Knight Lore is one of those games which had achieved cult status on the Spectrum computer last year, when it was released by Ultimate.
Now, the revamped company is converting their older Spectrum listings onto the BBC Micros and Amstrad. Knight Lore is an excellent game, perhaps the best in its genre.
The story centres around an adventurer cursed with the terrible malady of Lycanthropism, that is turning into a Werewolf at night, and resuming his human characteristics in the day. In order to rid himself of this curse, he must first find the Wizard pacing around the room and cauldron bubbling away, emitting eerie messages in the form of ingredients for the Werewolf cure. Your task is to find the various 'treasures' which make up his cure.
Unfortunately, there are tasks within the adventure, involving walking in and around, over and under some of the most surreal obstacles I have ever met in a computer game.
For instance, very early on in the game, you have to take a treasure, surrounded by spiky balls (looking like the old world war 2 sea mines), as soon as the treasure is taken (a maximum of three at any time), then the balls start descending, normally landing on you!
Other characters, intent on stopping you reach your quest are Ghosts, Statues (looking like Rats with fangs!) and bouncing balls. *Very* stupid guards, on patrol duty, and animated cubes... all very weird!
Possibly the most annoying of all the characters, is a force field, which pushes you into the nearest spike/ball/opponent, and thus depletes one of your four lives. There are in total seven ingredients, and some dummy treasures, although these can be used to jump over obstacles.
As an adventurer, you can enter most rooms, including the Wizard's rooms and, the 'force field' room without being harmed. However as a Werewolf, you are immediately attacked by the force in the cauldron, and some of the spiky balls come down faster and the bouncing balls home-in on you, but you do have the advantage of being able to jump much longer distances, so the spiked floors are less of a hazard.
In comparison to the original version of the Spectrum, 'Knights Lore' is a well implemented game; it uses only two colours on the Beeb and three on the Amstrad, but the individual characters are well detailed, and move around smoothly.
The 'three dimensional graphics' are very good, giving an added feeling of space and room in the game, the boundaries of the castle in which you are exploring, are obviously ageing and falling apart, and the sound effects are good, if a little undemanding.
Knight Lore, is one of those games, which find the right balance, pulling together excellent graphics, a good story and a character; I must admit to being a Lycanthrophile (lover of Wolves) myself and the Werewolf is very good, especially when he goes 'flippo' between transformations!
A good game and highly recommended...