The Legend of Kyrandia

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The Legend of Kyrandia is an Adventure Game trilogy made by Westwood Studios. It consists of the following titles:

  • The Legend of Kyrandia, Book One: Fables & Fiends (1992)
  • The Legend of Kyrandia, Book Two: Hand of Fate (1993)
  • The Legend of Kyrandia, Book Three: Malcolm's Revenge (1994)

The series happen in a High Fantasy setting, in the fictional land of Kyrandia.

King William and Queen Katherine have been murdered by the court jester Malcolm. Imprisoned, he manages to escape and proceeds to take over Kyrandia using his great magic powers. Meanwhile, Brandon, a young man living in the forest with his grandfather Kallak, finds out that he is the son of the murdered king and queen, and that he must stop Malcolm from his evil designs and retrieve the Kyragem, center of the balance of nature. In order to do this, he must gather magic powers himself from the Mystics of the Kingdom.

The second game is about Zanthia, a young female wizard who has been asked by the alchemists to go to the center of the Earth to retrieve a magical anchor since Kyrandia has been disappearing piece by piece. A giant glove, The Hand, seems to be behind all this.

The third game sets Malcolm, the Big Bad of the first game, as the playing character. He has finally been freed from his statue prison and seeks to clear his name from the crime of killing King William, if only so that he can finally get some sleep.

Tropes used in The Legend of Kyrandia include:
  • Bag of Spilling: Lampshaded.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: Met by Zanthia in the second game. He falls in love with her when she dresses up as a yeti. He has a jacuzzi, a bar and barbells in his home cave.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: In the Grotto cave maze of the first game, should Brandon be unfortunate enough to walk into an unlit room, he will be killed by a horde of monsters, but all the player sees is a bunch of glowing eyes converging on the same spot in the dark.
  • Cannibal Tribe: Met by Zanthia in the second game. It's a good thing they enjoy sandwiches more than "Mystic soup".
  • Cats Are Mean: Subverted in the third game. Anthropomorphic cats are reduced to slavery by mean anthropomorphic dogs.
  • Clear My Name: Malcolm in Malcolm's Revenge, accused of murdering King William and Queen Katherine. In Fables & Fiends, his strategy seems to be "take over the kingdom and cause lot of ruckus" while he does it a bit more seriously in the last game.
  • Cool Boat: Subverted in Malcolm's Revenge. Jean-Claude Barbecue's boat looks really lame. On the cover, it looks more like a traditional "pirate ship".
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover of Fables & Fiends shows Malcolm spying on Brandon who reads a scroll while being accompanied by a shiny blue-green fairy being. This latter character does NOT appear in the game.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: The "Dark forest" areas in Fables & Fiends. Even lampshaded by Brandon.
  • Enemy Mime: One that will kill Malcolm if provoked.
  • Everythings Nuttier With Squirrels: Malcolm kills a squirrel by blowing up a tree in the first game's intro. Squirrels are featured more prominently in the third game. In the first screen, there is a squirrel in the dump, and if Malcolm tries to annoy it too much by speaking to it, it will kill him and drag his corpse. He can also bait it and hypnotise it to paralysis so he can carry it as a hat or wake it up in a parlour to cause havoc.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Malcolm, who strangely enough, has become such a powerful wizard that the others in the realm can hardly stand up to him. And he is a jester.
    • He also controls the source of all the magic in the land and denied the other wizards access for years upon years.
  • Fish People: Malcolm meets many of them in the Kingdom of Limbo in the third game. There are also Merfolk around.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: In the third game, Malcolm has a bad angel called Gunther who frequently appears to comment on his actions. The introduction shows that Malcolm's good angel Stewart ended up stucked under a stone, which may be why Malcolm became so nasty. Near the end of the game, Stewart shows up again, and Malcolm can choose whether to keep just Gunther, just Stewart or both.
  • Guide Dang It: The games don't give you a clue on several of the puzzles.
  • Have a Nice Death: Kind of subverted. Whenever Brandon, Zanthia or Malcolm dies, there is a screen that says "Rest in peace, [name of player]...".
  • Head Pet: Malcolm can use a hypnotized squirrel as a hat for disguise.
  • Heel Face Turn: Malcolm near the end of Malcolm's Revenge.
  • Helium Speech: Malcolm's Revenge had an sound option that made every character's voice squeaky and high-pitched.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Malcolm is turned into a statue by his own reflecting spell in the end of Fables & Fiends.
  • Kick the Dog: Malcolm kills a squirrel in the first game's intro just for fun. Not to mention he destroys dozens of trees just for the heck of it.
  • La Résistance: On the Isle of Cats in the third game, there is a cat resistance leader called Fluffy fighting against the dog invaders.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: At the end of Fables & Fiends, Brandon has to defeat Malcolm by having him shoot his petrifying spell on a mirror... leading himself to be Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Malcolm gets freed from his statue spell by a thunderbolt in the opening of Malcolm's Revenge.
  • The Magic Goes Away: When Malcolm is defeated in the first game's ending.
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The Kyragem in the first game.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Brandywine is a purple female dragon who is the companion of Darm. She is a friendly character, whether it be to Brandon or Malcolm. She likes to eat squirrels and dislikes being forced to eat only knights who are "hard to peel".
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Queen Katherine appears as a ghost on her tombstone if Brandon drops a flower on it. Malcolm can do the same, but needs to drop two flowers. A Bedsheet Ghost (a bodyguard?) appears to Malcolm if he approaches the tombstone without those requirements. Pirate Jean-Claude Barbecue's boat also shows many ghosts in it if Malcolm messes around with the furniture inside.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: In the Kingdom of Limbo are mainly Fish People, but also a few Merfolk who stay around the Queen.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Malcolm can dress up with just a leather coat or a squirrel hat, and some characters like the Fish Cream Bar bartender, Darm and Vince will not recognize him. Zanthia is harder to fool, as both the coat and squirrel hat are required for her to mistake Malcolm as a Farmer called Brown.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Hand of Fate has a pub full of these. Apparently, they've reformed and now just sit around drinking and hosting Pirate Poetry Nights.
  • Scary Scarecrows: Not a scary one. Zanthia makes a scarecrow come to life in Hand of Fate, causing his owner to pursue him through the fields and he is later found in a bar brawl.
  • Scoring Points: Malcolm's Revenge gives points both for solving puzzles and for finding interesting ways to mess around with people and objects, but the points are quite useless and mostly serve as extra humor.
  • Shrine to Self: In Fables & Fiends, Malcom turns the Kyragem Vault into one of these, with portraits of himself and floor-to-ceiling mirrors. The mirrors prove to be an unfortunate design choice....
  • Taken for Granite: Malcolm turns a lot of characters into stone in Fables & Fiends. Strangely enough, he can also decide which part of the body to not be transformed, as he does with Kallak's eyes.
  • Trial and Error Gameplay: Several of the puzzles, including the mazes from the first and the third games.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Zanthia has a spell for this.
    • Not truly unlimited, since she does mention near the end of the game that the wardrobe gem she uses is running out of clothes. Still a pretty extensive set of outfits though.
  • Unwinnable by Design: In Fables & Fiends, if you eat both of your apples before putting them to use, or if you go to the castle island without the iron key, royal chalice and a flower.
  • Villainous Harlequin: Malcolm.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: One of the potential deaths in the second game, if you eat and drink too much. Complete with passing out in the puddle of puke.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Okay, just how the heck did the Enchanted Knife happen to be with William and Malcolm? Malcolm thinks about it when exploring an old temple on Cat Island and suspects Kallak may be the one behind all this, but it is never given a conclusion.
  • White Gloves: The Hand in Hand of Fate is an animated sentient giant white glove.
  • A Worldwide Punomenon: At least in the second game, especially with some of the spell ingredients.