Defender of the Crown was originally developed by Cinemaware for the Amiga 1000, to showcase its graphical prowess. It's one of the first games to combine role-playing, strategy and fighting gameplay elements! Defender Of The Crown was later developed for the other 16bits Atari ST, PC, Apple IIgs and the 8bits home computers computers Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and Spectrum ZX. There are also two console versions: one for the Philips CD-I and one for the Nintendo NES (developed in 1989).
STORY / GAMEPLAY The year is 1149. King Richard has just returned from the Crusades and granted the Knight honorable title to 6 men who aided him on his campaigns. Some years later, the King is murdered and the Holy Crown is lost. To save the Kingdom, you will severely test your skills, swordsman abilities and military leadership. But should you succeed you'll finally win the Crown of the Kingdom and the love of many beautiful damsels! Quite tempting don't you think? As a Saxon Knight, you take part on a strategy game aiming to gain power and find the lost Crown. You can choose your character among 4 different Knights, each with his own statistics, powers and weaknesses. The game is played on a UK medieval map where you can move your armies and conquer either Saxons' or Normands' territories. Read the map, plan your raids or even team up with Robin Hood and then plunder the enemy strongholds and slash your way through for valuable gold that's needed to build your army of mercenary vassals stronger. You can also participate in jousting tournaments to gain (or lose) new territories or to increase (or decrease) your fame! As a jousting hint, just steer your lance to the center of the opponent's shield and then press the fire button at the very last second. Still, your victory or defeat in jousting will depend on your character's abilities in these tournaments! Defender Of The Crown is a great game to play and if you haven't tried it yet, go on and do it. It surely needs some practice but if you finally master its moves and its gameplay style, it will grant you with some amazing gaming moments.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The game features great cinematic scenes when you raid and battle, with graphics that looked so amazing back in 1986. The ST version offers beautiful visuals with 16 colors on screen and they look pretty similar to the Apple IIGS version. Each indoor or outdoor scene has its own unique details. The raiding sequence takes you to a very detailed castle where a sword-fight takes place. The scene starts outdoors and then inside the castle’s rooms. Also, the jousting is on a first-person perspective where you aim the lance using the ST's mouse (or keys) towards the opponent that attacks you! In terms of quality, the differences with the original Amiga version are obvious (the Amiga handles 32 colors on screen) while there are also a few differences on the game's details when compared to the PC version running on EGA graphics mode. Note that on the Amiga version there are a few animated scenes that are missing from the ST, the PC and the IIGS versions. The game was an Amiga masterpiece back in the mid 80s but surely it's also among the best games for the Atari ST. The sound on the Atari ST is decent enough, with medieval tunes playing during gameplay, along with a variety of sampled sound effects (sword clangs etc).
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).