I don’t really like being wrong, but this game definitely proved me wrong. In my Buck Rodgers Countdown to Doomsday review I stated that it is the first RPG game that is based in the future instead of medieval fantasy world. Legacy of the Ancients proves me wrong and I don’t mind one bit.
It’s a light RPG game with games within a game, with quests to complete and a special timeline. Let’s say it’s a series of quests within a broader frame.
You find yourself being welcomed at the Tarmalon Museum. The museum caretaker will only allow you to examine the certain exhibits and you need to gather enough experience (and find the appropriate coins) to examine the rest.
And where to find coins in the middle of the museum?
Well, you are able of interacting with the exhibits and it’s a feature later used in Waxworks, you need to enter exhibits and solve complete your task there before you can get any further.
On different locations you’ll get different perspectives (from 1st person motion through tunnels, to top down view of a village or countryside).
There are no skill points to gain; instead you need to work on your skills by mastering certain parts. For instance if you want to expend your intelligence, you need to master the Stones of Wisdom.
Naturally you also encounter enemies. This can happen in dungeons (and there are a few of those around) or in open field while walking around from one village to another. The interface is not very complicated, so the combat is very simplified, which probably won’t appeal to more hard core oriented RPG gamers out there. Also the magic spells aren’t all too complex, but creatures don’t react in a same way to same spells, so there’s some variety there. And remember that not everybody and everything you meet is an enemy you need to fight. Sometimes you’ll run into people selling you stuff, or sometimes you’ll be able to avoid a confrontation (which might be a good idea).
But the thing you need to complete a quest (for that exhibit) will lay in the darkest most difficult to get to part of the dungeon and you need to fight your way through it.
The game itself is thus a unique mixture of futuristic (you find yourself in a museum in space in future) and historic (an alien race built the museum and you need to get through the mystery of their past) story with interesting, although not really breathtaking graphics. There were games that looked much better by the year 1989, but this is a typical example of a game that valued its content much more then its looks.
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