Title Legends of Valour Game Type RPG Players 1 Company US Gold/Synthetic Dimensions Compatability All? Submission William Payne Review Although Wing Commander had already been released, Legends of Valour was the first Amiga game I had seen to use texture-mapping for the main in-game graphics. I'd recently played Ultima Underworld on a friend's PC, and was very happy when It looked like us Amiga users were going to get a game that made that look like 3D Monster Maze on the ZX81. Unfortunately when the game arrived I realized that to get any acceptable kind of performance out of it on my coughing and spluttering A500, I was going to have to play with the smallest display size, but that seemed okay in exchange for full, real-time 3d texture-mapped gameplay. The game was certainly ambitious. Set in the medieval, Germanic sounding town of Mittledorf, you were cast as a wet-behind-the-ears newbie adventurer, freshly arrived from the country after receiving a letter from your cousin telling of the fantastic time he was having in the city. However, he fails to turn up to meet you when you arrive leaving you all alone in the big city. The most impressive aspect of the game is the freedom it allows you. To start with, you must find somewhere to sleep as nighttime comes around quickly in Mittledorf, and you don't really want to be wandering the streets after dark, atleast not until you've got some decent weapons and skills. This means renting a room in a hostel, which will require regular rent payments, so just like in real life you have to find a job. There are several guilds you can join, as well as becoming a priest of one of several religions, and all of these will pay you a small wage that will help you get started on your career as a swashbuckling adventurer. It soon becomes apparent that in fact these guilds are the keys to completing the adventure. Although it was presented at the time as entirely free-flowing, without definite objectives, there is infact an overall mission to the game which involves rescuing the king of the city, who has been kidnapped. Underneath the city there are literally miles upon miles of corridors and caverns, inhabited by a varied and fairly imaginative selection of monsters and animals which can all be fought and killed for experience and money. Unfortunately, the game failed to live up to its promise. Probably purely because the design was simply too ambitious, there are a number of technical flaws that ruin what could have been a fantastic game. For example, there is no point engaging any of the creatures or citizens in swordplay because any foe can be killed instantly just by throwing any item at them. Law-abiding citizens walk up to you and attack for no real reason, which is something that isn't supposed to happen unless they're provoked, according to the games documentation. There are a whole load of the game's features, such as various character statistics, and an initial choice of character race (dwarf, human, elf etc) that don't seem to actually have any effect on the game at all, as if the game was released before the features the designers had envisaged could be fully implemented. Legends of valour could be a superb game if it was released now, on today's spec machines and developed by a team of today's size. In terms of ambition and scope it certainly wouldn't look out of place on the shelves alongside many of today's PC role-playing extravaganzas. However at the time the technology required to generate such a convincing and huge game world just wasn't available.