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King's Quest (SEGA Master System)

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Description

Sir Graham is 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 of Daventry will hand over the crown. During his travels, Graham will meet characters that will either help or hinder him.

King's Quest is commonly considered the progenitor of third-person-perspective adventure games. As opposed to earlier graphic adventures, the player is able to navigate the protagonist on screen in eight directions, creating an effect of three-dimensional exploration. The player character can also be obscured from view when hiding behind an object, is subjected to gravity, and has different animations for actions such as picking up an item, falling, swimming, etc. Graham can be moved around with arrow keys and perform various actions when the player types commands, normally consisting of noun and verb combinations (e.g. "Take flower", "Talk man", etc.).

The game world consists of a cyclic outdoor area with places of interest (houses, characters, etc.) that must be found through exploration. Much of the kingdom is accessible to Graham from the beginning, and there are only a few restrictions imposed on traveling. In order to complete the game, the player has to procure certain items and use them in correct situations or with specific characters. Some of the puzzles rely on fairy tales, and a good knowledge of those makes them easier to solve.

The game awards the player points for most of the actions he makes Graham perform. Since some of those are not crucial to completion, it is quite possible to finish the game without having attained the full score. Some of the tasks in the game have multiple solutions, though the game may grant the player less points if he chooses the simpler one. Many hazards await Graham on his journey, and death is frequent if the player is not careful. The game can also be rendered unwinnable by failing to collect a specific item or wasting it.

Screenshots

King's Quest SEGA Master System The giant is carrying one of the treasures
King's Quest SEGA Master System ...and up into the clouds
King's Quest SEGA Master System Title screen
King's Quest SEGA Master System "Nobody stands in Graham's way. Wait till I have my goat with me"

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

There are no reviews for the SEGA Master System release of this game. You can use the links below to write your own review or read reviews for the other platforms of this game.


The Press Says

Defunct Games Aug 26, 2006 65 out of 100 65
Power Play Sep, 1989 63 out of 100 63
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) Sep, 1989 24 out of 40 60
Game Freaks 365 2000 2.8 out of 10 28

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Any other adventure games like KQ1&3? 11 אולג 小奥 (171558)
Mar 30, 2012

Trivia

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!

Development

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.

Graham

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.

Novels

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.

References

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.

Re-release

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:
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
ZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA
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.

Technology

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.

Awards

  • 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).)
*Katakis* (37838) added King's Quest (SEGA Master System) on Feb 13, 2003
Other platforms contributed by POMAH (35001), Andy Roark (253), KnockStump (974), Martin Smith (63136), Garcia (4778) and Belboz (6513)