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What you'd like to see in TTG's Kings Quest (merged threads)

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 681 users

I've noticed in KQ games--ESPECIALLY KQ5--you get a lot of interesting things, both in the art and story, which are never explained but nonetheless entice. For example, look at the shot of the Roc carrying off Graham:
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Note in the foreground there is a primitive village. It's there and it's made clear, yet we never learn anything about it, or visit it. It's just there to entice the eyes and get you wondering.

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Or this snowy vista. Endless miles of snow lay beyond, perhaps kingdoms of ice and caves among the mountains in the distance--but we don't know. We aren't told. It's just there.

Then you have some of the characters. We never learn much about Mordack, but he comes off as a very powerful, dark, evil fellow right out of a pulp fantasy story. We don't know all that much about him, but we can see he's clearly obsessed with the occult, with snakes, and with some kind of cult (note his Satanic looking altar in the last photo ). None of this is explained to us, but that makes it all the more interesting.
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Or, look at these scenes when Graham is in the boat.
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Dozens of rocky islands are seen far off in the horizon, but we never visit them, and we're never told anything about them. And it leads the mind to wonder--what IS on those islands? What creature or people reside there? Your mind can run wild with speculation.

I think that a TT King's Quest game should have little things like this--places we can't explore that are just at the edge of the screen, far away places that tantalize the imagination, interesting characters who we don't learn the whole story of--Because it allows you to have things left up to your own imagination, to dream up your own stories and backstories about these characters and locations.

It leaves you hungrier for more--and such things have sustained the fan community for years. For example, single, cryptic message about something called the Black Cloak Society kept fans' imaginations fired for nearly 20 years, without us ever being told much of anything about this society other than it's name. Less is more in King's Quest, and in KQ, all of these lands, and characters are left purposely unexplained, and are never returned to, never explored in full, and it serves a good purpose:

It entices you, the same way a scantily clad woman is enticing and intriguing to the eye without revealing everything; It makes your mind wonder, and lights your imagination up. If you're told everything about a character or, are allowed to explore every crevice of a land, you lose the ability to imagine and dream yourself, and you become less an active participant in this wild, alien fantasy world and more a mere observer with everything about it being spoonfed to you.

81 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • The atmosphere, challenging and mostly clever puzzles, memorable characters and lots of cool locations. Of course I found the graphics impressive when I was a kid :).

  • For me it was the feeling that you could literally go anywhere and do anything. Only Sierra games captured this for me, largely because everything within every screen was interactive, and would provide a response (if even a generic one) when clicked on. (Well, ok...KQ5 had the red X, but still.) This granted the games a feeling of exploration and discovery that was significantly more pronounced than in a Lucasarts game, which were a lot more narrative driven (not a bad thing, per se--I LOVED Lucasarts games and still do.) The added tension of "danger around every corner" made the games feel truly adventurous, too. Add in "mostly" clever puzzles and memorable characters and you have an experience that can't be beat!

  • I liked exploring - and interacting with the various screens. It was just fun to go to exotic locals - like, everytime I went to a new screen, it was fun to see what was there. It was always like "Oh, cool bridge" - "Can I swim in the lake?" "I wonder what's up with that tree?"... there was always so much to see and do.


    Bt

  • @Chyron8472 said: wth are you on about?

    love of nature? innocence rooted in earthiness? what does that even mean and how does it have anything to do with King's Quest?

    and how can you say the lead characters in KQ have a total lack of guile? You're saying for Alex to turn Manannan into a cat shows lack of guile?


    I must say this reaction surprised me. Why the anger?

    Love of nature: Roberta Williams clearly loves unspoilt nature and this comes through in the games. Most of the games are set mainly outdoors and a lot of the interaction is with the very elements themselves. As a point of comparison, I see much less appreciation of or interaction with nature in the Monkey Island series. It seems to be more about human-made (or human-modified) environments.

    Innocence rooted in earthiness: It is a very straightforward world. There is nothing deconstructive or postmodern about it. The heroes are extremely heroic. So it is innocent that way. But it is not idealised to the point of being clinical. (Except for King's Quest VII, which tried to be as Disney as possible.) I added the qualification about earthiness because innocence is not the same to me as mere tweeness or family-friendliness. It is not a particularly safe world and there are some very dark aspects to it: slavery, cannibalism, pushing old ladies into ovens...

    Lack of guile and cynicism: I was talking about the stories as they are related to the audience, not the characters in the stories. Silverwolfpet asked what we like about the series, so I was talking about that. Of course I would not describe (all) the characters as guileless or uncynical.

  • @Simo Sakari Aaltonen said: I must say this reaction surprised me. Why the anger?

    Love of nature: Roberta Williams clearly loves unspoilt nature and this comes through in the games. Most of the games are set mainly outdoors and a lot of the interaction is with the very elements themselves. As a point of comparison, I see much less appreciation of or interaction with nature in the Monkey Island series. It seems to be more about human-made (or human-modified) environments.

    Innocence rooted in earthiness: It is a very straightforward world. There is nothing deconstructive or postmodern about it. The heroes are extremely heroic. So it is innocent that way. But it is not idealised to the point of being clinical. (Except for King's Quest VII, which tried to be as Disney as possible.) I added the qualification about earthiness because innocence is not the same to me as mere tweeness or family-friendliness. It is not a particularly safe world and there are some very dark aspects to it: slavery, cannibalism, pushing old ladies into ovens...

    Lack of guile and cynicism: I was talking about the stories as they are related to the audience, not the characters in the stories. Silverwolfpet asked what we like about the series, so I was talking about that. Of course I would not describe (all) the characters as guileless or uncynical.



    This is a very good analysis actually. I'd agree with all your points. And I'd also agree that those are things that I like about the series, though I probably wouldn't have immediately thought to word it that way. Nice thinking.

  • @Simo Sakari Aaltonen said: I must say this reaction surprised me. Why the anger?



    Well, I can venture a guess - at first glace, your answer seemed to be some dreamy, hippie-sounding nonsense - as if you'd laid qualities on the game that it didn't merit. It was just your choice of wording; it was whimsical, light, ponderous and philosophical. Your follow-up explanation enunciated your points wonderfully, and it made me understand what you were going for - because honestly, I thought you were spouting flowery nonsense at first too.


    Bt

  • The first one I played was KQ 6... it was an amazing experience for me... I then tracked down the other games... 1-5.. the 7 was not out yet.

    I am a pretty big fan.. KQ6 and MI are what make me a really big fan of the genre.

  • Ah, okay. lol, I understand now. :)

    I was just trying to say what I wanted to say briefly and concisely, but I guess I have to agree with you guys and say my first post was not concise, just opaque.

    So my bad for that - and Chyron's bad for not asking more politely. ;) (But hey, no hard feelings, Chyron. By the way, what would your answer to the original poster's question be?)

    Lambonius and Blackthorne, thank you very much for your kind comments. Good to know my second attempt was more successful. :)

    P.S. My comment about Monkey Island is not intended as a criticism. If it were, it would be unfair. MI is a humorous pirate-themed series. Everything about this premise leads naturally (pun not intended) to using a lot of human environments.

    Nature is not very funny as such, but many human inventions are - or at least offer more scope for humour; piracy is obviously something that happens between people; and a series would surely run out of jokes fast if it did not rely mainly on human-made (or, again, human-modified) environments.

    So it is just the nature of the beast, not a flaw.

  • @Blackthorne519 said: It was just your choice of wording; it was whimsical, light, ponderous and philosophical. Your follow-up explanation enunciated your points wonderfully, and it made me understand what you were going for - because honestly, I thought you were spouting flowery nonsense at first too.


    Bt



    In a way, this embodies what makes KQ great. They are as Blackthorne put it, "whimsical, light, and ponderous." Not that everything is whimsical and light, but the series as a whole is. The stories revolve around fairytales and are just straight up fun.

  • I noticed we don't have a thread that generally covers this question.

    I think what I would like to see:

    a lot of explorable natural scenes, especially some that appear normal at first, but as you play around with the various natural elements, like a fallen log, or tree knot, or rock, you find that it's not so normal after all.

    Commentary on most objects in each scene, I like to hear/read what the character says about non-important objects.

    Natural sounds, like birds, ocean waves, etc.

    2D graphics :D

    Death scenes (perhaps you can do it like Monkey Island 1, where you die, but you bounce back humorously).

    I haven't played Kings Quest V in a very long time, but that Wizard you meet at the start, I'd like to see him make a return, I'd like to be able to go back to that scene with his house too, that would be awesome.

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