Just over a week ago, a PC CD-ROM version of Defender of the Crown was finally discovered. It was known that a PC CD-ROM version was in development, but it was believed to have never been published. Well, apparently it did receive a release of sorts in Europe, but the version found only supports EGA graphics.
The finder found a full retail boxed version of the game. The box includes 2x5.25" DD disks, 1x3.5" DD disk and one CD. The game's code and graphics are contained on the disks, which can be installed to a hard drive. The CD is an Audio CD with two tracks. The second track runs for about 22 minutes and contains all the music, narration and background/ambient effects tracks. Direct sound effects, like the income count, are still generated by the PC Speaker.
The game was programmed to run only with certain Hitachi CD-ROM drives. It will send play and status commands using Hitachi's proprietary CD command set. The play command requires the start and end time of that portion of the track to be played, and the status command lets the program know when the track has finished playing. The play command can also act as a stop play command by setting the start and end times to the same value. So out of the box this DotC PC CD-ROM Version will only play with a Hitachi CD and the interface that went along with it. MSCDEX will not do anything. Fortunately a patch was released to translate Hitachi drive commands to MSCDEX, allowing me to capture this footage for your edification via DOSBox (using 1000 Cycles).