Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia
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1. Level
"This is Level 1 and the fun has just begun!" Motley, Series 3

In Knightmare, 'level' indicated both an area of the subterranean Dungeon and, with a nod to the term's use in the video gaming world, a degree of difficulty.

A dungeoneer began their quest on Level 1. Upon completion of this, they would be presented with a means of descent to Level 2 (originally a wellway), which was meant to be deeper and trickier, and ended with a way down into Level 3, which was even more so (being closer to the power bases of the villainous Opposition), and was the final stage of the quest.

When the Dungeon branched out beyond interior locales on "the lower levels" from Series 4-7, the aspect of depth was essentially lost (e.g. in Series 5, Winteria was reached by descender, but was partly open-air, and was apparently within walking distance of Knightmare Castle without the need for ascent), though the sense of increasing danger and challenge remained in principle.

There were intriguing hints that the Dungeon did not simply consist of three levels, but included no-go areas in between. Such 'storeys' could be espied through windows as the descender moved downwards.

One dungeoneer (Duncan, from Team 8 of Series 5), who 'missed his stop' while catching a descender to Level 2, apparently blundered into one, and a fatal foray along the Corridor Of Blades. "Where did they get to if they didn't make it to Level 2?" asked Pickle. Perhaps it's more than a coincidence that the infamous "short cut" that bypassed Level 2 in Series 8 featured the Corridor Of Blades.

In addition, Lord Fear's Diary in official Knightmare newsletter The Quest (Volume 4, No. 1) refers to 'the places that exist between the levels. Places where things do dwell which even I might fear', into which Lord Fear sent magical Scurriers to retrieve the ingredients for creating skeletrons.

During the quest by Team 1 of Series 7, Lord Fear makes reference to a dungeoneer being in "the third subsection of Level 1". Whether this is an inconsequential remark intended to highlight the precision of Lord Fear's surveillance, or a glimpse into the structuring used by KM's production team when writing/designing levels for the series, is not known.

Like Festus and the Boatman, the three-level Dungeon concept might owe something to the Underworld of Greek mythology, into which heroes sometimes descended on quests. It consisted of three distinct areas of varying menace: Elysium, Asphodel and Tartarus, respectively akin to Heaven, Purgatory and Hell.

The dungeon was divided into three layers; Level One, easy/introductory; Two, tricky/eliminatory; Three hard/final proving ground.

The problem being experienced in studio was that Knightmare’s interactive dungeon cast had to learn each adventure from top to bottom, and so, when a team failed in Level One, the entire adventure (script) was immediately jettisoned. This proved quite disruptive to older cast members such as John Woodnutt (Merlin), because it was unclear which speeches they should be learning next.

Tim solved this problem by plotting each new game on a level-by-level basis. A new team in the game started with the next (unused) Level One game. When they completed it, the games masters picked up the next available Level Two game, etc. No Clues or Objects were carried over from Level to Level, and the gameplay improved accordingly.
Tim Child's History of Knightmare, Knightmare.com

[Earlier version: 2006-03-22 18:43:28]

Provided By: David, 2019-11-17 15:33:30
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