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Video Game / Golden Logres

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Golden Logres is a pinball video game by LittleWing, originally released in 1998 for the Apple Macintosh and IBM Personal Computers. While other LittleWing games strove to directly duplicate the Physical Pinball Table experience on a computer, Golden Logres was an experiment in welding conventional Pinball gameplay with that of a Role-Playing Game.

The game is divided among three playfields:

  • The main table is "Camelot", capitol of the ruined kingdom of Logres, and the player is Sir Bedivere, the sole surviving knight after the Last Battle of King Arthur. With Arthur dead and Merlin imprisoned, the player must travel to Stonehenge and complete eleven quests to revive the other knights of the Round Table.
  • When all of the quests are completed, the game moves to "Land's End", where Lancelot, Tristan and Gawain prove their courage by freeing a cursed castle, killing a dragon, and defeating the Green Knight.
  • Finally, there's "Fisher King", where the player must recover the Longinus spear, defeat the three Evil Knights, and kill the manifestation of Arthur's sin, then solve the Enigma and return the Holy Grail to Camelot.

Successfully completing all of these tasks returns gameplay to "Camelot", where King Arthur is revived, Logres is blessed with eternal prosperity, and the player celebrates with Fandango Multiball. Skillful shooting is required to complete each mission, along with raising the characters' attributes and equipment capabilities with key targets, and animated cutscenes advance the narrative. Beginners can also play a three-ball game on any of the tables to become familiar with them.

Not surprisingly, Golden Logres left gamers divided. Die-hard pinball players loved it for its challenging gameplay, innovative multi-layered objectives, and the focus on score-maximizing strategies. Casual players, on the other hand, found it frustratingly difficult and confusing, as it was a far departure from the pick-up-and-play nature of most pinball games.

In 2000, the game was released for the PlayStation under the names Pinball Golden Logres (Japan) and Pinball Power (Europe). In Japan only, Success Corporation also released a modified adaptation for the Sega Dreamcast as Neo Golden Logres. It included significant gameplay changes, most notable a timer-based gameplay that could be extended only by continuously skillful shooting. Unfortunately, even die-hard pinball fans were turned off by its muddled graphics and a heavyset physics engine that made it much harder than the original.

Golden Logres demonstrates the following tropes:

  • Seven Deadly Sins: Three of the sins — Sloth, Envy, and Lust — must be knocked down before the player can embark on a quest.
  • Seven Heavenly Virtues: Three virtues (Bravery, Fortune, and Loyalty) are represented by banks of drop targets.
  • The Ageless: Fisher King, the King of Castle Carbonek who has been guarding the Holy Grail for centuries.
  • All There in the Manual: Much of the backstory and the details of the game are presented only in the instructions.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The Queasting Beast, a personification of the sins of King Arthur. In "Fisher King", Palomides is tasked with killing it.
  • Big Good: King Arthur, whose resurrection is the final goal of the game.
  • Black Knight: One of the three Evil Knights.
  • Court Jester: Taliessin, the court jester, musician and poet who assigns quests to the knights.
  • Curse Escape Clause: The Green Knight, whose curse can only be lifted after he is defeated by Sir Gawain.
  • The Dragonslayer: Tristan, who must slay the dragon in "Land's End".
  • Eldritch Location: Dolorus Gard (The Castle of Sorrow) on the "Land's End" table, which is cursed by a monster in the catacombs. Sir Lancelot must slay the monster and break the curse on his quest.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Castle Perilous, where the three Evil Knights reside.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: The Knights of the Round Table.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: The "Land's End" and "Fisher King" tables, where the Knights of the Round Table separate for their individual quests.
  • Public Domain Artifact: Numerous Arthurian icons appear throughout the game, most notably the Holy Grail, the Longinus spear, the swords Excalibur and Caliburn, and the Silver Shield of Tole.
  • Shown Their Work: The instructions are crammed with numerous details and backstories drawn from Arthurian legend, such as the quests of the various knights, even when most of these details have no direct bearing on the game itself.
  • Sole Survivor: The player, as Sir Bedivere, starts off as this.
  • Spelling Bonus: There are several on each table, such as M-E-R-L-I-N and M-A-G-I-C in "Camelot", D-R-A-G-O-N and E-R-R-A-N-T-R-Y in "Land's End", and L-O-N-G-I-N-U-S, B-E-A-S-T, and H-O-L-Y-G-R-A-I-L on "Fisher King".
  • Spiritual Successor: To Crystal Caliburn
  • Wizard Mode: "Fandango Multiball", which is reached only after all of the Knights' missions have been completed on all three tables. This is a Timed Mission multiball, where the player tries to get as many Jackpots as possible. Getting a Jackpot briefly extends the time limit, and the game ends when time expires.

Alternative Title(s): Neo Golden Logres, Pinball Golden Logres