Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Minecart
From TES issue 39 (May 2006)

Series 3. Level 2.

Having used wellways as the sole method of changing levels in the first two series, the Knightmare production team clearly wanted to branch out a bit in series 3. Although dungeoneers still used a well to descend from level one to level two in this series, apart from Scott who used a trapdoor, any dungeoneer lucky enough to earn the right to travel to level three had the pleasure of experiencing an exciting yet bumpy ride down a gold mine in a rickety old mining cart.

In itself, the entrance to the mine looked far from impressive. Viewers of series 2 would have immediately recognised the rocky room as the old hangout of Bumptious the Dwarf, when dungeoneer Cliff first arrived there in episode 3 of series 3. However, what we didn't learn until Leo's arrival at the mine in episode 5 was that the mining cart now moved on the rails, and there was a whole new gold mine travelling sequence to enjoy.
 [Related Image] First, though, there was the issue of getting started. Inevitably, this would involve a character flexing their muscles and pushing the dungeoneer-filled minecart down the mineshaft. The only two characters who performed this task, in fact, were Motley and McGrew, although perhaps others would have done so if other quests had reached this point. Motley started Leo off on his journey [pictured] in return for being told a very bad joke, and later he performed the same service for Martin, who had used Merlin's magic to restore the jester's lost voice. The only other dungeoneer to undertake the journey to the third level was Ross, who was given a push by McGrew. The burly clansman was in Ross’s debt, as he had saved the day when Mogdred had turned McGrew into a toad. McGrew would also have been on hand to push Cliff down the tunnel, if the team hadn't mistreated the poor Scotsman with the excessive overuse of Merlin's magic.
 [Related Image] The ride itself was spectacular, at least to a wide-eyed six-year-old like me. The cart raced down a gold-lit tunnel, which had flickering torches throwing its golden walls into tantalising view, and nuggets of gold strewn on the floor from time to time. The thrilling ride down the mine shaft was one of the few aspects of the first three series I vividly remembered during the period between 1989 and 1996 when series 1, 2 and 3 were just a distant, blissful memory to me.
 [Related Image] The gold mine was created using the same basic travelling animation sequence that was used for the dwarf tunnels in series 3. It presented no challenge whatsoever to the team, and played no significant part in the quest, but it was a visual treat for the viewer at home. Level three in series 3 was presented as a wild, untamed country where evil abounded, in the form of Mogdred, Morghanna, hobgoblins, cavernwights, and all kinds of unknown dangers. The minecart ride helped to enforce this image, and it really was one of those memorable Knightmare sequences that struck a chord with the fans when they first saw it, and still does to this day.

Difficulty: 1 All you had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride!
Killer Instinct: 0 Not designed to kill, or even to hinder.
Gore Factor: 3 A fatal crash could still have been nasty.
Fairness: 10 A new and interesting way to change levels.

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2007-01-22 10:39:13
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