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 Defender Of The Crown is a state-of-the-art game for the Amiga; no doubt about it! The rest of its versions were made due to its nature of being a fantastic and successful game. Surprisingly, the NES hardware does a decent job here. The graphics and colors are pretty good, although most of the original details are missing (quite logical I guess if we consider the hardware differences). The backgrounds are greatly done. Actually, there is nothing to complain or get overly excited about in the graphics section.
Sound-wise, the game offers all the original tunes along with a few (and rather typical) sound FX during sword-fights, jousts and raids.
In-game music sample:
Amiga (original version)
CPU: Ricoh 2A03 8-bit processor (MOS Technology 6502 based) at 1,79MHz MEMORY: Boot ROM: 64 kbit (8 KB) to 2048 kbit (256 KB) Main RAM: 64 kbit (8 KB), can be supplemented by game cartridges Video RAM: 128 kbit (16 KB) GRAPHICS: YPbPr 64-color palette supporting resolution of 256x240 with 32 colors at once and 64 hardware sprites. SOUND: five mono sound channels and PCM sound (7bit values)