A game that has many a flaw, KQ7 will not leave you in awe
The GoodKing's Quest VII
is a game that is suitable for all ages, and as the box says, it is a magical adventure that will touch your heart. Well, for some people anyway. Valanice is talking to Rosella about marriage. After telling her that she's not interested, Rosella sees something in the pool, and thoughtlessly dives into it. Noticing that she does so, Valanice dives in after her, but the two of them get separated.
The game is divided into six chapters. KQ7 is the first game that lets you play as two different characters. You see, the odd chapters have you playing as Valanice, while the even ones have you playing Rosella. Each character has their own quest. For instance, Valanice must search for her daughter, while Rosella must stop a witch named Malicia from destroying Etheria, and the lands below it. Eventually, the two of them will reunite if they play their cards right
The game has you entering your name and then selecting the chapter in which you wish to begin. Gamers are free to start at any chapter they like, which is very useful if they don't like playing as one or the other. They can just play one, three, and five for Valanice; or two, four, and six for Rosella. But most people like me would rather play each chapter in order. The game does not have you play as both characters in the same chapter. In order to accomplish your mission, you have to go through a series of environments, which include the desert, forest, Falderal, Ooga-Booga Land, the Land of the Trolls, and Etheria. Most of the creatures belong to the environment to which they are suited.
I like the fact that KQ7 continues the KQ tradition of being a non-violent adventure game. There are hardly any puzzles in the game, and the sound is very good. There are a few bits of humor in the game that I can get quite a laugh at, most notably Arch Duke Fifi Le Yip-Yap in Falderal and the three talking plants in Ooga-Booga Land.
KQ7 is not a good game. Some of the environments have misplaced pixels, and this ruins it. In Etheria, the land of the clouds, you see shades of different colors here and there when there are not supposed to. Some of the characters are poorly drawn and are blurry as they move closer to you.
The introduction and ending are basically FMV sequences, which is restricted to playing in a small rectangle on the screen. I just felt that they could have been bigger in size. Speaking of the introduction, The Land Beyond Dreams
, sung by Rosella, is inappropriate, and there was no reason why Sierra
would want to waste resources on this when they could have included a better introduction like they did in the CD version of KQ6, but with much, improved graphics. The song didn't even make any sense to me. I love where I am as well, but that doesn't make me burst out into song.
The game suffers from a poor script that is delivered by many of its actors. An example is the kangaroo rat in Chapter 1. (“No time to chat, the day is fading. Come, Valanice, let's do some trading.”) As you can see, it is quite obvious that Sierra wasted a lot of their project time trying to think of rhyming words for the kangaroo rat.. Further examples include Valanice going “Hmm...” all the time and Rosella making a poor effort to scream. Even the death messages from the two of them are lame, and cannot be compared with those from other Sierra games.
The game's interface is changed since King's Quest VI
. No longer do you see the usual point-and-click interface that consist of the WALK, HAND, EYE, etc. Instead, you perform all your actions throughout the entire game by clicking a magic wand over objects. This is a disadvantage because by just having the magic wand, both characters cannot comment on your actions like they could have if the point-and-click interface was still there. (There is still an EYE icon, but it doesn't work the same way.)
It was 1994, and the head honcho made the project team rush development to get the game in time for Christmas. As a result, the game is full of flaws. One flaw is that the game crashes, which makes the game impossible to complete. I own a copy of the game, but I didn't have crashes, but that's probably because I got the latest version (version 1.51).
Before you start a new game, you are asked to enter a name for yourself, and that name is used to save your progress in the game to the one and only save slot, and if you want to save your game, you have to quit your current game first. What the hell was wrong with the old system, where you click on the Save button and type in a descriptive name. I do not like it if I have to repeatedly start a new chapter under different names, wait for an event to occur, then save in that point of time.
I stressed many times on MobyGames that the same actors should play the same characters. This is not the case with KQ7. Rosella and Valanice are played by two different people. You don't see the T-800 from Terminator 1 & 2 being played by different actors. It was always the same actors.
This is a minor thing, but when it comes to installing the game, it persists on saving it to a directory that has \SIERRA in it, and it warns you about this whenever you change the default directory, so if you want to install to C:\GAMES\KQ7, you would have to install to C:\GAMES\SIERRA\KQ7. In many Sierra versions don't have this problem..
The Bottom Line
The box claims that over 2.5 million copies were sold. Imagine how disappointed those 2.5 million people were after paying money for a flawed game. Another version of KQ7 (dubbed “Version 2.0”) was released that had new features such as a better save system, as well as various changes to the interface. But it was too late. If you want to buy KQ7 from somewhere, then try to find Version 2.0. And if you think that KQ7 was bad, wait until you see the final game in the series that violates KQ policy.