Watch My Let’s Play or read the Review:
Let me tell you about a epic adventure series, fairly unknown but still awesome: The Lands of Lore; a story told within three role-playing games, developed by Westwood Studios. My first true RPG experience was with Eye of the Beholder, played on the SegaCD, since I didn’t had a computer at this time either. I never understood the D&D rule set much. For example the use of AC, which is better the lower it is. Anyways… in 1994, my uncle thought that it is time to give me a computer and to share some of his games with me. One of them was the much simpler Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos. And here begins the story…
Lands of Lore, lovely called LoL – not a good name for a game nowadays if you ask me – is much different to the Eye of the Beholder series. There is no D&D rule set in LoL, there is no complicated character creation, but there are many advantages compared with EotB:
- The player picks one of four pre-made heroes, each with specific characteristics. They are:
Mage Ak’shel, Thief Kieran, Warrior Michael and the all-rounder Conrad.
- Other characters that join the hero for a time period are:
the fearless Timothy, Maid Lora, Apprentice Baccata, Paulson and the Sorceress Dawn*.
* Dawn got removed before the release of the game, but can be unlocked by manipulating savegames with a hex-editor.
- The difficulty can be adjusted at any time while playing. If the player feels like the game is no longer challenging, then he simply can increase or decrease the difficulty.
- Instead of many stats, there are only three: Fighter, Rogue & Magic. These can be increased by successfully fighting, throwing plus lock-picking and spell casting.
- The maximum level for each stat is 6 and fairly can be reached at the end of the game.
- The auto-mapper shows the player in which direction he is heading, where are switches or pits, doors or special locations. Many hardcore EotB fans criticized this feature as too easy and not very challenging.
- You will not only crawl through dungeons in Lands of Lore. You will travel through forests, a swamp, a major city, a haunted white tower or a abandoned mine.
- The most feared places by players were the Urbish Mines, because of its confusing, not linear quest layout and The White Tower Level 3, because of ghosts that hardly can be killed (even on difficulty set to “wimpy”).
LoL is a story driven game and the plot is told through animated cutscenes. The story takes place in the Lands called Gladstone. King Richard is worried about a witch called Scotia, ruler of the Dark Army. She found a ring called “The Nether Mask”. An artifact that allows her to shapeshift in any form, with any power desired.
The king chooses a hero that needs to receive the Ruby of Truth from a manor in the Southlands. Once the hero arrived there, he is told by the dying Sir Roland that the Ruby was stolen. Back in Gladstone, he sees Scotia poising Richard and must then visit the Draracel to obtain a recipe of an elixir to cure the king.
Other characters join or leave the players party during plot changes. They will support him on his travel through the Lands to find the ingredients for the elixir and in hopes of defeating Scotia in the end.
Lands of Lore is truly a easy to understand game that doesn’t challenge the players brain too much by learning many strict rules. For me, its superior compared with other role-playing games of that time. Only the true ability of some items is a still kept secret that requires the player to equip and use weapons until he finds out their true power someday by accident. Items of the same type can’t be stacked on top of each other, which soon can be a problem once you have to pick up a new weapon and realizing that there is no inventory slot left to take them. Overall, Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos is a entertaining and fun game to play and doesn’t let you leave your keyboard once you got sucked into it’s world. The savegames are very hex-editor friendly and allow the player to exchange characters and succeed in the quest with a whole new party!