Knight Lore: Majou no Ookami Otoko

A port of the famous British micro computer title developed by the studio that would go on to become Rare, Knight Lore stands as a gleaming example of home video game innovation that unfortunately never saw a North American release.

Knight Lore: Majou no Ookami Otoko

Japanese Title: ナイト・ロア 魔城の狼男
Translated Title: Knight Lore: Wolfman of the Master Castle
English Release: none

Release Date: December 19, 1986
Publisher: Jaleco Ltd.
Developer: Tose Co., Ltd.
Genre: Action Adventure
Product Code: JFD-KLM
Disk Format: Double-sided
Notable Credits: Original game concept designed by Chris and Tim Stamper

Originally released in 1984 for several British micro computers and published and developed by Ultimate Play the Game (which would later become Rare), Knight Lore saw a port over to the Famicom Disk System two years later.

The Disk System port was handled by Tose, the Japanese ‘ghost-developer’ famous for their behind the scenes work on many Nintendo video game titles. This port was first released for the MSX computer standard and soon after for the Disk System. Both versions were published by Jaleco Entertainment.

Knight Lore is perhaps most well-known as being the first video game to use the 3D isometric perspective, an impressive programming trick pioneered by brothers Chris and Tim Stamper on British micro computers, most notably the ZX Spectrum.

Knight Lore is actually the third game in the Sabreman series, all of which were released in 1984 for the ZX Spectrum. The Sabreman games were released in quick secession by Ultimate Play the Game in order to prevent other developers from copying their revolutionary image masking technique, a programming innovation that allowed for the series’ 3D isometric perspective.

The game itself involves the main character having 40 days to gather the ingredients to brew a potion to cure a lycanthropic werewolf curse placed upon him by an evil witch. Levels consist of traversing the isometric 3D environments avoiding obstacles, climbing blocks and solving puzzles.

Even today, the ZX Spectrum version of Knight Lore is still regarded as a milestone in British video game development and an important step in the maturing video game industry.