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King's Quest V vs. King's Quest VI

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 916 users

It seems that among the fanbase there is a divide, with one side generally feeling that KQVI (and the direction it represents) is the way the series should go, and the other feeling the same about KQV.

So I wanted to put them up against each other, get some discussion. Can be about any aspect of the game: Graphics, music, characters, story, world(s), etc--Any and all aspects of both games put up against each other.

45 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • When I first played them, as they were released, I would have said KQVI was better. Perhaps as a teenager, I liked the black cloak society, love story, etc. Now as an adult in my 30s, as I have replayed the games, I feel as though KQV is the superior game. That doesn't in anyway make KQVI a bad game. It just doesn't suit my tastes as an adult.

    Perhaps I would have had a similar impression to TSL (I only mention TSL because I know Cez loves Jane Jensen :)) as a teenager, whereas I am not a big fan of the direction/story as an adult.

  • @Cez said: Anakin,

    let me ask you a question. Is your dislike for KQ6 recent, and does it have to do with your dislike for TSL/sudden against Jane Jensen stand?

    I can understand preferring KQ5 to KQ6, and obviously there are reasons why someone would dislike KQ6. But KQ6 is, in all honesty, one of the best games of the series, a statement from fans and critics alike. It took everything that KQ5 did right (and wrong) and enhanced it.

    I can also understand people not liking Jane Jensen's pen, but you can't simply compare KQ6 to GK. Instead, one must wonder about the versatility of the author writing something that felt so much like King's Quest when the subject matter is obviously not her preferred cup of tea.

    So, my question is, is this a statement against Jane Jensen or are we talking about the merits of KQ6 --which, even you must admit that it was an achievement on its own to craft such a charming game, with a solid design that took care of the missteps of KQ5.

    If we are going to say that KQ6 is a bad game because of whatever minimal touch Jane Jensen brought to it, then we must judge KQ5 with the same eyes and say that it was a bad game because of the horrible puzzle design that led to multiple dead ends all around. Everything else is of high caliber in both games, and that's where people may prefer one to the other, but both games did it right.

    So, I ask again, do you just have a sudden thing against KQ6, or did you always feel this way about it?

    I never quite liked KQ6 nearly as much as KQ5. I enjoyed it greatly as a kid because it was a KQ game and when I was a kid I'd love anything that had the KQ name on it. I never however liked Alexander as a protagonist; it's why KQ3 also rates low on my personal ranking of the various games in the series.

    I just felt as I've gotten older that the tone of the game, the pacing, etc, feels like something that's not King's Quest. Or not my cup of tea as far as KQ anyway. The game tries too hard to balance light and dark, serious and silly--and doesn't succeed at it. It feels like it teeters from one direction to the other, not really ever deciding what it should be.

    The light moments feel almost slapped in there and not as well thought out as the more serious moments. And the writing feels utterly different from any of the other games; Much more clinical and less simple and to the point--which is due to the fact that it was indeed the work of another hand.

    It's like having another writer come in and write a novel in one of Tom Clancy's series. It's an emulation of his style...But if the writer's own style is too far removed from Clancy's style, it will show and the book will feel like someone trying to be Clancy--and failing, creating something different.

    Also, Jane Jensen's imput was far from minimal. She co-wrote the story, co-designed and co-directed the game, wrote the narration text and character dialogue on her own, and added a lot into the game of her own accord. Roberta didn't even remember that the idea of an evil society (BCS) made it into the final game until fans pointed it out to her after the fact! Jane herself said Roberta was on a two month vacation to Spain when she worked on KQVI--Not there or hands on. Compare that to how well Lorelei Shannon followed Roberta's vision with KQ7--She did exactly what Roberta wanted.

    Robert's own statements show how disinterested in KQ she was around 1991/1992--She considered totally handing off the series to another designer and just being a creative consultant because she felt like she'd run out of ideas for the series.

    It may be one of the best of the series, I won't deny that critics love it, but it's far from my personal favorite. I will always love moments like the 3D introduction which even now is majestic and the swordfight and the Land of the Dead and the Catecombs and many other moments...But I'm not one for the way the whole love storyline was played out, nor did I feel the game needed to introduce elements like the Black Cloak Society. The world, too, feels much too small. I hate having to Island hop back and forth from Isle to Isle. It gets annoying after a while.

    It's like Indiana Jones. Most Indiana Jones fans, and most critics, prefer the depth and character driven plot of Last Crusade. I on the other hand feel that the film is subpar and slow until Connery arrives and he saves the film; I much prefer the non-stop rollercoaster ride that Temple of Doom is--Whereas most think Temple of Doom is a weaker point in the series.

    I basically feel about KQ6 the way others would about KQ7: A good game in it's own regard, just not the best KQ game. It was however an interesting experiment with a lot of classic moments.

  • @Anakin Skywalker said:
    I basically feel about KQ6 the way others would about KQ7: A good game in it's own regard, just not the best KQ game. It was however an interesting experiment with a lot of classic moments.

    I think KQ7 is a terrible game, regardless. It marked the beginning of the downward spiral for adventure games in the mid-1990s, and its dumbed down single-cursor interface and lack of interactive environments paved the way for steaming piles of turd like Telltale's BttF.

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    Cez

    and this is a much more balanced reply.

    I didn't mean by the way that Jane Jensen had little input. This was probably more her game than it was Roberta's. I just meant that she did a great job at mimicking King's Quest.

    The funny thing is that I just noticed you gave it a rating of 9.4/10 in the TSL forums. I would assume that anyone that gives an almost perfect rating to a game is almost fully in love with it, in which case something is off the way you talk about it to the way you rate it. Which is why my comment of it seems like you like to put it down more out to enhance the other games. By putting it a mere decimal below MoE, which you laud about in every post you make about it, it seems like you love it, but there's an external factor that doesn't allow you to show it. That's all.

    Temple of Doom is my fav in the series as well, for the record :)

  • @Lambonius said: I think KQ7 is a terrible game, regardless. It marked the beginning of the downward spiral for adventure games in the mid-1990s, and its dumbed down single-cursor interface and lack of interactive environments paved the way for steaming piles of turd like Telltale's BttF.

    Oh it's far from perfect; I personally just love it for it's atmosphere, art, characters and worlds, and don't mind the single cursor. I love the Disney or Don Bluth inspire direction. But don't put it on the same level as BttF--That's not a game, it's a movie which happens to have some interactive moments. KQ7 isn't THAT simple.

  • @Cez said: and this is a much more balanced reply.

    I didn't mean by the way that Jane Jensen had little input. This was probably more her game than it was Roberta's. I just meant that she did a great job at mimicking King's Quest.

    The funny thing is that I just noticed you gave it a rating of 9.4/10 in the TSL forums. I would assume that anyone that gives an almost perfect rating to a game is almost fully in love with it, in which case something is off the way you talk about it to the way you rate it. Which is why my comment of it seems like you like to put it down more out to enhance the other games. By putting it a mere decimal below MoE, which you laud about in every post you make about it, it seems like you love it, but there's an external factor that doesn't allow you to show it. That's all.

    Temple of Doom is my fav in the series as well, for the record :)

    I think it's just what it represents. Too many fans never quite left KQ6. AGDI tried to be KQ6 Part II with their introduction of the Father; TSL takes the same route. It's simply not what I feel is the right way to go. I think a lot of fans went "OK, this is the peak of the series!" and where can you go from the peak? You can only go downward. I don't think KQ6 was the ultimate pinnacle of what KQ is or could ever be--and thus, it doesn't have to be "downhill from here." Fans after KQ6 seemed to want KQ6 Part II, Part III, etc and nothing else...And you can't have sequel after sequel keeping the same style, tone, etc. It'd get tired out and boring after a while.

    Anything goes for KQ with me. Evolution is key. Experimentation is vital. That's why I love KQ7 and KQ8 and KQ5...3 very different games, but all (for me) equally part of the same series. KQ4 is also different from those three but I love it as well.

    I suppose in some ways I do love KQ6 but it's become so "politicized"--KQ6 represents a certain style that many fans want, and nothing else will satisfy them; Anything different is either hated or just barely tolerated. And that impedes progress. And if the series doesn't progress, it will die, and I don't want KQ to die. As long as there are creative minds, the KQ series can continue--and it should.

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    Cez

    @Anakin Skywalker said: I think it's just what it represents. Too many fans never quite left KQ6. AGDI tried to be KQ6 Part II with their introduction of the Father; TSL takes the same route. It's simply not what I feel is the right way to go. I think a lot of fans thought "OK, this is the peak of the series!" and where can you go from the peak? Fans afterward seemed to want KQ6 Part II, Part III, etc...And you can't have sequel after sequel keeping the same style, tone, etc. It'd get tired and boring after a while.

    Anything goes for KQ with me. Evolution is key. Experimentation is vital. That's why I love KQ7 and KQ8 and KQ5...3 very different games, but all (for me) equally part of the same series. KQ4 is also different from those three but I love it as well.

    I suppose in some ways I do love KQ6 but it's become so "politicized"--KQ6 represents a certain style and feel that many fans want, and nothing else will satisfy them; Anything different is either hated or just barely tolerated. And that impedes progress. And if the series doesn't progress, it will die, and I don't want KQ to die. As long as there are creative minds, the KQ series can continue--and it should.

    I was going to use that word... "political", in my original post. And it bogs down to that. I know what you are feeling, really. I remember about 10 years ago, there was a post about the fav songs from my band somewhere. My absolute fav song was second to another song I loved to pieces as well, but because I wanted my fav to be top, I started to abhor the other song.

    Today, I laugh about it. They are two great songs no matter what.

    And yes, the general feeling is that most fans are stuck in KQ6. But, hey, it's not all of us! The great team at IA feels exactly like you about KQ5, and I'm sure KoS will follow KQ5 and will delight you. There's no need to make a stand about KQ6, especially if you know it's a great game.

    You won't change people's mind, and really, you are not being true to your feelings either. Let things be the way they are, and if you want to change them, then truly change them. Don't waste that much energy in the forums fighting about it, look for a team and make the KQ you want!

  • Another analogy would be this:
    Most people consider the Rolling Stones' albums from 1968 to 1974 to a winning span of albums--All excellent.
    These albums are:

    Beggar's Banquet (1968)
    Let It Bleed (1979)
    Sticky Fingers (1971)
    Exile on Main St. (1972)
    Goat's Head Soup (1973)
    It's Only Rock N' Roll (1974)

    Now, it's pretty much the consensus that those albums represent the peak of the Rolling Stones' career. But that's 6 albums there. If you have 6 albums of about equal quality...It's hard to tell which is the best. Some prefer Sticky Fingers; Most love Exile on Main St and feel it's the Rolling Stones' best album EVER. As such, Goat's Head Soup and It's Only Rock N' Roll are considered great...But not as great as Exile.

    Likewise, I feel KQ's 4-8 are a string of the series' best entries. Most people consider KQ6 the best of the series; I personally prefer KQ5. And I think KQ7 and KQ8 got the shaft because they weren't KQ6. It doesn't mean they're bad games, but it's hard to follow up what most people consider is THE BEST.

    How can you outdo what most people have decided is the best? It's incredibly hard to, ESPECIALLY if you're dealing with a closeminded fanbase.

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    Cez

    @Anakin Skywalker said:
    Likewise, I feel KQ's 4-8 are a string of the series' best entries. Most people consider KQ6 the best of the series; I personally prefer KQ5. And I think KQ7 and KQ8 got the shaft because they weren't KQ6. It doesn't mean they're bad games, but it's hard to follow up what most people consider is THE BEST.

    How can you outdo what most people have decided is the best? It's incredibly hard to, ESPECIALLY if you're dealing with a closeminded fanbase.

    Actually....

    Sorry for turning this back on you, but your statement is true but not exactly correctly worded.

    The correct statement would be "KQ7 and KQ8 got the shaft because they weren't KQ5". KQ6, after all, is the perfected child of KQ5.

    :)

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    Cez

    @Cez said: Actually....

    Sorry for turning this back on you, but your statement is true but not exactly correctly worded.

    The correct statement would be "KQ7 and KQ8 got the shaft because they weren't KQ5". KQ6, after all, is the perfected child of KQ5.

    :)

    And by the way, what I'm trying to say in general is that people aren't stuck in KQ6.

    They are stuck in the VGA period of Sierra. The golden years of 90-93. Then, everything changed, and games stopped having that same familiarity that ran across any and every Sierra game. People just weren't ready to give up that time period --it was too short lived and it was still too good to let it go. And they still aren't. When the systems that produced some 20 or more games that they had all played and enjoyed, changed on them, it was abrupt. Not to mention that the familiarity that was there, the collection of icons we all came to love, the classic Sierra interface was gone.

    In 89-90 the same change happened, but the difference, and why people probably received it better, was because the change in the graphics was just simply ABYSMAL, and everyone was just too busy picking up their jaws to worry about the change of an interface they quickly came to love.

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