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 Lands of Lore

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BlackZarak
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PostSubject: Lands of Lore    Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:46 am

This deserves it's own thread. It's time I pay tribute to some classic, forgotten gems!

Lands of Lore games were made by good old Westwood. It is to my knowledge a trilogy.

The plot of the first game is a little generic -- antagonist finds artifact of power, poisons the king, and your protagonist sets off to find the other artifacts needed to counter the power of the antagonist's. You then hunt down and murderize said antagonist, save the king, blah blah blah.

You have a choice of 4 different protagonists, two from the different races of the kingdom and two humans, all with different strength and weaknesses. Along the way you can recruit up to two other protagonists, some are temporary while others will remain until the endgame. You'll explore dungeons, caves, castles, mines, forests, cities, and encounter for the most part fairly classic enemies but there are oddballs in there. The game has plenty of puzzles, and on the first playthrough I got stumped more than a few times.

The second game, Guardians of Destiny, is IMO the best of the three. In this one you play as the spawn of the first game's antagonist and the story is that as the antagonist is dying, it transfers it's powers to said spawn, but something goes awry in translation and you end up with a shapeshifting curse. You escape from the castle, and seek out a way to shed this curse, discovering that there is much more to this curse than you imagined at first.

The second game is a 2D/3D kind of game, the decor is full 3D but the objects are 2D. You will explore many lands, battle interesting enemies -- much more so than in the first game. The dungeons are memorable, especially some certain ruins which to this day, even after playing the game for 20+ years the ambiance still makes me uneasy. This game also has it's own share of puzzles and hidden stuff, I thought I knew everything about the game but my compadre Nuk-3 showed me things I never knew about!

The third game, sadly, is much inferior to Guardians and even to the first game. I do not hate the game, but it does not live up to the legacy set by it's predecessors, especially Guardians of Destiny.

LoL and LoL:G are available on GoG for five quid, and as far as I am concerned, it's worth it just for Guardians of Destiny. While those game have flaws, they are games I still enjoy every now and then, and still playing a game 20+ years after release is to me the mark of a quality game.

Here's a 10 minute clip of the beginning of Guardians of Destiny, courtesy of Nuk-3, as well as a clip from Throne of Chaos to give you bunch a feel of the game. Warning, it's in German, but that's good since most you won't understand a damn thing Laughing For some reason this game was pretty popular in Germany.






https://www.gog.com/game/lands_of_lore_1_2

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Carabas
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PostSubject: Re: Lands of Lore    Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:29 am

Westwood, that does bring us back. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Lands of Lore    Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:04 pm

Certainly does! I know you're not terribly fond of those old-school FPS-like-view games but Guardians of Destiny is really bloody awesome. You also don't have to play as a do-goody, you can go ahead and play full evil, the game will react and adapt to your choices. Some NPCs will react differently based on your actions and there is also a full-blown evil ending which IMO is much more satisfying but it comes with two VERY HARD bosses and I usually survive by the skin of my teeth by using a limited number of level 5 magic spells (granted by items so how many you have depends on how many of those items you picked up) and the ring of regeneration (which, by the name, regenerates your life, but also resurrects you once if you're downed in combat and then is destroyed)

Some of the dungeons are timeless, like the ruins late in the game. This place is creepy, and the music adds to the atmosphere and even though I've beaten the game several times, those ruins always make me feel uneasy. And that is saying something.

There's a good selection of weapons as well, including some you might not think of picking up or carrying throughout the game but they can be downright lifesavers later in the game. In Chapter 2 you find a huge two-handed sword which was wielded by Great Orcs back in the first game. It can only be used later in the game with another item you will find in the ruins, and MAN does this weapon pack a punch although at a cost of losing some defense (which makes sense). There is a broken sword you can pick up at the start of the game, it can be fixed in Chapter 2 but at first it will be pretty weak compared to the other main weapon you get in this chapter -- Firestorm. BUT, if you hang on to the repaired blade, it can be upgraded late in Chapter 3. Firestorm can be upgraded as well (But it will lose it's namesake abilities, trading it for a new power), and when both blades are upgraded it's up to you to decide which one you prefer. I personally stick with the upgraded Firestorm because it looks amazing, and while it has inferior attack rate, it's power is more valuable to me. The broken sword strikes much faster and occasionally has a chance to trigger a magic attack.

There is also a bow which seem useless at first since it just sparks when you try to shoot, but against the right enemy it becomes very damn potent. A basic throwing dagger you find can also be upgraded into a potent ranged weapon as well though it's kind of weak as melee. Again, makes sense.

The game is truffled with puzzles and sometimes you'll be stumped trying to figure out what needs to be done. It's not ballbusting hard but you have to think outside the box sometimes. One of the weapons in the game I only recently discovered because I had no clue where it was, and I also missed a potent suit of armor because it was cleverly hidden.

Five quid is worth it just for Guardians of Destiny. Seriously, I cannot praise this game enough.

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