I am delighted to share the pilot for the new Aegis Quest, a live-action RPG game with similarities to Knightmare.
[Don’t miss the cameo after the end credits]
Aegis Quest is a live-action RPG game in which advisors guide a quester through a dungeon full of puzzles, traps and riddles in an interactive Dungeons and Dragons style adventure.
The game owes clear precedents to Knightmare, although there are notable differences. Aegis Quest fashions itself as a new gaming opportunity, with a gaming machine, characters and backstory created from scratch.
Knightmare, it is worth saying, has left unfinished business. Since its controversial axe in 1994, pressure by fans for its return persuaded Tim Child, then of Televirtual, to arc his developments towards an advanced VR gaming system in hope of a new series.
Doing so pushed aside TimeGate, a more mainstream gameshow in development that was aimed at adults.
Sadly, the Knightmare VR pilot, released in 2004, was met with disappointment. Blindfolding the dungeoneer had been abandoned, and with that, out went the drama – and the interest from broadcasters.
With fan demand for the original format still showing no signs of diminishing, Tim Child returned once again to the site in 2008 to announce work in progress that lit many hopes but sadly failed to deliver.
“Through My Eyes Only”: Playing Quester
And so Aegis Quest arrives to stake a claim. If adolescents have now migrated entirely to consoles, AQ might present a realistic chance of bringing this gaming format back to glory again.
Playing the Quester for this pilot was a new experience. Crucially, the fundamental tenets are back. I see only a chequered grid. Advisors, who can see the dungeon environment, must guide me by voice as I control the character through the chambers.
The ledge in part 2 of the pilot shows the format at work. Even navigating around a plain grid can have its tensions. It reminds us, refreshingly, that it can be quite cool to fail.
As a literal cross between a television show and a computer based RPG, I’m not sure if there is anything else like it out there on the gaming circuit.
Keeping it real
While Knightmare’s legacy has never been in question, opportunity has been lost. Two efforts to bring the game back have failed, and a dedicated fan Knightmare RPG project also stalled.
Hence, there is a plenty at stake for Aegis Quest. Anyone who values gaming, innovation, fantasy and nostalgia might consider spreading the word to keep this going. It may be the last of a dying breed.