[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kq6_4133.jpg]]
''King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow'' is the [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin sixth installment]] of the popular ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'' series.

Released in 1992, the game follows Alexander, son of Graham and prince of Daventry. Desperately in love with Princess Cassima of the Land of the Green Isles, Alexander journeys to her kingdom, but is shipwrecked en route. He wakes up in the Land of the Green Isles, a strange and magical archipelago with islands based off the ''Arabian Nights'', ''Alice in Wonderland'', Ancient Greece, and other settings. Alexander quickly learns the place is not as friendly as he thought, and evil forces conspire against him as he tries to contact Cassima. His quest to find her takes him all over the land-- meeting strange characters, facing terrible perils, and making puns. [[HurricaneOfPuns Lots of puns.]] [[HaveANiceDeath And dying, that happens a lot, too.]]

''KQ VI'' is largely considered the best of the ''King's Quest'' series, due to its intriguing story, intelligent puzzles, lavish setting, and high production values (which include a CG introductory "movie" and professional voice actors-- novel concepts for a game rereleased for the PC CD-ROM back in 1993). This may be be because most of the design was done by Creator/JaneJensen of VideoGame/GabrielKnight fame, rather than series starter Roberta Williams.

A companion guide, called [[{{Feelies}} "The Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles,"]] was packaged alongside the game; it acted as a security feature by providing clues to otherwise impossible puzzles and fleshed out story background, adding to the story's sense of depth. Now if only the guidebook didn't get lost so easily...
----
!!This game provides examples of:

* AlcoholHic: For genies (or to be more precise, for Shamir; the Backstory reveals that different genies have different {{weak|sauceWeakness}}nesses), peppermint acts like alcohol does for humans. Give Shamir Shamazel a peppermint and he suffers from hiccups, slurred speech, and disorientation.
* AllMythsAreTrue: The legend of a fifth island as well as the myth about The Nightmare turn out to be true.
* AlliterativeName: Abdul Alhazred and Shamir Shamazel.
* AndIMustScream: The origin of the Lord of the Dead. A mortal human, he was chained to the throne in the Land of the Dead and forced to bear witness to all the horrors and tragedies of the deceased. It worked out okay for him, though: after the first few hundred years, he grew to be unfazed by it. [[spoiler: Then Alexander uses the [[MagicMirror Mirror of Truth]] to remind him of what he has forgotten, and he cries for what he's lost.]]
* AndNowYouMustMarryMe: Alhazred is trying to force Princess Cassima to marry him.
* AngelFaceDemonFace: The genie.
* Animorphism: [[spoiler:Shamir spies on Alexander while disguised as a snake, a crow, and a weasel]].
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: Some rather specific examples are on The Isle of Wonder; as well as having a literal {{bookworm}}, the worm himself is friends to personifications of ''grammar''. Then there's the garden, and the swamp...
* ArtInitiatesLife: The Magic Paint spell that Alexander can cast.
* AwardBaitSong: "Girl in the Tower" (although Sierra actually got in trouble with some radio stations for trying to push them to play the song).
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: [[spoiler:Whichever path is taken, Alex and Cassima are crowned king and queen of the Land of the Green Isles at their wedding. Fully completing the long path makes this happen with both sides' parents' loving approval; King Caliphim is even the one to suggest it.]]
* BackFromTheDead: [[spoiler:Justified in that Alexander goes on a long quest (fully a third of the game) to the Land of the Dead and defeats Samhain, Lord of the Dead in a challenge specifically so that the latter will resurrect Caliphim and Allaria from their ghostly selves and gives them a few more years of their mortality. It's implied that anyone ''can'' do this, but only one other person was crazy enough to try, and he died before reaching the River Styx.]]
* BadassPrincess: Cassima, after she gets a small weapon.
* BenevolentGenie: The guidebook includes a story about a kind genie, who was only as kind as his master. [[spoiler:This is a hint on how to solve the game -- if you manage to get Shamir's lamp during the last fight. Otherwise, Shamir is trying to kill you on his master's orders]].
* {{BFS}}: [[spoiler:The Ceremonial Sword near the end of the game. And this fake sword is just so heavy to carry or even wield in a SwordFight, except when Alexander ''does'' do something useful: to use the flat of the blade to knock Alhazred out unconscious while he is distracted by Cassima.]]
%%* BigDamnHeroes: see TheCavalry
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: {{Invoked}} by Alexander in the Realm of the Dead. Playing an upbeat tune on a xylophone causes [[TheDeadCanDance the grim skeletal guards to dance happily]]. When the music stops, the undead act as if nothing happened.
* BigNo: [[spoiler:Cassima, after Shamir kills Alexander if he doesn't do something to deal with the Genie.]]
* BlackCloak: The Black Cloak Society.
* BlackWidow: A literal black widow spider.
* BloodlessCarnage: In some scenes where there should have been a bit of blood whenever you get shot at or killed by spikes or arrows, or even impaled [[spoiler:by Captain Saladin]]. Justified in one scene [[DarknessEqualsDeath when one room is dark and you get split in half]], yet you can't even see the blood because of darkness.
* BoundAndGagged: [[spoiler:Make that "Bound, but Not Gagged" -- Lady Celeste, tied to the altar in the Catacombs, and later Cassima at the top of the tower near the end of the game (she will free herself, assuming that Alex gave her the dagger, of course).]]
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Lady Celeste, daughter of Lord Azure and Lady Ariel of the Winged Ones.
* BreakingTheFourthWall:
** This game has a unique example: [[spoiler:The only way to know which lamp to get from the lamp trader is to watch a cutscene that Alexander doesn't witness. Later, when Alexander is asked by Jollo how he knew which lamp to take, he simply states, "Just intuition, I guess."]]
** It also has a more "traditional" example elsewhere in the game: On the first screen of the Cliffs of Logic, if you misclick on the steps Alexander will simply land on the ground on his backside instead of dying from the fall. Do it enough times and he'll look right at the player and gripe that you should "Quit making me fall!"
* BullSeeingRed: The Minotaur is defeated [[spoiler:with the Red Queen's scarf]].
* ButThisIsRidiculous: "Alexander's heard of alphabet soup..."
* ByTheLightsOfTheirEyes: Hilariously used.
* TheCavalry: [[spoiler:Caliphim and Allaria arrive with allied forces to save Alexander from getting killed by Saladin on Cassima!Shamir's orders in the long path.]]
* CelestialBureaucracy: "Ticket please... NEXT!" In the voiced version: "Tickets only! NEXT!" The Doormaster ''does'' say "Ticket please... NEXT!" in the voiced version, but this is only because Alex arrives at the underworld entrance ''alive'', rather than every time he gets killed.
* CirclingBirdies: We hear a twittering sound when Alhazred get [[TapOnTheHead knocked out]] by Alexander during the final battle.
* CompositeCharacter: Beauty is one of the heroines of ''Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast'' and ''Literature/{{Cinderella}}''.
* ContinuityNod: Alexander remembers the magic training that he received [[spoiler:in the third game]], and can cast spells if he has the right ingredients. Except that he ''didn't'' receive any magic training whatsoever; he just found a spell book and followed step-by-step instructions - which is the same he's doing here.
** You can find in one of the stores "Cat Cookie Mix: Prank your friends" Nuff' said.
** The pawn shop is loaded with items that reference other King's quest adventures, like [[KingsQuestIV "whale tongue climbing gear", a shovel "guaranteed not to break for 100 grave diggings,"]] [[KingsQuestV "self-adhesive emeralds," a cheese hook for getting cheese out of small holes," "owl courage potion,"]], and [[KingsQuestii a bridge repair kit]].
** Several times, Alexander mentions that he wasn't always a prince, especially during the Beauty quest. He also avoids the cookbook section, saying he swore that off after the cat cookie recipe.
* CopyProtection: The Cliffs of Logic simply ''cannot'' be scaled without the "Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles" manual or the ''King's Quest Companion Booklet''. The re-release provides a copy of the former, but it doesn't have the genie story or the Land of the Dead section, probably because while they gave minor hints, they were more entertaining than useful. Also, the re-release combines the manuals for all 7 games into a single PDF file. The games are on one disc, and the manuals on the other, arguably as a subtle form of copy-protection, as first-timers are less likely to realize how ABSOLUTELY VITAL the manual is throughout the series. There's a reason "A master of languages will..." is so easily recognized by Google. No seriously, see how long it takes for Google to recognize that phrase.
* CorneredRattlesnake: Cassima, after [[spoiler: Alexander gives her the dagger.]]
* CurseEscapeClause: The Beast's curse can be undone if there was Maiden to share his life willingly.
* CypherLanguage: The Ancient Ones' alphabet, a set of pictographic-looking symbols which is really just a cipher of English, although each symbol is also given four conceptual meanings. HandWaved as it being possibly a code the Ancient Ones used, or the ancestor of the current alphabet. Also a part of the CopyProtection.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: In most other SCI engine based adventure games by Sierra the icons on the interface are presented in this order: Walk, Look, Action, Talk, specific actions unique to some games, quick inventory item, inventory, menu, and help. ''King's Quest VI'' swapped the look and action icons, and it takes some time to get used to it.
* DamselInDistress:
** Princess Cassima is captured at one point, although if she can just get a small weapon she becomes a DamselOutOfDistress. Also,
** Celeste, possibly the Dangling Participle, and Cassima's parents.
* DarkerAndEdgier: This game took the series in a direction that surprised certain reviewers and editors. Among them were David Trivette author of the The Official Book of King's Quest (Third Edition), who noted it did not feel like previous King's Quest games, and this was attributed to Jane Jensen. Trivette had to say; "KQ6 can be seen as a sharp departure from the previous quests, in large part because it was the first quest in which creator/designer Roberta Williams had a collaborator. There is a darkness to the scenes not found in earlier quests. Overall the sixth has an ominous tone." (The Official Book of King's Quest, 3rd Edition, pg 10)
* DarknessEqualsDeath: If you don't use the tinder box to light up the darkened Minotaur's lair, things can get pretty ugly.
* TheDeadCanDance: Alexander sees some bones set up to look like a xylophone. He starts playing Dem Bones. Things...[[BigLippedAlligatorMoment take off]] [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments from there.]]
* DemBones: Riverdancing skeletons in the Underworld.
* DescendingCeiling: In the Labyrinth.
* DespairSpeech: Invoked by Alexander while pretending to have crossed the DespairEventHorizon [[spoiler:in front of Shamir and the Pawn Shop Owner]].
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything: The creators actually went to quite a bit of trouble to predict the many different possible ways to solve (or not solve) various puzzles and what order you can solve them in, and put in [[http://archive.adventuregamers.com/forums/showpost.php?p=179410&postcount=1 different conversations, cutscenes, and descriptions to cover them]].
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: [[spoiler:The Lord of the Dead gets this reaction when Alex [[ThrowingDownTheGauntlet throws down the (literal) gauntlet]].]]
* DigitizedSprites: Like Sierra's other adventure games of the time, KQ6 uses the technique with video-captured actors, albeit painted over by the artists.
* DisguisedInDrag: Alexander if you chose the short path.
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler:Alexander, to Shamir and the Pawn Shop Owner. Of course, Alex is [[FauxDeath only faking it]], so that only the Pawn Shop Owner can be surprised that Alex suddenly returns to life after the "Drink Me" potion's effects wear off.]]
* DistantDuet: The full version of "Girl in the Tower".
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: [[spoiler:Alhazred's "marriage" to Shamir at the wedding... if one can see through his Cassima disguise. This is even planned beforehand by Alhazred in the long path mode when he tells Shamir to look "beautiful and pretty" at the wedding in the scene that occurs after Alexander has faked his own death.]]
* DramaQueen: Or shall we say "Drama ''Prince''"? Alexander sure acts like one [[spoiler:while he is feigning suicide in front of Shamir Shamazel and the Pawn Shop Owner]]. Alex's [[{{Emo}} sad eyebrows and frowning mouth]] in the Windows-enhanced version makes the drama acting more depressing, as if he were about to cry.
* DramaticCurtainToss: Downplayed. Alexander finds the stolen tokens from the Island underneath a white sheet in the castle's treasury.
* EasyModeMockery: If you [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trH6uyWtX_w take the short path]], even [[BittersweetEnding winning feels like losing]].
--> '''Cassima:''' Oh, Alexander, I'm so happy that you've finally rescued me.
--> '''Alexander:''' Yes, my love.
--> '''Cassima:''' It's just too bad that you never avenged my murdered parents, or found the stolen treasures of the Green Isles, or uncovered the secrets of the Isle of Mist...
--> '''Alexander:''' Ah, yes, well, um...
--> '''Cassima:''' ...or ended the feud among the island rulers, or captured Alhazred's genie, or mastered the lost magic of the realm, or defeated the ruler of the Underworld...
* EmptyRoomUntilTheTrap: The pitfalls in the maze.
* [[EnhancedOnDVD Enhanced on CD-ROM]]: The CD version featured a longer opening sequence and was fully voiced with an all-star cast, one of the first video games to do so.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Cassima. Celeste might count as one, but she goes by 'Lady Celeste'.
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: All over the place in the Realm of the Dead.
* EvilChancellor: Alhazred.
* EvilSorcerer: The Society of the Black Cloak is ''[[EpilepticTrees assumed to be]]'' mainly composed of these, although Alhazred gives zero indication in the entire game of being a sorcerer -- he's [[GenieInABottle the man behind the bottle]]...
* EvilPlan: Alhazred was running a great one.
* ExactEavesDropping: Alexander is JustInTime to overhear Alhazred [[SoundingItOut voicing]] his true plans for Cassima in a letter to Shadrack.
* EyeTake:
** Alexander's reaction [[spoiler:to the hunter's lamp bubbling and boiling for the perfection of the Make Rain Spell... while locked in a cage over the druids' bonfire]]!
** A bit less obvious, but this also happens to [[spoiler:Captain Saladin when you show the mirror of truth to Cassima!Shamir]].
** Also if you enter the second level of the catacombs, but wait too long before lighting the torch. In the pitch darkness the Minotaur will show up and tear Alexander in half, immediately after Alexander does this trope.
* FairyTale: Although more inspired by other works, it wouldn't be a ''King's Quest'' game without a few fairy tale references -- most obviously, to "Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast".
* FakeLongevity: It's mild, but it's there: Alexander can have only one of the four pawn shoppe items with him at a time, necessitating some walking back and forth. Generally, though, if you know what you'll need in the future, you can swap items pretty quickly while doing other things.
** In addition, when you ''do'' go back to swap items, there's generally something ''else'' going on nearby that you also need to take care of. Jollo's visits, the nightingale, and Beauty, to name a few.
* FantasticFragility: Alexander discusses this when the Beast tells him about his curse.
* FantasticRacism: The residents of The Isle of The Sacred Mountain tend to get snooty towards non-winged beings.
* FantasyKitchenSink: Probably more than anywhere else in the series (well, maybe ''[=KQII=]''). But honestly, a game that combines references to Myth/GreekMythology, {{Arabian Nights|Days}}, ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'', "Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast", [[spoiler:Druids]], and the standard medieval fantasy of Daventry can't be anything but this trope.
* FauxDeath: In the Isle of Wonder, there is a small bottle that says "Drink Me." If you drink it at the right time, at the right place, something interesting might happen...
* TheFerryMan: [[UrExample Charon]] shows up in The Realm of the Dead.
* FissionMailed: In the Minotaur's lair, there are many rooms with deadly trap doors, and one with a not-so-deadly trap door. If you, like many, restored every time you ''started'' to fall, it took a long time to realize you '''had''' to fall into one of them. There was also the bottle that shows up on the Isle of Wonder. Take a swig, and it appears as though Alex drops dead. Seeing as your typical KQ game had EverythingTryingToKillYou, this seems to be another trap... until Alex wakes up. Also, some of the places where you observe cutscenes of your demise (or failure) are visitable while you're alive later in the game, such as the underworld.
* ForTheEvulz: Implied. Alhazred's stated motivation for [[spoiler:stealing the treasures is to "make the other islands hate each other"]]. There might be other reasons, but the game never really goes into it.
* FourthDateMarriage: Cassima and Alexander get married at the end of the game, whilst only knowing each other from [[LoveAtFirstSight a short encounter]] at [[VideoGame/KingsQuestVAbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder Mordack's castle]].
* GenieInABottle: Shamir. An important puzzle involves getting his bottle, although in this case [[spoiler:it isn't about finding ''his'' bottle, per se...]] Interestingly, the only way to get Shamir's bottle involves doing something so that you, ''the player'', can find out what it looks like. [[spoiler:When Alex passes the correct bottle to Jollo and is asked how he knew which one to get, he replies that he just had a feeling about it.]]
** The old peddler is trading bottles in hope of discovering one with a genie inside.
* GirlInTheTower: Cassima; the AwardBaitSong is the {{Trope Namer|s}}.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Every time someone tells you to do something dangerous, they have sparkling gold eyes! Just like that genie! Isn't that weird?
* GoldenEnding: Taking the long path, which requires: stopping the feuding nations, going to the underworld to find Cassima's parents and facing Death himself to bring them back to the life, finding the missing relics of the feuding nations and [[spoiler: freeing Shamir from Alhazred's grasp so his magic can't be used for evil.]] Do all of this and you'll gain a much happier fairy tale ending.
* GorgeousGarmentGeneration: Beauty.
* GravityIsAHarshMistress: If you fall off the Cliffs of Logic, Alexander will suffer a moment of this. Happens also in the Labyrinth, when stepping on the not-so-deadly pitfall.
* TheGrimReaper: The Lord of the Dead is a sinister, imposing figure who WasOnceAMan before he was bound eternally to his underworld throne by heavy chains. Any living soul he touches is DeaderThanDead. Pretty grim.
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: Instead of trying to overlook the hallway from one position, the dog guards upstairs the castle patrol in pairs across the corridor, giving Alexander a chance to sneak behind their backs into the BlindAlley.
** They also fail to properly search Alexander and remove his inventory before throwing him into the cell. This way he can escape via SkeletonKey.
** The guard at the entrance to the Land of Death drops an important key during the TheDeadCanDance sequence.
* GuideDangIt: Well, obviously. It's a {{Sierra}} game. Several items in the game are small, easy to miss, and appear in a room you've already visited ''after'' an unrelated event some place else.
** The first instance of this appears on the very first screen. Unless you can figure out that the piece of wood that looks exactly like any other piece of the shipwreck can be moved, you're more or less stuck.
** Fortunately, the game ''is'' somewhat forgiving in this regard: items will only show up in rooms that you have to pass through to complete some kind of delivery or item exchange in order to progress. And all important items either glow or otherwise draw attention to themselves by standing out. Except the tiny potion that appears in the cabbage garden at a random moment, and the one book you can actually pick up in the bookstore.
** Additionally, the game allows you to re-enter either floor of the labyrinth at any time except when you're in the Land of the Dead.
* HappilyMarried: Cassima's parents [[spoiler:and Alexander and Cassima herself]].
* HaveANiceDeath: Every death screen, crossed with {{Pun}}s.
* HeirInLaw: The villain has killed the king and queen and is trying to force their daughter to marry him. He doesn't care about the real princess, being willing to achieve his ends with a shapeshifting genie if required. In the end, [[spoiler:the hero marries the princess instead.]]
* HellishHorse: The Nightmare.
* HeroAntagonist: Captain Saladin and his guard dogs, due to Alhazred tricking them. Jollo also qualifies if the player misses initially meeting him in the bookshop and then meets up with him in the castle towards the end.
* TheHedgeOfThorns: The magical hedge surrounding the Beast's abode.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler:If you give the peppermint to Shamir in the final battle, he will get too drunk on mints to concentrate on killing Alexander and accidentally use his own magic on himself, ending his own life.]]
* HyperspaceArsenal: You have to wonder how Alex fits all that stuff into his "pockets" - especially considering the ''nature'' of the stuff (a teacup filled with swamp sludge; a skull containing burning embers; that lizard-chameleon thing).
* {{Hypocrite}}: Beauty's wicked Stepmother namedrops her, yet calls her ugly.
* ICantBelieveItsNotHeroin: Shamir is hopelessly addicted to mint; just a small amount puts him in a drunken stupor.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: [[spoiler:Captain Saladin will not hesitate to run Alexander through with his sword if Alex can't prove he's not a threat to Cassima:]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Saladin:''' [[PreMortemOneLiner Since you cannot prove your point]], [[{{Pun}} I shall prove mine]]!]]
* {{Invisibility}}: Alexander can use this via invisible ink to pass the final test with one of the Sense Gnomes.
* ItIsPronouncedTroPay:
** Many walkthroughs and guide manuals on the game pronounce Alhazred's title as "Vizier" (''vi-ZEER''), but in the voiced version of the game itself, his title is only pronounced as "Wazir" (''wuh-ZEER'').
** Also, the Winged Ones' title is pronounced as "wing-''ed''" in the voiced version.
* ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest: Amongst other: an empty bottle that turns out not to be empty, a shred of paper and a rabbit foot.
* JawDrop: The Pawn Shop Owner's reaction [[spoiler:to Alexander's collapse under the side effects of the "Drink Me" potion in the presence of [[TheMenInBlack the Man in Black-disguised]] Shamir]].
* TheJester: Jollo the Clown, a jester in the court of the Castle of the Crown. He can be very helpful on your quest if you treat him right.
* JustInTime: Jollo arrives at the last moment to hand Shamir's lamp to Alexander just when Shamir is about to kill him. This only happens if you have befriended Jollo and handed him a replica of the blue lamp in the long path.
* KidsAreCruel: In this case, Shamir, disguised as a swimming boy, if Alexander follows his advice and tries to swim.
-->'''Alexander:''' ''[struggling for breath]'' Help me!!\\
'''Boy!Shamir:''' I think not! ''[EvilLaugh]''
* TheLadysFavour: Cassima's ribbon and note.
* LampshadedDoubleEntendre: Black Widow says that she's a FemmeFatale, "if you know what I mean." And in her charming, sexy voice too. As you know, she is also very dangerous to those who try to touch her web.
* LargeHam:
** Shamir Shamazel in the voiced version. Of course, some of his hamminess in a few scenes (and disguises) has been taken to ridiculous new levels.
** Alexander himself when he [[spoiler:fakes his death in the pawn shop]].
* LastNoteNightmare / HeartbeatSoundtrack: The last few seconds of "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l26RYMtD6U Alexander's Suicide]]", incurred by [[spoiler:Alex]]'s heartbeat slowing down to a stop [[spoiler:via "Drink Me" potion]].
* LaughablyEvil: Shamir Shamazel, the ShapeShifting Genie who {{sque|e}}als like a girl and [[ICantBelieveItsNotHeroin gets drunk on mints]]. Justified, he only follows his master's orders, no matter what their intentions are.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Quite a few are sprinkled throughout the game; matter of fact, they quite often serve as clues for the puzzles (see MusicalSpoiler below).
* TheLifestream: The Sea of Souls.
* LiveItem: The Dangling Participle, Rotten Tomato, and Hole in the Wall.
* LohengrinAndMendelssohn: [[spoiler:A minor-key variation of Lohengrin plays for Abdul's wedding to the fake Cassima ("Oh no, it's wedding music!"). When Alexander weds the real Cassima, Lohengrin and Mendelssohn are played as usual.]]
* LostForever: It wouldn't be a Sierra game without it being possible to lose a few key items. If you have Alexander throw the rotten tomato at the stick in the mud himself, he'll never get the swamp ooze he needs for the magic ink spell.
* LuckyRabbitsFoot: An out-of-work ferryman has a rabbit's foot, which he notes isn't doing him any good. With the right prompting, he will give it to Alexander, who can use it to save his skin later. At no point does it noticeably improve anyone's luck.
* MagicMap: The magic map, so named because it allows you to teleport, also reveals the location of the mysterious Isle of Mist after a certain point in the game, a hidden island which is rumored to change locations. The map isn't altered by anybody to show the island; it appears on its own.
* MagicMirror: [[TheMirrorShowsYourTrueSelf The Mirror of Truth]].
** Also Alexander's mirror in the opening animation.
* TheManyDeathsOfYou: There are quite many deaths: some of them hilarious, some of them disturbing, and some of them [[NonStandardGameOver Non-Standard]] [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Game Overs]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLSviwsbA_k See]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EReT9479XJI all]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPLFol0Gh-E ten]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN8_cUuSaSU videos]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39hePe_idqc in]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPT_s4ZQbSU all]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_ZkZvRbGc0 their]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWJzkShx0bw gory...]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KO4wfFW4po er...]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGMVDfE2L34 glory.]]
* TheMaze: The Minotaur's labyrinth, with the added annoyance of death traps and death pits. "Alexander gets a funny feeling about this room..."
* TheMirrorShowsYourTrueSelf: Depending on which path you take, it can be used in one of two different ways. The basic good ending has Alexander using it to SpotTheImposter by forcing a genie to resume his true form. The best ending has him use it against Death himself, forcing him to witness the horror of his own existence, causing him to shed a SingleTear and lose his wager against Alexander.
* MeaningfulName: Most of the names are this, at least the ones that aren't referencing whatever mythology is relevant. Special mention goes to Shamir Shamazel, a corruption of the Yiddish "schlemiel" and "schlimazel", roughly meaning "unlucky screw-up". Considering how bad he is at his job and how unlucky he is to have Alhazred for a master, it fits.
** Celeste's name means "heavenly", since she's the princess of the Winged Ones.
* MoodWhiplash: The gate of the Land of the Dead is an eerie place, with creepy, atmospheric music and strange undead guards. Then you play a swinging xylophone tune to [[TheDeadCanDance make them dance]].
* MoonLogicPuzzle: Jollo informs Alexander that you can get the Alhazred's right hand genie out of the way by switching the genie's lamp with an identical one. Conveniently, there's a peddler selling lamps out on the street but you don't know which lamp to pick. What's the solution? Go to the pawn shop where the genie is there in disguise and make Alexander drink a FauxDeath potion so that a {{Cutscene}} appears where the genie goes to report this to his master and the player can get a look at the lamp and choose it when Alexander wakes up.
* MorphicResonance: The shapeshifting genie can always be identified by [[spoiler:his SupernaturalGoldEyes]].
* MultipleEndings: There are two endings, the "short" path and "long" path. The short path is, well, shorter, won't give you HundredPercentCompletion, and [[EasyModeMockery taunts you when you "win."]] The long path is more rewarding. Aside from the two branching paths, there can be some minor variations along the way, such as not recovering the insignia ring from the pawn shop, or not recovering the island treasures in the long path.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Sort of: In the Windows-enhanced version, if you look closely at the portrait of the speaking Arch-Druid, the jaguar he is wearing blinks its eyes at the same time that the Arch-Druid blinks his. It's creepy!
* MusicalSpoiler: Beauty (in the mansion on the Isle of the Crown) and the Beast (in his garden, on the Isle of the Beast) have the same {{Leitmotif}}. As do the Bookworm's area and the Dangling Participle (when you meet him on the Isle of the Beast).
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: Everyone who serves Alhazred feels this way, with only fear, loyalty to the Crown or ownership of their lamp binding them to him.
* MythologyGag: Looking at the back wall of the pawn shop cycles through a list of many items that would have been very helpful to players of previous ''King's Quest'' games.
* NearVillainVictory: Walking into the wedding hall to see "Cassima" enthusiastically declaring her intent to marry the [[EvilChancellor Grand Wazir]].
* NeutralFemale: Subverted by Cassima, who could save herself, if only she had a weapon...
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Alhazred had made a deal with Mordack to get Cassima out of the way so he could take the throne. When Cassima returned he had to alter his plans by murdering her after marrying. But here's the thing, if Alhazred had used any other scenario to dispose of her that didn't involve Mordack, Alexander would have never met Cassima, which in turn he would have never had a reason to go to the Green Isles, which in turn Alhazred would have been unopposed.
* NoEndorHolocaust: There was no possible way that Alexander's crew could've survived the shipwreck, yet he hopes in his internal monologue that they did, as they "got to the lifeboats". The end of the game in the long route confirms that they did in fact survive [[spoiler: which might've been due to help from the Genie Alexander controls.]]
* NonIndicativeName: The Dangling Participle does speak strangely. Listening closely to his speech, however, no actual dangling participles are evident.
* NonLethalBottomlessPits: There's one in the Labyrinth, surrounded by, and indistinguishable from, lethal ones. You must go through it to get through the maze.
* NonStandardGameOver: The standard game over is when Alexander dies: he shows up in the Land of the Dead as a ghost and passes into the afterlife. If he doesn't die, then the game over is different, such as if he ends up in the dungeons [[spoiler: unable to prevent the the Vizier's sham marriage to Cassima]], or if the Beast's curse turns him into a beast. [[spoiler: Uniquely, if he dies in the Land of the Dead after passing the doors that lead to the River Styx, he suffers a fate ''worse'' than death as he simply ceases to exist.]]
** [[spoiler: There's no evidence for Alexander's lack of existence in that case, as not only do you see his soul leave, death promises that Alexander will be "one with the spirits", which are perfectly capable of talking and witnessing events in front of them.]]
* NothingButSkulls: Death's throne.
* OhNoNotAgain: Alexander says "Not again!" [[spoiler:when he gets caught by the druids on his second trip to the Isle of the Mists. This "Not again!" quote marks the second time that he's been captured (the first time was by the Winged Ones).]]
* OminousPipeOrgan:
** This Ominous Pipe Organ music plays a grotesque version of {{Lohengrin|AndMendelssohn}}'s Bridal Chorus near the end of the game [[spoiler:when the [[EvilChancellor Grand Wazir]] Alhazred is getting married to Cassima!Shamir... but in pretense]]! [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhIQcGo8Z14 Give it a listen here!]]
** Also, the same ominous pipe organ music plays during the first half of "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZFzWgUNWu8 Stopping the Wedding]]".
* OneSteveLimit: Averted by Ali the Book Seller and Ali the Little Boy Ghost, who have no apparent connection to each other.
* OnlySmartPeopleMayPass:
** Alex and the door to the Underworld (there ''is'' a hint to it earlier in the game, but it is rather vague).
** "What was the riddle? More importantly: What was the answer?" ... [[spoiler:Hey, a scrap of paper with the word "love" written on it! Wonder what that was all about?]]
** However, it should be noted that the door's riddle relies entirely on which letter is found in word A but not word B. Not too hard to figure out.
* OpenSesame: Although the password isn't "Sesame".
* OrcusOnHisThrone: The Lord of the Dead. His throne has become part of him, so he can't move any more. He's further bound by shackles and chains.
* OurGnomesAreWeirder: There are five rhyming Sense Gnomes in one of the islands that can kill any human who sets foot on the island. And their naming features are based on the five senses (with their names in parentheses): the Gnome with the Jumbo Nose (Smell; Tom Trow), the Gnome with the Monumental Ears (Sound; Grovernor), the Gnome with the Gigantic Mouth (Taste; Grump-Frump), the Gnome with the Massive Hands (Touch; Trilly Dilly), and the Gnome with the Enormous Eyes (Sight; Bill Batter).
* UsefulNotes/PCVsConsole: The "making of" video included with the CD-ROM version of the game refers to console games as "the less-sophisticated cousins" of computer games.
* PixelHunt: There is exactly one, right at the beginning of the game when you open the chest. There's a copper coin in there that flashes, but rarely. Everything else in the game that would otherwise be small or hard to see flashes.
* PointOfNoReturn: You have a choice on whether you want to go the long route or the short route after you help the Beast, but after you've made your choice, you're stuck with it. Also, [[spoiler:the Labyrinth and Underworld are such places where you are stuck if you haven't brought certain items while at the same time you are to pick up new items there which you cannot return to do later in the narrative.]].
* ThePowerOfLove: ''Love'' literally gets Alexander through to the Lord of the Dead.
* PropheciesAreAlwaysRight: "The prophecy predicts that whosoever climbs the Cliffs of Logic will defeat the minotaur."
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Captain Saladin. He is incredibly distrustful of Alexander, who, to be fair, shows up out of the blue and acts like...well, a prince, but [[spoiler: as soon as Alexander shows him evidence of Alhazred's treachery, he ''doesn't'' immediately believe him, but rather goes to confront the Vizier and still takes care of Alexander if you're not quick to point out the falsehood]]. He's reasonable in that he's willing and able to listen to reason, but he still ''doesn't trust a stranger''.
* RedHerring: If you've read ''Literature/{{Aladdin}}'', you'd expect the old lamp seller who trades [[CatchPhrase old lamps for new]] to be one of the bad guys in disguise. [[spoiler:He is in fact just a harmless old lamp seller.]]
* RedRightHand: See SupernaturalGoldEyes below.
* ReplayValue: Not only does the the game have two major [[StoryBranching branching paths]], there are also other MultipleEndings with subtle variations depending upon what you do in the game.
* RhymesOnADime: The Sense Gnomes.
* RiddleMeThis: The Gate in the Land of the Dead will eat Alexander unless he can solve his riddle. The [[ThePowerOfLove solution]] isn't impossible to figure out from the question, but it appears in-game on a page torn out from a book.
* RoomDisservice: In the shortcut version, Alexander is able to sneak into the castle by [[DisguisedInDrag disguising as a female servant]].
* SatelliteLoveInterest: Cassima. Note how she and Alexander first meet in the final scene of ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVAbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder'', just before the helpful wizard teleports everyone home. Then again, this fits the FairyTale genre.
* SaveThePrincess: The goal of the game.
* SayMyName: In the voiced version, every sentence of narration starts with "Alexander".
* SchmuckBait: All those people with ominous glowing eyes [[note]] [[spoiler:(actually the genie in disguise)]][[/note]] keep giving you all these really easy ways to solve puzzles -- like swimming to the next island (forget the deadly ocean currents!); learning to fly by eating nightshade (not that poisonous, really!); and passing through a gate with a stone archer about to shoot you (he's harmless!).
* SequelHook: The single reference to the "Black Cloak Society" could be taken as this, but they weren't actually used in the sequels. {{Fanon}}, however, especially the FanRemake of ''VideoGame/KingsQuestIIRomancingTheThrone'' and the FanSequel ''VideoGame/TheSilverLining'' have proceeded to pick it up and run.
* ShapedLikeItself: If you use the hand icon on the tinder box, you are told, "It feels exactly like a tinder box."
* ShoutOut:
** The villain is named, of all things, [[Creator/HPLovecraft Abdul Alhazred]].
** [[Theatre/{{Oklahoma}} The bookstore owner is named Ali, and according to the Companion, the pawn shop owner is named Hakim]].
** One of the guard dogs is named Gruff. Seeing how guards are basically ancient police. Perhaps a shout-out to McGruffTheCrimeDog?
** The swimming boy is Adam from EcoQuest, except his trunks look darker.
** If Alexander misses the steps of the Cliffs of Logic, he'll stand there in space before [[GravityIsAHarshMistress realizing there's nothing holding him up]]. He waves goodbye before plummeting, just like [[WileECoyoteAndTheRoadRunner Wile E. Coyote]].
** The old man who trades old lamps for new is a reference to ''Literature/{{Aladdin}}''. See RedHerring above.
* SingleTear: Alexander makes the Lord of the Dead shed one {{manly tear|s}} by [[spoiler:using the Mirror of Truth to show him his own pathetic life]]. At least we now know he still ''has'' tear ducts.
* SkeletonKey: It not only opens any lock (which is useful in case Alex gets imprisoned), it's also shaped like a skeleton, and Alex has to steal it from a real skeleton.
* SmoochOfVictory
* SoundingItOut: Alhazred does this while composing a letter to Shadrack, which [[ExactEavesDropping lets Alexander overhear]] his true plans for Cassima.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Used literally in the dungeon. Metaphorically, Alexander is one for Alhazred's EvilPlan.
* SpellBook: Holding [[RuleOfThree three]] spells.
* SpotTheImpostor: In the short run.
* StandardHeroReward: Played completely straight in both major paths of the game with both the kingdom and the princess.
* StoryBranchFavoritism: The game has a branching storyline. Although there are many variables that dictate who shows up at the finale wedding, the choice of taking the "short path" or the "long path" is the most important. As the "long path" is happier, just about everyone (and the official novelization for that matter) chooses that as the "real" one. See the entry at GoldenEnding.
* StrangeSyntaxSpeaker: The Dangling Participle, who even talks in Yoda-speak.
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: The only way to proceed to the second level of the Catacombs is by deliberately blundering into the one pitfall that doesn't kill you. Of course, you're boned if you aren't carrying a certain item at that point.
* SuperDrowningSkills: Justified, as the Land of the Green Isles is surrounded by extremely dangerous currents that will pull Alexander out to sea if he steps out far enough to be caught by the undertow (or gets tossed in by the gnomes at the Isle of Wonder.) Plus, the game warns you about the sea's pull.
* SupernaturalGoldEyes: For some reason, lots of people in the Land of the Green Isles have sparkling gold eyes! And these are the people who always try to get you to do dangerous things! How totally coincidental!
* SwordFight / GoodOldFisticuffs: [[spoiler:Alex and Alhazred alternate between these while the former carries a fake, heavy sword during the ultimate battle.]]
* TalkingAnimal: The Land of the Green Isles is filled with talking creatures from both flora and fauna, e.g. the Black Widow, the Bookworm and the Rotten Tomato.
* TapOnTheHead: Alexander knocks out Alhazred with the flat end of the blade.
* TearsFromAStone: The Lord of the Dead's challenge: [[AC:"Make me cry."]] The peanut gallery remarks that it would be easier to turn sea to stone, or fire to ice. [[spoiler: Alexander succeeds.]]
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: At the end of the game, as Alexander has his final confrontation with the vizier and the genie, an epic version of the Castle of the Crown's motif plays.
* ThroughAFaceFullOfFur: Though not depicted visually, this happens when you give Captain Saladin Shadrack's note:
-->'''Narrator:''' Alexander watches the guard dog's noble face darken with rage.
* ThrowingDownTheGauntlet: Used literally: you can defy The Lord of the Dead by showing him a dead knight's gauntlet that is ''specifically made'' to challenge Death. [[spoiler: The knight you get it from didn't get quite as far into the Underworld as Alexander does. [[NoodleIncident We never learn]] what stopped him.]]
* ToHellAndBack: The trip to the Underworld.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: For the genie: mints. Doubles as ICantBelieveItsNotHeroin.
* UnfinishedBusiness: The reason Cassima's parents can't move on in the Land of the Dead -- you have to bring them back so they can finish it.
** Also the mother waiting for her ghost child.
* {{Ungrateful B|astard}}itch: Lady Celeste. After all the time it took Alexander to save her from the Minotaur, too. [[DudeWheresMyRespect Dude, where's his respect?]]
* {{Unwinnable}}: It wouldn't be a Sierra game without them, although this one did cut down on them a bit. Mainly things become Unwinnable when you pass a PointOfNoReturn and forget to get something. A notable one is with Swamp Ooze, which is necessary for the long path, but is possible to get LostForever, and you won't know the game can't be won until ''long'' after the fact, that path consumes the item that gives you access to the short path.
* VerbalTic: The Doormaster skeleton saying "NEXT!" whenever he asks you for a ticket and you give it to him. This is especially weirder in the Game Over screen every time you die.
* VirginSacrifice: Lady Celeste (and probably many before her), offered to the Minotaur.
* VoiceoverLetter: Alexander reads Cassima's letter, that he received from Sing-Sing, in her voice. Lampshaded by the narrator: "For the first time in his long search, he has heard her voice again if only in writing."
* {{Wackyland}}: The Isle of Wonder.
* WasOnceAMan: The Lord of the Dead was a mortal human once, bound to his throne in the underworld where centuries of hearing the tales of the dead slowly transformed him into what he is now. [[spoiler: That's the only clue you get on how to defeat him.]]
* WhatASenselessWasteOfHumanLife: The Pawn Shop Owner says this, [[spoiler:unaware that Alex has [[FauxDeath faked his own death]] in front of Shamir]].
* WhatHaveIBecome: The Lord of the Dead is reminded by Alexander of how he came from a human life to an eternally damned existence which makes him shed a SingleTear.
* WholeCostumeReference: Alexander's outfit is lifted more-or-less straight from Creator/KevinCostner's wardrobe in ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'', just with a different color scheme.
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: The Genie is sent all the time to trick you, but never to actually attack or kill you, except in the penultimate scene. Justified in that, even with an evil master, the Genie really abhors violence, and it requires considerable pressure from Abdul to push him that far.
* WickedStepmother: Beauty has one.
* WifeHusbandry: An inverted example. [[spoiler:Part of the reason Caliphim misplaced his trust in Alhazred was because he might end up as a suitable son-in-law.]]
* WithDueRespect: Captain Saladin to Alhazred: "With all due respect, my lord, you are not king '''yet'''."
* WithThisRing: There are three different ways in which the wedding at the end can play out. Depending on your actions, there could be no ring (left in the Pawn Shop), Alexander gives it to Cassima (he didn't send it via Sing-Sing) or she produces it herself.
* WingedHumanoid: The Winged Ones on the Isle of the Sacred Mountain.
* WorldOfPun: Starting from the title, to all of the death messages.
* WoundedGazelleGambit / CrocodileTears: [[spoiler:Alexander acts all {{Emo}} in the Pawn Shop and pretends [[DespairSpeech that all hope is lost without Cassima]] while pretending to cry, and fakes suicide by drinking the "Drink Me" potion. This gambit is an effort to trick Shamir and the guard dogs into lowering their guard for entry into the castle. It doesn't actually change anything in or around the castle, though - [[BreakingTheFourthWall it serves an entirely different purpose]] - and you still need a different method of getting in.]]
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: The encounters with the Gate and Samhain, Lord of the Dead. Also the book of love poems and the gauntlet.
* YouFightLikeACow: During their SwordFight, Alhazred makes fun of Alexander's struggle with the heavy sword.
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