King's Quest


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RAM Requirement: 512k RAM

Control: Keyboard, Joystick and Mouse

Release Status: Abandonware

Year: 1987

Publisher: Sierra

Developers: Roberta Williams

System 6 Compatible: Yes

Hard Drive Installable: Yes


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King's Quest involved the player as Sir Graham, in the service of King Edward. Edward had ruled the kingdom of Daventry with a benevolent guise but times were tough and you are called upon to reclaim the various magical items that had once made Daventry great. These items include a magic mirror, a magic shield and magic chest of gold. If they weren't magic, they wouldn't be in such high demand, would they?

King's Quest was the first of Sierra's 3D Adventure Games, released first for the IBM PC in 1984.

The last platform that Sierra's AGI adventure scripting development tools were converted to included the addition of fantastic sound and music capabilities - but the same blocky, colourful graphics. No colour palette changes either. As a plus however, all Sierra games do run under any version of the IIGS operating system, including System 6.

As a 3D Adventure Game, you controlled your character on screen with either the mouse (click where you want your alter ego to go) the arrow keys, keypad or even a joystick. You moved your character to avoid danger, or get closer to items or people so you could interact with them. A parser is used to input commands - get, talk, give, use, show, look, etc, that follow standard English conventions: Verbs are used first, then nouns. The parser understands most things you type in and has a relatively good vocabulary that allows for synonyms.

A good way to start adventuring with each new screen is to simply type "look" or "look room" which should supply some background information to what you can already see on screen. It's then a good idea to look at the individual objects given in the information you got from "look". You can never have too much information in a Sierra 3D animated adventure.

I must confess I spent many hours playing Sierra's adventure games. And loved it, despite their archaic graphics compared to the visual capabilities of the IIGS. If you've never played one of Sierra's games, King's Quest is a good place to start. Smaller than the other King's Quests, it involves many enjoyable, simple mini-quests to reach the more valuable items and you won't need any background information regarding the characters and storyline as this is where the saga began.