Insert Disk collects Legend Of Galahad for the Sega Mega Drive / Sega Genesis.
Today’s retro game review is Legend of Galahad for the Sega Mega Drive / Sega Genesis. This retro gaming classic was a somewhat un-noticed platformer of the 16-bit generation. Involvement from Travellers Tales and Psygnosis couldn’t secure it as a critical hit with gamers at the time. Galahad is inexpensive, looks and sounds great though so well worth picking up a copy for retro gaming platform fans.
Greetings collectors and welcome to today’s retro game review. I’ve got a bit of a hidden gem for you today. If you enjoy old school platforming, smooth graphics and pleasing soundtracks then this is one for you. Join me as I take a look back at the Legend of Galahad for the Sega Mega Drive and Genesis. I am of course looking at the Sega Mega Drive edition of this game known as The Legend Of Galahad but you may also know it under the title Leander for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST. So, what we’re actually looking at here is a ported game but in my eyes still worth looking at.
Now, if you’re in to your retro gaming you’ll be very familiar with some of the components that came together to make this game. The game was developed by world renowned Travellers’ Tales and published by Psygnosis. Having said no more than that the games pedigree is not in question. The game is essentially nothing more than a 90’s plaftormer. However, it’s perhaps one of the most graphically polished on the Sega 16-bit consoles. Having learnt from 1989’s Shadow of the Beast Psygnosis became known for high end graphics in their games. Although not officially recognised Legend of Galahad is somewhat of a spiritual spin-off. It borrows many elements such as the parallax scrolling, high frame rate on the main sprite animations and an instrumental soundtrack that the Amiga was known for. Whilst the Amiga version is the superior offering Psygnosis did an excellent job of taking these elements and lending them to Sega’s 16-bit consoles as an exclusive port. As the Commodore Amiga’s sales figures were slowly diminishing whilst the 16-bit console generation was booming. It was around this time that both Travellers’ Tales and Psygnosis made their transition to console gaming.
Your knight (Leander in the Amiga version and Galahad in the Sega editions) is off on a quest to defeat the evil wizard to save the princess. What Psygnosis lacked in story imagination was made up for in execution. Typically on each level you will have to retrieve a magic item before you can exit via a portal. Most of the items will be hidden away in dark caves and this sets out the games stall for exploration as well as standard platforming. You’ll be rewarded with bonuses for going of route. The maps are a really decent size so a level completion can be as long as you want it to be. Inside the caves are all of the standard elements that you could expect to find. Detailed enemies, technical leaps, timed jumps and booby to avoid. Now this all sounds very standard and perhaps it is. I’d be hard pushed to call out many features that are unique to the game.
It’s the execution though that really gels this game together. The graphics are incredibly smooth as is the scrolling and handling of your character. On top of this the Mega Drives sound chip seems to have taken on a life of its own. Not known for its strong instrumental abilities it seems to have been possessed with orchestral tones. The end result is a game that looks, feels and sounds very cohesive and a cut above its rivals in an overcrowded market. For an afternoon’s game play, the Legend of Galahad is a somewhat laid back affair. There are tricky elements but this is very much a game to be savoured rather than being presented as a frantic button masher.
For a physical release the Amiga edition is quite elaborate. The Sega Mega Drive edition plays it quite safe with somewhat muted graphics. There’s a lot to enjoy here although Sega fans were definitely short changed in the cover art department. The game isn’t particularly rare here in the UK with a price tag of around £5-£10. The US edition is identical being part of an Electronic Arts release. Around $10 is currently achievable for this title. So, is Legend of Galahad worth collecting? I’m my opinion it certainly is worth the entry price if you enjoy retro platform games. This is a really nicely put together game. It knows what it wants to be and does it well. I very rarely see this game talked about which is surprising considering how enjoyable it is. In my opinion I’d like to nominate this one as a hidden gem. It’s not particularly rare or obscure, it just doesn’t seem to have ever captured the lime light it perhaps deserves. If you happen to have the opportunity to pick up a copy I can highly recommend The Legend of Galahad.