Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader
is an RPG developed by Reflexive Entertainment and published by Black Isle Studios
(a division of Interplay Entertainment
) in 2003.
The game is set in Renaissance Europe with magic. Conflict ensues between the Inquisition and the Wielders, who disagree on magic. Uses the SPECIAL stat allocation system with an in-depth faction system, relatively open world, and plenty of stuff to slash, club, spear, shoot, and zap.
Notable for an advanced case of Executive Meddling
- for the first hour or two of gameplay, it's an entertaining RPG with branching plotlines, moral decisions, lots of factions to align with, interesting NPCs and altered history to explore. Then they ran out of time, and the rest of the game is a straight hack-and-slash RPG.
Is now available on GOG.com here
Tropes featured include:
- Action Bomb: The Disemboweled Ganglers lurking in the Crypt, which violently explode into a shower of gore.
- An Economy Is You: Mostly played straight, though you can buy common belts and boots that do nothing but weigh you down. Lampshaded by a woman in the market looking for fruit.
- Anachronism Stew: The ages (and locations) of several historical figures were fudged to get them into the game.
- Beneficial Disease: The effect of the Disease Ward perk, which gives you passive healing when you're sick.
- Blatant Lies: The dialogue screen even tells you when you're about to lie. Most blatant example is you agreeing to kill the River Dryad for the goblins, go to her and refuse, come back and tell she's dead while collecting the prize and getting the head goblin killed.
- Deal with the Devil: Heavily implied with the Dark Majesty perk, in which a "shadowy figure" makes you a "warrior of unparalleled puissance and a warm climate in your elder years" in exchange for signing a blank piece of paper.
- Historical-Domain Character: Several, the most prominent among them being King Richard in the backstory and Leonardo Da Vinci and William Shakespeare in the present. If you're playing a female character, you can get Shakespeare to woo you, read a few of his more famous sonnets, and give you a ring.
- Jackass Genie: In the Crypt. Want to be stronger? Congrats, you're now stronger smelling, resulting in lowered Charisma. Want to be rich? Great, you can be renamed to "Rich" at no cost! Wish all nearby enemies were dead? Well, you're in a crypt full of undead, so that's another job well done! It is revealed that this genie is responsible for Jeanne's curse, because she wished for a way to eternally protect the relic from the undead. It is possible for the player to overcome the jackassery of the genie by wishing for a wish that is not twisted into something unintended, but this requires a fairly high Speech skill.
- New Game+: At any point in the game, players can export their characters. These characters can then be used to create a new game; keeping their skills, attributes and perks but losing all items in their inventory.
- Our Goblins Are Different: Here they're cannibal mongols (with Goblin Khan as their leader) who take pride in terrible poetry.
- Point of No Return: War with England After you visit both the Crypt and Nostradamus you can only focus on the main quest for the rest of the game's ten or so hours.
- Prophecies Are Always Right: To Nostradamus, who happens to be the narrator "future is like pages in an open book".
- Saharan Shipwreck: Two, though the other is "only" about a mile inland.
- Sunken City: Ireland hasn't been on the map for a while.
- Take Your Time: Lionheart being an RPG it's no surprise, but encounter a hilarious example when Machiavelli (yes, that Machiavelli) gets attacked as you get out of his house. The coming fight could be tough for a beginner, but no worries, you can return to save him whenever you like.
- The Hashshashin: They appear as villains.
- The Magic Comes Back: About ten thousand years ago a spell was cast to eliminate all magic and fantastic beasts. Then, during the crusades of Richard the Lionhearted, a counterspell was cast after the execution of 3000 Arab prisoners, releasing all manner of nasties into the world.