King's Quest is an adventure game series made by the American computer game company Sierra. It is widely considered a classic title of the golden era of adventure games and was the series which primarily built the reputation of the company following the success of the first installment, the first "3D" adventure game. Roberta Williams, co-owner of Sierra, designed all the games in the King's Quest series.

Games[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

The world of King's Quest encompasses many different kingdoms and supernatural realms.

The main characters in the series are Sir (later King) Graham and members of his family: his wife, Valanice, and his twin son and daughter, Alexander and Rosella. The exception is KQ VIII, where the protagonist is Connor, a tanner in the Kingdom of Daventry who is unrelated to the royal family. Because of this and the emphasis on RPG and action elements in KQ VIII, many fans refuse to consider it a true sequel and call it KQ:MOE (for Mask of Eternity, the game's subtitle).

Many famous fictional characters make appearances in the series, including Beauty and the Beast, Rumplestiltskin, Red Riding Hood and Count Dracula. They are featured most prominently in the earlier games, which focus on solving item-based puzzles in a fantasy setting. The later sequels have more elaborate story lines, more complicated puzzles, and more original and realistic characters.

The region in which the first game takes place has no boundaries. Sir Graham can travel north, south, east, or west, but no matter what direction he goes, he will eventually loop back to the same screen where he began. This is the easiest way of programming a closed game space. Such a situation can be explained within the storyline (retroactive continuity) by saying that the character is trapped in the region magically. King's Quest II, III, and IV held on to this design, albeit in a more limited manner. The looping takes place only when the character goes north or south. Geographical barriers such as the sea, mountains, or deserts serve as boundaries to the east and west. Beginning with KQV, looping was eliminated and all game regions had boundaries in all four directions.

Mythology[edit | edit source]

Many creatures, characters and situations from mythology, fairy tales, and folklore are encountered within the world of King's Quest. A Minotaur, Pan, Pegasus, Pandora, Charon, Cupid, Ceres, Druids, Harpies, Oracles, Neptune, Medusa, The Fates and the Graeae appear in various games in the series. In general, the mythology of the King's Quest world is derived from that of the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Celts.

Magic plays a large role in the King's Quest series. Wizards, witches, enchanters, sorcerers, and genies appear throughout the series. In some of the games, the main character must use magic spells or items to achieve a goal.

Good and Evil[edit | edit source]

In the series, you, as the main character, always play on the side of that which is right and fair. King Graham, Queen Valanice, Prince Alexander, Princess Rosella, and Connor strive to serve the greater good.

The main character is often motivated by a desire to protect his or her loved ones, or protect the innocent from evil. The villains of the series have been characters who threatened the safety of Daventry or sought to rule other kingdoms as tyrants.

In the first seven games of the series, emphasis is placed upon avoiding violence whenever possible. Many of the villains are not killed, but are magically imprisoned or otherwise neutralized. Sometimes, especially in the earlier entries, there are multiple methods of defeating adversaries. When dealing with adversaries who are dangerous but not truly evil, non-lethal methods are always rewarded with more points, and sometimes more tangible rewards too (most notably the snake in King's Quest II).

Books[edit | edit source]

Three books have been published by Boulevard Books.

  • The Floating Castle (1995): Written by Craig Mills, placed between KQ III and IV, it follows Alexander on a quest to discover what is behind the mysterious Floating Castle and the monstrous invasions over the kingdom.
  • The Kingdom of Sorrow (1996): Written by Kenyon Morr, placed between II and III, it follows the adventures of Graham who moves to rescue an imprisoned Fairy Queen held by the giant Dunstan, in order to return balance in nature.
  • See no Weevil (1996): Also written by Kenyon Morr and placed close to the previous book, it focuses on Rosella who on her 15 must run the kingdom of Daventry during an absence of her parents.

The books haven't acclaimed high reviews, but King's Quest fans understand that although these books do not belong in the high fantasy genre generally, they are written and intended especially for them.

See also[edit | edit source]

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