The original 1992 version, Fables & Friends: The Legend of Kyrandia, was based on an online game called "Kyrandia: Fantasy World of Legends", created for the Multi-Comm BBS systems by Scott Brinker. With Richard Skurnick he programmed it in March-June 1998.2
According to Westwood's Rick Gush, Mike Legg and Brett Sperry played the game on line, bought the rights and were later sued by the person who sold the game to them, but after several years the court case was decided in favor for them.3
Westwood's version differs of course greatly from the original adventure just because it is a graphical adventure. However, quite some elements are kept, e.g. a willow tree in the first episode and gems lying around everywhere.4
A novelty was that the game introduced a single-icon cursor for all actions, and Brett Sperry and Louis Castle, thinking that this was their secret weapon, presented a demo of the game to Ken Williams.
But Ken showed them "King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder" which was in development then. It had its own new icon-driven interface, so it was a big letdown moment.
Ken liked the game though and asked them if they want to sell Westwood to Sierra, but at that moment they preferred their freedom and control.5
The Legend of Kyrandia was published by Virgin Games for quite some platforms. Besides the DOS version (1992) it could be played on the Amiga, FM Towns, Macintosch, PC-98,and Windows.
It sold a a solid A-minus or B-plus.
Only a year later on, the sequel, The Legend of Kyrandia: Hand of Fate was publised by Virgin Games.
It runs on DOS (1992), FM Towns, Macintosh, PC-98, and Windows.
The last game in the series, The Legend of Kyrandia: Malcolm's Revenge, was published by the same publisher for
DOS (1994), Macintosh and Windows.6
The sales of Kyrandia II and III suffered mighty because of the bad marketing at Virgin, though the latter managed to outsell the other two combined.
However, the repackaging of all three titles was quite successful, and added tens of thousands of copies to the sales totals in the first few months
of the compilation's release.7