The Let's Play Archive

King's Quest V

by DoubleNegative

Part 1: Going to Serenia

King's Quest V - Sierra Fanfare

It's time, everyone. Allow me to be the first to say...

Welcome to King's Quest V. We're in for quite the ride. While not the first Sierra title I ever played, King's Quest V is one that I actually played when I was a kid.

We're given the option to skip the intro. While I would be quite happy if I didn't have to look at it again for a very long time, we'll be watching it regardless.

We're given the option to skip the intro twice. This warning actually pops up before every major cutscene in the game. Including, inexplicably, the ending. It is nice if you're replaying the game just for the puzzles ( why would you do that?) but it does create some head scratching moments.

Click this for video

King's Quest V - Intro & Story

There is a lot to complain about with this game, but the art is not one of those things. This game is beautiful. It's been upgraded to 256 color VGA graphics and you can tell. It's quite the departure from previous games.

That second link, by the way, is a soundtrack link. Going forward, I'm going to try to link to them more. The King's Quest IV soundtrack was just a single video that was something like 30 minutes long with just every track in the game. The soundtrack for V is a nice youtube playlist that I can quickly copy from, so it's a lot less hassle to link to.

Also the soundtrack is a lot nicer sounding than the PC speaker stuff that was happening with IV. Many individual screens have different tracks that help give a lot of character to the world.

For a fun time, try to see the edit points in the above gif. It's about half as long as it used to be.

Thankfully, one person managed to avoid being abducted along with the castle. It wouldn't be much of a game otherwise.

For the third, and final, time in the series, Graham will be our protagonist.

: My castle! What has happened?
: Ooooh I can tell you what happened.
: What?

: Ooooh I know what happened to your castle. I saw it all. Yes, I did.
: You did? Well then, what happened?

Our witness, as you can see, is an owl. You can tell he's an owl because he draws ouuuuuuuuut some voooooowel souuuuuuuunds. Typically O's and U's. You know, because owls intelligent enough to talk need to imitate hooting. Constantly.

I'm going to pre-empt the game a little bit and introduce him now. This is Cedric. I really hope you don't like him. Because along with the fucking moon logic puzzles, he will be the source of a lot of my complaints about the game.

King's Quest V is the worst game in the series by a wide margin, and Cedric is a lot of the reason why. Ask any random person what they know about the game and the answer is probably going to be "Cedric" "a poooooisonous snake" and "the fucking rat puzzle".

By the way, you really ought to click on the video link up above. Just to really get a taste of how awful this character is.

: Ooooh it was the powerful and evil wizard Mordack who did it. Ooooh I just happened to be visiting with an oooold friend when I saw him materialize out of thin air. Thank goodness he didn't notice ME!
: Well don't stop now, go on!

: He conjured up a terrible whirlwind that swirled faster and faster around the castle. With another incantation Mordack then caused the wind to draw the castle up into the sky and out of sight. Ooooh, it was something to see, all right!

: Why? Why would this wizard... Mordack want my castle? What could he have against me and my family?
: That I don't know. Ooooh I only know that it was Mordack who took your castle... and your family.

: Well... perhaps I can help you. My employer also happens to be a wizard, which is why I recognized Mordack. Ooooh Unlike Mordack, though, my employer is a very gooood wizard. His name is Crispinophur... but we all call him Crispin for short. The only problem is, you see...

I'm not sure who is supposed to laugh at that. Pratfalls can be funny if done right, but Cedric is decidedly not funny.

: Ahem! Anyway...where was I? Ooooh yes. The oooonly problem is that Crispin is getting on in years and tends to be a bit forgetful.
: I don't know. This doesn't sound as if it would work.
: Ooooh, sure it would! Crispin is a very qualified wizard... one of the best. He just gets a little forgetful now and again, that's all.
: I'm really not sure a half senile wizard can help me...
: Now where is it? Ooooh I know I brought it with me. Aha! Here it is!

: What is that?
: Well! It is my opinion that yoooou don't stand a chance against the likes of Mordack. Ooooh Excuse me for saying, Your Majesty... but you don't have a choice. You MUST come with me. I'm sure Crispin can help yoooou!
: Graham frowns at the owl's assessment.

: What is that stuff?
: Ooooh, just some oooold, left-over fairy dust I've been carrying around. Ooooh It'll help you to fly. Yoooou can follow me to the land of Serenia, where Crispin and I live. It's MUCH too far to walk, you know. Ooooh I think the fairy dust is still good.

Sitting here and transcribing the text, I've started to develop a dull ache right at the base of my skull. Every time Cedric draws out his "ooooh" sound, that ache throbs.

Graham is so graceful.

: Come on! Up here! Follow meeeeee...!

Serenia is the land to the northwest of Daventry, on the same continent. Traveling there on foot would take an incredibly long time, so temporary flight is a pretty handy way of crossing the miles.

: There it is! Down here! Come on!
: Okay... here I come!

How Graham didn't die from that fall I have no idea.

: Ooooh... looks like the fairy dust just wore off.

: Cedric! Where have you been? I've been calling for you! Well, well, what have we here?

: A bit clumsy, are you? Well, come on in the house and dry off. No sense sitting around like a wet dog.

: Cedric, go on in the house and pour each of us a nice hot cup of tea.
: Oh! Aye, aye, Crispin.

: The Society of Wizards has always taken a dim view of Mordack and his abuse of his power. Why, he's even been put on suspension a few times. It never seems to do any good, though.

Sounds like the Society is pretty useless. Merely suspending membership of someone who is abusing power is about the most worthless thing they could do in any situation. We're not going to get any "Society" support in this adventure, and this line is the last time they'll ever be brought up in the entire series.

: Crispin, why would Mordack want to take my family or castle? What did WE ever do to him?
: I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that. Mordack is a very unpredictable wizard. I've NEVER understood that evil mind of his.

I don't want to keep harping on this, but the Society of Wizards knows that Mordack is evil and, at best, all they do is give him a slap on the wrist and make him super pinky swear promise he'll be good in the future. Out of the four wizards we've met in the series so far, three have been evil douchebags. From this sample size of four, I'm being led to believe that the Society is most likely a bunch of evil wizards and Crispin who is too dumb to notice.

: I thought perhaps you could help His Majesty, Crispin. That's why I brought him here.
: Well, let me see now... I used to be a very powerful wizard at one time, you know... but I've gotten a little rusty lately.
: A LITTLE rusty?
: That's quite enough from you, Cedric!
: Yes, sir, Crispin... sir.
: I don't know what I have that would be of much use to you. Most of my wizard stuff is pretty old and worn out. But, let's see what I can find.

I could have sped that gif up. I didn't.

: No, that won't do. That's all used up.

: Hmmmm. It might work. Here, eat this.
: What IS that?
: That's an old piece of magical white snake I had left over from last year. With it, you'll be able to communicate with the natural and animal world. You could find that quite helpful.

It checks out. Kinda. Alright look, a snake was one of the ingredients at least.

: Here's my old wand. I don't even know if it works anymore. Most of its power may be gone. You should know that wands are like pets. They've got to get to know you before they'll work for you. Just treat it with care and respect and hopefully it will do something for you.

Recall that Gwydion Alexander was able to get Monsoon's wand to work without an acclimation process.

: You'd better get going, my boy. No telling WHAT that confounded Mordack could be up to. You go with him, Cedric. Show him the way.
: Who, meeeee?
: Yes, you! Don't be such a coward. Now, go on! You'd better get started!
: Thank you, sir. I appreciate all you've done for me.

: Ooooh I suggest we visit the town first. How about it, Your Majesty?
: Please don't call me Your Majesty, Cedric. It's much too formal. I'd like it if you'd just call me Graham.
: Ooooh I'd be delighted to Graham. Anyway... what was I talking about? Oh, yes! The town! You might be able to find some supplies there. It's just over a little hill to the south; not too far.
: Well then, let's be on our way, Cedric.

And with that, the long intro is finally over. But before I close out this introductory update, let's go over the interface.

Luckily I did all of this back in King's Quest I. So if you want in-depth coverage, just go re-read the first update of that. For a quick refresher, the four important icons are...

: Walk.
: Look.
: Use.
: Talk.

Options menu is largely identical to the AGDI KQ1 remake. In this game, we're going to set Graham's speed at maximum and it will never leave there.

260 points are this game's maximum. Unlike the previous four LPs of the series, we won't be able to view our points at a glance anymore. I've got a list of points open in a tab in Chrome that I'll be referring to for totals.

Also for the love of God and all that is holy do not touch the volume slider. I will actually be turning it down a ways a few minutes into the game proper. There's a somewhat infamous music track that feels like it gets louder the longer it goes. Also Cedric's voice is known to cause involuntary eye twitching, and that doesn't need to be any louder than it already is.

Something neat is that you can click the walk icon on a door and the game will intuit that you want Graham to walk through the door. So let's go talk to Crispin again.

: Don't be wasting your time coming in here. Young man, I've done all I can for you. Now it's up to you. Well, anyway... I'm not going to be here for a little while. There's an emergency I have to attend to in a neighboring land. I'll try to keep an eye out for you... but... this is something you and Cedric are going to have to do yourselves. I wish you the best, King Graham.
: I appreciate all you've done, Crispin. I'll be on my way now.


: Cedric seems to be thinking big thoughts right now, perhaps planning their next move, and so is not in a talkative mood.

That's cute. Cedric thinks he has any input on where this crazy train is rolling.

Anyway, think of this like the VGA version of >talk to cedric. It's something I'm going to try out for this game, and see how it works out.

door near the stream

: A small cellar door is located under the house.

cellar door

: Ooooh, don't bother with the cellar door; there's nothing there. Besides, it's locked.


: Curious, Graham gazes down into Crispin's well, but sees nothing of interest.

So let's call the first update there.

NEXT TIME: The game starts in earnest.