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Chronicles of the Sword

Developer - Synthetic Dimensions
Publisher - Psygnosis
Release date - November 1996

Chronicles of the Sword is an adventure game developed by Synthetic Dimensions and released by Psygnosis. The game, originally titled as King Arthur: The Quest of The Fair Unknown, is based on Arthurian legends and uses a point-and-click interface. Chronicles of the Sword tells the story of the young knight Gawain on a quest to save Camelot from the scheming witch queen Morgana.


The game's sword and sorcery type story is set in Albion, Sub-Roman Britain, circa 420 A.D. The player assumes the role of Gawain, a young apprentice knight about to be ordained by King Arthur who is struggling to uphold virtues of his peaceful and prosperous kingdom. Gawain's is ordered by Merlin to seek out and vanquish Queen Morgana, Arthur's half-sister and evil sorceress, before she can destroy Arthur and seize the throne of Albion.

The game begins with Morgana cruelly murdering the court priest of King Arthur's castle of Camelot, located just as Gawain was about to be given his knighthood. She plots to reveal Sir Lancelot Du Lac and Lady Guinevere's affair to the world, which would help her overthrow Arthur and take over. The court wizard Merlin has discovered her nefarious plans, and the unknowing Gawain is used by Merlin to force Morgana into appearing before the king. Morgana is tried for treason and sentenced to be banished from the kingdom, but she then openly declares war on him and uses her supernatural powers to kill the guards and vanish. After Morgana's later attempts to assassinate Arthur is thwarted by Merlin, the king finally decides she needs to be stopped once and for all, and orders her to be found and put to death. Merlin then handpicks Gawain to be instrument of Morgana's destruction.


Gawain - The player character, eldest son of King Lot and Arthur's sister Morgause. Gawain arrived at Camelot just the previous night before the start of the game, after having been nominated by Sir Lancelot to become a knight of King Arthur's Round Table. Later, Merlin order him to carry out the execution of Morgana using all means at his disposal. Gawain is chosen for this task precisely due to his youth and lack of experience, for Merlin hopes it will confuse and flatter the vain Morgana.
Queen Morgana - The game's main antagonist, Morgana is King Arthur's immoral half-sister who constantly conspires against him and desires to be the ruler of all Albion. She is a witch of great dark power who once learnt much of her sorcery from Merlin himself, but now she and Merlin are bitter rivals and their past intimacy means nothing to them. Morgana has made many attempts on Arthur's life and is rumoured to be behind many mysterious deaths and disappearances, but never has left any trace of her involvement. A lascivious femme fatale of great beauty, Morgana is a master of intrigue and deception, and even without her magical powers she would make a dangerous adversary. Like Merlin, Morgana is semi-immortal, which requires Gawain to magically trap her soul in order to defeat her.

Merlin (Merrdyn) - Merlin is a powerful warlock who is several hundred years old and may have been born in Atlantis. Merlin has been an influential figure for a very long time, working towards a greater goal known to no-one but himself. He was advisor to Vortigern, the last great king of Britain. When Ambrosius Aurelianus and Uther Pendragon killed Vortigen and stole his throne, Merlin appeared to change his allegiance and support Ambrosius until his death, and then Uther when he succeeded him. It is rumoured that he and Morgana had a short, explosive affair, but now they are sworn enemies. Merlin is hard drinking and often is callous when dealing with other people.
King Arthur (Arthus) - Arthur is noble king of Britain, cultivating the ideal of the chivalrous knight operating under an honourable code of conduct. He started the fellowship of the Round Table after drawing the sword from the stone, thereby fulfilling a prophecy and proving his right to rule. Years ago, Merlin informed Arthur that once he was tricked into going to bed with Morgana, disguised by a spell, and the issue of their union was to be the instrument of Arthur's death. Arthur loves his wife, Guinevere dearly, but projects onto her an ideal which she cannot possibly live up to.

Queen Guinevere - Guinevere, the King's wife, is a beautiful young queen who dresses and walks in a way which would tempt most men at court. She enjoys flirting with young knights, a habit the King finds irritating. Lady Guinevere is intelligent but too young and inexperienced to offer Arthur help and be a confidant. Morgana wants to use her romance with Lancelot in her plot against Arhur.
Ragnar - Ragnar is a sadistic Saxon vampire based at Lyonesse. He is entirely is devoted to Morgana, despises mortals, and is very difficult to destroy.


Chronicles of the Sword is a third-person, mouse-based point-and-click graphic adventure game, featuring sprite based characters in 3D pre-rendered environments with switching viewpoints. The game's user interface uses a context-sensitive cursor for movement and actions, and a classic adventure conversation system based on choosing dialogue options. It also includes a few action game elements in the form of simple combat sequences that are interactive only on the Regular difficulty level and are automated (shown as cutscenes) on the Easy setting.


The game has been originally being developed by Synthetic Dimensions (then functioning under the name of DCD, or Dimension Creative Design) as King Arthur: The Quest of The Fair Unknown. The development team boasted of having spent a full year researching for a preparatory work into the production. According to Synthetic Dimensions, they have discovered "that there are few known facts, but plenty of mismatched half-truths, so the game sets out to detail a hitherto unheard part of the story. In a mid-1994 version of the game, as shown to the Edge magazine, the player character was the titular Fair Unknown (Gingalain), sent to a Welsh castle to rescue a queen.

Upon reaching the castle, the player had to battle various enemies, including a giant serpent, a pair of mages, and a few undead skeletons (sword fights against an enormous snake and the skeletons are actually featured in the final version, towards the end of the game in Morgana's castle). This initial mission completed, the player would then return to Camelot, "where the real meat of the game begins" (Chronicles of the Sword begins already in Camelot), and the game would also feature Merlin and Morgana.

The version publicly shown at the ECTS '95 was titled Chronicles of the Sword. The game supposedly uses professional actors for voice acting, but their names were not publicly disclosed. It was created using PCs and Amiga computers and Imagine and 3D Studio Max rendering programs (the graphics were first created using the palette of 16.7 million colors, before being downscaled down to only 256 colors, as well as "lots" of other techniques, "including full-motion video, stop-motion animation, model making, make-up, rendering, pain, and hand animating.


  1. Please help me. How do you start this game? On what emulator?

  2. I love this game (evn though it is ridiculous). It is just my childhood nostalgia. I love playing it at nights. I ran it on emulator but it plays sound on both channels - left and right. I mean every answer of any character is playing two different audio track monologues at the same time.

    Yours is working perfectly.


    1. I don't know anything about running PS1 games on a emulator. you might need to switch to a different emulator.