K is for King’s Quest
Continuing on in the April 2017 AtoZ Challenge, let’s revisit a computer (and later console) video game franchise that I haven’t thought of in years — the King’s Quest series.
The Green Dragon guarding a magic mirror above is from the 1990 EGA-graphics remake of King’s Quest I: Quest for the Crown, which originally came out in 1984 (you can see the original dragon below). Since then, there have been many more games in the series, including a new 2015-2016 remake.
According to the King’s Quest Omnipedia:
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 first “3D” adventure game. Roberta Williams, co-owner of Sierra, designed all the games in the King’s Quest series. [Bonus points for a female creator!]
The world of King’s Quest encompasses many different kingdoms and supernatural realms, [and 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 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.
The dragon from the 1984 version was a lot less detailed, of course. Fellow blogger Syp at Bio Break played through the original Kings Quest I and posted his adventure in five parts, including these screen shots of the dragon encounter:
Interestingly, there was more than one way to beat the dragon — you could stab it with your dagger, of course, but if you doused it with a bucket of water instead, then this happened…
The water hits the dragon squarely in the mouth, extinguishing its roaring flames. No fire! How mortified and embarressed the dragon is! Moving a huge boulder in leaving, the dragon creeps off to sulk. –KQI
Beginning in 2015, an updated version of the game was released in five parts and called King’s Quest: Adventures of Graham. Created by Sierra Entertainment and The Odd Gentlemen for PC, PS3, PS4, XBox 360, and XBox One, the first part was called King’s Quest, Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember and got generally positive reviews, as did the entire series. While I didn’t play it myself, the initial trailer looks pretty amazing — and Graham will have to face an interesting looking dragon, too!
There isn’t much in the way of fanart for this series, but I did find a couple pieces. They both feature Hornswaggle, the dragon from the new King’s Quest and that 2015 trailer.
In this first by American deviantartist Bri, posting as BluNobody217, the dragon is searching for the interloping heroes in the interestingly-titled I’ll Be Murdering Him Later. I think that means one of the heroes there is Achaka, so it’ll make sense in a minute… See Bri’s gallery for more artwork.
Interestingly, just like in the first game where there are a few options for defeating the dragon, there are three options to defeat Hornswaggle as well. The first path is bravery and blinding it with an arrow, which leads the dragon to attack the kingdom later. The second path is compassion, so that if you free him from his chains, the dragon will help you escape the cave. The third path is wisdom, where you ring a bell to distract the dragon, so it leaves on it’s own. All three paths lead to continuing the story, but will have different consequences later.
This next is also Hornswaggle, looking very angry as it attacks a character named Achaka for stealing the dragon’s eye. This piece is called A Knight to Remember by American deviantartist Sevilai, who captions it, “Achaka is beautiful and doesn’t deserve this.” Find her gallery here.
If you’d like to check out the original DOS-based King’s Quest games for yourself, and are computer-savvy enough to follow the step-by-step Abandonware How-To, you can find them all at the My Abandonware website. Try them at your own risk!
Thanks for reading and keeping up with my AtoZ Challenge! Tomorrow I’m going to feature a sweet story from 1925 and more interesting art as always, so come on back!
Green Dragon screen shot from King’s Quest I: Quest for the Crown from the King’s Quest Omnipedia
Screen Shots from the original Kings Quest I by Syp at Bio Break
King’s Quest – Trailer (2015) HD posted by JoBlo Video Game Trailers
I’ll Be Murdering Him Later by BluNobody217
A Knight to Remember by Sevilai