Kings Quest 2015 Retrospective – How to Let Down a Fan Base

This is a huge project I made ages ago about my contempt for the kings quest remake. I like keeping all my projects in one post once I’ve finished writing them so this is that. I would be open to talk more about video games in the future to do more series’ like this e.g continuing the higurashi series or a longer version of doki doki literature club. I am also interested in talking about TES as well but we’ll see! Tell me what you think!

maxresdefaultInitially I picked up this game because the game grumps were playing it and I thought it looked cool. The first chapter was very cool looking with interesting puzzles so I thought I’d but it for the future as I knew more chapters would be released.

So two years later (yes it came out late 2015) all the chapters were released and I eventually got round to playing them and I felt that they we’re a huge waste of money and a complete let down.

To make a let-down become so server as it was in this game the first chapter needs to be good so that you’re let down by your high expectations. So instead of saying why this chapter is bad (theirs five chapters the game) I’m going to say why it’s so good and why it set my expectations so high.

Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember

This chapter seemed like a very good establishment chapter, introducing the character of Graham and his adventures to becoming a king. With interesting moments like the dragon, giants and trials is was a cool mix of lots of things happing to make a cool story. The characters that are introduced are also cool and the fact that there’s three different ways to solve some of the puzzles adds an illusion of depth in the game which you wouldn’t ordinarily have. Besides the three merchants which can help you out, the contestants for the kingdom are also engaging and funny.

Theirs brilliant character moments with Achacka and fun comedic moments with whisper, making the trials memorable and fun due to the fact that they make the job seem important whilst still knowing how to balance the serious and comedic tone of the chapter.

Part of my intrigue was due to the Manny who I strongly suspected to be a terrible and corrupt villain. If you’ve read my “The Problem with Mystery” post then you may already see where this is going.  It was cool to have a friend in Manny whom I was happy to go along with (until I’d backstab him) but I thought deep down that I’d be backstabbed in the end. This was actually resolved quite impressively by using a story centring around the trial of wits to make me satisfied with the resolution and wanting to see Manny more. The other trials are fun yet more gimmicky – the ideas are really entertaining it’s just that they don’t feel as important or hold as much relevance to the story. This isn’t really a problem though as the lack of scheming and such cause a much better experience later on.

When it comes to the near impossible task of obtaining a dragon eye the three routes that you can go down make the world seem more fleshed out. You can actually slay the dragon using the 1st merchant route; this will take you through a long story involving Achaka letting you actually get the eye. The consequences of this route show up throughout the rest of the story (which I won’t spoil in this post at least) and always make you wonder. As well as this the other eyes don’t get obtained in the same way, they all use interesting things to get. As well as this the things that you don’t do will be reused later so that you still do everything, so it doesn’t always feel like you’ve missed a lot, which can be a good or bad thing.

The mysteries presented don’t also feel cheap or dull (in this chapter) so the wonder of what would have happened if you did something else never really bothered me. It didn’t feel like a cheap trick to add re-playability.

What I also like about the start is the dynamics of the three merchants. One encourages strength and bravery another encourages smarts and quick thinking. By far my favourite was the old couple who ran the potion shop, they we’re cool and I liked them as mentors due to their knowledge and differences from the alternate shop owners.

As well as these things the game felt quite long for the first chapter, it made the game look promising and I quit for the first time after completing the game looking forward to the future chapters and the awesome adventures in Daventry.

But the rest let me down from here, the game slowly dwindles into a poor, boring narrative which infuriates me.

As this post is about twice the length of most of my other posts so I feel like cutting it off here and writing a few more parts talking about what the game does wrong and the few things that I do think redeem some chapters. So follow if you want to stay updated, you don’t have to but it’s a good idea. I really hope that these posts don’t also dwindle into a really terrible and disappointing series – it would be one of the most Meta things I’ve ever done. I don’t think that every game will get its own post so if I find myself repeating myself I’ll just condense what I say if I’m constantly complaining at the same thing.

To provide balance to this argument some of the puzzles in this chapter we’re obscure and the world map could be confusing at times. There were a lot of minor issues that feel petty to complain about but don’t really affect the rest of the game a whole lot so I probably won’t talk about them. Outside of these I’ll raise a glaring issue in the next post which I’m looking forward to writing about.

Part 2 – How To Break a Puzzle Game

king-s-quest-knight-to-remember-v15-26643Now that we’ve established that part one did well to create and establish a good world and interesting story, therefore setting the audience’s expectations high. Let’s look at the next chapter “Rubble Without A Cause” and what it did well and what went horribly bad, starting with what was good. I will spoil the premise of the chapter but not really a whole lot more than I did in the last post.

The idea of this chapter was to save the town from goblins.  Graham had been captured along with the town and needed to break out of the goblin lair. Through this, he must collect different things for different people to solve their puzzle and break them out. I do like this concept but I feel like it was executed wrong (I will talk about this after I’m done with the good stuff).

Another cool thing was the good feeling of progression and saving someone. You needed to do this by outsmarting and outmanoeuvring the goblins (not very hard) and figuring out some obscure puzzle to set them free.

Now that that is over let’s talk about why this game was disappointing and what it set up for the next chapters which was bad.

Remember that open world feeling of the last game? Well that’s gone. You start in the castle after winning the crown to answer a bunch of guard’s questions; they eventually make it opposite day and kick him out. This is when you realise the tiny scale of the world. The castle is bear and empty, nothings there.      It doesn’t feel nearly as expansive as the world from the last chapter. This problem also continues later when nobody’s in town due to the fact that they’ve been kidnapped without you realising.

Would it not have been better to watch the entire town get kidnapped? I’d of thought it would be cooler as you’d have a better motive to save everyone.  After this you had to learn that everyone was kidnapped, a much worse reveal. This is where it starts to get tedious.

Not only do you have to save the citizens from the goblins, you have to also save them before they die. That’s right people can die in this game. Each character has five hearts and once they drop to zero they die. Not a big deal I hear you think, well it’s not that simple. When the day ends everyone’s stats drop so the idea is to do everything before the day changes. The problem is that the day changing is annoying.

You can spend an hour to two hours trying to do everything but fail. There’s so many dead ends in this part it’s unbelievable. This kind of occurs in the first chapter but it didn’t matter as much due to the fact that nobody was in danger. It’s infuriating that you can’t do everything on day one and that you’re not told whether you can do something on that day.

Part of this was caused by not telling you how to use your meat (please don’t take this out of context) as the meat increases your strength but you don’t know to eat it. Instead your told to feed it too a mad otter and not gain strength. This causes a huge amount of dead ends which I fell into just because I didn’t know one thing – if you eat the meat you’re strong enough to lift things opening the way to many things.  If you do not eat the meat you cannot beat the game and pretty much everyone will die, which sucks. I had to reset just to stand a fighting chance.

It seems like you need to know exactly what to do to succeed in this chapter. You have no idea when to end the days so you can easily miss some things out. As well as this the game can end your day automatically before you even do everything. On my second day, after the first thing I did I was kidnapped and taken back to sleep. Everyone died. I just hate the way it works and not being in control of the situation.

Theirs also this atrocious colour puzzle (which shows up again in the future) where you need to enter the right colours to play the right song. It’s the most obscure thing in existence, if you follow a walkthrough you can copy down the right ones and progress through to a vital part of the story yet the solution is only obtainable on one of the last days. It’s another colour machine that you have to find and copy, the only thing is that it always goes wrong. I can never get them to work, it’s not because I’m colour blind it’s just that the colours are really unclear – lots of them could be one or the other. The purple looks like the pink and likewise whilst the green also looks like the silver. It’s just annoying and obscure whilst feeling like a trick to add game time.

I’ll say now that this is when I started to dislike the main characters. I’d previously done a re-run solving the problems by following different routes but it totally messed up my favourite characters. The old couple became horrible, they we’re my favourite and we had a good relationship together yet they just end up criticising you for not listening to them. Throughout the rest of the game (until they die – they’re old) you cannot change their opinion of you. And I didn’t like the rest of them as they seemed too clichéd and boring for me to care.

For the final confrontation with the goblin leader I wanted to take one of the old couples with me but Amaya ended up coming instead. The idea behind this was that she was the only good fighter so it made sense. This decision led to me only having encounters and conversations with Amaya for the rest of the game, the rest of them got left behind. All of the NPC’s that I’d come to like we’re taken away and it sucked.

I’ve saved this one good thing to talk about for the end because it truly impressed me and was actually quite heart-warming. In your quest you meet a goblin that’s much taller than the other ones. Then you find a book called 101 goblin pranks open on a page called “The Baby Swap” where you swap a goblin baby with a human baby. At the end of this it shows that same goblin reading that book and crying. Then Manny (an incredibly short knight exactly the same size of the goblin) said that he looked like he needs a friend. As you realise that Manny and this goblin were swapped when they we’re young it gives you more hope for the next parts. It gives the idea that the next one can be good, this was just a departure and they’re trips in Daventry would continue to be just as good. When you’ve played two parts, one being good and one being bad it’s uncertain about how good the next game will be.

The only option is to carry on playing to find out.

part 3 – how to ruin an introduction

kinge28099s-quest-chapter-3-once-upon-a-climb-review-screenshot-3King’s quest chapter 3, once upon a climb is far worse than any chapter that came before it. As the 3rd chapter it was meant to mark the tone and future of the next chapters as they lead up to the next conflict. No such thing happened. If you have been following along with these posts then you’re about to realise how much of a bad chapter this was when I say that this one was disappointing compared to chapter two.

The length of the game is terrible, it’s really short. It was the only one which I was able to complete in a knight. This is probably due to the lack of a challenging set of puzzles and an uninteresting narrative. It was at this point that Sierra made chapter 1 free to play, so play that – it’s the only good chapter, so it’s annoying that the only one that I would have liked I would have gotten for free.

In this chapters defence it’s kind of important for the future, has some alright puzzles and cool characters. I’ll probably spoil this whole thing by accident so I recommend stopping if you want to play the game.

It might be a bit too late to say this but I hate the changes made to Graham. I liked who he started as but not who he became. I loved at the start when he was a bumbling weakling as I liked that aesthetic yet as he grew up he didn’t feel like the same guy I’d come to like. It wouldn’t matter if he was a cool character again but I still don’t like him, even when he does some similar things to what he did in the past.

The puzzle at the start of the game was also pretty terrible, you had to change minor things to try and show the past of Daventry and it’s just boring. At first they don’t even tell you that it’s a puzzle and you’ll probably just carry on but get stuck. It’s not all that hard but it’s just annoying and an incredibly weak start to a story game such as this as it introduces no story whatsoever. You could argue that it’s to show the change in Daventry but we already know it will be different due to the fact that Graham has changed!

After this there’s some really dumb puzzle. If you’ve seen the trailers or have any awareness whatsoever you realise that Graham is going to leave and get married to a princess, that’s what you’re playing the game for. When you have to suffer through a long puzzle just to make the character realise that he wants to get married, it sucks. You just have to make yourself a meal and then make fake characters to eat with – nothing more, it comes off as completely pointless filler.

In the end solving the puzzle doesn’t even help Graham; he just looks at the mirror and tells him where to go. So after at least 20 minutes (if you know what you’re doing) of game time you’re told what to do, which is stupid. The whole opening is completely useless in the grand scheme of things and is completely unmemorable. I totally forgot that this was part of the game while looking back on it.

As I’ve still got a lot to say I’m going to split chapter three here and continue from this part of the chapter where I’ll complain about the princess, more puzzles, general things and how I didn’t feel it was good or set the tone well for the rest of the series.

Part 4 – Why this game fails at using linear puzzles effectively

kings2bquest2bchapter2b32b-2bpart2b11-avi_20160430_162102-634In the last part I wrote about how I disliked the introduction to king’s quest chapter three and I will continue to be talking about more things that I disliked, continuing from the point in the game where I left off.

I can’t help but feel like you’re railroaded into choosing who you want as a wife in this game. I only recently realised that you could actually choose the other girl in this game (I chose Neese) and I felt a bit railroaded into my choice. The person who you end up with is decided by the decisions that you make in the game which is fine yet I feel like the way they did it wasn’t very good. The only really key decision that I felt mattered to deciding which one was what object you saved right at the start.

At this stage you didn’t know any of the princess’ so you don’t really have anything to base your choice off of. After that it’s only with cryptic dialogue and hard decisions that you can change your option. If for some reason you thought that the other person’s object was more important then you’re pretty much screwed. As well as that it doesn’t really portray the princess’ well in the show. If their decision for liking you is based on the fact that you saved their object it doesn’t make them feel very well rounded.

A quiz game also follows and it’s not really fun to play. After all you basically have to try and give the right answers for the one you like and the wrong answers for the one you don’t like. This causes the game to be played a little weirdly as you have to play in a way that breaks the game. I’m sure that this wasn’t the intention but it completely changed the way I played to annoy me more.

Some other things happen and you’re then given the chance to go back into town. You do this by picking a character and your then teleported to them.  What I didn’t know was that you could only go back once so all of the characters that were already established became neglected. As Amaya was the first portrait in my inventory I chose her (even though I don’t like her a whole lot) and we have some dialogue and then I vanish. I don’t really care that Amaya seems to like me a lot whilst the other characters have stopped caring about me.

After a lot of puzzles which are ok you then come across one where you have to fly over a cliff. To do this you must build a vehicle to go over the ledge. This would be fine but a lot of stuff went wrong. I found myself falling off the ledge quite a lot so I tried to combine some items together. The only thing was that nothing popped up so I couldn’t do it. It was only later that I found out that you could actually combine items using a walkthrough and it really annoyed me. I get that I might have made a mistake but it would have been nice to know that I‘d needed to combine something after a certain number of tries.

A problem with this game was how linear it was. You go through a series of stages with each princess and then you end the game. You have no real option to explore an open world or work things out for yourself. This makes the game come off as worse and less fleshed out. This theme of linear puzzles will be continuing in the next part where I talk about chapter 4.

Part 5 – How not to deliver exposition

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In my series of rant posts against this game I’ve noticed one thing that seems prevalent in most of them. That is a boring intro puzzle sequence which could easily be explained in one or two sentences (as I will demonstrate) and chapter 4 is no exception. The game takes well over 15 minutes to tell you a small amount of things.

The king and queen have had two babies, one girl and one boy but the boy was kidnapped by Manny who is now called Mannanan. After relentlessly searching for the boy they give up until he shows up on their doorstep when he’s older. That’s what the first 20 minutes is, completely boring and useless. I get that it’s important to establish the history/backstory of the game but was a 10 minute puzzle about feeding two babies really useful? I almost completely stopped playing during that puzzle it sucked that badly.

So after this opening they get ready and launch you straight into the game. No, no they don’t. Instead they waste even more of your time by explaining three objects that aren’t important and aren’t relevant, from what I remember the only thing that they do with them is make you save them in chapter 5, that’s it. I wouldn’t mind them explaining the artefacts if they we’re important but they’re just not.

I get the feeling that the creators had made the game and then realised that it was only half an hour long so they went back to add a bunch of useless things to add padding and make the game feel longer. The first 45 minutes of this game is genuinely forgettable, the earliest part that I remembered when I started writing this post was the shopping list game (which wasn’t even good).

So you introduce Prince Alexander (the prince who was kidnapped and then came back) to your favourite towns person (or person who you accidently got paired up with when you liked the other characters way better) and that’s pretty boring. One of the only real charming things was the fact that Amaya had got married to whisper – it brought me back to the great character interactions from the first chapter which I had been missing.

You then pack your things – which is also a puzzle – and set off to see princess Vee who is the sister of King Graham’s wife. Once again you receive more padding where nothing happens and then play the shopping list game. The puzzle here is very annoying as you have to remember everything that everybody says in order and then add something of your own. It either leads to you writing them all down (a pretty terrible solution to a puzzle) or failing to get the right answer and losing.

If you win you’re rewarded with an achievement. So if you lose and want to go back to get that achievement you once again have to go through 45 minutes of poor gameplay to get another shot. If completing this games’ series of annoying achievements is something that you aim to do then mistakes like this only waste your time to make the game feel longer.

I thought talking about this game would be quite short however it seems that I actually have a lot more to say about it for the future. So stay tuned for my next posts where I talk about how they base one puzzle around the entire game. Sorry if these posts feel like I’m trying to stretch something out, it’s just that I feel that the next post coming is too long to combine it to this one.

part 6 – how to make a puzzle game with just one puzzle

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Previously I looked at the first 45 minutes of chapter 4 and I will now continue to explain how the game becomes one massive, boring, ice puzzle. If I was to say that the middle section of the game had 12 puzzles inside it wouldn’t that sound like a lot? The answer is yes however if I said that all 12 we’re the same doesn’t that just sound lazy?

To lay down the context Vee has just been kidnapped and the family must go through a labyrinth to rescue her. Graham and Alexander go one way and the rest go in a different direction. This is done through an impossible to solve puzzle as the start, once you’ve gotten a certain way through you are forced into a labyrinth by a magical sphinx. Can I just say that the characters are meant to be on holiday, they go to an ice labyrinth for a holiday! It’s so weird.

All of the puzzles make you walk along a path following the line. For the first puzzle that is it, they later add more complications with sliding blocks but they’re not actually hard. So not only is the puzzle bad and terrible on the first run through, they also repeat the same puzzle for over half an hour just because they can.

After each section Graham and Alexander will have a little quick talk. Graham madly proclaims his love for puzzles and Alexander shoots him down, nothing else happens besides that. Whilst the length of these puzzles may be half an hour the monotony of them makes it feel like two hours. The only thing is that it’s only 30 minutes if you know the solution to all the puzzles straight away. Some puzzles are hard to work out just because they’re hard to visualise, you often need trial and error which, yet again pads out the game to make it feel longer.

I like to give credit where it’s due and I haven’t done it for this game yet, probably because there’s not really any good things besides this part that I’m going to mention. After the first set of puzzles you’re taken to a riddle room to solve riddles. The Sphinx will ask you a riddle and you then have to put the right object onto a pedestal, it’s pretty fun until you get this one cryptic riddle.

“What am I? Fit for a King, and taste very sweet. Thick or Thin, served for breakfast, Graham’s favourite treat.”

For this one you actually need to place two objects on the table, which I didn’t even know was possible. First I tried the sensible objects such as a cake or frying pan before trying every single item in the room to no avail. This wasted at least 30 minutes on its own so it was irritating to see that I already had the right idea but didn’t know how to execute it. The right answer is cake and frying pan in case you actually want to know the answer.

After a few more terrible ice puzzles which are pretty much identical to everything you’ve seen already it’s time for some great, brilliant story moments. You must climb a tower! Brilliant! (It’s basically a vertical ice puzzle) and then play that same game from the game of wits once again. The repetition of the same game is seriously annoying not just because it’s hard but because it’s clearly done to make the game longer.

This next part will focus on the major spoilers at the end so that you don’t have to play the game for yourself! If the endless ice puzzles sound fun to you then by all means play the game first.

The ice princess dies and then Alexander fights Mannanan with magic but doesn’t kill him, this makes him now like his father for some reason. You complete the original puzzle room that you couldn’t complete earlier and solve it with a clichéd predictable 4 letters “LOVE”. I had actually guessed that the answer would be “love” so I tried to enter it without actually solving the puzzle to let you discover the letter and it wouldn’t let me. Which was a bit annoying, it kind of broke what immersion I had left. You see that Manannan has a special plan for revenge and then you leave.

So that’s the entire game, it revolves around one boring ice puzzle which is a shame. The moments at the end could have been made really good and heart-warming / heart-breaking but the annoying stuff beforehand really lets it down.

Another problem was the other child that Graham had, she did nothing and was totally forgettable, and I don’t even remember what her name was.

So that’s King’s quest chapter 4. If you’ve been keeping track of these posts you may notice that I’ve left out a few important things like how the game gets away with it or the moments of interaction in the real world or the achievements. Don’t worry; I’ll be dedicating an extra part to talking about those as well as chapter 5 so stay followed to see that in the future.

It may feel like I’m saying trying to make the game longer is a bad thing which isn’t necessarily true, it’s the method that they use to pad out the game that really sucks. They do it just the right way to annoy me. In the first game (which was a similar length) you got introduced to all the characters, slayed a dragon, became a king and destroyed all of your competition however in this game you just went through a labyrinth, automatically found your son, made friends with your son and watched your wife’s sister die. The things in this chapter could easily be condensed but they instead stretch it out.

We don’t need a really long intro sequence to make us like a character. I really liked the characters in chapter 1 just from several small interactions with them so I believe this game could have been done so much better.

part 7 – destroying an established world

Whilst I still found king’s quest chapter 5 a disappointment, I would have considered it a step in the right direction for the game if it came (with a story that made sense) at chapter 3. The reason why this improves is due to the fact that you regain the open world from Daventry or at least most of it but with the changes from the future.

You get to see and experience everything that King Graham has done in the massive amount of time that he’s been in power. And what he has achieved isn’t much. The town hasn’t grown, there are no new characters and everything else is extremely old.  This would be fine as it’s nostalgic but the things the game’s taken away are really depressing.

You cannot see anyone, you can’t see Amaya or the Baker because they don’t like you and you can’t see the old people because they died and Graham is now the old person. It’s a bit concerning if you consider that these we’re the only three shops in Daventry and they all have nobody running them or only let people who they like in. Once you’ve tried entering two houses the other one opens and it shows the interactions from the first game making Graham remember and be nostalgic. The annoying thing is that I didn’t get the character I liked so it kind of sucked.

You are then tasked with finding 4 keys which are around town, whilst there’s technically nothing wrong with this it feels a bit lack lustre when you see how much Daventry has fallen. You don’t get any character interactions and theirs far less puzzles so solve to get these keys. Due to the fact that you still have complete control of the world it feels bare from not enough stuff to do.

The whole reason for this is a final face off against Mannanan the evil sorcerer and antagonist of the game.  The only thing is Graham didn’t know this, he just went outside for a random adventure, this means that they had a giant padlock on one of the most important doors in Daventry as well as a mad wizard running round without anybody noticing. Where’s the huge amount of guards to help solve the problems? I thought Graham was meant to be an important leader with a great legacy and following but these just show something completely different.

I feel a huge separation from the present in this game and the past of this game. The past always seems pretty bare and underdeveloped with an incredibly small castle whilst the actual current castle seems much larger and better, with actual soldiers in it and such. I at no point considered that the two characters we’re living in the same castle, they seem completely different. So what has happened? The game does nothing to convince you that this world might be real and have actual laws and people running it besides the parts in chapter 1.

I will continue to detail the things that I liked and didn’t like from the rest of the chapter next time.

Part 8 – The disappointing ending

King’s Quest Chapter 5 ends with a huge showdown against Mannanan and his apprentice but that would be all too easy! You must first prove that Graham in his old age is still up to speed in his thinking by going through some more trials.

The first trial brings you through an 8-bit graphic segment which is meant to reflect an old king’s quest game; it’s pretty fun yet extremely short. This is a huge contrast to the next trial which tests how good Graham’s wits are.

Theirs 6 large puzzle games, each one is long and complicated. Not necessarily bad, just not really to my tastes. Each one has a long complicated set of rules and the game decided to make the all-important decision to not show you the instructions all the time. You read them once, forget them and need to look at them again. It annoyingly forces you to write the rules down or constantly refer to them, very irritating and very tedious.

So when the 6 games are over it ends with a very simple game against Mannanan which is stupid. Whilst Graham sees the evil wizard as a nuisance, Manny sees him as a rival and tries to prove their wits against each other for the last time.  Over the 6 games in the wit trial Manny determines that they are equal in wits and none can best the other so they decide to fight on the next best thing. Luck.

Theirs 2 cups, one poisoned and one not. The gamble is if Graham can pick the correct glass, which he always does but the game is resolved in a terrible way. Instead of drinking the poison Manannan somehow is able to magnify the wine through a portal and then cover Daventry with the puzzle.

So at the same time Manny is simultaneously normal sized pouring the drink into a bowl and a giant dropping the poison on the entire kingdom. This is pretty stupid but the way it’s solved is even weirder. Whilst Manny has the cup upside down he grabs the entire liquid in his hands preventing Daventry from being destroyed.

The only thing is that the liquid looked like slime, when Graham drank his cup he either drank something with the same consistency of slime or some completely different mixture. This way it would be obvious which one was the right one.

It’s not exactly terrible but it feels a little underwhelming. Disappointing I might say. It then tries to create a touching tale with Gwendolyn (The person that he tells stories too) when he dies to tell her to go on her own big adventure. The ending just didn’t work for me, the tales throughout the game and the drama with Gwendolyn throughout the game didn’t really make me feel it.

Overall the game had its good parts, more bad parts but it tried to keep to a heart-warming narrative and stay charming. Don’t worry this isn’t the end of my series of dissecting King’s quest,  I will be sure to write another wrap up post talking about the epilogue, price, achievements, graphics, how it gets away with it, it’s charm and the moments outside of the story with Gwendolyn. This may turn to two posts so expect them soon.

part 9 – the epilogue

So now that I’ve finished dissecting all five chapters it’s time to move on to some of the other minor things that I thought about in the game. Oh wait, there’s another section one section that’s easily overlooked yet still part of the game. That is the epilogue, a short thirty minute section which follows the adventures of Gwendolyn.

I just wish that I was able to play it. If you choose the season pass buy option you only get to play the first five chapters and there’s no way to unlock the next section, this happened to me and now I can’t play. I find it strange that the game would limit content from the user; it won’t even let me buy the epilogue which sucks. If I wanted to play it I would basically have to re-buy the entire game and there’s no way that I’m doing that just for this post. I’ll go through a walkthrough on the game and not really criticise but just say some more general things about the section.

This epilogue actually looks pretty good compared to the rest of the game. It has the creative puzzle solving in a non-linear environment which I liked from the first game, and I guess the second one (even though I hated the puzzles in the second game just because of the time pressure and strength mechanics) which brings me back to actually feeling a good adventure in a world.

It mainly follows Gwendolyn and her adventures with animals where she needs to set a trap for some pesky Yarblesnoofs and then outsmart a dragon (or something like that) which doesn’t make for a very interesting story heavy narrative but it creates a jolly good adventure feeling where anything could happen. Especially if Gwendolyn has more adventures, they could do so much with Gwendolyn and her adventures in the next game (if there is one) and I might actually find myself playing that if it starts to look good by the second and third chapters.

As I’ve already covered everything I want to talk about in the epilogue (which I wouldn’t mind playing) I feel like it’s time to go back to all of the parts outside of the story with Gwendolyn and the old king Graham. The story’s outside of the rest of the game are quite simple and quite short. Graham will go through his bigger story and your decisions in game will have an effect on what Gwendolyn does.

The first one shows her doing fencing with the prince and how she beats him by using something that Graham taught her. This is probably done to create a fun charming adventure but to also make it feel like your decisions matter and have real impact. Technically they do, the stories cause Gwendolyn to look for her own adventure and it’s pretty cool. What I would prefer would be that some decisions were more important than others. This can be balanced. You have the option to always go through three descriptions Brave, Wise and compassionate (or something on the same lines) it would be more interesting if there was a puzzle for each one and Gwendolyn received the same virtues from Graham making one virtue puzzle easier than the rest. For example if Gwendolyn was just Brave, she would find the wisdom and compassion puzzles harder.

That concludes my thoughts on the King’s Quest Epilogue I will probably do a wrap up post where I look through all of the little things that I missed. In total I’ve written around 7,000 words analysing and dissecting this game so I’m not going to miss any minor details when I’ve already come so far.

part 10 – how sierra gets away with it

I’ve decided to make this post the last one in the series and to just update this one every time I have something new to talk about unless it gets too long. So this is where I will be talking about the minor things that we’re good / annoyed me or that I just wanted to comment on.

The price is pretty awful, especially when you consider the fact that the first game is double the length of some of the others. If all the games we’re the same length as the first game I would have got my money’s worth however I felt let down with the lack of content in all of the following games.

One method that was used to extend the length of the games we’re the minor differences that took place as you played combined with some really difficult achievements. Some of these achievements need you to repeat the game again to unlock, for example saving Vee’s gift instead of Neese’s. Not only does this become annoying but it makes you play longer than you should. Even if you do end up with a different princess hardly anything changes. If you watch other people playing the game and pick a different princess then you’ll notice that they look the exact same but with a different hair colour, and the ice princess always looks the same regardless.

Causing the player to repeat content can be a good or bad thing. In chapter one it’s a good thing because the games actually good yet with other ones it feels annoying to play because they’re shorter and not as good. You have to repeat chapter 1 three times to present the three different eyes, chapter 2 if you kill anyone, chapter 3 if you want a different princess and chapter 4 if you lost the road trip game. Chapter five doesn’t get you to repeat the game (I think) but it’s still an annoying pattern.

At least the game looks good; I’m a real fan of the backgrounds and look of the game I just feel that their environments could have been designed better. By the end of the game I was starting to get sick of constant corridors and constant disappointment. The graphics are good but I can’t help but feel that they’re there to hide the fact that the game is actually quite empty.

This brings me to the point where you have to ask. How does king’s Quest get away with it? Fans seem to like the latter chapters and find them heart-warming despite all the things that I’ve been saying. A huge answer may be nostalgia for some people; they get another adventure with King Graham which they’ve been wanting for a very long time. As well as this some people get wrapped into the emotions of the game not really caring that they didn’t get the length of content that they wanted as they got a nice heart-warming story that made them feel emotional.

Whilst I understand I feel that it’s important to put up an argument against this. You can get the same emotional story with a longer game with more content and it will actually be better as you feel like you’ve been through a lot more. One thing that I don’t want Sierra to continue doing is making great chapter ones and then chapters of a shorter length, someone needs to say that they need to deliver to fans with chapters of the same length and quality.

Chances are that they’ll make another game following Gwendolyn and I’ll get annoyed at that one as well and people will actually start paying attention to these rants as they might get king’s quest to get their game back together and create more brilliant chapters like chapter 1.

Anyway, thanks for reading my ten part series on how king’s quest was disappointing. I never thought I’d be able to write so much about a short game but that’s what was so interesting about writing this. I have written about 6,500 words for this so it’s by far my biggest and ambitious project yet. As you may know I base my blog around anime so it’s funny to see that I can dedicate so much time to blogging about this game whilst still maintaining my following of anime readers.

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