You walk from left to right and kill a few enemies. Sounds like Super Mario World? Maybe, but it's not! And it's not even something similar! It's Ivanhoe!
The 'story' is quite simple: King Richard has been captured by the French and you have to rescue him. Alone. You start your quest in England. There you have to get to the port. Unfortunately, a forest full of villains lies in the way. So you have no other choice but to fight your way through. You draw your sword and show them what you're made of! These weak peasants are no match for you! Some hits with your blade and they fall to the ground dead. Also those cowards hiding in the trees won't escape you!
Arriving at the coast, the only ship available seems to be owned by vicious pirates! And they don't want to help you crossing the Channel! Well, they wanted it like that! You have to slaughter them all and take control of their ship.
When you step onto French ground, you're lucky! A horse is waiting just for you there. Just the right thing to take you to the city (Paris?). Only two enemies try to stop you. But there's another danger: You have to avoid hitting all the stuff lying and flying around! So you just jump over the trunks and hit the bombs and shields out of your way with your lance.
Surprisingly, the French city is full of French soldiers! And they won't let you (their enemy) pass! What a waste of life... And the guards in the castle where the King is imprisoned are not at all smarter. They can't even think of another solution. Sigh...
The game ends when you find the King. The journey back won't be a problem anyway, because if you count how many people you've killed so far, you'll notice that France can't have much of a population left.
Although Ivanhoe looks and plays quite conservative, it's still by far above average. The swordfighting is certainly much more fun than the ordinary jumping on the heads or shooting. And there's also some change: The horse riding is completely different and the last level (the castle) differs at least a bit from the others because it's not as linear. Instead of just walking from left to right, you have to find your way in a kind of three-dimensional maze here. So you can walk 'into' and 'out of' the screen. The fighting is still there, but it's not that central anymore.
In each level, there are two bosses who are quite hard to beat. The game is really hard on the whole anyway. Only four lives and an energy bar against thousands of enemies is not too much. Between the levels, there's the possibility to win a bonus life in a head-to-head fight against a giant monster though. That's a good thing as you don't risk anything. Still, if you want to complete this game without using the trainer added by the crackers, you have to try very hard. But it's worth it: you'll experience loads of fun and tension.
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