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Mask of Eternity question....

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 724 users

Do you think the basic idea of having a KQ game be more inspired by Tolkien and Medieval Romances, than by Fairy Tales, was a good one, in Mask? Forgetting all the other elements, the action, lack of Royal Family etc--I'm talking strictly the idea of having a KQ game be inspired by Tolkien rather than Disney.

Could a KQ work with a more serious tone? I mean serious as in the way Lord of the Rings is serious, not in a dramatic sort of way. Or have the serious side balanced out with a lighter side?

I just think the Mask approach, and the mythology in that game, is a lot more mature, cohesive, more esoteric and yet also more well developed than in the previous games. Like the previous games, it is a mish mash of different mythologies and legends but somehow they fit better together.

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  • It really depends on what's important to you from the games. I think there's no arguing that Mask is a tonal departure (as well as a departure in so many other ways) from the other games in the series. Then again, KQ7 is also a bit of a tonal departure, though it fits overall with the first 5 better than Mask. KQ6 is probably the best mix of the light-hearted tone of the first 5 games and the more "mature" (blech) tone of a romance novel, but it strikes a good balance.

    In my opinion, Mask's radical tonal departure from the earlier games was a bad decision, compounded by the 3D graphics that weren't yet technologically up to the task of handling an "epic adventure" in the way I believe Roberta and the other designers were hoping they'd be. But yes, the darker tone is a big part of why Mask doesn't feel like a King's Quest game, not to mention all the other gameplay differences.

  • Mask had the potential to be something special, it was just mucked up. It could have carried King's Quest on into the next generation of gaming, keeping Sierra's name alive, even if it wasn't as an adventure. But it didn't. Is it better that way? Hmm...

  • @Lambonius said: It really depends on what's important to you from the games. I think there's no arguing that Mask is a tonal departure (as well as a departure in so many other ways) from the other games in the series. Then again, KQ7 is also a bit of a tonal departure, though it fits overall with the first 5 better than Mask. KQ6 is probably the best mix of the light-hearted tone of the first 5 games and the more "mature" (blech) tone of a romance novel, but it strikes a good balance.

    In my opinion, Mask's radical tonal departure from the earlier games was a bad decision, compounded by the 3D graphics that weren't yet technologically up to the task of handling an "epic adventure" in the way I believe Roberta and the other designers were hoping they'd be. But yes, the darker tone is a big part of why Mask doesn't feel like a King's Quest game, not to mention all the other gameplay differences.

    Well think of what you said about KQ6...Imagine a KQ game that would balance the mature tone of LOTR or Medieval Romances, with the light hearted tone of the first five. Basically a game of equal tonal balance like KQ6, just that balance being a LOTR fantasy type tone rather than a romance novel sort of tone.

    It wouldn't have to go ALL THE WAY to a serious, darker tone like Mask did.

  • @Anakin Skywalker said: Well think of what you said about KQ6...Imagine a KQ game that would balance the mature tone of LOTR or Medieval Romances, with the light hearted tone of the first five. Basically a game of equal tonal balance like KQ6, just that balance being a LOTR fantasy type tone rather than a romance novel sort of tone.

    It wouldn't have to go ALL THE WAY to a serious, darker tone like Mask did.

    The thing is, I don't know if I'd go so far as to call KQ6 "Romance novel-ish." I think it's a bit more along the lines of a Disney romance, though maybe just a touch darker. I'm just not sure LOTR elements like dwarves and elves would work as well in the KQ universe. Yes, there was a dwarf, but he was a thieving dwarf--more a Mother Goose archetype than a Middle Earth type dwarf with a broadaxe. THAT would feel out of place. And yes, there was an elf in KQ1, but he was presented more as a Christmas elf than anything else--he even showed up and gave you a gift! Now, granted--that gift was a magic ring that turned the wearer invisible, but... ;)

  • @Lambonius said: The thing is, I don't know if I'd go so far as to call KQ6 "Romance novel-ish." I think it's a bit more along the lines of a Disney romance, though maybe just a touch darker. I'm just not sure LOTR elements like dwarves and elves would work as well in the KQ universe. Yes, there was a dwarf, but he was a thieving dwarf--more a Mother Goose archetype than a Middle Earth type dwarf with a broadaxe. THAT would feel out of place. And yes, there was an elf in KQ1, but he was presented more as a Christmas elf than anything else--he even showed up and gave you a gift! Now, granted--that gift was a magic ring that turned the wearer invisible, but... ;)

    True but conceptions of races and characters changed over the course of the series. I mean for example the way Trolls are presented. In KQ1 they are presented as being thuggish and annoying, but not totally a monster; In KQ4, you get the scary, human eating troll, with it's talons and glowing red eyes...In KQ7 you get Trolls who are civilized and decent creatures, if crude. It's sometimes hard to reconcile, though I prefer KQ7's version; it's inventive and refreshing in some ways.

    Think also about the Dwarf in KQ1--The thieving, petty little creature--and look at the contrast between that character, and the nice (if gruff) Dwarfs in KQ4, who show kindness toward and help Rosella.

    Hell, even monsters, like zombies, changed. In KQ4, Zombies were of the more stereotypical nature: Rotting corpses fresh from the ground, which were meant to be creepy. In KQ6, they were presented in a similar way, but more as restless spirits which just happened to also be deadly rather than simply as mindless, evil flesh hungry monsters; In KQ7, the Ghoul Kids, though deadly in their own way, were played rather for laughs, about as scary as the Goosebumps series; In KQ8, they resembled Mummies.

    The undead in general undergo a transformation too. Dracula and his ghostly companions and the like are dangerous enemies in KQ2. In KQ4, the Zombies as mentioned are evil and creepy; The Ghosts are restless but not harmful, yet are treated as creepy characters not of this world. In KQ6, they're treated more softly as restless spirits. In KQ7, they're played for laughs as being goofy, likable characters (Dr. Cadaver), with touches of literary works like Sleepy Hollow, in the Headless Horseman. KQ8 takes it back to an earlier (in the KQ verse)'s view of the Undead.

    Or consider the various depictions of Fairies in the series. The very fey sort of Fairy godmother in KQ2, to KQ4's depiction of Fairies, to KQ7's treatment of them almost as Greek God type characters (Oberon and Titania, for example). Even in that game, you have the green skinned Titania, who is more unhuman in appearance and her sister, who is white skinned and pretty much human looking. And then there's the issue of whether fairies have wings or not. Genesta and her companions did; The rest of the Fairies portrayed in the series did not.

    So, I think having, for example, Dwarves and Elves being portrayed more akin to Tolkien's version wouldn't be too off key, given the series' own conceptions of how mythological races and creatures looked and behaved changed often and sometimes dramatically.

  • I don't know the voice acting in KQ8 is all fairly tongue and cheek and goofy (with exception of Connor who comes off sounding 'over-dramatic'). Most of the characters once you step out of the first world start to turn towards more whimsical nature. Infact I'd say that most of the characters you encounter in DOD, are a bit more whimsical compared to those you encounter in the Realm of the Dead in KQ6 (with the exception of the dancing skeletons)... Even the enemies in DOD have alot of whimiscal 'threat' messages.

    The game also starts to 'lighten' up visually once you leave DOD. Although scenic graphics were the product of the limitations of the time, and not very detailed by today's standards. It's that limitation that adds to a sort of dreariness to the atmosphere.

    Other characters in KQ8 were pulled right out of the KQ list of archtypes really. Ice Queens, Unicorns, Beasts, crystal dragons, Witches, etc (several more fantasy than fairy tale, or perhaps legendary or mythological). Of course KQ5 pretty much left the 'fairy tale' side of things, moving more into mythology or fantasy (somewhat DND style), for several of its creatures and areas as well, especially once you reached Mordack's Island. Some of the stuff was inspired by fantasy novels (the snake statues are said to be based on the black Watchers in Return of the King (more so in the way the way they are defeated), and the sphinxes in Fantasia).

    In KQ4, you get the scary, human eating troll, with it's talons and glowing red eyes...In


    Uh, the troll in the cave has green eyes, and a club... It doesn't have talons, at least none that can be seen.

  • I don't know what this Mask of Eternity is that you refer to. It never happened. Okay? It never. Happened.

  • @magodesky said: I don't know what this Mask of Eternity is that you refer to. It never happened. Okay? It never. Happened.

    lol agreed but then where do you throw the novels in the continuity of Kings Quest?

  • @Btru0465 said: lol agreed but then where do you throw the novels in the continuity of Kings Quest?

    I've never actually read the novels. Though in most settings, books are usually considered "soft canon" at best. So it probably depends on who's doing the writing and whether they feel like acknowledging them. Which seems unlikely considering that a lot of people, even among Sierra fans, don't even know the KQ novels exist.

  • I think I can probably see KQ adopting bits and pieces of Tolkien. Why not? Seems like it'd be a nice change.

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