Worlds of Legend is the follow-up to Legend for the Amiga.
The game is in essence the same as the former game - an isometric 3D FRPG. It is now set in an "Eastern" environment but once again you take control of the four characters (Barbarian, Runemaster, Assassin and Troubadour), as you're required to solve puzzles and conquer dungeons. Again you can encounter hostile armies on the plains as well, but the landscape has changed.
A new feature allows you to import your characters from the original game, with all their gold, weapons and level enhancements, although you can generate them from the start again.
Even though the name 'Mindscape' rings a few bells, their game Worlds of Legend: Son of the Empire doesn't. It's a point-and-click RPG with an isometric viewpoint. Well, maybe that says it all... or not?
Either this game wasn't that popular, or it has been forgotten; I couldn't even find a proper manual for it. Trying to figure out everything on my own was quite a nightmare, until I found out that this game has a predecessor called Legend, or The Four Crystals of Trazere, which was written in 1992, one year before Son of the Empire was made. The graphics are the same for both games, and I think the mechanics are as well. Let's say that everything is the same except the story, which is as follows:
In the remote village of Brodfird, four adventurers are enjoying a much-earned break. Suddenly their rest is disturbed by the arrival of an unexpected guest...
"I was told to come here and seek one of my kind. I bring a letter from the Empire of the Moon."
Dear Nephew, You must return at once to Imperia! The Emperor, your father, has been assassinated. I think that Ti-Mann Mochun is somehow connected with this terrible event. Please hurry home, Aunt Sushiana
When you start the game for the first time, you can choose whether you'd like to start a new game or load an older one. If you start a new one, take a look at your party members:
- Slyzaar Mantric of Smathost, Berserker- Tunarle Roscart of Pongbarn, Troubadour- Thai-Chang Krayne of Yinn, Assassin- Zothen Runecaster of Phrool, Runemaster
You can change their names, gender, and attributes, which are largely as usual: strength, intelligence, dexterity, constitution, speed, and luck. But there are three other ones, which shall be explained a little more:
Af - Attack Factor (the chance to attack, the higher the better)
Df - Defense Factor (the chance to defend against attack, the higher the better)
Ac - Armor Class (shows how well the character can withstand hits, the lower the better).
You can modify these by clicking on the four symbols under your character's portrait; each one represents one of the four elements: Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. More than one can be activated at a time, so you should experiment with them a lot to find out how they modify your characters' attributes and which are the best settings for them. (For example, I obtained the highest defense and hit points for the berserker when I chose the first and last, the Earth and Water symbols.) Keep in mind that weapon users, such as the berserker, rely on their strength, while runemasters use their intelligence to strengthen themselves. Once you are happy with your party you can begin your adventures in the Empire of the Moon. You'll want to reduce the CPU cycles to around 300-400 first, however, since the fights are so fast on higher cycles that you will be wiped out in a moment.
Note that you can also import your characters from The Four Crystals of Trazere, if you have previously played it.
You start your adventures in the proud city of Imperia, as is mentioned in the intro. The entire place has a Chinese feel - not coincidentally, I suppose. The tunes in the game are pleasant, but don't worry; they will stop when you start exploring the Vaults - a dungeon where you'll fight at least three or four monsters of various kinds. To be sure, they'll test your skills instantly. The best way to eliminate the threat is by keeping the monsters busy with your close-combat fighters while casting some fireballs on them with your runemaster. Don't forget to use your characters' special abilities, such as the already-mentioned fireballs, or the berserker's "Berserker Rage", or the troubadour's "Bardish Melody", or the assassin's "Hide in Shadow". You will find treasure boxes too, filled with potions and similar items.
When you've had enough of that catacomb, you can climb out of it and visit the world map. Now, you know that it's the year 1200, and even the names of the days and months are written in the local "language", such as "Chewsday" instead of "Tuesday" or "Djinuary" instead of "January". Cool. Beware that the moving banners on the map may mean death for you, since they might be powerful enemies. You are advised to explore the vaults of Imperia before traveling around the map. You can travel to other cities too, where you can visit the local temple to pray or donate, buy healing potions from the apothecary, or visit the blacksmith.
About the graphics and music, nothing much can be said. The game was made with a nice isometric pixel-art style and has smooth animations. The music isn't that amazing, but it does its job. Unfortunately, there are very few tunes in the game. The sounds of fights are only beeps, but that's not really important. When you start the game, you can choose whether you'd like to play in VGA, EGA, CGA, or Tandy 1000 16-color mode, and you can choose to listen to the thin soundtrack in AdLib/Soundblaster, Roland, Tandy Beeper, or PC speaker mode - or you can play with no sound at all.
If you liked The Four Crystals of Trazere, you will enjoy this one too. I can only give it three points out of five, since essentially it's the same game with a different story. The music is the same, as is one of the intro pictures, but if you just want more of what The Four Crystals had to offer, this is highly recommended.
How to run this game on modern Windows PC?
People who downloaded Worlds of Legend (a.k.a. Sons of Empire) have also downloaded:
Warriors of Legend, Zeliard, Wizardry Gold, Yendorian Tales: The Tyrants of Thaine, Wizardry 7: Crusaders of the Dark Savant, Wizards & Warriors, Yendorian Tales Book I, Yendorian Tales Book I: Chapter 2
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