King’s Quest: Two steps forward, one step back

(This is part of my journey playing through King’s Quest.  You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lanes page.)

king1It actually took me a while to find out how to access my inventory screen in King’s Quest, since the manual was long on flowery descriptions of the backstory and short on practical keyboard commands.  It’s CTRL-I if anyone else needs to know.  That right up there is what I’ve gotten so far, and it’s ironic, because those are the same items that the police confiscated from their last raid of my lair.

king2So let’s start out today’s adventures with a heaping of DEATH!  Apparently even with those tights, I cannot swim.  A shame, a shame.  I am tickled by the death music, which is this somber dirge that transitions into a “that’s all folks!” happy cartoon ditty.

king3This is a tree.  It has walnuts.  It is a walnut tree.  Just to bring you up to speed.  I take one and open it up to find (why not) a pure gold walnut.  Dang, I’ve been out on my own for like seven screens now and I’ve amassed about $25,000 in gold and assorted goods.  Plus pebbles.

king4This is an example of the game being helpful in a very unhelpful way.  I mean, I probably don’t need a text popup to tell me that this wolf blitzing at me at 75mph won’t be good for my health.  I definitely don’t need the game to tell me he can run fast because I have eyes.  And I don’t know what I’m supposed to do about it, since I walk like my feet are dipped in quick-dry cement.  I guess quickly go to a new screen where the wolf will instantly lose interest in me.  Yes, that’s the trick.  Or I could see what happens if I stand still…

king5If only I had an elf carcass on me!   Woe is me.

In the next area is a log and a stump, and inside the stump is (why not) a pouch filled with diamonds.  My net worth has shot up to $90,000 now and I think I could probably retire to a small lakeside hut if the game would allow it.  Alas, it does not.

king6So here’s the woodcutter’s house, and if you couldn’t tell by these cutting-edge graphics, they’re poor and their house has two big holes in the floor that could only be repaired by, I dunno, wood.  That someone could cut.  Perhaps with the axe in the front yard.  But that’s OK, guys, you just keep sitting there at the table being poor and hungry.  That’ll get stuff done.

king7Sorry doesn’t unbreak my legs, pal.  And what did I just fall down into?  Did they build this house over a pit?  I mean, seriously, I should’ve fallen six inches onto the dirt underneath the house.  Sheez.  You guys fail at being poor.

Fine.  Have this bowl of endless stew that I picked up.  Be less hungry.  I’m going to take your fiddle for payment and get out of this flea trap.

king8Yes, that’s a fully edible gingerbread house just two screens away from the starving poor woodcutter family.  Do people in this world ever get out or do they just hope that an adventurer might stumble by to feed them and change their diapers?

Sidebar: Why is this house not crawling with ants?

king9Oh hey, the wicked witch is home and she catches me, apparently to fatten me up for an eventual dinner.  I get thrown into the cage and she flies away.  Game over.

OK, wait, let’s back up here.  So many thoughts about this.  First of all, lady, you’re in an edible house and have paralyzing spells.  Is cannibalism really the only option left to you for sustinence?  Second, how will you fatten me up?  With lots of food that you could be eating?  Third, I’m in an EDIBLE HOUSE.  I should be able to eat my way to freedom.

Well, lady, you know the rule: You try to kill me and it’s open season on witches.

king10I just love how supportive the game is of me murdering an old lady.  “Yay!  You did it!  You’re awesome!  You burned that witch alive!  Now purge the rest of the infidels!  BURN THEM ALL!   …brought to you by Sierra.”

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