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Play it Again for the First Time - King's Quest I (AGI): Day 3 (Final)

King's Quest AGI BoxTonight, we completed King's Quest I.

Our approach was quite different. We didn't know what to do about a giant in the game - how to defend ourselves, kill him, etc. We knew this from the previous night. Before starting the game tonight, Laura said that she wanted to discuss what to do next in the game. I was a bit shocked and said that I didn't really do "pregame." Rather, I just load up a game and play. So we loaded it up.

...but perhaps having a pregame exercise is a great idea when it comes to adventure games...

1/25/2011 -

(Obvious spoiler alert here)

Blog entry:
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We were trying to find something to kill the giant and ...stumbled upon a dragon. We decided to try to go down a well that we found earlier, and that is where we found the dragon. After tossing some water on the floor with "use bucket" or "throw water at dragon," we tried again after reloading and defeated the dragon. This was done by throwing the water in his mouth while standing a lot closer than we did the first time.

It's funny how there are so many ways to fail in an adventure game simply because of your syntax or you aren't standing close enough. I don't mean when the parser says, "I don't understand" for bad syntax or "get closer" for bad location. I mean....we knew what we wanted to try, we typed in what we wanted to do, and the game made us feel like idiots by saying something along the lines of "you throw the water at the dragon...and it goes all over the floor."

If this were an animated comedy, the dragon and Graham would have just sat there looking at the pool of water on the floor like..."Yep...that just happened...and now we know who is screwed."

We stumbled upon this puzzle and managed to defeat a dragon only because we were trying find the right item that would allow us to defeat the giant. These adventure games have their hazards!

We wandered (and wondered) around trying to find rocks to use with a sling. Surely that was what we needed to take down that giant. We couldn't find any. Then we randomly typed "take pebbles" and the parser answered "you have to find them first." Knowing therefore that we most likely needed pebbles, we began checking our map for bodies of water to try to find pebbles. We finally found the pebbles, returned to the giant...but not without problems!

There is a dwarf in this game that likes to steal your stuff, and what do you know but he shows up on the tall, ever so difficult to navigate staircase inside a tall tree. Yes. You can't even run, really. We just kept leaving the screen and coming back until there was no sign of him and then continued our ascent.

We killed the giant. We had trouble developing the syntax for the giant. Did we need to kill the giant? If we did, how do we do it? Use pebbles with sling on giant? Use sling? Kill giant? We finally typed use sling and killed the giant. I was happy that it took our syntax with just two words, despite us having guessed that we needed to really spell things out.

Isn't it times like those in adventure games that what you type naturally gets longer? If you are thinking like a word parser, you really want to just type as few words as possible. Yet out of frustration caused by lack of communication (between user and parser), the commands get long. What ultimately ended up being "use sling" at one point was "Put the pebbles in the sling, pull back, release, and kill giant." I think the interpreter is still trying to craft a response to that one...

After obtaining the last item, we went back to the king and completed the game.

We enjoyed the game. We did not score all of the points. We didn't use quite a few items in our inventory. We figured that most of them should have been used as an alternative way to solve a puzzle here and there. We didn't do anything about the ogre, the sorcerer, the wolf, the dwarf, or the witch.

Overall, and enjoyable game.

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Final thoughts -

I still love King's Quest. It was neat playing the original AGI version since most of my "replays" had been with the SCI version over the years. I remembered most of the puzzles, but not all of the puzzles are the same in one version of the game (AGI) vs. another (SCI).

I am continuing to play through Sierra games this year. I have already played through and completed King's Quest II. I am now working on Space Quest I. I'll try to keep the Armchair Arcaders up on my progress via Twitter and blog entries.

By the way - If you see that I have just completed a game and would like to discuss it, by all means send me an e-mail or better still - post on our forums.

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