Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

#  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

[Home] [Login]
1. Vale of Banburn
From TES issue 6 (March 1997)


Perhaps an unfamiliar title to some readers, the Dungeon Valleys were a mysterious feature to many quests in series three, and often proved to be a key feature.

For the uninitiated, the valleys comprised of a long winding path, flanked by huge cliffs, and leading towards various caverns at the end.

Obstacles range from a cunningly disguised patch of quicksand, which accounted for one dungeoneer, and almost inevitably an enemy presence along the path. To further refresh your memories, the valley was bathed in a dull, green light, with two narrow waterfalls visible in the distance.

The challenge presented to the dungeoneer appeared at first to be little more than tricky - merely requiring cautious guidance along the narrow pathway. However, the whine of a goblin horn, or the clanking of a nearing knight [i.e. Behemoth] soon injected panic and fear into the proceedings !

Perhaps another element of challenge arose from the change of angle halfway down the path. The guiders suddenly would have to adjust the directions they issued to their dungeoneer, and would most likely be able to see the evil creatures lurking behind !

Despite only appearing in one series, the valleys offered some memorable moments. I can recall many exciting chases through the valleys, such as the large armoured knight who often featured. Mr Grimwold often charged after dungeoneers along the pathway. However, the valleys were without doubt another favourite haunt of goblins. For me, the most memorable example of this came in the final quest of 1989, when Chris and chums found themselves trapped ! Previously, all dungeoneers simply walked to the end of the path, but Chris had goblins in front of him, AND behind him ! Without Treguard pointing out a small cave set into the cliff, Chris was doomed.

Overall, in my opinion. the valleys provided a lot of excitement, and a good means of thrilling long-distance chases. However, I somehow feel that it would not have fitted into any other series but series 3.

The valleys had an air of mystery about them. There appeared to be great significance, and often teams would begin to contemplate further examination, only to encourage enemy pursuit. Or, in the case of [Gavin] - the first dungeoneer of the series, the quicksand proved too tempting to ignore !

Perhaps this is a matter of personal preference, but I always liked the silent, calm yet sinister aspect of this chamber, despite it's somewhat insignificant role in the dungeon.

Difficulty : 4 : Good guiders had no trouble. However, it was easy to panic
Killer Instinct : 2 : One victim in one series, without really being dangerous !
Gore Factor : 2 : Quicksand didn't look fun, but at least there was no blood...
Fairness : 6 : Not entirely obvious where to go, but not too nasty either...

Written by and submitted with the kind permission of Paul McIntosh.

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2007-12-11 17:24:42
Thumbs up    Thumbs down
2 up, 0 down
login to vote

2. Vale of Banburn
From TES issue 57 (May 2009)

Series 3. Level 1.

The Vale of Vanburn – or, to be strictly accurate, the rocky area with the waterfall at the end of the Vale of Vanburn – was the source of the breach between the world of Knightmare and the kingdom of the elves that existed throughout series 3. Treguard referred to the valley as a strange new land that didn’t quite exist within the confines of the Dungeon, but was nevertheless a part of it. For this reason, the Vale of Vanburn can be seen as a precursor to places such as Wolfenden, Winteria and Witch Haven, which were known to shift in and out of “Dungeon dimensions” at different times.

Because the Vale of Vanburn served as a gateway to the elf world, Velda could often be found on guard here. The wood elf described herself at one point as Keeper of the Gate, implying that it was her specific task to guard the valley and prevent any uninvited humans from blundering into the kingdom of the elves. Whether or not Velda had taken it upon herself to perform this task, or whether she had been instructed to guard the breach by some higher elf power, we shall probably never know.

Her role as guardian of the elven realm was perhaps what caused Velda to be so shirty most of the time, as she was obviously of the opinion that unconstrained travel between the realms of human and elf would have constituted an unforgivable affront. Nevertheless, despite Velda’s unceasing efforts to keep humans out of the elf world, elves could often be seen walking in and out of the human world with complete impunity as the dungeoneers made their way – often agonisingly slowly – along the valley. The physical features of these elves were never clearly discernible, although there’s one that I swear is wearing Sidriss’s dress!

Anyway, perhaps we can infer from this occasional elf rush hour that the Vale of Vanburn was, in fact, part of the elf world, and the human world (i.e. the Knightmare Dungeon) had shifted in such a way that the two worlds had become overlaid. But I suppose we’ll never really know for sure!

Difficulty: 6 Dealing with Velda was never exactly an easy task.
Killer Instinct: 1 Discounting quicksand, the only threat was the crossbow.
Gore Factor: 2 It only fired purple lasers.
Fairness: 9 A nice introduction to the wider parameters of the Dungeon.

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2010-06-10 19:19:49
Thumbs up    Thumbs down
2 up, 0 down
login to vote

3. Vale of Banburn
From TES issue 68 (March 2011)

Series 3. Level 1.

Watching dungeoneers stumble oh-so-slowly through the Vale of Vanburn is the one part of Knightmare that I have – occasionally - fast-forwarded. Yes, it’s true, much to my shame! Admittedly this has almost always been whilst watching Scott’s team, whose attempt at this challenge could not have been any worse without actually dying here, but I don’t find the whole experience of watching dungeoneers shuffling along the valley as rewarding as series 3 purists do, I tend to think.
 [Related Image] Yes, there are undoubtedly some nice moments of tension here, with the lurking danger of the quicksand (ever present in our minds after seeing Gavin, the first dungeoneer of the series, sink to his doom) coupled with the approaching goblins/ogre/behemoth, not to mention the horribly winding path and the sudden change of camera shot, making things very tough for the teams, and keeping us on the edge of our seats. I do have this slight feeling, however, that when you’ve seen one trip through the valley, you’ve seen them all (apart from Chris’s visit during the final episode of the series, when something unexpected and slightly interesting happened to make sure we didn’t drop off through lack of excitement) but this challenge undoubtedly fits well into series 3, in terms of the atmosphere it created as well as its level of difficulty.
 [Related Image] In the wider context of the show, of course, the Vale of Vanburn is very important, as it was the first part of another magical land (the Kingdom of the Elves) that came to reside within or overlap with the world of Knightmare (a concept later referred to as coming within Dungeon Dimensions) and so it paved the way for such concepts as the Greenwood, Wolfenden, Winteria and Grimdale. To what extent this was or wasn’t a good development is entirely up to the individual Knightmare fan to decide, of course, but it does go to show that the seeds of many ideas that shaped Knightmare’s later years were sewn during series 3, which perhaps was the series that managed to find the best balance between the concept of the old Knightmare Dungeon, and the idea that Knightmare was also an ever expanding magical land.

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2011-04-09 20:22:04
Thumbs up    Thumbs down
1 up, 0 down
login to vote