King’s Quest 1 – Day 1

King?s Quest 1
Ahh, King’s Quest. Thanks to DOSBOX and a little bit of help from a front end (DFend) and I’m up and running with a beautiful PC speaker representation of Greensleeves. Thanks Sierra!

King?s Quest 1
So, here’s the first thing you’ll see when you start your game. That’s you, Sir Graham, in his jaunty traveling hat. You’re in the Kingdom of Daventry. Seems like a nice enough, pleasant sort of place. Nice castle, with a moat, and even alligators to help keep the peace. First things first, I wanted to go and see who was in the castle. I’m assuming it’s the King, who’s going to give me a clue as to what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s been long enough since I’ve played this game that I’m going to need all the help I can get.

King?s Quest 1
So crossing the bridge, I end up in the moat, and my first death. Probably one of many dozens that I?ll encounter along the way.

Restarting my game, I navigate across the bridge successfully this time around and I make my way into the castle and talk with the king. It seems Daventry had 3 magic items – a mirror, a shield, and a chest – that helped keep it safe and prosperous. King Edward lost them through shady deals and if I can find them I will be appointed his heir.

King?s Quest 1
Leaving the castle I wander about the countryside. I find a shack, which seems to have the kingdom?s only other human residents so far, and they are dirt poor. Just sitting at the empty table and waving their arms around madly when I talk with them. They are hungry, or so they say.

With a bit more traveling, I run into a ton of great treasure just laying about the kingdom. Graham finds an elf who just gives him a magic ring, a fairy who blesses him for being nice, a dagger, a golden egg, a four leaf clover, a carrot (maybe I should clue the woodcutter into the field of carrots behind the castle…), a bag of diamonds, and my favorite, a never-ending bowl of stew just sitting on the ground in the woods. What’s up with Daventry anyways? Why is this laying about? The king could get back to his prosperity if he just took a walk through his countryside picking up the things that must be garbage in this magical place.

Of course I run into lots of things to kill Graham as well. A witch. A wolf. A wizard. A troll blocks my way on a bridge. Graham also drowned while taking a quick dip in a lake, because I didn’t type swim fast enough. I’ve learned to travel on the edges of the screens just in case something pops up to try and kill me. That and lots and lots of saving.

King?s Quest 1
The graphics are very dated. Sometimes you wonder what you are really looking at. It’s a battle trying to find out exactly what you need to type to actually look, or take anything on a screen. Still it?s impressive when you think this is 20+ years old and state of the art at the time. Take a look at the tree above. I thought they were pine cones at first, but a simple “take nut” rewarded me with a nut. Eating it also yielded me a gold nugget as well. I’m starting to like this place. What else might be lying around once I take over?

King?s Quest 1
I took my magic bowl of stew to the woodcutter as he seemed hungry. If he couldn’t be bothered to pick a few carrots, why not bring the food to him! With some energetic arm waving, he and his wife were hungry no more and Graham was able to take their fiddle in thanks and play them a jig, and I’m also rewarded with more points!

King?s Quest 1
After a bit more exploration of the countryside, I think it’s about time to get down to figuring out how to acquire the 3 magic items. Maybe figuring out how to get into the door in the mountain would be a good first step?

Time played: 1:03 hours
Deaths: 7
Score: 51 of 158 (Sweet, almost 1/3 of the way there!)

Blogging Quest – King’s Quest I – Day 0

Welcome to Blogging Quest. This is going to be my attempt to play through all of the Sierra ?Quest? games, one by one, and blogging everything along the way. Where better to start than with King’s Quest I – Quest for the Crown, the very first of the many Quest?s we?ll undertake.

Where to start with Sierra and me? I’ve talked previously about my love of Sierra games, and blogged my memories of playing Kings Quest 4 and Space Quest 3. They were the first games company that I really knew and was a fan of as a kid. I didn’t realize it at first, but my first exposure to Sierra was in the Apple/Commodore lab at my elementary school. Troll’s Tale was what we got to play after finishing up with Oregon Trail, or other educational games. And my next experience was on my grandma’s Apple IIe, with Cranston Manor. These games settled me into an irrational love of adventure games.

My first introduction to King’s Quest must have been around 1985/1986. My nerdy friends and I all played computer games, with only a few of them having a NES, so computer games were the common language of games between us all. A friend, Jeff if I remember right, came to school one day and was going on and on about this game he’d just played. It was great! You could walk around behind things, in front of them. You typed in what you wanted to do. You wanted to open a door? Type “Open Door” and it opened, right there on the screen! It understood you! (You could even type in bad words and it would chastise you.) Sweet!

Of course during the days of old, everyone traded and copied games for each other, so he quickly gave me the disk, which thanks to his IMB PCjr wouldn’t work on my sweet Amstrad 1512. Nevertheless, we played it at his place, and I learned the simple joys of the never ending Sierra deaths, and found to save early, save often was essential when playing a Sierra game (and even then, you could screw up and have to restart!). I began my love of the Sierra adventure game that would last me for many many years to come.

King’s Quest I was originally created to be a showcase piece for IBM’s new PCjr line of computers. It was to take advantage of the great new graphics and sound that the PCjr was offering over the competition. It was amazing at the time for an adventure game. You could see the protagonist. You could walk through the scenes and interact with them, where before they were just static screens. It wasn’t long before the game was ported to other systems, including a wide PC release, along with the Apple II, Amiga and others.

I’ll be playing the 1987 wide release of the game for DOS, it’s essentially the same as the original 1984 release, but made to run on EGA computers, and not just on the Tandy 1000 or PCjr. For a bit more history on the game and other info check out the Wikipedia page on it.

Coming soon! Day 1 of Blogging Quest – King’s Quest I – Quest for the Crown!