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Malcolm's Revenge

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela

Can you really turn an arch villain into a hero? The talented people at Westwood Studios have and the result is, in our opinion, the best game of the Trilogy.

In Book One of the series young prince Brandon, convinced that the evil court jester Malcolm had murdered his parents and was out to destroy Kyrandia, magically turned him to stone (exactly what Malcolm had done before to Brandon's grandfather). But as W.C. Fields said, "Anyone who hates kids and dogs can't be all bad", so now we get to hear Malcolm's side of the story.

As the game begins, Malcolm's statue, "long hated by everyone who is anyone", has been residing in the city dump for years. But suddenly a freak bolt of lightning hits it and Malcolm is alive and free again! Furious and complaining about his mistreatment, he considers what to do, and finally decides that the best way to get sweet revenge is to make them all suffer horrible guilt by proving his innocence. Yes, he had been running around turning people and things to stone (just a harmless practical joke, in his opinion), but he was no murderer! Someone else's magical knife had killed the King and Queen, not him, and he'll just have to catch the real culprit.

He realizes however that everyone in the kingdom believes that he did it and will turn him over to the authorities if they see him, so his first step has to be getting out of town and that's not going to be easy. And he's going to need some supplies, so he starts rummaging through the trash heap to see if he can find anything useful .....

Malcolm is an absolute delight! He's a little bandy-legged sour old grouch, with wild tangled white hair and a chronically irritated expression. We learn of course (through flashbacks) that he wasn't always this way, that it's all due to childhood trauma (isn't it always?). But now he's not above being deceptive to accomplish his goals (even if it's getting a little kid's sandwich!), and that results in some unpredictable and very funny situations and wisecracks.

With a built-in 'Moodometer' for personality and speech, you can control how he talks to people (sickeningly sweet, his normal cantankerous self, or lie like crazy!), and they're all funny. And you can set Malcolm's speed of movement and even the speed of his speech (try the squeaky helium balloon voice just for fun).

It's a 3rd person, point and click game, with a friendly interface, beautiful graphics, and happy music. You get to wheel and deal with pirates and bargain with dogs and cats, go to the Ends of the Earth and Hell and back again ..... and there are multiple paths to get there (6 different ways to get out of Kyrandia alone!). The puzzles are great and many have alternate solutions. They range from the easy and just plain absurd to the complicated and difficult (we thought we would never get off the Isle of Cats). Some are solved by being sneaky (picking locks and going through the sewers), and many have the insane logic of Malcolm's world.

You can get caught and go to jail and make doilies (there are actually 4 different jail scenes, but you have to escape to see them all), and there are some very creative ways to die (like getting kissed to death in the jungle). Just save often and try everything: the surprises are fun and Malcolm's comments are a riot.

Toward the end of the game you get to hear Malcolm's good and bad sides offer him dubious advice, and you can follow one or the other or both for up to 3 different endings. And be sure to watch the end credits to see how Malcolm makes life difficult for even the team who created him.

It's an old-style crazy adventure with an irreverent attitude, and we had a lot of fun playing it. We think you will too!

Produced (1994) by Westwood Studios.

Virgin Interactive Entertainment (now defunct in USA) published (1998) all three games, Books 1, 2, and 3, in one box called The Legend of Kyrandia, The Series.

Minimum System Requirements:

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Walkthrough" available here!

"Walkthrough" available here!

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Copyright  1999, Revised 2001
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