Defender of the Crown was originally developed by Cinemaware for the Amiga 1000, to showcase its graphical prowess. It's one of the first games to combine role-playing, strategy and fighting gameplay elements! Defender Of The Crown was later developed for the other 16bits Atari ST, PC, Apple IIgs and the 8bits home computers computers Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and Spectrum ZX. There are also two console versions: one for the Philips CD-I and one for the Nintendo NES (developed in 1989).
STORY / GAMEPLAY The year is 1149. King Richard has just returned from the Crusades and granted the Knight honorable title to 6 men who aided him on his campaigns. Some years later, the King is murdered and the Holy Crown is lost. To save the Kingdom, you will severely test your skills, swordsman abilities and military leadership. But should you succeed you'll finally win the Crown of the Kingdom and the love of many beautiful damsels! Quite tempting don't you think? As a Saxon Knight, you take part on a strategy game aiming to gain power and find the lost Crown. You can choose your character among 4 different Knights, each with his own statistics, powers and weaknesses. The game is played on a UK medieval map where you can move your armies and conquer either Saxons' or Normands' territories. Read the map, plan your raids or even team up with Robin Hood and then plunder the enemy strongholds and slash your way through for valuable gold that's needed to build your army of mercenary vassals stronger. You can also participate in jousting tournaments to gain (or lose) new territories or to increase (or decrease) your fame! As a jousting hint, just steer your lance to the center of the opponent's shield and then press the fire button at the very last second. Still, your victory or defeat in jousting will depend on your character's abilities in these tournaments! Defender Of The Crown is a great game to play and if you haven't tried it yet, go on and do it. It surely needs some practice but if you finally master its moves and its gameplay style, it will grant you with some amazing gaming moments. The 8bit ports include all the features and gameplay elements found on the original version and the NES version is among the best.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The CPC version has wonderful graphics with bright colors and offers most of the details found on the original (Amiga) version. Each indoor or outdoor scene has its own unique graphics. Raiding takes you to an excellently detailed castle scene where a sword-fight takes place. The scene starts outdoors and then inside the castle's rooms (note that the ZX version starts directly indoors). Also, jousting scenes use the original graphics, where you ride your horse in a first-person perspective view and aiming with your lance (actually a pointing square for the CPC version) using your joystick (or keys) to the opponent riding towards you (note that the ZX version is limited to show side-on gameplay jousting). Soundwise, the CPC version is good featuring nice in-game sounds taken from the original (but the Commodore version is way superior, especially at the intro tune!)
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CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.