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Legacy of the Ancients Review

by on January 5, 2015

Legacy of the Ancients is a classic RPG from the old C64 days which holds up to this day of you are another retro RPG fan-- like me.

# of Players



Classic RPG
Top-Down and First Person Dungeon Crawler
Nice graphics
Good story
Good C64 sound


Frustrating mini-games and dungeons in the way only classic gaming could be frustrating

Editor Rating


Sound Effects and Music


Writer's Score

Bottom Line

This was one of the classics that got a lot of gameplay from my younger days, enough to make me get it again from an abandonware site and relive my youth with it.


Ooh 1987, baby! Those late 80’s were some good years for the video game industry. 1987 was in the Golden Age of a video gaming breakthrough for multiple platforms from titles from Zelda 2, Castlevania, Contra, Street Fighter and Megaman, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out to Maniac Mansion, The Living Daylights, Double Dribble, R-Type, Pirates! and a lot more. It was a creative year to say the least.

But Legacy was one of the handful of titles that I remember getting a lot of time and gameplay from back in the day and persisting all the way through to the end of the game.


You’re a shepherd who discovers a dead body and with it some good stuff like a bracelet and scroll with some interesting info. Once you read the scroll, the Galactic Museum appears and the adventure begins. You’re informed of the quest to destroy something called the Wizard’s Compendium, of which many have tried and failed.

You basically have to travel the main maps to get to other quest locations, as well as returning to the Museum to get into other dungeons where you have to recover coins and other artifacts.

Legacy’s innovation was a mix of two types of RPG. The top-down view when you would be traveling between locations on the main maps and cities similar to Wasteland on the C64, and then when you would be in the museum or dungeons, it would be first-person 3D similar to the original Bard’s Tale series which was one of the first First-Person view dungeon crawlers, if not the first.

Here is both views:

Top-Down for main maps

Top-Down for main maps

First-Person view when crawling dungeons

First-Person view when crawling dungeons

When you are in the museum, there are windows with displays that require coins to get into. You can buy the coins or you discover them in your adventures, which allows you to access further parts of the museum and further quests.

The graphics for the game, mainly the animations of the people were pretty smooth for its time. The characters were really just white shapes, but they were at least smoothly animated, which got really popular later with Out of this World and Prince of Persia type games.

I didn’t really pay attention to it at the time, but once I got into other C64 RPGs, I noticed this game does not use experience or levels. It only uses attributes, which I think was a nice change of pace. I ended up downloading this and playing it on Windows XP or something like that years and years later. I think I found it on Abandonia or one of those sites. But playing it again 20 years later, that really stuck out as different and not having to worry about being a wimp because you were not experienced enough. You were just a wimp because of your crappy armor, weapons and attributes.

Legacy Museum

The Museums welcome screen.

To also get a better character there were games and gambling you would run into where you could make a couple extra bucks or gain attributes, so those were always worthwhile, but were sometimes frustrating in the way old games would be. My favorite thing to do was to be a crook. You could steal from a bank and, if you could run away fast enough, get away with it and gain some quick cash. The cool thing about it, was that if you went back to that town too soon, they would remember you and try to apprehend you. And when I got pretty much indestructible, I would take whatever I wanted and kill my way out. The town’s police aren’t a challenge after a while. But at first, if they catch you, they take your money and gear and throw you in jail and you have to bribe your way out. Not cool.


Like it says…Thornberry.

Legacy has nostalgia, great gameplay and replayability, a great story and graphics that I think hold up to this day in the retro market. There was enough depth to the game to eat away quite a bit of time and keep you interested in finding that next key, annoying as it was sometimes searching that same dungeon 100 times and no options to Google maps or anything like we have to this day.

So, any retro RPG fans or die-hard C64 lovers out there may want to check this one out. This one is part of my youth and is a great one to have under my belt.

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