Originally Posted by Lambonius
I definitely have to disagree here. Take a look at some of the fantasy artwork that inspired the art style of KQ5. When you compare them, it's easy to see that a certain level of grit went into every aspect of KQ5's visuals that just doesn't exist in any other KQ game (well, maybe KQ1SCI and KQ4, but in a different way.)
The artwork in KQ5 always reminds me a bit of the paintings of guys like Boris Vallejo
Fantasy artwork that (supposedly) inspires a game is different from the feel of the game itself. It's like saying The Secret of Monkey Island
is gritty because it is inspired by the book On Stranger Tides. You might make some case for MI2 with this, but not MI1. The art of MI1 might be dark in places--especially in "hell" but the overall tone of the game is comedic and silly.
The background art isn't all that goes into (nor does it have to be the largest part of) a game's overall feel. In an adventure game, the characters and dialogue play a large part in the feel of a game---even moreso with the advent of ingame speech. Additionally, the nature of the game's puzzles also play a part. In my opinion, the character portraits, dialogue, voice-acting and puzzles (pie in the face, anyone?) are so blatanly lighthearted in KQ5 that it's silly to the point of being laughably absurd.
In King's Quest 7, an entire area of the game is allocated for people who admit to being dead. Certainly, KQ6's Land of the Dead it is not, but it's still dark and foreboding-- especially considering the route to it from the forest passes by Malecia's creepy house, a carnivorous fly-trap plant and and a swamp monster. Now... given that I did just say that the puzzles, characters and dialogue make up a large part of the feel of a game, and KQ7 does have many lighthearted elements as such, but they are not near as laughably absurd as those in KQ5 unless they are intentionally
absurd as in the town of Falderal. But then even the word falderal
itself is defined as "foolish nonsense."
I would say that KQ7 is appropriately silly in places on purpose while KQ5 is absurd in places by mere ineptitude (a poooiisonous snake!)