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Defender of the Crown

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Defender of the Crown puts the player in the role of one of four Saxon knights in medieval England, in a time where the land is in turmoil as the King is dead and his crown was stolen. The Saxons and the Normans blame each other and fight for control of England.

After a short introduction by Robin of Locksley himself, the game starts with a single castle and 10 soldiers at your command. From there, you have to build your army, take control of additional territories and fight and defeat the three Norman lords - and sometimes your Saxon friends as well.

In addition to the basic 'build your army and conquer your opponents' the game offers several events and options that can be used to fine tune your play style: You may engage in a jousting contest where you have to knock your opponent off his horse, gaining either fame or land, or you can go raid a castle for loot or the hand of a princess, joining your houses and territories.


Defender of the Crown Atari ST Our hero makes his move...
Defender of the Crown DOS Hey, it wouldn't be a Cinemaware game without a scene like this right?
Defender of the Crown PC Booter A battle. (EGA/Tandy)
Defender of the Crown Commodore 64 Attacking a Saxon castle.

Alternate Titles

  • "DOTC " -- Abbreviated Name
  • "Defender of The Crown: Obrońca Korony" -- Polish title
  • "Conquering England" -- Informal name, popular in Israel

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A little known CLASSIC game at the dawn of Modern GRAPHICS & Adult-themed gaming! Commodore 64 XplOrOrOr (16)
The classic of classics. Amiga Tomer Gabel (4388)
The atmosphere is so strong that you completely ignore any gameplay issues. PC Booter Trixter (8736)
Not as good as the Amiga version, but great fun nonetheless DOS Colin Rowsell (45)
Wow. DOS woods01 (154)
This is one of the greatest of the classics. Commodore 64 Tarzan Dan (23)
My favorite game ever. PC Booter Tomer Gabel (4388)

The Press Says

The DOS Spirit DOS Dec 05, 2008 5 out of 6 83
Gaming Target Game Boy Advance Dec 04, 2002 7.7 out of 10 77
All Game Guide NES 1998 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
Abandonia Reloaded Amiga Dec 22, 2005 3.5 out of 5 70
Amiga Joker CDTV Oct, 1991 3 out of 5 60
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Apple IIgs Oct, 1990 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
Power Play NES Jun, 1991 50 out of 100 50
All Game Guide Commodore 64 1998 2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars 50
The CD-i Collective CD-i 2004 2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars 40
High Score CD-i Jul, 1994 2 out of 5 40


Topic # Posts Last Post
Links 3 Cavalary (5381)
Sep 20, 2014
Interview with Bob Jacob 1 St. Martyne (3562)
Dec 13, 2009


1001 Video Games

Defender of the Crown appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Cancelled sequel

In 1993, Jim Sachs, who worked on the graphics for Defender of the Crown, designed a sequel, Defender of the Crown 2. It never really caught on though, mainly because it was only released for Commodore's ill-fated CDTV system.

CGA version

The CGA version "tweaks" the screen during the joust; the furious riding on your horse makes the screen "shake". This locks up the game on VGA cards, but if you can avoid this if you play it under a pseudo-emulator like Windows or OS/2 (or just don't joust during the game).

EGA version

There was bootable version released that supported EGA/Tandy graphics and Tandy 3-voice sound, which greatly enhanced the PC version of the game. Unfortunately, this version is extremely rare and most people only have the CGA/PC Speaker version.

Freeware release

A full version of this game is available online at Cinemaware.com (the full link is in the links section). The game plays in any browser.

Version differences

  • The C64 version of the game has three Saxon ladies that can be kidnapped, and the NES version only has one lady while every other version has four.
  • The Commodore 64 version of Defender of the Crown was also released on tape in Europe, as disk drives were expensive in Europe at the time and most people still used tape drives. The tape version is trimmed down to fit on the smaller storage of tape, and is missing several pictures found on the disk version. Some of the missing pictures are Robin Hood at the start of the game, and the closeup views of the Saxon damsels after you rescued them.


  • ACE
    • October 1988 (issue #13) - Included in the Top-100 list of 1987/1988 (editorial staff selection)
  • Computer and Video Games
    • May 1988 (Issue #79) - Golden Joystick 1988 Award: Runner up in category Strategy Game of the Year
  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #92 in the “150 Best Games of All Time" list
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #2 Most Rewarding Ending of All Time
  • Gamespy
    • March 2000 - Introduced into the Hall of Fame
Information also contributed by PCGamer77, Ricky Derocher; Terrence Bosky and Tomer Gabel

Related Web Sites

  • Cinemaware - Defender of the Crown (Official site to download the freeware versions for Amiga, Amstrad, C64, Atari ST, Apple IIgs, PC (CGA & EGA), NES, CD32/CDTV and more...)
  • Defender of the Crown (Play the classic game online through your browser.)
  • Useless Inc. (Homepage of Tomer Gabel; host of the Defnder of the Crown music project (MP3s of the original Amiga version), Star Control II and more stuff. )
Contributed to by Picard (29339), PCGamer77 (3027), Dragom (4296), Kabushi (122512), ZZip (798), Eli Tomlinson (2509), Pseudo_Intellectual (44554), Alexander Schaefer (2320), Xa4 (274), cafeine (144), Tomer Gabel (4388) and Geoffrey Palmer (133)