game Cover
game cartridge
ナイト ロアー ―魔城の狼男―
©1986 Jaleco Ltd.
Release: 1986-12-19 (¥3200)
DiskCard JFD-KLM
Action/Adventure game

Knight Lore is a a 3D isometric adventure game by Jaleco, originally released by the British game company Ultimate. Saberman, the hero of the game, has been cursed by an evil wizard. Every nights, he turns into a creepy werewolf and he is on a journey to retrieve all the necessary ingredients to create a magic potion. This potion, he hopes, will get him to return to his human shape. The game starts in a dark forest, somewhere in there the wizard awaits for the potion's ingredients such as diamonds, bottles etc... Our hero's task is to wander around and find them, one at the time, and bring them back to him. But our hero must watch out, he turns into a werewolf at night and the wizard won't hesitate to use his magic against him. Saberman must make sure to always approach him as a human. Up to three items can be carried at the same time, they can also be dropped on the ground and climbed to reach higher platforms. However, once a new ingredient is delivered to the wizard, our hero leaves empty handed and lose all stored items. Series of enemies and hazards are of course scattered along his path, such as spirits, spikes or pits. Once all the ingredients are collected, the game jumps to another location where more objects need to be found with meaner hazards and enemies. This is also the point where the player's progress can be saved.
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Knight Lore (ZX Spectrum 48k) Knight Lore was probably one of the most influential game ever released and was the first title to use real isometric 3D. It came out in 1984 and was developed by Ultimate Play The Game, which late became the now famous Rare Software. Knight Lore is the third episode of the Sabre Man series, a sort of mix of Indiana Jones and Colonial adventurer. The first game of the series was Sabre Wulf released in 1984 for the 48k Simclair ZX Spectrum, BBC Computer, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC. An updated version of the game was released for the GameBoy Advance in 2004 and for Mobile phones in 2005. It was followed by Underworlde (ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64) the same year. Then Knight Lore came out for the Zx Spectrum (picture on the left), BBC Computer, Amstrad CPC and Famicom Disk System. Pentagram was the fifth game of the series and came out in 1985. The last game of the series, Mire Mare was sadly never published. As a side note, it is interesting to see Jaleco porting such games as Knight Lore, or Gremlins's Monty On The Run , milestones of British's (and therefore European) video game history.


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This Famicom disk version of the classic Knigh Lore surprised me a lot actually. It is much better than I had thought it would be. Knigh Lore doesn't look technically as good as the original game, and, for instance, the objects 'stacking' and 3D feel doesn't look as polished. However, the Famicom offers a much nicer color palette (the original had, despite being cleverly designed, plain and mono-colored sprites and background) and a totally new forest stage (the original games starts in the castle). My only complaint goes to the game's structure itself which soon becomes a simple and repetitive item collectathon - but this was already the case with the original game. All in all, Knight Lore is a nice little game, it has aged a lot but it still emanates an undeniable energy that makes it enjoyable, even today.

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