King's Quest: Quest for the Crown
(originally simply "King's Quest") is the first game in the long-running King's Quest
series. It was released in 1984 and had a huge impact on the world of gaming: It was the first animated computer game (the earliest ones simply had static images), it cemented Sierra
as the premier maker of Adventure Games
in the '80s, and it helped popularize the adventure game genre and many of the tropes associated with it (for better or for worse).The plot is simple
. You are Graham, a knight in the realm of Daventry. Your king has tasked you with finding Daventry's three lost treasures: A magic shield that protects the kingdom from war; a magic mirror that can see the future; and a magic treasure chest that magically replenishes itself. To find these treasures, Graham must explore the kingdom and solve puzzles. Oh, and avoid random deaths
— that's important, too.
The game is best known for its Fantasy Kitchen Sink
setting, limited graphics and interface (blocky 8-bit characters and Text Parser
), often exasperating puzzles, random deaths and Unwinnable
situations (though the fan remake has a "no unwinnable situations" mode). It has been remade with better graphics twice, once by Sierra itself, and once as a Fan Remake
by AGD Interactive
This game proves examples of:
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Your reward for winning the game.
- Death by Despair: The King dies from this at the end.
- Excuse Plot: There is very little plot, which is present mostly as an excuse to mash different fairy tale characters and situations together.
- Fairy Tale: A major source of characters and puzzles. This game includes references to The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Rumpelstilkzin, and Hansel and Gretel, among others.
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink: In the same game as Rumpelstilkin, there are leprechauns. Yeah.
- Giant Flyer: The condor.
- Guide Dang It: Ifnkovhgroghprm (or Nikstlitselpmur, depending on which version you play).
- Heroic Mime: Averted for the opening and closing cutscenes, but that's it.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Generally yes, with a notable subversion at one point
- Last Lousy Point: Several, such as eating the candy house; bowing to the king, giving the bowl to the poor couple after saying the magic word, etc.
- Luck-Based Mission: Somewhat, in that the game has random encounters with several nasty monsters, albeit always in the same room. This feature is notably absent in pretty much all later graphic adventure games.
- Magic Mirror: The magic Mirror, one of the Three Treasures of Daventry. It foretells that you shall win the game.
- Nintendo Hard: The beanstalk (in the original EGA version, that is). And some of the puzzles as well.
- Grabbing the damn eagle in the remake. You have to jump as precisely the right time, as it's swooping down. Though you have to time yourself a few seconds before it swoops down, and you have to be standing in the exact right spot.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: One of the antagonists is the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk.
- Oxygen Meter / Super Drowning Skills: If you walk into the water, Graham will flounder helplessly until he drowns. Unless you type "swim" or press the "=" button at which point he will start swimming. He will drown if you stay in the water too long, however.
- Sequel Hook: In the remake's epilogue, it's mentioned that King Graham looks into the magic mirror and sees his descendants having many more adventures...
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Not killing some of the monsters (and resorting to trickery instead) gets you more points, but isn't required to win the game.
- The official hintbook written by Al Lowe actually tells the player to kill the dragon as the primary solution. It only treats the 'better' solution as a secondary non-violent solution that the player will have to discover for themselves. Al in the book has a tendency to tell the player to take the least point option in most cases as the primary solution, rather than going for the highest score (giving away treasures, rather than going for optimum item choice). The better options are regulated to 'did you try' section at the end of the book.
- You score points though if you kill the witch and troll.
- Trespassing Hero: Averted with Rumpelstilkin in the remake. After he helps you on your quest, he goes back inside his home. If you try to have Graham enter the home, the game will call you out and say that it's impolite to enter someone's house uninvited.
- Updated Re-release: The 1990 version with upgraded graphics, and the later fan-made remake.
- Unwinnable by Design: You need all three treasures to win the game. There's a dwarf that goes around stealing your things. He appears randomly and is difficult to evade. If you have any of the Three Treasures on you when he shows up, he steals them. And you can never get them back. Have fun playing the rest of the game!
- The dwarf appears at random times but always in the same two screens.
- Earlier versions of the game allow you to drop things from your inventory, including those three treasures. Whatever you drop is Lost Forever. Ironically, you can drop the treasures between the moment that the game checks for them to get to the endgame, and the actual endgame.
- Useless Useful Skill: There is a command for ducking, which you need precisely never in the game. It's only used to avoid the witch, which can be done easier by simply leaving he screen.
- It does help you keep from getting caught by the witch.
- Video Game Remake: It has both an official one and a fan one, which is available for free online.
- What the Hell, Player?: The narrator in the AGD remake likes to call the player out on dickish behavior, like trying to throw rocks at the squirrel or the baby birds, or trying to eat from the bowl of infinite stew right in front of the starving woodcutter and his dying wife.
- Zillion-Dollar Bill: The bottomless gold chest filled with gold coins, never seen nor referred to again.
- Except in the King's Quest Companion at least once in each game novelization to kind of Lampshades the reason why none of the Royal family from Daventry seems to carry much money around with them, and generally choose to live without greed.
- Gwydion finds a treasure chest buried on a beach in KQ 3 which has inspired a few fan theories to its relevance. Officially it's not the same chest.
- Alexander is given a hefty sum of money from Daventry's treasury in King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow. Due to Shipwreck, he's left with just one at the start of the game. The description of the coin does say it comes from the broken and empty chest on the beach its found in, though but it's a different chest. It's only a copper coin minted in Daventry with the Graham's face on it, not gold.
- Coins from the chest also appear in King's Quest II +.
- All of Daventry's currency in King's Quest 8 are gold coins, and even the poorest peasant has a few, yet almost everything costs hundreds of coins. Hyper Inflation?