Crapshoot: Conquests of the Longbow, the Robin Hood game that didn’t suck

0
53

[ad_1]

lb_in

From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. This week, Robin Hood could be in a fix. Robin Hood, Robin Hood, spies a Weetabix. Does he retreat? Back to Sherwood? No. Because it’s just a ****ing cereal.

Today I want to talk a bit about one of my favourite game endings of all time. Of course, to get there and see why it’s so great, we need to take a little bit of a journey. The place? Sherwood Forest. The time? How about right now, or in a few hours if you’re reading this in Americaland? And the hero of the quest? A man in Lincoln green tights by the name of Robin Hood. You may have heard of him.

Conquests of the Longbow is one of Sierra’s lesser-sung adventures—most of which also hit the shelves without the word “Quest” or “Larry” anywhere in their titles. It was the sequel to an Arthurian game called Conquests of Camelot, with both games written by designer Christy Marx (who has plenty of credits, gaming and otherwise, but whose most famous creation is probably Jem—the 80s pop cartoon whose theme music is even now almost certainly running through your skull. Um. Sorry about that.)

Both games took a similar approach to their myths: meticulous detail, and a more paganistic version of the stories than usually told. In Camelot for instance, Arthur has to begin his quest for the Holy Grail by paying tribute to both Christ and Mithras, an ancient mystery cult. Amusingly, the penalty for ignoring either was the same, and this was a Sierra adventure with many Sierra deaths, making this the only game I’m aware of where a vengeful Christ will drop a portcullis on your head for disrespecting him.

The beauty of both legends is that they’re endlessly malleable. Neither have a ‘true’ version, and changed radically over the years. In the Arthurian stories, specific retellings like Mallory fixed our view of the story, but elements like Guinevere’s affair with Lancelot, or even Lancelot’s existence—in earlier versions, Gawain was firmly The Man—were late additions to the story. Personally, I always felt a little sorry for Morganna le Fay, who started off as an ally but eventually morphed into one of the villains, probably because her name is much, much cooler than that of her sister Morgeuse, which sounds like something a hungry man would shout at a duck-themed banquet.

[ad_2]

Source link