King’s Knight [RETRO GAMES REVIEW]

Developer: Workss
Publisher: Square
Composer: Nobuo Uematsu
Platforms: Nintendo Entertainment System, MSX, NEC PC-8801mkII SR and Sharp X1
Genres: Action role-playing, Scrolling shooter
Mode: Single-player


King's Knight

Remember when you were in a game store and saw a cover game that made you interested to buy it which not to mention the price of its unreachable? When you bring that home and try it, what you get it doesn’t suit your expectations and you regret has thrown away your money. Over the past few years, King’s Knight became the game that one of them caused Squaresoft on the verge of bankruptcy and the birth of Final Fantasy witch you always know. This isn’t a typical RPG type of game with a visual that used anime style on its cover. However, this game gives you a lot more badness than that.

  • With simple plot but bad concept

The plot is really simple, using the same basic premise in every NES game in general. It follows the Princess Claire of Olthea who was kidnapped in the Kingdom of Izander and the player must choose one of the four heroes such as Ray Jack the knight, Kaliva the wizard, Barusa the monster, and Toby the thief. The player must be able to train all these heroes in order to attack the Gargatua Castle, defeat the evil dragon of Toldfida, and rescue the princess. With a plot that seems pretty simple, I’m not concerned about things like that but the names of these heroes are ridiculous. Ray Jack? Toby? Kaliva? Barusa? Are there no any names besides that? It’s kinda an uncommon name which is heard for the person’s name. Although the plot is almost exactly the same as Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, and other NES RPG games you’ve ever played, King’s Knight is different from the RPG games in general and the way it plays is also pretty complicated to explain.

  • Not self-explanatory for the 2D shooter games

King’s Knight takes place in the medieval fantasy world or something like that. With a plot that seems simple, the player originally played as a character where you don’t have to finish a level of whatever you die in one level or completed it. When the player dies in the first level, the game will not say ‘game over’ but you keep playing to the next level as the next heroes. You will do this thing as many as four times with heroes as I mentioned earlier with different levels in each. The player will find a variety of power-ups which are useful for increasing health, speed, attack, firepower, and etc. First time playing, you can’t tell which one is power up and which one decreases players stats. The icons are unreasonable and seemingly simple as the direction of the arrow up to increase health points and the arrow down to reduce the health points. You never knew anything the uses of these items are due to the icons that don’t really explain everything.

  • Toby is the worst

The fact that you play as four heroes, this game is also very difficult when you want to finish one level. The enemies come from different angles where it’s difficult to learn all of their patterns and the controls are somewhat stiff to be suppressed. When you shoot anything around your scenery, trees, and etc, it gives you a random item and sometimes which isn’t an item but an enemy that is also hard to react. Not to mention the various invisible wall that appears just like that when you approach, you’ll get stuck because the camera will run continuously where you can’t come back when you get stuck with invisible walls. Toby’s level is the worst of all because almost all of the environments are in the water and the slippery controls make the character difficult to master.

  • Four levels to the final level

While you play on one level, you’ll also find hidden dungeons where you will be given special power up when you successfully defeat the mini-boss within the level. It also makes your character become stronger and get some abilities as one of them is destroy invisible walls. It’s not self-explanatory with the powers up because you don’t know what the purpose of all of it’s just because the icons are not self-explanatory. When you reach the final level, all the heroes you trained will be united in this last level. But you can never finish the level unless you manage to complete all four levels and save the four heroes so you can get to reach the final boss.

  • The decent soundtrack but bad visual

When you’ve completed four levels, four characters will be gathering and form a formation. The player is given an item in the form of a right and left direction, I don’t know what it means, which is useful for rotating one character to another character. This is just adding some difficulty because you become a big target when you want to avoid a small projectile from enemies. Also, when you use one character and switch to another character, the player’s health will remain the way where all four heroes are sharing all one healths which it just makes the player feels annoying. The soundtrack is decent and the visuals are bad. The soundtrack is just three of them such as one same music to four levels, one for the final level, and one for the secret level.

  • Conclusion

King’s Knight isn’t The Legend Of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Super Mario Brothers, or Chrono Trigger. With a simple but interesting concept, it fails only in various aspects which have many faults. The heroes name is ridiculous, the control is so stiff, it’s difficult on different levels, and the visuals are bad. Perhaps because this game is one of the causes Squaresoft make their last work called Final Fantasy before they closed. The soundtrack is decent but not too bad. The gameplay is easy when you’ve mastered all aspects of it. King’s Knight isn’t that bad but this game is on a different level when discussing the RPG genre. It’s not your typical shooter games but you can try it whatever the cost.

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