Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood is a 2002 stealth-based real-time strategy video game developed by Spellbound Studios. It is similar to games such as Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive and the Commandos series. In the game, the player controls up to five characters in a setting based on the stories of the protagonist, Robin Hood. The player can also control Robin Hood's Merry Men, including Little John, Friar Tuck, Will Scarlet, Will Stutely, and Maid Marian. Robin and his crew must evade the cruel Sheriff of Nottingham and his henchmen and stop the machinations of the vile usurper to England's throne, Prince John. However, Robin must avoid killing enemies as much as possible, or he will not be able to recruit as many new Merry Men.
The game starts with Robin Hood, arriving in Lincoln from the Crusades, and finding out that his inheritance has been stolen by the notorious Sheriff of Nottingham. After the player finishes the first and second missions, meets with Maid Marian in the Nottingham cathedral, and subsequently tries to meet with the Prince, it is discovered that King Richard has been captured by Leopold of Austria and is being held for a ransom that the Regent Prince John has no intention of paying, instead hoping to use this as an opportunity to usurp the rightful king. The responsibility of getting the ransom of £100,000 to save the king falls into the player's hands. In the final mission, Robin must fight the Sheriff, thereby defeating the Prince.
Characters under player control
Robin is a player controlled character from the beginning to the end (apart from one mission when he is captured and imprisoned in Nottingham. Decisive battles with key enemies (such as the Sheriff) must be fought with him. Robin has the ability to shoot arrows, knock out enemies, and tempt enemy soldiers with purses of money. Along with Maid Marian, he can loot the bodies of unconscious and dead opponents for coins. Uniquely amongst all of the characters, Robin has a different character models and weapons depending on whether he is on a mission in Sherwood Forest or one of the towns. In the forest, he wears all green, including his shirt & tights, and carries a quarterstaff with which he can knock out enemies. In the cities, he wears a brown, leather breastplate and trousers, and carries a sword. Robin is characterised as being noble and merciful.
Stutely is found in the stocks in Nottingham in the second mission. After Robin saves him, he and three merry men escape to Stutely's secret hideout in Sherwood. He can throw rotten apples at soldiers to get their attention, throw nets to catch them, or disguise himself as a beggar to blend in as the enemies pass by. Stutely fights with a pair of small hand axes.
Will is Robin's nephew whom he must save in Leicester, after his imprisonment by the Sheriff. He has ability to strangle enemies from behind, or knock them out with his sling-shot, then finish them off with his flail when they are down. He can also shield allied merry men from the arrows of the enemy. Will fights with a flail which deals a lot of damage and knocks out opponents. He is portrayed as a violent and deadly merry man, showing apparently no remorse for killing guards. Although it is stated that he wears red to prevent his clothing becoming blood-stained, he complains that "I've dirtied my shirt again" whenever he kills an enemy.
Little John is a huge merry man found during a mini-mission in a village in Sherwood Forest, surrounded by the Sherriff's men. He can whistle to attract a soldier's attention and knock him out with his quarter-staff or his fist. He can also help friends by giving them a leg-up to reach high places. Little John has the ability to revive allies that have been knocked unconscious and carry dead or unconscious enemies. He fights with a quarterstaff, and is one of the strongest combatants in the game.
Maid Marian is Robin Hood's childhood sweetheart who meets with Robin at the church in Nottingham, believing he is her confessor, Friar Tuck. Though she does not join him in Sherwood Forest at first, she does rendezvous in-level for special occasions where she is player-controlled. She listens in on enemies, heal injured players with herbs, and shoots as well as any of the men. Marian fights with a sword, and can also take money from the unconscious or dead bodies of enemies. She finally joins after she is rescued from an unwanted marriage to the gross Guy of Gisbourne in York.
At first, Friar Tuck a mild antagonist who Robin must punch out. He then acts as Robin's spy until he is captured and imprisoned by Lord Scathlock. He becomes playable after Robin Hood saves him in Derby. He has the ability to throw wasps' nests at enemies, tempt them with ale, tie up enemies, and eat a leg of lamb to revive himself after a good battle. Tuck fights with a mace with which he can knock out enemies, and can pick locks.
The generic merry men (also known as merries) are simpler characters, with limited abilities identical to those of more important characters, and while some can be recruited in missions, most come to join your band after a story mission has been completed. The proportion of lives spared and money gained influence how many men join your band. There are three types of generic merry men. "Strong merries" are large and slow (both physically and mentally), with the ability to attract attention by whistling, heal themselves with a leg of meat, and pick up unconscious or dead bodies; in combat they use a large club which can knock out opponents. "Moustachioed merries" look similar to Robin, but wear orange & grey and have posh voices. They are as athletic as Robin and Will, and have bows (although even when they are fully trained up, they are worse archers than Robin). Moustachioed merries can shield their allies from arrow fire, and tie up unconscious opponents. They fight with swords. "Aggressive merries" are short and wear orange fur over a green tunic. They can throw apples and heal wounds, and fight with pitch forks. Aggressive merries can stab unconscious opponents to death, and from their dialog appear to be vicious peasants. The names of these merry men are randomly generated, but when Robin escapes from Nottingham, there are three merries who always have the same names: Much the Miller's Son (shown in-game as Much Miller), a moustachioed merry: Peter Noiseaux, an aggressive merry, and "Big" Bolder, a strong merry.
Characters not under player control
Prince John becomes one of the primary antagonists of the game. Robin must capture him to make sure that Richard can return to his throne.
The Sheriff of Nottingham is the archenemy of Robin Hood and rules Nottingham for him. He is an evil and cunning opponent, and is initially thought to be manipulating Prince John. He is fought twice, the first time after luring Robin into a trap with an archery competition, but he flees when injured and leaves his guards to fight. The second time he is fought is also the final time, as he guards Prince John in the final mission.
Sir Guy of Gisbourne is a subject of Prince John and his sly right-man, put in charge of Lincoln when Godwin is arrested. He may be the most cowardly lord in the game, fleeing when Robin takes Lincoln back from him. Robin must kill him when he prepares to marry Maid Marian at a wedding in York
Guillame de Longchamps is a vassal of Prince John and the lord of York. Before The Third Crusade, there is a hint in the game that he served Richard. But after the king leaves in The Third Crusade, Longchamps begins to serve Prince John and thus betrays Richard. He is an anti-villain, who serves John not for personal enrichment, but because he believes that John is a better ruler than King Richard. Robin must kill him and send a merry man named Alan in disguise as Longchamps to pay Richard's ransom.
Sir Scathlock of Derby is a vassal of Prince John. Little is known about Scathlock but he's a cruel lord and he punishes peasants for minor things such as mispronouncing his name. He has different methods of torturing his prisoners for information or for pleasure. He is the Prince's best general. Robin can kill him when he and his allies assault Derby.
There are hundreds of ordinary soldiers throughout the game of varying strength and skill. A soldier's uniform colour indicates his relative skill in combat. Blue soldiers are the weakest and least skilled, yellow & brown soldiers are slightly better, red soldiers are very much better, and the black soldiers form the elite guard of Prince John and are the best in the game. Additionally, there are green soldiers serving Ranulph and Godwin who must be knocked out in one mission, but in all others serve as allies of Robin and his men.
Lancers - these are the most numerous and weakest soldiers in the game. They fight with spears and wear wide-brimmed helmet. If Robin throws a purse with money, they fight each other for those coins.
Swordsmen - these soldiers are marginally stronger than lancers and have a shield which protects them on the left side. Little John, Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck and some specific merrymen can knock them out on the left side with the shield. In combat, they use their shields to defend against merry men with bows and defend their own archers and crossbowmen. If Robin throws a purse with money, they fight each other for those coins.
Halberdiers - These are the most disciplines of the soldiers. They do not leave their post unless they spot an enemy, are ordered by an officer, or are alerted to a threat. If Robin throws a purse with money, they DON'T fight each other for those coins. However, if Friar Tuck leaves beer in their line of sight, they will leave their post for a quick pick-me-up.
Archers - although they have little health, archers can be deadly if swordsmen come in their aid to protect them. They are pitiably weak in combat, dealing only 1 point of damage with their bow. However, they reload very quickly and even a single archer can pin a merry man in place with repeated arrow shots. If Robin throws a purse with money, they fight each other for those coins. They are also very quick to flee.
Crossbowmen - these soldiers have more health than the archers and deal more damage. They are braver than archers and stay around in fights. They are disciplined like halberdiers. If Robin throws a purse with money, they DON'T fight each other for those coins, but they still go for Friar Tuck's beer.
Knights - Knights have the strongest armor in the game like the paladins. They carry a two-handed sword and they are the most powerful foot soldiers in the game, and they are immune to ranged attacks due to their heavy armor. In combat, they stand back and let common soldiers attack first, then with the line "Seeing as I'll have to do it myself..." they attack the player only when he has defeated all of the other soldiers. If Robin throws a purse with money, they DON'T fight each other for those coins. They don't obey officers, although they sometimes guard them.
Officers and Generals - these soldiers command all of the other soldiers in the game except knights, paladins and named characters. They are skilled combatants and organisers, quickly calling for help from surrounding guards if they discover something suspicious or are attacked. They stand back as other guards fight the enemy, only joining combat if the regular soldiers have died or if they are attacked themselves. If Robin throws a purse with money, they DON'T fight each other for those coins, but they do go for Friar Tuck's beer. More senior officers wear capes to show their authority.
Paladins - Paladins are the hardest regular opponents in the game. They ride a horse which they use to run down merry men. They have as a primary weapon a flail like Will Scarlet and they have the heaviest armour in the game, being all but immune to weapons that aren't blunt. They quickly recover from being knocked out and cannot be carried, punched out, strangled, netted or tied up. The only way to permanently deal with a paladin is to have a merry man knock him out in combat, and then have Will Scarlet or an aggressive merry kill them while they are unconscious. If Robin throws a purse with money, they DON'T fight each other for those coins.
Sir Godwin of Lincoln is the godfather of Robin. He cared for Robin when he was a child and taught him how to use a bow and an arrow. When Richard and Robin left for The Third Crusade, Prince John ordered him to be arrested, thrown in his own dungeons confiscated his lands to give them to Guy of Gisbourne. Robin saves him in a mission and restore his freedom and lands back to him. Godwin helps Robin and Ranulph to defeat the prince.
Lord Ranulph of Leicester is the eldest lord in the game and the most wise. He offered protection to Will Scarlet and left to check one of his estates. The Sheriff captures Scarlet and throws him in the dungeons. Robin comes and saves his nephew using a secret passage. Later, Robin along with Maid Marian visits Ranulph and explain Prince John is a traitor. He offers Robin his support along with Godwin.
Is the birthplace of Robin, where he learnt all his skills. In the game, he visits this place only twice, once, at the very first mission of the game, and once, when he goes to save Sir Godwin from the clutches of the Guy of Gisbourne. Nonetheless, players can get a third Lincoln mission by losing the city to the enemy and then recapture it.
Is where the ruthless Sir Scathlock resides. Robin comes here to meet Prince John with Maid Marian, and to free Friar Tuck from the clutches of Scathlock. He returns one final time, to defeat Sir Scathlock, and capture the fortress.
Is where Robin goes to save Maid Marian from being married to the Guy of Gisbourne in the cathedral. It is the largest town in the game. He returns again to meet a spy named Allan, whom in turn, goes to meet Robin Hood in York. He mentions about Prince John's plan to let King Richard remain as Duke Leopald's prisoner. Allan takes the ransom, and leaves to take it to the captors. Robin Hood also returns for the fall of Yorkshire.
Is the place where Robin comes to save Will Stutely from execution at the second mission, and where he comes to meet Maid Marian for the first time, in the cathedral. Is the residence of the notorious Sheriff of Nottingham. Robin comes here at the final mission to defeat him and the Prince. Robin Hood also returns to win the famous Archery Competition, which he is almost caught! He later is captured, and rescued by some friends from Nottingham's jails. The last mission of the game is in Nottingham. Robin along with his companions defeat the Black Guards and head into the castle where Prince John and the Sheriff wait. Robin defeats the Sheriff and captures John. Afterwards, the gamer sees the last movie and, if he got all The 7 Crown Jewels he can see a special ending.
Where another of Robin's allies reside (Lord Ranulph). Robin saves Will Scarlet from imprisonment by the Sheriff here, and comes here to convince Ranulph to fight against the Prince's forces. Houses green-uniformed soldiers, who are allied with the Merry Men. If Robin doesn't manage to help Ranulph to protect Leicester, everything is lost.
Is basically where Robin and his merry men reside, and collect resources for later use. Missions and mini-missions are chosen by the player, from a map at the high-right corner of the screen, in the Forest. In Sherwood Forest, the player can put merryman to produce weapons, tools for battles and preparing meals for characters wounded in previous battles. They can also be trained to fight better or some trained to use the bow better.
In Sherwood Forest it may be produced:
- purses with money for Robin Hood
- fishing nets for Stutely
- arrows for Robin Hood and merrymen with bow
- medicinal herbs for Maid Marian and merrymen with fork
- ale for Friar Tuck
- lambs for Friar Tuck and merryman with club
- apples for Stutely and merrymen with fork
- wasp nests for Friar Tuck
- rocks for Will Scarlet
In Sherwood Forest merrymen and other characters can:
- prepare meal for characters wounded from a previous mission
- train in combat for more damage points
- train to use a bow and shoot arrows
There are different uniformed musical themes for each of the towns above. However, if you are seen by an enemy, and suspicions are aroused, the theme changes to a climax, and if fighting starts, it changes to a bigger climax.
While the merry men can kill or wound enemy soldiers, their resources are limited to a certain extent, with main characters having more than minor miscellaneous ones. In addition, in every town, you get beggars, who, when given coins and purses, help you by providing hints and tips. Common folk sometimes offer help as well (although this happens very rarely). On the other hand, there are two types of folk, who flee at the sight of a merry man, and alert nearby enemy soldiers. One is a woman, who wears a red apron; the other, a man, who wears a red-and-blue shirt. The greed of enemy soldiers is also limited, with money purses not affecting sergeants, while ale does affect them. Sometimes, money can be found in knights, cavalry units, sergeants, and more rarely, normal soldiers.
- ↑ Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood (pc) reviews at Metacritic.com. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-10-05.
- ↑ Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood for PC - GameRankings. Game Rankings. Retrieved on 2009-10-05.
- ↑ Robin Hood - Die Legende von Sherwood Forest. animago.com. Retrieved on 2009-10-05.
- ↑ Robin Hood - Die Legende von Sherwood Forest. animago.com. Retrieved on 2009-10-05.
- 'Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood' at MobyGames
- Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood (PC) at IGN
- Robin Hood: The Legend of Sherwood (PC) at GameFAQs