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dead-ends in king's quest

posted by shaygol on - last edited - Viewed by 2.4K users

The thing I remember most about sierra games are the dead ends.

This usually happens when you got to a certain place in the game and you can't move on no matter what you do. Then, when you look at a walkthrough you see you forgot to pick up a certain item and you need to restore or restart to get to that point in the game.

This is something both lucasarts and telltale (till now) avoided.

But if they're remaking king's quest what will happen?

I prefer it if they will continue to avoid those dead ends. I didn't like them - they seemed so unfair, it was the main reason i preferred lucasarts games to sierra.

85 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I seem to remember in KQ5 you can also pay the fortune teller using the golden needle, which makes the game unwinnable.

  • There are lots of dead ends in KQV, my point is that if you screw something up, you don't need to replay that much of the game if you have done a good job with your saves.

    As for the needle, common sense says that a tailor would be a better location to use that. As a matter of fact, the majority of the KQV dead ends resulted form not using common sense.

  • Maybe Telltale could implement the whole "Dead-end resolution/backtracking" as some sort of Braid-style time travel to the past (to the exact moment where you thought you forgot some key element), instead of choosing from a discrete bunch of bookmarks.
    The original mechanism makes me want to make a save-game after every item I collect :p which is a bit of a burden, except if you got Asperger I suppose...
    That doesn't mean that I'm against dead-ends, in fact, I think they contribute a great deal to the whore Sierra stylo 'n flav <3

  • That's not really a dead end. You could also give the gold coin to the tailor and get the cloak, IIRC.

  • I just added quite a bit of information concerning dead ends in KQ5 and KQ6 over on the King's Quest Omnipedia recently.

    I'm pretty sure the gold coin and the gold needle can be interchanged, although the points given might be less? Anyone know?

    I'm pretty sure the only way to turn these two items into a dead-end, is simply forgetting to get the gold coin in the temple (which means you'll be one item short for trading).

    Similarly you can also switch the shoe and the stick to get rid of the cat/dog. But I think the points remain the same. Obviously the stick makes more logical sense if used for the dog. If you miss the cat, you will activate another dead-end! But its kinda obvious that you need to save the rat.

    Actually many of the 'dead-ends' in KQ5 are intentional, forcing the player towards death scenes they would not normally encounter. For example there are 2-3 different deaths in the Dark Forest alone, that are only accessible if you somehow forgot the genie bottle to defeat the witch, fail to cast the spell on the witch's hut on the floppy version, or later lose all the emeralds to the elf; these include being eaten by man-eating plants, killed by a giant spider, or endlessly lost (until you starve/die). Another infamous dead end, is the intentional failure to save Cedric after the Harpy incident, so that Mordack will zap you into non-existence shortly before the end game!

    Forgetting other items may lead to death scenes that can normally be encountered no matter the circumstances, by simply progressing forward in the game. Like being killed by the statues on Mordack's island, or becoming stuck in the dungeon cell.

    An amusing bit of trivia, but many of the early Apple II sierra games, had autosaves as well as regular saves. This was potentially bad on games like King's Quest and Space Quest, where there were a few 'dead-ends'!

  • @BagginsKQ said:
    Another infamous dead end, is the intentional failure to save Cedric after the Harpy incident, so that Manannan will zap you into non-existence shortly before the end game!

    I thought at that point Manannan was a cat. I think you meant Mordack. You are the expert though. ;)

  • @BagginsKQ said: ...these include being eaten by man-eating plants, killed by a giant spider, or endlessly lost (until you starve/die).

    I KNEW those two deaths existed! I remember them as a small kid but I could never recreate them!! So most of the deaths don't really leave you in a stuck state then, they result in deaths you wouldn't normally get so that you can know you failed. Interesting. Also there's another one, if you get trapped in the basement of the Inn and you have saved the rat you will be freed but if you didn't get the hammer from the shoemaker then you can only walk around for a while and then a death message comes up after a random certain of time.

  • That just makes KQV that much better.

  • KQ5 certainly an upgrade, and evolution over the infamous dead-ends in KQ1!

    Traveling over to the Land of the Leprechauns without fiddle/clover or treasures/cheese/weapon will either lead you to death by leprechauns or mouse. But the worst won't even kill you! If you forget to get the mushroom, you cannot leave the island. There isn't even a timed death associated with it as far as I know?

    Note: A bit of trivia, it is possible to reach the island in KQ1AGI, without the Condor's help with a strange glitch! Try walking along the bottom edge of the mushroom (IIRC).

    Losing the goat, could potentially lead to dead end, if your lesser treasures were stolen by the dwarf, and you have no way to get past the troll. I don't think this leads to any timed death scenes though, and the troll just prevents you from crossing.

    Of course you could eat the beans! Oops. No way to enter the Land of the Clouds. To bad this didn't lead to an extremely graphic death scene :D (what happens when a giant magic plant grows inside a smaller container such as a human body?).

    ...or even worse, having your three Great Treasures stolen by the Dwarf on the way back to Castle. I'm not sure the game even lets you back into the castle to see the king die (the remake might have added an extra death scene if you take too long to return to the castle?).

    Am I missing any others?

    In KQ2, you could potentially get stuck if you used up all your treasures, and intentional tradeable items. Like say you ate the chicken soup, or let the nightengale go free, and somehow spent all the Sapphire Jewels for other reasons (traveling to Dracula's Castle too many times). Of course crossing the bridge one too many times, is probably the biggest dead-end in the game. But hey you'll sure know you made a mistake in the end!

    Generally speaking you would have an alternate solution to most puzzles, before you reached possible dead-ends. Like there is no way to get stuck with the lion, since you will have the sword (even if you forgot the meat)! You can never get stuck by killing the fish, as all you need to do is fish until you get another! In general you should have enough treasures if you somehow lost the nightengale to get the magic lamp (even if you spent a treasure to help the mermaid). The dwarf is not much of an issue, since the treasures he steals can be found inside of his house.

    Of course there were some intentional dead-end death scenes, like if you made the mistake of giving the Mermaid the trident, and then came back and helped her out (treasure/flowers), Neptune kills you the moment you enter his domain, as he has no reason to trust you (one would have thought the mermaid could have told him about you).

    There might be potential to prevent yourself from getting the silver cross (by being rude to the monk). This might cause you some troubles, if you also have no alternate way to get past the ghosts. Once you are in the castle, you can actually go through the castle without encountering Dracula if you are careful, and still get the magic key. Though having some fairy magic before you go to the castle might also be an alternate method to get past the obstacles (preventing even ghosts becoming a dead end).

    I'd have to think about KQ3. I suppose the first main one is not keeping track of time, and running out of it before you can return/hide everything in the house. But this is obviously intentional, and your own fault if you weren't paying attention to the time. Secondly you could run out of the food, but that will just lead to Manannan killing you in time.

    You could use up some of the spells with limited casting times (such as the fly/eagle spell), preventing you from being able to use it where you need to use it. But there are alternatives such as the teleport spell, that should prevent that from being a dead end in most cases (granted if you run out and never made the teleport spell, you might have a problem with the Abominable Snowman, if you got as far as the Great Mountains).

    Using the storm spell in the wrong place, will kill you, so no problem having to worry about losing that. As far as I know you need to collect most if not all the spells in order to leave Llewdor (as they are required for later on). The talking to animals spell, and/or teleporting spells are optional as far as I know.

    Granted if you take too long to leave Llewdor, you might miss the boat, and get one of the game's death scenes. The boat appears after speaking to the oracle. Is it possible to use up all your gold coins via buying drinks at the tavern, and prevent passage on the boat? Again if this is the case, it would lead to the 'trapped in Llewdor' death ending.

    In KQ4, it is possible to let time go by, and lose your chance of getting the three treasures needed by Lollotte. Obviously, if you wait too long, and Genesta dies! This leads to a death notice (about being trapped in the land, and no way back to see your dieing dad). Other boneheaded things like eating the fruit/failing to find the fruit leads to an alternate sad ending. There is that third alternate bad ending, if you fail to escape Lolotte's castle, and kill Lolotte before morning.

    You can also use up the arrows, or break the shovel, but this will likely ultimately lead to time running out, and getting one of the aformentioned dead end, 'secondary endings'!

    Can the fuel of the lantern run out with extended use? This would potentially cause problems in several places.

    KQ7, as far as I know has no intentional dead ends (except for possible bugs). There are alternative solutions for everything. If you miss an item, an alternative item shows up somewhere else to help you out.

    I don't think there are any dead-ends in KQ8 either, other than getting into places that you aren't meant to be at by unconventional means (rather than puzzle solving/fighting). I suppose you could potentially screw the game up by losing those rocks you need to press down buttons, set off traps, break ice; by throwing them into lava, over cliffs, or into water. But in most cases you can alternatively solve those buttons by causing an enemy, to walk over, and die on the button (so if you are carefuly, you should have more than enough rocks by the end of the game for other puzzles such as the traps and frozen pool)!

    But I can't think of any true dead-ends in KQ8 (other than bugs and those don't count).

  • I'm not sure but I thought there were some dead ends in kq6 too. One being if you saved in the labrinth without the the lantern,brick, hole in the wall or red scarf. I also had trouble in the shorter ending if you entered the castle and had no wind up nightgale or mint for the genie. You can also forget the gauntlet, talking to the ghost mom or grabbing the old coins before coins for Cheron in the land of the dead (although I forgot if the Druid mentions some clues to either of those). Sierra trained me to save multiple games so I didn't have to restart the whole game.

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