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Liar: Legend of The Sword

Nam Inhwan programmed Liar: Legend of Sword, also known as Sin'geom-ui Jeonseol (original titile) with his friend U Hyeoncheol during his high school days. Liar: Legend of Sword was advertised as the first Korean game using "Hangeul" scripts.

Liar: Legend of Sword was the first title in a planned serie, and it certainly owed a lot to Richard Garriot's Ultima. The similarities go so far as Nam making himself the king of the fantasy kingdom, just like Garriot inserted himself into Britannia as Lord British.

Liar: Legend of Sword offers a whole world to walk around, towns to visit and people to talk to. Players can board ships and ride horses for hours, the game was extremely confusing, it was extremely easy to lose the plot and travel aimlessly without discovering so much as a hint towards any heroic quests or even monsters to fight. NPCs can be talked to via a parser, but without any outside hints there's no way of knowing what to ask them.

Liar: Legend of The Sword 2

8 years after the release of the first game "Liar: Legend of The Sword" was released, Nam finally got around to making the sequel he announced back in 1987. The scenario is much darker and more elaborate this time: After an introductionary cutscene showing a mysterious ritual performed on a newborn baby, the game puts the player in the shoes of Garwell, member of a formerly glorious knight order, now persecuted as heretics for heresy against the god known as "Liar". Garwell is arrested while conspiring with surviving members of his order to plot a coup. As the only survivor, Garwell has to escape the prison and restore the reputation of his former order and prevent the birth of a demon god.

Given Nam's history and the looks of the game, it's easy to assume Liar: Legend of the Sword 2 is a clone of Ultima VII, given the similar looks and the plot about a demon-worshipping religion, but the gameplay is much more streamlined and action-oriented. Garwell can assemble a party of up to five members during the course of the game, but the player only assumes control over one character at a time in the rather hectic real time battles and can switch around between them. Foes are attacked by simply clicking on them, leaving little room for tactical play other than the use of spells and of course retreat, the latter of which can be tricky to pull off with a full party.

Liar : Legend of the Sword 2 features a sizeable world map and non-linear progression, interesting sidequests and characters..

Nam later re-appeared at the small developing studio Ecstasy Entertainment and made a sequel. In the new millenium, he co-founded Aeon Electronic Entertainment, Inc to create the popular free to play MMORPG Flyff.

Redemption : Liar

In 2009 Bitmage, a company specializing in handheld and mobile development, was contracted by Gamepark Holdings to produce a remake of Liar: Legend of the Sword 2 for the GP2X Wiz handheld. Graphics and sound were completely redone and the interface streamlined. The seamless world map of the original has been broken down into seperate sections, many peaceful areas got stocked up with new enemies. Characters are now controlled directly and success in combat is based more on player skill, which, though still simplistic, makes the grinding much less aggravating. Story, quests and dialogues remain the same, but the remake introduces convenient, nowadays obligatory tools to help players getting by, like a quest log and an automap feature. On the downside, the game also suffers of some weird technical issues on the Wiz. Choppy scrolling really shouldn't exist anymore in 2010, but worse is the lack of diagonal movement, which even the original was capable of.

While the original game only made it as far as Taiwan with a Chinese localization, the Wiz version was officially translated into English, or rather Engrish, to be precise. The script reeks of false grammar and awkward expressions, line breaks are all over the place without regard for spaces or even syllable ends, and even a few leftover Hangeul characters can be spotted here and there. At least it is possible to understand the story this way—to a degree. Players of the English version will find themselves puzzling about the meaning of cryptic quest descriptions more than once.

Before the complete redrawing of the graphics in the Wiz version, even before the game was first released, Ecstasy completely changed the character portraits at least two times, and many graphic tiles were replaced, as well.


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