The Let's Play Archive

King's Quest V

by DoubleNegative

Part 4: Ahh! Life-giving water! Nectar of the gods!

Hello everyone, and welcome back to King's Quest V. In the last update I mentioned that everything to the west of the beehive/anthill/encampment was a special case that "would be covered later." Well, later is now.


: There's nothing but a hot, dry desert further west. Most people avoid it, because there are bandits out there! If you insist on going, I'll wait for you HERE.

I'm surprised. Really. On the upside, that means that the next section of the game will be Cedric-less!

This desert had to balance the fact that we were about to start enjoying ourselves by not having to deal with our racist owl "buddy". So we're about to enter a maze of sorts. The desert itself is wide open and we can travel in any direction we want. But there is a very specific route that we need to follow, or we'll die.

: Too bad. Even the sting of such a small creature can prove deadly.

That route does not include the scrublands. These continue as far as south as it's possible to walk without dehydrating, and every single one of them has this little scorpion that kills you the instant you enter the screen.

Let's rewind, then. From the screen directly west of the beehive, we need to...

west x4

The liminal screens between points of interest in the desert look like this. So I'm just going to skip over them.

This oasis is directly west of the beehive. It's one of six places in the desert that you can reset the ticking death timer. You read that right. When Graham is in the desert, he has a limited number of screen transitions before he has to recharge at an oasis.

north x2

: The hot sun and choking sands are taking their toll on Graham. He must drink... and soon!

This massive rock wall borders the northern edge of the desert. If we were to walk four screens back east, we'd arrive at the fortune teller's wagon. Anyway, there's nothing we can do here, so let's move on.

east x1, south x1, west x1

: Too late! Graham collapses and dies of extreme thirst in the hot desert sun. If only he could have found an oasis!

: DYING for a drink, Graham?

Sure. Extreme thirst. He definitely didn't die from heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or exposure. Anyway this is the fifth screen since the oasis. Bearing in mind that the oasis paused the death counter, this is the eighth screen since we left the scrublands.

So, you have seven screen transitions in the desert to either find an oasis or to re-enter the scrublands.

Right, so now that I've demonstrated dying in the desert, let's rewind back to the oasis.

King's Quest V - Desert Oasis


: Ahh! Life-giving water! Nectar of the gods! Graham can now feel strength and renewal flowing through him.

I make a habit of saving at each oasis. I don't trust this game. Anyway, from here, we've got a short hike.

west x2, south x1


: Uh oh! A picked-clean and sun-bleached skeleton of a man lies in the sand of the hot, dry desert. What happened? Who can say... but it makes Graham uneasy nevertheless.

Well, I got an idea. Here's a hint: it's an infinite desert. Anyway, the point of interest on this screen is the boot. This little unassuming item is one of the most infamous parts of this game. We're going need it.


: An old shoe lies, forgotten, near the poor man's skeleton.


: Uneasily, Graham reaches down and removes the old shoe from the desert sand.

Got what we need here. Let's continue on.

north x3, west x1

Given enough time and motivation, you'll eventually find everything there is to find in the desert on your own. The skeleton and boot was actually fairly close to another oasis, and that oasis wasn't too far from the bandit camp that Cedric mentioned.

But we need to come here first, else we can't loot the camp for the one item we need. If you don't know where you're going, I imagine that would be rather annoying.

Anyway, there's a small pool of water in front of the rocks. So let's not forget to use that.


: Ahh! Life-giving water! Nectar of the gods! Graham can now feel strength and renewal flowing through him.

: From across the desert sands, Graham can hear the sound of approaching hoofbeats.

King's Quest V - The Bandits and the Temple

: A spy! Get him!

: Never trust a bad guy, Graham.

So yeah. If you linger on this screen for about 30 seconds, you get killed. How do you avoid it?

You do the world's shittiest job hiding behind some rocks. The bandits have no idea what perspective is and can't see you.

We even get points for doing this.

: Open sesame!

He drops off his loot and leaves. And getting inside that temple is our next major goal. Luckily, all we need to do is find the bandit camp and get that staff.

south x3, west x2

This is one of the two oases closest to the bandit camp. So let's recharge and move on.


: Ahh! Life-giving water! Nectar of the gods! Graham can now feel strength and renewal flowing through him.

Yes, I'm going to post that every time Graham drinks. I had to listen to it, and now you have to read it.

south x3, west x1

King's Quest V - Bandit Camp

The map I'm using lists the desert as an 11x7 grid. The scrublands next to the fortune teller are in the top right. That, then, places this bandit camp in the lower left.


: With disgust, Graham looks at a drunken bandit lying face down in the desert sand... completely passed out.

Well, that dancing show in the window looks fun. Let's go take a look. I'm sure they won't mind.

large tent

: An intruder!

: That wasn't a very smart move, Graham.

Fine, fine. We'll not enter the tent with all the bandits.

smaller tent

So this room is a giant trap. Though we can still have some fun.

sleeping bandit

: Thanks again for all your help.
: Who are you? A SPY!

Jesus Christ! Anyway, same death message for outside. So let's move on.

The staff in the back of the chamber is our goal. But we have to take a very specific route to get to it. If we walk right past the bandit, he wakes up and stabs Graham in the skull again.

The pole actually shows where it's safe to walk. Go around the outside edge and you can nab the staff in peace.


: Taking care to be very quiet, Graham reaches out and takes the staff into his possession

Let's get the hell out of here.

Before we leave, be sure to grab some water from the urn.


: Ahh! Life-giving water! Nectar of the gods! Graham can now feel strength and renewal flowing through him.

east x1, north x3


: Ahh! Life-giving water! Nectar of the gods! Graham can now feel strength and renewal flowing through him.

north x3, east x2


: Ahh! Life-giving water! Nectar of the gods! Graham can now feel strength and renewal flowing through him.


: The jeweled staff is obviously the work of an expert craftsman.
: The worn old shoe is cracked and dry from the desert sun.

temple door

: Open sesame!

: Oh no! The staff broke!

The two items we need to pick up are blindingly obvious. Sure, one's another single pixel, but it's a neon yellow pixel against a dark background. Also it glints. But let's pretend we're blinded by greed.

mountain of gold

The lesson here is don't be greedy. We have a chest full of infinite gold at home. Why would we need THIS treasure?

: Cheer up, Graham. At least you can practice your game of tiddlywinks!

So let's stop pretending we didn't see the coin and bottle on the ground.


: Bending down, Graham hurriedly picks up the gold coin from the temple floor. Quickly, Graham also grabs the old brass bottle.

As soon as we have the two items, we need to hurry. The temple door closes fairly quickly.

: It is a shiny gold coin.
: This is an old, tarnished brass bottle.

Let's see if Graham is lucky twice in his life.

: Ah! Freedom at last! Now YOU spend the next five hundred years in that bottle!

: Graham should know better than to keep things bottled up inside.

That was bad and amazing. Anyway, that's enough for now.

NEXT TIME: We leave the desert

List of Points

+2 - Ahh! Life-giving water! Nectar of the gods! Graham can now feel strength and renewal flowing through him.
+2 - Stealing a dead man's shoes
+3 - Found the temple
+2 - Hid at the temple
+3 - Found bandit camp
+2 - The magic staff
+2 - Open SESAME
+2 - Gold coin
+2 - Brass bottle



Register of Deaths

Failing to drink water in the desert
Being a spy, apparently x3
Meeting the friendly bandits
Being a greedy asshole
Graham the genie