Part 5: Plot Dump!
Hello everyone and welcome back to King's Quest V. While it's good to know that we have a trapped item, it doesn't really help us a lot for now. So let's just move on.
We're done with the desert, and walking east 7 times puts us in the scrublands right next to the fortune teller.
For reference, here's the map of the desert I was using to give directions. You might be wondering about that well and the tree at the bottom. It's just another "oasis" that you can drink water from. There's nothing to do there, and the item it looks like you can use, the bucket, is just used to fetch water from the well.
Whoever was in charge of background art really went above and beyond. The mingling of the desert, grassy plains, and the forest looks really nice and has the feel of something you might see in California.
And we're back here finally. That last update sure was nice, not having Cedric around. To be honest, I'm really surprised we found him hanging out at the camp. I guess he spends his free time belittling them.
: Well, there you are! I was just starting to get concerned!
: Don't worry about me, Cedric. I'm used to this kind of thing.
Now that we can afford it, let's get our fortunes told.
: It costs vone GOLD coin to see Madame Mushka, not vone SILVER coin.
There's a trio of golden items in the game. We have the first one right now, the gold coin. There's also the willow's golden heart, and a golden needle that we'll find in a later update. Any of these three golden items can more or less be exchanged for each other in the trading sequence.
However, doing so creates a dead man walking scenario. We can't get the golden heart without first talking to Madame Mushka, but we could use the golden needle to "solve" this "puzzle". However, this would fuck us over in about 20-30 gameplay minutes when we need to leave Serenia.
We could also use our golden coin to buy something in the bakehouse, buy the cloak from the tailor, or buy the sled from the toy maker. All three of these actions would reward us points, but also create dead man walking scenarios that leave you playing for, depending on how well you know the game, between 20 minutes and more than an hour.
Dead man walking is, at least in these specific cases, literal. Fucking up will eventually lead to Graham's death an indeterminate amount of time later. Take the temple in the last update. You've got an incredibly strict time limit when you're inside, so you have to move very fast. If you don't see the single pixel that constitutes the gold coin, then you won't realize you fucked something up for a very long time, potentially more than an hour if you do everything else right.
At that point, you'd be stuck unable to progress and with no idea where you went wrong, as you'd have played at least half of the game since your original mistake. That's assuming you did everything else right and somehow avoided the 10,000 other DMW scenarios that plague this game.
The point I've been (badly) trying to make is that there's a lot of dead man scenarios in this game, especially in this stretch. I'll try to call out the most egregious ones, but please understand that there's simply no way I'll be able to list off every permutation of misusing an item. All the shit we've already picked up have DMW scenarios attached as well, I'm sure.
Anyway, somewhere back there we tried to give this fine fellow the wrong coin. So let's actually get back on track.
: You may see Madame Mushka now.
King's Quest V - A Gypsy's Tale
Click this for video
Today's update is all about meeting Madame Mushka. She's going to be giving us some backstory.
: So, you are here to see Madame Mushka, no? Vell, come closer. Sit down.
: I vill tell you your fortune. Already I can tell that you are on a quest of great urgency. Ve vill see vat we can find out for you. Look, King Graham. Look into the crystal ball.
: Look, Manannan, look what I have for you. Take a good look at what you did to my brother, Alexander. Because of you he's doomed to spend the rest of his days as a cat and there's nothing I can do about it. But YOU can do something about it. Since you're the one that did this to him you're the only one who can turn him back again... back to the wizard Manannan.
: I don't know how, Mordack! I'm not a wizard. I just happened to stumble across some magic spells and accidentally turned him into a cat.
: I certainly didn't poison some porridge with a cookie made of magical dough infused with fur from his awful pet.
: I'm familiar with the spell!
: (under his breath) Obviously not...
: I didn't mean it! Please believe me, Mordack. I don't know HOW to turn him back into a wizard!
: You're holding out on me, little man! You're taking advantage of my good nature... but not for long! If I don't get a change of tune from you soon, I'll feed your family to the cat... starting with your dear mother! *cackles* Remember what I said. I'll only give you a little more time to decide before your family becomes cat food!
You know, Alexander could handle this if Mordack just let him return to normal size. All he needs is a little mandrake root powder, some fur from Malatora, some fish oil, and the magic wand I'm sure he's got in his bedroom in the castle. The whole thing could be taken care of in no time at all.
: That is all. But I see that your mission is very dangerous indeed. I will give you something to help you. Here... wear this. It is a magic amulet. It vill protect you against all but the most powerful magic. Good luck, King Graham. Be careful; that Mordack is a bad one!
: Thank you, Madame Mushka
: Madame Mushka is tired. No more for today.
That's actually a pretty good point to cut off. I know this is a super short update, even by standards for this LP series, but doing anything else after that plot dump feels weird. So...
NEXT TIME: The dark forest!
List of Points
+5 - Madame Mushka's reading