I can’t say I’m especially familiar with the Wizards & Warriors series. I did watch my brother play through the first game, which involved the quest of the knight Kuros through the Kingdom of Elrond to rescue the princess from the evil wizard Malkil, who turns out to be the same color as Frankenberry.
Not the most original concept, but the game had its own flavor to it, with a lot of vertical as well as horizontal travel. Really, though, what I remember most is that annoying music when Kuros’ health gets low. I’m not sure I realized at the time that there was a sequel, but it turns out there are actually three, two for the original Nintendo Entertainment System and one for the Game Boy. I recently read this review of the second game, Ironsword, which has basically the same plot but with some added stuff about having to fight monsters based on the four classical elements in order to retrieve the parts of the Ironsword.
And I really have to wonder who decided “Ironsword” sounded like a bad-ass name for a weapon. Sounds pretty generic to me, unless perhaps the Kingdom of Elrond is a Bronze Age culture that just learned how to temper iron. Wizards & Warriors III, if the description is to be believed, has Kuros fighting Malkil yet again, this time with the wizard impersonating the King of Piedup. (Is their chief export pies, or what?) And while Wikipedia has little to say about the Game Boy game, it sounds like it’s basically the same thing. I couldn’t say why it’s Chapter X, but then, I haven’t played it.
So who is Kuros? Well, if the games are to be believed, he’s a knight dressed in full body armor, although it doesn’t seem to protect him from much.
Come on, he’s in metal from head to toe, and BEE STINGS can still hurt him? Then again, he’s also able to jump while wearing it. Maybe it’s just for show. What’s weird is that NONE of the box art shows Kuros looking anything like he does in the game, but instead some scantily clad Conan rip-off.
In fact, the box art for Ironsword features none other than Fabio. Let’s hope there aren’t any geese in the game!
The first W&W game is featured in the Captain N cartoon, with the episode “Nightmare on Mother Brain’s Street” involving Captain N and Simon Belmont having to fight their way through this world (which, for some reason, is referred to as Excalibur rather than Elrond; maybe Scientologist writer Jeffrey Scott didn’t want to reference a kingdom with a name so close to that of his lord and master) to rescue Princess Lana from Castle Ironspire.
Malkil appears as a temporary ally to Mother Brain, but Kuros is nowhere to be seen. That’s pretty typical for this show, though; the N Team tends to take the place of the usual heroes (although a few of these heroes are ON the N Team). If you want to see a cartoon Kuros (and who wouldn’t? ;)), you have to turn to The Power Team, a sort of Captain N knock-off that used characters from Acclaim games.
I can only remember ever seeing one episode of this, but Kuros was obviously based on the box art rather than his in-game appearance, and general consensus is that his personality totally aped He-Man’s.
There’s an intriguing flashback panel in the infrequently updated web comic Captain SNES that shows the Power Team Kuros coming face to face with the actual game sprite, but I have no idea whether we’ll get an explanation for this.
For your reference (and mine, since I’ll probably want to find these again at some point), the Captain SNES comics in which these panels originally appeared are 289 and 322. I’d definitely recommend the comic to anyone who remembers Captain N and/or the Power Team. There’s a lot of Chrono Trigger in it as well.