Le Chevalier du Labyrinthe Appreciation Week

The French Knightmare spin-off.
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Pooka
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Le Chevalier du Labyrinthe Appreciation Week

Post by Pooka » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:01 pm

I don't think I'll be able to get to Chat tonight, but I don't see any harm in starting this now. We an do it next week as well if you want...

Anyway, so, Chevalier.

I can't say I'm totally convinced by Chevalier as much as I am by Knightmare, but then that isn't the intention at all, really, is it? Were this an imitation of KM, it would be subpar - but, as an actual version of the show for a different audience* (*the French), I think it kind of holds up.

Let's start with the negative bits. I'm not overly fond of the Knight who replaces Treguard as a DM character - although he's certainly enjoying himself in the rôle. He's not a terrible character, but he does tend to veer towards and away from wanting the teams to win with alarming rapidity and regularity, going so far as to pitch in univited with an "Avance!" when he thinks the Chevalier is being too slow. He could do with being a little more relaxed. Costume's good, though.

I'm also not totally convinced by the array of rather forgettable characters encountered throughout the Dungeon - I can't even remember their names, with the exception of Merlin (who is okay, I suppose - not a patch on our Merlin though!). And I also kind of dislike the generic "death" animation of a little explosion, for whatever kind of death the Chevalier may face.

Although what I dislike most about Chevalier (and I suspect I'm not the only one) is the fact that it is very clearly designed to win easily. One team per episode with four potential Chevaliers, with a strange Helmetless ending sequence - with no actual villain so there's no final encounter either - a puzzle to put together with a generous time limit, and the prize of a rather un-mediaeval Sega Master System... each! UK winning teams with one Frightknight to share must be kicking themselves!

The fact that the team can, and will, win is a bit of a distraction from the tension of Knightmare where one foot in the wrong place meant abject failure and you had no idea what was coming. Here, even if they blunder a bit, you kind of know what's coming... and it's courtesy of SEGA.

However, having said all that, I do think this is a pretty decent show. They've done quite a lot with what looks like a rather limited budget, and with a small timescale for each team, they all manage to get quite a decent quest in the bargain - there are lots of floor puzzles here, and although they may not be as harrowing and dangerous as what we got with PYCR or the CoB, they are something to give the teams cause to fret over.

And the tunics. I like the tunics.

So, yes, in summary, I doubt I'm of the intended audience for this show, but I was never going to be. There are a few episodes floating around, so if you haven't seen any, give a couple a watch. It's not nailbiting stuff, but it's certainly a lot of fun, and for a while it was the closest thing we had to more Knightmare.

Certainly worth the effort, and if they must have every team win, they may as well do it like this.
Pooka - teacher, writer, comedian, musician, geek, and full-time Knightmarian.

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Re: Le Chevalier du Labyrinthe Appreciation Week

Post by Canadanne » Sun Mar 29, 2015 3:10 pm

I really like le Mâitre, the sarky bastard! He is a bit shouty at times, but he makes me laugh with all his piss-taking. I love it when he gets so impatient with the advisors that he takes over the guiding himself! There must have been times when Hugo Myatt felt like doing the same. ;D

Unsurprisingly, I don't like the format either, with the multiple lives and episode-length quests. And the Sega prizes really are very jarring! But it's great to see further adventures through David Rowe's dungeon rooms, especially when they appear with unique modifications, and I'd really love to see more. (Can't believe the French version ran continuously for almost two years! Our seasons were so short by comparison.)

Some of the questions they ask are pretty nice, though the sudden jump from classical mythology to Indiana Jones is again rather weird! The show must have been quite educational for kids, with teams not only being told the correct answer when they're stumped, but having to remember it later on.

My favourite thing about Le Chevalier is the balcony set where they stand to watch the adventure. Quite like the tabard worn by the dungeoneer, too. And the theme music is catchy, though obviously not as good as Knightmare's!

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Re: Le Chevalier du Labyrinthe Appreciation Week

Post by pjmlfc05 » Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:04 pm

Was one of the winning prizes a mega drive?!

To be honest that is my only memory... and a dungeoneer who perished at what looked like some sort of train station (although I could be totally wrong!!)
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