Conquests of the Longbow: The Legend of Robin Hood

Moby ID: 1967
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The year is 1193, and the Third Crusade has just ended. Richard the Lionheart, King of England, returns to Europe from the Holy Land. On the way, he is ambushed and abducted by the soldiers of the Austrian duke Leopold. The duke demands a large ransom to be paid in exchange for the king's freedom. However, the king's brother, Prince John, is content with the situation and plotting to take the throne for himself. That is when the legendary Robin Hood, one who robs from the rich and gives to the poor, decides to raise the money needed to liberate the king, with the help of his fellow outlaws of Sherwood Forest.

Conquests of the Longbow is an adventure game and a follow-up to Conquests of Camelot. It uses an icon-based interface common to most contemporary Sierra adventures. Like its spiritual predecessor, it differs from most other games in the genre by reducing traditional inventory-based puzzles in favor of exploration and varied tasks dictated by the situation at hand. These include talking to characters, gathering information, making decisions, solving riddles, or participating in mini-games such as combat, archery contest, and Nine Men's Morris (with adjustable difficulty).

The game is divided into days; each day is completed when certain tasks have been fulfilled. It is, however, possible to fail some of those tasks and still advance the plot. Several situations can be handled in different ways. The player's decisions affect Robin Hood's ranking towards the end of the game. Number of points scored, the amount of money collected for the ransom, and the fate of Robin's fellow outlaws are considered when awarding the rank. Depending on these factors the player reaches one of the four possible endings, ranging from Robin getting hanged to a happy conclusion of his love life.

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Critics

Average score: 81% (based on 18 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 66 ratings with 5 reviews)

A very well thought out game

The Good
I have always liked the legend of Robin Hood, so when this game came out, naturally I had to get it. The artwork for this game was the best I had ever seen at the time, and I still love looking at it. It had some very wonderful music, as well. But the thing I found the most surprising was what had been written into the game. I played this game three times, once to get a feel for it, once to be the best Robin hood I could be, and once to be the absolute worst Robin Hood I could be. Yeah, yeah, I know--not exactly what Robin Hood's about, right? However, I found that the game had been written with that in mind--if you didn't rescue certain people, then your failure triggered a different event--maybe some little bit of dialogue that tells you what happened to that person, or something like that. It's impossible to fail completely in this game if you want to get to the end trial, though, but the crowd of people will be much smaller. I was still very surprised, though, because most of Sierra's games are made with the premise in mind that you have to solve one puzzle to get to the next--but here they've made the game more flexible, in my opinion, by allowing you to fail if you can't figure it out. It isn't easy to get full points, but you don't have to in order to win the game. Varying difficulty levels made things like the archery contest a real challenge!

The Bad
Winning the game and marrying Marian was a different matter, though. You do have to get the full points to marry her. Otherwise, you're just made a yeoman. Also, there is one point where you would get stuck if you didn't do what you were supposed to--if you didn't rescue Marian the first time you met her, you could not continue with the game. There were also some odd elements in the game that I didn't really identify with being a part of the actual legend of Robin Hood. There is also a point in the game where you have to click the hand icon on Robin, and sometimes what was supposed to come up wouldn't, unless you clicked in a very narrow area.

The Bottom Line
This was a very beautiful game for its time, very well thought out and dimensionalized. You were given a broader range of how to play Robin Hood if you wanted to. The puzzles were sometimes difficult, sometimes easy, but all in all a lot of fun. I played this game in one sitting, in one entire day--and it's not easy to keep my attention that long!

DOS · by OceansDaughter (106) · 2002

Robin Hood, your bow is needed

The Good
Conquests of the Longbow is the second game designed by Christy Marx, who has already introduced us to King Arthur and his search for the Holy Grail. A year after the game's release, Marx's focus was on Robin Hood. This adventure game is better than the many Hollywood blockbusters that share the same theme. First, the player gets to be Robin Hood; and second, there are many ways you can complete the game.

The introduction to this game is as long as the one from King's Quest IV, and it is very good. After seeing what happened to King Richard – whose kidnapper, King Leopold of Austria, demands 100,000 ransom - we are introduced to the main characters in the game, in the same vein as The Colonel's Bequest.

The game is divided into about thirteen days, and each day ends with Robin and his merry men recapping what happened on that day and what needs to be done on the next. You will encounter a few characters each day, and there are different ways that you can deal with them. For example on the first day, the very first thing will be an encounter with one of the Sheriff's men, who is holding a peasant woman hostage. You have the choice of killing the man or letting him kill the woman.

There are different ending variations, depending on what choices you made. You can either be kind to any people you meet, while killing those that pose a threat to them, and end up marrying the love of your life. Alternately, you could turn rogue and risk being hanged. This adds a touch of replayability to the game, since you can go back and try different things.

The graphics in the game are neat. Since Conquests of the Longbow is set in Nottinghamshire, there are shades of green as you walk around forests. The character portraits are nice. There are two portraits of Robin Hood, and most of the time you will see him talking with a pink background behind him. When he is angry, you see him at a different angle with a green background behind him. The Sierra control panel is quite colorful, too.

The music is very good and it blends in with the overall nature. Furthermore, using a Roland MT-32 instead of the Sound Blaster makes it more relaxing. The sound effects are your typical Sierra effects, but I noticed some new ones that made their way into their future games (Gabriel Knight, EcoQuest 2, etc.)

There are various mini-games that you can play, including archery and Nine Men's Morris, if you are stuck somewhere in the game and want to take a break from it. Morris is mandatory and you must win against your opponent to get a much-needed item. However, it's simple to learn Morris and you will be able to win against your opponent if you perform the right moves. It is recommended that you save the game as you won't get to play the mini-games again if you win them.

There are some humorous bits in the game. As I said earlier, Robin's character portrait changes when he is angry or aggressive, and “Angry Robin” looks as if he is about to cry like a baby.It was funny that throughout the game, Robin stops someone from walking down Watling Street and wear their clothes. I remember Robin walking around town as a beggar and almost everybody he meets is not nice to him. But both of these are nothing compared to what Tuck does to one of the Sheriff's assistant, where the friar whips him as he is chopping wood. Not only do we get to see this scene, but the game rubs it in our faces.

The Bad
Every reviewer states different things they don't like about the game, and for me, it must be the way that you have to spell out some words in “Druid Code”, which consists of Robin's hand and some invisible letters scattered around it. With no help supplied, you basically have to guess the right letters to enter and click the center of the hand to complete the word. Actually, you are shown where every letter for about one second, and there is no OK button to click when you are done looking. Furthermore, for those letters that are close to the center, you end up completing it by accident and suffer the consequences.

The Bottom Line
This is just a little theory I have, but Marx did an essay on the Legend of Robin Hood at high school, and she used it to help design the game. Conquests of the Longbow is her second and last game, and it is impressive. As Robin Hood himself, you go around Nottinghamshire and deal with characters you meet in a variety of ways, and what you do will depend on what sort of ending you'll get.

If you get sick of dealing with an obstacle you can't get past, you can take time off and play a mini-game like Archery or Nine Men's Morris. The graphics and sound is excellent, and the replayability is high. If you just love any games that focus on Robin Hood, you will be happy playing this game.

Finally, according to the Trivia section, the CD-ROM version was canceled. This game would have been with full voices and possible extras. But the trailer for the game features voices, along with a prototype Robin portrait that was redefined during the game's development.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43092) · 2014

Get in the shoes of the Prince of Thieves (Robin Hood)

The Good
Finally someone did an adventure game about the legend of Robin Hood, he is the perfect character for an adventure game, Really nice graphics for a game as old as that, there are some real good effects (like flowing water, which was really well done) The music was beautiful (perfect for a game ambiented in the 12th century) The gameplay is great, as almost all Sierra classic adventures. Lots of different ways to advance in the game, and hey, there are more than one possible endings! So replayability is asured.

The Bad
Maybe some cut-scenes lack of 'realism', they were only backgrounds with some moving sprites (like a head moving when the character speaks) and that was kind of odd. There are too some arcade sequences (but hopefully difficulty can be adjusted at the game control panel) If that game had a CD version with speech it would have been almost perfect.

The Bottom Line
A classic of the genre, not as popular as other Sierra titles but very interesting, if you like bard stories and all that kind of stuff check that game.

DOS · by Depth Lord (934) · 2004

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

Cancelled CD version

After the disk releases, Sierra decided to re-release this game on CD. The CD version was to feature full speech and be distributed around 1993, but was never fully completed. There was a demo released with speech however.

Distribution

Conquests of the Longbow was available in four different packages: a 16 color version (supporting EGA, MCGA, VGA, Tandy/PCjr) with either 3.5" DD or 5.25" HD disks, and a 256 color version (supporting MCGA, VGA) with either 3.5" HD or 5.25" HD disks.

References

  • If you open the control panel and hit the Sierra button, the game will give you the credits, then inform you that "no guys from Andromeda" partook in the creation of the game, as a reference to Space Quest.
  • At the fair, there are a lot of little in-jokes. Try talking to everyone at the fair and you will find several Sierra programmers and employees (including the Two Guys from Andromeda) and also George Bush and Dan Quail.

Information also contributed by Ju, just Ju..., Ricky Derocher and Servo

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  • MobyGames ID: 1967
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Blacksun.

Windows added by Cavalary. Amiga added by Jeanne.

Additional contributors: William Shawn McDonie, Jeanne, Patrick Bregger.

Game added July 16, 2000. Last modified January 19, 2024.