Someone Make This: The Knights of the Round Table
After reading The Once and Future King and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and listening to Alex constantly write about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I realized that gaming has been given a great disservice.
While there have been games directly or loosely based around the King Arthur legend, none of them has ever captured what the essence of the Knights of the Round Table. Fortunately, I am here to reveal how to make a great game off of this legend.
Part God of War, part Dante’s Inferno, and part The Elder Scrolls, players control one of the knights of the round table as they attempt to build the legend and rule of King Arthur and Camelot.
Told in three parts, players begin by picking one of the knights, like Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain, Sir Perceval, Sir Galahad, Sir Kay, Sir Bors, King Pellinor (for humor), and on and on.
The game is told in three parts, reflecting the journey of each Knight and the rule of King Arthur.
First, the Knight chosen must pass the test to become a Knight of the Round Table. Sir Lancelot must travel from France, obtain gear, and battle the Black Knight.
This introduction of each knight acts as the tutorial, but focusing on the Knight’s legendary story (or making one up where information is sparse). When players beat the game as one Knight, they have reason to play as the next, even if they are going through another tutorial.
The next major story point is each Knight’s mystic quest. Sir Gawain vows to meet the Green Knight in the Green Chapel one year after lopping off his head during Camelot’s Christmas celebration.
Each Knight goes through a solitary journey to discover themselves and their role in Camelot, so this story mission can give the Knight a special ability.
Finally, King Arthur solidifies his legend with the Hunt for the Holy Grail. Again, every Knight had his own story in this quest, although Sir Galahad probably has the best of them all. If you don’t know about the “Castle of the Maidens,” then you need to watch the King Arthur spoof Monty Python and the Holy Grail (enter God of War‘s video game boobs)!
As an epilogue, there could be a bonus mission at the end following the Fall of King Arthur. By using the game’s morality system, a player ends the game for or against Arthur in the final battle. For added challenge, the final battle could be timed to the game’s credits, holding a final cutscene hostage on the condition that the player “wins” the epilogue mission.
Set in Camelot, players will navigate Great Britain, fighting mythical creatures, saving damsels in distress, and winning the favor of villages for King Arthur’s sake.
Like an Elder Scrolls game, players will have randomly generated side missions and events as they travel the land. The main story quests can occur when players visit Camelot and activate them, spending the rest of the time building the rule of Camelot.
If the game is set in a persistent world, players can check their maps (which were enchanted by Merlin in the video game) to see the location of other Knights and work with (or against) them in their side missions.
Allowing for an open and diverse world, the game feels like an MMO without being online at all.
With its open world, players will be encouraged to explore and build their own legend and reputation.
However, chivalry was new with King Arthur, so the Knights had to be taught Christian morality.
In every situation, players can choose how they would like to complete the quest, either through acts of evil or through the righteous road.
Evil will be rewarded immediately with better loot, more experience and gold, and a faster reputation (although negative), but in the final chapter, they will be faced with greater challenges as they must purify themselves for the Grail.
Good will be a long-term reward. More missions will have to be accomplished to adopt the new idea of chivalry. With chivalry, Knights must adopt poverty, and armor must be earned fairly and righteously. However, with a pure reputation, the Knight reaches the Grail faster. Don’t think that makes the quest any easier, as Heaven will test your righteousness with temptations and trials.
The game will be a third-person action-RPG with fluid combat. The players will fight dragons, witches, or other knights and will be tasked with navigating enchanted woods, climbing Ogre-filled mountains, and raiding castles.
The fun is directly proportionate to the amount of side missions accomplished. While they are completely optional and never-ending, players will be interested in seeing what the game can throw at them.
However, to make sure players get through the story, the three main quests must feature large set-piece moments and epic battles.
While featuring an open world like The Elder Scrolls, the game features a smaller story to appeal to players who think open-world games are too large to handle.
All games need DLC, and this DLC will model itself after Mass Effect, featuring mid-game bonus missions, equal in scope to the story missions.
DLC 1 “The Rise of King Arthur” – Featuring a young Arthur and releasing him as a playable character, this alternative tutorial mission spans the pulling of Excalibur, the building of Camelot, and the Battle of Orkney (where King Pellinor scored the killing blow, which would be hillarious if Arthur had to complete the whole battle).
DLC 2 “The Submission of [enter foreign power here]” – When Camelot was established, King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table had to establish their power and start earning taxes. Epic battles can be waged with all the Knights raiding large castles.
DLC 3 “The Trial of Guenevere” – As a heartfelt conclusion to game’s DLC, players will choose between acting as Guenevere’s champion during her Trial (which is a nice way of saying “execution”) or fight for Arthur’s honor and execute the cheating ho! Either decision leads to a major battle as the Knights are split over the decision. Technically, this happens after “The Quest for the Holy Grail,” but this could be written in any part of the story, and the outcome can end with the player explaining to all Knights why this is not a reason to break up the Round Table and why the outcome of the trial justifies Arthur’s new ideas of justice.
Who Should Make It
1 – Bethesda: As creators of The Elder Scrolls, they know how to make the game feel like a truly imersive and open world. Unfortunately, when they make this, the game will be unplayable for a month until patches are released.
2 – EA: Getting BioWare (Mass Effect) and Mythic (started Dark Age of Camelot in 1999) to work together, two of the biggest RPG makers could put together a solid game. Unfortunately, EA would demand multiplayer, so the game would lose some of its single-player development.
3 – 2K: With Rockstar in charge of this open-world game, the game would feature plenty of side missions and a definite story. Unfortunately, the side missions would get repetitive, and the characters would never look quite right.