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!".
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
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.