Author Topic: What about King's Quest IX?  (Read 5268 times)

Offline Odball89

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What about King's Quest IX?
« on: July 28, 2010, 09:56:02 AM »
First off, mad props guys, mad props. You're taking far too much slack for what is truly a great achievement. Yes it has its flaws, but what doesn't? Apart from King's Quest VI, I mean.

I think I've found it so easy to look past any shortcomings that so many critics are obsessed with because I've realised the obvious: this isn't King's Quest IX. It's a new take on it: "KQIX... with feelings" if you will.  You've dumped King Graham, the loveable little yellow guy from 16 colours, into a realistic world. That's where the dark tone has come from, and - like it or not - it's an interesting experiment that might just turn up some interesting results. They do it with comic books all the time - can fairy tales be psychologically realistic?

The other thing to bare in mind is: this is FANfiction - you need to get your head around that to enjoy it. The game relies on the audience's pre-familiarity with its source material - the new detail in the narrations, the revisited locations, few new characters but many old favourites... all much more enjoyable to returning adventurers than to new fans. But let's face it - the target audience ARE fans! Who here would've even found this site if they hadn't fallen off the cliffs of logic a few hundred times back in the day?

Let's look back at the originals, which for the point of my argument, I'd consider to be 1 through 6. Now I'm a big fan. Really big - particularly of the VGAs (V and VI). But I'm also of the opinion that - save for KQVI - none are masterpieces. KQI and II are prototypes - not rich in plot or emotional complexity -  III is fiendishly difficult and V (while stunning) is hindered by poor voice acting and some really ridiculous puzzles (cheese generator anyone?). Throw in some ludicrous copy protection and the occasional parser and you've got yourselves something pretty inaccessible by today's standby.

Now before anyone throws a chair at me, hear me out! If I played King's Quest VI today, having never done so before, I would still be in awe of its storytelling, of the way it draws me in, of EVERYTHING. And I think I'd feel similar about most of the others. I mean, you ARE the wizard's slave boy trying to escape, the princess desperate to save her father, the King on an epic journey to return his castle... it's the beautiful fairy tale simplicity that I fell in love with, not Harry Potter plot complexities or Tarantino dialogue. And while TSL's taken on King Graham's existential angst at the tragedy that befalls him is intriguing... there's a step missing.

You need to restore the Kingdom/find a wife/escape the wizard/save your father/rescue your family/find the princess... everything looks bleak, but you find yourself (often magically) in an exciting new Kingdom, be it Daventry/Kolyma/Llewdor/Tamir/Serenia/the Green Isles... you meet colourful characters - be they Genestas or Saladins or Crispins - and suddenly things don't seem so bad. It's an adventure. You visit shops and meet more people. You die a few times. Everybody laughs.

The plots were connected, somewhat. But only loosely. Manannan and Mordack, Cassima at Mordack's and Edgar, popping up to creepily proposition Rosella whenver we stepped into her sassy shoes. We did have the 'Society of the Black Cloak' but if Season 6 of Lost has taught us anything it's that tantalising glimpses will always be far sexier than what's on the other side of the hole-in-the-wall. Yeah, I need another King's Quest, to tell me that everybody lives happilly ever after. We need to know who will take the throne of Daventry after Graham's death. We need to know if Alexander and Rosella go on to live happy lives in other kingdoms. We need to see Cedric disembowled by the Minotaur. But do we need something connecting all the games up? Yet another mystical prophecy? Mythology arcs suit Lost and Harry Potter, but do they suit our beloved simplistic King's Quest?

If we base it off previous games, King's Quest IX would  star the good King Graham (you'd hope). He'd wake up one morning in Daventry and find - oh maybe that his children had been cursed or some such superfluous plot point - and then he'd be away. To a new kingdom he'd never been to before, filled with new characters. At most, the other members of the Royal Family would feature in the introduction or the ending... they don't tend to crop up at any other point. Graham immediately forgets his troubles and settles in to a world full of androgynous tailors and wolves that sound like yoda.

Maybe that sounds rubbish? Well at the end of the day, that's what King's Quest is. King's Quest VI aside, it was never cutting edge in terms of story, was it? The technology yes, was astounding; even the AGI graphics had more love in them than most polygons nowadays and 5 and 6 are still gorgeous in a way that early 3ds really aren't. But then again, save the Green Isles, the lands themselves were never politically realistic wonderlands individually and meticulously detailed... no, that's far more Quest for Glory. Characters lived randomly on different screens. How did Granny get food in Kolyma - did she eat antiques? Llewdor and Serenia had towns at least but Tamir just let every individual freak shack up and terrorise everyone in a two screen radius. There wasn't even a community centre where they could meet to discuss cupid peeing in that swimming pool.

So that's that. King's Quest VI was a one-off instead of a peak. We've returned to the Green Isles in TSL, which is good for nostalgia but still not very King's Quest. Save the odd return to Daventry, it was always about the new place to explore - the stranger in a strange land. It's amazing to see the Chief Druid and the Winged Ones again but it's nothing like meeting them for the first time. That was what King's Quest was about - exploration. Never knowing what you'd find on the next screen, being able to wander round aimlessly, all over Tamir or the Green Isles or whatnot. The ultra linear 'go to this island NOW' certainly doesn't suit. If Episode One is the intro, fair play. If the rest of the game is like that... maybe not.

My honest opinion? TSL will be like the remakes. You can take it or leave it. I plan to take it, but in my mind, King's Quest should've ended with a better attempt at King's Quest VIII:

Daventry's heirs gone, Connor MacLyrr (minus d****** pseudo-medieval accent) could've stepped up to the plate following a catastrophe (the mask can stay, if it must) - a more cheerful, less depressing journey to another magical world, one as inspired, well-thought out and as beautifully cinematic as the Green Isles (successes it owes to a clear identity - the Arabian Isle of the Crown, Greco-Roman Sacred Mountain etc - this new land would've needed an equally clear influence). He solves puzzles, meets new characters (preferably well voice acted) and gets immersed in that world. Finally, he returns to Daventry and having solved the crisis and - following the death of our beloved Graham - is crowned King of Daventry.

It's suitable. The message: great deeds mean more than noble birth. No combat or any newfangled rubbish, just a great story. It's cyclical, with a bittersweet but definite ending that would probably make us all cry. And we'd all have closure. Thinking about it, if Roberta Williams had thought to make THAT game 12 years ago, none of us would even be here.

How about that?

Offline Lambonius

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2010, 10:11:08 AM »
If it was possible to stand up and applaud a first forum post, I would do it for this one.  :)

Offline kindofdoon

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2010, 10:20:55 AM »
Yeah, really. Good honest writing.

It's a good point that you make there: King's Quest is actually remarkably superficial in terms of plot (exception: KQVI, of course). Yet somehow there is charm in its naive simplicity.

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Offline KatieHal

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2010, 10:59:06 AM »
Quite a first post indeed! Welcome to the forums, odball, and thank you :)


(Also, I'm going to move this thread to Fan Feedback as it seems it would fit more into that category!)

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Offline koko_99_2001

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2010, 11:27:12 AM »
Wow, what a great post, odball!
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Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2010, 03:01:02 PM »
I have to applaud your first post as well. First posts are an alternative form of first impressions. Unfortunately for me, my first post was made about 8 years ago when the project had just started picking up, and chances are my first post was something immature. But you sir, have given everybody on this forum something to think about, as well as a very well thought out perspective.

Closure is all I ever wanted to see for this series, which is the one reason I am seeing this project through to the end. Even if it comes down to the royal family succumbing to Shadrack's evil army of androids (you heard me correctly) or Obi-Wan Kenobi sweeping in to save Alexander from turning to the dark side (wait, what?), I will see it through to the end. It's not just dedication to the series, it's also dedication to Phoenix Online. They were willing to go against the odds to make this happen, and now they have their shot in the spotlight. They have something to prove, and I think it's only fair to give them the benefit of the doubt.   
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Offline crayauchtin

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2010, 11:03:39 PM »
Can I get a "like" button for this post? :P
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Offline RollingStone

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 10:11:51 PM »
Actually, I think it's cool that you get to revisit old places in the finale, since you've never had the chance to do it before. You don't just return to them, you actually go beyond them to places you couldn't access the first time around - the ferry, the druid's house, Chessboard Land, etc. I also like the idea of having the whole series explained by some type of curse on the family - I always thought that having one tragedy after another befall them was just a little too coincidental. And I'm still eagerly anticipating the explanation of the Black Cloak Society that will hopefully reveal the relationships between the villains. I'm also predicting that Connor is the guy posing as the Doomsday Prophet.

I think that the finale SHOULD be different and unique from the games that preceded it. Sticking to the same old formula may be comforting to some fans, but I think it would also be boring.

Offline Allronix

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2010, 04:06:37 AM »
Oddball, you rock. Seriously.

I got introduced to this whole thing with six. That's going to color things a bit. The Black Cloak doesn't come off to me as an Epileptic Tree. It seems perfectly reasonable as an explanation for Dahlia, Hagatha, Mannanan, Mordak, and Alhazred. With Lolotte and Malicia being Fae, they're less likely to be involved in what appears to be a society of human wizards/witches.  Six also had the most logical puzzle set, the jaw-dropping voice talent, awesome music, a great mix of humor and darkness, and the best overall story.

I would almost guess that TSL is heading backwards. As a finale, it's re-visiting the other entries, and spiraling back to the beginning. Think of the ending to Star Trek: The Next Generation and "All Good Things." The events of KQ7 set up the opening, with Rosella and Edgar finally getting hitched. We have the location, which is an homage to six. We have the mysterious attack on the family and Graham the Badass out to save his family theme from Five. Judging from the twins' respective dreams, we're liable to see a lot of nods back to KQ3 & KQ4 (that shadow that hit Alex definitely appeared to be a three-headed dragon). The hints we've seen on Valanice indicate we're going to deal with some leftovers from KQ2...and the Druid's admonition that the spell has to be cast in Daventry to work? That's right back at the beginning.   

The classic Sierras are a lot like the Oz books. They aren't a fleshed out or necessarily coherent universe, but they are a great framework to build on for a fanfic writer, especially if you want to play "patch the plot hole," and fill in the lingering questions.
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Offline MusicallyInspired

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2010, 03:14:24 PM »
I'll agree with the others. Great first post. I also agree about a proper KQ VIII with Graham going the way of King Edward.

...especially if you want to play "patch the plot hole," and fill in the lingering questions.

I read that as "fill in the lingerie questions".
« Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 03:17:27 PM by MusicallyInspired »

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2010, 03:16:50 PM »
...especially if you want to play "patch the plot hole," and fill in the lingering questions.

I read that as "fill in the lingerie questions".

Boxers or briefs?
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Offline snabbott

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 04:02:40 PM »
LOL! XD

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Offline colin

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2010, 09:02:12 PM »
I find it interesting how some people on this board don't want King Graham to die. And others think that Graham
should die to make way for Connor. Personally I don't mind Graham dying as long as yes its done right. But I don't like Connor and don't want him to become King.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 09:31:47 PM by colin »

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2010, 10:04:10 PM »
There's no canonical evidence that Connor is going to become King if Graham dies. It's all speculation and wishful thinking. The only reason that I think people want Connor to become King is that Connor was an overall vague character in the big scheme of the series, and if he didn't become King, then his character development was for naught. I understand people didn't like Mask of Eternity, but I personally consider it a part of the series (unlike those who pretend it never existed). Connor doesn't have to be King, but I think his character needs to amount to something more than just the abrupt ending of Mask of Eternity.

Also, I don't want Graham to die for any other reason than to allow the entire series to come full circle. Graham became King, when King Edward died. If Graham dies, then the series has concluded "the Quest of King Graham". Of course, this would be frowned upon, and would upset many fans. Which is why I would ultimately discourage the thought of including a death scene.
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Offline Baggins

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2010, 05:19:17 AM »
Roberta was thinking of making Connor a love interest for Rosella... If that love triangle dynamic had been made, there was the potential that Connor could have become king, if Rosella ultimately had chosen him over Edgar. But more than likely she would have probaby chosen Edgar ultimately.
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Fierce Deity

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2010, 06:30:20 AM »
Roberta was thinking of making Connor a love interest for Rosella... If that love triangle dynamic had been made, there was the potential that Connor could have become king, if Rosella ultimately had chosen him over Edgar. But more than likely she would have probaby chosen Edgar ultimately.

I would hope so. Everything Edgar had been through, he deserves a little romance. You know how hard it is to get a date when you're a green hunchback or a Troll King?  :P

I always thought Connor was gonna end up with Sarah Burke anyway. They seemed like they had a connection. Still, as it stands, Connor doesn't have that much character development (the horrors of being a hero in an action game). So it'd be nice to see an advancement of his role in the series (not necessarily becoming King). 
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Offline Allronix

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2010, 07:16:34 AM »
Oh, that suggestion.... :crugs:

No, no, and no. They wanted to pull the love trangle crap with Space Quest 6 and tried to set Stellar up as a rival, but...Seriously, no. As much as I really like Stellar, I also like Bea and I wasn't willing to toss that out an airlock. You'll forgive me if I see Rog and Stellar mellowing out to something akin to siblings.

OK, Edgar needs some character development. He spends all but a handful of moments on screen brainwashed. He comes across as a painfully shy, sweet guy...if a bit dim. Whatever mind-screw Lolotte was pulling, whatever she was trying to shape him into - it didn't work. Even Malicia putting his mind into a fog and transmogrifying him into a troll didn't really work - he was still questioning her and trying to stall her until the last second. It's also hilarious in hindsight that he can't remember his own name, but he certainly remembers Rosella's (and tried to marry her)! Seriously, post-TSL, I think we all know who'll be ruling the roost. 

 
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Offline Baggins

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2010, 08:43:26 AM »
The problem with using Space Quest as an example is that there is a running gag with Roger's infidelity... It kinda goes back to SQ2 in which Roger dreams he is the future's embodiment of Larry Laffer...

By SQ4 you learn Roger was probably cheating on Beatrice... With Zondra... Stellar is just another in his long line of eh "dates"...

SQ6 under Latex Babes entry in the ComPost even suggests Roger is a 'two-timing janitor'. It's not that any of these others are "rivals", but others he keeps on the side... :p

Strangly enough the Space Quest Companion and Official Guide to Roger Wilco's Space Adventures also nodded at his various "crushes". Including Roberta of RobertaLand, Cornucopia Agricorp, and Gladys.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 09:46:00 AM by Baggins »
Well, ya, King's Quest is on Earth. Daventry is very old city from a long time ago. It's in ruins now and people aren't quite sure exactly where it used to be. There are some archaeologists searching through the ruins, they think they know its Daventry. But its somewhere on Earth."-Roberta Williams http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/File:Daventryisearth.ogg

Offline Allronix

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Re: What about King's Quest IX?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2010, 09:16:01 AM »
Judging by how off the rails nuts the Latex Babes were?  It's just as likely that Zondra just wasn't able to take a hint, or understand "no means no" (The fan game of 4.5 is pretty brilliant in this regard).  The fact that Roger is hardly the brightest bulb on the console would only make it worse. And Roger did turn down Stellar; very politely, I may add. It's probably the most articulate dialog the character's ever managed!

The point is that Sierra and love triangles...Leave those to Larry, because his sexual misadventures are the whole point of the series.
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