I'm curious how people define darkness in storytelling, and how do you feel it relates to the KQ series?
What is the cinematic/literary/fiction definition of dark? How does it contrast with your own interpretations of dark?
Here are a series of comments on how Roberta viewed darkness for various games in the series, that I have found;
This quest (KQ6) seems to have a darker, more ominous tone than the other King’s Quests; it is also more wordy. Is there a reason?
I was thinking that same thing the other day, but I don’t believe we made it intentionally ominous. It just turned out that way.
First of all, I have to say that King's Quest comes from ME and each one is different and has its own flavor. Some have a darker tone, and others have a lighter tone. Some touch upon violence, and some don't. King's Quest reflects the mood that I am in when I go to tackle another one.
KQ3 was very dark, and it utilized lots of magic and magic spells with the basic idea of finding ingredients for "black magic" spells and then casting those spells. (Certain religious groups were upset with me over that one!)
KQ8 indeed has a story, actually, a much more profound story than prior King's Quests. It is a new telling of the ultimate "quest" the quest for the most powerful, spiritual, benevolent item of all; the Mask of Eternity. This story takes its cue from two sources: the Quest for the Grail, and the Christian story of the struggle between God and Lucifer. When we say that the story is very dark that's really not true; it's just that the story is more profound and seriously looks at the struggle between good and evil. Rather than taking a bubbly, Disney view of good and evil, I chose to look at the struggle between good and evil from a more serious, traditional, almost spiritual, viewpoint. If you look at the traditional stories of the Grail and even in past Christian legend, you find that it is not light-hearted, gooey, and bubbly. Those stories are filled with conflict, peril, finding ones own morality, proving oneself a hero by overcoming evil creatures of Chaos, but yet proving oneself virtuous and good with all things good. That is the theme with this game.
"The idea I sorta had in the back of my mind in developing this game, its not really heavy, or fleshed out strongly, it was the idea of exploring spirituality a little bit, I don't want to get heavy with this, but the idea of religions maybe, or lightness and darkness, chaos and order, and why people believe the way they do, and I sort of went back to primitive religions, and looking really at all religions, seeing what was some commonalities among them... -Roberta Williams, Talk Spot 2.
Here is a comment from Mark Seibert;
December 1998; What would the game have lost the most if you had made in the KQ7 style?
"I think the ambience, I think the game has a wonderful mood to it, it's kinda of dark and mysterious and look of the screen and the music and the sound effects just make for a wonderful experience. I don't think it would have gotten the same experience from cartoon animation."
-Mark Seibert, Talkspot Part 2