Defender of the Crown is a strategy computer game designed by Kellyn Beck. It was Cinemaware's first game, and was originally released for the Commodore Amiga in 1986, setting a new standard for graphic quality in home computer games. In 1987 it was ported to the Commodore 64, Atari ST, MS-DOS, and Macintosh. It was later ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Amstrad CPC, Apple IIGS, CDTV, CD-i, Atari Jaguar and Intellivision. An unofficial ZX Spectrum port was also produced. A sequel, Defender of the Crown II, was released in 1993 for the CDTV and Amiga CD32. Two remakes have been released: Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown in 2003 and Defender of the Crown: Heroes Live Forever in 2007.
The game is set in England in 1149 during the Middle Ages where, following the death of the king, different factions are fighting for territorial control. The player assumes the role of a Saxon (Wilfred of Ivanhoe, Cedric of Rotherwood, Geoffrey Longsword, or Wolfric the Wild) and tries to fight off the Norman hordes and wrestle for control of England. Eventually, the player must fight for control of all territories, and potentially those controlled by other Saxons, if they have become antagonistic. The player must amass armies and fight for control of opponents' castles. The player may engage enemy armies in battle and loot or lay siege to opposing castles. Territories can also be won in the periodic jousting contests. From time to time the player may attempt to rescue a damsel in distress and can appeal for help from the legendary bandit Robin Hood.
The game's strategy boils down to a war of attrition as the player tries to amass larger armies than his opponents and manages to attack their territories at the right time.
Due to financial strains, Cinemaware decided to release the initial version without all the features originally planned for because of their need for revenue. Some features were partially implemented, but were removed so the game could be shipped. Some additional features completed but never seen in the shipped game include flaming fireballs (launched via the catapult), more locations (more varied castles to attack), and more in-depth strategy. Some of these features were implemented in the ports of the game.
The ports of Defender of the Crown, notably for DOS and the NES, resulted in an enormous loss in graphic and audio quality due to those systems' inferior abilities compared to the Amiga. But these ports featured more in-depth strategic elements compared to the unfinished original version. The Apple IIGS, Atari ST, and Commodore 64 versions were ported with better success, the IIGS, Macintosh, and ST versions' graphics coming quite close to the Amiga version. A version for the Sharp X68000 was in development by Bullet-Proof Software but never released.
Find digital download of this game on
This version of Defender of the Crown was designed for personal computers with operating system MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System),
which was operating system developed by Microsoft in 1981. It was the most widely-used operating system in the first half of the 1990s. MS-DOS was supplied
with most of the IBM computers that purchased a license from Microsoft. After 1995, it was pushed out by a graphically more advanced system - Windows and
its development was ceased in 2000. At the
time of its greatest fame, several thousand games designed specifically for computers with this system were created. Today, its development is no longer continue
and for emulation the free DOSBox emulator is most often used. More information about MS-DOS operating system can be found
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for Defender of the Crown. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Defender of the Crown are summarized in the following table:
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