Video Game / Knights of the Round
Knights of the Round
is a Beat 'em Up Arcade Game
released by Capcom
in 1991, and later ported to SNES
in 1994. Much as the name implies, it is loosely inspired in the myths of King Arthur
. The game is a rather straightforward Beat 'em Up
with a level-up system
which changes the clothing and looks of the characters and weapons, while increasing their strength and speed. Other game mechanics include the typical special move which drains life
, a block action that grants a short invincibility after blocking an attack and the ability to mount horses found on certain stages.
The story starts out with young Arthur training and finally pulling down the Sword in th-
eh, Excalibur in the Stone
, and thus becoming the King of England. However, most knights aren't pleased to find out they must follow this "boy king", and thus rebellion and war break out over the land. Arthur goes to Merlin for advice, and he reveals that only the Holy Grail has the power to unify the war-torn England under his rule. So, he and two of his best friends (Lancelot and Perceval) set out to find it, eventually discovering it is on the possession of an evil knight known as Garibaldi.
There are three playable characters:
- Arthur, wielding Excalibur, a broadsword although one which evolves into more elaborate-looking weapons as he levels up. He's the most balanced out of the three, with average strength and speed. He starts out wearing leather armor and a red tunic, and as he level ups he gets more armor pieces, eventually ending in full-body armor. He has the unique ability of performing a slow but powerful slash attack.
- Lancelot, wielding a scimitar. He's a swordsman travelling all over the world looking for a worthy king to serve. He's the Fragile Speedster, fast but with weak attack and defense. Lancelot has long blond hair and wears a blue tunic, which is replaced by plate armor as he levels up. His unique ability is a quick jump kick.
- Perceval, wielding a giant axe. Son of a blacksmith, Perceval is a Gentle Giant who's willing to help Arthur on his quest. He's also remained undefeated due to his great physique. He's the Mighty Glacier, powerful and durable but really slow, although his unique ability is a dash that can give him more mobility. The dash can also be cancelled into a powerful "Giant Swing" of his axe. He changes the most as he levels up, losing his blond hair and getting bald, plus growing a beard.
The enemy forces are comprised of:
- Scorn, the First Challenge. A tall and skinny fully armored knight wielding a halberd. He has a tendency to laugh in the middle of the fight.
- Braford, the Swordsmaster. Cavalry knight wielding twin swords, and capable of shooting energy out of them.
- Arlon, the Silver Emperor. Garibaldi's younger brother, who has taken over Castle Fort. He's a massive man wielding a morning star, and can create shockwaves by jump stomping.
- Phantom, the Nightshade. A mysterious man with illusion techniques. He uses knives as well as trained eagles. He also owns and commands the Iron Golem, a giant armor puppet suspended by chains which has spiked balls as hands.
- Balbars, the Hammer. Garibaldi's Advanced Guard and a massive armored behemoth wielding a big hammer. He has super armor (he doesn't flinch when hit) and a grab/pound move.
- Muramasa, the Blood Armor. A Samurai who's somehow entered Garibaldi's service. He uses a katana, and can use fire magic to attack his enemies.
- Garibaldi, the Golden Emperor. The Final Boss, a Palette Swap of his brother Arlon, albeit beefed-up considerably. He starts the fight mounted on a horse, and using Braford's energy blasts.
This game provides examples of:
- Money Spider: Enemies will often drop treasure chests upon death.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Scorn has one, oddly enough.
- Ninja: Phantom looks quite like one.
- Palette Swap: Most Mooks, per the norm. Final Boss Garibaldi turns out to be a buffed-up, gold-swapped Arlon.
- Playing with Fire: Muramasa and Phantom make good use of fire magic. Garibaldi uses blue flames in his attacks.
- Powered Armor: Arthur and Lancelot get covered in armor as they level up, Arthur ending up in a full-body gold armor, and Lancelot in full-body silver armor.
- Power Up Mount: Horses that you can sometimes find, usually be used by enemies, and can ride to do some extra damage, or just to keep enemies from using them against you.
- Public Domain Artifact: The Holy Grail and Excalibur.
- Race Lift: Bizarrely happens to Perceval in-game, starting off as a blonde-haired, clean-shaven Caucasian and, as he levels up, into a bald, bearded, Ambiguously Brown man.
- Red Shirt Army: Plenty of soldiers loyal to Arthur pop up throughout the game, usually to get killed almost immediately.
- Royal Rapier: Phantom and the Mooks styled like him wield one.
- Sadly Mythtaken: As usual in this type of setting, Excalibur and the Sword in the Stone are one and the same.
- Samurai: Muramasa.
- Sinister Scimitar: Lancelot, albeit without the "sinister" part since he's one of the heroes.
- Shockwave Stomp: Arlon and Garibaldi.
- Shout-Out: Mainly to Excalibur: The three playable characters are main characters in the movie.
- The intro scene depicts the driving of Excalibur into the ground/stone (rather than pulling it out). Uther did so in the movie to keep his enemies from having it. The depiction of the sword's blade, guard and pommel even resembles the one in the film.
- Merlin's appearance is also taken from the film, notably the shiny skull cap.
- Arthur in his first few levels looked like how Nigel Terry appeared in leather armor at the time he pulled out the sword. The eventual beard also matched Arthur's character portrait.
- The NPC knights in the game are colored with a silvery-blue hue like the Knights of the Round Table in the film.
- The main antagonist Mordred wore gold armor. In the game, Garibaldi is a gold-armored Palette Swap Final Boss.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Perceval (which may count in itself) is consistently typoed Parceval during the ending.
- Stab the Sky: The Victory Pose of all three heroes upon completing a stage. Also, the three heroes and a host of good knights do the same in the ending.
- Storming the Castle: Both Stage 03 and 07.
- Sword Beam: Braford and Garibaldi can do this.
- Teleport Spam: The Magician Mooks.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: One of Phantom's attacks involves leaping straight up, then flinging a firebomb straight down as he begins to fall. The impact sends flames scattering in several directions. It's worth noting that if he lands on a slow flame, Phantom himself will be knocked down, although not hurt.
- Tin Tyrant: Garibaldi. Arlon and Balbars look the part too.
- Underwear of Power: About halfway through his level-up cycle, at the same time he shaves his head and grows a beard, Perceval starts wearing trunks too.
- Unflinching Walk/No-Sell: Balbars has no stun animation.
- Video Game Caring Potential: There are a few instances in certain stages where you find blue-armored knights being attacked by enemies (and will get killed if you leave them). Helping has them leave a treasure chest behind for you.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Perceval, who doesn't get a shirt in any of his look-upgrades. He eventually loses the pants, too.
- The Worf Effect: Scorn gets introduced by killing three allied knights at once in the arcade version, though it's reduced to just one in the SNES port.