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File:Battle chess cover 182.jpg

Battle Chess is a series of Chess programs for various PC and console platforms, made back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

In most respects, it is an ordinary chess program, not even as smart as most PC chess programs of the time. But it is different in one way: the chess pieces are all animated, and every time a piece was moved, you can see an animation. Every time there is a capture, the capturing piece fights a little battle with the captured piece on the board. Since the rules of chess are still in effect, the result of these battles is always a Foregone Conclusion, but the battles are fun to watch, especially on early plays (watching the same animation for the millionth time, however…).

In other words, it's basically a chess game that plays like Holochess or Wizard's Chess. American versions of the game did include gorier battles.

It had sequels: Battle Chess 4000, which is normal chess but with sci-fi characters used as chess pieces, and Battle Chess II: Chinese Chess, based on the Chinese Chess board game.


  • Amusing Injuries
  • Ax Crazy: In the tutorial, the Rook loves talking about smashing things. And while talking about castling, "I'm only going to go through it ONCE. If you don't understand, I'll smash YOU!"
  • Bloodier and Gorier (The American version)
  • Combat Pragmatist: The King. While every other piece has a general technique they'll use (the Pawn's spear and Bishop's crozier, the Rook's sheer brute force (he turns into a rock monster to move and attack), the Knight's sword and shield and the Queen's magic), the King has a unique weapon for each piece he attacks: a hidden flail in his sceptre to take down Pawns, magic shrinking powder to remove Rooks, seduction of the Queen before clubbing her out, bombs to dispatch Knights, and freakin' guns to take out Bishops.
  • Cutscene (the point of this game over other chess games of the era)
  • Foregone Conclusion
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A really funny variation by the artist who drew the Queen. He knew he was working with meddlesome executives, and he also knew exactly what he wanted the queen to look like, how she should move, etc. So he drew her animations exactly like he wanted... and then added a pet duck that made no sense in the context. The executive told him it looked great except the duck had to go, and he ended up with exactly the original design.
  • Groin Attack: When a Pawn attacks a Knight.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: When one Pawn attacks another.
  • Hoist By Her Own Petard: The Queen when attacked by a Knight or a Pawn.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: When a Rook attacks a Queen.
  • Klingon Promotion: When a Pawn attacks a King.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Queen, especially in the later CD-ROM version of the game, has a rather voluptuous figure.
  • No One Could Survive That: When a Pawn attacks a Bishop.
  • Oh Crap: Any piece that, when attacked, has time to realize things are going pear-shaped.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Either on the package, or in the game, the queen's dress is pimped out.
  • Plotline Death (well, insofar as chess has plotlines)
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Queen, certainly. The King, not so much.
  • Sexy Packaging (The queen's ermine-trimmed robe is a lot skimpier in the packaging than in the game.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Pawn, when attacked by a Rook.
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