first name anywhere else besides report cards. I just wish more of my friends had heard of this game so my nickname in school might've been "The Jester" rather than "In The Middle."

Tupperwarez
Apr 4, 2004

"phphphphphphpht"? this is what you're going with?

you sure?


Alectai posted:

The best thing about this game is some of the deaths.

Brandon does some of the dumbest poo poo imaginable.
Not gonna lie, intentionally leading him to his death was pretty satisfying.

They really, really wanted to make their own Guybrush Threepwood, didn't they? Added a bit too much whiny doofus into the mix, though.

Xander77
Apr 6, 2009

Fuck it then. For another pit sandwich and some 'tater salad, I'll post a few more.


I'm one of the few people who likes the first game in the series far more than the rest. It has the best music, the most coherent (if simple) plot and the most tolerable protagonist. The other two are waaaaay overdosed on "snark" and "wackiness" for me to tolerate them.

Hyper Crab Tank
Feb 10, 2014

The future of crustacean-based warfare


Hey, guess what, guys? To help get this LP started, I'm going to post the next part straight away. Future updates will be on a more sane schedule. Don't expect to see part 3 before the end of next week.


(Alternate title: Chapter 2: Wherein Brandon Channels Geop)

Chapter 2: Wherein Mistakes are Made, and an Amulet is Earned

Last time, the wall of our house told us to go punch Malcolm the jester in the face. Then, we talked to Brynn the mystic, who also told us to go punch Malcolm the jester in the face, but to bring her some flowers first. Rather than question Brandon's mental stability and that of the company he keeps, let's go see about finding that lavender rose. Going right from our house takes us to a hitherto unvisited location.



Unfortunately, it's just another empty woodland area with nothing interesting in it. You've got to give the backdrop artists credit though; for 1992, Kyrandia is a solid-looking game. The colors are vibrant, and everything has this peculiar 1990s-era adventure game charm to it.

By the way, clicking Brandon will result in him commenting on the current situation in general. Unfortunately, all he knows how to do is complain.




I can't believe they let this happen! I wish I had a horse to ride.

Let's just keep going.



One step further to the right, we find the Pool of Sorrow, where tears of dubious origin constantly drip into a pond. Never one to pay much attention to the difference between "can" and "should", clicking on the pool makes Brandon insist on trying to catch one of the strange drops.

I bet I can catch a teardrop!



Clicking the pool a few more times causes Brandon to reflect briefly on its hygienic implications.

Where are these tears coming from? Is this whole pool filled with tears? ... Sort of disgusting, actually. I wouldn't drink it on a bet.

We'll just stash that teardrop in our inventory somehow and proceed to the only other exit, which is right. Despite the background showing a little path winding its way into the distance, we can't actually go that way.



Did that leaf just turn into a gem? Picking it up reveals it to be a peridot, and examining it...



Don't try to sound smart, Brandon. I'm pretty sure you made most of that stuff up.

From this screen, we have a choice; we can go up or down. For now, let's go down. The next two locations are more nondescript wooded areas leading to the mouth of a spooky-looking cave.








... and inside the cave, we run into another acquaintance of ours: handyman, bridge keeper and general imbecile Herman. By the way, the voice actor who does Malcolm also pulls double duty as Herman.

Video: Meeting Herman (Youtube)

Music: Cave (Tindeck)

It wasn't my fault!
The bridge looks ruined, Herman.
Huh?
Aren't you going to fix it?
Sure, but I don't know how! I meant to replace the bad planks, but you know how time flies by. I hope nobody important tried to cross. I could lose my job.

It looks like that bridge is in need of a lot more than a few new planks. It's in shambles.

Can't you just get some new planks and rope?
I can get new rope. I just need to cut new planks! But I don't have anything to cut them with.

Herman is not very good at his job.

I'll see what I can do.

Great. We need to fetch a thing so we can repair a broken bridge blocking our progress. Straight out of Fantasy Adventure Game Tropes 101. Well, I guess there's nothing to do but figure out a way to help Herman out. There's no way we could cross that river any other way, right?

Video: Crossing the Ruined Bridge (Youtube)


I think I can make it across.

I don't think that's a very good idea.
I dunno Brandon. All that's left is that thin rope, and even that looks like it's about to go.

Even Herman knows that's not a good idea.


You're not saying I'm clumsy are you? I am quite agile, Herman!
I'm in charge here, and if anything happened to you, I'd get blamed!

Herman knows that the important part of accident prevention is making sure no one holds you responsible for your incompetence.

Hmm... I'm gonna try it, Herman!
Wait! At least let me get close so that if you fall in--
Here I go!

Music: Tightrope (Tindeck)


Oh no!





Whelp, that sure went about as well as you'd expect it to. Unlike most Lucasarts games, Legend of Kyrandia is perfectly happy to hand out instant game-overs if you do something idiotic enough. There is no continue option either, so you'd better make it a habit to save often. Herman, meanwhile, is more concerned with the fact that someone might force him to actually do his job than with Brandon having been swept to his death.

Let's load up a savegame and not get ourselves killed like idiots this time.




Thank you, Brandon.

All right, let's solve this little "puzzle". It should be pretty obvious what Herman needs: the saw we found under Kallak's desk. Remember that the saw was kind of tucked into the shadows there, and looked like a part of the backdrop, making it real easy to miss the first time through the game. Fortunately, we brought it with us and can just hand it over to Herman.
That's a pretty old saw.


Uh, yeah... Well, I guess I'll try to cut some new planks.
Thanks, Herman.



Wouldn't bet on it, Brandon. With no way to cross the river, we're forced to head elsewhere in search of our lavender rose. On the way, we run into Herman again, now busy trying to cut a tree down for planks.



Talking to him only makes him complain that the saw is old and in need of sharpening, and that it's going to take a while before he's done - adventure-game speak for "complete some other plot points first" - so let's go explore that upper path we didn't take earlier. The first thing we run across is another precious gemstone just sitting around in the forest.



Hmm? A corundum conundrum!

Ha ha ha, shut up Brandon.

To the left is another wooded area, and that one's a dead end with absolutely nothing in it. Rather than waste our time with it, let's go right.



This altar used to glow with magic. Is it missing a piece?

On the next screen, we come across a mysterious-looking altar. There are two orbs up top, but it looks like there should be three, and the altar is not as glowy as Brandon remembers it. Hey, aren't those lavender roses? Looks like we solved ourselves another fetch quest.
Ow! I hope this is what Brynn wants.

Only one way to find out.



Sure did!

Very good, Brandon. Use the rose wisely and the royal amulet will be yours.
Amulet?
In time, it will enable you to wield great power.


Wow! Is that for me?
In order to obtain the amulet, you must place this rose upon the silver altar. Then you must find Darm. He lives in the Timbermist Woods. He may be able to help you. Good luck, Brandon... and be careful.

All right, our lavender rose was enchanted, turning it into a silver rose. According to Brynn, we can exchange it for the royal amulet at the silver altar, which will in turn allow us to wield power great enough to hopefully overturn Malcolm.



Brandon, however, is as clueless as ever. It's like he never pays any attention to what anyone tells him. Well, we saw an altar where we picked up the lavender rose in the first place, so let's try placing the silver rose on it.



Unfortunately, that doesn't work. There is indeed something wrong with the altar, and we don't have what we need to fix it. Drat. We do have one other thing we could do, though.


Ugh. Something sticky is oozing out. That ooze is sticking to my shoes.

Remember this gross-looking tree? Well, that indentation in the tree is suspiciously similar to the teardrop we harvested from the Pool of Sorrows. Of course, the teardrop is much smaller than the dent; it was just a few pixels when we caught it in the first p--



-- okay, never mind then.

Music: Healing the Willow Tree (Tindeck)


Wow! I healed the willow tree!

Good job, Brandon. It's not entirely clear how this helps us, but a good deed is its own reward, right?



Who's this punk?

Want to play? I'll show you this marble I found.
Sorry, I can't play right now, Merith... but let me see that marble.



... you'll have to catch me first!

This little jerk is Merith. He is voice acted, but he sucks and is almost entirely inconsequential to the plot, appearing exclusively to slow down our progress here. We do need that marble of his, though, so we give chase.



I'm not chasing you, Merith.



I'm NOT chasing you!

Well, we kind of are.



It doesn't change the fact that Merith is a little jerk.



This part seems a little strange, because there is no other way you can get to this screen from where we started, so the game makes it look like Merith ran in here the same way we did and promptly turned his back, waiting for us to show up.



Let go of the branch, Merith. I'll catch you.



Punk got what he deserved. And that marble looks awfully familiar, doesn't it? Just how did he "find" this again?
Very funny, Brandon. You can have the marble! I'm not playing with you anymore!
Thanks, Merith.

And that is the last we ever see of Merith. He doesn't appear any more in the game. The early puzzle design in this game is a little halting, serving more as roadblocks than anything else. In fact, this particular sequence is impossible to fail. Once you heal the willow tree, all you have to do is walk in the direction of the altar - where you need to go anyhow - and the whole issue will resolve itself.



Brandon would be the kind of guy to have a marble collection, wouldn't he. Now that we have the marble, we can repair the altar, conveniently located one screen to the right.



Hey! Perfect fit! Must be fixed now!

Let's give it a try, then. We drop the silver rose on the altar...





That must be the amulet! Hey, this is going to be easy!

Overconfident and whiny. What a protagonist. Anyway, the Royal Amulet will sit in the panel to the right of our inventory for the rest of the game. There are four gems in the amulet, each corresponding to a magic spell. Unfortunately, right now...



... none of the gems do anything. We have to power them up before we can use each respective spell. Double drat. Maybe Brynn can help us out.



Brynn!? Brynn!!! She's gone.

Well, that's very inconsiderate of her. Here we are, on a quest to save our grandfather and rid the world of the evil jester Malcolm, and she just goes off gallivanting to who knows where. We don't need her. We've got our trusty pal Herman.



Looks like he finished cutting down that tree.



... and he fixed the bridge, too!

It's completely safe now!

Uh, sure. Say, how about you cross it a few times before we give it another try. No particular reason.

Uh, yeah... it looks... definitely rebuilt!

It's great when the game shows off Brandon's snarky side. It's what takes him from being a whiny tool to being a whiny, but sometimes funny, tool.

Thanks, Brandon.
So where's my saw?



drat it, Herman. We need that for purposes.

But, I'll go find it right away!



You said it. Given that Herman managed to lose the saw despite only moving like twenty feet away from the mouth of his cave, it's not likely he's going to find it any time soon. Nothing to do now but to risk life and limb on Herman's rebuilt bridge. Fortunately, this time around, it holds just fine. On the other side of the cave is...



Timbermist Woods, where Brynn said we could find Darm the Mystic! And with that, we've completed the first area of the game, and we only died once!

I'd like to find this Malcolm. How tough could he be?

And it seems Brandon is finally caught up on the plot of the game, although he's also forgotten that Malcolm was certainly tough enough to turn Brandon's grandpa into a statue. Next time, we'll explore Timbermist Woods and meet a dragon.

mateo360
Mar 20, 2012

TOO MANY PEOPLE MERLOCK!
ONLY ONE DIJON!


I do love that you have to actively do stupid stuff to actually kill your character with stupid deaths.

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014



Clapping Larry


This needs to be a deal with it .gif

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



Ah, the good old days of adventure games.

That voice acting sounds like the lines were recorded separately and in a basement.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Doctor Rope

mateo360 posted:

I do love that you have to actively do stupid stuff to actually kill your character with stupid deaths.

That won't last. Trust me.

RexNebular
Jun 3, 2013


I love how much effort they put into the death animations in this game. The developers really wanted to reward you for getting Brandon repeatedly and horribly slaughtered. (Although it will get a little harder to appreciate this as the deaths get more "Now how the hell was I supposed to know THAT?!" And they will.)

Fedule
Mar 27, 2010


No one left uncured.
I got you.


For now we must do stupid poo poo to die.
Soon, we will need to do stupid poo poo to live.

Psion
Dec 13, 2002



Poil posted:

That voice acting sounds like the lines were recorded separately and in a basement.

Well, yeah. Only room for one person at a time in the basement studio.

mateo360
Mar 20, 2012

TOO MANY PEOPLE MERLOCK!
ONLY ONE DIJON!


Night10194 posted:

That won't last. Trust me.

Oh I know. I have played all three games but explaining further would go into semi spoiler territory.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.


Clapping Larry

It is a little weird that the supposedly annoying kid is bested by walking in the same direction multiple times.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Listen: we get it, you don't like the thing and that's okay. Use more creative descriptors instead of using slurs. Be considerate. Spice up your writing and also stop being a gigantic ass.


Oh man, the Kyrandia games. Are you planning to tackle the other two afterwards? I only played them as a kid and I could never beat the second one, being stupid and a kid I could never tell if it was because I'd walled myself in like some of those old adventure games sometimes let you do, or whether it was just because I was dense. Probably the second, though.

willing to settle
Apr 13, 2011


I wouldn't say I really loved this game as a kid, given that, like everyone else, I only finished the second and third ones. But I guess the first has a certain charm? The area that shall not be named excepted.

Looking forward to seeing more!

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014



Clapping Larry

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Deathwind
Mar 3, 2013


The reason this game isn't mentioned much isn't just that it's generic, it also has an annoying UI. Anyone who put up with the UI gets to slog through some rather bullshit puzzles with little reward. Sierra games were rewarding to complete because of their high mortality, Lucasarts did it with clever writing and comedy, kyrandia has almost nothing.

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