Defender of the crown

edited May 2013 in Games
I have checked recently the Spectrum version of this well known, great game and the Spectrum version is strange.

http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0001321

It misses some elements present in other versions like girl saving. The graphics are rather inferior to other versions. WOS doesn't have an cassette inlay for it, it wasn't reviewed in any magazines and it was done by mysterious The Cat company, which didn't do anything else and no more is known about it.

Is is a homebrew unoffical conversion, not an official release?
Anybody knows?
Post edited by Ralf on
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Comments

  • edited January 2009
    It's a homebrew version.
    ZX Spectrum +2 & PicoDiv SD,
    Timex 2048 & divIDE 57c
  • LCDLCD
    edited January 2009
    Ralf wrote: »
    it wasn't reviewed in any magazines

    CRASH wrote a small review if I remember correctly. And about the missing scenes: It was surely not very easy to bring that much graphics and code into just 41K? It is a masterpiece. If the Cat would do a 128K version, there would be even more scenes than in Amiga version.
  • edited January 2009
    I so wished that the game would get liscensed and shipped to UK. There was much drooling over that final issue of Crash. I nearly ran away to France to see if I could find these fantastic games. Since then, I've played DotC, and think it looks and plays fine.
  • edited January 2009
    Graz wrote: »
    I so wished that the game would get liscensed and shipped to UK. There was much drooling over that final issue of Crash. I nearly ran away to France to see if I could find these fantastic games. Since then, I've played DotC, and think it looks and plays fine.


    Those games were french?? I thought it came from eastern europe ...
  • edited January 2009
    Ralf wrote: »
    It misses some elements present in other versions like girl saving.
    Girl saving is not missed, I remember it well. You can also see the screenshot on WOS, see that girl to the right? :)
  • edited January 2009
    The WOS entry lists the creator by the name of "The Cat" as coming from the U.K., yet some people in this topic assume it is from France or eastern Europe. So where is he really from? This got me thinking, as I remember that in the late 80s/early 90s there was some bloke with exactly that nickname in Germany who did some fairly good graphics - but the only actual product I've really seen from him was a German-language text adventure named The Dungeon - interestingly, in it he also announced a port of Populous which, to my knowledge, he never delivered. I wonder if he is related to this DOTC port? Might be completely off-track but who knows ...
  • edited January 2009
    Girl saving is not missed, I remember it well

    Shame on me. The is a girl in fact. I just watched the .rzx walkthrough which doesn't have this scene.

    I wonder if there is this famous romantic animation by the fireplace or just after the swordfight you got a message: "Congratulation, you saved the girl".

    Another thing which I missed is some introductory text which appears before starting the proper game. It mentions the authors and says:

    (c) Program by Taletovits David & Kaproncai Tamas. Graphics by Dombi Norbert.

    I would say these names are Hungarian. It's very unique for this language to place your last name before your first name.
    Could anybody confirm it?
  • edited January 2009
    Russians also place their last name before first.
    But... if you use google... => http://rs1.szif.hu/~tomcat/
    and
    http://www.tomcat.hu/
    and
    http://www.demoscene.hu/users.php?target=details&id=426
    Looks like he is author of game. I hardly believe that there are 2 programmer guys with the same (and not common) name and last name. So you're right about hungarians.
    There is mail, so you can write him and ask.
  • edited January 2009
    Also, that guy David, he is Taletovics, not Taletovits. And we can read about him here: http://www.sinclair.hu/impresszum.php (in hungarian :))

    Also, in the list there is Pgyuri, who is there on forums, so we can try to ask him, may be he knows them, if there will be no answer from TomCat. Or you can write him directly using that site.

    But may be these info will help? All on the same site:

    Defender of the Crown
    Conversion by The CAT, 1989

    Taletovics David [G.O.D.]

    G.O.D. (alias CAT)

    So the game was written by this guy for sure.
  • edited January 2009
    Well, I think that makes their identity confirmed.

    I'll make a post about it in Infoseek forum.
  • edited January 2009
    Identity - yes. But was it homebrew or not? :) It is not confirmed for sure.

    Also, about your question about animation - I do not remember well, but this screen is there for sure.

    doc2.gif

    May be in 128k it is animated.
  • edited January 2009
    LCD wrote: »
    CRASH wrote a small review if I remember correctly. And about the missing scenes: It was surely not very easy to bring that much graphics and code into just 41K? It is a masterpiece. If the Cat would do a 128K version, there would be even more scenes than in Amiga version.

    This review could do with being linked from the games page.
  • edited January 2009
    Hi there,

    Sorry for late answer, but I remember he wrote here but couldn't find first. Here is the solution in 2004:

    http://www.worldofspectrum.org/forums/showthread.php?t=5546

    He is hungarian. I know him personally because he is member of sinclair.hu club too.

    G.o.D. wrote there:

    Hi,
    A friend of mine told me to post to this forum.
    So...

    How to save princess?
    You have to go to tournament. Go for fame. When you are famous enough, rescuing her will be offered to you. You have to win a raid like swordgame, and she will be rescued. After this, she's portrait will be next to yours.

    TR-Dos version:
    There were no other version of this game than 48K tape. No 128K, no 128K disk, no TR-Dos. Somebody may convert the tape version to TR-Dos.

    Btw. I finished the tzx version which can be downloaded from WoS. It seems incomplete. The game wants to load the end sequence. As far as I remember it was a text screen.
    Has anyone got the D.o.C. tape, to make a full tzx conversion? Or is TR-Dos version complete?

    Unfortunately all my Speccy casettes are broken, so my D.o.C. was lost, so were the source of the game. If anyone has the full game, please upload it to here, or somewhere and throw me an e-mail.

    Dave / The Cat

    and:

    Unfortunately Speccy version of D.o.C. has never been released anywhere. As far as I remember Mirrorsoft owned the copyright, and he answered that "it is not in this year's plan". Other software houses can not release it, because they did not owned the copyright.
    I can only say, this game was made for Speccy useres. ))
    I am glad very much, if somebody find this game is good.

    and:

    You are right. The game calculates the army of ememies. 48k is not so big. This method simplified the code.
    The size of army is calculated from the income of lands of the lord, from the time elapsed from the last battle, and from a random number.
    This works until you cannot check this with an emulator where you can save the game. Originally on Speccy, you cannot save.

    But this thing did not affect the release of D.o.C. It was a "garage project", we started to work on the game just for fun. After we finished it, came the idea to sell it.

    Pgyuri
  • edited January 2009
    I had a feeling that this game wasn't british :)
    Another mistery solved, thanks guys!
  • edited January 2009
    Pgyuri, so no one from sinclair.hu have ending sequence? :(
  • edited January 2009
    Great to see this mystery solved.
    I take back all my words that this version is not as good as it could be. As for a garage project it is simply great. I presume the authors were 17 years old boys or so then. Impressive.

    I also noticed now that the authors were patriotic. During menu screen the stripes at the screen border make an Hungarian flag.

    As fot the girl,the guy in .rzx walkthrough never battled for fame so he wasn't offered rescuing a girl. Well, money can buy you love... I'll try to play this game myself and will check how girl rescuing looks like in this version.
  • edited January 2009
    Ivanzx wrote: »
    Those games were french?? I thought it came from eastern europe ...

    When I read the Crash mag, (whatteva year) I was then under the impression that you could buy the game in france. I think the reviewer said that you can pop on a ferry and find loads of new games, not seen in UK.
  • edited January 2009
    Well, I found this short review in Crash and it doesn't mention France anywhere. Even Brazil, China, India and Taiwan are mentioned but not France :)

    http://www.crashonline.org.uk/98/euro.htm

    And speaking of Defender of the Crown, there is a good Slovak clone of it called Sherwood:

    http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0004456
  • edited January 2009
    Graz wrote: »
    When I read the Crash mag, (whatteva year) I was then under the impression that you could buy the game in france. I think the reviewer said that you can pop on a ferry and find loads of new games, not seen in UK.

    Yes, that's true, We, in Spain, didnt know either that you could find lots of unknown games in countries like Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia...We only knew about British, french and spanish games, and that was a pity.
  • edited January 2009
    :) World of Spectrum can help you with these :)

    So no one have version of "Defender of the Crown" with win screen?
  • edited January 2009
    Ralf wrote: »
    I have checked recently the Spectrum version of this well known, great game and the Spectrum version is strange.

    http://www.worldofspectrum.org/infoseekid.cgi?id=0001321

    It misses some elements present in other versions like girl saving. The graphics are rather inferior to other versions. WOS doesn't have an cassette inlay for it, it wasn't reviewed in any magazines and it was done by mysterious The Cat company, which didn't do anything else and no more is known about it.

    Is is a homebrew unoffical conversion, not an official release?
    Anybody knows?

    As I worked for Mirrorsoft back then, I can officially confirm that there never was a Spectrum version of ANY Cinemaware titles. It was hard enough getting them to do Atari ST versions of some of their games (for Europe).
  • edited January 2009
    Hi Everyone,
    PGyuri wrote everything about the game, so I can hardly add it much to it. (...and I don't know why wrote this long post. :-) )
    I am one of the coder of the game, and did some gfx (what do not look pretty if you want to identify them :-) ).
    We are friends with Tamas and Norbert and that time were a big Speccy fan. There were nothing bigger release of us on Speccy before (and after) this game. We ripped musics from some famous game (eg. Agent-X), and put them together with some gfx and did a music demo (or two I cannot remember), before.
    We played a lot with the PC version. At that time there were not too many Amigas in Hungary, but schools bought PCs for education purpose. Of course we used them for playing games. :-) I did not see the Amiga version for long. We finished the game at Parad (its a little village here) in a computer camp, when I met Amiga's D.o.C. It was shocking to see what superior that version to PC's. :-)
    ...so we played lots of on PC and decided to make the game on Speccy. It run 1 year or so from the idea to finish. 128K was not reality in Hungary, so we opted for 48K.
    Norbert was the grafician, Tamas and me did the code. The music routine is in fact ripped from Agent-X (as far as I remember). Music theacher of Tamas and Norbert made the music sheet of PC version then I put it into the code.
    Some fact about the game:
    Loader routine is a modified one, working with 1800 baud (I'm not fully sure about it). The game uses lots of memory, but we cannot push everything in 42k what are in the original version. Intro is simplified to two loading screens without music. There's only one place in tournament and raiding. The game does not store the data of shires and other npc-s. Instead it estimates them real time. However there are many screen in the game, so Tamas wrote a compressor for them; 2-4k/picture is a compressed version. He coded the top level parts (strategy parts eg.), I made the subgames (raiding, tournament, fighting), game menu. Norbert did the screens, sprites, etc. He used Art Studio, we coded in Oxford Assembly (I'm not sure about its name, but the blue background). There are two afterloading parts, the girl saving screen and the winning screen in this order. We can save only one girl due to limitations.
    After we finished the game, we tried to sell it (we were young and idealist with no knowlegde of economy). The story is the one PGyuri wrote. After Mirrorsoft decided to release the game we contacted another game company, they said that they don't have to copyright so... (until that I hardly know what copyright means :-) ) ...but if we make an original game, they can release that. (We thought about a Tron like race game, but didn't make it. Tamas and Norbert stayed at Gyor (a big city in western part of our country) and went a university there, I came to Budapest). Then we started to use PC-s, and made some demos on them.
    The other intresting fact is that the game somehow spread before we finished the conversation with Mirrorsoft. Maybe this also affected they decision. Nobody knows.
    Because the game uses a special loader it cannot be copied with a software, only tape-to-tape. Unfortunately the winning screen disappeared and I don't have casettes, so it is likely to missed forever. Perhaps someone can make it again if he has affinity.
    The Cat is the name of our team (lately we changed it to AbaddoN and invited some more of our friends).
    Kaproncai Tamas alias TomCat was coder.
    Dombi Norbert alias Ninja was grafician.
    Music sheet is made by Szikszai Szaniszlo.
    Me, Taletovics David alias G.o.D.(=Good old Dave) was another coder of the game.
    It was really a "garage project", we made it on 3 pure 48K Speccys whitout any extension (I have those Speccy today and works well) in our spare time, next to school.
  • edited January 2009
    Excellent story G.o.D, its always really good how we were with our spectrums back in the day, and it seems that you guys were pretty good coders, even though you were young.
    Now it's time for you to code something else for the Spectrum..maybe the 128k version of the game, with complete scenes....
  • edited January 2009
    Great story. You were really talented to write such a game back then.
    Are you still active at Spectrum scene? Maybe you could impress Spectrum community with another game?
  • edited January 2009
    G.o.D. wrote: »
    Because the game uses a special loader it cannot be copied with a software, only tape-to-tape. Unfortunately the winning screen disappeared and I don't have casettes, so it is likely to missed forever. Perhaps someone can make it again if he has affinity.
    Well, no one have these copies? You said it was wide-spreaded even before a release? If you're interested, may be we can discuss the recreation of that win screen it in PM?
  • edited January 2009
    Nice to see these post, thank you, it warms my heart. The winning part is only a screen, we'd have to paint it again, compress it and put it at the end of tzx. Some reverse engineering needed to find out how to save it and the name of the file and the compression method.
    I am a common memeber of the society, have to work, etc. and don't have too much time, but let's discuss and see the result.
  • edited January 2009
    Hi G.o.D.!!! What was drawn on the final screen ? Would you give a link on example picture ? I think conversion from pc to zx can be easily done.
  • edited January 2009
    G.o.D. wrote: »
    Nice to see these post, thank you, it warms my heart. The winning part is only a screen, we'd have to paint it again, compress it and put it at the end of tzx. Some reverse engineering needed to find out how to save it and the name of the file and the compression method.
    I am a common memeber of the society, have to work, etc. and don't have too much time, but let's discuss and see the result.
    Well, I tried to send you PM and AIM, but seems that you refused all :) My Aim ScreenName is shadowmakersix, so if you're interested, please allow me to write you :)
  • LCDLCD
    edited April 2009
    I just found a tzx copy of "Defender of the crown" which seems to be more complete than the one in Database, and it got a scrolly text info with borer effect.
    There are followind headerless files:
    7067 Bytes
    40715 Bytes
    12760 Bytes
    768 Bytes
    758 Bytes
    Total file size: 61.4 Kb
    Should I upload this file on WOS?
  • edited April 2009
    This is the same version, which is already on WOS.

    The only thing which is absent here is the last 6912 bytes block with win screen. And your version also do not have it.
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