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King's Quest III: To Heir is Human (Apple II)

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Description

King Graham and Queen Valanice had two children, Alexander and Rosella, and the kingdom was once peaceful. It wasn't long until Alexander was snatched from his crib and things started to take a turn for the worse. A three-headed dragon threatens the ever-peaceful Daventry, and requires a maiden to be sacrificed every year. Rosella is the chosen one.

Meanwhile, in a secluded house atop a mountain in the land of Llewdor, the evil wizard called Manannan keeps a young lad named Gwydion as his slave, forcing him to do menial tasks as he prepares his spells and observes the country through his telescope. Gwydion must find a way to outsmart the wizard, escape, and eventually discover the truth about his own identity.

King's Quest III: To Heir is Human is an adventure game similar in basic gameplay mechanics to its predecessor The player navigates Gwydion with arrow keys and interacts with the environment by typing verb and noun combination commands. Llewdor consists of interconnected screens that loop once the player character reaches the border of the land. Throughout the course of the game, Gwydion will also travel to other locations and have a magic map at his disposal, allowing him to teleport to different areas.

There are more items to collect in this installment, and more complex actions required to execute, raising the difficulty level. A large part of the game proceeds in real time, with Mannanan following his own schedule, forcing the player to plan and time his actions. There is also a time limit imposed on the game's first major quest.

Screenshots

King's Quest III: To Heir is Human Apple II This is Manannan, and you shouldn't go messing with him
King's Quest III: To Heir is Human Apple II Whatever you do, don't look at Medusa, or you shall pay with your life
King's Quest III: To Heir is Human Apple II This is what could happen to Gwydion if he doesn't do what he's told
King's Quest III: To Heir is Human Apple II Outside the house

Alternate Titles

  • "KQ3" -- Common abbreviation
  • "King's Quest III" -- In-game title

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Trivia

Copy protection

While not being a formal copy protection scheme, you needed the manual to complete this game. It contained spells that you eventually used to advance in the quest. However, Compute's Official book of King's Quest did list all of them and one could purchase a copy for half the price of the game if the manual was "lost".

In the years after King's Quest III was published, the idea of using the manual as a copy protection technique became a de facto with almost every games until the CD-ROM replaced diskettes as the distribution media.

Graphics

  • If you had CGA and the wizard used a powerful spell, the entire screen shook. (This was an intentional special effect.) This was accomplished by tweaking the CGA registers to scroll the screen left and right rapidly.
  • This is the first game of the series in which the characters have pink(ish) skin. Although in the final scene of the game, when you return with Rosella to the King and Queen, King Graham, still has yellow skin, as he did in the first two games.

Innovations

King's Quest III introduces an automapping system to the genre: a magic map, found in the game, can be used to teleport to most of the explored locations.

Sound

King's Quest III is the only AGI game (i.e. a game using Sierra's AGI, Adventure Game Interpreter) in which turning the sound off causes an effect besides just silencing the game: In the wizard's laboratory, when you prepare the spells listed in the manual, some background music normally plays while you work, but if you turn the sound off, the game instead subtitles the experience by displaying a message reading "A mysterious music fills the laboratory!" when you start, and if you mess up on making the spell, another message pops up saying "The mysterious music stops. What could this mean?" It's a small thing, but notable since this kind of subtitling wasn't common in Sierra's graphic adventures.

Information also contributed by Adam Luoranen, game nostalgia, Jayson Firestorm and Olivier Masse

Related Web Sites

  • Infamous Adventures (Download King's Quest III remake for free)
  • KQ3 Hints (Stuck in King's Quest 3? These hints by Robert Norton will help you solve this game.)
  • ScummVM (supports the DOS, Macintosh, Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIgs versions of King's Quest III under Windows, Linux, Macintosh and other platforms.)
  • Walkthrough on Games Over (No frills walkthrough. Each and every action you should take to complete the game.)
*Katakis* (37827) added King's Quest III: To Heir is Human (Apple II) on Jan 23, 2004
Other platforms contributed by POMAH (34881), Andy Roark (253), Scaryfun (11974), TapeWyrm (6) and Belboz (6517)