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Video Game / Lands of Lore

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A series of three first-person perspective Western Dungeon Crawlers with adventure game elements developed by Westwood Studios, building on their work on their Dungeons & Dragons Eye of the Beholder series.

The first is Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos, released in 1993. In 1997 came Lands of Lore II: Guardians of Destiny, and in 1999, a game called simply Lands of Lore III.

This videogame series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Beneath Gladstone. An entire guild has its headquarters there.
  • Advertised Extra: Patrick Stewart voicing King Richard in the first game's CD-ROM version was highly advertised. King Richard also spends about ninety percent of the game in a coma.
    • The developers were clearly aware of how small the part was and wrote a new prologue, "Lore of the Lands," for Stewart to narrate, along with extended passages for the books in Gladstone’s library, thus giving him slightly more to do.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: The Draracle in Lands of Lore 1
  • Anti-Grinding: In the second game each type of enemy has an upper limit for how high you can get your fighting and magic levels by fighting that enemy.
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  • Anti-Villain: In the third game, Jakel ultimately just wants to continue living. As the Draracle created him using ancient magic and with Belial dead and Draracle gone, all ancient magic is now fading away, which includes Jakel.
  • A Winner Is You: The good ending of LOL 2 is INCREDIBLY underwhelming.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Implied with Kieran from the first game; though his feet are not directly seen (only depicted in his character sheet silhouette), he does not have a slot for footwear while other player characters do.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: The Dark Halls, the Underworld.
  • Call to Agriculture: In the second game you meet former General who has joined a monastery and is tending the vegetable garden. He seems very content with his life.
  • Chainmail Bikini: The amazons in the White Tower.
  • Dead Guy on Display: In the second game, the Draracle has the corpse of the god Belial (whom he himself executed) on display in his museum. The museum guide explains that the corpse is there "not as a trophy, but as a warning."
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  • Deadpan Snarker: Luther, protagonist of LOL 2.
  • Devil in Plain Sight/Obviously Evil: Chancellor Geron, an Obstructive Bureaucrat and (in the 3rd game) open racist, is pretty clearly secretly allied with the Evil Army in the first game and obviously does not have the Kingdom's best interests at heart in the remaining two games. However, neither the heroic King Richard or the powerful sorceress Dawn ever suss onto the fact the man is clearly up to no good (although you finally get a chance to get even with him at the very end of the 3rd game).
  • Evil Costume Switch: Dawn gets one in the evil ending path of Lands of Lore 2. However, she hasn't actually turned evil; she's just wearing a dark and seductive costume to lull Evil Luther into complacency so she can assassinate him.
  • Evil Is Easy: In 2, you can be cooperative and helpful, solving everyone's quests so they'll let you pass to the next area. Or you can simply murder your way through them, which takes less effort.
  • Eyes Never Lie: Scotia seems unable to alter the bright yellow irises of her eyes no matter what shape she takes.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Victor, the jolly blacksmith who helps you a few times, sadly loses hope that Scotia and the Dark Army can be stopped so he betrays King Richard and becomes a supplier of weapons for the Dark Army. He offers the hero to join them, but whoever you picked vehemently denies him. It is implied the player kills him in the ensuing boss fight with the army's top general.
  • Familiar: You can have one accompany you in the third game.
  • Fantasy Aliens: The second game introduces the Ruloi, who are by all indications extraterrestrial aliens. They even bear a clear resemblance to classical Grays.
  • Faux First Person 3D: The first game.
  • The Foreign Subtitle: The German release of the second game was titled "Lands of Lore: Götterdämmerung", which arguably fits the storyline better than "Guardians of Destiny".
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Jakel goes through this in the 3rd game, after spending the first two games as a minor secondary supporting character.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: In LOL 1, a common bug in the Urbish Mines permanently disables the stairwell to level 2. In LOL 2, the automatic save feature has a tendency to "save" your game at extremely inopportune moments.
  • Glass Cannon: The amazons in the White Tower can take huge chunks out of your health with their deadly kicks and punches, fortunately their exceedingly light armor makes them easy to kill quickly.
    • On the player's side are Kieran and Ak'shel, the former is a Lovable Rogue and the latter is a Squishy Wizard. Both are the frailest of the choosable characters, but are also by far the most damaging.
  • God Guise: In the third game you visit a dimension where you intrude into an underground base controlled by an AI. After briefly communicating with Copper, the AI seems to realize the technology is far beyond his ability to understand, and settles for letting Copper think it is a god rather than try to explain things further.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Copper, LOL 3's protagonist, is human on his father's side and dracoid on his mother's side.
  • Heroic Bastard: Copper again.
  • Inspector Javert: Kenneth of Gladstone follows Luther for half of the whole game in Lands of Lore 2. He dismisses all the good Luther does and heroes of Gladstone allying with him as Luther being a devious schemer who orchestrated everything to make himself appear noble. Eventually he freezes to death on Luther's trail in the Claw Mountains.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover: The last world Copper visits in LOL 3 is that of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series, another game by Westwood.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Luther's curse, causing him to change into a lizard or a huge beast at random. You later get some measure of control over it.
  • Jack of All Stats: Conrad. He has above-average stats across the board, but can never exceed the other heroes in what they specialize in.
  • Jerkass: Copper. Seriously, the guy is a prick. No wonder no-one likes him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Geron has some shades of this in the first game, as insufferable and impractical as he is he is clearly loyal to Richard and is visibly proud of the player for beating Scotia. The later games decide to abandon this in favor of making him a full on villain.
  • Large Ham: Patrick Stewart — yes, that Patrick Stewart — as King Richard, and he does it very well. And the Draracle. The series had excellent voice acting for the most part.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Volcania, home of the dragons.
  • Little Bit Beastly: The Huline tribe in the Huline Jungle.
    • Beast Man: The Hulines known as the Wild Ones, another tribe living in the Savage Jungle.
  • Master of Disguise: The Nether Mask grants Scotia this ability.
  • Mars Needs Women: The Ruloi. Yes, they have this trope in a Fantasy series!
  • Meat Moss: Belial's laboratory.
  • Mighty Glacier: Michael in the first game. He is the slowest character in the game and has pitiful magic, but his physical power is second to none making him a powerful and tanky warrior.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The winged spiders.
  • Mook Maker: if you don't immediately immolate the avian worms' nests in the Urbish Mines, this is what you'll get.
  • Multiple Endings: LOL 2.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: American actress Paige Rowland gave Dawn a quasi-British, posh-sounding accent in LOL 2, which kind of came and went. Averted in LOL 3, where she simply used her actual speaking voice.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: One dimension you visit in the third game is a post-apocalyptic wasteland where you eventually descend into an underground base and fight against security measures controlled by an AI. There are indications this actually takes place in the world of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series.
  • Power Perversion Potential: When Scotia gets the Nether Mask, she uses it to transform herself into a gorgeous young blonde in a slinky dress. She transforms into beautiful young women several times throughout the rest of the game to trick the heroes.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Copper meets Luther in LOL 3.
  • Production Foreshadowing: The last world Copper visits in LOL 3 features more than a few things from Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun (such as crashed Second War-style Orcas, attack cycles, cyborg parts and CABAL), which came out several months after LOL 3.
  • Resurrective Immortality: According to background lore, Thomgogs are this. They are technically Plant People, and when a Thomgog is "killed", their soul leaves the body, drifts away to fertile soil and grows a new body in roughly a year.
  • Save Scumming: May be your only hope in certain places, especially if you have no manual to help you.
  • Secret Level: The second game has two areas that are optional: the Draracle's Museum and the Dark Halls.
  • Shared Universe: Hints at a shared setting with The Legend of Kyrandia:
    • In The Hand of Fate, one of the letters Zanthia recovers is addressed to Scotia. She later refers to King Richard as well.
    • The Throne of Chaos has several plants which your character believes are Pseudobushia Hugiflora, plant life encountered in Kyrandia.
    • The Draracle's museum in Guardians of Destiny has an enormous gemstone on display, which the tour guide voice compares to the Kyragem as a similar funneler of magic.
  • Shout-Out: Dawn, King Richard's sorceress, is a dead ringer of Zanthia. Also, there is a spell called 'Hand of Fate' hidden in Yvel.
  • Schrödinger's Player Character: In LOL 1. The second game seems to hint that the Huline player character is the "canonical" hero of LOL 1.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: LOL 2 and 3.
  • Squishy Wizard: Ak'Shel.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In LOL 2.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: On Scotia herself. It is also a clear tell for when a character is a shapeshifted Scotia.
  • A Taste of Power: In the first game the first dungeon, the caverns of the Draracle, early on allows you to get one of two very powerful items. The silver chalice gives unlimited healing, and the jeweled dagger is a far more powerful weapon than anything else you have at this point. At the end of the dungeon you have to give up the item as an offering to the Draracle.
  • Thieves' Guild: The Bachanal.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay in certain areas unless you constantly consult the manual.
  • The Underworld: Visted in the third game.
  • Unwinnable by Design: In the final battle of Lands of Lore 1, you're supposed to use the Ruby of Truth on Scotia when she's in the middle of shapeshifting into a stronger creature after taking enough damage. If you don't do this and just keep fighting her normally, she'll eventually transform into a creature that's flat-out invincible. At this point there's nothing you can do to harm her, and might as well reset from your last save.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Nether Mask gives Scotia this power, able to change into any form she imagines.
  • Wicked Witch: Scotia. Straightforward example: she is vile, cruel (she obliterates the servant who finally brought her the Nether Mask), deceptive, driven by her lust for power and domination, and of top of it all, old and ugly. The garrulous customer at the pub in Yvel mentions that, because she failed the tests to join the Talamari, she hates King Richard "and his little Dawn" ever since... Other than this hint of a possible past injustice, she has no redeeming qualities.
    • In the second game Scotia's son Luther expresses a degree of fondness for his late mother and sadness for what she became, further hinting that something happened that made her this way.
  • Womb Level: The Mother Beast.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Early in the first game, Scotia turns into a beautiful young woman and attempts to get into Gladstone Keep by pretending that she forgot the password.