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Four new heroes rise to challenge one old foe...
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Legend of Zagor is the 54th entry of the Fighting Fantasy series of Gamebooks, written by Keith Martin (though Ian Livingstone is credited for it, and eventually confirmed Martin's authorship in 2014), acting as a Sequel Episode for Return to Firetop Mountain.

After the events of Return to Firetop Mountain, Zagor was once again stopped and killed by a brave adventurer, who slew the treacherous revenant Warlock and put an end to his threat to Allansia and Titan... the keyword here is, to Allansia. In the parallel world of Amarilla, a great battle was fought by the forces of good to defeat the powerful Bone Demon plaguing Castle Argent and his armies of Dragons, orcs and demons, and the being was sealed forever in the Casket of Souls. However, your hero is soon summoned by the good king Irian of Sanctuary to discuss an urgent matter: using a magical crystal he contacted Gereth Yaztromo, of Titan, who reveals that the soul of Zagor entered the dimension of Amarilla and was sucked inside the Casket of Souls, merging with the Bone Demon, who's now free back at Castle Argent, free to start a new kingdom of ruin and horror from Tower Island. It is up to you to wear the shoes of one of four adventurers (Anvar the Barbarian, Braxus the Warrior, Stubble the Dwarf and Sallazar the Wizard) and undertake a perilous quest: enter Castle Argent, defeat Zagor and make sure that this time he doesn't return from the dead again to threaten Titan or Amarilla.

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Legend of Zagor is highly unusual since, as stated above, you can play as four pre-generated characters (though you still have to roll the scores), each having unique advantages and disadvantages (Anvar is never taken by surprise but cannot wear metal armor, Braxus can use any weapon and armor he wishes, Stubble is advantaged against certain enemies and traps but is too short for certain sections, Sallazar is the best spellcaster and can read runes, but cannot use two-handed weapons or wear armor) which greatly adds to the replay value, as each hero has a different way to reach the end. You can explore many parts of the castle searching for Zagor or the Tower Chests to weaken his powers and are frequently allowed to revisit certain hub locations in case you miss something, sometimes you can even revisit a certain room later if you wish so.

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On the other hand, as many reviewers point out, there are plenty of combat situations with powerful opponents, more often than not in compulsory battles. There's also a magic system that has you spending Magic Points to activate scrolls and items or, if you're Sallazar, spells. Magic points can be partly replenished by using Magic Rings.


Legend of Zagor provides examples of:

  • Action Survivor: The three thieves you can find hidden in a dungeon room behind a secret passage survive by scavenging food and items from the floors above while avoiding the Orcs or the dungeons. You can even hire one of them to be your guide, unlock chests and doors and help you in combat.
  • Acid Attack: You can find some vials of acid that can be thrown at enemies to do damage. The Mutant Chaos Ogre also uses acid in its attacks, and using the Onyx Staff successfully against Grool will conjure an acid-filled goblet to deal major damage to the Mutant Ogre.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Nearly all the "Bosses" have special attacks that can deal more damage or handicap you in some way, as well as having a lot of STAMINA and SKILL around 8 or more. Zagor in particular can cast spells dealing up to 7 points of damage.
  • Antagonist Title: With a nice "The Legend of" attached to it, a privilege only granted to the Shadow Warriors.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Thanks to the freedom of exploration, it is possible to revisit some key locations that hold important stuff.
  • Armor and Magic Don't Mix: Sallazar cannot wear armor beside his standard leather vest, which is quite an inconvenience. Note that at least he can freely casts spells on his own, while the other three heroes need a Scroll.
  • Assist Character: You can find both a thief hireling and an Ironhog that can assist you in fights.
  • The Atoner: Remstar the Wizard is bound to serve the Bone Demon, but is forced to do so and wishes to repent genuinely. You can release him of his bond if you sacrifice a Magic point or 1 Initial point of SKILL, STAMINA and LUCK.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: When fighting Crown Zombies, you can try knocking their titular circlets off their heads. Doing so will both cripple and damage them.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Thulu is the king of the Orcs and he's the strongest Orc in the castle, obeying Zagor's orders.
  • An Axe to Grind: The starting weapon of Anvar and Stubble, the Chaos Templar in the West Wing carries a large one engraved with a draconic head, and deals lot of damage, potentially to all your skills.
  • Barbarian Hero: Anvar is one. While he can use all weapons without restriction, he won't wear platemail. He also possess a keen instinct, which means that he's never caught by surprise and can avoid taking damage from sneak attacks.
  • BFS: You can find two-handed swords and axes to use, though Stubble (has short limbs) and Sallazar (not trained) cannot take them.
  • Big Bad: For the third time, it's Zagor, merged with a local Bone Demon but still retaining all his personality and even more dark powers.
  • Black Swords Are Better: A Dark Knight in the corridor beyond the Bronze Stride wields an enchanted black zweihander which Braxus can take as his Infinity +1 Sword, giving sweet bonuses against Dragons or Zagor.
  • Blow You Away: When you fight the Air Elemental, you must test your skills to see if he can knock you down with the gusts of wind, dealing minor damage and lowering your attack.
  • Boring, but Practical: Braxus: average stats, can use all armors and weapons, no further special skills but no disadvantages whatsoever.
  • Breath Weapon: The War Dragons can breath fire, predictably enough, as well as the Champion Hellhorn (toxic fumes that lower your attack) and the Mutant Chaos Ogre, who belches globs of highly-corrosive slime.
  • Came Back Strong: Zagor returned from the dead once more, has fused with a Bone Demon and became incredibly more powerful than he was before.
  • Chekhov's Gun: If you pay the fortune teller in Sanctuary, he will reveal important cryptic clues about using the Onyx Staff.
  • Collapsing Lair: Downplayed example, Castle Argent begins shaking and trembling when you defeat Zagor and start dragging him all the way to the Heartfires. But it does not collapse in the end.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Four rooms on the second floor have distinctive colors and heraldic symbols, namely White, Green, Blue and Yellow. You must fight the guardian inside to see the number and color of the heraldic symbols (Blue Chevrons, Red Lions, Yellow Goblets and Green Stars) to know how to use the Onyx Wand against the Champion Hellhorn, the Dark Knight, Grool and the War Dragon respectively.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Anvar can apply this to avoid sneak attacks from traps or monsters.
  • Continuity Nod: Plenty to The Warlock of Firetop Mountain and Return to Firetop Mountain: Zagor once again is served by Orcs and Undeads, has an evil portrait through which he can see you in his lair, use magical tarots and is guarded by a Dragon. As a nod to the latter book, the only thing left of Zagor was his skeletal left arm, which can be seen embedded in his Demon form's chest, and his treasure chest is filled with Golden Zagors, the money he mints.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Averted with the Heartfire room: while the roaring flames make the room incredibly hot, the rope bridge over the fiery abyss is magically enchanted to be fire-proof.
  • The Corrupter: The Bone Demon did this to Castle Argent and his people as a whole, and Zagor's return only made things worse.
  • Crazy-Prepared: If you try to reach Zagor with a Flight Potion, you'll find out that he cast a spell to make an invisible airborne wall just to prevent this, which means that you take damage and allow Zagor to hit you with a spell.
  • Death by Materialism: If you defy sense and safety to get at the treasure chest in the Mutant Chaos Ogre's room while he's about to flood the room with acid, you're corroded to death.
  • Deflector Shields: Magic Screen spells are available in this adventure, which both you and your foes can use to negate each others' magical attacks.
  • Dracolich: A powerful Bone Dragon can be encountered in the dungeons of Castle Argent. It has powerful scores of SKILL 10, STAMINA 20 but you can attack him first twice since he's composing his skeletal body to fight. Killing it lets you have the Wand of the Hawk that Sallazar can use.
  • The Dragon: While a Continuity Nod to the Red Dragon of the first book, the War Dragon is much more than a mere Right-Hand Attack Dog. He leads the Bone Demons' forces and is heavily implied to have prevented them from collapsing entirely, and kept his evil influence over Castle Argent intact. He is the second-to-last boss and the second mightiest foe of the game, roughly as dangerous as his lord, having SKILL 15, STAMINA 20 and a slew of dangerous attacks.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: If you're using Braxus or Sallazar and enter the ruined dame's powder room you can salvage some make-up and powders to pass yourself as a Zombie, which allows you to infiltrate Thulu's Throne Room unnoticed and get the advantage of surprise.
  • Elemental Embodiment: The infamously tough Air Elemental guards a room on the second floor hiding the precious Onyx Staff, as well as many Stone monsters, against which Stubble has a combat bonus due to his race.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: No kidding, the castle is filled to the brim with dangers and creatures, living or undead, hungry for your blood. Pretty much every room has a foe more than happy to kill you, and that's without going into the plagues or traps.
  • Final Boss: Demon-Zagor, fought in his throne room in the innermost tower of the castle, gifted with SKILL 16, STAMINA 20 and a series of powerful spells and attacks to lay waste on you. However, for every Gold Medallion and Silver Dagger you have collected you can detract, respectively, -1 skill and -2 stamina, making the battle easier. Or killing him outright if you could gather ten daggers.
  • Five-Man Band: The major bosses of the game form one.
    • The Big Bad: Zagor, who else?
    • The Dragon: The War Dragon, who gains point for being a real one.
    • The Evil Genius: Two in fact. Fist, Grool the hulking cyclopean ogre, who proves a much craftier and bothersome Genius Bruiser that he would let it appear. He shares the spot with Thulu the Orc King, who leads the Bone Demon's armies and keeps a healer hostage.
    • The Brute: Two as well. The Dark Knight and the Hellhorn Champion, two of the mightiest and most dangerous foes of the game, but little more than tough Boss Fights.
    • The Dark Chick: The Dark Elf fought early on, who created several of the monstrous beings you will face, but is significantly weaker and more reclusive.
  • Frankenstein Monster: Mungus the Jailer was turned into a grotesque, stitched-up abomination who hits like a truck full of concrete blocks. One of the early foes is a "Corpse Lizard", which is essentially a hybrid of this trope and Lizard Folk.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Minor example, in order to unlock the Meditation Chamber where you can fully heal yourself at any time, you must get four gems in another room and use them in the right order, using the first letter of the gems' names to solve the riddle. The gems are ruby, emerald, sapphire and topaz, hence the password is rest.
  • Fusion Dance: Offscreen, Zagor's resurrecting essence was sucked in the Casket of Souls by the Bone Demon's presence, which merged the two into a singular entity.
  • Genius Bruiser: Grool, the cyclopean ogre that guards one of the keys to Zagor's sanctum. As brutish as an ogre is, he's also smart enough to teleport away when things look bad, carry healing potions with him, and even use a freaking ballista against you!
  • Gotta Catch Them All: In the introduction, you're advised to look for the Tower Chests (which, however, are trapped and you risk either a Luck point or 3 Damage points each) to obtain either the Gold Medallions or the Silver Daggers. The former lower Zagor's skill score, the latter works for his stamina. They're not mandatory, but the more you have, the easier the final battle gets.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: Each character can find a magical weapon granting bonus attacks against Dragons or Zagor himself. Anvar obtains the Barbarian Axe, Braxus gets a Black Greatsword, Stubble obtains a Stone Hammer and Sallazar can get his hands on the Wand of the Hawk. Furthermore, it's possible to obtain more than one of these weapons, but only the mentioned character can get the bonuses from said weapon (for example, Braxus doesn't get any bonus from the Barbarian Axe, even if he can use it.
  • Intrepid Merchant: "Three Eyes" Haag set shop in the middle of the first floor, and is more than willing to shop with you. He says that his magic protections keep the Orcs at bay, and it's implied that the current residents occasionally barter with him from time to time.
  • Kick the Dog: In one room you can find a single Orc torturing an Ironhog with a wooden spear for shit and giggles.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • You can greatly damage the Great Mummy in the Corridor of Fear by throwing your lantern at it or casting a Fireball spell.
    • One relic you find is a Lava Sphere made by the Dwarves of Grundia, which will explode into a ball of flames once activated.
    • The only way to get rid of Zagor once and for all is by throwing his regenerating corpse into the chasm of the Heartfires.
  • King Mook: Thulu, king of the Orcs of Castle Argent and also the strongest Orc you can run across.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Zagor's new body is thin with a bald head, bat-like visage, red eyes and sharp teeth, along with pale teal skin and sharpened nails. Contrasting all of this, he's about four meters tall.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Whenever you open a Tower Chest, roll a dice to see if you get a Golden Medallion or a Silver Dagger. Hence determining how easier the final battle against Zagor becomes.
  • MacGuffin Guardian: Plentiful, guarding important stuff: The four Heraldic Rooms are guarded by Animated Armors (two of them for two rooms), a Stone Colossus and a Plant Golem. Each of the four Infinity +1 Sword weapons are kept by a monster, while the Champion Hellhorn and Grool guards the Dragonbone Keys leading to Zagor's inner sanctum. Most of the time you can actually run away from the room to avoid combat. Subverted with the Mutant Chaos Ogre: despite guarding a chest in his room, he explodes into a veritable flood of acid when killed, which melts the entire room, chest included.
  • Messy Pig: You can obtain a Ironhog pet: this little boar is covered in iron plates and feed on iron. If you give him some metal spikes, he will help you by eating up the armor of certain enemies.
  • Mooks: Orcs serves as Zagor's main servants and slaves.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: The Throne Room has you fighting 5 couples of enemies in a row. Very difficult indeed if you can't take them by surprise and haven't found the Lava Sphere or the dancing Orc-Slaying Sword.
  • Nintendo Hard: Scarce Magic Points that must be used to employ magical items, frequent combats with powerful enemies, plenty of Red Herring around and the Tower Chests, while useful, forces you to spend precious LUCK points.
  • No-Sell: Certain enemies are immune to mundane weapons, forcing you to rely on Magical Weapons. Stubble, being shorter than the others, has trouble running around or climbing stairs but has a easier time in navigating smaller tunnels and can avoid traps simply because the blades/darts fly over his head. Literally.
  • Nothing but Skulls: The Corridor of Fear's walls are seemingly made by a single mass of skulls embedded into the stone itself.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Like in the previous titles, Zagor is a sedentary boss, waiting in his well-protected throne room. He has a reason this time, as he is merely waiting for his transformation to be complete, which would make him fully unstoppable.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: The sea captain who leads you to Tower Island is a Centaur who owns magical horseshoes that allows him to walk on water.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: War Dragons were a race of powerful and fierce magic-wielding egil dragons, raised by the Bone Demon to act as his vassals. One of them is still alive and protects Zagor's hideout.
  • Our Ogres Are Hungrier: Two mutants in the Castle: the Mutant Chaos Ogre is a bloated, clawed monstrosity hooked up some acid tanks who can spit and bleed corrosive slime. The other is Grool, a crafty, horned mutant who guards the Dragonborn Keyes in the eastern Wing.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: If you reach the Heartfires with Zagor's corpse but your STAMINA is 3 or lower, you'll lose your balance and fall into the Fires with Zagor: you won, but won't be around to enjoy your victory. Crosses over with Heroic Sacrifice if you were injured enough by the fight against Zagor to fall below this threshold, but still carried out your mission to throw his corpse in anyway, or with Taking You with Me if Zagor's corpse managed to regenerate and damage you enough to take you with him.
  • Race Against the Clock: Once you kill Zagor, You have to carry his massive corpse to the Heartfires and have 500 seconds to do so before he starts to regenerate (after which you have 800 more seconds to deliver him to the flames).
  • Random Encounters: As you set sail towards Tower Island, you can discard a LUCK point to avoid an encounter. If you don't, you must fight a Fog Wyvern.
  • Red Herring:
    • In the ruined village outside Castle Argent, you can find a vision Pit which, if you throw a coin in it, will advise you not to trust Remstar the Wizard. While you can fight him, it's possible to release him from his torment without a fight.
    • Casting an Open spell on the door to Zagor's sanctum will just have Zagor mock you for wasting your precious magic on a door that wasn't even magically trapped.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Demon Zagor can revive himself at will, no matter how badly-damaged he is. If 500 seconds expires while you drag him to the Heartfires, he will start to awaken and will claw at you, hindering and damaging you as you proceed to the Heartfires chamber.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: If you have a Thief hireling or an Ironhog, they will flee after a certain amount of combat or if you run into a Dragon.
  • Skippable Boss: If you feel lucky, you don't have to fight and kill all the bosses guarding the various chests and rooms.
  • Squishy Wizard: Sallazar has the highest magic and can cast without a scroll or read runes, but has the lowest SKILL and STAMINA output of the foursome, making certain sections trickier.
  • Summon Magic: Using the Onyx Staff successfully against the Black Knight will conjure a magical lion that the Knight will have to fight as well as you.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: The Corridor of Fear fills your heart with sheer terror as you cross it.
  • Take That!: A very minor and subdued one, but if you see the treasure chest behind Zagor's throne but refuse to open it, the narration will praise you for this choice and point out that you're not here for greed alone, possibly a nod to the infamous controversy regarding the player's actual intentions and morality back in The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
  • Taken for Granite: In an original variation, the Stone Colossus wields a whip made of Basilisk skin, which will turn you to stone on a successful hit.
  • Tarot Troubles: In a secret cave beneath the Heartfires you can find Zagor's tarot deck, which can either net you a free Silver Dagger or a malus. Zagor also tries to use his cards against you in the final battle.
  • Touch of Death: The Plaguebearer has low stats (7 SKILL and 4 STAMINA) but only needs one touch to kill you.
  • Transhuman Treachery: While Demon Zagor is an incredible threat, we all know that he was a despicable piece of work back when he was human.
  • Unreliable Illustrator: Some details in the description of Demon Zagor do not match with the picture: the skeletal left arm embedded in his side is nowhere to be seen (is covered by a robe), and is empty-handed despite being described with a staff.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: When you calculate the formula to use the Onyx Staff against the War Dragon, the book neglects to mention that you have to subtract 100 from the result to find the correct paragraph.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Golden Medallions and Silver Daggers are these to Zagor himself. They reduce his stats. The Onyx Staff, with the knowledge of the symbols, can be used to deal massive damage to four of Zagor's most powerful creatures.
  • Weapon of Choice: Anvar and Stubble stick to Axes, though the latter eventually gets ahold of a Hammer. Braxus is a swordsman and Sallazar wields a Staff. Some heroes can also wield a Longbow and/or a Crossbow.
  • Weapon of X-Slaying: You can find a magical sword made to slay Orcs, though you don't brandish it but simply throw it at them, causing the sword to dance and slice all nearby Orcish enemies.

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