Legend of Kyrandia: Fables and Fiends

Made by Westwood, released in 1992

Just a Magical Land



Current Zar note: I did this LP in 2007! I left my write-up mostly unchanged.




I actually had this ready a while ago, but not as long ago as you might think. Like I said, I completely forgot most of the answers to the puzzles in this, which ended up getting me stuck in a few places, which was annoying. And also the copy protection had to be a big pain in the butt. But more on that later I guess.

Anyway, Legend of Kyrandia: Fables and Fiends (no one refers to it as Fables and Fiends, it's just Kyrandia mostly) is an adventure game that came about about 1992, which was apparently a good year for games. At least for me, anyway. This one is NOT a Sierra game, and was actually released by a different company called Westwood. There's a bit of an amusing story about this...

At this point, real point and click games hadn't really come into being just yet. Parsers (where you type in commands) abounded and while mouse support was in there, the eventual standard interface was yet to come. The guys working on Kyrandia came up with their interface, which used a mouse and NO keyboard, and some extremely lavish and beautiful backgrounds and a nice soundtrack, and then took what they had of Kyrandia over to Sierra's head honcho, Ken Williams.

Ken was all "Haha, that's really amazing. Let me show you something." and took them back to show them the game they were working on, which had an icon based interface, no parser, and handpainted backgrounds called King's Quest V. The Kyrandia guys had been kind of beat to the punch, and they were pretty shocked.

Ken at that point offered to buy them out and make Westwood part of Sierra, and release Kyrandia as one of their titles, since he was impressed with what they'd done.

The guys at Westwood decided not to go for it and released Kyrandia on their own. And now you know!

Kyrandia isn't a particularly well known series, which is a shame cause it does have its moments. It's really beautiful graphically and has a lovely soundtrack, and the games are generally pretty fun, except for some hairpullingly aggravatingly random puzzles or mazes. Par for the course, really. The thing I specifically remember about Kyrandia though is how and when I got it. I don't think I got it exactly when it came out, because I found it in a bargain bin...one of those "under ten dollars" things. Which is weird, since I don't think the second or third games were out at this point. Anyway, the cover intrigued me, and when I read the back it sounded pretty neat, and I loved adventure games so I got it and took it home.

I can still remember some of the puzzles I got stuck on when I was younger. I remember spending the entire day trying to find a way around the problem, different solutions, things that I just KNEW would work and getting home and finding out that nope, no dice. Finally solving the puzzle felt like such an achievement. Ah, memories.

There were three Kyrandia games made, and I really loved all of them. My favorite actually is probably Hand of Fate, the second one, for various reasons, but one of the big ones probably being THERE'S NO MAZE IN IT, something that both one AND three felt the need to include. For some reason. Three's maze was particularly evil. But anyway. Most people feel that this game is the strongest in the series, and I can see why. It's more difficult than the other two, that's for sure, and it has a kind of...different feel, sort of. If we do the others, you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, I have a lot of fondness for the Kyrandia series. I played through each of them as they came out, struggling through the puzzles and all, and I can still remember installing the first game on various computers, trying to get the third one to work since it's so picky about video drivers, and booting up the Inverted Towers of Annoi in the second one just for kicks. I can probably beat the second one in like an hour if I felt like it. It's a series that I'm really fond of, although it's not as integral to me as the Sierra games, and it's fairly obscure. The only person I ever really knew who'd even heard of the games for a long time was marysia. :O And really, they're worth a try. You'll see.

I really love the music in Kyrandia a lot, and I'd recommend checking it out. I don't know how many of you actually download the music I include with each dealy here, but I'll include them anyway. I MUST BE THOROUGH

Kyrandia remixes DO exist! :O They are rare and hard to find but they do! I'll include them when I can.

Anyway, let's get started! You can download a cracked version of Kyrandia here, which you will need because the copy protection is almost impossible to get around otherwise. And it will screw you over pretty quickly. It's about five megs. I HOPE YOUR HARD DRIVE CAN TAKE IT.

You can see here that it wants me to run kyrandia. BUT I WILL NOT. The first step with any DOS game like this is to run setup or install and set your sound card. The only exception to this, for some reason, is Star Control 2, which apparently is quite happy to be copy and pasted anywhere without even noticing. Other games not so much. It's always a good idea to do this with any other DOS game you start, just to make sure it's all set up correctly.

I don't know why but most setup screens look like this, even if the game is gorgeous otherwise. IT'S NOT IMPORTANT NO ONE WILL NOTICE.

Don't screw with the memory setup. Whatever emulator you're using (DOSbox, ScummVM) they'll handle that for you. The most important thing in these setup things is to make sure the sound plays right. That's the first thing to get all wonky if you don't specifically tell it what to do.

Simple enough.

Believe me, we are way past the point where this would ever be a problem for you. Back in 1992, maybe, but not now. Ignore it.

I mentioned in the Space Quest I screencap adventure that different soundcards have a different sound to them. This is true for all games. A game set up with a Soundblaster card sounds different than a Roland MT-32. When I was a kid, I had a Soundblaster card, so I always choose Soundblaster from these choices. However, it's really up to you. You can just go through all the choices and pick whichever one sounds best to you. The soundtrack I'll be linking to will be recorded off of the MT-32, as a frame of reference.

I'd recommend avoiding the PC Speaker though, unless you like that kind of thing.

Y

Alright we're done. Outta here!

Okay, NOW boot it up for realz.

Ah, memory handling. Don't worry, Kyrandia isn't one of those games that will randomly boot you out for some memory error or another. At least, not in my experience. CURSE YOU "OUT OF HANDLES"! CURSE YOU! WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!

Woah sorry flashback

I wonder what happened to them? I'm sure they're out of business now.

LOOK AT THOSE FANCY GEM LETTERS WOO BOY

The Kyrandia Theme and Introduction kicks in around this point, and will continue right up to Speech of the Land, when we get to it. The Kyrandia theme isn't as clear and recognizable to me as, say, the themes for Space Quest/Quest for Glory/King's Quest or the others, but it's still something that stirs up a lot of fond memories. The Kyrandia theme isn't reprised that often in the sequels as well, which may have something to do with it. You can probably match up what's going on in the screenshots to the song, actually. It's pretty easy to tell what's going on when.

Maybe it's just me but I find that a really pretty vista. I really like the graphics in this game, by the way.

UH OH

THAT'S ALL THE BACKSTORY YOU'RE GETTIN OUT OF US! TIME TO HIT THE BAR!

That's Malcolm there, and I love him. :D

Are jesters just always evil or is it just me

HAW HAW

"look man you walked into my branch there was nothin i could do"

Squirrel: yes yes i see your point

I have to admit I cackle at this every time. I DUNNO WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME.

I AGREE

Anyway

"I have his Foreigner tape."

Did you see that fancy change in focus there eh eh it's actually a really neat effect in the game

Kallak: oh gdit

HEY KALLAK WHATCHA DOIN HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Malcolm jingles when he moves. 8D

"You!" exclaims Avery Thorne-Haskel, formerly of Ravenclaw, taking a quick step backwards. "Remus, as in Remus Lupin--Sirius Black's boyfriend, the werewolf."

Kallak all like man we never should have moved in together things got all weird

"And I was going to write a letter to Brynn warning her, but you know how things go and I ended up putting it off until today. I just get so busy, you know?"

"I made supper. >("

I'M A FREEWHEELIN JESTER, AIN'T GONNA TIE ME DOWN WITH NO RULES

An acre for about a week, no one knew.

By the way, if this stilted fantasy talk is bugging you, it definitely lightens up in the next two in the series by a big margin.

Kallak rips his robe open, pounding his chest. COME ON! COME ON! BE A MAN!

"I spent it all at Subway multiplying my Turkey Ham Club for no reason. Heavy weighs the crown of impossible abilities, my friend."

Hey wait did Malcolm finish his last thought there

OH I AM JUST SO EVIL

WELL GOTTA GO BYE

Although it would be appropriate, I do not think Kallak sheds a stone tear here. Possibly the graphical demand would be too great.

I then managed to completely miss screencapping Brandon walking around. HURR HURR. Brandon is our protagonist this time around, and a right doofy guy he is. Not in a bad way though. He's just...an adventure game hero. What do you want.

Ah right, this gives us the first look at the interface. Note that it tells you your location and all. The ten slots at the bottom are where you can hold items, and you can only hold ten at a time. This is important.

YOU'RE ALL GREY FOR SOME REASON AND HARD, IS THIS SOME KIND OF NEW SKIN CONDITION?!?!

Also a good idea when starting up a new game of whatever - hit the options screen and see what you can fiddle with. It can save you time in the long run.

WHEN I CLICK YOU SAY HOW FAST BRANDON GET ACROSS THE SCREEN RIGHT NOW

That says the text is clickable but it's not really. It's still annoyingly slowpaced. Bah.

Brandon's attention span is LEGENDARY

An interesting sidenote about this interface - when you click something, it's like Brandon is touching that object. The cursor is essentially kind of an extension of his hand. You'll see more of this later.

Not with your stringbeany arms no

Hahahahaha I don't know why this makes me laugh.

You're going to be seeing a lot of random gemstones around so you better get used to it.

Alright whatever I'm out of here

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH

don't turn around don't turn around

SSSSSSSSSSSSSATAN!

Anyway, around this point Speech of the Land kicks in. You can hear the wood warping and such. It's just pretty but kind of ominous stuff. All Kyrandia music is pretty.

"And your grandfather owes us a lot of money."

"It says 'Stop walking on me, it hurts'. Thank you for your time." *bzrwup*

"Nobody ever calls me!"

WE'D LIKE TO GET A GROUP PHOTO

So what, do magic spells of good intent ALSO upset the balance? How delicate IS this balance? I think someone's just miffed that their buddies are getting blown up.

Brandon often serves as the voice of reason, as aptly portrayed here. THAT IS A QUESTION I WAS ASKING MYSELF BRANDON.

Apparently not, because it just existed all over your friends and blew them to pieces! Hahahahaha!

What a cop out. MAYBE YOU SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT??

I dunno, Kyragem just makes me laugh. Kyrandia, Kyragem. OF COURSE.

If the trees have no magic why would they even make a pact with man? What could they even offer? "Please don't blow us up, and we'll occasionally transform your walls into hideous faces and chat with you every now and then."

MAYBE SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE, I DUNNO, BEEN PROTECTING IT. JUST A THOUGHT.

That's not fair though since I bet someone was protecting it, but I guess when your magic can blow up trees they aren't very good guards.

"Screw you houseface, I just came in here for lunch!"

"Oh great, yeah, right, sure. You could at least spot me a twenty."

"This entire business has been extraordinarily vague!"

"And read the manual, that's where all the backstory is."

Well thanks for that I was otherwise planning to hurl myself off the nearest cliff with a wild, heady scream of delight and empty pockets.

IS IT HIS SCOLIOSIS? I JUST HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S WRONG!

Whatevs i am out g

I don't know why I didn't take screencaps of this screen before. OH WELL.

Wheeee!

Outside Brandon's Home (The Forest) is actually probably the song I associate the strongest with Kyrandia, cause I heard it A LOT. Just very pleasant music with pan pipes and such. Cheery and optimistic. Let's see...

Befallen Quest is from Dwelling of Duels, and is just a kind of lazy, relaxed electric guitar version of the theme.

There's a LOT of detail in the background screens, which is good because you will see them over and over and OVER AGAIN while you're wandering around. By the way, I recommend making maps while you're playing this. Especially for some parts coming up. This area isn't too complicated, but believe me, after walking through bunches of screens that for all intents and purposes look preeetty much the same it's real easy to lose track of where you are.

The Pool of Sorrow has a very pretty theme. Just very quick strumming and pace in a minor key, with the sound of droplets falling behind.

This is also the first part of the Kyrandia Medley, the only Kyrandia remix on OCR. WHY AREN'T THERE MORE ADVENTURE GAME REMIXES sorry. It sounds surprisingly good with electric guitars.

Wait how would that eh nevermind

EMO CLOUDS

Don't drink the water.

Sadly you can't make him drink it. I did try.

HEY A LEAF

NO!!! REALLY?!?!

Man all I need to do is find a jeweler and I'm set.

Totally goin in the cave

I like picturing Brandon saying this in a somewhat accusatory tone. Actually I tend to hear most of the lines in this game completely deadpan, which makes them hilarious to me. I have no idea what they're actually supposed to sound like. I don't think they made a talky version of this...I should check.

TIME IS MONEY, HERMAN.

Like the guy who was supposed to protect the Kyragem, I hope it wasn't him.

DING DING QUEST TIME

Yes, yes I do.

SURPRISE! Riker said as he GOD WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME

Oh mos definitely

I like Brandon's little hand flip there.

QUITE AGILE, #$^# YOUR EYES.

yeah the bridge committee really runs a tight ship

You can also drag me to an untimely death wtf Herman

SAW THAT COMIN LIKE TWENTY MINUTES AGO

everytime I see this I can't stop laughing. CAPS.

Admirable work ethic in the land of Kyrandia! No wonder someone just waltzed in and smeared something all over the Kyragem to make it stop working.

Dying in Kyrandia isn't much fun, since this is the only message you get. Lame. At least Sierra sometimes made them creative.

look i'm working on it

Well thanks for that Brandon.

An example of the cursor as Brandon's hand thing. THORNS OW

I love how Brandon's all OW OW OW OW bouquet :D so quickly. Hahahaha.

HMM, I DUNNO. MAYBE THE GUY WHO DESIGNED IT WAS JUST REALLY INTO ASYMMETRY

This screen is totally pointless.

POINTLESS!!!

Movin along...

It needs the sustenance of the living

SUSPICIOUS LOOKING? NAH.

Here, have the tears I didn't shed for you, willow.

Yeah, how about that!

Brandon, you dork.

I SHOULD GET AN AWARD!

Healing the Willow FOR EIGHTEEN SECOND MADNESS

who the #$^$ are you

Look I don't have any change leave me alone

Hahahahahaha Merith. Merith. Hahaha. It's like Meredith except someone fell asleep halfway through.

Hahaha yeah right, you're dead meat kid.

Brandon standing there with his hands on his hips, a pleased expression. Long flowing beard, shop of mystical wonders.

Who keeps dropping these, elves?

Why hey this looks important.

Temple of Kyrandia music! It's very temple-y. You know what I mean. I like how it builds in power as it goes along.

Brynn: :O

Brynn (Enchanted Note) is just kind of ominous again, bad news. Still sort of temple-y though.

Actually, the note was one of those things where if you hit a key it vanishes. So I couldn't screencap it, and since I was holding down ctrl for capping, I skipped past it. WOOPS.

Just one man? What kind of wussy country IS Kyrandia anyway

he is funky

Brandon I hate to tell you but it is probably hard to cast spells when you are made of fine granite

"Noble 'Ironman' Kallak, that's what we called him at wizard school."

HMM, I DUNNO. where does this train of thought lead

Hey, good thing I went to that shrine place. Saved me a walk.

Brynn wants the noise to stop coming out of your mouth now.

You would not believe how hard it was to finally get this shot. I managed to snag it in a split second before it closed again.

Also hey this wasn't what the note was saying in the beginning what gives.

"Perhaps a lavender rose could key the spells? I dunno, just throwin that out there."

wow they grow some big roses in Kyrandia

"Do not eat the rose, for example, or throw it into the running stream. Please, Brandon."

Mmm, vague.

"Do not sell the silver rose for smack, Brandon, I am not kidding."

"Or maybe not, I dunno, we haven't talked in a long time and we kind of had an argument over whether or not New Coke was better than Old Coke and yeah, might be some bad feelings there? But hey, who knows, right? Good luck!"

Brynn: just keep smiling until he leaves

I like that she's right there when he says this.

HAVE A GARNET

Or don't, whatever.

IDK BRANDON!!!

Anyway, tune in next time to see what that Altar thingy does!

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