Knights of the Round is a Beat 'em UpArcade 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. 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.
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.
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 he has a dash move neither of the other knights do. 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.
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 japanese 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:
Action Bomb: The Buster Drones in the section just before the Iron Golem. Whenever anything hits them, whether your blade or the ceiling spike balls, they'll blow up in a short-range flame scatter.
Anachronism Stew: Muramasa's weapon and armor would not be developed until several centuries after the time when the Arthurian legends were supposed to take place. Then again, the same could be said for the kind of tourney that takes up the first part of stage 4 (and more than a few French retellings of the Arthur legends).
Animals Lack Attributes: Averted with the Mad Tiger enemy, which when knocked into the air is revealed to have a sizeable pair of balls between its legs.
Arrows on Fire: It does not take long for the Barbarian mooks to start doing this.
Crossover: The three main and a few bosses appear as challengers in the quiz game Adventure Quiz: Capcom World 2.
Death from Above: Muramasa can summon a rain of fire. Garibaldi does the same with blue flames before you unhorse him.
The Iron Golem can make either debris or barrels fall down when it hits the ground.
Degraded Boss: Scorn appears later as a standard enemy named Tall Man. And he gets hit with this fast, showing up as an Elite Mook in only the third level.
Doppelgänger Attack: An oblique version occurs when Phantom's second group of escorts appears. Two of them are Sky Walkers, Mooks that look just like him—and these are a one-time case where even the colors are the same! However, they do not attack in the same fashion, their only special attack being to throw a dagger straight ahead.
Drop the Hammer: Balbars carries one that's bigger than most humans you see in the game.
The Buster series of mooks encompassed both the "Fat" and the "Bastard" parts. They were portly soldiers armed with a spiked club, a shield and heavy armor. Not only are they more durable and aggressive than most other mooks, they employ more advanced combat techniques such as shielding your attacks then countering with a nasty jumping attack, riding horses and taunting after they kill you.
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.
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.
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.