The Let's Play Archive

King's Quest V

by DoubleNegative

Part 2: kings_quest_5_town_theme.mid

Hello everyone and welcome back to King's Quest V. There's quite a lot to do today, so let's not waste any time. First off, Crispin gave us a wand last time in the intro. So let's take a look at that.

: The old wand doesn't seem to have any vitality left in it.

Anyway, the game is more or less divided into three sections. The first section takes place here in Serenia, and it's the usual King's Quest fare where we wander around, talk to people, and try to work out just what Roberta Williams was thinking. This first section of the game is also laid out in a 4x3 grid of screens. We're in the top right corner, and we can leave south or west.


: Graham watch out! A pooooisonous snake!

Thankfully the warning only plays once.


: A large, venomous snake blocks Graham's passage to the east.


: Sssssstaaaayyyyy awaaaaayyyy. Thissss is myyyyy paaaaath.


: In silence, the large serpent eyes Graham menacingly.

So let's start this LP off the right way.


: That wasn't wise, Graham. He who speaks with forked tongues should never be trusted.

I dunno, it seems pretty legit to me. He warned us to stay away, and when we violated his personal space he killed us.

Getting this snake to move is going to be our major goal for the first part of the game. Everything we do here in Serenia will either be in service of getting him to move, or surviving in the area beyond.

We can also talk to Cedric for directions, though his usefulness is limited to the civilized parts of Serenia.


: See how the path goes to the east up into the mountains? That's the rooooute to Mordack's castle.
: Ooooh If you follow the path to the south over the next rise yoooou'll come to the town.

Even on the twelve screens that make up this part of Serenia, he only gives directions on, at best, six of them.


The perspective on this screen is a tad weird. Cedric is those six pixels just under the walk cursor. So let's look around the screen some.

water wheel

: A small tributary of the larger river powers an old waterwheel as it flows through the town.


: Secure within a small pen, a pretty cow quietly chews her cud.


: Come on, Graham! Don't waste your time with that cow!


: Unfortunately, the cow doesn't have anything to say. Her mouth is too full of cud.

The fixation on the cow's cud is kind of weird.


: Ooooh if you follow this path along the river, yoooou'll come to the town bakehouse. You might find something delicious... I mean uuuuseful there.

Right. Cedric is apparently hungry for baked goods. So let's let him stew for a bit and go explore the town.


: If you're going into town I'll wait for you here. I had a nasty run-in with a dog once and I'd feel much safer out here.

King's Quest V - Town Theme
King's Quest V - Town Theme (midi)

For maximum effect, be sure to start it off loud and then gradually increase the volume as you listen to it. This game's soundtrack, with only a couple of exceptions, is very good. This is one of those exceptions. The top link is a lot more classy sounding than the bottom one, which is... uh... well, Manfred Mann put it best.

"Blinded by the Light posted:

With a boulder on my shoulder
Feelin' kinda older
I tripped the merry-go-round

With this very unpleasin'
Sneezin' and wheezin'
The calliope crashed to the ground

What is with these godawful perspectives? When I was a kid, I mistook the birch tree on the far right side of town as a dirt path leading off to the east.

Anyway, we can talk to most of the people here in town, but they are just random NPCs without portraits. I don't really feel like making a bunch for people who are so unimportant that they don't exist in other versions of the game.

There's a man next to the broken cart. He's just above the woman in the red dress. Let's talk to him

: How goes it with you, good fellow?
: Not well, I'm afraid. This old wagon's always giving me trouble.
: Can I help you in any way?
: Thank you kindly, but I think I can handle it.
: All right then. Good luck.
: Thanks. With this wagon, I'm gonna need it.


: No need to help me, sir. I think I can fix the wagon. Thanks anyway.

We'll just leave him to that and continue to explore the town instead. Let's go in the closest door to Graham.

King's Quest V - Shop Theme

The video link says "Tailor Shop" but the same tune plays in every shop in the game. It's a much better, more understated version of the town theme.

: May I help you, sir?

The cloak over in the corner sticks out like a sore thumb. So let's take a look at it.


: In the corner of the shop, draped casually over a tailor's form, Graham sees a thick, fur-lined cloak.

half-naked man

: At the back of the shop, Graham notices a dressing room in which a finicky customer tries on, and rudely rejects, many items of fine clothing.

There's something like eleven things this guy can randomly shout while you're in the shop.

: I don't like THIS at all!
: You expect me to wear THIS!
: Why, these trousers don't even fit!
: This shirt's too tight in the shoulders!
: This isn't my style at all!
: Take these back. I don't like any of them.
: The sleeves aren't long enough!
: "This material's too thin. I like something thicker.
: How am I supposed to get my boots on over these trousers?
: This tie isn't the right color.
: Here, take this. Let me try on another one.

There comes a point where you just need to fire the customer.


: I'm interested in buying something here.
: Ah! Let me show you some things.

: A fine piece of cloth. With this material I could make you beautiful shirts. There isn't a more beautiful piece of fabric to be found anywhere! With this, I could make you the finest trousers you've ever had. Well, what do you think?
: Well, right now I'm just looking. Thanks anyway.
: Sure, sure. Whatever you say. I'm just here to help.


: Not wishing to be put through another speech about fine shirts and trousers, Graham wisely keeps his mouth shut.


: Here. Let me help you with that. Oh, that cloak fits you PERFECTLY! It just looks WONDERFUL on you! Let me tell you... it will certainly keep you toasty warm during the coming winter. Let me know if you wish to buy it.

We can't do anything here yet. So let's just move on. We can't do anything in any of the three shops yet. No points for guessing that we'll need that cloak.

Into the second shop!

: Come on in! Look around! Let me know if you're interested in anything.

Like before, the item we need from in here is instantly obvious. Let's take a look around like the nice toy maker guy said.


: he little girl is too interested in her doll. She pays no attention to Graham.

Fair enough. Let's just talk to the toy maker instead.

: This is a fine little toyshop you have here. You must be very proud.
: Danke, son. I've worked very hard at it over the yars. But you know, you need to really love it... und I do.
: Are most of these toys your creations?
: Ja, most of them. But not all. Some my son made, some I bought, some I traded for.
: You're very talented.
: Danke, danke. Well, let me know if I can help you.

I get the impression this jolly toy maker is German, or perhaps Dutch?


: Hanging on a side wall, Graham notices a strong little sled.


: That's a fine sled, isn't it? Any child would love to have it.
: Yes. I was just admiring the workmanship.
: Danke. If you'd like to buy it, let me know.

Occasionally the door in the back of the toy shop opens and the man back there talks to the toy maker.

: The shipment of carving wood hasn't come in yet. What should we do?
: If it's not in by tomorrow I'll send you to visit the sawmill.
: Okay, Papa.

: Papa, where did you put those new doll clothes Mama made?
: Look in the trunk upstairs. I think I put them there.
: I'll do that.

: Papa, Mama wants you to know that it's almost lunchtime.
: Okay, son. Tell her I'll be in soon.
: I'll do that.

: I'm going to count up the cash receipts from yesterday, okay?
: That's a good idea, son.
: Okay, Papa.

: Is Katrina behaving herself, Papa?
: She's fine, son. I've got my eye on her.
: Okay, but let me know if she's bothering you.

: Papa, where is the puppet string?
: Hmmmm. I think it's in the small cupboard. Look there.
: I'll do that.

: Papa, don't forget Mr. Richards is coming by tomorrow to pick up the wagon for his son.
: I haven't forgotten. It's all ready to go.
: Okay, Papa.

Until I looked at this transcription online, I never realized that a character you may never see has this much dialogue. You technically don't have to walk into the shops until you're ready to get the items you need.

Occasionally the little girl will talk too.

: Grandpapa?
: Ja, mine darling?
: Can I keep this doll? I really like her.
: Now, Katrina. You know these toys are for sale for other kinder. Besides, you've got plenty of dolls. You can play mit her, but just be careful.
: All right, Grandpapa. I'll take care of her.

And that's enough of this place for a long time. If it gets any more saccharine in here I'm going to get tooth decay.

Thankfully there's only one more place in town to check out. No optional dialogue, either. So this will be both short and sweet.

: Take a look around if you want, but we don't have any shoes to sell you right now. We sold our last finished pair yesterday. Our business ain't doin' so good anymore and we're gettin' too old to keep tryin'.
: Is there anything I can do to help?
: There ain't nothin' you can do short o' buyin' us out. But, like I said, if you want to look around, feel free.
: Okay, thanks.

I admittedly don't own my own business selling shoes, but telling a random stranger who walks in to the shop that your business is failing doesn't sound like a great idea.

old woman

: You don't have any shoes for sale, huh?
: That's right. No shoes at all. We're makin' a pair right now, but it'll take awhile...we're not as fast as we used to be.
: Well, that's okay. My trusty boots should carry me through the rest of my journey.
: Sorry, son. We're doin' the best we can.

Honestly, these two are some of the weaker, more forgettable characters in the game. Compared to even the other shopkeepers in town, this pair are flat and boring. At best, they're just a cheap attempt at pathos. The poor fisherman and his wife in the previous game did the same thing a whole hell of a lot better and they were so one dimensional that you can see the eraser marks on the notebook paper around them.


: This old dog doesn't look very appealing to Graham.

0/10 shit game. Can't pet the dog, so fuck this entirely. <>

I'm going to post this image again to point out that there are two items to pick up on this screen. If you haven't played in a long time, or have never played, try to work out where they are. We'll be back for them in a bit.

But first, there's a death I can only show off if I don't loot the town.


This is the town bakehouse. We'll be back here a few more times later in the game. Right now, it's just a crossroads.


This is the inn. We can't do anything here for a while yet.


King's Quest V - The Beehive

This MT-32 soundtrack makes the game sound a lot more classy. Sadly, I can't find many midi tracks on youtube. In the midi version, I would say this track is the other not-so-great one. It's a somewhat high pitched droning tone. It's extremely annoying to listen to. Anyway, this is our destination.

: Ooooh Stay away from those bees!

So like I was saying in town, there's a death you can only show off if you don't get a specific item from there first. King's Quest V uses a lot of item-based event flags, and this is the first such one in the game. To be honest, I didn't even realize you could do this until I was preparing to record for this LP.


: That wasn't a smart move, Graham. BEE seeing you.

Alright, so now we're back here. Have you had time to think about where the two items we need are? Need a hint?

Yep. That single white pixel is something we can take.

: Bending down, Graham quickly retrieves the silver coin from the street.

The other item we need is in the barrel that looks like some background scenery.


: Inside the old barrel, Graham sees an old, rotting fish. Graham leans way down into the barrel and removes... phew... the smelly old fish.

We're back here at the bakehouse again. Just one more death to show off in this update. We can actually do this on any screen with the river, but the message is the same each time.


: No Graham! Don't!

: Too bad. Graham's swimming skills were no match for the mighty river.

This is going to be a pattern with Cedric. He has an extremely unfortunate habit of not trying to "help" until you're already dead.

NEXT TIME: We're going to explore Serenia

List of Points

+2 - Pixel Hunt 1 (Silver Coin)
+2 - Guessing you can look in the barrel



Register of Deaths

A pooooisonous snake!
Not BEEing careful
Swimming in a river