Why I Never Mention King's Knight For NES To My Dad
As a baby-boomer, my father never really took to technology. A man of nature and simple living, he had one technological addiction: The Nintendo Entertainment System.
Purchased in 1989, when I was only three years old, my dad quickly became obsessed with the 8-bit phenomenon that was Super Mario Brothers, Duck Hunt, Captain Skyhawk, and the original Batman game.
We scoured the aisles of Toys R Us, flipping over laminated cover art to judge the game by the 3 or so screenshots provided on the back. In those days, customers had to walk a paper receipt to the front registers, pay for the game, and redeem it from a locked office.
I kinda miss that exchange.
During one of our trips to Geoffrey's toyland, a piece of dramatic cover art caught my dad's eye. King's Knight by Square, a game my dad had easily mistaken for Zelda, made its way into our NES. I remember my dad being super excited to bring this game home, and he couldn't wait to play.
Almost immediately, my dad had realized he made a huge mistake. I see multiple sources online that give King's Knight rave reviews for NES. I cannot attest to whether those are true or false.
King's Knight took on such an infamy in my house that I never played the game beyond the age of 10.
In my first experience with buyer's remorse, my dad would take every opportunity to bash King's Knight, when comparing the playability of other games. With future purchases of NES games that did not met my dad's expectations, you could always count on him uttering "Well...it's not as bad as King's Knight!". Classic dad.
King's Knight was published by gaming powerhouse Square, the makers of the Final Fantasy franchise and ever popular Kingdom Hearts. Originally released for the Famicom in Japan, the North American NES release came in 1989, per Wikipedia.
You have the selection to play as either a Knight (obviously), a Wizard, a boy who vaguely resembles Link, and a monster that a younger me often mistook for King Koopa/Bowser.
The only thing that comes to mind about gameplay are situations where the player can hack through the scenery to reveal powerups and such. When you die, you play as one of the other 3 characters. I have no clue what objections there are and doubt we ever made it past level one.
King's Knight remains ingrained in my mind as the measuring stick that my dad likely still uses for purchases that miss his expectations.
The age of the NES gave way to the SNES, which my dad found less appealing. Once we entered the N64 era, my dad had essentially discontinued his love affair with Nintendo.
Saying that the new 3D graphics gave him motion sickness, my dad retired as a gamer, never defeating his nemesis, King's Knight.
I should get him a King's Knight t-shirt for his birthday.