Part 6: The Dark Forest
Hello everyone and welcome back to King's Quest V. We've got quite a bit to do today, so let's not waste any time.
: The amulet is attached to a soft leather thong.
We've already seen what happens when you get caught in the forest without this item. So let's take some precautions against the witch's magic.
: The magic amulet begins to glow softly as Graham slips it over his head. He then carefully tucks the amulet into the front of his tunic, hiding it from sight.
And now we're safe from all but the most powerful of magic. Handy!
: Ooooh, no! Ooooh I'M not going in there! Can't you read the sign?
: Come on, Cedric. There might be something important in here.
: Goooo if you want to. I'll wait HERE!
If you're not protected, the witch will descend upon you immediately. But here we have to wander around a bit before she deigns to show up.
This looks important.
: To Graham's great relief, it appears that the witch's magic has been stopped by the amulet he is wearing, just as Madame Mushka claimed it would.
After ripping at her hair and screaming at us, she just stares holes in us until we talk to her.
: What are you doing in my forest, young man?! *chuckles* Don't you know you're trespassing? *chuckles*
: Oh, I didn't know this was a PRIVATE forest. Do you OWN it?
: Of COURSE I own it! *chuckles* It's mine! And what did you do to my magic?! *cackle*
: I don't think you need to know. Now tell me something... how do I leave this terrible forest?
: I'LL never tell. *chuckles* I'm afraid you're stuck, dearie. *chuckles* Now you're my prisoner.
: We'll see about that!
: Yes, won't we. *cackles*
This witch seriously can't go two sentences without cackling or chuckling like an imbecile. Also now everywhere we walk is interrupted by the witch disappearing and reappearing before we get control. It's rather annoying.
The entrance screen of the forst also no longer exists. So it's just a giant loop of these four screens, plus two other optional ones. The creepy tower in the distance is the last screen, and it's where the witch lives. If we walk to the west from here, there's another two screens that offer a more roundabout way to get to the witch's hut.
There's also at least two ways to die in here, but for all my trying, I was unable to trigger it. Do you see those freaky maw plants in the foreground? It's somehow possible to irritate them, causing them to grab Graham with their roots and chew on him for a while.
The previous screen where we talked to the witch, it's also apparently possible to have a giant spider just drop on your head completely randomly. Again, for all my trying, I was unable to trigger that death either. If you're interested in seeing either, you can click here.
Nidoking offers an explanation:
Triggering the random deaths in the forest requires being trapped there. If you enter without the honeycomb or throw all three emeralds without using it, then walk around after dispatching the witch, one of them will trigger. (It was always the plant for me.) You might also hit one if you enter while wearing the amulet but not carrying the bottle. (That might be what triggers the spider.) As far as I know, you'll never see either if you have a means to escape. That would be cave troll levels of unfair.
That's all the major screens of the forest. So let's just take care of this witch so I can have some peace of mind. This is what I would generally consider to be the first real bullshit puzzle of the game. So far you could more or less intuit what to do by context clues.
This puzzle relies on metagame knowledge. The only things in our inventory are the silver coin, the brass bottle, the old boot, the honeycomb, the magic amulet, and Crispin's wand. One of these items, unlike the others is a dedicated suicide button. Yeah, the game is relying on the fact that you almost certainly rubbed the bottle as soon as you got it, and therefore know that it's a trapped item.
This puzzle, pardon the pun, rubs me the wrong way. There's no internal logic that causes this to make any amount of sense. Other King's Quest games would be done with just this one instance of moon logic, but 5 had to be an overachiever. This isn't even the only case of moon logic in this update.
: What's this?
: Ah! Freedom at last! Now YOU spend the next five hundred years in a bottle!
: Good! That old witch won't be seen here for a LONG time! But now, how to get out of this dreadful forest?
Now that we can walk around in peace, let's start by raiding the witch's house.
There's 3 things to find in this screen. Try to guess where. By the way, the hint for one of the items is active in this particular screengrab.
: An interesting incense burner hangs from a protruding tree branch. Occasionally, from within it, a tiny glint winks.
: What's this? Why, it's a little key.
: It is a tiny brass key.
: Graham spies a crude drawer built into the trunk of a tree which is poking awkwardly through the house.
: A small pouch is tucked away in the drawer.
: Graham reaches into the drawer and removes the leather pouch.
: The small leather pouch is drawn tightly closed.
: Upon opening the leather pouch, Graham discovers three sparkling emeralds
: The trio of sparkling emeralds dazzle the eyes.
: A small, intricate spinning wheel is put away in the trunk.
: Reaching a hand into the trunk, Graham retrieves the small spinning wheel.
: This appears to be a small, intricately-constructed spinning wheel.
And that's all we'll ever need to come in here for.
: A crude little door built into the trunk of a large, twisted tree catches Graham's attention.
: Graham tugs firmly at the door in the tree but finds it securely locked.
: Graham finds that the little key fits perfectly in this lock. Graham is charmed to find a little golden heart inside the door of the twisted old tree.
: Reaching a hand into the open door of the tree, Graham extracts the little golden heart.
: The small heart is made of pure gold.
All the way back over to this screen with those freaky maws. Now there are eyes staring at us.
: Peering curiously at him through the heavy foliage of the dark forest, Graham notices several pairs of bright, blinking eyes.
: Hello? Who's there? I say... who's there? Please help me. Please... oh, never mind.
Now time for more dumb shit. When you have small beady eyes staring at you from the shadows, the proper thing is to bribe them, right?
Well, each time we throw an emerald down, the little elf runs out and nabs it. We also lose an emerald each time we do it. Yes, this is a DMW waiting to happen. Throw that last emerald down, and you're fucked. So naturally we need to...
: Squeezing the honeycomb as hard as he can, Graham causes the honey to drip out of it onto the ground creating a little "puddle" of honey at his feet. Now all that's left of the honeycomb is a piece of beeswax, which Graham pockets.
Yes, this means that there's an EXTENDED DMW layered here as well. If you don't find the fish in the barrel, then you'll never get out of the dark forest. Are you starting to see why I call these things trading sequences? By the way, that fish in the barrel is also part of yet another layered DMW, the one I discussed last time. The one that terminates at the end of the second part of the game, more than an hour from now.
There is absolutely no reason to believe that this should work. I can somewhat see the logic, but honey isn't superglue. Even for gnome sized elves.
King's Quest V - The Elves
: Please! Let me go... I beg of you!
: Why should I do that? What will you do for me?
: I'll show you the way out of the forest... if you let me go!
: How do I know I can trust you?
: I give you my word. An elf NEVER breaks his word!
: Well... it's against my better judgement, but... okay.
: Move over, Rocky. You're in our way!
: Follow me! In here!
Going to cut the update there. We'll pick up next time immediately with a cutscene.
NEXT TIME: The goddamned rat
List of Points
+2 - Actually entering the dark forest
+4 - Gave the witch a genie
+2 - Saw a single pixel key
+2 - Leather pouch
+2 - A town with money
+3 - Unlocked the tree
+2 - Heart taker
+4 - Honey trap
+6 - Elf kidnapper