Posted on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 at 7:19 AM by Kimo Kuppe
Last time I actually finished up the canon story games of the Kings Quest series but I wanted to cover a couple more games related to it. After Kings Quest 7, Sierra was mostly gone and the old guard retired or moved on, but fans and Sierra’s new owners weren’t ready to move on just yet. The story was only somewhat over after the last game in that while everyone was now married, none of the background story was resolved and the world was not yet at peace. It was also dreaded year of 1998 and PC gaming was a peculiar beast with ugly polygonal graphics and a more hardcore demeanor.
Kings Quest 8: Mask of Eternity is the only game in the series to not feature a playable member of Daventry’s royal family. At best only a few of them are mentioned briefly. The entire kingdom, nay, THE WORLD has been turned to stone by some suspicious looking cloaked figure who broke an important relic called “The Mask of Eternity” which somehow failed to petrify Connor, a lowly knight of the kingdom who must now set off to restore the mask and the world. This is done by piecing together the shattered pieces of the mask which are scattered across the land, including the realm of the dead which is somehow different from the realm of the dead you visited in Kings Quest 6.
The gameplay of Kings Quest 8 is some bizarre mix of Legend of Zelda plot progression with Everquest 1 style combat, both are heavily watered down. Interface-wise it’s somewhat similar to Quest for Glory 6 and Kings Quest 7 in that you just have an all-purpose cursor that changes for context. All in all it’s a pretty unpleasant game; ugly to look at, awkward to play, and story wise kind of silly and completely unrelated to the other 7 games. While I appreciate it when a game company tries something new in this case things didn’t work out. Granted, it wasn’t really “new” with most of it being lifted from other games, making it some sort of Frankenstein’s monster of a game. It was the last Kings Quest game to be made somewhat by Sierra and brought the franchise to a close.
Fans were not content to move on and I want to cover 2 of the more prevalant fan projects related to the series. First is The Silver Lining. Originally beginning in 2000 the game was made by a group of fans and was to wrap up the story. However it would land them in some legal trouble from Vivendi Games, who now owned the IP. Eventually thanks to community support they acquired a Fan Liscense to finish the project.
Taking place after the events of Kings Quest 8 the game once again stars King Graham as he travels the Green Isles from Kings Quest 6 with numerous callbacks to the previous games. It has a similar interface as Kings Quest 7 but without the fixed camera angle. It sort of plays similar to the Telltale Sam and Max games, to be honest. The final chapter of the game has yet to be released so I don’t want to talk too much about the plot. As I said it takes place after the events of Kings Quest 8 with the wedding of Rosella to Edgar, hosted at her brother’s palace in The land of the Green Isles. A cloaked figure crashes the wedding and causes all of the royal family sans Graham to fall unconscious leaving Graham to unravel the mystery. To be honest, its worth checking out and it’s free! If you liked the other games check it out.
Next isn’t so much of a continuation of the story so much as it is a remake of Kings Quest 2 and 3 with significantly more story added. AGD Interactive took the interface from Kings Quest 5 and 6 to replace the old typing method. Not a bad job really, the story from both games was pretty bare bones and they make a strong effort to work them into the narrative from the later games. Connor from Kings Quest 8 is mentioned and the old villains are connected together, as well as a few of the weirder moments of the game fleshed out, for example WHY did the granny from Kings Quest 2 have Dracula’s cloak and ring under her bed? The games are a bit divisive to the old fans of the series as is to be expected. It’s not quite as bad as the Star Wars remasterings but I can certainly understand people disapproving. Once again, they are free and if you liked the series they are worth a playthrough. Personally I wasn’t as wild about the remake of 3 since it makes it much more linear in terms of what spells you can make and when and I loved to just jerk around with the game and solve the hardest problems first then take it easy. I think what AGD was trying to do was make it so new players would be able to figure things out without the old trial and error approach. Noble plan, but annoying to me (as we all know, my opinions are the most important).
Last one I want to talk about is Peasant’s Quest courtesy of Homestar Runner.com. As fans of old video games and outdated computers the Brothers Chaps saturated their site with references to the good old days of gaming. What they made was a love-letter to classic Sierra games, even going so far as to use almost exact copies of screens from Kings Quest and The Black Cauldron (another old Sierra game). With a typing interface and art style exactly like Kings Quest 1 they perfectly nailed the series and all its sillier problems. You play as Rather Dashing, local peasant whose thatched roof cottage has been burninated by Trogdor the dragon. You must acquire the 3 aspects of peasanthood in order to face him: the clothing of a peasant, the stink of a peasant, and being on fire. It’s still on Homestarrrunner.com under their games tab as a flash game. You owe it to yourself to check it out.
Ok I think I’ve milked this topic long enough. Next week I’ll try something new, or at least I’ll try to try. If by now you have no interest at all in the Kings Quest franchise then I have failed you all and I am sorry. Even so you should play them anyway so you can better understand classic games.
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