Literature / King's Quest
The video game series King's Quest
has a small, mostly obscure Extended Universe
The King's Quest Companion & King's Quest 7 Authorized Player's Guide
Written by Peter Spear, these two books are part walkthrough/hint book, part novelization, and part side stories, with a lot of extra details and backstory not present in the games and made up entirely by the author (technically authors, with input from Word of God
, according to the book's acknowledgements pages, Peter Spear was technically an editor/co-writer especially in the later editions), which are official, "authorized" status according to Word of God
, and are often treated Word of Saint Paul
. Some material even made it into the manuals and hintbooks for games of the series, and occasional game (King's Questions), or portions included in the game compilation collections and Sierra's Inter Action
These books provide examples of:
- Chaos Architecture: The sometimes odd and inconsistent geography in the games is Justified in the guides by use of maps and an explanation that the world is in "magical flux" and geography changes sometimes daily, or in some cases lands are surrounded by a "magical law of 'containment'" (to explain the Wrap Around in the earlier games).
- Covers Always Lie: The cover for the 3rd and 4th editions has Alexander wielding a dagger and Cassima wielding a bow against a dragon-like thing, which is odd from the games in several different ways.
- Direct Line to the Author: The premise on which the books run. The scribe Derek Karlavaegen has taken up residence in Manannan's house and is making use of the magic computer to literally e-mail people in our world (notably Peter Spear). People in each world can also dream of each other, which is how Roberta Williams was inspired to create the games in the first place.
- On a more literal note, the author actually had direct access to Roberta Williams and other staff and resources at Sierra when creating the various guides.
- Deadpan Snarker: Quite a bit of it, but especially from Gerwain and in Alexander's essays and interviews (with occasional Expospeak Gag).
- Fix Fic: To an extent, in that the authors often have to come up with plausible reasons for all of the puzzles the characters have to solve and their solutions to make coherent novelizations, even though—in the first two games and KQV especially—many of the puzzles often made little logical sense. They actually manage it for the most part, with the sole exception of throwing the bridle on the snake in KQII. The author ends up resorting to saying Graham really went for his sword but just accidentally pulled out the wrong thing instead and got really lucky. This however is actually a gag nod back to a similar action in The King's Quest 1 novel where Graham goes for a knife only to throw a bucket of water. The guide has a more mundane explanation as to the logic behind the puzzle's inspiration on Greek mythology in the Encyclopedia (the Official Book of King's Quest also makes note of this explanation itself in greater detail). The other reason why the book includes the complicated 'accident', is because the novels are intended to be a walkthrough, and the scene lets the player know that both items will work.
- Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: As outlined in Covers Always Lie.
- Honest Advisor: Daventry's Prime Minister Gerwain is presented as this in the KQII chapter. As Graham puts it, "A king needs 'nay' sayers more than he needs 'yea' sayers."
- Intrepid Reporter: Derek Karlavaegen works as one for the Times of Daventry and Daventry People.
- Multiverse: The books present the KQ universe as being in one that encompasses our own world and many other universes as well, possibly including the other Sierra games as well (though not said directly)l.
- Sarcastic Devotee: The overall tone of Gerwain's KQII retelling.
- Scrapbook Story: The book is presented as a collection of everything from official court accounts to interviews to academic essays and textbooks, written or given by various characters in the KQ universe.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The parts of the book that are supposed to have been written by Alexander have this style to them, with occasional dips into Sophisticated as Hell.
- Shout-Out: The books claim that Abdul Alhazred really is the same man who wrote the KQ universe's version of the Necronomicon.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The whole Direct Line to the Author gimmick above.
- Thinking Out Loud: Graham apparently does this a lot, if Gerwain is to be believed.
Rosella's First Quest
A brief short story published in an issue of Inter Action
Magazine as the solution to a contest in a previous issue. In the story she loses a golden football, and while searching for it she encounters various characters from across the entire Sierra universe of games. Can be read in its entirety on the King's Quest wiki
This story provides examples of:
The Magical World of King's Quest
This work was written by Word of God
, Roberta Williams herself, and contains a synopses of every game leading up to KQ 6
, as well as a short story telling of Alexander's journey and crash on the Isle of the Crown' and the loss of his crew. It appears to contain prototype material, as some details changed with the final KQ 6
Three licensed novels, each starring a different main character from the games. Only the three were ever made; the 2nd and 3rd in the series list it as a "trilogy". Officially licensed by Sierra, but the series had no input from Word of God
; Roberta Williams is said to have only read them (and there is no indication of any other direct input by any other King's Quest related designers/developers, and only Sierra involvement was in the licensing department/Intera Action
advertising), but perhaps taken as an official licensed Word of Dante
. They are:
Manuals and Hintbooks
These also included additional information not mentioned in the games themselves (or at least not mentioned in detail). This included a backstory in the official KQ7
hintbook, and sections in the KQ5
hintbooks. They also sometimes made reference to material from the King's Quest Companion
, especially Derek Karlavaegen from the KQ6
manual. The manuals for KQ 1
-3, and 5 contain full length or brief prologue short stories to the game', and KQ 6
came with a journal which also contained information set before the game. KQ 1
actually two different prologue stories depending on the game's release. The original prologue was known as "The King's Appeal".
- Larry's Women Speak (excerpt where Al Lowe Interviews Rosella), a section of an article in The Official Book of Leisure Suit Larry.
- Hoyle Book Of Games, Volume I. Not literature, but a game that includes expanded universe backstories for a couple of characters. Graham and Rosella cameo as NPCs. During idle moments in gameplay they will talk about their previous adventures in the first four games (the only ones that existed when the Book of Games was made).
- Assorted Sierra Multiverse cameos and Easter eggs In other Sierra games.
- Strategy and Tactics: Hoyle Volume 3
- The Bookwyrm Investigates: Sierra Characters' Favorite Books
- Excerpts from Leisure Suit Larry Beside Companion.
- The Royal Family: A Celebration