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The Legend of Kyrandia is a fantasy point and click adventure game trilogy with comedy elements, created by Westwood Studios, and released for DOS, Amiga, FM Towns and Apple Macintosh. It was based in a fantasy setting called Fables & Fiends which has not been used beyond the trilogy, and is partly based on a multiplayer game with the same name optionally available on Galacticomm's MajorBBS.
The games of the trilogy are named as follows:
- The Legend of Kyrandia Book One (released on floppy disk and CD-ROM, came on nine disks for the Amiga version - this was the only game in the series converted for the Amiga)
- The Legend of Kyrandia Book Two: The Hand of Fate (released on floppy disk and CD-ROM)
- The Legend of Kyrandia Book Three: Malcolm's Revenge (released on CD-ROM only)
Each installment of the series uses the perspective of a different character. In the first game, the player controls a young hero named Brandon. In the second, the player controls a royal female mystic named Zanthia. In the third and final game, the player controls Malcolm, the evil court jester who was previously the main antagonist.
The Legend of Kyrandia became known for its extremely simple interface, a feature present in all three games in the series. Though vaguely reminiscent of point-and-click adventure games of the period, the primary detail that distinguished Westwood's trilogy was the use of a single "use" action, as opposed to multi-action interfaces.
All three games are characterized by a quite innovative inventory system. It is notable for the variety of allowed physical actions you could subject the items to, especially the great freedom of dropping and picking up objects, which was used for some of the puzzles. In general, the puzzles in the series are based on experimenting with inventory items, combining them or depositing them in the correct places.
In the fantasy kingdom of Kyrandia, King William and his wife, Queen Catherine, have been murdered by the evil court jester Malcolm, a madman who possesses vast magical powers. Brandon, the prince, has been hidden in the forest by Kallak, a counselor of the King, who raises him as his grandson. Malcolm has fun destroying the forest of the country, and meets Kallak, turning him into stone. Brandon, oblivious of his past, soon discovers the truth about his origins. He finds out that Malcolm has stolen the Kyragem, a mystic stone that contains the kingdom's energy. Brandon has to recover the Kyragem and defeat Malcolm.
After many adventures, also including the obtaining of an important and the king's chalice along the way (not to mention learning four different magical spells), Brandon is able to reach the king's castle which Malcolm now occupies. Here he finds most of his former friends and allies from earlier in the game here, too, turned to stone by Malcolm as well as a magical scepter and king's crown. Putting these together he unlocks the way to Malcolm's personal chamber where the Kyragem lies. He defeats Malcolm personally but only escapes momentarily before Malcolm returns for revenge. After becoming invisible (one of his magic powers) he walks up to a giant mirror, Malcolm uses a magic (appearing to throw a fireball) which bounces off the mirror, turning Malcolm to stone. In the ending cutscene Brandon becomes king, his friends are freed, and the Kyragem is returned to its proper place.
Book Two: The Hand of Fate
Years later, Zanthia, a young female alchemist and wizard encountered in the first game, discovers that the kingdom of Kyrandia is in great danger, disappearing piece by piece. The Mystics hold a meeting, and The Hand (a giant glove serving as Marko's assistant) formulates a plan, which requires a magic anchor stone from the center of the world. He chooses Zanthia to be the one who shall recover the stone. As it turns out, however, the quest for the anchor stone is a wild goose chase, used by The Hand to distract Zanthia and the other Mystics while it enacts its evil deeds. The Hand, supposedly a fragment of a long-deceased gigantic evil sorcerer, is the game's true villain, and Zanthia must defeat him in the end. This game was characterized by far more whimsical humor than its predecessor.
Also in this game Marko, who actually loves Zanthia, must be rescued several times by the player (if s/he so chooses; they can otherwise leave Marko to escape on his own). This game also features many more non-optional side quests. Rather it is not as straightforward as the predecessor which was intent on finding and killing Malcolm. In this game the player must go to several different locations and perform various tasks to eventually be able to reach the main destination. For example one major plot point is to reach a volcanic island named "Volcania," which involves an extensive side quest with many different objectives, to reach the center of the Earth (after which Zanthia must perform many other tasks, including performing tasks with dinosaurs such as playing fetch with a Stegosaurus or riding a T-Rex, to retrieve items to be used to make potions — a major part of the game — before she can advance).
But after Zanthia retrieves an anchor stone, Marko opens a portal and tells her to meet with him at the "Wheels of Fate." After many other extensive quests, Zanthia reaches a floating island and uses an old rainbow machine to reach her destination. There, after retrieving several important items including a gear (through a very difficult three-part puzzle), she is able to go to the "control room" of sorts. There it turns out that a gear has been removed and the machine that is controlling Kyrandia (thus causing everything to disappear). After she fixes it, the Hand appears again with a tied-up Marko. After a "battle" (mostly which includes Zanthia dodging the Hand's attacks until Marko is able to free himself), Marko throws the hand over the edge and it is ripped up by the massive gears and other machines outside of the control room. Marko then tells Zanthia that they should leave and that he has magic parachutes calling her "sweetheart," which she repeats (literally shocked to hear the word).
In a final scene after the credits, the still-stone Malcolm is seen in a junkyard not far from the castle. He is struck by lightning and the camera focuses on his hand, as his fingers slowly move and off-screen screams are heard. The story is then continued in Book 3: Malcolm's Revenge.
Book Three: Malcolm's Revenge
After Malcolm's defeat against Brandon in the first game, Malcolm had been turned into a statue, but after having been struck by lightning, he was liberated from the spell. Malcolm then decides to take his revenge upon Brandon and Kallak, helped by his evil conscience, Gunther. Even though he lost his powerful magic, Malcolm decides to use his malicious wit and cunning to go through with his revenge. He eventually proves his innocence of the murder of Brandon's parents.
- Brandon: The protagonist of the first game in the series. A humble young woodsman in the forest of Kyrandia, Brandon is in fact the Prince of Kyrandia and heir to the throne. When he was just a baby, his parents were murdered, and soon afterward Kallak fled to the forest with him and raised him as his grandson. When Malcolm attacks Kyrandia and turns Kallak into stone, Brandon sets out to defeat the evil jester. In the tradition of adventure game heroes like Roger Wilco and Guybrush Threepwood, Brandon is depicted as well meaning, but not particularly bright. By the third game in the series, Brandon has inherited the throne and become King of Kyrandia, but his counselor Kallak holds the real power due to Brandon's somewhat dim-witted nature.
- Zanthia: The protagonist of the second game in the series. Zanthia is a member of the Counsel of Mystics and a powerful magic-user, although she is highly dependent on the use of reagents in order to cast spells. Perhaps the sanest of Kyrandia's inhabitants, Zanthia's personality is witty, confident, and level-headed.
- Malcolm: The main antagonist of the series, and the protagonist of the third and final game. Malcolm is a mean-spirited, sarcastic, and slightly deranged jester who commands incredibly powerful magic. He is also the cousin of the late King of Kyrandia, and widely believed to be the murderer of the royal family (although this is revealed to be untrue at the very end of the last game). At the end of the first game, Malcolm is defeated by Brandon, who reflects his own magic back at him and turns him into stone. In the third game, Malcolm is freed by a bolt of lightning, but loses his magical powers, forcing him to rely on his wits to survive, get his revenge, and ultimately clear his name.
Westwood Studios developed the file format .VQA for video encoding for Legend of Kyrandia: Book Three: Malcolm's Revenge. Legend of Kyrandia 1 is fully compatible with ScummVM 0.9.0. Hand of Fate became supported by ScummVM in April 2008, Malcolm's Revenge in May 2008.
- Originally, The Legend of Kyrandia was not released as the first book/part of a planned trilogy of games. It was only after the release of Book Two and Book Three that the subtitle Book One was added by Westwood Studios in subsequent re-releases of the first game to denote the origin of the series.
- In the original release of Book 3: Malcolm's Revenge, the numerical form of the number 3 is used in the title, whereas in the original release of Book Two: The Hand of Fate, the spelled-out form of number 2 is used in the title.
- In the first Lands of Lore game, Zanthia makes an unspoken cameo in one of the earliest story sequences in the game. Both games are developed by Westwood Studios.
- In the second Lands of Lore game, entitled Guardians of Destiny, a brief reference is made to the Kyragem, while Book Two has an Easter egg where the player collects a letter addressed to Scotia (the villainess of Lands of Lore 1).
- The appearance of the Kyragem and Zanthia in the Lands of Lore games hint at the possibility that both Westwood Studios fantasy games take place in the same world.
- There are different versions of the original Legend of Kyrandia. One version has slightly different dialogue—in some areas, there is swearing and some light adult humour. For example, one can click on the chest of the statue of Zanthia and Brandon will say "I've always wanted to do that!"
- The director of the FMV scenes, and also the voice of Brandon in Legend of Kyrandia was Joseph D. Kucan, better known as Kane in another of Westwood Studios creations, the Command & Conquer series. This was his first directing role at Westwood.
- ftp://ftp.westwood.com/pub/kyrandia1/ - non-interactive demo, screenshots, update
- ftp://ftp.westwood.com/pub/kyrandia2/ - demo, screenshots, update
- ftp://ftp.westwood.com/pub/kyrandia3/ - media
- 'The Legend of Kyrandia series at MobyGamescs:The Legend of Kyrandiafr:The Legend of Kyrandia