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King's Bounty

Genre
Perspective
Theme
MobyRank MobyScore
Amiga
...
4.8
Macintosh
...
...
PC-98
...
5.0
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Description

As a knight, paladin, barbarian or sorceress, amass an army of creatures to take on the local baddies and search for the Sceptre of Order. A turn based game with a time limit that decreases depending on the skill level you play at.

Depending on your allegiance, you will initially start with a different set of creatures, though the king will not mind whether you're his knight or barbarian. Game consists of four maps, each with more mean creatures to control and meaner opponents to fight, but acquiring those maps early will let you find and buy some mean creatures that will help you easily conquer prior maps.

You can see all the enemies on the map and can literally clear the map of enemies, though random can appear in your castles if you leave them unprotected after the conquest. With each conquered castle (assuming the castle is occupied by the enemy you are currently after), you will get a level up, after first two level-ups king will promote you and you'll be able to recruit cavalries from the castle, after four more promotions you'll be able to recruit knights. All the other creatures are found outside the king's castle and can be recruited no matter the level, although your level determines the quantity of creatures you can find for recruitment, but take care of your money because if you don't have enough for your army's salary, they will desert or turn against you.

There are also two artifacts per each map that will also uncover the map of the place holding the King's Sceptre. The moment you find the sceptre and bring it back to the king, the game will end even if you happen to find it very early in the game.

As for tougher enemies, like the final one having hundreds of dragons and demons, they can also be defeated, but not by the army you can muster in one go. But when you're defeated, you respawn back at the king's castle and start with almost nothing but your money, however, the enemy in the castle will be left without those creatures lost in the battle, unless some of the new comes to aid him as every week the population increases.

Screenshots

King's Bounty Amiga In the mountains.
King's Bounty Apple II Starting screen.
King's Bounty FM Towns We can take them!
King's Bounty FM Towns Starting area

Alternate Titles

  • "King's Bounty: The Conqueror's Quest" -- Genesis title
  • "King's Bounty: Nusumareta Chitsujo" -- Japanese title
  • "King's Bounty: A Conqueror's Quest" -- Genesis Cartridge title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Still addictive decades after DOS MAT (70549)
Many good elvish bits, a few orcish faults, and lots of ogre-like fun. DOS jossiejojo (41)
The predecessor of the winning game series Heroes of Might and Magic Genesis BeaconBlue (17)
A gem of a game that has addictive gameplay and great presentation. DOS Zen Gamer (72)
A VERY original idea. DOS Jeff Sinasac (315)
Entertaining predecessor to the Heroes series DOS ShadowShrike (309)

The Press Says

Sega-16.com Genesis Sep 10, 2009 10 out of 10 100
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Genesis Dec 10, 2003 8 out of 10 80
Mean Machines Genesis Jun, 1991 80 out of 100 80
Video Games & Computer Entertainment Genesis Jul, 1991 8 out of 10 80
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft Commodore 64 1992 79 out of 100 79
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft Amiga 1992 78 out of 100 78
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft DOS 1992 78 out of 100 78
Power Play Genesis Sep, 1991 70 out of 100 70
Dragon DOS Nov, 1992 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Retroguiden Genesis Oct 22, 2011 4 out of 10 40

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Trivia

Board game

There exists a board game of the same name - King's Bounty. It was published in 1991 by Task Force. It's played by 1 to 8 players and revolves around catching villains in a fantasy land. It's never mentioned as a derivative of the computer game, and the villains' names are all different, but the basic premise, and, strangely, the cover of the game is practically the same, as seen here.

Development

Vincent DeQuattro:
Jon (Van Caneghem), Mark (Caldwell), and the rest of New World Computing would spend their spare time playing board games. It was part of the development process and helped us with the design of new games. The team would work for several days straight on the next major software release, and in a downtime, we'd play.

One of our favorite games was Ogre. An old AD&D derivative originally from the dark mists of the seventies, but an outstanding strategy game nonetheless. We loved it. John decided it would be a great basis for a new computer game.

Thus began the genesis of King's Bounty. We worked for several months on the game design, re-working interface and strategic flow issues through lunchtimes. Early on, we used graph paper and lead figurines to represent the hordes. It was the stuff of imagination and pure creativity.

Ghosts

There is a kind (well not actually) of bug in King's Bounty that (probably) was fixed and realized in later versions of Heroes of Might and Magic. This has to do with the most powerful creature in King's Bounty.

Dragons you think? Not by a long shot. It's Ghosts. Yes, ghosts. Ten or twenty of them won't do much harm...well under normal circumstances they don't. But have you ever tried facing 1k (one thousand) of Ghosts? For example, when one makes the mistake of bringing a lot of peasants (1000-2000) attacking a castle that initially only had 20-30 ghosts. They (kinda) fixed this problem in the later series of Heroes and Might and Magic by reducing the number of ghosts that resurrect after each ghost attack. In Heroes of Might and Magic II, Ghosts were no longer a force to be reckoned with...and was virtually eliminated as a main castle creature since Heroes of Might and Magic III.

Ghosts were not only dangerous to face, but also dangerous to use because the game offered a single challenging feature which was absent from HOMM. The hero of King's Bounty had a Leadership statistic based on class and Charisma which imposed a limit on the size of the army they could recruit. Ghosts could swell to exceed this limit by adding fallen enemies to their numbers which meant that the hero could lose control of them in the middle of a battle!

But there is another twist. The developers thought of a way to somewhat limit the Ghosts' overwhelming power: When the game calendar showed "Day of the Peasant", all Ghosts were permanently turned into Peasants!

Legacy

This game is actually the precursor to Heroes of Might and Magic.

Remake

The game was remade in 2001 as Heroes of Might and Magic: Quest for the DragonBone Staff.

Information also contributed by Chentzilla, Indra is here, Joshua Dove, Silverblade and Vince De Quattro
Contributed to by vital diredfruit (39), Jeff Sinasac (315), PCGamer77 (3028), JRK (11176), Martin Smith (63168) and Terok Nor (18323)