Legend of the Sword logo

Graphics are the key to success for Rainbird’s classic trolls, tunnels, sorcery and magic swords adventure, Legend of the Sword. Set in a dark age far away, the land of Anar is under attack from the evil wizard Suzar. With his mutated humanoids he has already overcome one of the land’s strongest armies.

One of the most terrible weapons is his ability to transform the bodies of the fallen into more of these murderous humanoids. These immediately turn on their former comrades.

FROM a battle on the island of Anar, only one man managed to escape, cross the sea, and tell his harrowing tale to King Darius. After much deliberation it was agreed that sending another army would prove useless against the wizard’s might. Another way to defeat this evil creature had to be found.

Legends from the distant past spoke of a wondrous sword and shield. Would they be able to protect the world from Suzar’s evil? Is it possible that they may even be able to destroy the immortal Suzar himself?

Legend has it that these weapons were hidden on the island of Anar in the keeping of the mysterious Corsarians. A small band of warriors is chosen to journey to Anar to try and find the sword and shield. You are to be the leader; the other five have all carried out dangerous tasks for their king in the past and are hardened campaigners.

Approaching the coast your boat may land in only three possible places – the north-east, east or south-east. You are now at the beginning of your quest, but before achieving anything really significant you must learn how to use what you see before you – not only in the realm of Anar but also on your Amiga’s monitor.

Commands may be typed in at the input line, and there are several short cuts for the more commonly used commands. Above the input line is a section for text descriptions and responses. The top half of the screen contains a number of graphics windows.

To the left of the graphics section are two windows that display cameos of where you are and what actions you have just performed – or who you may meet.

The top right two thirds of the graphics section is the scroll window which displays either a map of where you have been or commands accessed by the mouse pointer from a command line at the top of the screen. To the left of the scroll window is an arrow that enables additional items to be displayed in the scroll window.

Beneath the scroll window are three directional icons – up/down, compass directions and in/out. If a direction is possible it will be highlighted; click on the appropriate box and you will move in that direction.

Lastly there is a picture of a candle which indicates your party’s strength and life force. Across the top of the screen are five command words – options, cancel, actions, map, execute. Move the mouse pointer to options and the scroll window will offer inventory, vocabulary, save, load, quit, recap, look, listen, wait, help and colours.

Actions provides examine, show, give, get, drop, throw, eat, drink, attack, smell, kick and taste. Click on any of these and a further menu of objects to which these actions could be performed is displayed for your choice.

Map displays the map mode within the scroll window and a further click within the window will display a full screen map, centered upon that shown in the scroll window. Finally, execute will initiate an action such as attack one you have indicated what you wish to attack and with what.

Legend of the Sword certainly has a lot foing for it. Used carefully, the mouse-driven commands maintain a flow as you move around. The drawback is that only relatively few commands are accessible in this manner.

The program is complex and commands such as look up, look down or search are needed. As these are not available via the mosue it is easy to assume that look and examine from the action menu might be all that is required. Mouse commands are only a small part of what is understood.

There is a fair bit of character interaction within your party and with creatures you meet. You may have to exert a little physical persuasion to get members of your team to do what you ask.

The Help command rarely gives you a straight answer. You will still have to work out the answers to the puzzles, but it sometimes indicates where there is a puzzle you may have missed. Commands like go to, find and follow are recognised. Ram save and oops are almost a necessity as initially you are very vulnerable.

I would recommend drawing your own maps, the on-screen one is good but it is useful to know what is at a location, and this is not displayed. It could be embarrassing to walk into some angry trolls just because you had forgotten which room they were in.

Legend of the Sword will keep you guessing for a long time, it is not easy to solve but I am certain you will keep coming back to it for more.

Legend of the Sword logo


’The evil wizard Suzar has launched an attack on the land of Anar with his hideous humanoid army’ - so runs the storyline to Rainbird’s latest graphics adventures. It continues ‘The valiant forces of Anar did their best to hold off the armies of Suzar, but they stood no chance. Every time a man of Anar was slain he was brought back to life by Suzar and attacked his formed comrades. You were one of the lucky ones that managed to escape the carnage and flee Anar’.

’You are summoned to the High Council of Anar where you learn from King Darius of a legendary sword and shield that were once guarded by the Corsarians. Both of these artifacts must be found if Suzar is to be slain. Speed and secrecy are of the utmost importance, so you and five other brave individuals set sail for Anar to find the sword and shield’.


Most adventure graphics are static but Legend of the Sword has something different, a scrolling map that gets gradually filled in as you explore the land. Normally it is only a small section of the screen, but you can expand it to full screen if you want to get your bearings.

The small location and action pictures are not very detailed due to their size, but you can clearly see what everything is supposed to be. The overall screen presentation is very good and if you don’t like the background colours they can be changed to suit your taste. As with nearly every adventure the only sound you get is from the keyboard.


Although this is basically an adventure, it has an unusual method of command entry. Many of the common commands can be summoned with a mouse click. The eight compass directions, up, down, in and out can be clicked directly and many other commands can be accessed through menus. Your current location and last action are displayed graphically in two windows on the screen. A third window shows the menus or map depending on what you’re doing at the time.

You can’t use the mouse exclusively in solving the adventure, but you can zoom around and interact with many of the objects using it. When you come to type in commands from the keybaord, you will find the interpreter flexible and quite sophisticated, although you can still use verb/noun commands if you want to. ‘Find’ and ‘goto’ are two of the more advanced commands that allow you to move stragiht to a particular location or object. The oops option is included to help you rectify unfortunate (and usually painful) mistakes by taking back your last command.


Evil wizards have been persecuted by brave warriors ever since the dawn of computer adventures and Legend of the Sword is not about to buck the trend. The thing that does set it apart from the rest of the pack, though, is the presentation. The on-screen map, the use of mouse and menus for the more mundane actions is good and speeds play. Unfortunately some of that speed is lost with the regular disk accessing.

  • Across the top of the screen are menu items which can be clicked to reveal the more common commands.
Legend of the Sword: Explanation of user interface
  1. The location window shows a small picture of your current whereabouts.
  2. This window updates your current actions and moments of combat.
  3. Movement icons can be used for rapid movement from one location to another.
  4. Text input and output appears at the bottom of the screen.
  5. This candle shows how strong or weak your party of adventurers are, the lower it goes, the closer you are to death.

Legend of the Sword logo

Rainbird/Silicon Soft

Here is a game of exploration and adventure that has the feel and some of the best features of a role playing game, combined with the puzzles and game format of an adventure. In the making for over two years, its author, Karl Buckingham, gave up his job to write it, knowing that he had something good. Together with Colin Mongadi and Eugene Messina, he formed Silicon Soft, and has come up with a totally new concept in adventure presentation.

You lead a team of six men, chosen by the king to go forth and search out the magic sword and shield that will save the land of Anar from the evil wizard Shuzar. As the adventure starts, your party is about to be landed on the coast near to where the sword and shield are believed to be hidden. There are three places for a possible landing site, and although all the landing points link up, only time and much playing will eventually resolve whether there is one correct beach on which to be set down, for the strategy varies depending upon where you start.

Once ashore, you lead your party against perils from bands of roaming humanoids, viscious trolls, and dangerous monsters lurking in the forest. The forest land, crossed by the occasional river, is riddled with dark and dangerous tunnels, and has its own local castle and dungeon.

The quest tests your stamina to its limits, and to maintain it, you will need to keep a a sharp eye out for anything edible – for you will have to keep yourself and your colleagues fed and watered, to be a match for the terrain and its inhabitants. As you proceed, a candle representing your strength, burns lower and lower, only to be replenished after a goodly meal.

The game is played using normal adventure commands, but an icon system allows the player to enter about 80% of these using the computer’s mouse. Icons for all directions of movement are permanently displayed on screen, and many other commands may be entered by touching ACTIONS on the menu bar, and selecting a verb from the list displayed above the fixed icons. Depending on the verb chosen, further lists relevant to it will then be displayed, and the command entered by clicking on EXECUTE on the menu bar.

Alternatively, the area used to list the word icons can be used to display a graphic map. This unfolds as more locations are visited for the first time, and scrolls smoothly through the window as the player moves. To see a wider view, clicking on the map clears the screen completely and displays a full-screen version of it, before play is resumed on the default screen.

To the left of the (usual) map are two cameos that constantly change as play proceeds, depicting actions and locations. With fast play, or by using the GOTO command, which takes you to any reachable and previously discovered location, the screen is alive with movement and colour, with changing cameos, scrolling map, and changing highlights showing available exits.

Whilst the parser accepts complex sentences, it isn’t quite up to Magnetic Scrolls standards. Nevertheless it is quite adequate for the job once you get used to the way it works. Puzzles there are plenty, and SCORE will tell you what percentage of puzzles you have solved. This feature had worried me a bit, though, for often when I had achieved something that left me with a smug grin on my face, SCORE had obviously not classified it as a puzzle!

The puzzles are not terribly intricate, but neither are they easy to solve. It pays to LOOK and EXAMINE and SEARCH a lot – in this game SEARCH means something different from EXAMINE! And if you are stuck, there is a good chance that you’ll get something useful (never a giveaway though!) by typing HELP – a feature all too often missing from present day adventures.

There are many alternative ways to play a given situation, and whilst the way you choose may have so good an outcome that satisfies you that you have done the right thing, don’t be fooled for one moment! Try it the other way, just to check it out – an easy task using the RAM SAVE or OOPS option.

If you can kill the troll easily, and rob his corpse of valuables, why bother to risk not killing him? And perhaps it really pays not to cover your tracks in the troll’s tunnels? A real conundrum this, for I still haven’t decided which way to play it. Perhaps things would be easier if I could find the password on the SW side of the mist!

There are very few criticisms that can be levelled against this adventure. There is the odd response that comes from some far distant place and time, but they are very few and far between. There is occasional difficulty with vocab – but as I’ve already said, it’s not so much the words, as the way they are interpreted, and that is fairly easy to adjust to.

The more you play Legend of the Sword, the richer it becomes, as more and more hidden delights are revealed. It is a really splendid game! If you have an Amiga, buy a copy as soon as you spot one.