Legend Original and Limited Edition Art (1985)

The story is set "once, long ago" in a world of unicorns, fairies, goblins, and demons. Hidden in a dark lair, theantagonist, the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) instructs his goblin servant, Blix (Alice Playten), to locate the two unicorns that roam the nearby forest and remove their horns. If the unicorns die and their horns are removed, the Lord of Darkness can ensure that dawn never again breaks, and sunshine never returns.

In the forest, Jack o' the Green (Tom Cruise), a young recluse, meets with his love, Princess Lily (Mia Sara). As one of a few forest dwellers able to locate the unicorns, Jack takes Lily to see the creatures while being followed by Blix and her two cohorts Pox and Blunder. The unicorns appear and Lily ignores Jack's pleas not to touch them. As Lily approaches the unicorns, the goblins attack with a poisoned blowpipe dart, hitting the stallion. The unicorns bolt, with neither Lily nor Jack noticing the attack.

Jack chastises Lily for ignoring his warnings. Unaware of the repercussions of her touching the unicorn, Lily engages Jack in innocent chatter and sets a quest for Jack by throwing her ring into a nearby pond and claiming that she will marry the one who recovers her ring. Jack immediately dives off the cliff into the pond to recover it. Meanwhile, overcome by the venom, the stallion dies and Blix removes its horn. The unicorn's death causes a fierce snowstorm, which freezes the pond. Unable to locate the ring, Jack breaks through the ice and resurfaces, to find the world transformed into winter with Lily nowhere in sight. Frightened by the storm, Lily returns to her village and enters a cottage owned by her friend Nell, a woodland dweller. However, she finds that Nell and her family have frozen as part of the curse brought on by the theft of the unicorn's horn. Hearing noises outside, Lily hides just in time to avoid arriving goblins, and overhears clues that explain the cause of the disaster. As the goblins ride off, Lily swears to undo her mistake.

Meanwhile, Jack meets Oona (a fairy), Honeythorn Gump (an elf), and Brown Tom and Screwball (two dwarves). Due to Jack's great crime of allowing a human to touch a unicorn, Gump is unwilling to lend his aid. At Jack's insistence, Gump puts a difficult riddle to him and offers forgiveness if it is answered correctly, certain that Jack will be unable solve it. Much to Gump's surprise and rage, Jack correctly answers the riddle. Gump soon recovers his composure and admits defeat, and invites Jack to join his party. The group then sets off on its quest together, and they discover the lifeless stallion without its mate, its companion alicorn. Gump and Jack conclude that the alicorn must be found at all costs, and only then will the world return to normal. Jack and the fairies leave Brown Tom with the female unicorn to find weapons for Jack. Lily runs back to tell Brown Tom that the goblins are coming for the female, and tries to help him, but they are discovered by the goblins. After a skirmish, Lily and the surviving unicorn are taken to the Lord of Darkness.

Jack, who has now been fitted with armor and a sword, is happy to learn that Lily is still alive, and resolves to rescue her. The comrades overcome various obstacles to reach the Lord of Darkness' lair, where they witness the evil Dark Lord trying to seduce Lily with his charm and power. Lily seems to succumb to the Dark Lord's advances despite initial resistance, and she asks for the privilege of killing the surviving unicorn. Jack and his friends overhear the Dark Lord tell Lily that sunlight will destroy him. Consequently they gather large metal dishes to use as mirrors, which they position around the castle in order to channel sunlight into the lair. The Dark Lord brings Lily to the unicorn, and Jack's friends encourage Jack to shoot Lily with an arrow to prevent the animal's death. Jack ignores their pleas, trusting his love. Indeed, Lily betrays the Dark Lord and cuts the unicorn free instead. Angered, the Lord of Darkness strikes Lily and she loses consciousness. Jack then appears and confronts the Dark Lord, but he is undersized and outmatched. As defeat looms, Jack plunges the stallion's horn into the Lord of Darkness' chest just as the last mirror is set in place and sunlight strikes the Dark Lord, blowing him towards a door leading to the void. But before Jack can finish him off, the Dark Lord warns that his evil can never be destroyed, claiming "I am a part of you all." Jack then sends the Dark Lord into the void, apparently destroying him.

Jack tries to revive Lily, but she remains asleep under a spell. Jack dives into the pond and recovers the ring. As Jack slips the ring onto Lily's finger, the Princess awakens. Lily then removes her ring and gives it to Jack, who invites her to return the next day. She returns home, and as Jack runs off into the sunset, Gump, Oona, and the rest of the group, including both unicorns, wave goodbye to Jack, the quest now concluded.

The U.S. theatrical cut ends with Jack and Lily running off into the sunset together. As Gump and their companions wave goodbye the final shot is of the Lord of Darkness laughing one last time, indicating his statement that darkness cannot be completely destroyed—it always exists to counterbalance light, until the two merge into one, transcending the bounds of duality.

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