Part 3: The Infinite Desiccation
Hello everyone, welcome back to King's Quest III. Judging by the timer at the top of the screen, we now have 20 minutes and 29 seconds to walk down the mountain, loot Llewdor, walk back up the mountain, engage with copy protection some more, and then cover our tracks thoroughly. Manannan will not be happy if we're not at the house when he returns. He'd also catch us with an inventory full of asterisk items, so we need to hoof it.
If you look at the background, you can see some of the destinations we'll be off to. On the right is a small town. There's a lone house in the middle, and the American Southwest is off to the left. So let's get to it!
In the first update when I pulled a fistful of fur out of the cat, we were actually pretty lucky, as evidenced by the chicken here. When you go to pick up either the cat or the chicken, there's a chance that the animal will dart out of your grasp and run away. If the RNG doesn't like you, then you may have to try several times. Luckily you can mash F3 to recall the last typed command.
Some fried chicken would taste pretty good, not gonna lie. I bet we can...
: Sorry, Colonel; they're not even dead yet!
Bah! Fine, let's just get what we need and be on with it.
: Tucking the chicken firmly under one arm, Gwydion gently plucks a small feather, then lets the bird go.
: The chicken feather is small and light, no more than a piece of fluff.
Onward, to victory!
I showed this off briefly at the end of the last update, but here it is again. The path down the mountain is yet another Sierra winding path, because I guess they were contractually obligated to make getting around as annoying as possible.
I love these little timelapse gifs. 30 seconds of annoying tightrope walking condensed to a fraction of the time.
Believe it or not, but this screen has killed me more times than the preceding one. You see the little canyon just below Gwydion? It's a deadly fall.
This screen here is the closest thing to a crossroads. In every direction there's stuff worth doing. But first, we're going west.
Those little brown and yellow pixel blobs on the ground are fallen acorns. One of our
: Gwydion picks and pokes among the fallen acorns looking for dried ones. He doesn't find any; these are all newly fallen.
Repeat command 3 more times
: Gwydion picks and pokes among the fallen acorns looking for dried ones. He eventually finds three dried ones and takes them with him.
If you're unlucky, this is one of the places the game can really troll you. I've had it take upwards of 11 tries before.
: The three acorns are dried and brittle.
: The magic wand is cool and smooth to the touch, and creamy-white in color. You think it might be made from ivory.
Anyway, we're going into the desert first.
King's Quest III doesn't have as many random encounters. In fact, there are only two in the game. Sierra, by this point, was starting to realize that people don't like randomly dodging death and theft every two screens.
The screen we're on is one of the exceptions. While the random encounter can happen on any desert screen, every time I've come onto this screen, it has appeared 100% of the time. So we'll just chill for a moment...
: The most hideous-looking being has made its appearance! It's Medusa!
This is one of those encounters that can trip you up if you're not prepared. You have to walk onto the screen and immediately face to the right to avoid instant death when Medusa appears. Once you're in position just....
>show mirror to medusa
: Averting his eyes, Gwydion aims the wizard's hand mirror at Medusa's face. A scream pierces the air as she beholds her own hideous reflection... then... nothing. He dares to look. Medusa has turned herself to stone!
Gwydion may be a jerk, but he is kind of a badass. Just like that we've neutered one of the game's two random encounters altogether!
So let's move on.
: Gwydion's eyes fall upon a face so hideous, so gruesome, that the horror of it is beyond description. People who look upon the face of Medusa, with her hair of writhing, live snakes, turn intantly to stone. Suddenly, his body feels cold and stiffens hard as a rock.
: You make a nice statue, Gwydion.
Happy now? Alright, let's get a move on.
: Even as a statue, Medusa is indescribably ugly.
: Gwydion notices an unusual little cactus beside that large rock. He walks over and carefully picks it up.
One screen south of Medusa's statue, and there's nothing down here. We'll keep going south.
: The parched sands of the desert seem to reach forever westward. Gwydion notices a dried snake skin lying on the hot ground.
: Gwydion retrieves the dried snake skin from the hot desert sand. It is delicate and could easily crumble.
South again, and there's nothing down here. Going south again will put us on Medusa's screen. So, our next order of business is to see just how wide this desert is. Take special note of the time: we've been playing for 12 minutes and 34 seconds.
I'm not going to screenshot every screen we cross, as that would bloat the update's size needlessly.
: You have entered a great desert.
14:22 and a dumb idea occurs to me.
: Obviously, you were raised by a naughty wizard!
The heat's starting to get to me.
: Once you tasted it, you wouldn't want it!
At this point we've crossed somewhere between 8 and 10 screens, and wasted the better part of 2 minutes. I'm not gonna make a definite claim, but I suspect that if we continue any farther we will not be able to make it back to safety.
You see, this isn't a kind game. This was made by 1980s Sierra. If you were dumb enough to walk your idiot ass out into the desert, then you're man enough to walk your dumb ass back out for exactly as many screens as you walked out.
: Gwydion can't take the relentless sun anymore, and collapses from heat stroke. Miserably, he dies in this dreadful desert.
So finally after just over 3 minutes of aimlessly wandering through the stupid desert, at 15 minutes and 43 seconds in, Gwydion dies of heat stroke. Oh, and you want to hear the best part? This endless sea of sand is a trap. The only two things you need are the small cactus and the snake skin. The only thing out in the desert proper is death and wasted time.
NEXT TIME: The Bee Threars Hived in a Louse Out in the Widdle of the Moods
List of Points
+2 - Dried acorns
+5 - Doing Perseus' job
+1 - Harvesting peyote
+1 - Gwydion the skin collector
Register of Deaths
Getting stoned in the desert
Getting lost in the endless desert