The Let's Play Archive

King's Quest V

by DoubleNegative

Part 12: Harpy Island

Hello everyone and welcome back to King's Quest V. We're fairly close to the end of the game now. This section seemingly lets up from the linear path of the mountains, but there's typically only one thing we can do at a time.

iron bar

: It is a lovely golden locket on a delicate chain. Upon opening it, Graham sees a portrait of an older couple in regal attire. So as not to damage the picture, he quickly closes it again.

: The heavy iron bar is a bit rusted from being out in the weather.

Progress is to the north, but the path also goes south from here. So why not go that way first.


Not gonna lie, making a house out of the bow of a shipwreck is kinda rad.


: A makeshift house, fashioned from the bow of a wrecked ship, occupies the south end of a small, narrow beach.

: Ooooh isn't this a funny house, Graham? What kind of person would live in a place like this?

Let's calmly knock on the door and talk to the inhabitant. I'm sure someone who lives on a disused beach on the sheltered side of a very tall mountain is someone who wants company.

Who knocks on a door like that?

: Graham pounds on the door, but finds it bolted from the inside. He can, however, hear activity within.

Because Graham can't be trusted to knock on the door like a normal human, let's try ringing the bell for service.


Good job, Graham. You disturbed a hermit.

: Who are you? What are you doing on my beach?
: I am King Graham of Daventry and I'm on a journey to find the wizard Mordack's island. But I seem to be stuck; I don't know where to go from here.
: Eh? What's that you say?

There's a shitload of dialogue here, where Graham gets increasingly irritated at the Hermit ignoring him. Unfortunately, it's completely out of order in the transcript. So while I can show you the individual parts, I can't show how they fit together.

: Eh? I can't hear ya!
: What's that you say?
: What? Speak louder, boy!
: Eh? What's that?
: I can't understand ya!
: Gotta speak up, boy!
: Eh?
: What? I can't understand!
: I can't hear ya! Speak up!
: Can't understand a thing you said. Gotta speak up boy! Now, get on outta here!

: Please help me. I need your help.
: I just need some information.
: Do you know where the wizard Mordack lives?
: I don't know where to go from here.
: Can you help me?
: My family has been kidnapped by Mordack. I need to find him.
: You've got to help me!
: Please! Take the time to listen to me.
: I need help to find Mordack's island.
: I think I'm lost. I need your help.
: I think you can help me...if you would only listen.

Anyway, the Hermit doesn't seem like he'll be very helpful. So let's just go north instead. I think I saw a boat up there.

north x2

: Look Graham, there's a boat here. Maybe we can uuuuse it.

What am I doing, you ask? Oh... nothing. Just saving for no real good reason. Without dwelling on why I would show a save screen, let's climb in the boat.


: C'mon Cedric, get in the boat!
: Aye aye, captain!

: Watch out, there's a hole in the boat!
: Help! Hellllp!

: Thanks for playing King's Quest V.


: An old, cast-off sailboat sits forlornly on the narrow, sandy beach.

There's another description, but for all my trying I was not able to trigger it. You're supposed to be able to look at the sailboat again to get...

: Graham notices a small hole in the bottom of the old sailboat.

After reloading from showing off the death, I clicked the eye on the boat four times, and was never able to get the second line to play. Just due to the nature of King's Quest V, anyone with the stubbornness to make it to this point is going to assume something is up with the boat. But when a cursory examination doesn't reveal anything out of place...

I originally had this long rant about the "fuck you" nature of the puzzle, and how the developers were changing the rules mid game. But the fact that the description is supposed to change and doesn't is arguably worse. Maybe you're supposed to leave the screen and come back. Who knows!

Thankfully, the solution to this awful puzzle is straightforward enough. Just gotta plug the invisible hole.


: Graham firmly wedges the softened piece of beeswax into the small hole in the boat's hull. Hopefully, the wax will hold and make her seaworthy.

King's Quest V - Sailing and the Serpent

The open sea is kinda like the desert in that there's a lot of places we could theoretically go.

This is a map from the King's Quest wiki. 18 squares, counting the 3 on the beach, and only one possible destination. Well, 2 if we enter the "here be dragons" section of the map. Let's do that actually.


: Graham, watch out!

: That is a nasty sea creature.

The sea serpent is like the desert scorpion. It serves as a hard boundary to where we can't go.

So let's rewind back to the previous screen.

east x2, south, east

This takes us right to "Harpy Island". Not like we have any choice in the matter.

King's Quest V - Harpie Island

: Look, Graham! An island! Perhaps we should explore it.
: Yes, I think we should, Cedric.

: Ooooh Graham, I don't like the looks of this...
: Me neither.

: Graham! Help me!

There's a required item on the beach. You can see it glinting in the gif. We'll have to get that in a moment.

Yet another glinting item in this gif. But first we have something slightly more pressing to deal with...

: Where did you find HIM, Minotta?
: We found him on the beach. Isn't he luscious? Yummm!
: I don't know... he doesn't look like MY type. What do YOU think, Cruleena?

: I think he looks too old and tough. I like MY meals to be young and tender.
: Don't be so picky. I'm tired of fish. I haven't had a man in months.
: Yes, you did. I saw you steal a man off a raft just last week!
: Oh, he doesn't count! He was already picked over by the time I got to him!
: Well, at least this one's fresh!
: I don't know about you girls... but I'm ready to eat!
: Oh, you're ALWAYS ready to eat. That's why you're so fat!
: I am not!
: You are too!
: Oh, quit arguing, girls! Let's eat!

: Hate to harp on the subject, but... Graham was no match for the vicious harpies!

Out of everything in our inventory, the harp is probably the thing that makes the most sense to use here. "Taming the savage beasts" and all that.

: What's he doing? What's that thing?
: I don't know, but I want it!

: Hey!
: That's not fair!
: Bring it back!


Now that we're done listening to Josh Mandel and Roberta Williams screech at each other, let's take stock of our surroundings.

Do you see the tiny pixel item in the screenshot? I pointed its glint out earlier. Just look for the discolored pixel on the grass, next to the foreground rock formation. Yeah, be sure to pick that up.

If we don't have that item, then it's just as bad as not picking up the locket from the roc nest. Both DMWs terminate in the same place for the same ultimate reason, actually.


: Half-hidden in the coarse island grass Graham notices an old fishhook.


: Graham quickly bends down and rescues the fishhook from the ground.

: This is a rusted old fishhook.

There's nothing more we can do here, so let's just leave.



: Poor Cedric. Having been seriously wounded by the vicious harpies, he now lies, moaning and in pain, upon the sandy path.

Cedric is dying. We could leave him here and be done with him. But... leaving Cedric to die is the third DMW that terminates at the final puzzle of the game. Believe me, if I had any choice in the matter, I'd leave that racist scumbag for the harpies. But we actually want to win, so...

: Graham... *cough cough* Help me...

: Cedric, where do you hurt?
: Ooooh... everywhere... *cough cough*


glinting mess of pixels

: Graham notices a large conch shell lying delicately upon the sandy beach.

conch shell apparently

: Graham bends over and picks up the beautifully-colored shell.


Whoops, shit. I forgot something.


Hope you got everything the first time, including Cedric. Because if you come back, you die.

Anyway, that's a good stopping point for now.

NEXT TIME: Mordack's Island

List of Points

+2 - Found a prybar
+5 - Plugged the hole
+3 - Found the only island in the ocean
+4 - Tempted the harpies
+3 - Got Cedric
+2 - Conch shell



Register of Deaths

Invisible hole in the boat
Here be dragons
Harpy food x2