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Monday, March 19, 2018

Defender of the Crown - Atari ST [001] PlayThru

Title Screen
NOTE: A trainer was used for making this capture.

Defender of the Crown.  This is the first 16-bit computer title that I ever saw when I was growing up.  My father was looking for a computer, so we stopped in a store in Woodbridge, VA that was carrying Amiga systems (just a few storefronts down from L&Y Electronics, which was carrying Atari systems). A demo of Defender of the Crown was being displayed on the Amiga 1000 to showcase the graphics.  My father ended up buying an Atari 1040 STf (the one used for this capture!), and Defender of the Crown was one of the early games that was purchased.

Jousting Scene

From my recollection, the Amiga version of Defender of the Crown had a few more graphic screens that are missing from the Atari ST version; some controls are slightly different, and the rules are slightly different between the two systems as well.  I have played both versions, and by far, I have played many more games on the Atari ST version.

Castle Siege Scene
For the most part, I am pretty good at the game.  The one area of the game I have never been able to do well is the jousting tournament.  From comments I have seen over the years, few people really have mastered the jousting tournaments.

Original Box Cover
Having such an early connection to the game, it is hard for me to present an unbiased review.  For the early release of the game on the Atari ST, the music is good, graphics are very nice, and control is decent except in the jousting.  The gameplay is simple and engaging, the story is simple, and a decent run through should not really take over 30 minutes to play.  In my opinion, Defender of the Crown is a fun game that came out right around the video game crash of the 80s.

The tune heard in the intro of this video is an Atari POKEY rendition of the first 12 seconds of the Defender of the Crown theme, sourced from a mod file from the Amiga version.

Capture info -

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This gameplay was captured on February 5, 2018.

Game was played on an Atari 1040 STf, TOS 1.4, 1MB, equipped with a CosmosEX from Jookie.
A Best Electronics ST Monitor to VGA cable was used, connected to an OSSC 1.6 (processing the video in Line4x mode), with the output being captured by a Startech USB3HDCAP.

Video edited with Shotcut.

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