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Video Game / The Silver Lining

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A Fan Sequel to the King's Quest series currently being produced by Phoenix Online Studios. Formerly known as King's Quest IX: Every Cloak Has A Silver Lining, The Silver Lining brings back the characters from the old series and attempts to bring some closure to the story of the first family of Daventry. Currently, four of the five episodes have been released.

The game is probably more well known for the story behind its production than the actual gameplay. After announcing their intentions and gain a lot of hype, they received a cease and desist order from Vivendi Universal (who owned the rights to King's Quest). After a strong effort from the community, they were able to continue producing the game, provided that they remove the words "King's Quest" from the name. They continued their work only to receive another cease and desist right before they were ready to release the game, this time from Activision (who had gained the rights to Sierra games from Vivendi). After much discussion, they were able to get that one overturned as well.

The story of the game is as follows. During the wedding of Rosella and Edgar, a stranger in a black cloak crashes the party and casts a spell which puts both Rosella and Alexander in a coma. Graham decides that he must don his adventurer's cap one more time to undo the curse. During this, he uncovers a much deeper plot related to the Black Cloak Society.

Episodes released so far:

  • Episode 1: "What is Decreed Must Be" (July 18, 2010)
  • Episode 2: "Two Households" (September 18, 2010)
  • Episode 3: "My Only Love Sprung From My Only Hate" (February 17, 2011)
  • Episode 4: "'Tis in My Memory Locked. And You Yourself Shall Hold The Key Of It" (November 6, 2011)
  • Episode 5: "A Thousand Times Goodnight" (TBD)

This game provides examples of:

  • Anime Hair: Lampshaded by the narrator if Graham attempts to take more than one lock of Alexander's hair.
  • Arc Welding: The game canonizes, for the lack of a better term, the Black Cloak Society, mentioned in letters from King's Quest VI, to which belongs every villain the Daventry Royal Family faced since the first game.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: The narrator (and sometimes Graham himself) are very fond of lampshading stuff.
  • BFS: Apparently, Saladin traded his scimitar for a claymore.
  • Big Bad: Shadrack is the main antagonist: he places Rosella and Alexander in a magical coma, threatens to kill Rosella if Valanice does not open Pandora's Box, and, at the end of episode 4, attacks Graham in person to stop him from cotinuing his quest.
  • Captain Ersatz: The narrator is female and seems to have intimate knowledge of the game world. Of course, she is so totally not a stand-in for Roberta Williams.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Shadrack and the Black Cloak Society in general. Seriously, their motto is "May you walk in shadows".
  • Clever Crows: Morrigan, the Guardian of the Forest, takes the shape of a huge raven.
  • Cool Old Guy: King Graham.
  • Cut Short: Wikipedia mentions that Phoenix Online Studios no longer holds the license to develop the final chapter of the game. So the game ends with a cliffhanger and all these years waiting for a proper ending was for naught.
  • Darker and Edgier: Doubtlessly the darkest of King's Quest games. It even continually tops itself: the game's episodes get progressively grimmer with each new release, with the third one being downright scary.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In Episode 1, Lord Azure states that Graham can travel the Winged Ones's city if he could fly there. In Episode 4, he can. It takes some prodding from Graham and Ariel, but he holds up to his promise.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: In Episode 4, you play Valanice and have to open Pandora's box, otherwise Shadrack kills Rosella.
  • Fanon Dis Continuity: Averted. While the game is clearly following up on the events of KQ VI and VII, it does reference (in Broad Strokes) Mask of Eternity, the franchise's installment that is most reviled by fans.
  • Fan Sequel: The game was originally purpoted to be King's Quest IX, taking place after the canonical eighth game at the time, Mask of Eternity. The developers managed to keep the premise of being a King's Quest sequel, but dropped the connection to its parent series.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: By virtue of being a King's Quest game.
  • Hypocrite: Some Winged Ones look down on humans with disgust and yet, that doesn't stop them from enjoying a Shakespearean play, which was written by a human. There's also books about Hollywood in a stand.
  • Info Dump: The developers wanted to make sure that people who hadn't played the original series would still be able to pick it up and enjoy it. This is their usual solution. The game goes into a lot of detail about the history of things in the world.
  • Interface Screw: In episode 4, when Shadrack rocks the boat, your amulet (who also act as your attack/defend icons) spin out of control.
  • Jerkass: Practically all of the Winged Ones except for the guards and Lady Ariel, particularly Lady Celeste. In KQVI, they used to be aloof and haughty, but here, they are outright assholes.
  • Lawful Stupid: The female guard dog that won't let Graham into the throne room "for safety reasons".
    • Or Properly Paranoid, given that you can actually die if you go too far into the throne room...
  • Legion of Doom: The Black Cloak Society, referenced in letters in King's Quest VI, becomes this in The Silver Lining, as in, every villain from previous installments are members of this society.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator could become this at times. But when she does, she really does. One game over even involves Graham suffering death by boredom when the narrator goes on an extremely long rambling tangent.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Played with. Graham averts this early in the game by wearing his royal attire, but switches to his iconic adventure clothes for the rest of the series.
  • The Many Deaths of You: In episode 3, you can die in many different ways. There's even a contest to find them all!
    • The walkthrough site has a list of them. For the whole game, although Episode 4 is pending.
  • The Maze: There's a giant hedge maze on the Isle of the Beast.
  • Medium Awareness / No Fourth Wall: The narrator and Graham are very well aware that they are in an adventure game, and often engage in amusing banter. Sometimes, they will even address the player.
    • It's also pretty amusing to make Graham sit down on a chair and listen to what the narrator says.
    • "A black rose bathed in the blood of one who wishes to travel into the Realm of Dreams. Not going to find that in Wal-Mart."
  • Modest Royalty: Discussed and lampshaded. Both the narrator and Graham note that the protagonist feels much more at ease in adventurer's garb than in royal regalia.
    • Both used and averted by Prince Cocteau and Beauty. Although they prefer privacy and solitude, the narrator points out the Prince's taste for luxury and comfort.
  • Nostalgia Level: Valanice's nightmare in episode 3.
  • One-Man Band: In one part of the game, Graham has to simultaneously play four instruments: a lute, a drum, a harp, a horn and fly at the same time.
  • Our Banshees Are Louder: When you first encounter The Guardian of the Forest, he takes the shape of a banshee-like hag that can kill you with its loud wail!
  • Public Domain Artifact: Pandora's box, the infamous box (although others translated it as a type of urn) from Greek mythology, appears as the MacGuffin the Big Bad wants.
  • Plot Coupon: Spell ingredients you must collect to advance the plot.
  • Purple Prose: When the game came out, people complained about the wordiness of the narrator, so the developers added the option of short narration.
  • Rebellious Princess: Conversations in the game portray Rosella as this. At one point, she convinced Cassima to steal the ferry and travel to the Isle of Mist, but Alexander and Edgar stopped her.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: A poster on the forums for the game provides the page quote. "I'd argue that the cynical nature of these really hurt our ability to hope and work for better."
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer for episode 4 show that one of the mermaid will ride in a hot air balloon and that you can visit the city of the Winged Ones with winged shoes.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Alexander, as mentioned by Cassima, Jollo, and Saladin. Incredibly antisocial due to living most of his life as a slave.
  • Unexpected Game Play Change: The action sequences in episode 3 and 4.
  • Unwinnable by Design: Unlike old Sierra games, TSL consciously avoids this trope.
  • Verbal Tic: The female guard dog in episode 3 takes her job very seriously, to the point where she talks very loudly and ends each sentence as if she were asking a question.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: It's a G-rated game, but Graham can be incredibly cruel to the some of the creatures he meets. He lights a walking-cup creature on fire to evaporate salt water to get salt, and against Mag-Gnat, you lure him into a trap that involves him getting smacked in the head with a key.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Another of The Many Deaths of You (although it really isn't You, per se...) in episode 3. You can actually murder Rosella in her sleep.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Graham has a vision where Manannan claims this toward Alexander.
  • The Wise Prince: Conversations between Graham and both Cassima and Saladin portray Alexander as this, although he is a King.