>DEFENDER OF THE CROWN :
Defender of the Crown is a strategy computer game designed by Kellyn Beck. It was Cinemaware‘s first game, and was originally released for the Commodore Amiga in 1986, setting a new standard for graphic quality in home computer games.
In 1987 it was ported to DOS, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Macintosh and finally, the Apple IIGS in 1988. It was later ported to the CD-i.
The game is set in England in the Middle Ages where, following the death of the king, different factions are fighting for territorial control.
The player assumes the role of a Saxon (Wilfred of Ivanhoe, Cedric of Rotherwood, Geoffrey Longsword or Wolfric the Wild) and tries to fight off the Norman hordes and wrestle for control of England. Eventually, the player must fight for control of all territories, and potentially those controlled by other Saxons, if they have become antagonistic. The player must amass armies and fight for control of opponents’ castles. The player may engage enemy armies in battle, loot or lay siege to opposing castles. Territories can also be won in the periodic jousting contests. From time to time the player may attempt to rescue a damsel in distress and can appeal for help from the legendary bandit Robin Hood.
The game’s strategy boils down to a war of attrition as the player tries to amass larger armies than his opponents and manages to attack their territories at the right time.
Due to financial strains, Cinemaware decided to release the initial version without all the features originally planned for because of their need for revenue. Some features were partially implemented, but were removed so the game could be shipped. Some additional features completed but never seen in the shipped game include flaming fireballs (launched via the catapult), more locations (more varied castles to attack) and more in-depth strategy. Some of these features were implemented in the ports of the game.
>COMMODORE AMIGA SCREENSHOTS :
>DEFENDER OF THE CROWN REMAKE : HEROES LIVE FOREVER
>In February 2007, a homage to the game called Defender of the Crown: Heroes Live Forever was released by eGames,who had acquired Cinemaware in 2005. Heroes Live Forever features many of the elements of the original game, including jousting and archery tournaments, raiding castles, rescuing princesses, and laying siege to enemy fortresses via catapult. A new addition to the game involved the use of Hero and Tactic cards during battles, giving the user’s army various upgrades during the on-screen melee.
>DOTC-HLF owns a superb graphic , very amazing for nostalgic users.
>Options and their display are particularly cured and extremely nice to the eye.
>You find here and there some change in the playing by the addition of neat elements.
>The Battle scene is quite cool with a proper animation and the new feature of the cards collection and a stats panel very rich .
>As you see the Britain Map is fabulous , nothing to add further about it.
>The Arch Play Scene is fun and ,as said, enriches the playing that more.
>Also the Knight Duel with horse and spear is great and greatly animated,
we spare to you a snap and invite you to discover it by yourself .
Final Comment :
>The Beauty of this remake is undeniable but the longevity of the play is really low,
that’s because after some experience at the end the game gets too easy to be solved,
and there’s no level selection or high difficulties that could not be bypassed .
It’s really true that beauty doesn’t pay , especially in DOTC-HLF .
In 1993, Jim Sachs, who worked on the graphics for Defender of the Crown, designed a sequel, Defender of the Crown 2. It never really caught on though, mainly because it was only released for Commodore’s ill-fated CDTV system.
The CGA version “tweaks” the screen during the joust; the furious riding on your horse makes the screen “shake”. This locks up the game on VGA cards, but if you can avoid this if you play it under a pseudo-emulator like Windows or OS/2 (or just don’t joust during the game).
There was bootable version released that supported EGA/Tandy graphics and Tandy 3-voice sound, which greatly enhanced the PC version of the game. Unfortunately, this version is extremely rare and most people only have the CGA/PC Speaker version.
A full version of this game is available online at Cinemaware.com (the full link is in the links section). The game plays in any browser.
- The C64 version of the game has three Saxon ladies that can be kidnapped, and the NES version only has one lady while every other version has four.
- The Commodore 64 version of Defender of the Crown was also released on tape in Europe, as disk drives were expensive in Europe at the time and most people still used tape drives. The tape version is trimmed down to fit on the smaller storage of tape, and is missing several pictures found on the disk version. Some of the missing pictures are Robin Hood at the start of the game, and the closeup views of the Saxon damsels after you rescued them.
- Computer Gaming World
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #92 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
- November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #2 Most Rewarding Ending of All Time
- March 2000 – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
Related Web Sites
- Cinemaware – Defender of the Crown — Official site to download the freeware versions for Amiga, Amstrad, C64, Atari ST, Apple IIgs, PC (CGA & EGA), NES, CD32/CDTV and more…