A Kings Quest to remember.
It’s been a very long time coming, but we have finally hit the last chapter of the episodic King’s Quest. I was equal parts excited but also a bit saddened that the series I’ve been playing for over the last year and a half was coming to an end. I’ve partaken in many of King Graham’s stories that he has told to his granddaughter over the course of the series, but even still, I wasn’t prepared for how it would all end.
One more story
This time players will be playing as King Graham at his oldest. While he has been telling the stories over the course of the entire game, it was always with a younger or aging familiar King Graham. Here we are actually playing as the older, wiser, and slower King Graham. This doesn’t really change anything from the perspective of gameplay but it’s nice to see the series come around full circle to the current age of the story teller. Coming full circle is actually a relatively huge feeling in multiple ways for this last episode.
Price I’d Pay: $4.99
How long to beat: 4+ hours
As the story unfolds for his last story, we know that the King isn’t in the best health. The most interesting aspect of this element of the story is that it factors into the gameplay. While the majority of this last episode retreads the areas from the very first episode, it does so with constant changes or alterations. The Kings memory isn’t what it used to be, so sometimes going back to one area reveals a totally new additional item or element for puzzle solving. It’s extremely fun to see areas bleed off into a blank area as Graham can’t recall. It does lead way to a few times of frustration though. This episode plays out very much like a classic Kings Quest game of old, with backtracking and lots of trial an error. It makes sense in the context of the story, but doesn’t lead way to the most satisfying experience.
The majority of the first half of the game is fairly open, with players having to solve various puzzles and use clues to find 4 keys and also 3 decorative plates. Once this portion of the game is completed, it goes into a much more linear fashion. The pacing and feel of the episode reminded me of both the older and newer episodes. Those who have been Kings Quest fan prior to this entry will see lot of nods and nostalgia filled moments here. One part had me grinning ear to ear, and while I won’t spoil it for the reader, rest assured it’s a great nod to the original games.
The most surprising aspect of Kings Quest episode 5 was just how much damn heart it had to it. That’s not saying the prior episodes didn’t. The humor is still here but it takes a bit of a back seat as the story gets much more serious than ever before, and touches on the idea of stories and legends that have to come to an end but can be passed on for generations and live forever. I’ve been listening to Graham’s stories for a long time now, and I was honestly touched and teary eyed by the time it wrapped up, which I didn’t expect to happen at all. Partly due to Christopher Lloyd’s great performance and the heart felt writing, I was fighting those tears back.
The Final Quest
King’s Quest has come to an end, and the series was mostly a positive experience, if not slightly flawed. As I mentioned earlier, Episode 5 really brings the series full circle, not only with this game but even with the series past. It definitely felt like one of the more difficult episodes, and the backtracking and changing elements led to some irritating moments which really racked my brain at times, but the last chapter in Graham’s story left me with laughs, brain busters, and a sense of sadness, but also hope. Thanks for the stories Graham, now I need to get some tissues.
Favorite moment: Very hard to say without spoilers but this part had not only one but two nostalgia throwbacks and I couldn’t stop grinning.
Worst moment: The random elements that changed in the environment.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.