The game takes place in Rystia, which consists of three kingdoms, namely Logres, Union, and Avalon. The gameplay involves completing missions for whichever of these three kingdoms you choose to align yourself with.
The game received a Spiritual Successor in the form of Grand Kingdom in 2016. Although it wasn't developed by Vanillaware themselves, the development team was comprised of ex-Vanillaware employees, and Grand Kingdom retains many of the elements established in Grand Knights History.
This Video Game provides stunning visual and examples of:
- Battle Ballgown: The female Knights wear these as a Gendered Outfit.
- Bigger Stick: If there is an enemy you can't defeat, your options are: 1) use better Skills, 2) bring bigger and badder weapons, 3) pump your stats (but not your level).
- Black Magician Girl: Miira. She's also a recurring villain.
- Blob Monster: They have swords impaled into their bodies, and they don't seem to mind, being what they are.
- Dem Bones: They follow the same archetypes as your character.
- Elemental Powers: Fire, Water, Earth, Wind. And then there are Light and Darkness spells, the learning of which require Masteries of the basic elements.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Averted. You can have a party entirely made-up of gunners. Gunners are part of the Archer archetype, and there are no jarring advantages compared to bowmen or crossbowmen.
- Ghibli Hills: Everywhere that aren't Nerumu Abyss.
- Giant Flyer: The Roc-type enemies.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: Even the lowliest thugs (who waylay you) don a very colorful set.
- Heroic Fantasy: A band of four warriors fight evil and defend the honor of their country.
- Knighting: Largely the point of the game. You level-up recruits by training them or sending them to fight monsters, then you present them to your king/queen for Knighting. Gameplay-wise, Knighted characters become playable online (and only online) to defend their affiliated countries.
- Level Grinding: If you don't want or can't participate in online battles, the amount of grinding needed can be rather painful.
- Level Scaling: One of the reason why the enemies are always challenging. It's generally better to exploit Training Ground and keep Low-Level Advantage.
- Min-Maxing: It's mandatory. You even get to roll character stats in the beginning, ala Dungeons & Dragons. This will take some times...
- Mordor: Nerumu Abyss. The Undead are everywhere. It's also located at the center of the continent. You can walk into and out of it as much as you want, deathly enemies notwithstanding.
- Nintendo Hard: Good luck finishing the game without getting online-only equipment!
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Knights with the high-handed behavior tend to do this after they win a battle, males included.
- The Quest: The plot revolves around finding the treasures of the Saintess and save the world from King of Chaos. Take Your Time. While you're at it, go fight bandits/monsters/other countries' knights. Especially other countries' knights.
- Scenery Porn: The visuals are gorgeous, as expected from the people who made Odin Sphere and GrimGrimoire.
- Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Knights destroy Archers destroy Wizards destroy Knights. Remember this when you play online.
- Training from Hell: Each recruit gets an Apprenticeship period of 60 days, during which he or she can train in the capitol of the country he or she is affiliated to. The training regiments are rather... extreme.
- Walking the Earth: Literally, even. The characters walk on some kind of globe.
- White Mage: Healers make life easier for everyone, but they are part of the Wizard archetype.