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Video Game / King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride
aka: Kings Quest VII

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Totally not like Curse of Enchantia.

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:

  • Abduction Is Love: Played with. Edgar admits that he lured Rosella to Eldritch in order to kidnap her, but he was Brainwashed, and assures her that he never would have kidnapped her if he'd been in his right mind. He doesn't expect Rosella to forgive him, but she presumably does, because they kiss at the end.
  • Aborted Arc: The previous game King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow briefly references the Black Cloak Society, a mysterious group of villains whose members include Manannan, Mordack, and the Grand Vizier Abdul Alhazred. The Society is never brought up again neither in this game, nor in the next installment King's Quest: Mask of Eternity (fanon, however, especially the Fan Remake of King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne and the Fan Sequel The Silver Lining, have proceeded to pick it up and run).
  • Absurdly Short Level: Chapter 6, the last chapter, is by far the shortest level. If you know what you’re doing, it can be completed in a matter of minutes. The only sense of length that could be derived from it would be newcomers having to figure out what to do, as many of the puzzles require you to remember things learned in earlier chapters.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Rosella finds one behind the painting of the Troll King in chapter 2.
  • Alien Geometries: The inside of Archduke Fifi le YipYap's house features stairs that take you in impossible directions, and a room whose gravity depends on where you enter it from. There's also the Faux Shop, which is only a door and a single wall, but consuming salt crystals will cause the door to lead to the inside of the shop instead of the other side of the wall.
  • 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.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Rosella is sucked into another world, where she is transformed into a troll and forced into a marriage with the Troll King Otar Fenris III. It turns out this "Troll King" is actually an impostor, namely Edgar from King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella who was brainwashed by Malicia and turned into a doppelganger of the real King Otar to impersonate him. Ironically, at the end of the game, when Edgar returns to his real form of a handsome young man, Rosella does marry him.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Dr. Cadaver's medicine cabinet.
    "Leg of lizard, eye of newt, toxic toadstool powder, mono-sodium glutamate? Yikes!"
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: The previous game used video-captured actors for the animation. King's Quest VII switched to a Disney/Don Bluth-inspired art style instead.
  • The Artifact: A few of the inventory items have limited uses but are not disposed of after their purpose has been fulfilled. Of particular note is the lantern, which only serves one purpose in Chapter 2 but remains in Rosella’s inventory for the rest of the game.
  • Ascended Extra: Valanice, who was introduced in the second game but only appeared very briefly in each entry thereafter until this installment. Roberta Williams even said she was determined the character would finally play a major role after all those years.
  • 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.
  • 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: There's a nasty were-bear in the woods just outside Malicia's home, and both Rosella and Valanice have to work their way past it at different points.
  • Big Bad: Malicia. Almost all of the hardship and misfortune suffered by other characters throughout the story can be linked directly back to her in some way, and she's got more planned for the future.
  • Big Good: Oberon and Titania, the rulers of Etheria, once you convince them to stop Malicia's plan.
  • 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.
  • Bond One-Liner: In chapter three, if you keep trying to take the songbird back without earning her trust first.
    Snake Oil Salesman:: Oh well. I always liked my ladies sssstatuesque.
  • Bookends: 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.
  • Border Patrol: The swamp monster and were-beast are a variation of this: they don’t stop Valanice and Rosella walking off the map, but they do prevent them from moving forward until necessary items have been acquired.
  • Bowdlerize: The playable demo’s “Game Over” screen explicitly stated “You Have Died.” This was softened to “You Have Expired” in the final release.
  • 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: Countess 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!".
  • Casanova Wannabe: The blacksmith troll Rosella encounters in Chapter Two, who immediately starts putting the moves on her. She's visibly repulsed, but he thinks she is all over him. He loses some interest once she regains her human form, but is still willing to go out with her if she wears a bag over her head.
  • 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.
  • The Cavalry: In the endgame, Oberon, Titania and Mab swoop in and cast a spell that contains the volcano's eruption while Valanice and Rosella face off against Malicia.
  • Cheesy Moon: The moon over Falderal is revealed to literally be made of green-colored cheese.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The two troll women in the mud bath give 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 never exhibits any major bull stereotypes.
  • Cliffhanger: Every chapter ends on one. Even the final chapter ends with Edgar only courting Rosella, with players unsure if they’ll eventually marry or not.
  • 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.
    Archduke Fifi: Just ignore her, my lady. She is very silly.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Valanice wears green while Rosella wears blue. Further emphasized by having the arrow pointers alternate between green and blue each chapter, depending on the character being controlled.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: Objects you can interact with sometimes stand out markedly from the hand-painted backgrounds, as is common with cel animation.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Should Rosella spend too long questioning the residents of Falderal, she’ll be sternly reminded by King Otar that they must resume their journey. Likewise, Valanice will think this to herself if she spends too long speaking to certain people.
  • Continuity Nod: The player's guide tosses one in with the hint about how to turn Ceres back to normal.
    She needs a magic fruit. No, no, don't go to Tamir!
  • Cool Horse: Necromancer, Count Tsepish's noble steed. Once Valanice has freed the Count of his curse, he grants her the use of Necromancer so that she has access to Etheria, and by extension, most of the rest of the world.
  • Cool Old Lady: Mathilde, Otar's nursemaid, who stands up to Malicia without any trace of fear.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The original 1994 cover art has Rosella brandishing a Magic Wand at Malicia, suggesting that this is what she uses to defeat her. While Rosellla does acquire a wand at some point, it's never directly used against Malicia herself.
    • The 1995 cover may be even more misleading. Though it does feature the volcano, it shows an enormous green castle at its base, an area never seen in the game itself (where the volcano is only viewed from a distance and from within).
  • Crystalline Creature: A crystal dragon appears in the Volcanic Underground, blocking the way for Rosella to get further into the volcano. It has lost its spark and is unable to make fire and, if you can retrieve one for her, she moves out of the way and grants you two key items in the form of a massive ruby and one of her own crystalline scales.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Chicken Petite's concerns about the sky falling, sort of. It's only the moon that falls, but she also correctly predicts the threat of the volcano long before anyone else in Falderal worries about it.
  • Curse Escape Clause: The spells cast upon Attis, Count Tsepish, and the Lady of Dreams all have this escape clause built in.
  • 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.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Rosella is kidnapped or trapped numerous times in the game: pulled through the mirror by the Troll King in the beginning, locked in her room in the Volcanix Underground, trapped in the coffin in Ooga Booga Land, and teleported into the shaft of the volcano, but being one of the game's Main Characters she always gets herself out of trouble.
  • 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 Count Tsepish aren't so bad after all. Most of the trolls of the Vulcanix Underground are pretty good when Princess Rosella speaks with and to them as well, except for the spoiled brat troll girl, the rude forging troll, Brutus Bonecrusher, and the cook.
    • Mab is pretty uncanny, and rules over the very eerie Dreamland, but is a staunch and powerful ally of Oberon and Titania.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Valanice, this being the only game where she is a playable character.
  • 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.
  • Depending on the Artist: Due in part to the shift in animation style, Valanice and Rosella differ quite a bit in appearance compared to previous games. Valanice’s hair, while originally red, is now a light brown. Their outfits in this game are also new designs and feature different color schemes: green instead of blue/purple for Valanice, blue instead of white for Rosella.
  • Developer's Foresight: Should Valanice pick up a spare ear of corn and try it on the cornucopia in chapters 3 or 5, thinking it might be sacred food, it will not work. This will prompt her to comment that what's sacred in the desert is not necessarily so in the woods, directing players that they need to look elsewhere for the proper item.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Malicia, see her Evil Plan.
  • Diagonal Billing: Though not a case of actual billing on the poster or box cover, the game design reflects this in how the lead characters are treated with equal importance. Both Valanice and Rosella star in three chapters each: Valanice in 1, 3 and 5, Rosella in 2, 4 and 6. Rosella appears above Valanice on the original box cover and is first to appear in the introduction, but Valanice stars in the first chapter. Rosella is the catalyst for the story and her chapters are more directly related to the central plot (saving Eldritch from the volcano and Malicia), but Valanice's final chapter is far longer than Rosella's, granting her more overall screentime. Valanice also appears in person in the final chapter, whereas Rosella never appears in any of Valanice's chapters. They contribute equally to helping the various citizens of Eldritch and the land would not have been saved without the efforts of both.
  • 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, Count 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.
  • Didn't See That Coming Edgar, unseen since King's Quest IV, is the fake King Otar
  • Easter Egg: As discovered by Chris Benshoof, clicking the / key twice before being captured by the Were Beast extends the death sequence, allowing you to hear up to 12 seconds of either Valanice or Rosella being devoured, complete with screams and chomping sounds.
  • 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.
  • Emerald Power: One of the ingredients Rosella needs to get for Mathilde in order to turn herself back into a human is a glowing green liquid called "Water of Emerald."
  • 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's pretty fond of doing this, especially in the last chapter. 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, and 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 Eavesdropping: Rosella in the Air-Vent Passageway, overhearing Malicia laying out her Evil Plan to blow up the volcano.
  • Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: Malicia.
  • Eyes Are Mental: The real King Otar and his impostor differ from each other in only two ways: their voices, and the color of their eyes. The real Otar has purple eyes, and the impostor has green eyes. This is foreshadowed early on when Rosella is locked in the bedchamber and there is a life-size portrait of Otar, with purple eyes, after having been in a lengthy cutscene featuring a green-eyed Otar. In the final battle, the only way to Spot the Impostor is by his eye color.
  • The Fair Folk: Averted. There are both malevolent and benevolent fairies.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: This world includes fairies, anthropomorphic animals, were-beasts, the undead, trolls, various figures from Classical mythology (including Attis and Ceres note  and the Moirai), and Shakespearian fairies (Oberon and Titania, Queen Mab).
  • 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. Fortunately, this is now downplayed, considering fan patches and third party interpreters have fixed the issue and few would be running the game on original hardware nowadays.
  • Foil: Oppy Goldsworth, the troll jewelsmith, who works alongside a troll blacksmith. While the blacksmith is a Casanova Wannabe who repulses Rosella with his sleazy come-ons, Oppy is much more polite, respectful and pleasantly surprises her with his charming demeanor.
  • Forced Transformation: 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. Valanice seems to quite enjoy her brief stint as a jackalope and laughs gleefully while tearing through the were woods.
  • Fountain of Youth: The Mysterious Device has this power, which Rosella uses to defeat Malicia.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Including the human characters.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Ricardo Eduardo Rodriguez Roo Rat.
  • Game-Over Man: Whenever you die, you cut to a screen where your current character will comment about her demise. Most of the time you get a helpful hint, but sometimes the comments are a bit more sarcastic and blunt.
    Valanice: Well, Valanice, drinking a pot of salt water wasn’t the smartest thing you’ve ever done!
    Rosella: Oh, that was BRILLIANT, Rosella! Next time we hide from the nasty fairy!
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The game is written so that events which occurred in previous chapters are sometimes referenced, as the player will have seen them, if not both characters. This doesn’t take into account that Valanice and Rosella’s stories run concurrently, and the narrative isn’t as linear as the chapter divisions (for example, some events from the beginning of Chapter 5 have already occurred by the end of Chapter 4). This can lead to some discrepancies:
    • In Chapter 4, the timeline indicates Valanice and Rosella both pass through The Wood of the Werefolk around the same time, only narrowly missing each other. Valanice cannot do this until she has restored the River of Life, which she can do in either Chapter 3 or 5. However, if you decide to wait until Chapter 5, Rosella will see the muddy river instead of flowing water. This means Valanice should still be around and not yet in Ooga Booga, but Rosella never encounters her.
    • Further to the above, Valanice can also give the mask to Ersatz in exchange for the rubber chicken in either Chapter 3 or 5, which is necessary so Feldspar can be awakened with its feather. If this is deferred until Chapter 5, Rosella will see the chicken still hanging in the Faux Shop. This makes Ersatz’s line about Valanice being acquitted out of place, as the chicken is required for Valanice to clear her name. It’s not a continuity issue if these actions are performed in Chapter 3, of course.
    • At the start of Chapter 5, should Valanice use the comb on the magic statuette to see Rosella's current whereabouts, the statuette will say she is back underground in the land of the volcano, where she was shown arriving at the end of Chapter 4. However, this cannot yet be possible, as Rosella does not even arrive in Falderal until after Valanice's acquittal, none of the Falderal residents have yet met Rosella, and Valanice can’t traverse the were woods without trading the statuette for the magic salve.
    • Given how short Rosella’s final chapter is compared to Valanice’s, one has to wonder how much time she spent watching the two troll kings fight before using the magic wand or how long she was imprisoned in the volcano before discovering she could dig herself out. If these decisions are made quickly, it doesn’t seem to allow Valanice enough time to do everything required of her in Etheria before Edgar takes her to the Vulcanix Underground.
  • Gender Flip: The German dub opted to make the crystal dragon male instead of female.
  • Giant Spider: Two of them, in different locations to boot. The first one is found in the Bountiful Woods and is big enough to eat a hummingbird. The second one is a human-sized spider in Ooga Booga that appears when you try climbing its web. You get the same death message from both of them, however.
    Valanice: Oh dear. I should be more careful around big spiders.
  • Global Airship: Valanice gets a magic flute that can summon Count 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."
  • Guide Dang It!: The first task of Chapter 6. The magic wand that can change the impostor troll king back has two settings, T and F, but unless you mouse over the one pixel at the bottom of the wand you'd never know. More annoying is that since it's a wand to change something back to its own shape, you'd think the T and F stand for True and False. Nope, they stand for Troll and Faerie, so using the wand set to T on the fake troll king won't work, and you don't find out that the false king is one of the faeries until after you change him back.
    • On the other hand, by this point you've used the wand set to T to transform the true king both into and out of his scarab form. It's more of a moon-logic puzzle to extrapolate that you need to set the wand to F before using it to transform the false king. By lucky coincidence, the true king is a troll and the false king is a faerie.
  • 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: Count 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.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: When Rosella thwarts the advances of a sleazy blacksmith by saying she's engaged to the king, he tries to let her down gently by saying their love was not meant to be — only to ask Rosella to let him know if the king dumps her.
  • 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..."
  • Invincible Boogeymen: Unlike most other foes, the Boogeyman in Ooga Booga cannot be killed, outsmarted, or otherwise defeated in any way. Your only option when he appears is to retreat to another area, and quickly.
  • It May Help You on Your Quest: The ghost of Colin Farwalker mentions this to Valanice when handing her either the rope or the bug-reducing powder.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Rosella and Ersatz have this reaction to several items on sale in his shop, such as lava lamps and artificial flavouring.
  • Jerkass: Rosella and Valanice each encounter a fair share of obnoxious characters throughout the story.
  • Jump Scare: When Valanice first sees Mab frozen in ice
  • Karma Houdini:
    • The snake oil salesman gets no comeuppance whatsoever for having you steal the magic statuette from the archduke for him.
    • The Boogeyman also gets away scot-free.
  • Large and in Charge: Rosella describes Malicia as a "tall, imposing woman" when asking a couple of trolls about her.
  • Leitmotif: Malicia has one.
  • Last-Second Ending Choice: Played with in that there is a single choice that determines which of the two endings you get, but the game doesn't prompt you about it at all.
  • Lava Is Boiling Kool-Aid: Rising lava is stopped by... a cobweb. To be fair it is a magic cobweb, but still...
  • 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.
  • Literal Metaphor:
    • The Crystal Dragon of the Vulcanix Underground is in a deep, lethargic depression when Rosella first meets her because she has lost her “spark.” In other words, she has lost her will to live because she can no longer breathe fire. Rosella reigniting her flame with a lit lantern also restores her zest for life.
    • When first arriving in Falderal, both Valanice and Rosella are told to "take the Faux Shop with a grain of salt." It's impossible to enter the shop unless they use salt crystals from the desert.
    • Dr. Cadaver is literally spineless when Rosella first meets 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."
  • The Lost Woods: The Wood of the Werefolk. Attis even tells you outright that no one has ever entered that wood and lived.
  • Magic Carpet: Instant transportation to Dreamland.
  • Makeup Is Evil: Malicia, the villain, is by far the most heavily made-up of the female characters. Lampshaded by Rosella and Valanice when scrutinising her vanity table.
    Rosella: Look at all that makeup! I wonder where she keeps the trowel.
    Valanice: No one’s probably seen her real face in years.
  • 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. And talks.
  • Magic Mirror: The one at the Town Hall, that pulls Valanice in.
    • Also the magic statuette, which looks like a mirror and can answer any question asked of it. Valanice can use it with Rosella's comb to get information on her daughter's whereabouts. According to the Snake Oil Salesman, it was once a plaything of Titania's when she was a child.
  • The Maze: The Desert, a confusing expanse of shifting sand.
  • Maybe Ever After: If Edgar is resurrected, then the Good Ending involves him and Rosella sharing a kiss but agreeing to travel and get to know each other before they settle down and get married, IF they get married at all.
  • Meaningful Name: Colin Farwalker was an explorer in life, Malicia is the main antagonist, and Dr. Cadaver is the town doctor of Ooga Booga (though he calls himself a coroner, since the undead don't exactly have a need for doctors.)
  • 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.
    • While transformed into a jackalope, Valanice acts like it.
  • Missed Him 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".
    • In Falderal, this is taken literally. Valanice must return the Moon to the sky before she can leave town. However, she cannot reach the Moon with her hands (the animation would suggest she is being illogical as she could just bend over). What she needs to do is get a book and exchange it with Roo Rat for a shepherd's crook in order to retrieve the Moon. She then uses a rubber chicken she receives from the mock turtle at the Faux Shop in exchange for a mask on a slingshot-like tree branch to fling the Moon into the sky.
  • Multiple Endings: Two of them, based on whether or not you revive Edgar with the cat's extra life.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Obby Goldsworth, the troll jeweler. Not only is he the only polite and charming troll, but he doesn't really care for most other trolls — besides Rosella, that is.
  • 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.
  • Nice Girl: Queen Valanice, Princess Rosella, Lady Ceres, and Titania.
  • Nice Guy: Oppy, the troll jeweler. He's one of the only male trolls who treats Rosella kindly and without harassment. Also, Fernando Bullworth, the proprietor of the China Shop of Falderal, Ersatz de Faux, owner of the Faux Shop of Falderal, Attis, Lord of the hunt is pretty decent when Queen Valance talks and hangs out and helps him, in The Bountiful Woods, and Dr. Mort Cadaver, doctor and coroner of Ooga Booga.
  • Nightmare Face: Countess 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 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.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Colin Farwalker, the Desert Spirit. Though ghostly white, he’s not transparent (possibly due to engine limitations), can interact with physical objects such as a clay pot and is capable of consuming water.
  • Our Nudity Is Different: The Half Dressed Cartoon Animals of Falderal are disturbed by humans and their lack of fur.
  • Painful Rhyme: Unused audio for attempting to trade the horseman’s medal with the roo rat has Valanice calling him out on this.
    Ricardo: Such a handsome, stunning medal. How about a nice tea kettle?
    Valanice: Here now! That did not exactly rhyme, did it?
    Ricardo: Oh really? Well, just go away! I’d like to see you rhyme all day!
  • Parental Hypocrisy: Rosella will refuse to wade through the muddy river in the Bountiful Woods because “mother always said don’t play in the mud.” Valanice, on the other hand, is happy to give it a go…and drown for trying (though she does call out her own foolishness in her “You Have Expired” message).
  • Parents Suck at Matchmaking: Queen Valanice thinks it's time for her daughter Princess Rosella to get married. One of the candidates that she favors the most is Prince Throckmorton, who Rosella dismisses as boring. Valanice tries to promote Throckmorton by citing his reliability. It doesn't work (and Throckmorton's hobby of conjugating Latin verbs can't be said to be a recommendation either).
  • 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.
  • Plot Hole: A deleted segment from chapter 4 featured Rosella meeting Attis (in either his human or stag form, depending on Valanice's actions in chapter 3), where Rosella first learns that her mother is searching for her and Attis discovers that Malicia is responsible for all that has gone wrong. Attis also reveals that Malicia is Titania's sister in this discussion. There is no explanation in the final game as to how Attis learns of Malicia's involvement, and Titania's importance to the plot becomes muddled without knowing who she is until the very end.
    • Funnily enough, one reason this sequence might’ve been cut was to avoid creating an even bigger plot hole, as it wouldn’t make much sense for stag Attis to suggest Valanice had made her way to Etheria when she can’t even pass into Ooga Booga without restoring him into a human.
  • Point of No Return:
    • Only two of note: The elevator from Vulcanix to Ooga Booga (which collapses at the end of chapter 2 or the beginning of chapter 4) and the Were Woods after Rosella uses the Silver Bullet in chapter 4 and Valanice uses the Were Beast Salve in chapter 5 (though in the latter case only until she rescues Count Tsepish and gets his flute).
    • Once Rosella enters the powder room in Falderal, the door jams and she’s unable to leave. Likewise, she can’t return after descending the secret passageway.
  • Portal Pool: The pond in the Daventry castle gardens somehow magically transports Rosella and Valanice to the realm of Eldritch.
  • Proper Lady: Despite the urgency of her mission to find Rosella, Queen Valanice won’t hesitate to critique “tacky” decor or bemoan any “dreadful housekeeping” she encounters.
  • 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.
  • Raise Him Right This Time: In both endings, baby Malicia is given to Oberon and Titania so she can "start over again". Although in the bad ending, Titania is understandably less enthusiastic about it, as their son is dead.
  • 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. (Like the Boogeyman, this usually only happens if you remain on one screen for too long. Keeping Valanice moving will help avoid this.)
  • Rebellious Princess: A Deconstruction. Rosella's response to arranged marriage is jumping into the first enchanted pool she comes across, resulting in her being separated from her mother and playing into Malicia’s hands. Rosella’s Character Development is toning down her reckless rebelliousness, whilst still keeping her assertiveness and strong will.
  • Retcon: In King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella, Edgar was Lolotte's actual deformed son, as Genesta explicitly stated she transformed his outer appearance to reflect his pure heart. Here, the story is modified so that Lolotte kidnapped Edgar from his true parents, Oberon and Titania, and twisted his body and mind to make him think he was her son, thus rendering Genesta's spell as merely restoring his original appearance.
  • 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."
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: No information about the lost desert civilization is ever learned. Even the land's *name* can only be found by digging into the game files *outside* of gameplay. note 
  • 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, though Valanice’s actions certainly contribute to her success.
  • Say My Name: Frequently.
  • Scary Jack-in-the-Box: In the treehouse 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.
  • Scenery Porn: Thanks to the hand-painted backgrounds, there is a lot of it. Special mention goes to the paradisiac floating gardens of Etheria, but the desert and the Bountiful Woods are also beautiful.
  • Schmuck Bait: A couple of times in Ooga Booga:
    • One gravestone's epitaph explicitly warns against standing on the grave, because the fellow buried within "might pop up and nab ye". Surely a jest, right?
    • At one point the ghoul kids invite Rosella into their treehouse, clearly snickering to each other about something. But hey, what harm could a couple of kids do?
  • 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.
  • Selective Condemnation: Downplayed in that no murder is involved, but Valanice is only arrested when she “steals” the moon, and is immediately cleared upon “returning” it. The Arch Duke seems relatively unconcerned with her having actually stolen the magic statuette from his office.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: Oddly, neither Graham or Alexander show up or even get a mention. Then again, Valanice and Rosella spend most of the game far from Daventry.note 
  • Ship Tease: Oppy Goldsworth with Rosella. He's a surprisingly polite and charming troll who (in contrast to his sleazy blacksmith coworker) surprises Rosella by warmly greeting and complimenting her. He even gasps and stares at Rosella for a long moment before warmly smiling when he first meets her!
    Rosella: Excuse me? I didn't mean to startle you, sir. I am Rosella of Daventry.
    Oppy: Oh, that's all right. I don't mind being interrupted by someone as charming as yourself. What can I do for you?
    Rosella: Why, you're the most polite troll I've ever met! Oh, I-I'm sorry. I didn't meant to...
    Oppy: Don't apologize, my dear, I quite understand. I can't tolerate the company of most other trolls myself. Oppy Goldsworth, Master Jeweler, at your service.
    Rosella: You don't like other trolls? You must be so lonely, Obby.
    Oppy: Oh, I am, Rosella...
  • Shout-Out: Loads, from man-eating jive-talking plants to the title. They even managed one to M.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Valanice might be a Proper Lady, but she's just as resourceful, determined, and able to handle herself in a crisis as the rest of her Badass Family.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: Valanice and Rosella's stories run, for the most part, concurrently with each other.
  • Slapstick: Being the protagonists of this adventure, both Rosella and Valanice are not immune to whatever gruesome (and hilarious) fates that happen whenever you fail.
  • Smooch of Victory: During the end sequence between Rosella and Edgar in the good ending.
  • Someday This Will Come in Handy: Nearly every piece of information you get in the first two chapters will be useful, if not in that chapter, then in the middle or end of the game. Sometimes both.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: A music puzzle in Etheria involving a harp.
  • Spinventory: Some puzzles can only be solved by looking at an inventory item from all directions.
  • Spot the Impostor: The game's final battle starts with Rosella having to tell the fake troll king from the real one, in order to turn the fake one back to his true self.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The Boogeyman makes it no secret that he's got the hots for Countess Tsepish.
    • In hindsight, Edgar is this, but it's not really his fault. Sure, he's had a crush on Rosella since they met, so kidnapping her and trying to force her to marry him falls under this, but arguably it was just his way of asking for help and botching it because he was confused and morally compromised due to Malicia.
  • Standalone Episode: In an effort to reach younger and novice computer users, the game was intentionally designed and advertised as this (although knowledge of the fourth game will make the ending somewhat clearer.)
  • 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!)
  • Statuesque Stunner: Princess Rosella, and Malicia, Ceres, Titania, Elspeth Tsepish, especially for older ladies.
  • Stock Animal Diet: Valanice calms Count Tsepish's dog by tossing a bone at him.
  • Strapped to a Rocket: Judging from concept art and unused animation, this is what happens when the ghoul kids catch you in their treehouse.
  • Suffer the Slings: Rosella deals with the were-bear in the woods by slinging a lump of silver at him.
  • Swan Boats: Oberon and Titania use one to get around Etheria. Rosella and Edgar borrow it for their tour of Etheria in the good ending, but the bad ending has the bereaved king and queen ride away in a black one instead.
  • 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, the sap turns to real 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, King Otar jumps in the way of a blast of magic from Malicia, aimed at her nephew, Edgar. Luckily, it only knocks him out.
  • Talking Animal: Various animals are able to communicate with the heroines, amongst them a cat, a dog, and a stag. The stag, being an enchanted human or faerie whose transformation was not fully complete, may downplay this.
  • 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.
  • The Real Remington Steele: While you (probably) caught a glimpse of Countess Elspeth earlier, she has no relevance to the plot beyond Have a Nice Death until some time after Rosella impersonates her to escape Ooga Booga.
  • Threads of Fate: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos appear in the land of Etheria, which floats in the clouds much like some depictions of Olympus and sports many parallels to Greek mythology there. While the natives are called faeries a la A Midsummer Night's Dream rather than gods, Clotho still spins, Lachesis measures, and Atropos cuts just like in Greek mythology.
  • Thirsty Desert: Valanice ends up in one at the start of the game. Lampshaded by Colin Farwalker, a ghost who died in the desert and is eternally desperate for water.
  • Timed Mission:
    • After Valanice acquires the lit firecracker, she only has a short amount of time to blow open Count Tsepish’s tomb before it explodes in her pocket.note 
    • The final sequence of the game, where Rosella must escape from the inside of the volcano and make her way back to the control room to wake up King Otar so he can stop the impending eruption. Failure to do so in time results in the volcano erupting.
  • 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.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: It's implied that the Boogeyman did this after the murder of Count Tsepish, the ruler of Ooga Booga. He's specifically stated to have even been responsible for burning down the Tsepish Manor, and even flirts with his still grieving widow, Countess Elspeth.
  • The Undead: Everyone in Ooga Booga.
  • Undead Child: As mentioned above, the entire population of Ooga Booga is undead, and there are also two kids among them.
  • Undeathly Pallor: Almost all inhabitants of Ooga Booga have pale blue or greenish skin, making it obvious that they are The Undead.
  • Undying Loyalty: Black Valiant, Count 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.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Lord Attis is never shown directly thanking Valanice for restoring him and Lady Ceres to their human forms. However, very much downplayed in that Attis is dealing with many emotions: firstly, trying to heal his wife while she was still a tree, and then beside himself with shock and joy to see her as a human again. As well, once Ceres was saved, he had the more urgent threat of the volcano to immediately deal with, and was always unfailingly kind to Valanice in all of their earlier interactions. He also didn’t hesitate to save her from the swamp monster when she needed him most.
  • 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.
  • Updated Re Release: 1995 saw the release of Version 2.00b, with enhanced Windows 95 compatibility. The engine was refined to allow the game to run faster, the save options were expanded, and the game-breaking bugs were finally eliminated. As well, one death for Rosella was cut to make a certain section easier.
  • 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:
    • 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.
  • Voices Are Mental: The easiest way to tell King Otar and his impostor apart are by their voices.
  • Voice of the Legion: The Boogeyman. Also Countess Tsepish. She subverts it later, as her voice loses this effect when she removes her veil.
  • Wackyland: The land of dreams, as experienced by Valanice. To a lesser extent, Etheria.
  • Warp Whistle: Count Tsepish's flute summons his horse Necomancer, allowing Valanice to get to Etheria. From there, she can slide down rainbows to get to almost anywhere in Eldritch.
  • Warp Zone: The rainbow bridges in 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 turquoise bead in order not to trigger the refilling of the well. Downplayed in that weight and volume are irrelevant: the idol simply wants something else made of turquoise in exchange.
  • A Weighty Aesop: Valanice declines Ricardo's offer of a chocolate malt (in exchange for a grain of salt) by saying she needs to watch her figure.
    • Rosella is less concerned about this and asks if he has strawberry flavored malt instead. She does decline...but only because he doesn't have strawberry.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Despite Lord Attis telling Lady Ceres in Chapter 5 that he must help defend Eldritch against the volcano, he is not seen in Chapter 6 aiding Oberon, Titania and Mab’s defence system.
  • Wicked Witch: Malicia.
  • Widow's Weeds: The grieving Countess Tsepish wears a long black veil. Rosella takes an identical veil as a disguise once she escapes imprisonment in Ooga Booga with the real King Otar.
  • World in the Sky: Etheria.
  • You Monster!: If you don't revive Edgar in the end, the grief-stricken Titania shouts this at Malicia for killing him.
  • You Shouldn't Know This Already:
    • Valanice cannot use Rosella’s comb to cry into the statue’s bowl until players have clicked the comb on her at least once, thus revealing it as an object which causes her to cry on cue.
    • Rosella can't use burning sulfur to knock the blacksmith unconscious until she has eavesdropped on the troll ladies in the mud bath discussing the use of burning sulfur as a sleeping aid. Nor can she call on the gravedigger to dig up Otar's grave until the cat tells her where Otar's grave is. Similarly, Valanice can't ask the Rock Spirit how to cure Attis and Ceres until Attis has told her about the Rock Spirit.

Alternative Title(s): Kings Quest VII