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King's Quest

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Atari ST
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King's Quest is an adventure game where you play Sir Graham, a brave knight who is sent on a quest to retrieve three treasures that were stolen by deception and stealth: a shield that protects its bearer from invaders, a mirror that foretells the future, and a treasure chest that is forever filled with gold. If Graham takes these treasures back to the royal castle, then the ailing King Edward the Benevolent will hand over the crown. During his travels, Graham will meet characters that will either help or hinder him.

You move Graham around with arrow keys, and perform actions by typing commands into the game, usually a verb/noun sequence. Some of the puzzles in the game rely on fairy tales, and a good knowledge of them is needed to complete them.


King's Quest Atari ST Near a river.
King's Quest Apple II A rotten log.
King's Quest Amiga There are many trees along the countryside.
King's Quest Amiga The start of the game. Standing outside of the castle.

Alternate Titles

  • "KQ1" -- Common abbreviation
  • "King's Quest: Quest for the Crown" -- 1987 re-release title
  • "King's Quest 1" -- Informal title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The original King of Computer Games. DOS Vaelor (377)
Grossly overrated. DOS NatsFan (132)
A proto-type, not a classic DOS jTrippy (63)
Has actually only historical significance DOS אולג 小奥 (168979)
Welcome to the wonderful world of King's Quest. DOS *Katakis* (37805)
The one that started it all... DOS Indra is here (19706)
An oldie, but not a goodie DOS Late (97)
Original classic adventure game that started the best adventure series of all time! DOS OlSkool_Gamer (99)
Truly one of the classics PC Booter Andy Roark (253)
The daddy of all adventure games. DOS Scott Bergstrom (2)

The Press Says

The DOS Spirit DOS Dec 01, 2007 6 out of 6 100
Adventure Classic Gaming DOS Sep 20, 1999 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Tilt DOS Jun, 1987 15 out of 20 75
Jeuxvideo.com DOS Jan 17, 2014 15 out of 20 75
Jeuxvideo.com PC Booter Jan 17, 2014 15 out of 20 75
Defunct Games SEGA Master System Aug 26, 2006 65 out of 100 65
Just Games Retro DOS Mar 18, 2007 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft Amiga 1993 50 out of 100 50
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft Atari ST 1993 48 out of 100 48
Game Freaks 365 SEGA Master System 2000 2.8 out of 10 28


Topic # Posts Last Post
Any other adventure games like KQ1&3? 11 אולג 小奥 (168979)
Mar 30, 2012


Code Decryption

The developers used encryption to hide code from prying eyes. The encryption key was Avis Durgan. However, according to PC Gamer (July 2000), nobody can remember why this key was chosen or who Avis Durgen is -- not even Ken Williams!

.. but Al Lowe does remember:
Avis was Jeff Stephenson's wife's maiden name. I guess he was in love!


Originally developed by Sierra On Line and produced by IBM as a show piece for the IBM PCjr. The game was later produced by Sierra and was the foundation of the best-selling King's Quest series.


Sir Graham was so named because of designer Roberta Williams' fondness for graham crackers.

IBM Front Cover

Check out the IBM box's front cover--it has a completely wrong description and picture of King's Quest; this is because the box ad copy was written before the game was completed.


From 1995 through 1996 Boulevard Books published a trilogy of novels inspired by the King's Quest game setting of Daventry and featuring members of its royal family as the main protagonists:
  • The Floating Castle (1995), by Craig Mills, dealing with adventures Prince Alexander experiences between the events of King's Quests V and VI;
  • The Kingdom of Sorrow (1996), by Kenyon Morr, filling in some blanks regarding King Graham's activities between King's Quests II and III; and
  • See No Weevil (1996), also by Kenyon Morr, taking place seven years after the Kingdom of Sorrow and giving Graham's daughter, Princess Rosella, a chance to rule as regent during a crisis.


The flag of Daventry, as seen in the throne room, is in fact the flag of Sierra Leone. This is actually a pun referring to the development company, Sierra On-Line.

References to the Game

The website Homestarrunner.com created a game named Peasent's Quest quite similar to King's Quest. It has EGA graphics, text based typing, and the main character Rather Dashing is designed a little like Sir Graham.


A complete version of King's Quest is available on Classic Games Collection CD featured with the July 2000 issue of PC Gamer Magazine.

Rumpelstilskin Puzzle

One puzzle, naming the gnome's real name must have been deemed too hard (or obscure) in the original version of King's Quest. I believe the clue was "Think back-wards" or something along those lines. The answer? The player had to write out the alphabet as follows:
Substitute the letters from Rumplestiltskin with the letter below on the line. Of course most people entered Rumplestiltskin spelled backwards (logical) and this didn't work. In the SCI (1987) re-release of the game, the puzzle was made simpler with Rumplestiltskin backwards being the correct answer.


King's Quest was the first Sierra game to use the AGI game engine, which was used in Sierra's later games throughout the '80's. The way the engine was setup made it easy to port a game written with AGI to other computer platforms.


  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2007 - One of the "Ten Most Influential PC-Games". It managed to link texts and graphics and caused the rise of Graphic Adventures.
Information also contributed by Andrew Shepard; Indra, Joakim Möller, Pseudo_Intellectual, Ricky Derocher, rstevenson, Shai Greenberg, Tibes80, and Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe.

Related Web Sites

  • AGD Interactive (Download King's Quest 1 remake for free)
  • King's Quest at Wikipedia (Includes an entire history and list of creatures, games in the series and more.)
  • King's Quest Realm (An interesting sight devoted to the entire King's Quest series. It offers hints, a message board and a superb section devoted to the history of these popular games.)
  • ScummVM (supports the DOS, Macintosh, Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIgs versions of King's Quest under Windows, Linux, Macintosh and other platforms.)
  • Sierra Gamers (The Official Website of Ken Williams and King's Quest creator, Roberta Williams.)
  • The King's Quest series at Game Nostalgia (An illustrated overview of King’s Quest 1984 up to King's Quest: Mask of Eternity (including various fan games).)
Contributed to by POMAH (33731), Andy Roark (253), KnockStump (974), Martin Smith (63162), *Katakis* (37805), Garcia (4783) and Belboz (6553)