The Legacy: Realm of Terror?
I noticed that Good Old Games is now selling The Legacy: Realm of Terror which, from what I understand, was the last game Magnetic Scrolls made. I've never played it, but it seems like such a departure from all the other Magnetic Scrolls games that I was wondering if anyone had any stories to tell about it. Should it be considered a Magnetic Scrolls game, or was that just a brand name at the point?
There is unfortunately not much that I can tell you about the game. I must confess that the game went under the radar for me as well for a long time. It simply wasn't the type of games I played and I even added it rather late to the Memorial pages. For me Magnetic Scrolls was always about the text adventures, but of course this was only in my head and The Legacy is part of the Magnetic Scrolls history.
It was defintely not just a branding. I do not know who exactly from the Magnetic Scrolls team joined Microprose, but Ken Gordon was definitely working on the game. The windowing system from The Legacy directly evolved from Magnetic Windows afaik.
It goes often unnoticed, but I think the Magnetic Windows system was an impressive technical achievement at the time and in some respects superior to many other windowing systems. There was often speculated that the development of Magnetic Windows lead to the end of Magnetic Scrolls as a company, because "they spent a lot of time and money on developing things you could buy for a few bucks off the shelf". But if you take a look at the late 80's, there were things like the early Windows versions, the X-window system, Motif... None of those would have been suitable for the games and of course not for a "few bucks", neither. Actually sad that Magnetic Windows hasn't been used anywhere beyond the games (afaik).
I don't dispute that it's an impressive technical achievement, but whenever I've tried to actually play the games that way I've realized that I just can't find any pleasing arrangement of the windows unless I keep most of them closed. I liked the simplicity of the original pull-down graphics. (Not to mention that the animated menus - particularly in Corruption - looked really cool at the time.)
I guess when it comes to adventure games, I just like it better when the panels don't overlap. Though I liked Deja Vu on the Mac... oh well, I guess I'm just not that consistent.