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On a beautiful sunny day, King Graham of Daventry decides to take a stroll in the woods surrounding his castle. When he returns, he discovers with horror that his home, Daventry Castle, has completely disappeared! Graham is at a loss, and wonders how this could have happened, when a talking owl named Cedric appears. He tells him that he saw the whole thing, and that an evil wizard named Mordack whisked the entire castle away, along with Graham's family in it. Cedric offers to take him to his homeland, Serenia, where his master, the wizard Crispin resides. Surely Crispin will be able to help King Graham rescue his family from Mordack's clutches.

King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder is an adventure game, and the first from Sierra to use a point-and-click mouse interface. Rather than typing commands on a keyboard to interact with the game world and use the arrow keys to walk around, King's Quest V instead simplifies all actions down to base commands. To access the different cursors, the player can move the mouse to the top of the screen, revealing a hidden menu with each of the different actions, as well as game options and the inventory bag. By clicking the "Walk" cursor on the screen, Graham will walk as close as he can to the appropriate area. Clicking the "Eye" cursor on items will provide a description, the same as typing "Look at". The "Hand" cursor is a multipurpose cursor that can be used to push, pull, interact with and pick up objects. The "Head" cursor is used to talk to people (and in the strange world of King's Quest, often objects and animals, too). Players can also right-click to cycle through the different available cursors. Inventory that Graham picks up now gets placed into a bag. By clicking on the bag, this opens up a sub-window that displays all the inventory that Graham currently has. In here, players can look at or interact with objects, combine them with other objects, or pick them up to use them in the game environment as another cursor.

As with most Sierra games, it is quite possible to die. Bumping into witches, poisonous scorpions, falling off edges of cliffs, dying of thirst in the desert, and many other objects, locations and characters will send Graham to an untimely demise. The player must be cautious as they explore Serenia - frequent game saving across multiple files is usually the best course of action to make sure that you don't get stuck or have to start right from the game's very beginning.


King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! DOS Desert Castle (EGA/Tandy)
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! DOS Crystal cave. (CDROM version) (VGA)
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! DOS Snowy mountains. (CDROM version) (VGA)
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! DOS Inside a spooky home. (CDROM version) (VGA)

Promo Images

King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! Magazine Advertisement
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! Magazine Advertisement

Alternate Titles

  • "國王密使 V" -- Traditional Chinese spelling
  • "KQ5" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

The King & I browned (126) 4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars
Defeat an evil wizard that kidnapped your family - with help from an idiot Katakis | カタキス (42932) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
Going back was no fun at all The Gay Elf (14) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
Probably the best of the fabulous King's Quest Games Valerie Frankel (3) unrated
Doesn't deserve half the good press it gets Benjamin Vigeant (8) 3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars3.25 Stars
One of the first adventure games I played James1 (244) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Another great adventure in King's Quest land... Plus new interface gameplay! OlSkool_Gamer (102) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
King's Quest V is a major turning point for Sierra vni VIC (23) unrated
Sierra's game interface takes a turn for the worse. Old man gamer (386) 2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars2.75 Stars

Critic Reviews

The Retro Spirit Dec 22, 2008 6 out of 6 100
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Feb, 1991 850 out of 1000 85
Just Adventure 1999 B+ 83
Jeuxvideo.com Apr 24, 2013 16 out of 20 80
Dragon Jun, 1991 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Play Time Dec, 1991 79 out of 100 79
PC Format (UK) Dec, 1995 72 out of 100 72
PC-Spiele '92 1991 7 out of 10 70
Power Play Feb, 1991 66 out of 100 66
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft 1993 60 out of 100 60


Topic # Posts Last Post
Color number in the Amiga version 5 Игги Друге (46309)
Aug 15, 2014
Game freezing 3 Christian Genzel (32)
Jul 27, 2012


A rare "king" game in the series

Despite the title of the series, there are only two installments where you actually play as a king (namely, King Graham): this one and King's Quest II.

CD version

The game was also released on CD-ROM. This CD version had full speech throughout the game.


King's Quest V was the first adventure game to be released on CD-ROM in MPC (Multimedia PC) format, the first to have digitized voiceovers, the first to use digitized hand painted backgrounds, and the first title to cost over one million U.S. dollar to produce.


Installing the game on the PC was less intuitive than other Sierra releases due to the variety of options supported. An addendum to the manual was included which attempted to explain all of the installation options. The game could be played entirely from hard disk, half from hard drive and half on floppy, or entirely on floppy if two drives were present. If you were playing with one 3.5" drive and one 5.25" drive, installation began on either 5.25" disk #6 or 3.5" disk #10. All other combinations began installation on 5.25" disk #5 or 3.5" disk #9. (confused yet? King's Quest V may also be the only Sierra title where installation doesn't begin with either disk #1 or the Startup disk.) Probably in the interest of simplicity, media cost, and sanity most (if not all) of Sierra's later games shipped with just one set of disks per package eliminating the ability to play entirely from floppy but simplifying installation.

User interface

The first game in the King's Quest series (in fact, all classic Sierra adventures) to switch to icon control from the text parser system.


King's Quest V was the first Sierra game to be available in two separate versions: a 16 color version (supporting EGA, MCGA, VGA, and Tandy/PCjr graphics) and a 256 color version (supporting MCGA and VGA only). The 16 color version came with 10 3.5" DD disks and 6 5.25" HD disks. 5.25" DD (360k) disks could be ordered directly from Sierra. (A hard disk was required to use the 360k disks.)


  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 1992 (Issue #92) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • November 1991 (Issue #88) – Adventure Game of the Year
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #94 in the “150 Best Games of All Time”
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #94 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Mitch Kocen, PCGamer77, Roger Wilco, Sciere and Servo

Related Web Sites

  • Hints for KQ5 (Wonderful question and answer hints will get you through the game at your own pace.)
Andy Roark (268) added King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! (DOS) on May 23, 1999
Other platforms contributed by POMAH (66352), ZZip (829) and Terok Nor (32569)