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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. 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:

  • 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.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Where did a guy like Braford get a Blue Warhorse from?
  • 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.
  • Artistic License - Physics: Hitting a Treasure Chest/Bowl of Salad will divide it into smaller portions. What's even more bizarre is that the combined value of the portions is always greater than the whole, resulting in more points earned/health recovered.
  • An Axe to Grind: Perceval. The Bird Man mook uses a small axe too.
  • Asteroids Monster: Rather than enemies, large treasures and food items can be split into by several smaller portions by hitting them. This is mainly used to share the spoils with your fellow player(s). There is some variance in the number of smaller items the larger ones can divide into, so you can end up with a set of smaller items with a greater or lesser combined value than the original item. On rare occasions, some items can turn into a powerful item after being hit instead of splitting.
  • Badass Beard: Perceval once he levels up enough, combined with Bald of Awesome.
  • The Beast Master: Phantom.
  • BFS: The "Sword Man" mooks carry these.
  • Big Bad: Garibaldi.
  • Blade on a Stick: Scorn uses a long halberd. Several Mooks wield pickaxes, spears and the like.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The arcade demo is specially hilarious.
    Merlin: ''"Only the holy grail can release this world from attain the chaos."
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Phantom. Averted by Lancelot, though.
  • Boss Subtitles: All bosses are given one before battle, as seen above.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Arlon and Garibaldi use Morning Stars in tandem with spiked gauntlets.
    • Buster series enemies carry smaller maces, relatively speaking, along with shields.
  • Cast from Hit Points: As was the norm back then with Beat'Em Ups, the "Mega Crush" drains some health if it connects.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Similarly to Final Fight, only up to three players can play simultaneously this time.
    • Arthur: Red
    • Lancelot: Blue
    • Percival: Green
  • 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.
  • Dual Wielding: Braford wields a sword-and-longsword combo.
  • Dumb Muscle: Balbars.
  • The Emperor: Arlon and Garibaldi carry this title.
  • Evil Laugh: Scorn is quite prone to this.
  • Fat Bastard: The aptly named "Fat Man" Mook.
    • 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.
  • Fragile Speedster: Lancelot as already noted, plus Phantom and the Mooks Sky Walker and Mask Man.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Knocking a Mad Tiger into the air will allow you to briefly see its testicles plain as day. How the censors from Nintendo completely missed this is a small wonder in itself.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Your chosen character will get a spiffy set of gold armor when they reach a high enough level.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Birdmen and Buster enemies.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism
  • It's Up to You: The ally soldiers that you see and have to rescue actually have an attack animation. The programmers ultimately decided that you should do most, if not all, of the fighting.
  • Knife Nut: Phantom throws these.
  • Large And In Charge: Both Garibaldi and Arlon are quite humongous. If they're bigger than Balbars isn't clear due him being completely covered in armor.
  • Level Up Fill Up
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Birdmen and Buster series enemies carry shields, so they can block your attacks.
  • Magic Knight: Garibaldi given that most any attack he does with his mace and gauntlet also throws projectiles, and while on his horse can can flames down on you.
  • Me's a Crowd: Phantom can create four doubles of himself during battle.
  • Mighty Glacier: Perceval as already noted. Balbars, Arlon and Garibaldi as well.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Knight's ContractBeat 'em UpKung Fu Master
Kirby's Dream Land 3UsefulNotes/Super Nintendo Entertainment SystemKunio Tachi No Banka
The King of DragonsCreator/CapcomLegendary Wings
The King of DragonsArcade GameLaser Ghost

alternative title(s): Knights Of The Round
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