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July 20, 2007
Knightmare Review

Reliving the Knightmare

After re-watching some of my VHS’ (checking through various stuff in order to ditch) I stumbled across a very old Favourite Series that they used to show on CITV at 16.40 on Friday evenings from September 1987 to September 1994 spanning 8 seasons.

Knightmare was a virtual reality gaming show aimed at teens. Groups of 4 children took part in the game in which the aim was to get through the 3 levels and their variant sub areas in order to get one of the Quest Items. The Quest Items were The Shield, The Sword, The Crown and The Cup. To begin with the Quests were chosen at Random. In Season 6 the participants could choose their own Quest Path before it reverted back to Random for the final 2 seasons.

1 player wandered the Dungeons from the group and they named this person called The Dungeoneer. The other 3 players were the advisors. The Role of Advisor was to spell cast, guide the Dungeoneer through the rooms and levels, spy on the opposition and give advise. And like all good games – the Dungeoneer CAN be killed.

They Dungeoneers were Kitted out with the following items:

A Helmet - with horns (For Seasons 1-6) and a Metal Helmet for the final 2 seasons. This was to stop the Dungeoneer from seeing in the VR World of Knightmare.

A Knapsack – This was to carry food to bring back the Life Force of the Participant as walking through the Dungeon must have made them hungry. For the final season you could carry 2 quest items and a wand).

The Eye Shield – This was to allow the Advisors to see what the Dungeoneer was doing in the rooms.

A Wand – Introduced for the final season to pick a combination lock and to find a secret passage.

Along with their advisors was Treguard; he is the main “Powers that Be” aka the good guy. To start with you couldn’t tell if he was a good guy or not. He always had an assistant with him. I can only remember 2 but I suspect there were more. Pickle – an Elf and Majida – a Genie. Their jobs were mainly to panic and create the atmosphere and do the kitting up.

Of course where there are the good guys there has to be the Bad Guys (the Opposition) There were various mini bad guys and gals in Seasons 1-4, most of whom I don’t remember. However from Season 5 onwards a distinct leader came to be in control. His name was Lord Fear and he gave me the creeps. He was a Techno Mage (using technology and magic in combination to achieve his goals). He was always coming up with projects to kill the dungeoneers, this included sending various minions to do his dirty work. He only really ever appeared to the Dungeoneers if they reached the Quest Room.

A nice way to find out what Lord Fear was planning was for the Dungeoneers to use Spy Glasses found in various rooms randomly in the Levels. During these little spy sessions (in which he always finds out they are spying on him and tries to kill em with fireball n spells) the Advisors can hear everything that he was saying to his minions in regards of how to cast some spells, how to get past certain traps, basically giving them useful information to use against him ^^

At the end of each season something always happens to the bad guy in order to force him to move location or get new minions. My favourite of this was he got a Red Dragon and that was shot down by Treguard and landed on Lord Fear and his Minions.

As already mentioned the Dungeoneers could be killed. Their deaths could happen in just about any way, falling from a path, getting captured by the enemy, getting spiked, fried by fireballs just a few examples.

In the levels the Dungeoneers met both friends and foes. They with their advisors had to solve various riddles, collect items, gain spells and generally stay alive in order to get to the Quest Item and beat the game. A lot of swapping of items and saving their friends, with both sides trying to gain more allies, in Lord Fears case bribing people though fair and foul means.

There were 2 openings – the first spanned Seasons 1-5, which was animation that generally reminded me of Prince Valiant for some odd reason. The 2nd ran from Season 6 to end and was of a Dungeoneer running through rooms, falling through a door, grasped by a hand and running throwing gold dust at the end.

I would certainly give it:
8/10 for watch ability
7/10 for the acting
8/10 for the dialogue

One day I hope they release it as a box set but I can’t see it happening, however I loved Knightmare and it now has a cult status in the UK, if you ever see anything around the world with the opportunity to watch it – then do so!

-- Vande

Tags: Review, knightmare

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