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Video Game / King's Knight

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King's Knight was one of the first video games published and developed by Square Co., Ltd. Rather than an RPG as it's more famously known for today, King's Knight was a fantasy-themed vertical-scrolling Shoot 'Em Up. It was released on the Famicom and then ported to the MSX in 1986, and then released on the NES in North America in 1989.

An evil dragon has kidnapped the princess of the kingdom of Izander. A group of four heroes (Rayjack, a valiant knight; Kaliva, a wise wizard; Barusa, a dragon-esque monster; and Toby, a swift thief) are called upon to rescue her. Each of the four heroes starts out by traveling through his own training stage in order to defeat monsters and obtain power-ups for the final confrontation. Once the four have completed their individual journeys, they fight as a group as they make one last charge through the dragon's castle in order to slay the dragon and restore peace to the land.

Thirty years after its initial release, Square Enix released a sequel on iOS and Android devices titled King’s Knight: Wrath of the Dark Dragon, which can also be played in Final Fantasy XV as an in-universe mobile game Noctis and company play.

King's Tropes:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: On the boxart of the original, Rayjack was depicted as a typical anime-style teen in golden armor. Fast forward thirty years to Wrath of the Dark Dragon, and Ray Jack is now a dashing young man with ridiculously cool armor and an even more ridiculously cool BFS.
  • Adaptational Name Change: In the sequel Rayjack is now Ray Jack.
  • Aerith and Bob: The first three characters have exotic names compared to Toby.
  • Cheat Code: If you make it to the final stage but get a game over, you can press Select on the title screen to bring up a status menu. This menu allows you to check on each character's abilities and retry specific stages to power up select characters and pick up any magic symbols you may have previously missed.
  • Cap: A character's level is determined by how many power-ups he collects during his stage. The maximum is 20 (seven speed-up icons, seven jump icons, three power-up icons, and three defense-up icons).
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief (and Monster)
  • Heart Container: Up-arrow icons increase your Life Meter...
    • Poison Mushroom: while Down-arrow icons decrease it. And they can kill you if you accidentally grab one when your health is low.
  • In a Single Bound: It's possible for your characters to jump super-high with the appropriate number of Jump Boost power-ups, but mechanically it doesn't mean much since there are only two elevation levels for overworld terrain.
  • Limit Break: Wrath of the Dark Dragon enables each of the characters to perform destructive special attacks.
  • Luck-Based Mission: In the final level where you control all your characters, you cannot switch between them manually. You have to walk over tiles that change the party order. Most of them do so at random, meaning you can be frantically running across tiles trying to get Toby in front only to find the game cycling to one of the other three.
  • Nintendo Hard: The game basically requires pin-precision perfection. No one must die and you have to unlock spells by visiting tough secret rooms. It's short but brutally hard.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: You can shoot and destroy the environment for power-ups.
  • Retraux: Wrath of the Dark Dragon, in addition to featuring the updated designs for the protagonists, also features their 8-bit versions as playable characters.
  • Save the Princess: The plot of both the original and the sequel.
  • Unwinnable by Design / We Cannot Go On Without You: In order to access the final scenario, at least one of your characters must survive their training stage. In order to actually beat it, all four must survive and collect all four of the magic symbols for Toby and Barusa's spells (Rayjack and Kaliva's spells aren't required, but are helpful).