msxnet > Konami MSX Games > Knightmare
This oldy-but-goldy is one of the best shoot 'em ups there is on the MSX1 computer. The first time I played this one, I was really grasped by the details and diversity of the background and the enemies. As far as I know it was the first game that had a end-of-level guardian. And Knightmare is also one of the toughest games I have played on the MSX1 (That is, if we forget about 'Salamander' for a sec...) Now, ten years after its release, it is still a great game to release yourself from everyday frustrations. But then again, the difficulty is very frustrating as well... I only finished it once... but I 'poked' myself invincible... (^^;) When playing fair, I usually get to the third guardian dude...
I've finished this game without cheating! Knightmare is one of my all time favourites. It's graphics were far ahead for its time. The playability has never been matched by any PC game. It's a real plain, good ole shoot 'em up. They don't make shoot 'em ups like they used to do. By the way, did I mention that I've finished this game ?
Knightmare is a MSX1 ROM cartridge of 32Kb. No megaROM. The game is also included in the Konami Games Collection 1. In this version, the music is improved for the Sound Cartridge.
Vertical scrolling shoot 'em up.
You can find icons in the screen. They show up as question marks in a square. Some are hidden, and appear when you shoot at them. Fire at the questions marks a number of times, and it'll open up.
Question mark icon.
You can't walk over it), but your ammo can pass through.
500 bonus points.
All enemies and bullets cease to exist.
Freezes all enemies for 30 seconds, and bullets disappear.
Keeps you one extra incarnation from Game Over.
A top secret icon. It'll appear after a 'game over' in the levels you have finished. It is always hidden, and needs a lot of shots to be opened. If you take it, you'll warp to a further stage.
There are also bridge icons. They are hidden in the canals, and sometimes they are necessary to cross these canals (Knights have the habit to drown while swimming, cause of their heavy armour.) So beware if you use a red power crystal!
There are two types of crystals: Power Crystals and Weapon Crystals. Power Crystals always have a P in them, and Weapon Crystals silver coloured, and if you shoot at it, it'll show different weapons.
A black crystal awards you with 1000 bonus points.
A blue crystal will increase your agility.
A light blue crystal will raise a shield to stop enemy projectiles.
A white crystal will temporarily render you immune to enemy attacks
A red crystal will turn you in a deadly flaming knight, but also blocks your fire power. This can by pretty annoying, even fatal if you need to open a bridge icon!
This the enhanced default weapon. Instead of one you have two arrows. If you get this weapon twice, you can fire three shot simultaneously in stead of two.
If you have this weapon, you'll fire three fireballs simultaneously, which will pass through enemies slaughtering them. When you grab the weapon another time. it'll fire less dispersed. ...not exactly my favourite weapon...
Boomerangs. They pass through enemies and return to you. Very powerful, but has a limited range. The first time you grab this weapon, you'll have two boomerangs, the next time you'll have three. ...not exactly my favourite weapon either...
Knives. These are the same as the arrows, but the first you grab it, you can fire three shots simultaneously, only to get two knives the next time. It's favourite weapon!
Flame knives. These are like the arrows, only they pass through enemies and you can only have one.
The attacks you get in each stage are issued after each other. If you leave one or more enemies on the screen, the attack will last longer, and so it'll take longer before the next attack. And because the screen scrolls at a constant rate, you'll get less attacks, which makes life a lot easier.
There isn't much to say about the End of Level Guardians, though you must try to stay at the bottom of the screen at all times. Specially in stage 7, doing otherwise will kill you for certain...