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Video Game / King Arthur: Knight's Tale

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"I have brought you back to end this nightmare, Sir Mordred. I want you to go on a knightly quest. I want you to finish what you have begun: Kill King Arthur and whatever he has become, after I took his dying vessel to Avalon."
The Lady of the Lake

King Arthur: Knight's Tale is a tactical Role-Playing Game developed by Neocore Games. It draws heavy inspiration from their previous game King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame.

Sir Mordred gathered an army of monsters and miscreants, and marched on Camelot, sacking the city. The dark knight and King Arthur met in combat. Mordred slew Arthur, the Once and Future King, but not before the King mortally wounded Mordred.

And that should've been the end of the story. But something went terribly wrong when the Lady of the Lake sent the dying Arthur to Avalon. The land is now cursed, with the dead rising, unable to die. And Arthur's own whereabouts are unknown, yet this darkness seems inexorably linked to him. In desperation, the Lady of the Lake turns to a most unlikely champion, the one man who once slew Arthur himself, and she raises Sir Mordred from the dead. Now the player, as Mordred, must assemble an order of knights, and free Camelot from its curse. And above all, kill Arthur, for good this time.

King Arthur: Knight's Tale is a tactical Role-Playing Game where the player controls Sir Mordred and his allies. Doing battles in a system close to many a modern Strategy RPG. Adding a complexity layer to the game is the game's two alignment axis. Mordred can be a rightful ruler, or a tyrannical despot, as well as either a devout Christian or a follower of the Old Faith. Mordred's alignments unlock perks, but also what allies (including storied members of the Round Table) will be available to recruit.

A free update in June 2022 "The Chained God" adds a campaign where the player will play as the Formorians, opposing the knights of the Round Table.

King Arthur: Knight's Tale contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Quite a few. Guinevere, Boadicea, Morgana le Fay. Lady Dindraine was not one in Britannia, but when she awoke in Avalon she'd now become a talented archer and is one of Mordred's first recruits.
  • Antagonist Title: Arthur is the main antagonist.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: The party can only ever be 4 knights, + whatever guests character a mission has. The round table meanwhile only ever allows for 12 members tops, including Mordred himself. Unwanted knights need to be dismissed (which is permanent, unlike death!) to make room for new members. Dead knight do leave an open seat to be replaced. There is a waiting queue for knights willing to join when there's no open seat available.
  • The Atoner: Mordred with a rightful alignment can be this.
  • Avalon: The main setting of the game. Avalon is a form of afterlife, a mirror of Britannia containing many of the same towns, villages, and people.
  • Badass Family: Quite a few. Sir Leodegrance is Queen Guinevere's father, and both are Sages (a type of Magic Knight) and recruitable. Mordred himself is the son of the witch queen Morgause and Sir Gawain's brother. Lady Dindraine is Percival's sister and an archer.
  • Black Knight:
    • Mordred starts of as this, dressed head to toes in a spiked, black armor.
    • The actual Black Knight is a hero recrutable by a Tyrannical Mordred.
    • The Knight of Midnight Arthur.
  • Came Back Wrong: Arthur was meant to be healed in Avalon but something went terribly wrong leaving his soul torn and twisted, which is what turned Avalon into the Dark World its become.
  • Continuity Nod: To King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame from the same developer.
    • The game features the same dual alignment axis.
    • The introduction movie showing the war between Mordred and Arthur features many units decidedly familiar to players of the Wargame.
    • Sir Ector is introduced as the man who raised Arthur, as in the wargame. Similarly his son Sir Kay is the first recruited party member and former Sir Arthur's Seneschal. In the Wargame he was your first general after Arthur and Arthur's closest associate.
  • Dark World: Avalon is now this to Britannia. Containing its own copy of Camelot. And many of the people who died on Britannia now find themselves in Avalon.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mordred can be played as this.
  • Death Seeker: Sir Tergyr after his recruitment. Having had to put down the monsters his wife and children became under the Fisher King's curse, and learning his son dabbled in human sacrifice, that his wife offered herself as sacrifice to said son, utterly breaks him, and he joins the round table hopping to die, fully admitting he has nothing left to live for.
  • Early Game Hell: The start of the game can be rather difficult. With most of your buildings not fully opened, a small selection of knights meaning any of them being stuck at the hospice to heal vitality or at the cathedral to recover from injury can severely affect your roster. Not having the merchant unlocked also means you have no way to restock potions . Add that your knights have way smaller armor values and thus can more easily lose all their armor to a few attacks. It makes the first handful of missions feel a lot more difficult than the rest of the game. The game also gets easier when you unlock the enchanter and can begin getting relics of your choice - rings of Teleportation in particular can greatly improve your slow ponderous champions to be where they need to be to deliver their awesome damage.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: While the Seelie Court are not good, the Unseelie Court are clearly evil and their members use ice magic and live in frozen caverns where they have kidnapped pregnant women whose children they will transform unto Autumbreeds and Winterbreeds
  • Exact Words: Sir Tristan, now undead, says he needs Mordred's help to lift the curse that keeps him on Avalon's shore. Implying the curse of undeath that keeps him bound there. He actually means the curse entrapping Isolde's soul in the form of a Banshee. He won't leave until she's free.
  • Fate Worse than Death: All undead that are still conscious suffer this.
  • Final Death: If a Hero falls in battle, they're gone for good. You ''do'' eventually unlock a way to resurrect dead Heroes, but it is a very expensive process.
  • Foreshadowing: The optional quest The Ancient Throne will show you a glimpse of the enemies you will face in the future, even in order of appearance.
  • The Fair Folk: The Sidhe appear as enemies starting in act 3.
  • Glass Cannon:
    • Vanguards like Sir Balin or Sir Tristan deal great damage from stealth or flanking, but have terrible armor and no sustainability to damage.
    • Marksmen like Sir Yvain or Lady Dindraine can devastate enemies with their bows, but have the lowest armor of any class.
  • Grimmification: The developers describe the game's story as "Arthurian legend filtered through Dark Fantasy tropes".
  • Good Is Not Soft: Even if Rightful, Mordred can be ruthless. For example, given two choices for dealing with bandits who have been preying on local villagers while Camelot is in disarray, the rightful choice is to execute them as an example, while it's the Tyrannical option to use them as extra labor.
    • Another notable example is deciding the fate of Sir Lanval, who attempts to depose Mordred in a sidequest. Sparing him and his men (which unlocks him as a playable Hero) is actually considered the neutral option, while the Rightful option is to kill him, but spare his surviving men.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Fomorians, responsible for what happened to King Arthur and pissed off at all of Avalon for sealing them in another dimension for ages.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Zig-Zagged, all the male heroes save Merlin, Ector and Yvain wear full face concealing helmets (Tristan and The Faerie Knight wear a helmet with an open face). All the female heroes save Guinevere do not wear helmets.
  • Karma Meter: Two axis, one between Old Faith and Christianity, and another between Righteous and Tyrant. Your value on each axis offers passive perks, purchasable upgrades and recrutable characters. For example the mission to recruit Sir Lancelot unlocks at 13 Righteousness, while Sir Dagonet can be recruited by having 8 in both Old Faith and Tyrant. Non-neutral Heroes gain loyalty if their alignment corresponds to Mordred's while opposite alignment causes a penalty to loyalty.
  • Knight Errant: Sir Yvain and Sir Pelleas are introduced as such.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Most of the heroes are this, if they've not gone off the deep end into Tyranny. Most notable of course is Sir Lancelot, recruitable by a Mordred with a very high Righteousness score of 13.
  • Magic Knight: Technically any spellcasting character is a magic knight as they are quite literally knights of the round table. But more strict examples exist:
    • Mordred, as the son of the Witch Morgause, wields a few hexes, and a particularly devastating lightning bolt spell.
    • Sages, like Queen Guinevere and Sir Leodegrance, are one handed swordsmen who specialize in support spells and ice magics. They retain a decent armor and melee combat ability and use medium armor.
  • Mighty Glacier: Champions like Sir Kay or Sir Balan are high damage knights using two handed weapons. In damage output they are near unparalleled and can one shot most enemies - sometimes even bosses if they use their power attack skill. Their Cleave skill meanwhile devastates enemies who gang up on them, and if any enemy survives their ludicrous damage output, almost all their abilities inflict bleed. On top of that Champions wear heavy armor so they shrug off damage easily. The downside is they are slow. Their skills all cost 4 or 5 A Ps to use, and they get very few skills that give them free movement AP. So champions cross the battlefield slowly, and are easily outflanked, and can rarely attack more than once. Later in the game you can mitigate their slowness using equipment that gives movement bonuses, or rings of teleportation.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: By his own word, Mordred is a poor diplomat, and he has a penchant for violence. Even when Rightful, his first instinct when dealing with opposition is to put them down.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted, as the "The Chained God" content update will add a Formorian Campaign.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The entire game's opening cutscene is the Lady of the Lake delivering a speech to Mordred reminding him of all the sins he committed leading to his death, and she makes it clear she's only bringing him back because he's the only one who can slay the fallen Arthur.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Mordred's armor is black and red and covered in spikes, and he was very much villainous back in Britannia. It's up to the player if Mordred continues to be an example or subverts it.
  • Red Baron: The player can award special titles to his heroes, increasing their loyalty. Some titles have more affinity for certain heroes, such as "Guardian of the Lady" giving more loyalty to Old Faith aligned Heroes, while "Champion of the Faith" awards more to Christians. Each building in Camelot also has a special posting that gives a small bonus, Such as Grandmaster of the Round Table which decreases the costs of decrees. Some Heroes have traits that synergizes with certain titles. For example, Ector generates free dust for enchanting if put in charge of the Enchanter's Tower, while Sir Balan gets extra loyalty from the title "Defender of the Bridge" as said bridge is his ancestral home.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Even when played as Rightful, Mordred retains his barbed tongue and love for violence.
  • Shout-Out: In the Heart of the Deepwood the party can encounter a white rabbit surrounded by dead bodies. Mordred calls it the most vile and dangerous foe he's ever encountered.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Mordred, whose armor is covered in spikes.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Following tradition, Tristan and Isolde. She had to renounce her love to Tristan when she entered service to the Lady of the Lake. Then both were murdered by Arthur, and Isolde cursed into becoming a Banshee. When Isolde is freed, her soul can't remain on Avalon, and passes on. Tristan swears he'll find her again.
  • Stone Wall: The Defender class, like Sir Mordred, are the game's tank. Using one handed weapons and shields, they are heavily armored, deal medium to low damage, but have many skills to improve their armor, and several of their gear lets them force enemies to attack them. They have a charge skill that lets them get a sudden burst of speed and knock an enemy down (especially when upgraded, where Defenders can charge insane distances). Many of their ability let them debuff enemies, and the guard skill lets them enter overwatch for cheap with a damage boost. Sir Mordred has a variation of the class, eschewing some of the tanking skills but instead gaining hexes and powerful offensive magic to bolster his damage output.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
    • Several of the knights are rather critical of working with Mordred, and only do so because Arthur's an Eldritch Abomination and thus far worse. Sir Kay is the first example, but also Queen Guinevere, whom Mordred killed himself back in Britannia (her death is shown in the intro). The later is herself quite not pleased to work with Mordred, though she does mellow a bit if Mordred shows himself to now be more Rightful and wanting to atone for his past.
    • The Lady of the Lake herself is pretty open about how her having to raise Mordred in Avalon wasn't exactly her favorite option, but rather her only one.
    • The White Knight dislikes Old Faith followers so much that his loyalty is reduced for each Old Faith knight in the Round Table.
  • Tin Tyrant: Mordred, in his backstory, and should he retain a tyrannical alignment.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist:
    • Sir Ector is now of a tyrannical alignment, as what happened to Avalon clearly broke him. Now, in his own words, he's willing to do anything to save Camelot, including killing innocent people, or raising the dead bodies of knights of the round table.
    • In some of his ambient dialogue, and in his bio, Mordred is depicted as this, that he saw Camelot under Arthur as utterly flawed.