Action-RPG Elm Knight may be 30 years old, but it still feels like it’s from the future

I’m a little ashamed to admit Elm Knight, a 1992 Japanese PC-98 action-RPG, caught my eye for the shallowest of reasons: a really cool title screen. Yeah, I know—absolutely disgraceful behaviour. In my defence, the title screen honestly is that good.

Developer: Micro Cabin
Released: November 1992
Japanese PCs: FM Towns, PC-98
(Image credit: Micro Cabin, via Mobygames)

The image that grabbed me and refused to let go is a portrait of an inscrutable face, drenched in shadows. It’s got a threatening but not necessarily aggressive aura to it, the figure staring out of the screen sculpted in that unmistakably ’90s anime “bio-armour” style. It has a person-ish body that’s not quite machine, but also definitely not birthed.

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