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Video Game / Protect Me Knight

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Princess Lola's misfit ensemble of heroes protecting her and Magicadia.Who? 
"Save me... my hero! Defeat f$%kin' goblins!"
— Princess Lola during the introduction sequence

Protect Me KnightJP  is an indie Tower Defense game by Yuzo Koshiro's team of game developers at Ancient with Yuzo composing the game's music. The game pays homage to the classic 8-bit days of gaming with NES-styled visuals and MIDI chiptune music. The game's start-up sequence even has the player attempting to get the cartridge to work by blowing into it (you however can skip this sequence to avoid any frustration of getting into the game).

The premise is simple: Pick one of four character classes — the Fighter, the Mage, the Amazon, or the Ninja — and protect your cute, happy-go-lucky Princess from harm as you escort her back to her castle at Kingdom Magicadia. The problem: everything is trying to kick her cute little butt. All sorts of enemies, from goblins, zombies, minotaurs, demons, and even mischievous succubi, will have at you for defending the Princess. If that wasn't enough, dragons, giant lizard men, and other bosses will show up on occasions to stomp down anyone and anything in their path. Luckily, our brave heroes can fight off these enemies with their weapons of choice and special abilities, and by spending Love Points, they can unleash a wide-area attack. Unlike other tower defense games, players can also move the Princess out of harm's way and to set up barricades in exchange for Love Points around her if things way out of hand. Up to four players can either participate in the Arcade Mode where they advance through progressively difficult stages and use the leftover Love Points to level up their hero's abilities, or the Survival Mode to test their ability to withstand an endless wave of enemies.


The game was released to Xbox LIVE on May 14, 2010 under its Japanese name in the Xbox LIVE Indie Games section for $2.99. Unfortunately, after the Xbox LIVE Indie Games purge of 2017, the game is no longer available anymore. An old PC demo of Protect Me Knight can be still downloaded however on the game's Japanese website here.note 

A sequel called Protect Me Knight with Everyone: The Princess' Heart-throbbing RhapsodyJP  was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on September 2014. After the Princess was rescued thanks to the efforts of the Gotta Protectors, a mysterious new threat emerges to threaten the realm of Magicadia. The game expands on the gameplay elements of its predecessor, introduces two new characters, Old Guy and Archer, features the ability to share and play user-created maps through QR codes, and post-release DLC such as an alternate FM synth soundtrack and M.S.S Project collaboration expansion. On July 28, 2016, it was localized in North America under the name of Gotta Protectors with the FM soundtrack DLC. On September 7, 2017, to celebrate the three year anniversary of the Japanese release of the sequel, an "auto runner" mini-game called Gotta Protectors: Amazon's Running DietJP  was released for free on the sequel's Japanese pagenote , in the form of .NES files which can be used in Famicom/NES emulators.


A third installment, known in Japanese as Susume!! Mamotte Knight: Hime no Totsugeki Serenade (すすめ!!まもって騎士 姫の突撃セレナーデ) was released for Nintendo Switch on October 10, 2019, with an English version released on April 14, 2022 release under the name Gotta Protectors: Cart of Darkness. The gimmick this time around is that the Princess's castle has become mobile due to being placed on a railcart, and the Gotta Protectors must protect the castle as it traverses the tracks in a collision course with the enemy fortress. It streamlines the gameplay elements introduced in the previous game while promoting Lola's brother Prince Mars and the Oracle as playable characters. Post-release DLC packs this time around not only gave players even more retro soundtrack options, but also includes their own bonus scenarios and additional skill sets for certain characters.

The Protect Me Knight series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Low Level Cap: In Gotta Protectors, a player can level up during battles at the castle in exchange for gold, but the level cap is locked at Lv. 10 and resets afterwards. The Excel auto-ability however can lift this limitation during battles once learned and equipped. The Shoppe and Dojo also cap out at Lv. 9.
  • Absurdly High Level Cap: The Guardian Banner and castle defenses however in Gotta Protectors have a level cap of Lv. 99. A player's initial playthrough would usually have them boosted to around the Lv. 20-30 range.
  • Achievement System: This feature is present in Gotta Protectors as "Awards", but it's only visible after you cleared the game for the first time. Many of the in-game achievements include "Defeat X boss with Y character on Z difficulty" and "Level up X facility to Lv.XX". Completing these Awards will expand the number of available tracks that can be heard in the unlockable Sound Test.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the NES era of video games, while the sequels adds in some references to 80's Japanese pop-culture.
  • All There in the Manual: Gotta Protectors's plot is quickly summed up in the in-game manual on the bottom screen in a few quick sentences.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Subverted with the Amazon due to her lack of muscular features and sometimes portrayed as having a plump physique.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: Parodied with the game's "packaging" to reflect the box-art of old NES games such as the original NES Mega Man. Take a gander at the English box-art and its Japanese one.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In the spirit of classic video games released on cartridges, the player is greeted with a player within the game trying to blow the game's cartridge and inserting it into the console, which may or may not run the game. However, the player can easily press Start to skip this scene.
  • Anti-Hoarding: The value of Gold in Gotta Protectors gradually diminishes as the player continuously defeats the same enemy over and over again.
  • Art Evolution: The sequel has some visual improvements over its predecessor with some extra details in the sprite work while retaining the 8-bit flair, and the cast from the previous games also feature such improvements and more use of colors in their character portraits as well.
  • Auto-Save: The sequel automatically saves progress in between battles and operating around the town.
  • Barbarian Hero: The Fighter, complete with an axe and an upgradable Spin Attack.
  • Bare Your Midriff: The Amazon, thanks to her Chainmail Bikini, and the succubi who are sporting equally skimpy outfits. The Mage and the Princess in the game's parodied packaging also show off their midriff.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: The Amazon is often portrayed with a chubby figure, even moreso in the sequel and Gotta Protectors: Amazon's Running Diet, yet she is as cute as she is powerful.
  • Black Magician Girl: The Mage, and she specializes in fire magic. In the sequel, she also gets other element magic.
  • Blade Spam: The Amazon's combo finisher has her stabbing with her spear in quick succession. Prince Mars also does this with his rapier attacks and it can be used to traverse areas quicker than his standard movement speed.
  • Blush Sticker: Many of the female characters have these as well as the Prince in Gotta Protectors.
  • Charged Attack: In Protect Me Knight, players can expend some of their Love Points to perform a Smart Bomb attack to damage enemies surrounding them. This ability returns in Gotta Protectors, however this attack is gained from defeating enemies, clearing them in quick succession can build up power faster, and each class have a unique version of their charged attack.
  • Cheat Code: In Protect Me Knight, entering ↑ ← ↓ → ↓ ↑ → ← at the Title Screen will make all characters have maxed out skills. This cheat also appears in Gotta Protectors, but must be done at the Castle Menu screen, and inputting the same code again will deactivate the cheat.
  • Continuing is Painful: The game doesn't end of the players' character is defeated by the enemy, but they do lose some Love Points when they respawn. This is even less forgiving in Gotta Protectors as they lose half of their accumulated gold in battle, and in Cart of Darkness 5,000 points are also deducted from their stage score every time a character is defeated.
  • Continuity Nod: Princess Lola's musical career is referenced in the sequel at the castle's town square with a sign advertising her new single, Love for Me.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Those with extra controllers can play cooperatively together in Protect Me Knight. Gotta Protectors also feature co-operatively gameplay either through local wireless connection with other players with the game or through 3DS Download Play for those without it which they are limited to using the Fighter and Mage with preset abilities.
  • Damsel in Distress: Princess Lola, and it's your job to protect her after rescuing her from the goblin army.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If a player is defeated by the enemies, they'll soon respawn shortly after, however, if Princess Lola were to be defeated, then its Game Over from there.
  • Difficulty Levels: Protect Me Knight has the difficulty levels of Easy, Normal, Hard, and Hell, each varying on which types of mobs will encounters and how many the game throws at you. Gotta Protectors and Cart of Darkness only have Easy and Normal from the beginning, though higher difficulty levels can be unlocked after meeting certain conditions.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: Or bow rather with the Archer in the second game, as she cannot move while shooting her bow. In the third game, however, she can move while using normal attacks with her bow but not with her special skills.
  • Downloadable Content: Averted in the first game, but Gotta Protectors features two DLCs, an FM synth music pack and, only in Japan, a collaboration pack with M.S.S Project. Cart of Darkness has four DLC packs, each consisting of alternate retro soundtracks, a bonus scenario, and new skill sets for two characters.
  • Doppelgänger Attack: The Ninja can upgrade his attacks to use one in Protect Me Knight.
  • Endless Game:
    • Survival Mode in the first game, where you fight many waves of enemies and your heroes randomly gets an upgrade after completing a wave. This mode returns in the sequel.
    • Gotta Protectors: Amazon's Running Diet is an endless runner where you try to keep the Amazon hydrated as long as possible as she runs through the plains.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The main characters of the game are generally named after their profession, however, the Princess did eventually get an actual name as Lola in Gotta Protectors. The Prince also named as Mars in Cart of Darkness.
  • Everything Is Trying To Kill You and The Princess: Goblins, the undead, demons, dragons, and more want a piece of her and you if you get in their way.
  • Excuse Plot: All you need know about the first game is that our heroes rescued the Princess from goblins and are trying to return her to her castle. The sequel however have cutscenes with the protagonists and the Four Fiends to flesh them out, but still ultimately boils down to "stop the evil monsters from taking over the kingdom".
  • Expository Theme Tune: The sequel's opening theme, aptly-named "GOTTA PROTECTORS", describes what the Gotta Protectors team are about as well as what to expect from the gameplay in an anime-styled theme song.
  • Fantasy Character Classes: The games' heroes as follows:
  • Fairy Sexy: Chrysalis and Pupa in Gotta Protectors, two cute and scantly-clad fairies that run the Choppe Shoppe whom named after the third metamorphosis stage of a caterpillar.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: An attack upgrade for the Mage allows her to fire a stream of flames from her staff and becomes a combo finisher for her in the sequel. The Old Guy gets a similar attack with the Potty Maw auto-ability.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: The sequel features the ability to add fire, ice, and lightning elemental spells that can either burn enemies overtime, freeze them to hinder their mobility, or stun them prevent them from acting respectively. These effects can be added to your basic attacks with the elemental-fend abilities, which can also provide resistance to them as well.
  • Five-Man Band:
    • The Gotta Protectors, the heroes of this series protecting the kingdom as well as Princess Lola.
    • The Four Fiends, the main antagonists from Gotta Protectors, whom are lead by the princess of all monsterkind.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Ninja is one of the fastest characters but has weak defense. The Archer in the sequel is fairly quick as well and have abilities that allow her to attack wide-spread of enemies and/or shoot over walls, but her attack strength and durability's also weaker than some of the other classes. Prince Mars can dart around levels with this fast rapier attacks and has access to magic attacks, but also can't take much punishment compare to the other characters.
  • Gainax Ending: At the end of the Arcade Mode in the first game, it ends with our four heroes and Princess Lola putting on a concert show at her castle, with the Princess as the Idol Singer, the Barbarian and Amazon playing the guitar, the Mage on keyboard, and the Ninja playing the drums.
  • Girlish Pigtails: The weakest variant of the succubus have them.
  • Glass Cannon: The Mage, who can be an efficient damage dealer but can't take much punishment herself.
  • Genki Girl: The succubi. They are upbeat about shooting magical energy (and later fire) at the Princess and anyone protecting her.
  • Harder Than Hard: These games have an extra Hell difficulty above Hard, where players face off much more powerful and aggressive enemies than the previous difficulties.
  • Have a Nice Death: If Princess Lola is defeated in Gotta Protectors, you'll be greeted with the message "Lola's shriek blasted the world apart." In Cart of Darkness, the continue screen features the word "Shriekageddon".
  • Healing Factor: One of the Mage's MP upgrades lets her regenerate HP as long as her MP meter is full.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: The Ninja, and he's not afraid to provide some eye-candy for the ladies.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: The game parodies the poor Japanese-to-English translations commonly found in some Japanese NES games localized to English-speaking territories.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: If the Amazon runs out of stamina in Gotta Protectors: Amazon's Running Diet, she falls down on her butt, then the game cuts to a scene of the Earth exploding in half with a "Game Over -Falling Ass Bomb-" message, accompanied with Game Over music from the first game. The mood is also lightened by the game letting the player know to buy Gotta Protectors on the 3DS eShop.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Amazon, who has balanced stats all around.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The Ninja's go-to weapon.
  • Kill Streak: In Gotta Protectors, a combo meter appears when the player take down enemies in quick succession which also boosts the amount of gold they'll give out, but it also goes down faster with each kill (e.g. a combo around ~30 enemies will drop at an average rate while a combo at ~200 enemies will drop in less than a second).
  • Level Editor: The sequel features a map editor that allows players to create their own levels and share them with the community via QR codes.
  • Life Drain: One of the Amazon's upgrades in the first game lets her absorb the damage she deals to her enemies.
  • Mooks: And they come in these varieties.
    • Cute Monster Girl: The succubi wants ruin the Princess' day.
    • Degraded Boss: Bosses fought in one stage such as the Minotaurs and Dark Knights become common enemies later.
    • Elite Mooks: Usually the third palette swapped version of the enemies.
    • The Grim Reaper: The Ghost type enemies, which also cast fire magic.
    • Night of the Living Mooks: Did we mention the undead are also after the Princess?
    • Smash Mook: The goblins, the very same goblins the Princess wants you to "f$%kin' defeat".
  • Mighty Glacier: The Fighter is somewhat slower than the other classes but has powerful attacks and high HP.
  • Mini-Game Credits: In Protect Me Knight, players can operate the pyrotechnics of the Princess' concert during the credits to blow up the audience of goblins and minotaurs.
  • Mook Maker:
    • On occasions, a goblin-like UFO appears to spew more goons for our heroes to tackle in Protect Me Knight. The Goblin King will spew goblins for you to deal with.
    • In Gotta Protectors, the game features enemy generators, which either resembles the enemy type they spawn or a symbol. These were also carried into Cart of Darkness.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The Ninja, clad in mask and a thong and not much else. In the trailer of Gotta Protectors, there's a portrait of the Ninja wearing a sling bikini.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Amazon and the succubi. The Mage and Princess are depicted as one in the parodied Japanese and U.S. packaging respectively.
  • Mystical White Hair: The Princess in the parodied U.S. packaging, except in the game her hair is actually purple.
  • No Fourth Wall: The sequel features the player blowing into the cartridge again, except this time the player can literally blow into the microphone of the 3DS to blow into the cartridge. Princess Lola also talks directly to the player in Gotta Protectors during gameplay on the touch screen or in the map editor.
    [the player examining the fence decoration in the Map Editor]
    Princess Lola: "You'd think these fences would make for good barricades. I mean, look at those pixels! ...Sorry, what? ...What's a 'Fourth Wall'?"
  • Palette Swap: In true old-school fashion, enemies come in different palettes. Players can also change their color palettes before starting a game as well.
  • Playing with Fire: The Mage and most of the enemies of the first game abuse fire-based attacks.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Cart of Darkness starts up with the game having a static and distorted screen of Ancient's logo similarly to an old CRT TV set with a busted signal and the player must move a cursor around and press the A button to hit the screen in order to get the signal working.
  • Retraux:
    • The series features classic 8-bit visuals and chiptune music that wouldn't be out of place within the Famicom/NES era. The players can even construct their faux Famicom/NES box for the first game. Get the print-outs here.
    • Gotta Protectors features a digital in-game manual on the 3DS's bottom screen while at the kingdom's gates, which the player can flip through using the touch screen or the shoulder buttons, which progressively gets worn and dirtier as pages are flipped through. It also provides a throwback to FM synth music commonly heard on the Sega Genesis with the FM Soundpack DLC.
    • The third game, Cart of Darkness, goes even further with its suite of soundtrack DLCs, composed using real hardware of classic 8-bit and 16-bit consoles, handhelds, and the PC-88, players can treat themselves to FM synthesis (Mega Drive/Genesis, PC-88), Famicom Disk System and VRC6 (the soundchip used in Akumajou Densetsu), Game Boy, WonderSwan, and Super Famicom/Nintendo styled renditions of the game's music. There's also an option to toggle 8-bit voice sample compression.
  • RPG Elements: In the Arcade Mode, the leftover Love Points that weren't used or lost can be spent to upgrade your heroes' abilities. This gets expanded on in Gotta Protectors as players can gain food and materials to craft newer weapons, gain new skills (both usable in battle and passive abilities), upgrade said weapons and skills, and use gold to improve facilities around the town square, power-up the castle's defense, and improves Princess Lola's supportive abilities. Cart of Darkness simplifies the mechanics in the previous game where Gold can be spent to unlock skill sets for each character, upgrade the castle, or donate it to the town square, while players can level up various cartridges they can discover throughout the game.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: In the first game, Princess Lola doesn't do much outside standing around and looking cute while giving players extra Love Points when players do well. In the second game, she can use the Guardian Banner to heal the player when they're next to her, and after reaching a high enough level, use magic to attack enemies at certain intervals. In the third game, it's required for Lola to be in a mobilized castle cart in order to wreck the enemy's fortress, but she can also heal players like in the previous game. Prince Mars in the third game can also fight alongside the Gotta Protectors.
  • Save the Princess: It's what the first game's plot is all about.
  • Scenery Porn: The background in Gotta Protectors: Amazon's Running Diet is impressively detailed with a wonderful 8-bit reflection of the mountains shown on the lake.
  • Serial Escalation: The original Protect Me Knight was a simplistic tower defense-styled game little in the way of a story, whereas Gotta Protectors expands the core gameplay of the original, made robust changes to the RPG elements, features larger expansive maps, and a much more narrative-driven story that parodies old-school video games and pop-culture. Cart of Darkness downplays this as many of the concepts and mechanics introduced in the last game are simplified and the gameplay resembles its first installment.
  • She's Got Legs: The Mage, as depicted in the parodied Japanese boxart, as well as the in-game depictions of the Amazon and Succubi enemies.
  • Show Within a Show: One of the artworks that appear on the touch screen during the Results Screen in Gotta Protectors features an in-universe anime called "Barbarian Princess Amazonia", which features the Amazon in a magical girl-esque costume with a pig-like animal side-kick, which airs on AncientTV on Fridays at 5 PM / 4 PM Central Time.
  • Smart Bomb: In Protect Me Knight, players can use some of their Love Points to perform a smart bomb attack against enemies.
  • Sound Test: One is immediately available in Protect Me Knight from the title screen. It returns in Gotta Protectors but it needs to be unlocked first and many tracks must be unlocked by earning Awards in the game. Cart of Darkness has a music player that's immediately available but the music tracks are unlocked as the player progresses through the game.
  • Stat Meters:
    • Awesomeness Meter: The Princess' Heart Meter, which gives you extra Love Points for doing well in battle. The sequel substitutes this by allowing players to gain a powerful charged attack from Princess Lola by filling the Heart Meter.
    • Life Meter: The HP meter.
    • Mana Meter: The MP meter.
  • Stone Wall: Old Guy is even slower than the other classes but he can tank much more punishment.
  • Stripperiffic: The Amazon and the succubi. The Ninja serves a male equivalent to this. The Mage and the Princess also wear revealing outfits respectively in the game's parodied Japanese and English packaging.
  • Timed Mission: Players must clear the stage within a time limit of 999 seconds in the sequel, otherwise they'll be swarmed by powerful demons when the timer reaches 0.
  • Title Scream: Moving the cursor to the sequel's game icon on the 3DS Home Menu will cause the Princess to say the game's Japanese name.
  • Toilet Humor: A signpost in Gotta Protectors and Cart of Darkness has a picture resembling a piece of poop in the "mud" terrain, and in the former, there's a Bonus Chance roulette sequence after clearing a level, there are pink turds that give the players nothing if their cursor lands on one. The Old Guy's "steed" is a horse potty.
  • Video Game Dashing: The Dash skill in the second and third game allows characters to quickly dash around the area in any direction but it consumes MP.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Try "Walking In Your Thong of Shielding Scene" as the Ninja in the first game.
  • Zerg Rush: A common tactic from the enemies as they fight their way through your defense in order to harm the Princess.