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Video Game / Black Knight Sword

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An escape from darkness... by stealing hearts
Black Knight Sword's tagline

Black Knight Sword is a Platform Game developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and Digital Reality, as a whimsically dark and strange throwback to 8-bit and 16-bit 2D action platformers for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

You take control of the eponymous Black Knight, Grahame Wormwood, in a fairy tale quest to stop an evil White Princess. Aiding him in this adventure is Black Hellebore, a spectre that takes form of knight's magical sword who can also help him perform double-jumps, cast spells, and solve puzzles. Black Knight Sword exudes a unique puppet theatre artstyle that looks like something straight out of Monty Python with dynamically changing backdrops and scenery.

The game was released on December 11th, 2012 for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade the day after. Has nothing to do with Black Knight staring Martin Lawrence. If you're looking for the trope of a knight in black armor, see Black Knight.


This game features examples of:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Stage 2 has this.
  • Back from the Dead: Wormwood is resurrected by Black Hellbore to serve as her knight.
  • Black Knight: Wormwood becomes one picking up the sword at start of the game.
  • Bookends: The game begins and ends the same way if you go through the credits after the True Ending: Wormwood hanging himself in a lonely motel room.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Some of the completely optional missions in Challenge Mode are quite difficult.
  • Bullet Hell: The White Princess loves to do this in her third phase, and does so a lot faster on higher difficulties.
  • Cain and Abel: The White Princess is Black Hellebore's sister. The hate they felt for each other was so strong that it defied death itself and annoyed God enough that he sealed them in a storybook, which is the setting of the game.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cool Sword: Black Hellebore, a sword that can take form of a Cute Ghost Girl and provides our hero with magical spells and a Double Jump ability. The White Princess can turn into one as well.
  • Cute Kitten: The Cathead Grasses you find throughout the game are quite adorable.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Black Knight is ultimately facing an evil White Princess.
  • Driven to Suicide: Wormwood hangs himself at the beginning of the game, but is brought back by to life by Black Hellbore, falling from the noose and picking up the sword which kicks off the events of the game. The True Ending shows that he'd rather stay dead, however.
  • Downer Ending: In the True Ending, the White Princess is defeated and Grahame is finally free from the Black Hellbore's binding, returning to his room... only to then hang himself again, likely staying dead this time.
  • Evil Knockoff: The White Princess turns into a Cool Sword and animates a White Knight in the true final battle.
  • Harder Than Hard: The dreaded Arcade Mode strips you of the ability to save your game and adds a strict time limit to each level, while the difficulty is set on Hard. Which means you have to play through the whole game in one sitting.
  • Heart Container: The Earthling's Eyes. You buy them from the giant eyeball with the hearts you collected from enemies.
  • Light Is Not Good: The White Princess.
  • Lady and Knight: Our duo of protagonists. The White Princess animates a knight of her own for the True Final Boss fight.
  • Nintendo Hard: With the game being a throwback to 8- and 16-bit action platformers, this comes naturally. Even freakin' Easy Mode has its fair share of challenges.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird:
    • Monsters with weird human faces, flying eyeballs with hands for wings, you bet this game has some weird monsters.
    • One of the bosses is a giant fire-breathing chicken.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: One trophy/achievement requires a Minimalist Run. Easy Mode is highly recommended.
  • Portal Book: Turns out to be where the game is set, God having sealed the Princesses in a storybook.
  • The Stinger: The True Ending offers a post-credits scene, where Wormwood goes back to his room to hang himself again.
  • True Final Boss: After she is defeated in her first form, the White Princess turns into a sword and animates a white knight.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: Occurs at the very end of Stage 3.