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DLOAD "KNIGHT'S QUEST"

**Info Card**

Classification: Game / RPG
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Publisher: Loadstar 128
Programmer: Jon Mattson
Music/Sound: Jon Mattson
Year: 1991
Rating: ★★★★
Disk: Knight's Quest.d64

At first, I didn't care too much for this game. It was interesting to me to find an RPG-style game, written for the C128 using it's 80 column screen mode. But, because I'm not all that interested in RPG / turn-based games, I didn't really spend much time playing it. From first glance, it just seemed too cumbersome and (to be honest) boring to me. But, for whatever reason, I recently decided to sit down and give it a chance and put some effort into it. Well, I have to say, now I'm hooked and am finding it difficult to “put it down”, so to speak.

Knight's Quest was created by Jon Mattson and was published in Issue #12 of Loadstar 128, in 1991. The game is modeled on a typical RPG turn based game, but with a couple of twists. First of all, it can be played as a two-player game. Each player has their own character to play in the adventure. In Jon's game instructions, he kind of likens this idea to a two player board game; kind of like King Arthur meets Monopoly.

Secondly, apart from the RPG elements of the game, there's also a real-time jousting “mini game” that you take part at certain times during your adventure. When I first came across this game, I wasn't aware of this element to the game, so it was a real surprise when I first discovered it. Of course, if I just bothered to read Jon's instructions, I would have know about it from the beginning.

The underlying plot to the game is as follows (in a nut-shell): The king of the land is dying and he does not have an heir to pass the kingdom on to. So, there's a quest to find someone who's worthy of taking on the crown and becoming the new ruler of the land. Your goal is to travel the kingdom, taking on quests of righteousness, to gain honor and valor and then find the king (apparently residing in a hidden castle) to claim the crown.

When you first start the game, you are given the option to either continue playing a saved game, or start a new game. If you start a new game, you first have to build a map of the kingdom and then create your character. The map is randomly generated by the computer, but you have certain input as to what traits are given to your character.

The map that is generated is a pretty large one and is never the same. So, there's lot of replay value to the game in this manner. And don't think this game is one that you will quickly finish, as there's a lot to explore and a good number of challenges and side quests to keep you busy. In Jon's overview of the game, he says that he designed the game so it could be completed in four to five hours, but it's taking me longer than that (unless I get killed off by some wickedly strong baddie).

Map of the Kingdom

Your primary interface with the game is the joystick. Player One uses a joystick in port 2. If you happen to have a friend playing with you, then player Two uses a joystick plugged into port 1. You move your player with the joystick and activate the command menu with the fire button. This is also how you interact with the in-game characters, by using the joystick to select your actions and dialog responses.

Each player has a mini map to show their current position in the kingdom, as well as a table of information showing their current status (like health, characteristics and inventory statistics).

Game Interface

Each move on the map represents a time interval of one in-game hour. Some terrains will take more time to traverse than others. You have to watch your fatigue, as well as the fatigue of your horse, and take the appropriate time to rest, or you won't be getting very far in the game. Also, the map will go dark as night-fall approaches. You can still move during the night, but you won't be able to see where you're going. This is about the only frustrating thing I find about the game (and one of the reasons I didn't originally play it for very long): you spend a lot of time stopping and resting to keep up your strength.

However, once I got over this little hurdle, I quickly warmed up to the game and found myself getting all tied up in the adventure.

You'll do a lot of resting

As you travel the land, you'll encounter many different beasts and inhabitants. Some will be helpful, but many will be out for blood and your possessions. You'll have to use your whits in order to stay alive. Turns out, you can't just go about hacking and slashing your way through every challenge. Not only will you run out of health and vitality quickly, but your honor and valor levels will not amount to much, either. Remember, the goal of the game is to prove to the king that you're worthy of his crown.

So, you'll have to figure out when it's best to talk your way out of a situation or just plain run away, rather than fight.

Choose the best way to confront an enemy

You'll also come across people who will ask you for help, offering you the chance to take up a quest to gain some honor. These side missions are usually something to do with you traveling to a particular part of the map and finding something or someone (like tracking down a band of ruffians who are terrorizing some local villagers).

Not everyone is out to kill you

The most unique aspect of this game is the jousting tournaments that take place ever so often. While you're out on your adventures, you will be informed of a tournament happening in X number of days in a particular town. If you can make it to the town in time, and you still have your steed, you can take part in the joust.

The jousting plays out in standard tournament fashion. You are pitted against other knights and noblemen and, in real time, you have to select your strategy and aim your lance, as you and your opponent charge towards each other on horse-back. It's a combination of strategy (choosing your stance) and reflexes (aiming your lance) with a little bit of random luck, typical of an RPG.

I've yet to win a tournament, but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

Jousting For Glory

One of the nice things about Knight's Quest is that you can save your game when ever you wish. So, there's the opportunity for you to save your character before unknowingly crossing paths with the necromancer or troll that's strong enough to do you in.

This game certainly isn't for everyone. It may take a bit of effort to get into it, as it did for me. But, I think that, once you get past some of the more mundane tasks of the game (like resting), you may enjoy the underlying story line that awaits you, in Knight's Quest. It's just another good example of how the C128 can be used to entertain and that it can do more than just GO64.

If you do decide to give this game a try, be sure to check out Jon's introduction/game instructions, which I've included in the disk image. To do that, go to 80 column mode and:

DLOAD“QUICKTEXT.80”

Then, when the program asks for a document to load, enter: T.KNIGHT'S QUEST

Conclusion

★★★★ - It took me a while to get into this game, but when I did, I found it very engrossing and difficult to put away. I haven't finished it yet, but it keeps calling me back to try again.


This article was composed on my C128 with ArcheType.

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reviews/knightsquest.txt · Last modified: 2023/10/30 01:55 by David