King Arthur: Legion IX – The Bloody Adventures Of A Roman Villain In King Arthur’s Court

REVIEW – Demonic, magical action RPG with moral questions. Primarily for the casual gamer.


There is a piece of medieval armor on display somewhere in England that has a very incongruous bullet hole in it. Mark Twain was reportedly inspired by this sight to write his novel “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” in which a post-Civil War American unexpectedly finds himself in the age of the legendary king. The title of the article is a paraphrase of this work, except that this time it is not a 19th-century American, but a group of ancient legionnaires (and priests) who pay their bloody homage in the legendary Avalon.

But how do the members of Legio IX Hispania end up at the round table of tales? Let’s start with a little historical review. The above-mentioned formation disappears from the list of legions stationed in Britain in the 2nd century AD. To this day, the British public believes that the unit disappeared in a raid carried out by local residents, sometime in AD. after 120, as it no longer appears in later records. This is somewhat contradicted by the fact that there are no surviving descriptions of a similar-sized catastrophe. It is probably that the formation was transferred to another part of the empire and there 2.-3. was destroyed in one of the military disasters of the 19th century. There are descriptions of these. but these do not include detailed loss lists. Okay. End of history lesson. Incidentally, the above story, which tickles British national self-consciousness and is probably fictitious, was even made into a Hollywood film starring the young Channing Tatum under the title The Eagle.

Experts say that every good description starts with a personal story. Well, my personal story is that action RPGs like King Arthur haven’t been on my menu since Diablo 2. So when the invitation came from BadSector, I hesitated a bit. However, I loved Diablo, so I threw myself full force into the adventures of the tribune, i.e. commander, who had been through the depths of hell and wanted to return home, the accompanying flamen, whom I named timid, and the slightly demonic bodyguard.



Avalon disappears into the mist


During our first trip, we stumble upon a group of interestingly painted Picts, i.e. members of one of the ancient tribes inhabiting Britain. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the meeting ends in a fight. In the tactical window that opens, the battlefield divided into familiar squares welcomes us. Here, in the manner used in WH40K Chaosgate: Daemonhunters, X-com, and countless other games, which I also described, an isometric but fully 3D battlefield is revealed. Our characters have movement and action points, and each has a special attack ability. The tribune can jump forward a greater distance and inflict heavy wounds with his 2 swords, while the bodyguard uses his shield to push away three square enemies in front of him. The flamen, which I disparagingly called sinister, turned out to be a fairly powerful mage, and with his life-sucking magic, he caused serious damage to the painted warriors who attacked me. After that, I started to get excited about aspects of Roman life that I hadn’t heard about. I was especially curious about the often-mentioned god called Orcus.

As it turned out, a flamen was a prominent priest of the given god, who was appointed for life by the pontifex maximus, i.e. the high priest. Until now, I had not heard this name, nor about Orcus, who was mentioned a lot by the characters, who was the lord of the underworld and the avenger of broken promises in the Etruscan and Roman world of belief.Until Pluto took over. The Greek equivalent was called Horkos. And why am I talking about the Roman world of faith? Well, in the dialogues of the first part of the game, a constantly recurring question is how our heroes got back from the underworld, where did they go and why?

As the once-captive Picts, somewhat surprisingly, free the Romans, we reach Nova Rome, which has been overtaken by death and destruction. In the tactical window that opens again, we have to fight the living dead. It was only here that I noticed that the traditional WASD control also works here, but here we move not the characters, but the terrain with them, and with the and QE keys. Traditional solutions include flashing interesting objects, making the 3d isometric environment enjoyable and explorable even for speedrunners like me. The ruins of Nova Roma – sorry for the bad pun – besides being impressive, contain several interesting things, but I don’t want to kill the jokes.

The first new member of our team joins us in the city, a flamina, but I wasn’t even surprised by that. The former priestess Vesta (well, finally a god I know!) is good with fire, and in the third serious battle, we really benefit from her use. By the way, this required attention rather than muscle. It is rare to come across this solution, which also enhances the enjoyment of the game. Outsmarting the outnumbered opponents, he managed to light all the fires of Vesta’s holy edge, so the spell was activated and the undead were reduced to dust. The priestess Vesta explained to the small group that had just arrived from Tartarus, that is, hell, that they were in Avalon, an area located on the border between the real and unreal worlds. Magical events can happen here that make even the tribulus who has been through hell wonder.





At the end of the mission, Nova Roma is revealed to us. Looking at its architectural style, it is a late Roman city, which will be our base from here on. The map reveals settlements with exciting names, such as the Sacred Heart Monastery, the Fire Tower, the Tower of the Needles, the Ashtray or even the Whisperer. This solution, in addition to the beautiful implementation, only enables a somewhat linear gameplay, since only one mission is available at a time.

Returning to our base, Nova Roma, a base already known from similar games opens before us, where we can develop our characters and their equipment in the tower of knowledge, the merchant, the council of war, the blacksmith, the Martian fields and Laridar, and we can also trade and to increase the population of the city and to regulate the life of the city. The game uses three resources: not surprisingly, gold is money, the resources indicated by the hammer are necessary for construction, and the different amulets and runes can be turned into relic dust in the tower of knowledge, from which we can create additional magic items.

In the next mission, we have to go to rescue a merchant. which the tribune, filled with Roman ideas, rightly questions, saying that he is the lost IX. he is looking for a legion and his task is to rescue not kidnapped merchants. However, surprisingly for the characters, as we bump into highway robbers who also appear in half the world, another Roman approaches us, whose occupation, according to the description, is sicarius, i.e. assassin. And let’s stop here for a moment.

Following the traditions of the previous game, this add-on also contains very strong horroristic elements, the characters with distorted demonic faces (with the possible exception of the priestess Vesta) all look quite scary, bone growths, demon masks, horns distort their faces and bodies. The horror atmosphere is only enhanced by the eerie music and the story.

Returning to Nova Rome and freeing the merchant, we can begin entrusting our characters with the management of the various previously listed institutions of the city, and each time we return to the city, the game presents us with a decision. In these, we face the classic dilemma of which finger to bite. After the mission involving the recruitment of the sicarius – I will not describe his name on purpose because I don’t want to show the audience with the accumulation of Latin names – I was faced with the fact that the priestess Vesta allows people of all religions and denominations to enter, which was the ram’s horn wearing a helmet and growing horns on the sides of its head former priest (flamen) extremely disturbed. So I was faced with this decision: either I give in to the priestess Vesta and thus the population grows rapidly, or I listen to the priest and thus further increase his loyalty to me. I decided on the latter because I learned from the sicarius that the IX. legion disappeared for a reason and behind their departure are hidden serious secrets. And based on the information provided by the new member of the team, I judged the loyalty of my companions to be more important than more resources. Our further steps, the decisions we make in the direction of order or chaos also influence the events that occur later in the course of the game.

Summarizing the above, King Arthur: Legio IX brings the style and atmosphere of its predecessor, the characters are undead, but definitely behaving like Romans, and NPC characters, even though they guide us to a world that never existed. Into a world that offers countless interesting things even for a hobby role-player like me. The story of the legionnaires arriving in a medieval world full of magic, undead and other surprises is well structured, the characters are in many cases lovable and you can identify with them despite their diabolical appearance.



+ ARPG maxed out
+ Interesting and unique story, realistic characters
+ Familiar solutions, easy-to-learn handling, roguelike mode!


– Too soft for hardcore role players
– Linear story management
– A bit repetitive after a while

Publisher: Neocore Games

Developer: Neocore Games

Style: Action RPG

Release: May 9, 2024.

King Arthur: Legion IX

Gameplay - 6.1
Graphics - 7.2
Story - 7.9
Music/Audio - 7.1
Ambience - 7.5



My first thought was what the heck? But then, listening to the dialogues, I became more and more impressed with this improbable story. Due to its simple and logical controls, as well as its excellent implementation of various game technical innovations, next time I will play it not only in story mode (i.e. on the easiest level). Once I get to the end of the story.

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