The French and Spanish adaptations make for an interesting contrast with the original gameshow. See the 10 key differences.
The similarities lie in the dungeon. Based on the much-loved Series 3 (1989), the handpainted backdrops enchanted European viewers just as they did UK viewers.
While the French version had a smaller cast and fewer characters, the Spanish version developed an expansive cast. Like Knightmare, several supporting cast members played (or voiced) multiple characters.
The differences lie in the gameplay. In most cases, quests lasted for a single episode. Each team had several 'lives' rather than one, making it a very different sort of game.
With multiple lives came greater difficulty. Despite the set-length quests, French and Spanish knights would regularly encounter Level 3 challenges - some rarely seen in Knightmare!
See the 10 key differences below.
1. Extra lives
- Knightmare: 'This is no game of numerous lives.' When the dungeoneer dies, the quest is over. A new team begins.
- Chevalier: When the knight dies, he/she is replaced by one of the advisors. The team has three chances before the game is over.
- Rescate: The team has four chances. When the last advisor becomes the knight, they are guided by the magician.
2. Turning back
- Knightmare: "The only way is onward. There is no turning back." Another famous rule - dungeoneers could not return the way they came.
- Chevalier: Knights regularly left an encounter by returning in the same direction.
- Rescate: Knights regularly left an encounter by returning in the same direction.
3. The set
- Knightmare: Advisors sit around a viewing screen or look into a pool in the antechamber.
- Chevalier: The advisors enter an antechamber but view the adventure from a balcony.
- Rescate: Advisors sit in front of a viewing screen. The set changes each year.
- Knightmare: Split into three distinct levels of difficulty.
- Chevalier: While wellway rooms were used, the quests did not extend to levels.
- Rescate: No semblance of levels at all.
- Knightmare: Teams received a token rather than a prize: a "Symbol of Squiredom" or frightknight trophy.
- Chevalier: Winners received a SEGA Master System and a Le Chevalier du Labyrinthe board game.
- Rescate: Winners received SEGA consoles in the first year and computers in later years.
- Knightmare: Aside from short sequences with the Oracle, incidental music was only introduced for tension from Series 6 (1992).
- Chevalier: Regular ambient music provided the ambience of a computer game.
- Rescate: Regular ambient music provided the ambience of a computer game.
- Knightmare: Magic was cast and reversed by an advisor by spelling out the letters of the spell.
- Chevalier: Knights evoked magic themselves by calling out the name of the spell (e.g. SESAME).
- Rescate: No magic involved, though some teams had to roll a dice to determine their fate.
- Knightmare: Rolling gameplay - quests continued into subsequent episodes.
- Chevalier: One quest per episode.
- Rescate: One quest per episode for two series, followed by rolling gameplay in the final year.
- Knightmare: 112 episodes over eight years. Broadcast during the autumn.
- Chevalier: 104 episodes over two years.
- Rescate: 78 episodes over three years.
- Knightmare: Very few winners (and none in Series 3, on which Chevalier is based).
- Chevalier: Many winners. Sponsorship with SEGA encouraged product placement, which came through victors.
- Rescate: Many winners, partially prompted by early sponsorship with SEGA.