Ye Olde Introduction
(As explained by Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert, resident expert on everything)
HARK!! Did that get your attention? I thought it would. No, I was not clearing my throat... in olden days, "hark" meant listen up, and that's exactly what I want you to do. See, when you play this game, you're going back to the Middle Ages. No, it doesn't mean that everyone who lived back then was middle aged. The Middle Ages are the ages between the Early Ages and the Late Ages. Consult a history book if you want to know more... I don't have time to go into it right now.
The Middle Ages was a simpler time, a time before F-16s, smart bombs and rocket launchers. Back in the good ol' days, war was down and dirty. You had a castle, some fortifications, and (if you were lucky) a couple of cannons to discourage any unwelcome visitors that wandered your way (like your little brother and all of his friends).
So, to continue my story. We're transporting you back to the Middle Ages, to a time when these two nights, Sir William of Wyvil and Sir Stephen of Martival -- we'll call them the Blue Knight and the Red Knight to make things easier -- had set up camp right next to each other, but did not get along (to put it mildly). Sometimes one attacked the other by sea, firing from gunships out in the harbor. This was made easier (for the attacker) by the fact that the entire land was surrounded by water. At other times, they just fired at each other from castles on either side of the river that marked the border between their lands.
Using your vivid imagination (and a little help from modern technology) you are transformed into one of these fearless knights, defending your castles and the honor of your name (Sir Bill or Sir Steve, as the case may be). You'll experience the thrills, the excitement, the out and out exhilaration of furious, fast-paced, head-to-head competition as you brave the ferocious onslaught and, with your deadly aim and excellent cannon-firing skills, cause the utter destruction of your opponent. Intense! The marketing guys will love that part.
Each battle you win brings you closer to your goal of capturing new territory... and each new territory brings you one step closer to total victory. It's not enough just to defeat the enemy, however. There is some strategy involved in this too, you know. What's the strategy, you say? Becoming a master builder in roughly 20 seconds or less, that's what.
Your castle walls are going to get pretty beat up from those two-ton cannonballs, so you'd better prepare to fix them. It would be great if you could get your serfs to do it for you. Serfs are guys from the Middle Ages that worked 12 hours a day for minimum wage and got a bowl of gruel (that's really runny oatmeal) at the end if they were lucky. Get a history book out again -- it's fascinating stuff. Unfortunately for you, serfs may be oppressed but they're not stupid. They headed for the hills the minute they heard gunfire, so you'll just have to manage on your own.
--From the NES Rampart instruction manual.