Home > Old games > Legend of seven paladins

Legend of seven paladins

“Legend of seven paladins” is a funny old game, and very little is known about it. I’ve spent some time playing it, and whould like to share my experience. But before I’ll tell some background.

“Wolfenstein 3D” was the first popular first-person-point-of-view 3D “walker”. Not many people know that much more advanced game called “Ultima Underworld” were made even earlier. These games belong to 1st generation of the genre. At 1994 there was a second wave of games, including Doom, System Shock, CyClones, Rise of the Triad, Descent. Because of popularity of Doom and obvious technological commonality these games often collectively called “Doom clones”. However, I argue that Descent and System Shock are not “Doom clones”, because they were developed without looking at Doom and trying to reproduce it, so they are very different both in terms of technology and gameplay. Term “doom clones” is more appopriate to 2-and-half generation of 3DFP-games such as Heretic, Dark Forces, Hexen, Duke Nukem 3D. Success of Doom made everybody crasy about 3D technology, and lots of games tried to become succesful on same recipe. One of early Doom clones was called “Legend of seven paladins”. It was unknown for general public, because it was not released officially. But, thanks to pirates who dominated russian software market, that game was often included in game collection CDs. That’s how I discovered it. Screenshots of game included within disk navigation system seemed cool, and I installed the game.

First funny thing about game is that it’s chineese. That means I can’t undestand anything that game writes. However, there are not too many options to try, so I quickly started to play. Game begins on city street, with player sits into the lonely undeground train which takes player into portal to the past. Player accepts a role of one of seven paladins, and starts fighting against evil forces. Player can choose from three sets of weapons: single close range weapon (sword, spear, …), several throwing weapons (shurikens, throwing knives, …) and several kinds of “magic”. Close range weapon cannot be changed during game and depends only on your choosen paladin character. Throwing weapons could be picked during game, they are almost equal to each other. Magic could be learned, and each new “spell” is more powerfull then previous.

Game is hard. Just hard. Enemies are stupid, but they also have ranged weapons and fire them rapidly, so they can kill you very quickly. Another bad thing in game is that it’s hard to undestand what to do. So, at 1995 I’ve quickly abandoned it with a feeling that it should be a good game, it is just my stupidity so I’m missing something in the game. Now, thanks to DOSBox, I could return to that game and try it again.

The game itself could be downloaded from many abandonware sities, for example from “The home of underdogs“. Run setup, choose sound card. If you have troubles starting game, try to play with  “A.S.D.F mode” (It seems that this option controls how do you start the game: before train or just after, and sometimes helps to get over game crashes). Skip introduction, game will start from beginning. Press “ESC” to get into menu. First option will show some adverts. Second option will restart game. Third option allows to load saved game. Last option (quickly recognizable by word “DOS”) will exit to DOS prompt. When you’ll get past introduction level, then fourth option will appear, allowing you to save a game.

Introduction level contains initial area, which leads to train station. Go, enter train and wait until it gets you to a destination. There you will be able to enter four side doors: one with adverts (same as first menu option), another with “museum of available objects”, third with sound/music controls, and fourth with option to load a game (same as third menu option). Central door will lead to character selection. After choosing character you can proceed further, and choose diffuculty. Take my advice and choose small dagger, otherwise game will be almost impossible to win. Now you’ll travel to the past and will start fighting enemies.

Controls are: cursor arrows, space, ctrl and alt. Mouse also works. Buttons 1, 2 and 3 select hand-weapon, throwing weapon and magic. To choose particular type, keep pressing same button. Buttons “a” and “z” allow to jump and duck.

First level contains only those three types of enemies. Soldiers in blue are very weak and can attack you only with swords at close range. Soldiers in green are more dangerous, and throw some “green magic”. Soldiers in red are quite deadly and throw some iron rings to you. There are also static skulls which will throw fireballs into you, you should just avoid them. There are keys, buttons, and areas where you should enter to open some hidden passages. First level has two exits: to second and third level, and I strongly advice to go to second level. At the end of level game shows number of killed enemies of different types, so you can check if you have missed someone.

Subsequent levels add two more enemy types: wisards in blue robes with very strong magic, and warriors in golden armor. Both of them are very dangerous.

As I already said, this game is very hard. When enemies see you, they start to shoot very fast, and there are no way to protect yourself. Aiming is hard, because enemies are slim. You cannot strafe and turn in the same time. So, game quickly becomes a save/load process. Finally, it appears to me that most levels could be just run through, without even killing a single enemy, if you know where is the exit.

When I become tired of save/load, I’ve decided to check if game maps are available, because game itself doesn’t contain any build-in map viewer. This led me to discovery of very interesting information about game.

Game itself is made using an early version of “build engine”, the same engine which was later used in famous Duke Nukem 3d. And it is possible to see maps! First, you need a program called “lotspe” (for “Legend of seven paladings extractor”), from here. It allows to unpack game’s data files. You’ll get a lots of files with “.map” extension. There are 35 of them! I can’t believe somebody will spend so much time completing all of them. Those files are build engine maps version 4. Most build engine tools can show only maps of version 7, so you need convertors from here. You should apply them sequentally, and, at last, you’ll be able to view them. I can see that first 5 levels are really mazes, but later levels are simple and straight, so you could run them through. I’ve made it quite far just by running, I think to level 13, but I’m not sure.

Now, at conclusion, I feel that game is quite crap. Boring enemies, bad level design, repetive gameplay, no action element which made the genre popular. With a feeling that I’ve missed something important gone, I can just write this information here, in hope that it could become useful for somebody else.

Categories: Old games
  1. April 6, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    I’m the author of lotspe and I think it’s cool that someone actually used my program :).

  2. kmatveev
    April 8, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Thanks a lot to you, man! Your program unpacks all the data, so it is possible not just to view the maps, but also to see pcx graphics, and listen the sounds.

  3. May 9, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Well, I’m playing the game because I want to write a review in my web site. I’ve found the difficulty insane. Maybe I’m just a poor player, but after fighting six or seven levels I’m utterly frustrated. Too many enemies, and the magic is basically useless -you cannot move while casting one of those spells!-.

  4. June 19, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    how do you play legons of the 7 pallidons

  1. September 9, 2009 at 1:52 am
  2. November 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

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