Commodore User

Defender Of The Crown

Author: Mark Patterson
Publisher: Cinemaware
Machine: Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #47

Defender Of The Crown

Defender Of The Crown was the first really big game on the Amiga. It combined brilliant graphics with the revolutionary Cinemawar to produce a totally amazing game, with one stumbling block; it was far too easy to complete. The C64 version though is in complete contrast when it comes to difficulty and playability. For probably one of the only times ever, the C64 is one up on the Amiga.

For all of you who don't yet know what Cinemaware is, it is the state of the art interactive movie, the inspiration for which derives from actual movies, and it works. It gives the game a distinctive feel, as you rush off rescuing Saxon maidens.

The rough plot to Defender Of The Crown is that the Normans now occupy most of the south of Britain, with the Saxons in the north. But the Saxon King has been assassinated, and with no heir to the throne the Saxon kingdom is in disarray. All this is told to you by Robin of Locksley (that's Robin Hood to you) who appears on one of many neat hi-res screens.

Defender Of The Crown

To start the game though, you must select one of the four Saxon barons with weird names like Wilfred and Wolfric. The computer will assign you a starting castle which, more often than not, is in the worst position (centre of the country surrounded by Normans). The best position is just on the eastern edge of Wales by Gloucester which pulls in seven gold pieces a month. It may not sound much, but when you're running out of armies, seven gold sovs is useful ackers.

A lot of things can happen during one game turn, the best being a distress call from a Saxon maiden. So if you've got an IQ greater than a jellyfish, you'll go and rescue here. After the usual one-on-one combat sequences, the computer informs you that you have rescued her and after a few weeks her gratitude turns to love. Now this is one of the best graphic sequences in the game. You get a three-quarter screen high piccie of you silhouetted against your fire in your bedroom, then on walks the girl you rescued. You move closer, then the icture changes to a large picture of the woman blinking (?): The another change, this time a rear view of her, and guess what? All her clothes fall off! After that you get a distance view of the bedroom window in which the figures come together and start snogging! Ooh-er, sounds a bit rude. State-of-the-art raunchiness.

When you attack an enemy castle, you get the familiar castle graphics with a view of your troops and their catapult in the foreground. As on the Amiga version, you can blast down the wall with boulders, but you can also launch a disease bomb over in the Commodore version. Fire bombs can be thrown over as well to demoralise and occasionally kill the soldiers in the enemy castle.

Defender Of The Crown

The tournament is still there as well, and to put it blantantly it's wicked, and apart from some colour changes, is just like the Amiga version, especially when the horses come together on the joust.

I shouldn't really dwell too much on comparisons with the Amiga version as really technically there is no comparison. But though I don't like to say it, I found the C64 version far more enjoyable, even with the graphic differences.

Although available on disk only, I'll still quote that age old corny line, it's worth getting a disk drive to get Defender Of The Crown - it's totally brilliant and one of the best games to date on the C64. It's deep, absorbing, addictive and amazing. In fact, it's the game your drive was made for.

Mark Patterson

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