Back in mediaeval times there was plenty to keep your
average armour-clad fellow amused: dragon bashing, wining,
dining, wenching, crusading and of course partaking
in the odd joust or two. Of knightly sport there was
aplenty: bashing your partner with swords, lumps of
metal or bits of wood -- and on the more placid side,
firing bolts and arrows at moving targets. The latest
release from English Software attempts to capture ye
olde noble spirit of man-to-man combat, and offers eight
different events to challenge your fighting prowess.
the games can get underway, a main menu has to be loaded.
Once in memory, any of the eight events can be (singly)
loaded. When an event loads, a menu is displayed which
allows you to alter the length of play or switch off
the in-game music. All events have a one or two player
option, and in the fighting events a computer controlled
knight makes up for the lack of a human opponent. After
making your selection, the game can begin.
all the fighting events victory is achieved by hammering
the strength out of your opponent. Displayed to the
left of the main playing screen are two sets of ten
roses -- white ones for player one and yellow for player
two. A successful hit with a weapon results in one of
your opponent's roses disappearing, and if ten are removed
then another ten appear. If these ten are duly disposed
of, then your opponent falls to the ground and one of
his ten shields is removed. To win the event you have
to remove all ten shields, and doing so reaps a 'knight
time limit takes the form of a candle which slowly drips,
sway through the duration of the match, and this is
displayed just above the roses. The score is shown underneath
the main playing area at the bottom of the screen. A
highscore table keeps track of the top score for both
players in each event and any score logged into the
table remains there for the duration of the games (unless
it is bettered).
This event takes place on the castle battlements with
a splendid English countryside scene in the distance.
The players appear on opposite sides of the screen,
and then clank their way toward each other so that the
fighting can commence. Eight fighting movements are
made available to each knight and these are accessed
by pushing the joystick in any one of the eight directions.
Pushing diagonally gives a defensive movement and any
other of the four points gives an offensive thrust or
the classic first meeting between Robin Hood and Little
John when they both tried to cross a log bridge, and
neither would give way to the other? The result was
a quarterstaff fight in which Robin was toppled off
his precarious perch into the water below. This event
is very reminiscent of that fight and is set in a similar
environment, with you battling another fellow over a
perilous log bridge. Eight movements, four attacking
and four defensive, are made available as you battle
This is the first event to test your aiming skills rather
than the strength of your bashing arm. Set in the fields
outside the castle, the object is to hit as many moving
targets as you can before you run out of either arrows
or time. Away in the distance are two trees and between
them trundle a series of wooden horses on wheels. Pulling
back on the joystick strings an arrow and a cursor is
bought into view with which you aim. The cursor wobbles
alarmingly, and it takes a fair bit of skill to get
it into position and press the fire button before it
wobbles off target again.
to the fighting again, as you battle beneath the portcullis.
Once again there are eight separate movements, including
some vicious swipes, and overhead thumps are often made
to your armour-clad persona. Plenty of variety in movement
and plenty of scope for attack.
This is very similar to the other event, although the
fight takes place outside the castle with the battlements
poking above the trees. A new set of armour has been
given to each knight, but their movements are as the
the peasants, let's have a pikestaff fight over their
newly ploughed fields. Out into the country trot you
and your piking partner. Four defensive and four attacking
movements are made available to each knight as they
tromp, stab and spike each other.
This is another event to test your hand/eye co-ordination,
and it has you shooting three spinning targets. Pulling
back on the joystick loads the bolt, and a split second
later the aiming cursor appears. Guide this wobbling
entity over a stationary target and shoot the bolt by
pressing the fire button before it spins again, or the
cursor moves off target. Time is of the essence here,
so don't spend too long aiming your bolts.
last event is set post-feast, with glass strewn tables
forming an arena. The knights face one another, a mean
axe in one gauntlet and a shield grasped in the other.
The standard four attacking and four defensive movements
are available to each knight.