"This game is better than Ultima Underworld!" With these words, SSI advertised Legends Of Valour. How did they reach that conclusion? I guess it's better not to think about it, because this game is far from being even acceptable. But let's go through it step-by-step.
You start as a human, dwarf, or gnome (your choice) in a strange city called Mittledorf. You're there to meet your cousin, who told you about the great life he was having there. But unfortunately, he doesn't show up, so it seems that you have to live on your own, until...you become too bored and finish the game.
The first thing you have to do is to choose your race. A funny thing, since it has no apparent function - all your stats are the same; only your appearance changes. So why choose a race, anyway? I'm still searching for the answer. Next you're in your hometown, where you can choose your starting equipment, such as armor, shield, and sword. Unfortunately, there are no indicators as to how strong a weapon or piece of armor is; you can only guess by the price, and I'm not sure if that's really proportional to its strength.
Next stop: the city! Once you're there, you can walk around in real time using your mouse and/or keyboard. Small buttons at the bottom of the screen can be clicked to operate some functions, like talking to citizens, hurling insults at them, etc. The managing of the (far too small) inventory is also done on the main screen, which remains the only one you'll see.
The fights are as far from RPG fights as you can get. Whether you win or lose depends only on how often you can click in a short time, and some luck doesn't hurt. The funny (or should I say ridiculous?) thing is that monsters which wander in your vicinity usually don't attack you if you don't walk into them, whereas citizens do it quite often and without any reason.
Of course, you need water and food to live, but once more this game failed to balance the values properly. Your character needs to drink and eat too often, which quickly becomes very annoying.
Graphics and Sound
LoV doesn't really look like a game from 1993. Even in 1990 it would have been only average. Only the introduction contains rendered videos, but without any sense or connection to the game. While moving through the city, you will recognize mostly one thing: void. There are no trees or bushes, only some torches standing around. And in rooms, the only thing to discover are tables (sometimes certain items lie on them). The NPCs are very ugly and pixelated, too, especially up close.
I don't know if there is any sound in the game. I couldn't hear anything in Windows and wasn't able to start it with DOSBox, but it's very unlikely that it revolutionized sound in games (sad but true).
Did the developers do anything right in this game? If so, I didn't find it. The idea was surely not bad, but the game was released half-cooked. With a little re-programming it could have been good, perhaps very good. Bad luck. If you still want to download this game, do it - you don't deserve anything else.
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