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''King's Quest: Mask of Eternity'' (also known as King's Quest VIII: Mask of Eternity, or simply [=KQ8=]) is the eighth and, [[VideoGame/KingsQuest2015 up until recently]], last official game in the ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'' series. It was a notable departure from the previous AdventureGame format, and while it included about the same number of puzzles (actually more than most of them, except for possibly VII) as the previous two games [[http://kingsquest.wikia.com/wiki/Puzzle_statistics#King.27s_Quest_8 (or at least starting with VI and VII)]], the puzzles were overshadowed by more hack-and-slash Diablo-like RPG elements (which are included in the total 'puzzle' score for the game). 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). Supposedly, Roberta Williams, creator and chief designer of the ''King's Quest'' series, was the one who had come up with the idea to add action elements (with input by Mark Seibert), largely due to the fact that there were long stretches of areas with nothing to do between puzzles, empty, barren, and uninhabited (or turned to stone). So adding monsters added something to see, and something to do in those areas.

This is the first game where you play as someone other than a member of the Daventry royal family, with the exception that Graham was technically not a member of the Royal family through most of the first game except the ending (but also not counting the 'wanderer' in ''Wizard and the Princess'', or the Captain in ''King's Questions'', or the plot twist of Gwydion turning out to be Alexander).

You are Connor, a young tanner and lesser rustic knight (much like Graham in the original game), 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 kingdom, Connor must find all the pieces of the broken Mask and restore them in the Realm of Sun, all while slicing his way through enemies.

!!This game provides examples of:

* ActionizedSequel: The game featured a lot of action elements, and definitely [[GenreShift leaned towards]] the ActionAdventure subgenre. This design decision was [[FanonDiscontinuity loathed by half the fans]].
* AIBreaker:
** If you shoot at the [[DemBones skeleton archers]] from a very large distance, they will never shoot back. It's not just that you're outside their range of fire -- it will never occur to them to move closer so that they can shoot you. It is even more idiotic considering the fact that they ''will'' shout at you, but won't shoot.
** In the Underground Realm of the Gnomes, you can shoot the immobile [[OurDemonsAreDifferent rock demons]] from around a corner if you're very careful. If you stand just right, the stones they throw at you will crash against the wall.
* AnimatedArmor: The Henchmen.
* AntiquatedLinguistics: This was one of many, many jarring changes made to the series. For seven games, everyone's talk was mostly plain and modern, and then out of nowhere it's pseudo-Shakespeare city, even though this is supposed to be happening a decade or two ''later''. (See also Graham and Rosella in Hoyle Book of Games, Volume I.)
* ArtificialStupidity: If you shoot at the [[DemBones skeleton archers]] from far enough away, they will never shoot back (although they ''will'' shout insults at you!).
* BigBad: Lucreto.
* BigfootSasquatchAndYeti: Whole packs of yetis will attack you in the Frozen Reaches. [[AllThereInTheManual According to the manual]], they're actually "snow demons".
* BrokenAngel: The cursed unicorn at the pool in Daventry.
* BubblegloopSwamp: The third level, called just "The swamp".
* CaptainObvious: Connor.
* TheChosenOne: Connor.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: One of the worlds has lava strewn all about the place willy-nilly. The player character can stand within a few centimeters of the start of a lava pool or traverse platforms mere inches above it with nary a point of damage. Come into contact with the lava and he dramatically burns to death. Made even sillier by the game's technical limitations, with which Connor can take a running leap over a pool of lava, accidentally land in just the very edge of the pool, stumble forward a few steps completely unharmed as he does at the end of every running leap, and ''then'' dramatically burn to death.
* CosmicKeystone: The Mask of Eternity.
* DarkerAndEdgier: While previous ''King's Quest'' games can get pretty dark, this game tops them all in some people's minds (although every single game has been targeted as 'dark' in some way, with even King's Quest 6 being called the 'darkest' game in the series at times), and Space Quest was created because the Two Guys from Andromeda thought the entire King's Quest series and most Sierra games were dark, dreary, and somber, and they wanted to do something 'silly'. It's especially jarring considering [[KingsQuestVIIThePrincelessBride the last game]] was considered LighterAndSofter.
* DegradedBoss: The Henchmen become normal enemies in the Realm of the Sun, the last area of the game.
* DemBones: The skeleton guards in the Dimension of Death.
* DragonRider: There's a Crystal Dragon you can ride if you find the Crystal Sceptre that controls it.
* DungeonBypass: It is possible to take a shortcut through the [[TheUnderworld Dimension of Death]] and avoid the hassle involving the bridge.
* DutchAngle: In one cutscene in the Dimension of Death, before Lord Azriel's Sanctum.
* EarTrumpet: The hero has to find one to hear some whisps whispering in a swamp.
* EverybodyHatesHades: Lord Azriel averts this Trope. He's quite helpful once the hero is able to prove himself worthy of his assistance.
* EvilSorcerer: Lucreto.
* FloweryElizabethanEnglish: 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 the ''Hoyle Official Book of Games'' series.
* FreeSamplePlotCoupon: 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 recording of a long dead Prophet (from a long dead civilization from aeons before) and several prophecies later in the game.
* GrimyWater: There's instant death water in the Dimension of Death, along with harmful pools of blood in the same Dimension, plus toxic water from the Swamp (some of which is covering a small pond in Daventry).
* InformingTheFourthWall: "This will not work."
* InNameOnly: At first glance, it seems this game's only connection to the previous installments is being ostensibly set in the same location, and a couple of cameos.
* InvisibleMonster: One of these attacks you in the Frozen Reaches. It serves as a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere as well.
* LethalLavaLand: The Barren Region. You ''WILL'' get tired of hearing Connor scream when he falls into the lava.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfLoading: Possibly the worst loading times ever seen, with loads upwards of twenty minutes for each level. It takes forever to load each area, with multiple loading screens each time you load up the game. ''Mask of Eternity'', in order to conserve hard disk space, only kept the current region files on the hard drive. When you first started a region, it copied that region's files from the CD to the game folder, and when you left for a new area, it uninstalled the previous region files and installed the upcoming area's files. There's only 9 regions in the game, two of them extremely small, and the other 7 quite large. That means switching levels was kinda like doing a semi-uninstall/install each time, deleting like 100 MB from your hard drive and then copying another 100 MB from the CD back onto it (real fun with a 2x CD-Rom drive). There was no official way to do a full install of the game, either.
* MagicMirror: The mirror shows King Graham what transpires in the Realm of the Sun and later allows Connor his first glimpse of his enemy Lucreto.
* MinusWorld: There are many interesting experiences and fights to be had if you manage to traverse beyond the boundaries of the map and can get beyond the walls of the Dimension of Death. You can go all sorts of otherwise inaccessible places in many other worlds, too, by using cheats to teleport.
* MrExposition: The half-petrified wizard in Daventry.
* MutuallyExclusivePowerups: The game has a limit of one short-range weapon ([=dagger/axe/sword=]) and one long-range weapon ([=bow/crossbow=]). When you pick up the new weapon, you drop the old one. Leave and come back, and the old weapon is still there, in an aversion of EverythingFades. However, there isn't really any functional difference between the different short- and long-range weapons except for their strength - except the warhammer, which takes an annoyingly long time to swing. However, many hand weapons do offer different enemy death animations (the fire sword causes enemies to burst into flame, for example, and ice weapons will freeze an enemy, after which they [[LiterallyShatteredLives shatter]]). Also, several weapons are needed for puzzle solutions (other weapons will not work). In third person, there are also additional special moves for the hand weapons that do extra damage.
* NonCombatEXP: You gain experience for solving puzzles as well as from killing enemies.
* NostalgiaLevel: 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.
* NoYou: Connor's standard reply to death threats is "Not I, YOU!" He does not excel at [[YouFightLikeACow combat banter]].
* OddballInTheSeries: Like the seventh game, it ditched the interactive narrative formula, and also went went for action/adventure instead. Like other entries on this list, some prefer to think [[FanonDisContinuity it never happened]].
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: There are four kinds of demons: rock demons, pyro demons, [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti snow demons]], and shadow demons.
* OurGoblinsAreDifferent: The boar-like goblins.
* OurOrcsAreDifferent: The shaggy, blue-skinned ice orcs in the Frozen Reaches.
* OurWormholesAreDifferent: The game has portals that only go between two specified points, and operate on switches.
* PolygonCeiling: This game was the FranchiseKiller. Technically it wasn't the FranchiseKiller, but many fans think it was. It did well enough (it actually out competed Grim Fandango and most other Adventure games at the time) to garner another sequel (but that sequel was cancelled along with everything else Sierra was working on when the companies who owned Sierra (and had very little understanding about video game industry) decided to shut down Sierra's Yosemite Studios for good killing multiple series, and any future adventure games from the company). On the other hand, it was also a pretty sharp GenreShift, from AdventureGame to Action, wherein large parts of the game were spent hitting things with swords and keeping track of hit points. It technically kept the adventure bits but added RPG elements (in a simplified Quest for Glory kinda way), and some platforming (Quest For Glory V also shifted to full RPG and dropped its adventure bonifides at the time)...
* PressurePlate: 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.
* RingOut: One fight can only be won by knocking your opponent off of the tower you're fighting on.
* RingOutBoss: The only way to defeat the skeleton with the chainmail in the Dimension of Death is to knock him back until he falls off of the tower you're fighting on.
* StoppedNumberingSequels: The game isn't listed on the box as ''King's Quest VIII''. Subverted a bit in that the official website and forums numbered it ''King's Quest VIII'' or ''King's Quest 8'', and WordOfGod called it ''King's Quest VIII/8'' in many interviews. Finally, it was repackaged as ''King's Quest VIII'' in the GOG digital release. In certain European releases it always had "King's Quest 8" on the packaging.
* SwampsAreEvil: Although the swamp simply known as "The Swamp" was supposedly a rather nice place before the Swamp Witch took over, and had a couple of huts and benevolent beings. Unfortunately, a great cataclysm takes place in the opening scene, [[TakenForGranite turning human beings to stone]] and causing the Swamp Witch to take over, bringing a host of nasty monsters with her.
* TakenForGranite: In the beginning, everyone in Daventry (well, there is a half-petrified wizard) are turned to stone by the BigBad. It's only dumb luck that our hero managed to grab a piece of the titular MacGuffin to protect himself.
* ThouShaltNotKill: Thrown out the window, unusually for a ''King's Quest'' game.
* TheUnderworld: The Dimension of Death. Implied to be a temporary holding place for souls.
* {{Unicorn}}: There's an interesting portrayal of a unicorn, in which Connor comes across an ugly creature at a pond. It turns out that it's a unicorn, only it has lost its beauty and power along with the removal of its horn.
* WhenTreesAttack: The Mandragor Trees, monsters found in the {{swamp|sAreEvil}} that turn to regular trees upon beating them. They're immobile, but if you come too close, they'll attack you with their roots. And they can't be hurt by ranged weapons, which they will laugh off; the laughter is horrific.
* WiseTree: The talking tree in the swamp, who dispenses advice (or rather, nonsense pretending to be advice, but at least you get experience points) at the cost of a gold coin. Connor [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this by asking why a tree would need money.
* WorldOfHam: Everybody speaks in YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe, even the peasants.