A classic Turn-Based Strategy game produced by Cinemaware in the late 1980s. A sort-of-adaptation of Ivanhoe. While the game is only barely like any of its progeny, it was groundbreaking back in its own days, and it still has nostalgia value to some people.
In Defender of the Crown, King Lionheart has been murdered. Civil war ensues. As a heroic Saxon, you have to defend the English monarchy from the dastardly Normans. (Wait, what? Wasn't Richard Lionheart a Norman? Whatever...)
You collect taxes, buy armies, and send them into battle. Plus, you can also raid castles with your fencing skill or go on a tournament with your jousting skill. If the Normans kidnap a Saxon lady, it's your job to raid their castle to rescue her.
The original Amiga version, whose programmer, Robert J. Mical, also created the Intuition GUI, was published in 1986 after three and a half months of rushed development. Over the next several years, ports for the Atari ST, IBM Personal Computer, Amstrad CPC, Apple IIGS, Commodore 64, and Nintendo Entertainment System were published. Enhanced CD-ROM versions were released for the Commodore CDTV and Philips CD-i after Cinemaware went bankrupt.
A new company that bought Cinemaware's name and assets has released both a remake and a "remastered" version of Defender of the Crown for modern Windows and Macintosh PCs. They also have the original version of the game available to play for free online, here.
Has examples of:
- Artistic License History: Due to mashing two versions of the Robin Hood legend together, it's a war between Saxons and Normans to put a true English king on the throne, taking place after the murder of the good king Richard the Lionheart, who was as Norman as Norman gets.
- Damsel in Distress: One of four randomized Saxon ladies.
- Damsel Scrappy: Don't expect your damsels to stay saved.
- Instant-Win Condition: You win if you take the three Norman castles; no other castles or territories are required. Although it's rare, it's possible to win with one or even both Saxons still alive, even though they're supposedly fighting for the crown just like you. If another Saxon win this way, you get a different game over screen where the new king sends you as a diplomat to some boring place. If you get defeated, you get a message about how you flee and vow to return one day.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: Wilfred of Ivanhoe is the most balanced at "Good-Good-Average". Unfortunately, Cedric of Rotherwood is "Strong" in the one area Wilfred is "Good", and the same as Wilfred in the other two stats. Geoffrey Longsword is the only knight "Strong" in swordsmanship — but "Average" in his other two stats.
- Level-Up at Intimacy 5: Do your Optional Sexual Encounter, and it unlocks the ability go gain powerups for every damsel you save. Called "new respect", your leadership skill improves one level for every extra damsel you save.
- In the original version, you simply get a massive boost from rescuing one damsel, and she's the only one you get to marry and boink.
- Minigame: Jousting and castle raids.
- Ms. Fanservice: The Ladies, especially in that their silhouettes revealed they were very ample.
- Optional Sexual Encounter: Save a damsel, "then late one night..." get lucky. If the damsel is the daughter of another Saxon, you instantly claim his territory.
- Robin Hood: You can recruit him as an ally three times; this was a selling point of the game.
- Spiritual Successor: Centurion: Defender of Rome, from the same author, is considered to be one to this game.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: In the Jousting minigames, if you kill your opponent's horse by stabbing it with your lance, you get dishonored big time - all the land you conquered becomes unclaimed territory and you lose all your army units (which is especially frustrating if you already conquered much of England). A Disproportionate Retribution to say the least.
- You Require More Vespene Gas: In the form of cash.
- Updated Re Release: Defender of the Crown: Heroes Live Forever (2007), with minor added features.
- Wild Card: The other Saxons in the game. When you start out, the Saxons are your allies. But they too want to be king so you will be on your own as the game progresses.