Knights of the Round is an arcade game released in 1991. It is a side-scrolling beat 'em up based loosely on the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The game features an RPG-like level advancement system, with fighters getting new weapons and armor as they advance through the playthrough. However, the player cannot choose how to upgrade his/her character - the level up system is static.
The gameplay is very similar to other Capcom beat 'em ups, such as Final Fight, but closer to The King Of Dragons released the same year due to the emphasis on armed combat and fantasy themes in the latter, as opposed to hand-to-hand grappling combat in the former.
There are 7 stages, each with its own boss ranging from the poleaxe-wielding knight known as Scorn (billed as the "First Challenge") all the way up to Garibaldi, the golden-armored final boss. The fantasy element of the game is clear in foes such as the magician enemies, Muramasa the fiendish samurai warrior that serves as the boss of Stage 6, and the mechanical Iron Golem that appears as a mini-boss halfway through the last stage of the game.
Blocking an attack is executed by hitting the attack button, then pressing away from the enemy. As in most beat 'em ups, a desperation attack is performed by pressing both the attack and jump buttons simultaneously. This knocks out most enemies on the screen, but the player loses a little bit of health every time he uses it. At various points, the players get to ride a horse, where they can attack enemies on horseback. The horses can stomp on enemies by pressing two times forward.
The highest level a character can obtain in the game is 16, although there is only enough experience in a play-through to allow one character to reach that level.
Large items of treasure such as chests, platters of food and sets of crockery can be struck and split into smaller items that usually amount to a higher value in points. In rare cases, they are replaced by a special bonus such as an extra life or a magical scepter which instantly raises the character's level. A magic scepter does not raise the point requirement for the next level until a character uses both lives and continues (in the SNES version).
Legend says the man who pulls the sword Excalibur from the stone, is destined to be king. And so it was that Arthur, a young knight, pulled the sword from the stone and claimed his birthright. But none of the other lords and knights would follow the "boy king" and the land quickly began to wither and die.
At last Arthur turned to Merlin for guidance and advice. Merlin explained that only the Legendary Grail holds the power needed to unite Britain under Arthur's rule. Lost for ages, the grail would heal the rift between the land and the one true king and will bring prosperity to the land and to its people.
So, with aid of his trusted friends Lancelot and Percival, Arthur set forth on his quest to dispel the evil from the land and to reclaim the lost grail...
- Destined to be a future king, Arthur is a well-balanced character and excellent for intermediate skilled players due to his slow powerful attack. His weapon is the Excalibur sword. Arthur initially wears chain mail, leather armor on his shoulders and chest, and has white pants and a red tunic. When he gets new level-ups, Excalibur becomes stronger, and he eventually gains field plate armor in silver and gold colors. Arthur is the most devastating character on horseback.
- The wandering swordsman, Lancelot has been traveling all over the world to find a worthy king he should serve. He is the fastest character, but lacks in strength. Since the game favors maneuverability, he is very good for beginners. His special attack is the jumping kick, done by pressing attack, then holding up. Lancelot's weapon of choice is a scimitar. Disdaining armor in favor of mobility, Lancelot starts out with blue clothes. In eventual level-ups, Lancelot gains light plate armor in silver and gold colors as well as a broader scimitar.
- The son of a blacksmith, Percival is a strong warrior with a gentle heart. Unlike his sword-wielding friends Arthur and Lancelot, Percival prefers to use a battle-axe. He has never been defeated, thanks to his well-built body. Percival is the strongest character but lacks in agility, making him good for intermediate players. He is the only character who can dash by tapping forward twice, cancelled into a "Giant Swing" by pressing the attack button while dashing. At first, Percival has blond hair, wears armor on his left shoulder, is bare-chested, wears green pants, and is Caucasian. As he gradually levels-up, Percival becomes bald with a brown beard, gains partial armor, and becomes dark-skinned, although most of his chest is bare.
- Merlin, although unplayable has a variety of powerful magic spells at his command and is the greatest wizard in the known world.
- Garibaldi is the final boss of the game. He is first seen mounted on a horse ready to attack the heroes in his domain. He fights with some attacks of previous bosses. He is first helmeted but then later on, discards it. In the SNES port however, he is only fought in his second phase (without the horse and helmet).
- Soldier: The basic grunts that make up the bulk of enemies that the knights face. Armed only with a shortsword and protected by a helmet (that shatters when struck) and padded doublet, the only danger they represent comes if they sneak an attack when the player is distracted with bigger foes. They can also roll and dash with their sword extended.
- Sword Man: Better armored than the Soldier, the Sword Man is nevertheless slowed by his huge blade. This lack of speed makes the Sword Man an easy target, but beware of the fact that he packs a huge punch when he manages to land a blow.
- Fat Man: A peasant armed with a poleaxe, the Fat Man is similar to the Sword Man in that he is slow to attack but can cause some damage when the player's guard is down. The Fat Man is most dangerous when he is just out of the player's range and they are within the reach of his polearm, so get up close to deal with him.
- Mask Man: Dressed as a jester and wielding a rapier, the Mask Man is one of the few characters in the game that favors speed and dexterity over brawn and huge amounts of armor, eating away at the precious time needed to clear a stage by defeating him.
- Sky Walker: Pretty much the same as the Mask Man, without the mask and with a larger health bar.
- Bird Man: Named presumably for the beak-like helmet he wears, this character attacks with a handaxe and is quite handy at defending himself with his shield. Due to his heavy armor, he seems to be always out of breath when he stands up from a knock-down and remains defenseless for a few seconds, allowing the player to attack him freely.
- Buster S.: Perhaps the most potent of the standard enemies, the heavily armored Buster S. wields a spiked mace and shield, and boasts a nasty jumping attack into the bargain. Often arrives onscreen on horseback, and quick to mount a horse from which a player has just been removed.
- Magician: The Magician lives up to his name by hurling magic bolts around the screen, and teleporting from one point to another. Surprisingly, the Magician also throws himself into physical combat with the ability to grab a player and throw them around.
- Barbarian: The Barbarian wears bronze armor and fires arrows, before rushing at the players in a shield-bash and then slashing with his scimitar. Though he has more health and a bigger bag of tricks, the Barbarian is really a beefed-up version of the Soldier and can be dealt with just as quickly.
- Mad Tiger: Living up to its name, not only does the Mad Tiger attack viciously, it also bursts into flame when slain.
- Bad Falcon: Carried and released by the Mask Man enemy, these are birds of prey trained to attack the players with the daggers they clutch in their talons. Although flying attacks work best against Bad Falcons, well-timed ground attacks work as well.
- Iron Golem: A mini-boss appearing in Stage 7 resembling a humanoid knight that uses spiked balls for attacks, and exploding iron balls. It's weakness is it's core in the centre.
- Scorn: Boss of Stage 1 armed with a poleaxe. Later appears as Tall Man enemies.
- Braford: Boss of Stage 2 armed with long & short swords. Fights on horse when mounted.
- Arlon: Boss of Stage 3 armed with a morning star & clawed knuckle duster.
- Phantom: Boss of Stage 4, a black palette swap of Sky Walker with fast speed, butcher knives, dirks, a fire cross attacks, and summons two copies of himself. Later appears in Stage 7 as a mini-boss before the fight with Garibaldi.
- Balbars: Boss of Stage 5 armed with a giant sledgehammer & super armor that doesn't make him flinch.
- Muramasa: Boss of Stage 6. A samurai warrior with a demon mask, armed with a katana and uses fire-based skills.
- The SNES music and sound effects has been downgraded from the arcade version.
- In the SNES version words like "Holy" and "Scared" has been removed from the arcade due to religious references. However the word "Die" was left intact.
- The SNES version has one of the chests features a cross sceptre which remains unaltered.
- The orange blood effects has been changed to resemble sweat.
- At the end of the first section of Stage 3, when the character destroys the barricade and leads the knights into the castle, an enemy Bird Man can be seen amongst those entering the gates.
- The characters all returned in the Japan-only release Capcom World 2.
- Lancelot was one of the available characters in the canceled RPG mobile Capcom Super League Online.
Arcade Version [Staff] [NOTE: Same credit set used for SNES version]
Game Design: Boyoyon, K Suke, Hachi, Nis 7
- Object: Ikusan.Z, Imomushi, Tanuki, Jun, Sho
- Scroll: Fukumoya, Kyochan, Pooh!, Marchan