Title           Legend
Game Type       RPG
Players         1
Company		Mindscape International
Compatability   All?
Submission      Phil J N

One of the amazing things about the Amiga computer game market was the
sheer number and variety of choices available to the buying public. The
addition of larger memory modules, hard drives, extra external floppy
drives, etc, all meant that the game developers could extend their already
amazing talents and push the Amiga to its virtual limits. I`ve been
playing games on computers since I bought a ZX81 in 1982, and I`ve watched
one particluar genre become both a wonderous thing to behold, and also a
bloated and hyped piece of embarrassment. My personal preference for
gaming was sealed the day I loaded up a cassette driven "game", given to
me by a friend, who said.... "load this up and see what you think" I
loaded it onto my Spectrum 16k and was presented with a black screen with
yellow writing that said "You are standing outside a well house next to a
small stream..."  (I paraphrase because old age addles the memory.) This
game was called Classic Adventure. So I became a Role Play Game lover. For
many years after that, no game came close to the gameplay, atmosphere, and
sheer addiction of Classic Adventure..... until I installed a demo from a
cover magazine of a Game called "Legend" Suddenly it was full colour....
it was 3D Isometric overview of the lands and buildings. The characters
could be tinkered about with...their genders changed, their clothing
changed, you could name them and choose their special skills.

And then you set out upon the adventure of your life.

You control a crew of adventurers who have the task of travelling the
lands (portrayed as a map, initially, of rolling hills and green swathes
of countryside) visiting taverns, Smithy`s, Alchemists, Rune Masters, to
buy and sell equipment and ingredients to further equip your crew. This
needs money. Looking over the map screen you would see your "safe towns"
(towns allied to yourself) with blue flags flying, but, waiting around a
few minutes would reveal some red flags and banners appear and start
sweeping across the map. Each Flag had a different symbol to signify which
enemy army it belonged to (ranging in toughness), and that was where the
fun started. You would maneouvre your own Crew`s flag to intercept an
enemy flag and then the battle was joined. Again, a 3D Isometric view
would appear of the green lands, and you would enter the map at one point
and the enemy would appear soon after. Arranging the formation of your
Berserker warrior, assassin, wizard, and Bard was essential to provide
protection for the weaker crew members, and all hell of battle would then
break loose. Defeating an enemy would leave a battlefield littered with
armour, gold, and occasionally, magical items for you to kit out your
crew with or sell for a profit. You then leave the battle screen and head
for the nearest safe haven, sell the surplus goods, and buy more equipment.

The above description was only the Basic idea of the game, the real meat
of it was in the dungeons and castle crawls. Puzzle solving, pathfinding,
glyph reading and switch throwing taxed even the cleverest of minds, but
there was always the urge to move ever onwards to solve the problems and
cleanse the evil.

Words actually fail me on this game when I try to describe just how good
it was. At present, I`m considered a "minor" expert on the PC games of
Baldur`s gate and Baldur`s Gate 2, both are magnificent, sprawling,
luscious looking, RPG`s. The premise of these modern pieces of gaming
excellence is almost identical to the game Legend. (but rendered in almost
perfect sound and graphics) but they just cant manage the one thing that
set Legend so many years ahead of the others in its genre:

                      Spellcasting and wizardry.

In all the RPG`s I`ve played since Legend, your Wizard or Mage collects
spells, gains experience and knowledge, and then he can cast the aforesaid
spells. Not so In Legend...oh no.... In legend your wizard had a spell
book.... but it was blank. But he did have a mixing bowl and a pestle. And
he did have access to the "runemaster" and the various places where he
could purchase ingredients like Batwings, Sulphur etc etc. He then set
about experimenting with ingredients and runes to see what worked with a
"whoosh," and what fizzled with a "phutt!" As your Wizard`s experience
grew and his runestone knowledge increased, it became possible to create a
cascading  firework display of spellcasting that could fill and affect an
entire battlefield, creating a set of visuals that bordered on extasy when
you realised that these spells were all of your own design and creation.

As I said, words are so difficult to find when you come across something
that exceeds perfection. I really do think this game achieved that
accolade. I offer advice on a number of state of the art RPG`s for the
modern PC, some I rate as high as 99% (Got a PC? Play RPG`s? Got Baldurs
gate yet?  No??  GO BUY NOW!!) But never have I seen a game like this
compact piece of genius spread across a miniscule 2 Floppies for the
Amiga. Baldur`s Gate by Interplay / Black Isle Studios is the best RPG in
todays gaming world, but it comes on 6CD`s and takes up (full install)
the best part of 3 GIGAbytes of space..... Legend took me months to complete
and it used 1.4 megabytes. Now THAT is a measure of excellent programming
and gameplay design.

The only piece of software I`ve ever used that deserves the accolade of
"100% Perfect"

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