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Legends of Valour Logo /  Amiga Format Gold

Take a trip to the weird and wonderful world of Mittledorf ; a town full of villains, dodgy landladies, pigmen and the lovely Dunghead and Lionel – and these are just your friends ! Read on, oh vailiant one…

W Legends of Valour hat we have here is not so much a game as a visit. The town of Mittledorf is a thriving little metropolis with a weird and wonderful bunch of citizens. In order to survive for longer than an evening, you need to become familiar with the workings of the society and its people.
On the face of it the game looks like a cross between a Dungeons & Dragons game and a graphic adventure. There are set tasks which you need to complete in order to rise up through society; how far you go is up to you. Similarly, you can ignore some of the quests and spend time getting to know the people and places. It is one hell of a flexible environment. Anyway, come with me now to a valiant land…

Satyr’s Day, 14 Juine
Dear Diary,
I am finally here! I arrived in Mittledorf this bright and breezy Satyr’s Day. Upon being dropped off by Stinky the Pigman, I bade farewell to his two lovely sows (Juniper and Penelope) and wandered in through the huge city gate. I was bewildered by the hustle and bustle around me, but once I got my bearings I decided to find somewhere to stay.
After asking a wizened old hag who was selling potatoes near the gatehouse, I found my way to the Custom House. I wandered up to the main desk and was greeted by a custom’s officer called Norris, who offered to buy any used goods from me. Then he pulled his arm out of its sling, got out of his wheelchair, lifted his eye patch and winked at me.
Once we had sorted out that I did not want to part with any of my major organs, he directed me towards the notice board. Apart from lots of curious cards saying things like ‘Lusty Lorna will peddle your bike (come to the Old Frog Inn)’, and Mammary Annie will dangle your blues away (visit the Scrott ‘n’ Stew Pub)’, I spotted a message from Sven, my cousin, who I’d come all this way to find.

Moon Day, 16 Juine
So much has happened since I arrived that I have not had much chance to sleep, let alone write down my experiences. The town is enormous, and packed to bursting with every kind of enterprise. There are taverns, hostels, shops, guilds, temples and prisons along with very weird places such as the Hag’s Pit and Charnal House.

Having found my bearings, the first thing I did was find somewhere to sleep. The Travellers Inn hostel seemed a suitable place to rest my bones. The management (a lovely landlady called Loopy Lindy Loo) arranged to have a basket placed in my room, into which I could place all my valuables for safe-keeping. You seem the streets are full of bandits and robbers, and the last thing you want is some villain stealing your last pot of beetroot pigment. Anyway, after having a bit of a kip I decided to go and look for Sven.

My journey was slow because I did not have a clue where I was going. The map I brought with me only had a few places of interest marked, and the citizens looked at me in the oddest way when I asked them for directions to the Hanged Man pub. One chap called me a “festering lump of cockroach excrement” and hit me. Thankfully those boxing lessons came in handy, and I gave the sack-clothed mugger a right royal kicking. And then I robbed him. Well he started it, didn’t he! Don’t look at me like that, Diary.

Woden’s Day, 12 Julye
You will be pleased to know that the stain came out, Diary, so there was no need for the ‘fish lips and fried toejam’ balm which Morgana got off Dumpdoodle. Today is the brotherhood’s AGM at the Guild Of Thieves and I am up for promotion from graverobber to thief. My swag bag needs patching up because the Godfather and all the other beggars, pickpockets, graverobbers and thieves will be there. What is more, the money is better, which is just as well as Lindy Loo wants her rent.

Once I am invested a thief, I have to nip across town to the Brotherhood of Loki. Apparently, some other guild has been on our patch and we have got to work out a battle plan to teach them a lesson. Thrusbreath reckons that we should steal their divine statue to teach them a lesson, but the Worshipful High Priest reckoned that would only tempt them to nick all our prize petunias again.

Legends of Valour is hard disk installable  Legends of Valour needs 1 Meg to run Day of the Sun, 28 Octover
Blimey, what a night. The boys and myself went out on a vavern crawl last night and ended up in The Snakes. Dunghead and Lionel started betting on the cockroaches and before they knew it they were 50 groats up. What luck eh? Of course, I had a few meads by then and so I had a go myself. Unfortunately I picked the only three-legged cockroach in the race and he limped home in last place.

On the way back from the tavern, nothing much happened: Lionel got jumped by a werewolf, Dunghead got mugged and I ended up in the slammer for vagrancy. All in all it was an ordinary Satyr’s Day night out. Anyway, I have got to nip down to the Temple of Set for a spot of worshipping today, besides which, there is this gorgeous hand-maiden of Set who works in the kitchens. Oh, and guess what, I bumped into Sven in the Witches Meadow, apparently he has been working with… Ad infinitum

Graphically, Legends of Valour looks sumptuous. It uses a technique called texture mapping which enables you to walk right up to people or buildings and examine them in detail; you can even look in through windows to see if there is anything interesting inside, or stand inside a building, looking out of the window, and watching people strolling about. The actual interface is intuitive and well designed, so that moving around the town and interacting in it is painless.

There are plenty of nice touches, particularly the vein of Pythonesque humour which runs throughout. For instance, in order to attract someone’s attention you literally shout ‘Hey’ at them. If you have met the person before then they will remember you, which is bad news if you mugged them the last time you met.

DCD have got around the lasting-interest problem by leaving Mittledorf as an open environment which you can dip into as and when you please – the game is not over once you have found Sven and risen to the top of each of the guilds.

Having said all that, the graphics take up a hell of a lot of processing time, and so while there are ways of speeding things up (such as reducing the screen size), the going does get a bit heavy on an A500. As with most games these days, there is also a lot of disk accessing, so if that kind of things really grates on you, then either buy a hard drive or forget Legends of Valour. All of which would be a bit of a shame, because this is both an innovative and interesting game which has a very wide appeal. Now where did I leave the sexy-looking, sack-cloth tuxedo?
Andy ‘Dungbeetle’ Hutchinson

Amiga Format, Issue 44, March 1993, p.p.90-91

"Legends of Valour is a cross between a Dungeons & Dragons game and a graphic adventure"

Legends of Valour
US Gold/DCD * £39.99
  • Superb looking game with a really flexible 3D environment.
  • Plenty to do and see, even after all the tasks have been completed.
  • Utterly stark-staring mad.
  • Made in the old Chubb building in Wolverhampton.
  • Whole little world unto itself. Cloud cuckooland incarnate.
Verdict: 91%

Legends of Valour Logo

Ob unsereins jemals in Origins "Ultima Underworld" herumstreunen darf, ist noch fraglich - U.S. Gold hat seinen "Virtual Reality"-Rolli dagegen schon für den Amiga umgesetzt!

Legends of Valour So schnell die goldigen Engländer bei der Konvertierung waren, so langsam ist das Ergebnis ausgefallen - es sei denn, man verfüttert Legends of Valour an einen 1200er oder verfügt zumindest über Turbounterstützung. Im 500er-Normalfall bewegt sich das Teil jedoch im Schneckentempo, und das, obwohl das dreifach in der Größe verstellbare Grafikfenster ohnehin nicht gerade riesig geraten ist. Überhaupt hat die Optik des Games eindeutig eine kleine Entschlackungskur hinter sich, selbst wenn andererseits zusätzliche Features wie etwa herumflatternde Vögel hineingepackt wurden. So, das mußte einfach mal gesagt werden, aber damit können wir das Kapitel Mosern & Meckern gottlob auch schon abschließen. Spielerisch ist die Umsetzung nämlich absolut identisch mit der PC-Version - und damit durchaus ein Leckerei.

Ähnlich wie bei Origins ultimativer Unterwelt bestehen die Fantasy-Landschaften hier aus einer dreidimensionalen Mischung von Vektor- und Bitmap-Grafiken. Gewandert wird via Maus und Richtungspfeilen, wobei die Bewegungen nicht Schritt für Schritt, sondern stufenlos erfolgen. Auch die übrigen Aktionen löst man durch Mausklicks auf die Icon-Ansammlung am unteren Screenrand aus - per Nager wird gegafft, gegrabscht, gelabert, gezaubert und selbstverständlich auch gekämpft. Besagte Fights kann man in Echtzeit und mit drei verschiedenen Schlagvarianten erledigen, oder man wählt den Automatikmodus und überläßt die Dreckarbeit dem Rechner. Zum Zaubern ist zu sagen, daß der Held ein paar magische Sprüche von Haus aus beherrscht, die anderen fliegen ihm im Lauf der Zeit teilweise von alleine zu, einige Muß er auf dem Umweg über herumliegende Schriftrollen erst finden. Die meisten Spells bleiben ihm dann auch erhalten, nur bestimmte Ex und Hopp-Sprüche sind nach einmaliger Benutzung verbraucht. Schließlich noch ein paar Worte zu den gelegentlichen Wortwechseln: Man erledigt sie ausgesprochen komfortabel mittels einer Liste von beklickbaren Stichworten, die fortlaufend automatisch ergänzt wird.

Doch komfortabel oder nicht, mit einem schlecht gekleideten Helden will sich hier kaum jemand unterhalten! Ihr seht also, das Programm nimmt es wirklich ernst mit seinen eingebauten AI-Routinen ("Artificial Intelligence" = Künstliche Intelligenz), sogar so ernst, daß man bei der anfänglichen Erschaffung seines Solo-Recken sehr genau darauf achten sollte, welche Lebensgeschichte, Gesichtszüge, Ausrüstung etc. man ihm mit auf den abenteuerlichen Weg gibt. So, kurz noch die jederzeit aufrufbare Übersichtskarte und das Automapping in den Dungeons erwähnt, dann wären wir eigentlich fertig, oder? Hoppla, jetzt hátten wir über all den technischen Finessen beinahe die Story vergessen:

Im schönen Mitteldorf lebte einstmals ein braver König. Der Kerl war dermaßen brav, daß ihn sein weniger braver Bruder kurzerhand fortjagte, was das magische Gleichgewicht in dieser Ecke des Universums empfindlich störte. Damit die Balance wieder stimmt, muß unser Held einen richtig knackigen Mega-Spell auftreiben, was ihm nur gelingt, wenn er die Karriereleitern diverser Gilden erklimmt und so mindestens 20 von maximal 45 Mini-Quests erfolgreich absolviert. Inhaltlich darf man sich also keine so aufregenden Neuerungen erwarten, wenngleich viel Abwechslung und allerlei Gags wie z.B. ein Monster-Zoo geboten werden. Aber überwiegend ist halt doch das genre-übliche Suchen verschwundener Gegenstände bzw. Erlegen böser Bösewichte angesagt.

Nein, der Hammer hängt hier eindeutig in der technischen Abteilung und da ganz klar im Grafik-Sektor: Mag die Amigaversion auch nicht ganz so zukunftsweisend scheinen wie das PC-Original, so ist U.S. Gold mit Legends of Valour auch auf der "Freundin" ein bemerkenswerter Schritt in die richtige Richtung geglückt! Und da Sound (wird noch überarbeitet, daher keine Wertung) und Steuerung ganz gut schritthalten können, spricht bei adäquaten Hardwarevoraussetzungen eigentlich nichts gegen den Erwerb dieses "Rollenspiel-Schrittmachers"... (C. Borgmeier)

Amiga Joker, January 1993, p.p.65-66

Amiga Joker
PREIS DM 109,-
1 MB

Legends of Valour Logo

Legends of Valour – a breakthrough in RPGs, or just a collection of clever graphic routines? Revealed – all this and more.

Game: Legends Of Valour
Publisher: US Gold
Price: £39.99
Authors: Synthetic Dimensions
Release: Out now

N Legends of Valour ow where did I put that first paragraph? It must be around here somewhere. Just a moment. Ah, here it is… ‘Jacquie Colleen was a hard case, and she did not care who knew it. Her latest collection was the talk of all Manhattan socialites, and the fashion chain just continued to expand. Sitting here, at the head of the expansive dinner table, she gazed at the four lithe young men one by one. “Which one will I be taking home tonight?” she asked herself.’
Mmm, that is not quite right, is it? Ah, just one moment, here it is…
‘Tolkizen slowly approached the town. Mounted on his sweating, panting steed, his shoulders were heavy and his sword clanked painfully against his thigh. Thoughts of a night of hearty drinking with his cousin Sven filled his mind, as he rode through the town gates.’

Sounds kind of clichéd doesn’t it? And it is not just because I am terrible at fiction either – the whole fantasy genre has been done to death – in fiction and in computer games. These days it takes some really fresh ideas and either a total belief in, or a healthy disrespect for, the subject matter to lift fantasy material out of the doldrums. So where, you ask, in typical reader fashion, does Legends of Valour fit into this homespun theory? Kind of almost in the fresh ideas and healthy disrespect department to be honest, but more of that later. First, I ought to tell you a little bit about the game itself, complex beast that it is. Nearly two years in development, Valour is only the second Amiga game to utilise texture-mapped graphics (Wing Commander being the first). Offering the player total freedom in a 3D environment, every wall is patterned, people and other creatures walk around, buildings rise into the air, and details abound. Even windows are a staple of the Valour world, giving glimpses inside buildings, and even onto other streets. It is all a far cry from the block cell movement of Eye Of The Beholder, Dungeon Master and Black Crypt. That is the theory, anyway. The reality is pretty much the same, but quite slow unless it happens to be running on an A1200 or some other accelerated Amiga.

Because of this problem with speed, Valour offers three 3D window sizes. Remember, however, that the largest is only half a screen big, and the two smaller sizes – although offering huge improvements in speed – become less attractive propositions. Do bear in mind however, that even the slowest 3D movement is preferable to the blocky movement of Beholder and the like. Having a real, fleshed-out 3D world to move around in is a great improvement even if (like most miracles) it does take a little longer. The only real downside to the 3D system is a lack of upwards and downwards movement. It is possible to up and down with the use of stairs, but the actual movement only really occurs in two planes. – it is not possible to jump, for instance. It is a minor niggle, but it leaves the game somewhat flat (Ho ho. Prod Ed).

But even the most advanced 3D techniques amount to little without decent scenarios, a well-mapped environment, a good control system, and a feeling og excitement. Valour starts off on the right foot, with the plot basing the entire game in, and below the town of Mittledorf. Bard’s Tale featured towns, but in Valour it actually looks and feels like a town. Every building serves a purpose, people go about their lives, different groups occupy different areas, and they all treat the player in different ways.

The King’s guards are probably the most important group – with the power to imprison you for any crimes you have committed, or to frame you for ones you have not. They serve the new king of Mittledorf, though followers of the deposed king, or even the king of the far-off mainland can be found in the town.
Temples and guilds are the other main organisations to take note of. It is possible to join up to four guilds at once – though some guilds do not get along with others, so the choice is not an entirely arbitrary one. Some guilds, such as the Men-At-Arms Guild, will teach the player fighting abilities. The Thieves’ Guild (which is hidden, incidentally) teaches lock-picking skills, while other guilds teach the use of spells and suchlike. All the factions really do serve to flesh out the town, as well as help the player progress. Temples do likewise, with allegiance to a particular deity opening up a different route of progress through the game.

And while you are considering which faction to join, there is always rented accommodation to worry about, and a means to earn enough to pay for it. Reading notices in taverns is invariably a good way of picking up odd jobs, though trading is another way to raise capital. As to actual missions, there are far too many to mention here. Some are simply errands as posted on the notice boards, others are challenges set by a particular guild.

There is no set route through the game, with a choice of hundreds of challenges to take up at any one time. And of course completing one task will more often than not give way to another. All this to-ing and fro-ing around the town serves to help the player map it out and to gain in experience. But things are never quite that simple. Loiter around doing nothing for too long and you just could get thrown into an underground jail. This can lead to all sorts of underground adventures, where all kinds of monster await. And this is where the fighting comes in…

The reason I have not mentioned combat is because a) it is not actually the most important element of the game, and b) it is not very good. A fight consists of throwing a weapon or swinging, slicing, jabbing a sword, axe or whatever using a couple of icons. It is not the most inspiring of events, and the lacklustre sound effects do not really serve to heighten the tension either.

But fighting is not really what the game is all about. Interacting and exploring are where it is at, and it is in that area that Valour really makes the grade. The programmers have obviously realised this, because they have given an option to leave fighting to the computer, and they have really emphasised the exploration-of-the-town aspect. The game comes with a mostly unlabelled map. A key at the side lists the major locations, but not where they are. By talking to other characters in the game, the player gradually becomes more familiar with location names, gets directions to them, finds them, marks them on his map, and so on. An on-screen map is also available to help clarify things, and a mock newspaper which also comes with the game, points the player in the right direction to a number of useful and key locations. Now this is the way to do a role-playing game – you can leave your graph paper and endless hack-and-slash behind.

The Valour programmers are no slackers when it comes to control methods and presentation either. Just about any function can be performed with the mouse and a bunch of icons, and three different movement options are available. Whether you prefer moving a compass, clicking on icons or having direct mouse control, Valour can help out. And – hey! – remember all those nasty things like hit points and other statistics? Well, you can forget all about them, because Legends Of Valour does.

But wait, in typical Ramshaw style, I have just remembered a whole bunch of stuff, and space is running out. There is the character creation bit where you get to change the face and kit out your new character, and you even get a background on his/her father and family profession. And there is the gambling element of the game, the digitised pictures of shop, guild, temple and pub characters. There is the gambling, the food. The underground stuff with all the different races of creatures. There is the way different characters have different heights, or the way choosing to play a dwarf gives a different eye level during the game. There is the layout of the town – with its docks, its dwarven district and other surprises. There is the way shops close on Sundays and day turns to night. And there is the presence of werewolves and vampires – and the great way in which both afflications affect the player. There is the big mission at the end of the game, the animation sequences, the clever way in which everyone in the game has their own beliefs, rather than there being any clear band of good guys or bad guys. And I really must tell you about…

Amiga Power, Issue 23, March 1993, p.p.26-28

"A far cry from the blocky cell movement of EOTB"

"The Amiga RPG comes off age"

Upper UPPERS Incredibly complex texture mapping, clever interwoven plot construction, and not a statistic or dice roll in sight. The Amiga RPG comes of age. This is the only Amiga role-playing game you need to remember.
Downer DOWNERS On a standard Amiga the texture mapping can be painfully slow (at anything other than postage stamp size), the sound is underused, the fighting is a real disappointment, and – despite the graphic style – it still won’t attract the arcade crowd. It is just one more reason to buy an A1200 (and a hard drive). And do not even bother playing it with just a single disk drive. Oh, and the price is well over the top. Since when did Amiga games cost forty quid? Eh?.

Fact: This is the best role playing adventure game around on the Amiga. A few decidedly non-user friendly bits and a hefty price tag aside, Valour is a real success. Not all RPG fans are going to like its fresh approach, but this is just about as advanced as it gets on the Amiga.


Legends of Valour Logo  CU Amiga Screen Star

A role playing game that's good enough to be a simulation? Tony Dillon is intrigued...

Legends of Valour Polygon games are becoming old hat. As more and more vector based simulations fly from our screens, Amiga owners are becoming desensitized to the idea. Even Ocean's Epic or Braben's Elite II aren't causing quite the stir they would have 18 months ago. Basically, people are getting bored with huge multi-coloured mathematical shapes. This is something that also started to happen in the PC market, and led to one of the most impressive pieces of Public Domain ever seen - Escape from Golditz is a speedy 3D adventure that has you racing around a floor in a German prison, I can't recall anyone not sitting back in awe the first time they saw it. The reason? A breakthrough in coding – texture mapped polygons.

Just in case you aren't entirely sure what texture mapping is, on its base level it's taking a design and pasting it onto a polygon. As the polygon is manipulated, so the design is mapped onto it, so if you were to shrink the object, its surface detail would shrink accordingly. Origin soon caught onto this and came out with Ultima Underworld, a Dungeon Master-style romp for the PC. Many Amiga owners have been green with envy since then. Well, now's the time to return to your normal colour. Legends of Valour from Synthetic Dimensions (whose role call includes Kevin 'Corporation' Bulmer and Paul Mercenary Woakes) is arguably one of the most impressive pieces of coding since the Amiga began. But before the high praise, a recap of the story so far.

Your part in this adventure begins at the gates of the city of Mittledorf, where you have come to track down your cousin Sven. From that point, things start to get a little complicated. The King has been overthrown by his cousin and the town is in a spot of trouble. The sort of spot an Oxyacetylene torch couldn't remove, let alone Oxy 10. The manuals give little information about what you have to do – well, nothing too obvious anyway, so you have to work your way though this huge township, find out what the quest is, and then complete it.

Ah, but if only life were that simple. Along the way you'll need to join guilds and rise through the ranks by performing small but complex tasks in order to attain full status in every profession before you can even contemplate the full quest. This game is massive in every respect, so let's take a step at a time.

Legends of Valour The first thing to do before you can partake in any of the game's action is to work out exactly who you are. This is done at your home village via the character generator. Here you can select whether to be male or female, as well as human or elf. After that there are the usual choices to make, such as which weaponry and armour to buy, and then the less standard option of face building. By interchanging eyes, noses, mouths and hair styles, you can build up the face of your adventurer. Believe it or not, this does make a difference in the game.

That done, you step into the game and sit quivering for a bit. If you loaded the demo on November's coverdisk you'll already know how amazing the graphics are. If you haven't, go away and load it now, and come back to me when you've done so. Now you can see what I mean when I say texture mapped polygons. Running on a bog-standard A500/A500+/600, the game is impressive to say the least. Stick it on a faster machine and the game becomes more realistic than Virtual Reality. Walking around the city you can't help but be amazed as cladded walls and buildings scroll past you smoothly, and even change colour depending on the time of day. They said it couldn't be done. How wrong they were.

The viewing window is quite small, only taking up about a sixth of the screen. This might seem off putting at first, but after a couple of minutes of play you stop noticing. As for the rest of the screen, the bottom half is taken up with an array of icons and readouts. The icons are divided roughly into three sections, with the movement bank taking up the middle of the screen, the compass on the far right and a bunch of action icons between the two. Action icons include simple things like 'talk', which brings up a menu of categories such as 'Where is' and 'What is' and 'spell casting' which opens the pages of your spell book and shows the spells you currently have to hand.

Now, on the serious business of playing the game. It can't be mentioned enough times, so here goes again – the game is enormous. The city itself measures a mile and a half by a mile across and s built on three levels (ground floor, first floor, dungeons). The dungeons themselves are composed of around 40 miles of tunnels and passageways making just the dungeons far bigger than the combined maps of Eye of the Beholder 1 and 2. There are literally thousands of characters to interact with, too, though the program only really keeps track of the 256 closest to your current location. These people all go about their daily business and might even attack you for no other reason than the fact that they don't like you. This is where the face construction comes in. When you have built your character, you are given an appeal factor dependant on what you look like. As the character develops and becomes more important, the appeal factor rises, so people won't attack or provoke you so often. Who said looks don't count for much?

I won't beat around the bush - Legends of Valour has knocked me out. This game is one that'll keep me playing to the end. At the moment I'm considering moving Christmas to April just so it doesn't get in the way of this game. If you don't own a copy, then get one. Otherwise, get rid of your Amiga. You obviously don't want to put it to good use.

CU Amiga, January 1993, p.p.77-78

Although there are no firm plans laid there is a distinct possibility of an A1200 version in the near future. Making full use of the machine's speed, along with its 256 on-screen colour capability, the new version will be far more like the PC title, with textured floors and ceilings, shadows and true day/night cycles. We wait with baited breath and itching mouse fingers.

A game that lets you roam around in full 3D shouldn't be stifled with icon control – that's the message that comes from this game. If you're a purist, you'll have no trouble at all getting to grips with the Dungeon Master-style group of arrows. If you fancy a little more freedom, then clicking the right mouse button hands everything over to mouse control. Using left and right, you can spin around on the pot, and the left button makes you run forward. This system feels far more natural, and lets you get on with the business of running randomly around the city without all the fuss of carefully moving the mouse on the right icon.

buyers guide
release date:
number of disks:
number of players:
hard disk:
Out Now
Synthetic Dimensions
1 Mb

U.S. Gold £25.99
An excellent adventure game. A must buy.