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Matt Barton's picture

King's Quest: Your Thoughts on Roberta Williams' Masterpiece

King's Quest: Your thoughts on the world's most influential GAG.King's Quest: Your thoughts on the world's most influential GAG.Well, the time has come for me to turn my attention to King's Quest, having recently finished the drafts of Pac-Man and Myst. I played through the original King's Quest and a few of the later games, though again they're blurring together somewhat in my mind (will have to go back in to refresh my memory). Naturally, a discussion of KQ will let me talk about the PcJr as well as EGA and the early PC game industry. It'll be fun to talk about the many spin-offs, though I don't want to get too far away from the original game.

You'd have to be blind not to see that KQ was hugely influential. Even today, I can really only think of three real types of adventure game--text, Myst style (first person), and KQ style (third person). Still, it's interesting that the KQ games let you control the avatar with the joystick or arrow keys; later games seem to favor the point-and-click style instead. I suppose the earlier format made sense for the pre-mouse era, though it seems quaint today.

I've also played all the way through Mystery House, the first graphical adventure, and played part of The Wizard and the Princess, the first color graphical adventure. To be honest, both of these were pretty horrible, even laughably bad. KQ was a huge leap forward, though it's not without its flaws as well. To be honest, I had a hard time playing these games, mostly because it's so punishing to die or get far into the game, then discover that you must restore a much older game to solve a puzzle. I'm really thankful to LucasArts for finally getting rid of this convention.

What are your thoughts on KQ? Anything in particular that you'd like to see covered? Ideas welcome, and I know some of you guys are really passionate about this series. Memories, nostalgia, anything is appreciated.


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