The Legend of
This book features a stronger story and a few more difficult puzzles than its predecessor. One notable highlight is the fact that you play a woman.
The third book of The Legend of Kyrandia series, subtitled Malcolm's Revenge, reunites the same production crew as the previous games. There is a good attempt at a thematic twist: the villain of the first game is now remade into a hero!
At the end of The Legend of Kyrandia - Book 2, Brandon turned the evil court jester, Malcolm, into a statue. Malcolm had killed Brandon's parents, the rightful king and queen of Kyrandia. Now a bolt of lightning has freed Malcolm. In this chapter, you play Malcolm. It turns out Malcolm isn't so evil after all: it was a magic knife that killed the monarchs. Malcolm must now prove his innocence.
Your first task is to leave Kyrandia. After a stay of the Isle of Cats, you hitch a ride on a pirate ship. Those nasty pirates sell you back to your enemy, Brandon, who promptly drops you off the edge of the earth. You end up in Limbo, and have to work your way out of Limbo and through Hell to return to Kyrandia. Kyrandia, however, has been taken over by those same pirates. You must first free Kyrandia, and then finally prove your innocence to the Kyrandians.
The Legend of Kyrandia - Book 3 is similar to the previous two games in the series. It is a third person adventure, with animated cartoon sprites on paned cartoon backgrounds. There's a small inventory and a single action mouse. The interface is simple and intuitive. The only annoyance for me was the small inventory: it is large enough if you know what to do and what you need to do it, but once or twice I found myself caching items and returning to the cache.
The artwork is well done and simply, but effectively, presents the world of Kyrandia. Similarly, the music and sound effects are pleasant, but they don't draw attention to themselves. A new video compression system known as VQ is used to minimize loading time of the graphics. It is rumored that VQ stands for "Video Queen."
The puzzles are mostly inventory based: use this object on that thing. Some are hard and some are clever -- however, some are very silly and have a tendency to tie your head in knots.
A nice feature of Book 3 is that there is a good attempt to enhance the replay value of this game. There are many ways to initially leave Kyrandia. Some show you sections of the game that you will not see if you leave another way. There is also a section near the end where you choose from three choices, leading to different play paths.
The multiple paths at the beginning and end of the game are worth exploring. The game is already of a good size, and these extend play considerably.
Several new enhancements of the game engine are evident. The first is the new interactive Moodometer that is used to control Malcolm's personality and speech while interacting with other Kyrandians. The second is Supersound that can simultaneously weave a lively musical score with real sound effects. The third is a no click interface in which the player can access options simply by moving the mouse to the lower screen. The inventory or options screen can now dramatically shrinks down to a bar when not in use. The game also features a whole new soundtrack and fully digitized speech by over 30 actors. There are over 80 rendered scenes to explore, with multiple paths and endings.