Talking trees and wrinkled men

Legend of Kyrandia logo Amiga Computing Gamer Gold

VIRGIN * £29.99 * 1 meg * Mouse * Out now

Hello, good evening and welcome to cliched introductions, part one. Are you ready? Then I'll begin. Once upon a time far, far away in RPG land, there existed the kingdom of Kyrandia - a green and pleasant place, full of beautiful trees and flowers, and inhabited by happy people who loved each other and were always doing some good deed or other Creeps.

The ruler of this land was King William, a noble and just man who cared for his people and was respected by them. Kyrandia derived its beauty from the Kyragem, a powerful gemstone whose magical spell held sway over the territory it protected. While the magic of the Kyragem prevailed, no harm could come to Kyrandia.

Right, that's the sickly bit over with, so where did it all go wrong (it had to do really didn't it)? During his reign, William had cause to order the imprisonment of Malcolm, the evil jester, for murdering the parents of Brandon (that's you).
Now I'm sure you've guessed the next bit, but I'll tell you anyway in case - Malcolm has escaped incarceration and stolen the Kyragem, placing Kyrandia under an evil spell whereby the beauty has been replaced by a withered, desolate and barren landscape.

On a visit to his Grandad Kallak, who just happens to live in a tree, Brandon arrives only to find that to his horror Kallak will today be even less interesting company than old men usually are, due largely to the fact that he's turned to stone.

This is where the adventure begins, as rather surprisingly the tree in which Kallak lives suddenly begins telling Brandon of the evil that is afoot, and urges him to restore the Kyragem to its rightful place and avenge the death of his parents, by destroying the colourfully dressed doommonger, Malcolm.

Speaking from a personal point of view, if anyone killed my parents broke out of prison and turned my grandad to stone, I'd be pretty annoyed and might want to do something about it. But if a tree suddenly started giving me the lowdown on exactly who the culprit was and how to get revenge, chances are I would check into my local sanitarium, condemning myself indefinitely to a life of eating soft foods and wearing shoes without laces.

But not Brandon. Brandon keeps his cool, listens attentively to the tree and promptly sets off on his dangerous mission. Git.

On leaving the treehouse and venturing into the forest, Malcolm's work is evident - the grass is brown, the trees dead and there's not an animal to been seen anywhere - not even a Leeds United fan.

Now it's a case of collecting whatever objects you need - you can hold up to eleven - and blagging the required information to take you closer to your ultimate confrontation with the Roy Walker of the underworld.

Spell casting is kept to a minimum in Kyrandia - much more important is Brandon's interaction with the characters, animals and inanimate objects he comes across. Something can be gleaned from nearly every screen, be it information from Bryn, the mysterious and strange temple dweller, or the odd teardrop from the pool of sorrow.

The game is divided into four so-called chapters - that's levels to you and me. You begin, as mentioned, in the forest, and continue through on the second chapter, trekking through the labyrinth of caves before winding up among the trees again for the grand finale.

A great deal of thought seems to have gone into every aspect of Kyrandia. Remember in last month's issue I was impressed by the characters in Rome AD92 and the way they not only provided information but came out with some funny off the-wall comments too? Well there's plenty of this kind of thing in Kyrandia, in fact considering Brandon is an orphan with a stone grandad to contend with, he's quite a funny guy.

Not only must you dash about hither and yon all over the show collecting artefacts and gossip, but also endow yourself with the special powers necessary to complete the game. There are four - the power of healing is important quite early on, but as for the out four... well, I promised not to give too much away.

The animation is absolutely superb. Every screen is full to busting with detail and colour, and the way in which the characters move enhances things 100 per cent. I know it's not particularly new, but I'm a big fan of the... um, 'graduating sprite' for want of a better term. You know what I mean, your character is walking away, getting smaller and smaller until he's nothing but a dot in the distance. Don't yawn damnit!

All through writing this I've been struggling with my conscience, but it's no good - I can't lie to you! I don''t know what the sound's like. There, I've said it. It's true, and I'm sorry, but I saw this game at Virgin Mansions in London, and there was no sound on the version that I played.

I did ask the opinion of Richard Branson, who'd just made me a brew and was proceeding to clean my shoes at the time. Said Richard: 'It's better than dropping acid and listening to Cliff Richard records played backwards.' I won't vouch for that (not because I haven't tried it,but because he didn't pay me enougt), but I will say that if the sound is half as good as the vision, then it's damn good indeed.

Developers Westwood Studios are eager to point out that their product contains absolutely no violence. Apparently in the USA, where Kyrandia has been available for some time, it has attracted many women gamers who have been drawn to its 'gentle' element. But blokes, don' be fooled into thinking this is one for woofters - it's as good a game as you're likely to come across this year - and besides, who needs blood and guts when there's this much going on already?

Kyrandia is the first release in the Fables and Fiends series by Westwood. It's only just hit the shops, but I'm already looking forward to the next one.



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The Amiga has enjoyed a plethora of graphical adventure games in the last year or two. Now Westword Studios, creators of Eye of the Beholder, dipt their toes into similar waters with the help of a villain called Malcolm...

Strange though it may seem, in adventures you can sometimes find out a lot about your enemy's personality just by his name. In Monkey Island 2, for instance, LeChuck sounds like a real hard nut to crack; while in the Zork trilogy the Grue is a horrid slimy beast which only attacks when it's pitch dark. If your enemy is given the name Malcolm, though, you know almost immediately that he possesses both some charming and devilish characteristics that make him strangely likeable.

And sure enough, the Malcolm in the story of Kyrandia is a twisted court jester, who wears a silly striped costume which raises a smile in his victims before they are led toa grim death. Gone then are the amusing twinkling eyes, replaced by a menacing glare; instead of juggling balls, he juggles razor-sharp knives. Yes, along with the pirate LeChuck and the monster Grue, the name of Malcolm the jester is set to become synonymous with all that's wicked.

The story of Malcolm's downfall began when he murdered the king and queen of Kyrandia, and took up residence in Kyrandia castle. The castle was the home of the Kyragem, the source of all magic in the land, and so Malcolm assumed almost total control over the people.

Fortunately for the Kyrandians and for the game, Kallak, head of the Mystics and father of the slain Queen, found enough power to banish Malcolm to the castle. Then, with his grandson Brandon, he took up residence beyond the Timbermist woods, far away from Malcolm. Due to the absence of the Kyragem, the Mystics were unable to keep the restraining speel around the castle for long, and soon Malcolm was free.

Now Brandon has grown up, and although he doesn't know it, he is the sole heir to the throne of Kyrandia, and the only one who can rid the land of the evil Malcolm. You must play the part of Brandon, and help him take control of the Kyragem.

Conversation Killer
Right from opening the box, it's apparent that Kyrandia is a big game. It comes on nine disks, which can be installed on to hard drive (see bottom of page). If you have a hard drive, playing the game is a dream; if you have two floppy drives, it's slow but bearable; if you only have one floppy drive, it becomes a bit of a nightmare. This, unfortunately, is the nature of graphical adventure games - Monkey Island 2 suffered in a similar way.

The music has a similar feel to the iMUSE system used in the latter, while a similar font is used for the text. Control of Brandon is via a point-and-click system, so you point to a place, click the mouse button, and Brandon will move there.

As you move Brandon around, you notice that all of your input to the game is done graphically. Unlike Monkey Island 2, where you had a large say in the conversations, Kyrandia has fixed speeches which occur when Brandon meets a character. This gives the impression that you're not so much interacting with the story, but merely guiding Brandon around solving puzzles. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, because some people found the conversations of Monkey Island 2 a bit flippant at times, hardened adventurers may find it a bit limited.

Whistle a happy tune
The graphics which describe the land of Kyrandia are nothing short of stunning. The attention to detail, along with the vivid use of colour make Kyrandia an incredibly beautiful place. The characters which are scattered around the land are similarly detailed, and expertly animated. Malcolm is especially good; as he walks threateningly towards Brandon he constantly juggles knives, sometimes throwing up high into the air before catching it behind his back. Also, the scene where Brandon morphs into Pegasus is a stroke of genius.

The music and sound effects are excellent, and set the atmosphere well depending on the stage of the game. In the labyrinth, where all is dark and dingy, the music takes on a very doomy and deathly tone; while out in the open air a happy tune merrily plays away as Brandon wanders around.

The game is fairly linear, in that most puzzles must be solved before you move on to the next part, unlike some adventures that are around at the moment. Kyrandia doesn't become boring when a difficult puzzle arises. Sometimes the solution is glaringly obvious, so when you realise the answer you kick yourself with annoyance; but most of the time the puzzles are cleverly thought out and intricate, and take a long time to solve.

One or two puzzles, though, are just downright annoying. For example, in the Timbermist Woods is a golden bowl sitting on a marble altar. A variety of gemstones are scattered around the woods, about 10 in all, and a selection of four stones must be inserted into the bowl in order to obtain a flute. The order in which the stones are placed vries with each game, and so placement involves a great deal of trial and error. Place the wrong stone and it will be transported to another part of the woods, so you must go off in search of it once again. An obvious way around this is to save your position before placing each gemstone, but such actions should nt be necessary to solve puzzles in a modern adventure.

To add to this, Brandon has the annoying habit of replying to some of your commands with a completely inane phrase. Attempting to pick up an object which isn't not allowed, for instance, will cause a reply such as "Would anybody notice if I just went home?", or "Why do I have to do all the work?". Because you're the main character in a game which I just paid 36 quid for, that's why.

See no evil?
It would be unfair to say that these comments apply to all of the game, though. The majority of Kyrandia is very playable, and many of the puzzles are highly rewarding. The graphics are beautiful, the animation is excellent, and the sound is atmospheric.

The humour, too, is abundant. The funniest part of the story is the conversation between Darm the Wizard and his pet dragon, Brandywine. The two are just like an elderly husband and wife; he is arrogant and forgetful, while she is prompting and, at times, conscending. Don't worry though, I won't spoil the scene by describing it in too much detail, but suffice to say that it is almost worth buying the game for this scene alone.

As with all graphical adventure games, this has to be compared with the bench test that is Monkey Island 2. Above all of the recent graphical adventures, such as Curse of Enchantia and Lure of the Temptress, Kyrandia comes closest to matching the humour, style and atmosphere of the LucasFilm game.

The Legend of Kyrandia is the first in a series of Fables and Fiends adventures. If Westwood Studios make all of the puzzles both intricate and logical, add more interactivity with the game's characters, and remove the inane ramblings of the lead character, then maybe the second in the series will be crowned the king of Amiga adventure games. For now, this is merely a fine adventure, which is great for ex Monkey Islanders needing a fix.


IF YOU GET CHANCE, IT'S WELL WORTH A VISIT...
The land of Kyrandia has many interesting flora and fauna to offer the curious adventurer. Whether you're into Gothic architecture, elementary alchemy or just Nature's splendour, there's something there for you. Let's whet your appetite with some of the sights to be seen...

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Temple of Kyrandia
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The Marble Altar
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The Pantheon of Moonlight
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The Castle Gate
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The Cavern of Twilight
INSTALLING KYRANDIA ONTO HARD DRIVE

The instructions in the manual for installation are non-existent, so here's what to do:

  1. Make sure your hard drive has at least 7Mb of free space on it.
  2. Open window where you want to install Kyrandia.
  3. Insert disk 1 into your Amiga, then double-click on the Kyrandia icon.
  4. Move the pointer over the install icon, then hold the mouse button.
  5. Move the icon over to the window which you've opened from your hard drive.
  6. When it's finished copying, double click on the install icon from your hard drive window. Hey Presto! Kyrandia is now installed.

Ein Joker auf Abwegen

Legend of Kyrandia logo

Und noch ein Virgin'scher Umsetzungsschlag: Nach "Dune" und "KGB" geriet auch die Amiganisierung der kyrandischen Abenteuer-Legende sehr ordentlich - den Beholder-Vätern der Westwood Studios sei Dank...

Freilich wäre eine Festplatte wegen der ewigen Nachladezeiten durchaus angebracht, aber geduldige Gambler werden dafür mit einem phantastischen Intro und überhaupt sehr schöner 3D-Grafik belohnt (wenn auch die VGA-Version im Direktvergleich die Nase leicht vorne hat).

Die Animationen sind wirklich schick ausgefallen und laufen sogar in vernünftiger Geschwindigkeit ab: Sierra sollte diesbezüglich ruhig mal ein paar Nachhilfestunden bei Virgin nehmen.

Okay, der Begleitsound klingt etwas melancholischer als auf der MS-Dose, aber immer noch toll, und die FX sind ebenfalls recht nett.

Schließlich verdient hier noch die narrensichere Point & Klick-Steuerung ein Sonderlob, selbst wenn der komplette Verzicht auf Menüs mit etwas begrenzten Handlungsmöglichkeiten (automatische Dialoge, nur auf bestimmte Weise verwendbare items etc.) erkauft werden muß.

Aber letzten Endes gehört dieses Fantasy-Adventure, dessen Nachfolger ja bereits in Planung ist, sowieso nicht zu den Hammer-Nüssen - und damit können wir uns beruhigt Malcolm zuwenden, dem mißratenen Hofnarren des Königs. Lange Zeit eingespertt, konnte er sich nun befreien und droht, ganz Kyrandia in Schutt und Asche zu legen, verfügt er doch über einen hochmagischen Edelstein.

Als Streiter für Recht und Ordnung tritt also der von Euch befehligte brndon in den Ring, und damit ist die Szenerie komplett.

Von Atmosphäre und Humor her durchaus mit Core Designs Fluch vergleichbar, gefällt Kyrandia alles in allem doch eine gute Narrenlänge besser... (jn)



Legend of Kyrandia logo

With Lure Of The Temptress, Virgin beat the Monkeys at their own game. Can they do it again with Kyrandia?

After the success of Lure Of The Temptress, Virgin are attempting another blitz on the adventure market, this time with their brand-new, all-singing, all-dancing Fables and Fiends series. The first episode of this epic saga is Legend of Kyrandia. The people of Kyrandia, concerned at the problems that the environment could have, struck a deal with the Natural Kingdom to care and protect it. (At least this way they wouldn't have to put up all those 'green' people or, for that matter, have David Icke running all over the place).

However, deals like this can't last forever, and one person in particular wants it squashed. Malcolm (and wouldn't you be maladjusted with a name like that?) murdered Kyrandia's king and queen but was trapped in the castle before he could unleash the full power of the Kyragem, the mythical jewel that was the source of all magic.

The only survivor of the royal family was Brandon, and he has to defeat Malcolm and restore the world to its peaceful state. In case you haven't worked it out yet, you are , in a very virtual sense, Brandon.

Before you started reading this, I guess most of yo would have looked straight at the pictures and are probably thinking 'Oh great. Another Monkey Island clone'. But hold your horses because this could well be the game that breaks the Monkey Island hold on the adventure scene.


It looks as effective as Monkey Island

No, really. Lots of comparisons are going to be drawn between the two games, so let's do one now. Just how do the nine (count 'em) disks of Kyrandia measure up against the likes of Monkey Island and Curse of Enchantia (reviewed last issue)? Well, to look at, it does lack some of the graphic detail of the others, but what there is is all wonderfully done. (The transformation of the willow when you heal it, for example, is simply beautiful).

Most of the early part of the game takes place outside so it would have been easy for the programmers to go over the top on detail, but they kept it simpler and it looks just as effective, if not more so. Some of the animations are breathtaking - Malcolm the juggling clown is the classic example. The internal scenes are all hugely atmospheric too, especially in the grotto complex.

Humour played a great part in the other two games, but at times it seemed that the programmers were struggling to keep the laughs coming consistently. Kyrandia does contain a great deal of humour but it isn't there just for the sake of trying to be funny. When you get laughs in Kyrandia, it's usually as a very welcome break from a particularly stressful bit of brain strain.

The chase between Brandon and the marble carrier, the argument between the mystic and his dragon and lots more are all genuinely funny - the style of humour isn't as childish and stupid as in Monkey Island.


Kyrandia contains a great deal of humour

Of course the most important parts any adventure are the puzzles. Are they too obscure? Are they too easy? Is it just too damn difficult? So many adventure games fall into the trap of being too easy or too hard, but Kyrandia is set just about right. At the start the puzzles are simple enough to work out with a little thought but this is just to break you in gently. Later in the game you'll find yourself spending more time thinking about the puzzles than anything else. No matter how tough the puzzles appear, though, you always find yourself cursing when you uncover the solution, which is always much simpler than you think.

There's no doubting that Kyrandia is a very big game - any game that comes on nine disks is bound to be. For those of you with the likes of an Amiga 2000 it's a joy to play, although if you have a hard drive there's still a fair amount of waiting around, as it loads each screen individually. This means if you leave a location you have to wait for the next one to load, then if you want to go back you have to wait for the last screen to load again. This can get very frustrating, especially in the early parts of the game where there's a lot of wandering about to do, and this is possibly the only problem with this magnificent work of art.

The control system is one of the easiest to get on with I've ever come across, with the possible exception of the Coktel adventures. There's none of the sentence construction that featured so heavily in Monkey Island 1 and 2 - all you have to do is point and click. To use an object you just click on it and then click where you want to use it.


It's very easy to get completely hooked

PERFECTLY WELL ADJUSTED
Certain aspects of the game are changeable and you will definitely want to change them. You can alter the walking speed of Brandon on screen. At the start he plods around but, when you've played the game a few times, you'll find yourself setting the speed to maximum. Not only is a faster but it's also quite amusing to watch him whizzing around the place. The speed of the text is also changeable and you may want to do this too if you're a fast reader.

So, is Kyrandia better than Curser Of Enchantia and Monkey Island 2 (which in my view are the two best adventures on the market)? Umm, tough,. It's about on a par with Enchantia but Monkey Island 2 is a little better.

Thirty-six quid is a lot of money for a game, so you want to make sure you're getting value.

Okay, so what has Kyrandia got going for it? It's big, very big. It's easy to get into and, because of the way it's been styled, it's very easy to get completely hooked on it. Unlike a lot of adventures where a certain puzzle will just keep annoying you for hours on end until you give up because the solution is just so completely unfathomable, just about everything in Kyrandia makes sense in the end.

The graphics aren't as detailed as those other titles but they do look good and the game has been packed full of those nice touches that appeal so much to most adventurers. Most of the other characters seem to be more than a little bit clinically insane which makes for some fun when you talk to them. It's easy to control and moving round and manipulating objects soon becomes second nature.

Kyrandia isn't quite the next best thing since sliced bread but it is possibly the next best thing since Monkey Island 2. It is a great game and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it to anyone. If adventuring is your middle name then, besides having a very strange name, you're the kind of person who won't be disappointed after shelling out those hard earned notes for Kyrandia.

If this is anything to go by then I'm looking forward to the rest of the Fables and Fiends series. Kyrandia will be a hard act to follow, and if they improve on this then they'll have the best adventure going. For now though, Virgin will have to be content with a mere classic.


ON A TREE BY A RIVER, TOM-TIT SANG, 'WILLOW, TITWILLOW, TITWILLOW'.
Legend of Kyrandia
Creep up behind him to make him jump. He'll be so scared he'll lose his marbles.
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The woodcutter won't finish his job until you've finished the first section.
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Heal the willow tree and witness the wonderful transformation sequence.
I MIGHT AS WELL HAVE BEEN TALKING TO THE WALL
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There you were, happily walking around your grandfather's house, trying to work out why he'd been turned to stone when...
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...the wooden wall suddenly starts talking to you. Wow, whatever you were doing last night, we don't think you should do it any more.
HOW DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO TO ME?
Legend of Kyrandia
  1. Brandon, all-round hero, nice guy and talker to the plants.
  2. Cicking here brings up the game options including loading and saving the game.
  3. There's a limit to what you can carry. If you pick up too much you'll have to find a safe place to stash it.
  4. A sunstone in the stream. That could come in useful at some point.
  5. The amulet. Collect all the parts and defeat Malcolm once and for all.
  6. Gemstones aren't just for decoration. You need them to solve one of the puzzles.


Legend of Kyrandia logo CU Amiga Screen Star

What would you do if granddad was a statue and a psychotic jester was killing your forest home? Jonathan Sloan puts on his silly hat and starts juggling.

TALKING TO THE TREES
After a hard day's flower picking, the last thing that you want to find is that your grandfather has been turned to stone. However, this is the first of many nasty surprises that young Brandon gets when he returns home to his tree-top abode. The next is that his house can talk and has grave news about a mad jester, called Malcolm (?!), who had it in for Grandpa, and for that matter, the rest of Kyrandia!

Apparently, Brandon is the heir to the throne, orphaned at an early age by one of Malcolm's murderous deeds, and the only one with a chance of stopping this new rampage. A quick visit to a voluptuous priestess later and Brandon's off to find a magical amulet. This trinket is the only magic left in the land capable of stopping the evil player in this piece, who looks and acts like a dangerous cross between The Joker and Mr Claypole from Rentaghost.

WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Despite his wimpy name, Malcolm is a deadly dude. The beautifully animated opening sequence of the game shows him breaking free from his prison (where he's been magically bonded for the last 18 years), and setting off the magical equivalent of one megaton nuclear bombs. Fortunately for Brandon, Malcom doesn't consider him to be a threat yet, so when he appears it's generally just to taunt Brandon about his lack of dress sense. However, this won't last for long. Malcolm may tire of Brandon or begin to take him seriously. When he does, Brandon's going to be up his neck in the brown smelly stuff.

STOP MONKEYING AROUND
Kyrandia is a graphic adventure very much in the Monkey Island 2 vein. Most of the screen is taken up by the action window, below which is a message window, inventory, space for the amulet and the game options icon. You control Brandon using the mouse in a point and click fashion. This interaction is incredibly easy to get used to. All it requires is for you to point to a particular part of the screen, click and Brandon will walk there. If you point to an object that is more than simple background decoration, the pointer shape will change and items can be picked up, information gained, or conversations started. It really is that simple.

This ease, however, belies the usefulness of the system and the depth of gameplay. Games of this character really need this type of control system, as the player will usually have all his work out just figuring out how to solve the various problems, never mind trying to get to grips with complex icons. Another excellent feature is the ability to tweak aspects of the system so that some things can be speeded up, including conversations and even Brandon himself. This gets the game moving at a fair old pace, even though our hero tends to look and move like a Thunderbird puppet on amphetamines.

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
The main screen graphics are a sight to behold, but then what else would you expect from Westwood Studios, the developers that brought you Eye of the Beholder II. Attention to detail seems to have been the watchword for those guys. Kyrandia breathes detail down to the smallest level. Backgrounds are colourful and add so much to the feel; though it is here that one gripe can be leveled - a little more thought could have been put into the woods as the backgrounds do tend to become a bit repetitive.

The main character animations deserve a mention all to themselves. Brandon moves smoothly through his world, and all the non-player characters that he meets, both human or otherwise, have the same quality to their actions.

Magic is a very important aspect of the game and possibly one of the hardest things to visualise. Many developers would have taken the easy option and left it out or had a simple switch from one situation to the next, not Westwood though. Brandon encounters, and has to use, magic at many points in the game, and each time the effects of it are beautifully animated. These even include transformations, when Brandon flawlessly morphs from human to... well, buy the game and solve it yourself!

STUCK FOR CLUES
The puzzles in Kyrandia aren't too hard to solve. Some can be figured out very quickly indeed, others will take a while longer, but on the whole they are all quite logical. The solutions, when they come, will have you saying 'Of course', as opposed to 'How the hell was I supposed to figure that one out?' (or some polite curse for the programmers).

Conversations play an important part of the puzzle solving, with non-player characters setting tasks and offering all sorts of tips to our intrepid hero. The speed of text on screen can be increased, which is a boon because the conversations are not really interactive with Brandon himself providing the responses, not the player. Also, once started, conversations have to run their course, which can be a tad frustrating if you have already had the same one not five minutes before.

Fortunately, these conversations are laced with humour, especially when Malcolm shows up to taunt Brandon. This touch helps give all the characters a certain amount of depth. For instance, Brandon will encounter a pet dragon later in the game which has given up eating knights due to the fact that it found them all sweat and muscle and too difficult to peel!

DIE LAUGHING
The humour can be very sharp at times, as unusually for the latest generations of this genre, the hero can die in a number of intriguing ways. If you compare Kyrandia to the other recent graphic adventure, Curse of Enchantia, you'll see what I mean. In Kyrandia, if a situation looks dangerous and possibly deadly, it usually is. This means that frequent saves are necessary to preserve Brandon's wellbeing. However, if you want to try his luck then I suggest that you do, if nothing else he dies in a variety of amusing ways.

TOUGH COMPETITION
When you think that it's competing against the likes of Monkey Island 2 and the soon-to-be-released Indy IV, Kyrandia certainly has a lot to live up to. The graphics match up fairly well, as does the sound. The puzzles in Monkey Island tend to be slightly harder and therefore add to longevity; Kyrandia can probably be solved in less time. The playing area is immense though and will take some time to explore fully; given Brandon's ability to only carry 10 objects, it is advisable to find locations to stash goodies that will be needed later.

Unfortunately, Kyrandia comes on NINE disks and is NOT hard disk installable. Whilst it's true that Monkey Island 2 came on 11 disks, you at least had the option to put it onto a hard disk - not so with Kyrandia. This seriously detracts from an otherwise very enjoyable game; let's face it, your poor old floppy drive is going to take some hammering playing this one. Why isn't it hard disk installable? There is one hell of a lot of disk swapping involved, which is going to have you suffering from swapper's wrist in no time at all.

Apart from this moan, Kyrandia has a lot going for it. It's certainly worth checking out.


HEADING OUT WEST

Kyrandia is the first in what Westwood Studios hope will be a long line of 'Interactive Dramas'. They call this developing series: 'Fables and Fiends'.
The game engine for the series has been developed from the one used in Apple Macs. Which, President Brett Sperry says, is 'probably one of the most intuitive systems I've seen'.
Westwood's seven man creation team spent over two years on the interface used in Kyrandia.