Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Sep 122018

I have an odd relationship with the adventure game genre, in that some of my favorite games fit into the genre, but standard point-and-click adventure games often leave me screaming in frustration.

And when I check to see if other players have the same trouble, I usually find a group of old-school adventure game fans disappointed that modern adventure games are so easy.

Because of this, I intended to steer clear of early adventure games… but one of my friends really loves the old King’s Quest series, so I agreed to make King’s Quest VI the next game we’d play through together (following Baten Kaitos, Majora’s Mask, and Baldur’s Gate).

King’s Quest VI seemed to be a fan-favorite, so I was interested in the story, and I was also curious about whether it would be as hard as I expected.

The answer is a bit complicated.

I expected it to be difficult in terms of inventory-based puzzles, but that actually wasn’t so bad. Rather than the sort of Moon Logic combinations adventure games seem fond of, King Quest VI’s puzzles were pretty straightforward.

At the same time, it was much more difficult than I expected in terms of situations where I could make dire mistakes. I had as many save files as I would for a horror game, just in case I got myself into a bad situation and needed to reload. And I definitely didn’t anticipate a section where I’d need to draw a map.

Overall, King’s Quest VI was harder than I expected (and gave me a new appreciation for modern, friendlier adventure games that aren’t actively out to get me), but not in the way I thought it would be.

But you know me, I’m always more about the story and characters than gameplay, so let’s talk about that.

The premise of King’s Quest VI is simple enough–Prince Alexander travels to the Land of the Green Isles in search of Princess Cassima, an evil vizier has taken over the kingdom, and now Alexander needs to find a way to stop the vizier and save Cassima.

It’s basically a huge mish-mash of fairy tales, mythology, and other traditional tales, which I enjoyed a lot. It was fun recognizing story elements and seeing little references… including one to H.P. Lovecraft, since the vizier is named after the writer of the Necronomicon, which made my day.

I also have to give credit to the protagonist. While I’ve seen a lot of adventure games with protagonists who trick and deceive people to get by, Alexander is one of the nicest, most mild-mannered characters imaginable.

So I liked the writing, and because of that, I’m happy I did try King’s Quest VI, even though I didn’t always enjoy it. It’s left me with the feeling that the King’s Quest series is one I’d like to watch someone play, rather than playing it myself.

What are your thoughts on King’s Quest VI?

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  2 Responses to “Back to Early Adventure Games: King’s Quest VI”

  1. Could you give some examples of what kind of situations you got in that required you to reload earlier files?

    Here I thought for the moon logic hyperlink you’d link to this:

    • Let me see now…

      – Got completely lost in the area I wasn’t mapping.
      – I would have gone into that area without the items I needed (and no way to return for them) if my friend hadn’t warned me.
      – Left an area I could never return to without getting the item I needed.
      – Late in the game, I left a room without talking to a character, and when I went back, he was gone.

      Those are the four parts that came to mind right away, although I think there might have been more (or more near misses).

      Oh, Sticker Star is a step beyond. Not only did its puzzles make more sense, but you had the limited inventory and argh… that game annoyed me….

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