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Video Game / Kingsley's Adventure

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Kingsley's Adventure is a cutesy action-platformer developed and released by Psygnosis for the PlayStation in 1999. Its plot centers around Kingsley, a vulpine "Apprentice True Knight" adopted by a royal pair of rabbits who sets out to protect the Fruit Kingdom from Bad Custard and retrieve the Queen's stolen book of magics. On his quest, Kingsley finds himself having to free several fellow True Knights from Bad Custard's thrall.

Essentially a colorful platformer that plays a bit like Crash Bandicoot and The Legend of Zelda. It's garnered a cult following for its endearing characters and settings.

Amazingly, the official website used to be up for many years after game's release, and contained some developer commentary and Back Story.

This game contains examples of:

  • 1-Up: Can be found in chests or just sitting around sometimes. Additionally, gathering 50 coins nets Kingsley a 1UP.
  • All There in the Manual: The game's manual spends the first few pages noting that Kingsley's an orphan being raised by the rabbit king and queen, Kingsley's father was a True Knight which is why Kingsley wants to be one, Old Wrinkle the badger's origins are unknown but he is Kingsley's trainer, and a little bit about Bad Custard poisoning the king and queen before he was driven off. The game's opening cinematic reduces it to "Bad Custard cursed the kingdom and created the Dark Knights, and Kingsley's gonna be the one to stop it".
  • A Taste of Power: You get to try out the extremely useful crossbow during the training course at the beginning, but you don't receive your own crossbow until much later.
  • Armor Is Useless: The armor you get from Briny Jim doesn't actually protect you from anything.
  • Badass Adorable: Kingsley
  • Beating A Dead Player: Clarence Darklord Jr. will keep slashing Kingsley's corpse if he's nearby. Averted for all other enemies and bosses.
  • Big Bad: Bad Custard is an overgrown rodent disguised as a chef at Carrot Castle. He stole Queen Angelica's book of magic and used his dark wizardry to corrupt the Fruit Kingdom's champions into mindless servants in a pretty standard bid to dominate the lands.
  • Block Puzzle: Rarer than the Lock and Key Puzzle, but they do show up and tend to take a while to sort out.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: And axe, and dagger.
  • Bullfight Boss: Literally with Judas the Minotaur, and how you make him open to attacking without getting yourself hurt. There's even flamenco-style music to go along with it!
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Lenny, the resident jester, is terrible with jokes. Indeed, Lenny admits he only does juggling.
  • Checkpoint: Shown as stylized paw prints, and usually placed in the middle of the tougher obstacle courses.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: Played with. Water or lava damage takes you back to the last safe place you were standing. Dying and losing a life takes you back to the last "checkpoint" in the dungeon. Losing all your lives in a dungeon takes you back to the beginning of the dungeon itself.
  • Chest Monster: Although it's not the chest itself that attacks you - sometimes you'll open one to discover that it's full of scorpions. On rare occasions, a chest will turn out to be a bomb.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: All bosses are immune to the crossbow (annoying, since they always seem to prefer whatever corner of the arena you're not in) except for one flying boss that can only be hit with the crossbow.
    • Strangely, Clarence Darklord Jr. can be hurt with the crossbow. Unfortunately, he's the boss you have to beat to get the crossbow, so that's only of use if you have a GameShark lying around.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Kingsley can be standing on a rock that barely fits him inches from a river of lava and he doesn't even get singed unless he falls in it.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Kingsley is just stated to be an orphan. Never is it mentioned where his real parents are or what fate they met. Though given what Bad Custard is doing to the Fruit Kingdom, one might not want to think about it too much...
  • Corridor Cubbyhole Run: Twice - first in Lighthouse Point with giant rolling barrels, and again in Reggie's Castle with stone cylinders.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: The True Knight gear apparently bestows abilities like Super-Strength and In a Single Bound, yet these aren't part of standard gameplay and are only used once each to reach some of the later bosses' hideouts.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kingsley. Not so much towards the king and queen, almost constantly towards the bosses and even to the standard civilians, even while he's constantly jumping in to save them when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Disney Villain Death: Bad Custard bites it by falling three stories into a boiling cauldron.
  • Dreamworks Face: Even though he's a thorough Nice Guy, Kingsley has a vaguely-cocky smirk on the boxart. Even in-game, it's his default expression.
  • Ear Notch: Kingsley has one from the very beginning, indicating that he's regular fighter even before his knight training (which might explain why his adoptive parents have no objection to him flinging himself into mortal peril).
  • Evil Chef: Bad Custard wears a chef hat at all times, and fights with a soup spoon when he's not flinging Queen Angelica's magic at you. His arena is a giant kitchen, to boot.
  • Face-Design Shield: A fox's face, of course.
  • Falling Damage: Rare, but when it happens, it stings.
  • Flunky Boss: The final Dark Knight has a bunch of bees in the area. They can be hit, but they can sting back for a whopping 3 hearts of damage per hit (the most a normal enemy might is 1.5, the most a boss will do is 2) and are best avoided.
  • Follow the Money: Besides the standard jump-here-arc-of-coins, some coins are also switches that open doors when picked up.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: There's an abbey with monks who concern themselves with brewing root-beer. The level music uses sounds of spoons hitting bottles and bottle-blowing. The king and queen even wonder if they've been getting too rowdy because of it. Make of that what you will.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The Catacombs is a relatively simple dungeon, with only five rooms arranged in a cross. You fight Clarence Darklord Jr. in the middle room, and exit via the south. If you go north after the fight, Novice Tim reappears in the room where you fight Clarence Darklord Jr. and gives the dialogue he had in the main abbey and it locks you in the catacombs, forcing you to restart.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The residents of Sea Town are all too afraid to approach the pirate Gallagher because he's guarded by the crocodile Rex. Rex is, in fact, the Dark Knight, and your approach takes you directly to Gallagher while Rex must be come back and fought after you complete the next area (Poorluck Village).
  • Gravity Barrier: Mostly outdoors - all towns are surrounded by cliffs, water, or cliffs with water at the bottom - though some of the dungeons do get vertical enough to bring this into play.
  • Grimy Water: It ranges from ordinary tainted water to roiling green acid, although it's all functionally identical to regular water.
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Boss patterns tend to be predictable and regular, and once figured out are easy to know when to block, dodge, and attack. The dungeons themselves occasionally have places with frame-perfect timing, tricky platforming puzzles, irritating enemy and pitfall locations, and lock-and-key puzzles that are annoying at best, and as such are more likely to burn through your lives as a result.
  • Hearts Are Health: Kingsley can find big Hearts in chests to restore his health.
  • Hollywood Voodoo: Rex has this motif.
  • Improbable Accessory Effect: You got an upgrade for your shield! Surely this must improve your defensive abilities, right? Nope, it summons giant floating gemstones to use as stepping stones. But only in one spot in the whole world.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Although doors require specific keys, any chest key can be used on any locked chest. All keys, door and chest alike, are destroyed when used.
  • It's Up to You: Never mind the army of guards in the castle or the other knights you save. Only Kingsley gets to go be heroic. That being said...
  • Jumped at the Call: Kingsley's very eager to be a True Knight, and will jump to the aid of almost any civilian and will fight every boss without hesitation.
  • Kid Hero: Kingsley's exact age isn't stated, but he's obviously no older than twelve.
  • Lava Pit: Plenty in Snuff's lair. Bad Custard's castle is suspended over the crater of a volcano.
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: Count on searching for at least five keys in each dungeon.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: But not from projectiles.
  • Missing Secret: Many of the outdoor areas have only a few points of interest despite being rather large, most notably Lighthouse Point, Aphasia, and Skull Island.
  • One-Hit Kill: Exactly two things in the game can kill Kingsley no matter how much health he has left - falling off a high place, and falling into Bad Custard's cauldron. The latter is basically impossible to do by accident.
  • Perpetual Smiler: As mentioned above, Kingsley always has a confident grin on his face and virtually never breaks it, even while being riddled with arrows, crushed by boulders, or sinking into lava.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: Kingsley takes out enemies many times his own height and mass, despite being a cute little fox kit. Most bosses are almost three times Kingsley's height.
  • Quick Melee: Pressing the attack button while near a spider, crab, or similar small crawly monster will make Kingsley kick it regardless of what weapon he's holding.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: King Marius and Queen Angelica are pretty sensible rulers, if a little inactive. Probably justified by the fact that anyone outside the castle grounds is a target for Bad Custard's magic. According to the game's manual, they also were poisoned by Bad Custard not to long prior to the game's events, so they might be a little weakened but still attentive to the needs and threats of the kingdom.
  • Retired Badass: Old Wrinkle might qualify, as Kingsley is asked to see him for his knightly training.
  • Sequence Breaking: You can wait until you beat all the dungeons once and experience the True Knight ceremony to go back and do all the Dark Knights. You don't have to, though, and can go back as soon as you have the requisite item.
  • Skewed Priorities: Two of the Dark Knights. The first is an eagle who was turned into a condor and thought the whole experience was a nightmare about him going bald. The second is a bear who turned into a bulldog and hid himself in a honeycomb, and now considers it torture if he has to look at the stuff again.
  • Soft Water: A rare combination with Super Drowning Skills - falling from a high place into water will only deal the water damage, whereas falling from a high place into lava or acid will not negate the fall damage.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Any bodies of water deeper than Kingsley's shins send him warping back to the spot he walked from with reduced health.
  • Speaking Simlish: Everyone just makes cute noises whenever dialogue occurs.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement : The first half of the game entails collecting the True Knight's gear, which has been intentionally hidden across the kingdom as a test for apprentices.
  • Tank Controls: Crosses into Fake Difficulty as it makes things a bit challenging when trying to position yourself to attack enemies and block their attacks in return. Especially when dealing with the slippery parts of the platforming sections.
  • Turns Red: Played with. Boss strategies change when they're down to 1/3 of their health or less. They actually lose most of their moveset (e.g.: Gallagher stops firing his cannons, Clarence Darklord stops flying, etc.), in exchange for directly attacking Kingsley and having a slightly less-open window to retaliate if you block them.
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: All bosses, and most minor enemies, will laugh at Kingsley if they kill him.
  • Villainous Glutton: Snuff the dragon, who has eaten everything out of Poorluck Village except the spinach.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Captain Gallagher is the first enemy with a ranged attack that cannot be blocked by your shield. His boss arena also makes it difficult to hit him if you haven't mastered the awkward movement controls. He also blocks more than the standard enemy.
  • Warp Zone: Foxholes (which look more like brick pipes dug down into the ground) are used in the castle basement and courtyard to warp to each of the worlds.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Kingsley's an adorable fox-cub and the hero. He protects the good people of Fruit Kingdom ruled mostly by rabbits. The bosses are a walrus, a dragon, a vampire bat, and a weasel. The Dark Knights are a frog turned into a crocodile, a rabbit turned into a minotaur, an eagle turned into a condor/vulture, and a bear turned into a bulldog. The game's main villain, Bad Custard, is a particularly nasty-looking rat.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Two are played for comedy back-to-back.
    • After defeating Snuff, Kingsley says his defeat served him right for stealing all the food. Snuff is offended by this and counters with the fact that Kingsley mortally wounded him.
    • When returning the food Snuff's been stealing to Poorluck Village, a young girl praises Kingsley for his efforts. Kingsley takes it proudly until the girl mentions she can have all the chocolate he wants, at which point Kingsley invokes this on himself by muttering some regret about defeating Snuff.