The Legend Lives!
is an epic sci-fi masterpiece by David Baggett, author of the popular Unnkulian Unventure
shareware series. Legend
takes the Unnkulian Universe far into the future, where, despite mankind's technological advances, the threat of the evil Unnkulians still lurks. This time, their sinister plan is subtle: a deadly computer virus that threatens the whole galaxy. You are Gavin Kelly, a grad student in computer science at Akmi Yooniversity who discovered this new threat and, naturally, must find help to defeat it. Despite this cliche-sounding beginning, the plot Legend
soon evolves into a wonderful tale of nature-versus-technology conflict that is by turn thought-provoking and funny.
David Baggett's games are known for elaborate room descriptions, and Legend takes this strength to a new level. Game locations are not only well-written, but are so detailed that you can almost visualize the frenzied crowds at the Barfee outlet, or be disturbed by the descriptions of New Hell and the Watchmen. As you meet new characters, long multiple-screens of text appear to not only introduce them but move the story forward. Lengthy cutscenes (i.e. long blocks of text that interrupt gameplay) are abundant, and all very well-written. Anyone who likes to examine every object in the game can spend literally dozens of hours with Legend, marvelling at the plethora and depth of writing, including many extensive footnotes on the stranger objects in the Unnkulian universe.
The puzzles in Legend range from the average, to the almost impossible. Thankfully, the game offers a progressive hint system to help break those mental blocks. There are still some puzzles you must solve on your own, but those are quite easy to figure out. All puzzles require manipulating technology one way or the other, and most of your time will be spent in figuring out the uses for the many strange gadgets you can pick up. Although some objects are red herring, you'll enjoy playing with them on the way to hitting on the solution.
The Legend Lives! is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. The game broke new grounds in adding many "cinematic" scenes to the usually dry world of IF, and imbuing its characters with lifelike agenda and personality (although unfortunately many characters are left unexplained or not fleshed out-- perhaps intentionally to leave room for sequels). With a great story, a coherent, detailed gameworld, and many wry humor and abundance of sci-fi trinkets, The Legend Lives! is a must-have. Three thumbs up!