King's Quest: Mask of Eternity
(also known as King's Quest 8: Mask of Eternity, or simply KQ8) is the eighth and so far last official game in the King's Quest
series. It was a notable departure from the previous Adventure Game
format, and while it included about the same number of puzzles as previous games, they were overshadowed by more hack-and-slash Diablo-like RPG elements. It was also the franchise's first attempt at a 3D game. While it was moderately well-received in its time, the crash of the adventure game industry killed the series (along with several other Sierra IPs), there was an attempt to make a King's Quest 9 (in the early 2000s as a Zelda-like action game, but it didn't go very far). Roberta Williams, creator and chief designer of the King's Quest
series, had been one of those who had come up with the idea to add action elements to the game (though in hindsight, some years later, she is not sure it was the right decision).
This is the first game where you play as someone other than a member of the Daventry royal family. You are Conner, a young tanner and lesser rustic knight, who has a date with destiny. A piece of a mystical artifact called the Mask of Eternity falls at Connor's feet; at the same time, the entire kingdom of Daventry is turned to stone. To save the country, Connor must find all the pieces of the broken Mask and restore them to the Realm of Sun, all while slicing his way through enemies.
This game provides examples of:
- Actionized Sequel: The game featured a lot of action elements, and definitely leaned towards the Action Adventure subgenre. This design decision was loathed by half the fans.
- A.I. Breaker: If you shoot at the skeleton archers from far enough away, they will never shoot back (although they will shout insults at you!).
- Animated Armor: The Henchmen.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Whole packs of yetis will attack you in the Frozen Reaches. According to the manual they're actually "snow demons".
- Bubblegloop Swamp: The third level, called just "The swamp".
- Captain Obvious: Connor.
- The Chosen One: Connor.
- Cosmic Keystone: The Mask of Eternity.
- Degraded Boss: The Henchmen become normal enemies in the Realm of the Sun, the last area of the game.
- Dem Bones: The skeleton guards in the Dimension of Death.
- Dungeon Bypass: It is possible to take a shortcut through the Dimension of Death and avoid the hassle involving the bridge.
- Dutch Angle: In one cutscene in the Dimension of Death, before Lord Azriel's Sanctum.
- Flowery Elizabethan English: Suddenly, and previously rarely used in the series, with no reason given. Technically, Alexander uses a touch of it in KQ6 (seen most often in his "oaths/explicitives"), although it was far less stressed. There was a bit of it in KQ3 from Rosella as well (she calls her mother "Mum"). See also certain characters in KQ1, especially the remake. Compare to Graham and Rosella in Sierra's Hoyle I: Book of Card Games.
- Free Sample Plot Coupon: The entire reason why Connor is the hero is because he picked up a piece of the Mask (one out of five) before the spell that turned everyone else to stone could hit. Everyone acts as though he's the destined hero, but if that's true then Destiny must've aimed that mask piece directly at him. This is confirmed by a Prophet and a prophecy later in the game.
- I Can't Use These Things Together: "This will not work."
- Invisible Monster: One of these attacks you in the Frozen Reaches. It serves as a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere as well.
- Lethal Lava Land: The Barren Region. You WILL get tired of hearing Connor scream when he falls into the lava.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: It takes forever to load each area, with multiple loading screens each time you load up the game.
- Minus World: If you manage to traverse beyond the boundaries of the map.
- Mutually Exclusive Powerups
- Mr. Exposition: The half-petrified wizard in Daventry.
- Non-Combat EXP: You gain experience for solving puzzles, apart from killing enemies.
- Nostalgia Level: Castle Daventry. It's less colorful than last time around, though. Graham makes an appearance, and both Graham and Valanice are shown in classic paintings from the sixth game.
- No, You: Connor's standard reply to death threats is "Not I, YOU!" He does not excel at combat banter.
- Our Demons Are Different: There are four kinds of demons: rock demons, pyro demons, snow demons, and shadow demons.
- Our Goblins Are Different: The boar-like goblins.
- Our Orcs Are Different: The ice orcs.
- Pressure Plate: You're meant to hold them down with rocks, but you can avoid this if you manage to kill a monster so that it falls on the plate.
- Stopped Numbering Sequels: One supposes they thought it was getting ridiculous.
- Swamps Are Evil: Although the swamp simply known as "The Swamp" was supposedly a rather nice place before the Swamp Witch took over.
- Taken for Granite: The entire kingdom (well, there is a half-petrified wizard).
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Thrown out the window, unusually for a King's Quest game.
- The Underworld: The Dimension of Death. Implied to be a temporary holding place for souls.
- When Trees Attack: The mandragor trees. They're immobile, but if you come too close, they'll attack you with their roots. And they laugh off ranged weapons; the laughter is horrific.