User Avatar Image

Legends, Myths, and Fairy Tales- what lore tickles your adventure bone?

posted by Sinaz20 on - last edited - Viewed by 1.1K users

Hi everyone. I just wanted to spark a new conversation as some of us swirl visions of Daventry in the backs of our minds (while working on current projects.)

I have been thinking a lot about the source inspiration for the King's Quest games. Roberta Williams developed a rich world of twisted fairytales, classical myth, and fantasy conventions. She pulled from so many sources that by the end of the series, it really felt like she was running out of material. She had begun to dip into more contemporary literature like Lewis Carroll.

I want to know what kind of material interests you. What stories, myth, legend, or fairytales do you feel got left behind or went unexamined?

I'm trying to compile a lot of research material to build a reference library for the eventual team.

I recently finished reading The Once and Future King followed up by Le Morte d'Arthur and have been feeling, "well, now, there's a King's quest!" This has actually spurred me on to more medievalist self-study, as I've begun to read some historical essays concerning the lives and cultures around European medieval cities and castles. I'm also revisiting some of my Norse mythology studies.

I'm going to be reading through the complete works of the Brothers Grimm to freshen up on my fairytales.

Obviously The Lord of the Rings is topical, so I'd like to hear some opinion about the themes and setting of Middle Earth. Appropriate? Relevant? No, no, stay away?

King's Quest has mostly been centered on European folklore, later reaching out to the Arabian Nights tales and nonsense (as in surreal) literature. Are there any other ethnic folklores/literature that I should consider? Would these other folklores feel off brand? I am partial to Chinese and Japanese legend, but that just seems totally out of left field for a King's Quest game. What do you think?

66 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @DAISHI said: Less recognizable to who?

    To the Western-culture players who found the Western-culture references recognizable in all the other King's Quest games that were made by Western-culture game designers. Did that really need to be said? Look, I understand that not all KQ players are from the West, and obviously my statement would not hold true in those cases. Please note that I also stated I was in favor of expanding the references beyond Western ones. But KQ's basic premise stems from a Western medieval setting, and my statements simply follow from there. They were not intended to apply to anything beyond the King's Quest series.

  • @Sinaz20 said: They also existed in Los Angeles circa 2019...

    Ziggur-whaaaat??

    The best ziggurats of all!

  • @thom-22 said: To the Western-culture players who found the Western-culture references recognizable in all the other King's Quest games that were made by Western-culture game designers. Did that really need to be said? Look, I understand that not all KQ players are from the West, and obviously my statement would not hold true in those cases. Please note that I also stated I was in favor of expanding the references beyond Western ones. But KQ's basic premise stems from a Western medieval setting, and my statements simply follow from there. They were not intended to apply to anything beyond the King's Quest series.

    I'm not trying to make a big issue of it or anything. I just remember being taught about Quetzalcoatl as early as 5th/6th grade by my grandmother and mother. I'm familiar with European mythology, but also pretty well acquainted with Mexican mythology and folklore, though my great grandparents were especially well learned in Mexican folklore.

    @thom-22 said: This is a big issue. I agree that what made the references great to me in the early games was their familiarity. If you don't catch the reference, it could come across as out of place. If I didn't know the story of rumplestiltskin, the gnome in KQ1 and the spinning wheel in KQ5 would have been out of place. There are many many more examples of this throughout. At the end of the day you have to ask the question, "who is the game marketed to?" I think the references used should be familiar to that group. You can't please everyone. For me, as a kid I would have never gotten into KQ if I didn't know the references to fairy tales...etc. Now as an adult I feel as though if I am less familiar with something it will inspire me to learn something new. I am more open to almost any form of legend/myth/fairy tale from almost any part of the world, but I would not have been 20 years ago.

    Also, stay away from Tolkien/Lord of the Rings.

    To this I'll only add, I believe I agree, though determining the obscure can be difficult.

  • @Sinaz20 said: They also existed in Los Angeles circa 2019...

    Ziggur-whaaaat??

    YES.

    And what I meant by the post was more that KQ has had a pretty large variety of mythology and scenery, at least since KQV and VI. For the sake of argument, there was some vaguely mesoamerican stuff in the early parts of KQVII as well.

    And Daishi is correct. Ziggurats were found in both regions. All it is is a temple built on a raised area. Anyway, that wasn't really the point. :)

  • @KuroShiro said:
    And Daishi is correct. Ziggurats were found in both regions. All it is is a temple built on a raised area. Anyway, that wasn't really the point. :)

    No, you are both incorrect.

    Mesoamerican peoples built stepped pyramids, not ziggurats. They may look somewhat similar, but they are distinctly different in both design and function.

    A ziggurat is not "a temple built on a raised area." First of all, ziggurats are the platforms, not the temples. The temple was a separate building that sat on top of the ziggurat.

    Secondly, ziggurats are built according to what is called a bent-axis-plan, which, among other things, means that the access stairways typically change direction several times before they reach the top-most segment, and that they don't lead right to the temple door. You won't find this feature in Mesoamerican pyramids.

    I could go on, but it'd be getting pretty off topic. :) I never intended that comment as anything more than a throwaway joke anyway.

  • As many of us have found actually quite a few references in previous KQ games a fairly obscure and not recognizable to the average player. In fact you have to go out of your way to discover were the references originate from.

    As for Tolkien references KQ8 tried it already... That's largely were the Orcs came from... Along with other high fantasy archetypes in that game :p.

    The twin snakes statue in KQ5 is also a reference to Black Watchers at Cirith Ungol, a gate into Mordor from Return of the King and the Neverending Story according to the Companion! Sam held up the Galadriel's crystal vial to counteract the deadly force from the statues eyes. This is actually one of the most direct concepts taken from Tolkien's story and readapted into the KQ world (rather than just adapting races from the books). It's also in my opinion a great example how Tolkien can be incorporated without feeling out of place at all!

    Actually it really depends on what Tolkien works you are talking about the Hobbit is more fairy tale/children's story for example. Very different from his trilogy which was written for grown-ups (at least it mostly turned out that way). The Silmerillion would be even more removed, although it is quite mythic and legendary, and even biblical in it's own sense.

    I don't say this in all seriousness, but rather than dropping a ring into mount doom, Graham drops cheese into a strange machine!

    As for some mesoamerican stuff see desert in KQ7.

    Other references in KQ8 are even biblical in nature, Lucreto for example is inspired by the fallen angel Lucifer, who attempted to be like God. The inspiration for the mask itself is a mix of Mesopotamian and Christian concepts. There is even a few references to the concept of trinity and the sacred number 7 made in the game. Don't overlook the bible as a source of inspiration.

  • Maybe it's not my place, but could you consider not posting so many images? A lot of what you've posted look like duplicates, and it's just...so cluttered...It just doesn't really serve much of a purpose when you could upload them to an image-sharing service. Just my thoughts...

  • @Feazy said: Maybe it's not my place, but could you consider not posting so many images? A lot of what you've posted look like duplicates, and it's just...so cluttered...It just doesn't really serve much of a purpose when you could upload them to an image-sharing service. Just my thoughts...

    EXACTLY.

    First of all, this is not a thread for images--try the Art Direction thread. Secondly, the sheer AMOUNT is absolutely ridiculous overkill. You've basically broken this thread for anyone without high-speed internet.

  • While I am a fan of Japanese mythology it might seem out of place in Daventry, but could be usable in King's Quest as the basis for another realm to visit. Also, I think at this point drawing from Tolkien has been done to death.

Add Comment