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Worlds of Legend: Son of the Empire logo

Pete James kennt man unter dem Pseudonym "Tag" als Macher von "Bloodwych" – und als einfallsreiches Bürschchen, wenn es darum geht, eine gute Idee mehrfach auszuschlachten...

Worlds of Legend - Son of the Empire Doch während er uns beim Splitscreen-Rolli noch mit einer relativ preiswerten Datadisk davonkommen ließ, wandert dieser Aufguß seiner Iso-Dungeons zum vollen Preis über den Ladentisch. Ja, unser erstes Testmuster enthielt sogar noch das Original-Handbuch des Vorgängers, dem einfach eine Fotokopie der neuen Hintergrundstory beigelegt war. Auch wenn inzwischen die "richtige" Version vorliegt, ändert das nichts daran, daß wir es im Prinzip nach wie vor mit dem guten alten Legend in anderer Verpackung zu tun haben. Einerseits ist das schon irgendwie Preistreiberei, andererseits sollte man es nicht unbedingt "Worlds of Legend" anlasten, das trotzdem (immer noch) ein gutes Spiel ist.

Wer den alten Testbericht verschlampt hat, sei hier also kurz über das Wesentliche informiert: Nach der relativ simplen Charaktergenerierung steuert man die vierköpfige Heldencrew (Barde, Zauberer, Ninja, Berserker) als bunte Fähnchen über eine Fraktal-Landkarte. In den Kerkern und bei den häufigen Kämpfen wird auf eine isometrische 3D-Ansicht umgeschaltet, bei der die Steuerungsicons um das Geschehen in der Screenmitte herum plaziert sind. Die Handhabung klappt auch ganz wunderbar, obwohl man im Konfliktfall seine Jungs bzw. Mädels einzeln und in Echtzeit rumkommandieren muß. Dazu gibt es ein ausgefeiltes Zaubersystem mit nahezu beliebig kombinierbaren Runen, Automapping, etwas einsilbige Shop-Inhaber und knackige Rätsel mit vielen Schaltern.

Neu ist hingegen... so gut wie nix, lediglich Grafik und Sound wurde ein leicht asiatischer Touch verpaßt. Im großen und ganzen also ein ziemlich klarer Fall von Software-Recycling – fehlt eigentlich nur noch der grüne Punkt auf der Packung! (mm)

Amiga Joker, September 1993, p.94

WORLDS OF LEGEND
(MINDSCAPE)
ROLLENSPIEL

70%

"TEUER"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
66%
62%
64%
48%
76%
74%
FÜR FORTGESCHRITTENE
PREIS DM 79,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
512 KB
2/NEIN
NEIN
SPIELSTÄNDE
ANLEITUNG (TEILW.)


Worlds of Legend: Son of the Empire logo  CU Amiga Screen Star

In the pursuit of truth, justice and baked beans Jon Sloan's travelled to some funny places, but none stranger than the Empire of the Moon. Here's his guided tour to a land overrun by chaos and plagued by monsters with an attitude.

Worlds of Legend - Son of the Empire I t's funny sometimes how really good games can appear without all the attendant showboating that comes with major releases. That's exactly what happened when the original Legend first appeared. It was released to lukewarm reviews but soon became a cult classic. As one of the many fans of Legend it was with some pleasure that I greeted the arrival of its semi-sequel, Son of the Empire.

Empire has been released as a stand-alone expansion for the original but it is, in effect, a brand new game. It puts you once more in control of the Berserker, the Assassin, the Troubadour and the Runemaster in their quest to bring order from chaos. These characters each have unique abilities, like the Assassin who can turn invisible and the Troubadour whose songs boost the party's stats. It's the Runemaster and his spells, though, that make Empire really special (see the Spells R Us panel below).

THE PLOT THICKENS
The game carries on where Legend left off with your band of four adventurers celebrating after defeating the minions of chaos in Trazere. That celebration is cut short by the arrival of a messenger with news that the Assassin's father, the Emperor, has been murdered by an aide and the throne is being sought by four feuding warlords. Wasting no time you ride east to the Imperial castle to be greeted by Aunt Sushiana. She informs you that the murderer is hiding in the vaults beneath the palace and you have to roof him out.

This tale sets the scene for the first 'trainer' dungeon which, despite the fact it's supposed to be basic, soon gets pretty hairy. The magician at the end of it is particularly tough and requires umpteen hacks and magical blasts before he gives up the ghost. Once he's been sorted you soon realise how massive the game is, as Sushiana informs you that in order to reunite the realm you'll have to travel to 115 four corners to collect four shards of an amulet. Apparently it's needed to awaken the eternal champion who's the only force strong enough to defeat the warlords.

WHAT DO YOU SEE?
The main action takes place in one of the seven isometric dungeons/vaults that are hidden beneath various towns and shrines. You travel to them across a fractal map, whilst desperately trying to avoid the roving warlord's armies as an encounter with one can result in a quick death for the unprepared. Once a vault is reached it's straight into it for some exploration and dungeon bashing.

The screen is dominated by an isometric display of the dungeon environment whilst surrounding it are various icons showing your characters, a map-making dragon, a satchel for the inventory and various plinths on which stand any magical items that you're wearing. This system is very easy to learn as it only needs one click to access the inventory, change leaders or use a magic item.

It's fortunate that the control system is so easy as, once battle ensues, the action is extremely fast monsters attack from all directions and destructive spells whiz around and explode in graphic detail. Even with all this going on there's no apparent loss of speed, which is quite an achievement. Perhaps this is due to the simplicity of the graphics which, though workman-like, fail to alter much from dungeon to dungeon. With the oriental selling it's a shame that the designers didn't take the opportunity to really revamp the backgrounds. Apart from the odd item here and there the graphics are very similar to the original. Also, the sound effects and tunes soon become irritating in their repetition.

That said, even the sound and graphic simplicity cannot detract from the addictive gameplay. I even had to be forcibly dragged away from my monitor to write this review! Once you start Empire you'll soon be dragged in so far that it's hard to stop. The scenario is realistic, the action thick and fast and the magic system without equal. This game is one of the most believable and playable RPGs to date.

CU Amiga, June 1993, pp.50-51

GET TOOLED UP
Son of the Empire becomes progressively more difficult the deeper you get into the game. Initially the monsters you meet are pretty easy to trash and the puzzles can be readily solved. But, after trawling through these earlier dungeons and vaults under the Imperial Palace, you'll find that the later locations are pretty tough. Fortunately help is at hand in the term of magical items. They come in many forms from simple damage inflicting helmets that strike the file in front of you to handy magically protective rings. They can be obtained by careful searching, by purchase from an Artificer or simply by picking them up once you've defeated their current owners. The problem is that they're often one shot only and you can't tell what they do tilt you try them. Well fear no more for here's a definitive list of the most common magic items and their uses.
Cloud Helm CLOUD HELM -
This item teleports its wearer onto whatever square you stick on.
Holy Helm HOLY HELM -
This causes all enemies in the surrounding eight so see the light and covert to good for the duration of the battle.
Gold Helm GOLD HELM -
Another useful hat as it regenerates its wearer's hit.
  CHAOS HELM -
Perhaps the most useful helm of all, it allows the wearer to re-vivify his companions.
 
BATTLE HORN -
The Troubadour will go mad for this musical instrument, it allows him to berserk like the Barbarian.
Angel Helm ANGEL HELM -
An Assassin's dream this. Pop it on and he'll speed into battle and teleport wherever he wants to go.
  SERPENT SHIELD -
The most special magic item of all heats all your hit points to full capacity no matter how high their maximum is.
Gold Potion GOLD POTION -
Like the effects of the Gold Helm, if you drink this you'll feel a lot better.
Bronze Potion BRONZE POTION -
Give this drink to any warrior and he'll seen be steaming into battle like the legends of old.
Amber Potion AMBER POTION -
If you're likely to face a powerful runemaster take a swig of this to nullify his worst effects.
Dragon Potion DRAGON POTION -
Like the fabled beast, anyone drinking this potion will heal at great speed, become stronger than steel and suffer no ill effects from a magician's wand.
Sun Ring SUN RING
It's said that a good dose of sunshine soon heals your wounds and with this ring it's true.

SPELLS R US
Worlds of Legend: Son of the Empire The spell system is the one thing that lifts Legend/Empire above its competitors. It's the very complexity of it that makes it special. To get a spell to work you need to know and then combine various runes and ingredients then link them chain-like into one bigger spell. This makes it possible for you to invent any kind of spell you want, so long as it comes within certain guidelines. The manual is deliberately vague when it comes to spellcasting. Apart from the fact that you don't get all the runes you need immediately you aren't even told how to combine them. Fortunately CU Amiga is here to help with some useful spell combinations.
  • Missile rune + wing of bat missile spell
  • Damage rune + brimstone damage spell
  • Healing rune + hedjog venom = healing spell
  • Surround rune + nightshade = surround spell
  • Dispel rune + dragon's tooth = dispel magic
  • Antimage rune + nightshade + dragon's tooth = antimage spell.
  • Thrall rune + nightshade + mandrake = thrall spell

For a spell combination direct from the programmers try this - mix surround and missile and damage and surround and damage and missile and finally, damage. This is the magical equivalent of an all out nuclear attack. It can be made more powerful by adding extra damage components. Don't forget to antimage the party first or you'll be sorry.

MINDSCAPE £25.99
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RELEASE DATE:
GENRE:
TEAM:
CONTROLS:
NUMBER OF DISKS:
NUMBER OF PLAYERS:
HARD DISK INSTALLABLE:
MEMORY:
 
JUNE 1993
RPG
IN HOUSE
MOUSE
2
1
YES
1Mb

 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY

78%
81%
92%
96%
One of the best role-players on Amiga.
OVERALL: 90%