Video Game: King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride
is the seventh game in the King's Quest
series, and the first where you play as multiple protagonists. The graphic design was a departure from the series' earlier games and was meant to imitate Disney animation
and garner a younger, female audience; it resulted in a lot of glitches.
Rosella, princess of Daventry, is upset because her mother, Valanice, wants her to get married
, while she just wants to have adventures. She falls into a whirlpool and is kidnapped by a troll; she wakes up to discover she has transformed into a troll and is engaged to the King of Trolls. Valanice dives in after her daughter, but winds up in a desert in the land of Eldritch. Gameplay alternates
between Rosella and Valanice, who want to escape the Troll Kingdom and find Rosella, respectively. Later, they discover Eldritch is about to be destroyed by an evil fairy named Malicia, and their goals shift from finding each other, to saving the world.
Notably for a Sierra King's Quest
, this game cannot be made unwinnable
— in trying to reach younger audiences, the creators decided to make the game much easier than previous installments. It's still a Sierra game, though — you die, and there are plenty of difficult puzzles, all the same.
This game provides examples of:
- Adult Fear: Valanice, so very much. Also the nursemaid Mathilde, who verbally attacks Malicia out of her fear for the Troll King's safety.
- Airvent Passageway: Rosella finds one behind the painting of the Troll King in chapter 2.
- And I Must Scream: Very subtly implied in the case of Ceres, who was attacked by Malicia and turned into an oak tree, then stabbed and left to bleed to death with the stake still impaled in her trunk.
- Lord Tsepish was cursed as the undead to ride his horse across town for all eternity.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: The player switching between Valanice and Rosella every other chapter.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Dr. Cadaver's medicine cabinet.
"Leg of lizard, eye of newt, toxic toadstool powder, mono-sodium glutamate? Yikes!"
- Actually kind of Fridge Logic when you think about it. Leg of lizard, eye of newt, and toxic toadstool powder are things you'd openly expect a magical fantasy world to have. MSG is something so blatantly realistic, it makes sense that it would be the "odd one" to them. No different than if Rosella discovered a hidden room with a "Bed, Piano and a Xbox360"
- Art Shift: The previous game used video-captured actors for the animation. King's Quest VII switched to a Disney/Don Bluth-inspired art style instead.
- Ate the Spoon: Rosella gathers ingredients for a potion to change her back to human form. One of the ingredients (used to stir the potion) is a silver spoon. After the potion's been mixed, the only thing left of it is a melted lump of silver. This being King's Quest, it still has a use later on.
- Award Bait Song: "Land Beyond Dreams"
- Back from the Dead: Edgar at the very end of the game - provided Rosella gives him the cat's extra life.
- Baleful Polymorph: Happens a lot. Rosella starts her portion of the game getting transformed into a troll, and Valanice meets a husband and wife who have been cursed into the forms of a stag and a tree, respectively. And Edgar, who spends almost the entire game as a doppelganger of the Troll King.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: The trolls don't wear shoes. This extends to Rosella when she's turned into one during Chapter 2, although her shoes magically reappear on her feet when she changes back.
- Bears Are Bad News: The were-bear.
- Big "NO!": Rosella, after being trapped in a coffin underground, and Malicia after she discovers Rosella has escaped from said coffin along with the real Troll King.
- Bizarrchitecture: The stairways at the Town Hall of Falderal.
- Blank Book: The Faux Shop owner sells Valanice the book "The wisdom of Falderal" made up of blank pages.
- Blind Without 'Em: The kangaroo rat in the desert. You have to get his glasses back for him before he will do business with you.
- Book Ends: Rosella's story begins when she's literally pulled into an engagement with Otar, King Of Trolls. In the end-of-game cutscene, Edgar asks her properly for permission to court her, which she grants.
- Brainwashed: Mathilde suspects Malicia has done this to King Otar in order to coerce him into working with her. It turns out he's not the Troll King at all, but her nephew Edgar... the same fellow from King's Quest IV!
- Brainwash Residue: Malicia's Evil Plan included replacing the Troll King with the brainwashed Fairy Prince Edgar. But she didn't realize that her new accomplice harbored feelings for a certain Princess of Daventry and that his now morally deficient state would cause him to kidnap her, causing her mother to chase after her ... and things kind of fell apart after that.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Two of them run rampant in Ooga Booga. Also the troll girl who throws away her wind-up rat.
- Brown Note: Lady Tsepish's face is so horrifying, everyone who looks at her dies.
- Bull Seeing Red: A variant, where a scorpion falls for a blueish flag waved by Valanice.
- Buried Alive: At one point in the fourth chapter, the ghoul kids intend to do this to a cat they locked in a coffin. And later in the same chapter, after Rosella finds the Troll King under the deadfall, Malicia shows up and promptly tosses her in with him.
- Came from the Sky: The Cheesy Moon mysteriously falling from the sky, leading to people getting hysterical because "The sky is falling!".
- Cats Are Mean: Totally averted with the black cat in Ooga Booga, one of the sweetest characters in the game.
- Cats Have Nine Lives: And therefore are happy to give one away.
- Cheesy Moon: The moon over Falderal is revealed to literally be made of green-colored cheese.
- Chekhov's Boomerang: The conversation between the troll women in the mud bath gives you two pieces of information: one that you use right away (putting wet sulfur in a fire puts trolls to sleep), and another that you don't use until near the end of the game (holding a flower under a troll's nose wakes him up).
- Chekhov's Gun: All the inventory items, naturally, but special mention goes to the extra life given to Rosella by the cat.
- Chekhov's Volcano: The volcano is active, but some Steampunk-type machinery in use by the trolls keeps it from erupting. It's up to Valanice and Rosella to prevent Malicia from changing that.
- Civilized Animal: Archduke Fifi le Yipyap, as well as all the other citizens of the town of Falderal. Although Fernando the bull might be a slight subversion in that he never exhibits any major bull stereotypes.
- Cliff Hanger: Every chapter ends in one.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Chicken Petite, the little bonnet-wearing hen running around Falderal and screaming that the sky is falling, is this even by Falderal's standards.
- Conspicuously Light Patch: Objects you can interact with sometimes stand out markedly from the hand-painted backgrounds.
- Cool Horse: Necromancer, Count Tsepish's noble steed.
- Cool Old Lady: Mathilde, Otar's nursemaid, who stands up to Malicia without any trace of fear.
- Creepy Child: Those two pests in Ooga Booga land.
- Creepy Monotone: The Dreamweaver talks in this.
- Curse Escape Clause: The spells cast upon Attis, Lord Tsepish and the Lady of Dreams, all have this escape clause built in.
- Curtains Match the Window: An interesting variation in that both Valanice's and Rosella's dresses match their eyes.
- Cute Monster Girl: Troll!Rosella.
- Damsel in Distress: Ceres, Goddess of the Bountiful Woods, and Mab, the ruler of Dreamland. There are also a few non-human examples with the hummingbird caught in the spider's web, the china bird held captive by the Snake Oil Salesman, and the little black cat in Ooga Booga.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Ooga Booga is a dangerous and scary place, but some of its inhabitants like the Gravedigger, Dr. Cadaver, the Black Hound, and Lord Tsepish aren't so bad after all.
- Death by Falling Over: Hilariously done by Valanice drinking salt water in the endless desert.
- Dem Bones: In a corner of Ooga Booga sits a large pile of bones, and they'll come to life and eat you if you touch them. This is where the Boogeyman lives, and also where the real King Otar is being kept prisoner.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Malicia, see her Evil Plan.
- Disney Acid Sequence: Valanice has an eerie moment stumbling through the land of dreams.
- Disney Death: Edgar can be revived by issuing an extra life.
- Distressed Dude: Most of the male characters in the game. Attis, Dr. Cadaver, Lord Tsepish (cursed as a Headless Horseman), the real Troll King, and Edgar.
- Drop-In Nemesis: Late in the fourth chapter, you'll get a black veil that will serve as a disguise. If you attempt to leave the area without putting it on, the Boogeyman will kill you instantly. And in the sixth chapter Malicia will appear and zap you if you take too long to Spot the Impostor, or use the wand on the wrong one.
- Eek, a Mouse!!: Malicia can be distracted using a wind-up rat.
- Elevator Failure: As soon as Rosella reaches Ooga Booga at the start of chapter four, the makeshift elevator she's riding abruptly falls apart. Fail to take the shovel offered to you by the nice gravedigger, and she'll go down with it.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Omnipresent, but especially the realm of Ooga Booga. On the upside, at least whenever you die you get a hint as to what you're supposed to do.
- Evil Laugh: Malicia again. The Boogeyman also has a particularly nightmarish one, due to his Voice of the Legion.
- Evil Overlooker: Malicia yet again, in the cover art.
- Evil Plan: Malicia's elaborate plan to destroy the Fairy Kingdom of Etheria. First she went to incapacitate a couple of faeries. Then she kidnapped the Fairy Prince Edgar and the Troll King of the Volcanix Underground, transformed and brainwashed the former to impersonate the latter. All of this to cause a volcanic explosion that will destroy Eldritch. See Brainwash Residue for why the plan didn't work out.
- Exact Eaves Dropping: Rosella in the Airvent Passageway, overhearing Malicia laying out her Evil Plan to blow up the volcano.
- Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: Malicia.
- The Fair Folk: Averted. There are both malevolent and benevolent fairies.
- Fantastic Racism: Displayed by a select few of the Falderal residents towards Valanice, a human. They've gotten over it by the time Rosella shows up, though.
- Fetch Quest: The bulk of the second chapter is spent running around the Vulcanix Underground gathering the ingredients Mathilde needs for the potion that will turn Rosella back into a human.
- Fighting from the Inside: Edgar. It's really subtle in contrast to the rest of the game.
- Fission Mailed: If Valanice picks up the firecracker, it explodes and she dies. If you hit "restore," you still have the firecracker, and you only get a few paces before dying AGAIN. Turns out you need that firecracker to solve a puzzle — which means you have to die, and hear the same Have a Nice Death quip, over and over for about 5-10 minutes.
- This is because of an unfortunate side-effect of Technology Marches On. The fuse on the firecracker is programmed in terms of computer cycles. Too bad processor speeds have increased by leaps and bounds, so what used to take a few minutes now only takes a few seconds. At least you respawn exactly where you were before you died and the timer resets. Watch Let's Player Toegoff suffer through this here.
- Four-Fingered Hands: Including the human characters.
- Fun with Acronyms: Ricardo Eduardo Rodriguez Roo Rat.
- Global Airship: Valanice gets a magic flute that can summon lord Tsepish's horse Necromancer, which can take her from anywhere in the game to Etheria, from where she can travel to any of the game's major locations.
- Go Through Me: Edgar does this when Malicia is about to attack Rosella.
- Goofy Print Underwear: The werebear.
- Grave Humor: Ooga-Booga Land, which can be read in limerick form on the many gravestones there:
"The sorrowful Margery Pratt
Liked to wail on the cliffs with her cat.
One night, such a pity,
She tripped on her kitty,
And fell off the cliff with a splat."
- Halloweentown: Ooga-Booga. Almost seems like it was made as a direct homage to The Nightmare Before Christmas, which had been recently released at the time.
- Headless Horseman: Lord Tsepish.
- The Hecate Sisters: Valanice summons herself into a pocket dimension in Etheria, and finds the Three Fates generally minding their own business and doing their cosmic work.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Most of the monsters, most notably the Boogeyman and the three-headed Venus Flytrap in the swamp.
- I Owe You My Life: A hummingbird says this to Valanice after the queen rescues her from a spiderweb. The black cat in Ooga Booga gets more literal and gives Rosella one of hers.
- I Want My Mommy: Late in chapter five, after you gain access to Etheria and the rest of the world becomes aware of the imminent volcanic eruption, pass by the town hall in Falderal and you'll hear the citizens panicking inside, with the archduke yelling that he wants his mama.
- "I Want" Song: "I want to go to a land beyond dreams..."
- It May Help You on Your Quest: The ghost of Colin Farwalker mentions this to Valanice when handing her either the rope of the bug-reducing powder.
- Karma Houdini: The snake oil salesman gets no comeuppance whatsoever for having you steal the magic statuette from the archduke for him.
- Leitmotif: Malicia has one.
- Light and Mirrors Puzzle: There's one in the desert.
- Lighter and Softer: The difficulty is toned down (the game cannot be made unwinnable) and the art is made to resemble a Disney feature. This is especially noticeable as it's sandwiched between the two darkest entries in the series: King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow and King's Quest: Mask of Eternity.
- The Lost Woods: The Wood of the Were folk. No one has ever entered that wood and lived.
- Magic Carpet: Instant transportation to Dreamland.
- Mama Bear: Valanice, despite not being an adventurer at all, immediately takes off after her kidnapped daughter in the story's beginning.
- Man-Eating Plant: There's one in the swamp, just outside the gates of Ooga Booga. And it has three heads.
- Magic Mirror: The one at the Town Hall, that pulls Valanice in.
- Also the statue from the Town Hall drawer, which when used with the comb will show images of Rosella struggling at the Troll land.
- The Maze: The Desert.
- Meaningful Name: Colin Farwalker, Malicia, Dr. Cadaver.
- The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: Attis (who was turned into a stag) admits that he's very gradually losing his human mind. And that if the curse isn't reversed in time, he'll permanently be a stag wiped clean of all previous human thoughts.
- Missed Her By That Much: By the time Rosella and Otar arrive in Falderal, Valanice has apparently just left, judging by what the archduke tells you.
- Mister Muffykins: Malicia's mutt "Cuddles." Also Archduke Fifi Le Yip Yap, the mayor of Falderal.
- Moon Logic Puzzle: Valanice can only enter the Faux Shop after having tasted the salt crystals, being hinted at by the Archduke Fifi le Yipyap: "Be sure to take the Faux Shop with a grain of salt".
- Multiple Endings: It is possible to finish the game without rescuing Edgar, but it results in the "Bad Ending".
- Nice Guy: Oppy the troll jeweler.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Malicia and the Boogeyman. Dr. Mort Cadaver is a subversion, as his name is a reference to his job (as the coroner of Ooga Booga) rather than an indication of villainy.
- Nightmare Face: Lady Tsepish's face is so horrifying, the player character will die of fright if she sees it. The player doesn't get to see it.
- Notice This: The game has your cursor (which looks like a magic wand) sparkle when it's hovering over an object the player character can interact with.
- Off Model: The cut scene animation is rather choppy — for example, Rosella appears to be slightly cross-eyed.
- Off with His Head!: Count Tsepish suffered this fate before the events of the story, thanks to Malicia's gargoyle. He gets better with Valanice's help.
- Our Doors Are Different: The door to the volcano control room is shaped like a face and can only be opened via a sequenced movement of eyes and nose.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The Vulcanix Underground is home to one made entirely of crystal.
- Player Nudge: Upon dying, most of the Game Over messages will drop hints as to what the player should do to get past the obstacle that resulted in the death.
- Point of No Return: Surprisingly averted. You can revisit places and fetch missing objects any time during the game.
- Portal Pool: The pond in the Daventry castle gardens somehow magically transports Rosella and Valanice to the realm of Eldritch.
- Pseudo Crisis: At the end of the first chapter Valanice is threatened by a giant monster. As you play as Rosella for chapter 2 you worry how you're going to get Valanice out of this situation. Start chapter 3 and you realize that you can just feed a desert fruit to the monster, and he'll go away.
- Purple Eyes: King Otar has them. This will help with the Spot the Impostor battle later, as the fake Troll King has Green Eyes.
- Race Against the Clock: The end sequence, when the volcano eruption has to be prevented.
- Raise Him Right This Time: Malicia, in both endings, after being turned into a baby by Rosella. Although in the bad ending, Titania is understandably less enthusiastic about it.
- Random Event: If you are idle for too long in Ooga Booga, the dreaded Boogeyman will show up out of nowhere. Continue to do nothing, and he will kill you.
- Occasionally, while you are trying to climb the mountain of winds in Etheria, the wind spirit Borasco will come along and eat you. The player's guide states that all you can do is keep trying.
- Rebellious Princess: Rosella's response to arranged marriage is jumping into the first enchanted pool she comes across.
- Rhymes on a Dime: The kangaroo rat merchant in the desert. He actually runs his entire business around this - he'll offer you a chocolate malt in exchange for a pinch of salt, for example.
- If Valanice dies by falling into the open grave in Ooga Booga, the epitaph that appears will say "Valanice, Rest In Peace."
- Save the Princess: The plot kicks off with Rosella being kidnapped from her mother, and Valanice embarking on a mission to rescue her. Rosella then subverts the trope by being the one to take down Malicia and save the world.
- Say My Name: Frequently.
- Scary Jack-in-the-Box: In the tree house in Ooga Booga land, there's a jack in the box that will kill you if you open it.
- Scary Scorpions: The desert has a giant monster scorpion hiding in one of the temples.
- Schmuck Bait: Go ahead, walk on Benjamin Crabby's grave. Absolutely nothing will happen.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: One of the rooms in Archduke Fifi Le Yip-Yap's parlor is like this.
- Sealed Room in the Middle of Nowhere: Rosella and the Troll King are locked in a coffin underground. Cue Big "NO!" by Rosella. Then tree roots start to reach in. It couldn't get any worse.
- Shout-Out: Loads, from man-eating jive-talking plants to the title. They even managed one to M.
- Smooch of Victory: During the end sequence between Rosella and Edgar in the good ending.
- Songs in the Key of Lock: A music puzzle in Etheria involving a harp.
- Spinventory: Some puzzles can only be solved by looking at the inventory from all directions.
- Spot the Impostor: The final battle, with the King of Trolls.
- Stalker with a Crush: The Boogeyman makes it no secret that he's got the hots for Lady Tsepish.
- Standard Hero Reward: Again, Edgar and Rosella take this trope and run it through the obstacle course. Wisely, though, they agree to "court" rather than running off to get hitched. (At least in this regard, Rosella proves a hell of a lot more sensible than her parents or brother!)
- Suffer The Slings / Silver Bullet: Rosella deals with the were-bear in the woods by slinging a lump of silver at him.
- Symbolic Blood: Poor Ceres "bleeds" tree sap courtesy of a stake impaled in her trunk. When Attis pulls the stake out after regaining his human form, it turns to actual blood.
- Take My Hand: Between Rosella and Valanice in the opening sequence, when they are caught in the vortex. The Troll King intervenes.
- A variation of this occurs at the start of the fourth chapter, with a gravedigger's shovel.
- Taken for Granite: This can happen to Valanice in the third chapter, if she tries to take the songbird from the Snake Oil Salesman before talking to the china bull about her.
- Taking the Bullet: In the control room, the Troll King jumps in front of Edgar to take the blow of Malicia's Death Rays, which turn out not so deadly after all.
- Talking Animal: Various animals are able to communicate with the heroines, amongst them a cat, a dog and a stag.
- Terms of Endangerment: At one point, Malicia calls Rosella "my dear princess".
- The Boogeyman will tell Rosella "Thanks for inviting me to dinner, toots!" if you blow the gravedigger's horn outside his deadfall while he's home.
- Token Romance: The game ends with Rosella and Edgar hooking up.
- Took a Level in Badass: Valanice was a very passive character in previous games — her biggest roles were getting rescued in KQII and telling Alexander to find Cassima in the intro of KQVI. Here, she's out to save her daughter and adventuring with the best of them.
- Top-Heavy Guy: The troll blacksmith.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: The only King's Quest game where the player alternates each chapter between playing as Valanice and playing as Rosella, each trying to find each other.
- The Undead: Everyone in Ooga Booga.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: It's implied that the Boogeyman did this after the murder of Lord Tsepish, the ruler of Ooga Booga. He's specifically stated to have even been responsible for burning down the Tsepish Manor.
- Undying Loyalty: Black Valiant, Lord Tsepish's dog, continues to stand guard by the Tsepish Manor even after the death of his master.
- Unfinished Business: The ghost of Colin Farwalker cannot rest until his thirst is quenched.
- Unwinnable: Averted, which is downright bizarre for a Sierra game. Even if you forgot to get the flower in an early chapter that's needed at the end, an identical one is up for grabs at the end.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: It's possible to give salt water to the poor, parched desert spirit.
- Even better? Helping him at all is completely optional. It's entirely possible to escape the desert without even speaking to him.
- You can also trigger the game's bad ending this way, by not bringing Edgar back to life.
- Visual Pun / Stealth Pun: The merchant town Falderal is full of these. Among the more notable examples are a bull who runs a china shop and a literal Snake Oil Salesman.
- Dr. Cadaver is literally spineless when you first meet him, having donated his own spine to one of his patients, and is having trouble with the two local brats who vandalize his house. He even tells Rosella "Without a backbone, I can't stand up to anyone."
- Voice of the Legion: The Boogeyman. Also Lady Tsepish. At least until chapter five, when she's reunited with her husband and takes off the cloak.
- Wackyland: The land of dreams, as experienced by Valanice. To a lesser extent, Etheria.
- Walking the Earth: Colin Farwalker, before becoming trapped and lost in the desert to eventually die of thirst, and rise again as the desert spirit.
- We Need a Distraction: The primary function of the wind-up rat Rosella finds in the second chapter. She uses it once to catch the attention of the troll cook so she can grab things out of his kitchen, and again near the end of the chapter to scare away Malicia.
- Weight And Switch: At the bottom of the well, Valanice has to replace the turquoise piece with her bead in order not to trigger the refilling of the well.
- Wicked Witch: Malicia.
- Woman in Black: Lady Tsepish. Rosella assumes this as a disguise once she escapes imprisonment in Ooga Booga with the real King Otar.
- World in the Sky: Etheria.