- The fantasy is yours.
The player controls Thayer Alcanred, an apprentice magician and last of a magically-blessed bloodline. His mentor tasks him with finding the pieces of the almighty Hand of Quoid before the evil wizard Sorsabal. The game's main goal, however, is to deal with Sorsabal's pawn, Torlock, who killed the rightful king and queen and now sits on their throne. Under his despotic reign the land has become a place of chaos where where evil lurks around every corner.
A sequel incorporating the second half of Thayer's quest was planned, but the developers went bankrupt before it could be completed (probably owing to the system it was created for going for something in the ballpark of $2500). When CD-based consoles and computers made the format more accessible in the 1990s, Thayer's Quest was given a facelift (creator Rick Dyer thought the original game was "too 70's") and rereleased as Kingdom: The Far Reaches. The second game completing the story, Kingdom: Shadoan, was also finally completed and released not long after.
Unlike games such as Dragon's Lair and Space Ace, which only required the player to tell their character where to move or when to attack in accordance with the animation, Thayer's Quest was a full-on Adventure Game. The player had complete control over Thayer's movement from area to area, accumulating items to let him defeat enemies and escape traps.
Thayer's Quest provides examples of:
- All There in the Manual: The game has a very elaborate backstory which is
barelycontextually mentioned during the game.
- Also, listen carefully to every NPC. If you get stuck, thank your impatience.
- Dumb Muscle: The guard of the bridge which will lead us to the endspiel, according to his body proportions, voice and... oh hell, his face.
- On the other side, he knows every law of The Elder Kings.
- Elemental Embodiment: At one point in the desert, Thayer must find three element-based monsters: water, earth, and fire.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Can't find the healing point and your pouch is overfilled? No worries! Make Thayer die and he will respawn with not even a single scratch.
- Sometimes, it's clearly averted, though... Try to use a spell which is obligatory to use to beat the game in the wrong place and you lose it forever. Seriously.
- Filming for Easy Dub: Most scenes have variations with alternate dialogue. These scenes are animated with little to no on-screen lip movement.
- Have a Nice Death: Return to the bridge guy after you give him the Silver Wheat and you'll get his job. Like, forever.
- Alternately, use The Spell of Seeing in the Hedge Maze and Isonbey will PWN you for using magic in this place.
- Infinity +1 Sword: The strongest weapon in the first game is the Blood Sword of the Elder Kings, which kind of weirdly is not one of the pieces of the almighty artifact you're questing to find, and is a more effective weapon than the piece that is a weapon, the Black Mace. Averted in the second game where you find the Dagger of Arne, which is both a piece of the Hand and works better than the Blood Sword.
- Karma Meter: Doesn't really influence the gameplay but rather shows your rank after you beat the game or lose all your lives.
- MacGuffin: The Hand of Quoid, split onto five relics.Druce: The relics! The relics are important!
- The Many Deaths of You: Make the wrong move or face a trap with only one point of health and you're a goner.
- Obvious Beta: The game itself is actually playable, but it ends only when you approach The Far Reaches (ironically, because the re-release of Thayer's Quest got a name of Kingdom: The Far Reaches and this kingdom never makes an appearance till Shadoan). Rumor has it that animation for all five kingdoms was drawn... which never made it to the game.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Two, actually, but if you lost one, there were only two places to restore your health: at the waterfall and the monk in Illes. Thankfully, they're not hard to find.
- Plot Coupon That Does Something: The ultimate goal of the game is to assemble the Black Mace, Orb of Mobus, the Hunting Horn, the Dagger of Arne and the Crown of Malric. Each are used to solve puzzles on their own too.
- Stripped to the Bone: Quite a few of the deaths results in Thayer melting or rotting to the bone.