King Arthur & the Knights of Justice
King Arthur & the Knights of Justice is an adventure game by Enix that was developed by Manley & Associates and based on a very short-lived Saturday morning cartoon. Although it has nice graphics and music, the game seemed to have been rushed to completion and is ultimately bogged down with glitches, an awkward password system, and mundane game design. However, it's quite a treasure trove of unused junk.
In the words of an airborne breakfast food:
- It's more fun to dissect this game than it is to actually play it.
- 1 Debug Mode
- 2 Unused Graphics
- 3 Unused Items
- 4 Excised Boss
- 5 Unused Areas
- 6 Unused Cutscene
- 7 Blinder's Way
- 8 Unused Text
- 9 Uncompiled Code
While the license text screen is displayed, on controller 2 press L, R, X, A, B, Y. A sound effect will confirm success. This code sets memory address 7E0F1F to 01, which enables the game's debugging features. Both your character's X/Y coordinates and an unknown set of coordinates will appear at the bottom of the screen (the latter can be changed by fiddling with the D-pad on controller 2). Pressing Select on controller 2 will bring up a fairly extensive debug menu (pictured here), which allows you to activate various cheats, listen to music and sound effects, view the contents of RAM, and watch the ending.
A quick analysis of the debugging code reveals that several other features were mapped to controller 2 at some point, but their routines were commented out before the program was compiled (all that remains is a single NOP).
- Teleports - This allows you to toggle on and off all the warp/exit points in the game.
- Battle Triggers - This determines whether enemies appear. "Yes" enables them, "No" removes them.
- Unlimited Specials - If set to "Yes", this gives you infinite Shield Attacks.
- Special Kill - This makes certain bosses invincible if toggled to "Yes" because each shield attack hit sets their health to a fixed value instead of reducing it. However, if they are hit with one shield attack they will die after two fully charged weapon swings. This even causes Warlord Viper's human form to register hits from shield attacks, which he normally doesn't do.
- Ping Trigger - If set to "Yes", this causes a low tone to play when there is an event or dialogue trigger on-screen. For example, it pings constantly after you beat a Warlord up until someone starts talking about the key it drops. It will also ping if you have warps turned off and stand on a spot where a warp should be.
- BG Attr. (kn) - This option lets you toggle clipping. If set to "No", you can walk through any obstacles.
- Song - Music test. Pressing A, B, X, or Y cycles through all the game's 15 songs.
- FX - Sound effect test. Pressing A, B, X, or Y cycles through all the game's sound effects. There are 28 sound effects; attempting to go beyond 28 will reset the number to 0.
- Dump Memory - RAM/ROM viewer. Use the D-pad to scroll around (hold B to change the bank number), and press A to exit (the game does not redraw the debug menu when you do this, so you'll need to press Start to clear the screen). Each word is displayed in big-endian format, for some odd reason.
- End Sequence - This takes you directly to the ending cutscene.
This walking animation of the generic villager sprites is never used in the game. The villagers are always standing still, facing left or right, and they never walk around.
This walking animation of Merlin is never used, either. When Merlin appears, he materializes, motions with his hands, and teleports away, but he never walks around.
Talking Female Villager
An unused talking animation for the female villagers. Though you can talk to them, they don't animate when you do.
Talking Male Villager
An unused talking animation for the male villagers. Just like with the females, they don't animate when you speak to them.
Unused Character Portrait
This character portrait of a bearded man is never used for anyone in the game. It was most likely intended for Erek of Tintagel, but his character was combined with a hermit who would teach you about the healing herbs, and thus Erek took on the hermit's portrait instead. (See the Unused Text section below for more information.)
Unused Drawbridge Animation
This animation of a Warlord Castle drawbridge opening up was also omitted from the final game. When you approach a castle for the first time, the drawbridge is always up. After finding the secret passageway into the castle and leaving through the main gate, the drawbridge will then always be in the down position. The frames in-between are never used.
Unused Healing Herb Sprites
These are sprites stored in memory for the healing herbs. The first sprite shows what they look like after you've picked them up. The last sprite shows what they look like before picking them up. The two sprites in-between are never used. Excised dialogue (see below) suggests the healing herbs were originally intended to gradually regrow over time, as opposed to respawning instantly when you exit and reenter an area.
Unused Sword Icon
These three sprites are loaded into memory whenever a knight's key or shield is required to be onscreen. However, the sword icon in this set is never used for anything.
Several items on the list in the ROM data do not exist in the final cut of the game. They are:
- Copper, Platinum - Since these are right alongside the Pitch Blend, it was probably intended for you to find all three of these things for the alchemist, Druas, but the scenario was shortened so that you only have to find the Pitch Blend.
- Red Mushroom - Though there are Red Mushroom enemies, it is not possible to gain one as an item.
- Sapphire of Truth - Since this is right alongside the Emerald of Reason and Ruby of Compassion and has a similar name, it is logical to assume that it was meant to be another item you needed to get to break the curse on Welton Village, but was excised to shorten the scenario.
- Cup of Life - This is listed with the other items for the Dark Forest, so it was probably related to the excised quest to break the curse on the City of the Dead. A character tells you how to break the curse, but it cannot actually be done.
There are also a number of item sprites that are loaded into memory upon viewing the Inventory screen, but are not actually used for anything and are not even defined in the item list.
- - These look like unused Warlord Helmets, possibly alternate designs for the one you give to the Blacksmith. The one on the left looks exactly like Warlord Slasher's helmet, but the one on the right does not match anyone's helmet.
- - A white palette swap of the Pixie Dust and Saltmoss, but this one isn't used.
- - This is probably a sprite for Excalibur, but weapons are not displayed in the inventory.
- - Unused flowers. These were probably components for making magical potions that were cut.
- - These are probably the potions that would have been made with those cut components. The only potion bottle you ever receive is the Fire Protection Spell, but these sprites are completely different from that one.
- - An alternate sprite for a piece of the Staff of Rhiothamus. It seems this would have combined with the existing Staff Piece item, as well as the Iron Scraps, to form the full staff. See below.
Iron Scraps & the Staff of Rhiothamus
The sprite for the Iron Scraps looks as though it was originally intended to be the top part of the Staff of Rhiothamus. This graphic rip shows the Iron Scraps, the Staff Piece as it appears in the game, and the unused graphic for the end of the staff. Notice how they clearly look as though they'd line up and all three have that same green glow along the bottom.
This is a mock-up of what the fully-assembled staff may have looked like. The reason the top part's purpose was reassigned and the bottom part was left entirely unused is probably because it would have been impossible to show the completed staff on the inventory screen with the way it is set up.
"Blackwing" is listed amongst the bosses in the game's ROM data. An interview with the developers in Nintendo Power magazine confirmed that Blackwing, a Warlord character from the cartoon series, was intended to be a boss. No evidence of the boss aside from its mention in the list has yet been found.
NOTE: To use the codes in the following section, you must go into either your inventory subscreen or the map subscreen, and then cancel out. The screen will go dark and when it comes back, instead of being where you originally were, you will have warped to the location designated by the code.
Using the code 7E1155:AC will warp you to a section of the Dark Forest that is inaccessible during normal game play. It's a winding forest path that has six northern exits that all warp you right back to this same winding path, and a southern exit that leads to a mysterious and spacious unused cliff. Far south of the cliff is another small section of land with a southern exit. Taking the exit warps you back to this same piece of land.
Code 7E1155:61 warps you to an unused winding hallway in Castle Sanguine that eventually connects to a small room. The room has one eastern exit that warps to the room before the boss room. (Code 7E1155:5F warps you directly into the unused room.) There is no way to gain entry into either the hallway or the room during normal game play.
This hall and room are actually mirror images of others that appear in the castle, and their existence is due to the fact that the castle has a symmetrical layout, as can be seen in the small map on the right (with the red areas being the unused hall/room, and the blue areas being rooms normally accessible). For whatever reason, they were simply never made accessible.
The code 7E1155:E3 warps you to a small unused room in Castle Vilor with no apparent exits, although you can go through a hidden door in the north wall. There is no way back into it.
In the Town of the Dead, behind the double doors in John Black's Crypt, there is a hidden unused hallway. To get to it, first use the code 7E1155:FF to warp to Castle Blackroot. Move one screen north and then one screen east. Then use the code 7E1155:23 to warp again. (Alternately, you can set "BG Attr" to "No" in the Debug Menu to turn off clipping, and just walk straight up from the double doors in the crypt.) This hallway was meant to connect the doorway from John Black's Crypt to the Stone Gardens. Instead, in the final game, you go instantly from the doors to the gardens. The hallway's floor tiles are set as impassable barriers, so you cannot walk across them unless you have clipping turned off.
Click the image for the full size, which is far too large to display on this page.
During the quest to retrieve the four elemental keys to access Castle Vilor, you will find the Fire Key on a charred cliff to the north of the screen with the castle's dungeon door. There is a weird blue object on this screen resembling the parasitic cone of a volcano. Beyond that is an unfinished area that was supposed to be a trail to connect the Vilor forest area to the forest near Hadrian's Wall. It is possible to access the upper portion of the trail by taking a south road in the Hadrian's Wall forest area, but large rocks were placed at both the north and south trailheads to block access to the middle portion of this map. There's a ramp leading down to the blue cone area, but it was blocked off with a row of ill-fitting tiles. Boundaries aren't in place in some parts of this area, meaning that Arthur can walk right through walls onto higher land elevations. A large number "1" (or lowercase "L"?) constructed from tree pieces appears in the bottom-left corner of the map, perhaps intended to identify this map during development.
Strangely enough, a screenshot was included on the back of the game's box that showed Arthur on the ledge behind the blue cone. It is impossible to get to that ledge during normal game play.
Codes 7E1155:09 and 7E1155:10 warp you to a blacked-out room where data for an unused cutscene is stored. The scene shows Arthur from behind kneeling down in a forest, picking up healing herbs, and it's marked with a letter "D".
Blinder's Way is a huge maze of warps through a forest area. It was intended to be much longer than it is in the final version of the game, and the developers didn't do a very good job of hiding that. The in-game map that you get from the Mapmaker in Welton contains a number of marked warps and destination points that do not exist. Part of the maze had to be dummied out because of a potential bug that could land the player in a wall in Castle Camelot.
This thumbnail (click for the full-sized map) shows the complete Blinder's Way area with all the warps marked with the corresponding letters from the in-game map.
This image shows the in-game map with the nonexistent warps circled in purple. Compare the two images to see the differences. The in-game map very little resembles the actual area, and warps "S" and "X" don't even take you to where the map says they go.
The Book of Eld deciphers the symbols used for the Blinder's Way warps. None of the symbols in the last three columns of the book's second page are used anywhere in the maze except for the - and the ? symbols. It is possible that some of them were intended to be used for the missing warps.
Though it may not necessarily be related to the missing warps, the trees in the bottom right area of Blinder's Way are hiding a number of invisible warps that send you back to Camelot Castle, but you'll be stuck inside a wall. You can get to these warps by turning off clipping in the Debug Menu.
There is also strong evidence to suggest that the map to Blinder's Way was originally going to be in five pieces and you'd have to find all five and assemble it before you could use it.
King Arthur, what an honor. Do you have need of my map making abilities? Yes, I do. I need any maps you may have of the surrounding area. Warlord Bash has destroyed all of my maps. I only have a scrap of a map of the forest to the north of Gruesome Keep. I would let you have it if you bring me some flowers that breathe deeply of the sea air. Their pigment is a useful dye. Deal.
This is the conversation between Arthur and the Mapmaker. Notice the Mapmaker says he only has "a scrap of a map", even though he gives you the whole map in return for the Sea Flowers.
Find the missing piece of the map. Study the map closely and it will show you the Way.
This is the clue Merlin gives you about Blinder's Way. He tells you to "find the missing piece of the map", even though you are given the whole map at once and never look for missing pieces of it. This would explain why the image of the map in the game looks like it is broken in five pieces. With the map being worthless due to the shortening of the Blinder's Way scenario, it is not surprising this sidequest was taken out.
There is a great deal of unused text buried in the game's ROM.
This Key is mine. A confused note is me, if you rearrange the letters in my name. Good play, Tone. One more key down. Now, we're about half way through this mess.
This is a clue for the part where you get Tone's key, but this dialogue is never actually spoken. Tone never says this before he gets the key or after he gets it.
You've found Tone's Magical Shield.
This dialogue is never spoken because you don't "find" Tone's shield. You get it automatically when he reassembles the broken Staff of Rhiothamus.
Welcome, King Arthur, to my home. Feel free to come here whenever you need healing. The herb patch at the back of the cave can heal wounds you have received. It is little enough to do for one who is fighting to save the whole kingdom. You may find more patches in your journeys. After you harvest the herbs, others will begin to grow. If you return to a patch after a long absence, you will find more herbs to heal your wounds.
Unused dialogue for an unnamed character who would teach you about the healing herbs. The developers probably concluded that such a lengthy explanation for the herbs wasn't necessary and excised it. It may have also been removed because the last line heavily suggests the herbs would regrow over time, whereas in the final game they regrow instantly by leaving and reentering an area where they exist. Note that there are healing herbs in the back of Erek of Tintagel's cave, but the dialogue below suggests that Erek and this healing herb hermit were originally supposed to be two different characters.
King Arthur, my liege! I am Erek of Tintagel. When Warlord Spike laid siege and won my castle, I was forced to flee. I know this castle well and can show you a secret way in if you can bring me something in return. Sounds good. What do you want us to bring you? A book of ciphering stolen from me by the Blacksmith. He lives on the high road to Shield Heights. A book thief! This will be as easy as sacking that quarterback from Miami. Let's go guys! He's a thief?! Let's take him, Arthur. I'll crush him like I did to that quarterback from Miami. We will return with your book, Erek. We have the book you're talking about, but the Blacksmith claims he found it in the woods near here. Anyway, here's the book. Now show us this secret passage. Leave here and take the south road to my cave. In the back of the cave, you will find the secret entrance to the castle underground.
This all appears to be dialogue for an alternate scenario where you had to fight the blacksmith to get back the book that he stole from Erek of Tintagel. None of this dialogue and no such fight occurs in the game. In the final version of the game, the book is given to you by the blacksmith in exchange for a Warlord Helmet. Also notice how the dialogue implies that Erek's hiding place and the secret passage to Tintagel Castle were originally going to be two different places, but in the final game, they are the same cave. It's possible that Erek was combined with the no-name healing herb character in the cave, and that would explain why he has the portrait of a hermit instead of the portrait that was likely intended for him.
No Arthur, he is certainly not within our own lair. You must go back out the passage and find him.
This is right with all the other dialogue for the Gnome King, Kazak, so it's undoubtedly from the scenario where you have to find his missing son. It sounds like it was originally planned for you to talk to Kazak by actually going into the Gnome Woods, as opposed to having him just pop out of the ground when you stand in the right spot.
What is casting this shadow? How does a mortal man collect the clouds or gather the stars? An act of craft it is to be able to look down on your lowly brothers from on high.
Both of these are from the part where you find a flying island and get turned into birds to retrieve the Air Elemental Key from it. However, neither of these lines of dialogue are ever spoken.
You have been lucky enough to defeat my dragon, but I'll be back, and I'll have my revenge!
It sounds like this excised line would have been used after you beat the final boss, a dragon summoned by Morgana, to set up a sequel.
I guess the map doesn't work from the Plain of the Dead. The map is still not working. All the magic in this area must be, like, shorting it out.
Although it's true that the map does not work from the Plain of the Dead, none of this dialogue is spoken as a result of trying to use it.
Well, here comes the pretender to the throne! Dare you meet me in single combat, worm? I thought you lacked the courage to face me. Run back to Camelot, false King Arthur! Back again, weakling? You shall fare no better this time! Dare you try again?
This appears to be unused dialogue for a boss fight. Most bosses do not have dialogue so it is unclear who this was intended for, although the header points to the Lady of the Lake. The second line implies that you would have been given a "Yes" or "No" choice for fighting this boss, but that clause was never built into this structure.
Let's get going Arthur!
This was supposed to be spoken after you choose two knights to go with you at Camelot Castle. Thank goodness it was removed because choosing knights takes long enough as it is.
A puzzle has become corrupted! Too many things unpacked! A foe has an health error!
These are system error messages left over from development and have no use in the final game.
A complete text dump can be found here.
mov A,ChX_SRCN+X ; point D
A single line of uncompiled code can be found at 0x238AAB.