Old school gaming classic Defender of the Crown can be played for free
April 13, 2007 5:07 AM   Subscribe

Defender of the Crown can be played on the website of the game's original designers. You are a noble who must unite England by jousting, warring and rescuing pretty maidens. The king has been murdered, the crown has been stolen and as your bestest pal Robin Hood says, "only you can save England."
posted by Kattullus (37 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ahh, Defender of the Crown. It's amazing to think just how long graphics have been more important than gameplay in the computer games world.
posted by sien at 5:40 AM on April 13, 2007


Man, I loved this game as a kid. Loved loved loved. Was terrible at it, but hey.
posted by the dief at 5:42 AM on April 13, 2007


If you prefer your games more sophisticated there's Quest for the Crown. You'll probably need the strategy guide.
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:42 AM on April 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Goddammit! Shockwave!!!!!
posted by the dief at 5:43 AM on April 13, 2007


Le roi est mort! Vive le roi!
posted by oxford blue at 5:49 AM on April 13, 2007



Cinemaware always made good games. I recall Rocket Ranger and Sinbad being particularly fun when I was in High School.

Psygnosis also made some very cool games before being scooped up by Sony.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 5:54 AM on April 13, 2007


Nuts! I was just thinking about this game yesterday! I loved this game as much as I loved the one that had similar gameplay, but was based on the American Civil War (er... North & South maybe?)

It's insanely easy to beat though :(
posted by bifter at 5:58 AM on April 13, 2007


I'm never going to get all tingly about the attractive princesses again, but thanks.
posted by yerfatma at 6:01 AM on April 13, 2007


I remember playing this to death on my mate's Atari ST back in the day - even bought the remastered version last year. Still fun!
posted by prentiz at 6:08 AM on April 13, 2007


Cinemaware + Amiga = good times. I still have my Amiga and all of my old Cinemaware and Psygnosis games somewhere in the basement. I wonder if the disks are still good?
posted by MikeMc at 6:12 AM on April 13, 2007


the NES version of this blew chunks. The sword fighting scenes were unnecessarily hard. That didn't stop me from playing the crap out of it though.
posted by cosmicbandito at 6:36 AM on April 13, 2007


One of the first PC games I had. Never managed to get it to successfully load. Maybe I can finally get around to trying it!
posted by edd at 6:45 AM on April 13, 2007


It's amazing that 20 years later I still remember all the songs, all the heroes, and exactly how to play this game. It was an amazingly gorgeous game back in the day. Just the opening sequence looked astounding on an Amiga, especially to a kid whose previous computer was an Atari 800.

Plus, the princesses were hawt.
posted by Ljubljana at 6:52 AM on April 13, 2007


20 years later I still remember all the songs, all the heroes, and exactly how to play this game.

Except without the Amiga-key shortcuts to move the mouse pointer one pixel at a time, besieging castles will be a lot harder.

I bet you can still get out of the tedious jousting by kebabbing your first opponent's horse, though.
posted by dansdata at 7:20 AM on April 13, 2007


Noooo. The Sinbad music will be in my head all day!
posted by evilcolonel at 7:28 AM on April 13, 2007


You just made my Friday. What a great memory to be reminded of. It was pretty mind-blowing playing it at the time (Atari ST, not Amiga) but the passage of time does remind you that the gameplay wasn't all it might have been.
posted by greycap at 7:46 AM on April 13, 2007


Ah Cinemaware. I spent many hours playing Rocket Ranger (the flying part always frustrated me) and Sinbad. They also made a Three Stooges game, which if I remember correctly, was not very good.
posted by schleppo at 7:55 AM on April 13, 2007


Ah! I loved playing Defender of the Crown so very much. Could anyone actually win the jousting? It was near-impossible for me.
posted by WPW at 8:13 AM on April 13, 2007


I would have loved playing Defender of the Crown, but my Tandy 1000EX was too slow, and Electronics Boutique wouldn't let me return it. Thanks for satisfying my 19 year wait!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:21 AM on April 13, 2007


No game has ever satisfied my desire to hurl diseased horse corpses at my enemies the way this did on my old AtariST. And, while I blush to admit it, the sexy shadow-sillhouette kiss scene gave me funny feelings as a youngster.
posted by freebird at 8:41 AM on April 13, 2007


Never could get that far into Rocket Ranger. Now "It Came from the Desert", I think that was their best all around game.
posted by bobo123 at 8:45 AM on April 13, 2007


Speaking of Rocket Ranger and hawt...

Nazi women on the moon, baby!

(Yes, I actually beat it. I also knew the programmer for the ST version, which is how I got introduced to it.)
posted by Samizdata at 9:16 AM on April 13, 2007


Which is also still available, apparently for free...
posted by Samizdata at 9:19 AM on April 13, 2007


I'm glad to hear I'm apparently not the only guy who had crushes on Commodore 64 characters.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:25 AM on April 13, 2007


They also made a Three Stooges game, which if I remember correctly, was not very good.

Yeah, as a fan of both Cinemaware and the Stooges, it was a letdown. Not as big a letdown as if chocolate and peanut butter combined to make cyanide, but I didn't play it very much. It seemed like one big pie fight.

Could anyone actually win the jousting? It was near-impossible for me.

Yeah, on a C64 with an Atari joystick, it was just a matter of learning the timing, but it was a capricious thing: the timing was hard to keep up. I'd go for days when I didn't even have to think about it, then not be able to win again for a month. Given my strategy for winning usually revolved around winning jousts and my dashing good looks, this was frustrating.
posted by yerfatma at 9:25 AM on April 13, 2007


I'm glad to hear I'm apparently not the only guy who had crushes on Commodore 64 characters.

We talking about Jumpman? The bird from Krateka? The power lifter from Winter Games? The C64 program that inspired the deepest ardor in me always was, and always will be, Fast Hack 'Em.
posted by yerfatma at 9:38 AM on April 13, 2007


Hm. I remember this game, but I don't remember playing it that much. We did play the shit out of Moonstone though.
posted by Bappy Lorenzo at 9:44 AM on April 13, 2007


Years ago, before I boxed up all my Amiga 500 stuff (in two 3'x3'x2' boxes plus the original Amiga box) and shipped it off to some other geek via eBay, I hooked the whole mess up on my dining room table and played Defender of the Crown one last time. It still floored me with its sound and graphics (and those silhouetted princesses). I saved England one last time, then packed it all up with loving care and sent it off, a little misty for lost Sunday afternoons and sweaty joystick hands.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:34 AM on April 13, 2007


I played the shit out of that game on the amiga :)
posted by empath at 10:42 AM on April 13, 2007


Man, this game is hell of hard. How do you joust?

Also, I recall playing a different PC version of this game, where you could buy and sell weapons and the castles were 3D style dungeons. There was a dragon in it somewhere, too. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
posted by nasreddin at 1:08 PM on April 13, 2007


I somehow managed to win this for the NES. I think it's cos I was one bad motherfucker when it came to the crossbow.
posted by absalom at 2:13 PM on April 13, 2007


Shout out for the Apple IIGS version -- even though my older brother never let me play...
posted by thandal at 3:48 PM on April 13, 2007


OK, I guess I figured out what you have to do to win this game: just be a Viking.


(spoiler?)

Pick the swordfighting character. Stay in your starting province and spend all your cash on infantry and knights. Meanwhile, raid the player with the most provinces, or any strong-looking one. (raiding is actually pretty easy, apparently--just keep moving forward...) Eventually, you amass enough money to get 100-150 infantry, a catapult, and like 20 knights, and then you roll over the remaining players. It's cool that this approach gets easier as power concentrates in fewer hands. Still can't figure out the jousting thing, though.

Too bad this didn't really work for the Vikings in England! Mmm, industrialized smorgasbord.
posted by nasreddin at 6:23 PM on April 13, 2007


My main Commie fix was Telengard...
posted by Samizdata at 8:19 PM on April 13, 2007


Damnit, I was going to show this to my husband who is asleep on the couch as "Oooh, this is neat!" and then I see that he's the one who posted it.

D'OH.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:25 PM on April 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was a big Cinemaware fan (Amiga). Had Defender, King of Chicago, Rocket Ranger (never got to the Moon), TV Sports Basketball, It Came from the Desert, and Wings.

My favourites were Rocket Ranger and Wings.
posted by juiceCake at 2:22 PM on April 14, 2007


God bless you for finding this.
posted by nola at 2:41 PM on April 14, 2007


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