King's Quest: Mask of Eternity

aka: KQ8, King's Quest 8, King's Quest 8: Mascara de Eternidad, King's Quest 8: Maske der Ewigkeit, King's Quest Masque d'Éternité, King's Quest: La Maschera dell'Eternità, King's Quest: Máscara da Eternidade
Moby ID: 136

Description official descriptions

The Realm of Sun is a magical world situated above the Kingdom of Daventry. Powerful beings known as Archons dwell there, guarding the Mask of Eternity, which preserves balance in the world. But on an ominous day, Lucreto, the leader of the Archons, turns evil and shatters the Mask into pieces. One of such pieces falls down, right under the feet of a simple peasant and fighter named Connor. As he picks up the fragment, he finds out that all the inhabitants of the land have been turned into stone. He must now search for the other pieces of the Mask, repair it, and face Lucreto in the Realm of Sun.

King's Quest: Mask of Eternity is the eighth installment in the King's Quest series, and the first one done completely in 3D. Gameplay-wise, it differs from its predecessors by introducing considerable action and role-playing elements. It doesn't entirely depart from its adventure roots, however, featuring commands for looking, talking to people, picking up objects, and using them to solve inventory-based puzzles.

Connor may encounter hostile creatures and can fight them using his melee weapons or bow. Some portions of the game also include environmental hazards the protagonist has to avoid, or jumping puzzles reminiscent of platform games. RPG elements are present in character development: Connor gains experience points from vanquishing enemies and completing tasks, and eventually levels up, increasing his hit points and combat parameters. Weapons and armor can be found or bought for money obtained from defeated foes.

Spellings

  • King's Quest: מסכת הנצח - Hebrew spelling
  • 國王密使 8:永恆面具 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

91 People (86 developers, 5 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 59 ratings with 8 reviews)

Disgusting. Are you sure that Sierra did this game?

The Good
The character graphics are bad but the backgrounds are perfect. (With the poor map designs) The puzzles were designed perfect. Scenario is not bad but not good.

The Bad
Map designs are too bad. The first level is not that bad but later they become horrible. I think the designers don't have any creativity. The good graphics that gave a good atmosphere to the series were destroyed. The game's graphics are made with a new graphic engine and that destroys the good atmosphere of King's Quest series. It gives an atmosphere like an action game... ...And it is, this game is mostly an action game with too little puzzles. There are always fights. And the fights bore you quickly. To kill a monster? At first click on the weapons picture and click on the monster repeatedly. To kill a boss monster? Click on the weapon's picture and click on the boss repeatedly but this time do it much faster than a crazy person can. And this time Roberta Williams didn't think much about the scenario this time. The scenario is too bad for an adventure game (well, saying action only is better than saying adventure) There are many bad things to say about this game but it will take your life to read this review if I tell them.

The Bottom Line
This game is a dirt and it must be cleaned.

Windows · by esural (9) · 2000

Who cares if the final KQ game is a Tomb Raider clone?

The Good
In the mid-Nineties, a new 3-D action game called Tomb Raider was released, and many triple-A companies capitalized on its success. Sierra was one of these companies, and in 1998 they released Mask of Eternity. It is the first and last KQ game not to feature a single member of the royal family. Sure, there is King Graham, but it isn’t long until he gets turned to stone courtesy of Lucreto, along with the rest of the kingdom. You see, Lucreto, the head of the Archons, was once the protector of the Mask. Now, he has turned to dark magic and shatters it. A young knight named Connor, who for is some reason completely immune to all of this, is Daventry’s only hope of recovering each piece and finding a way to restore the kingdom back to normal.

You start the game in Daventry itself and need to find two important items to proceed through the game; one of these is the map. Although this appears blank, you can start filling it in by venturing into unexplored territory. I like the heavy use of exploration Mask of Eternity has to offer. Besides exploration, you also have to talk to people and do jobs for them in order to proceed through your quest. I guess the game is set in a historical period, given that Connor uses words like ‘tis, ‘twas, and forsooth.

You also fight monsters along the way, and more often than not, any dispatched ones will leave behind a potion or two you can retrieve. If Connor is hit by a monster, he loses health but can restore it by eating magic mushrooms found lying on the ground in each region. The game ends when Connor is killed by monsters, falls off cliffs, or goes up in flames. There are seven more regions to explore, and a chest in each region is hidden somewhere containing a mask piece. Once Connor takes it, he will have to kill a brute that emerges behind him. You leave each region by activating a teleporter.

One impressive bar is on both the top and bottom of the screen. The top bar is hidden, but can be accessed by pointing the mouse cursor somewhere along the top edge. It includes all of Connor’s inventory items, the number of coins he has, and the mask pieces he has obtained. I like how the inventory items are laid out nicely, with each individual item having their own sections. The bar at the bottom is much bigger and lists Connor’s weapons he has picked up, available potions, armor, and spaces for the grappling hook and rocks. There are also counters for health and experience, and a small portion of the map. This bar can be hidden with a keyboard shortcut.

You use the mouse to perform some actions like selecting inventory items and using them on objects, activating spells or potions, speaking with people, fighting monsters, and rotating the camera (with the right mouse button). Like King’s Quest VII, the cursor is dynamic. It starts with just an ordinary cursor used for fighting, examining objects, and talking to people. Select an inventory item, however, and it morphs into a miniature version of that item. Choose a weapon, and it changes to a weapon cursor. The keyboard is used for walking or jogging, jumping, centering the camera, and opening and closing the interface, among other things. The game uses a third-person view as the default, but it offers a first-person view as well.

Graphically speaking, both the buildings and terrain are well designed, and the 3D models look amazing. I enjoyed looking at the sketches that appear when the game is loading the next region. Part of the overworld map on the same loading screens is colored in to reflect the region you are about to enter, and I think this looks very good.

A three-man team including Mark Seibert created the soundtrack for the game, and most of it is brilliant. I like how a few of the soundtracks have a relaxing mood to them, then morph into something sinister (an example of this is the music used for the Frozen Reaches). A nice touch is the dynamic soundtrack in some regions. You enter houses in the first region and hear peaceful music, only for it to morph into something disturbing when you walk back out. Other soundtracks have that energetic feel to them. As for the sound effects, I really liked the one that’s heard when you are awarded points.

The Bad
A cheat mode is available, but activating it causes some side effects. For example, with god mode activated in some regions (especially the Barron Region), Connor will keep walking or jogging on thin air until you bump into a wall. I could also teleport to another room, but I couldn’t see anything and I was able to go off the edge of the map.

A tedious puzzle near the end of the game requires you to put together a huge picture resembling the Mask of Eternity. You don’t see the whole scrambled puzzle at once, so you have to walk all the way around to see where you have gone wrong. What’s more frustrating is making sure you aren’t carrying a weapon before you attempt to push a block. There was nothing stopping the development team putting the same puzzle on the wall, scaling it down to size, then having players solve it using the mouse.

Even on my P133, the loading time between regions is just too long.

The Bottom Line
Mask of Eternity hardly bears any resemblance to the King’s Quest games before it. Sierra saw how successful Tomb Raider was and, just like most triple-A companies at the time, wanted to copy the formula. But they also didn’t want to make a straight-out clone, deciding to make a 3-D action/adventure hybrid that has mouse support. This is also the last game Roberta Williams did for Sierra; she took some leave before returning to the company, only to resign as she disagreed with CUC's business practices.

In the final KQ game, you don’t play a member of the royal family, but rather someone named Connor, who has to travel between different regions full of lush environments and many interesting characters he can interact with, while looking for the pieces that resemble the Mask of Eternity and restore the kingdom to normal. The soundtrack is excellent, and some of the pieces are dynamic and sinister at the same time.

The bottom line is this: if you’re thinking of purchasing this KQ game, expecting a true point-and-click adventure featuring the royal family, then maybe you should think twice about making the purchase. However, if you have completed Tomb Raider and want to play something similar, then this game is definitely worth a shot.

Windows · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2022

King's Quest Series: Rest in Peace

The Good
It was a mildly entertaining action / role-playing title, but it was not a quality Sierra product.

The Bad
Fighting? We can fight?

Perhaps it all wouldn't have been so bad if the feel of the series has somehow been kept alive, but it wasn't. Fighting just seemed so antithetical to the nature of a KQ game.

The graphics were pretty rough looking, even at the time of release. Compare this to Grim Fandango. Granted that wasn't fully rendered, but it was worlds beyond what Sierra created for this game. Most of the textures looked so blotchy -- it was all just so messy.

I also didn't like the linear layout of the game. Granted, ever since KQ4, the series has not provided the same open-world design. However, with KQ 7 and KQ 8, you feel like you're forced along.

Lastly, the voice acting is something out of a bad Masterpiece Theatre. Stilted quasi-british annunciation made me want to skip most dialogue.

The Bottom Line
Where KQ 7 had been sugar and gumdrops, KQ 8 was snakes and spiders. The series took a dramatic, and final, turn with this release. As a basic role-playing games, it was decent. However, there is nothing in this game that even reminds me of King's Quest.

Windows · by Game22 (35) · 2004

[ View all 8 player reviews ]

Trivia

Protagonist

This is the first game in the King's Quest series to not feature a member of the Graham family as the hero.

Awards

  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1999 – Best Adventure-RPG in 1998

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Andy Roark.

Additional contributors: Trixter, pslocum3, Rebound Boy, Jeanne, tbuteler, Sciere, Kohler 86, Crawly, Nico Bendlin, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger.

Game added May 25th, 1999. Last modified August 31st, 2023.