(This is part of my journey playing through King’s Quest II: Romancing the Throne. You can follow the entire series on the Nostalgia Lane page.)
It’s a long hike back through and from Dracula’s castle to the floating nesting doors, but I finally get there and — whilst regretting ever leaving my comfy throne to begin with — I unlock the final door. What will this amazing world be like? My mind literally cannot fathom the scope and vistas to come!
Oh, it’s… blue. And purply. Honestly? My mind could have totally fathomed this if I had known in advance. I’m feeling more than a little let down with a normal setting with “wacky” colors considering all of the effort I just went through to solve someone’s weird scavenger hunt.
So I cast a net I found again… and again… and again. King’s Quest: Fishing Simulator, coming Spring 1985!
Eventually I land a large gasping fish and am perplexed as to what to do with it. The game doesn’t let me kill it, scale it, eat it, make it into a hand puppet, or mount it on my wall. So I have to throw it back into the sea, upon which the fish expresses its gratitude for saving its life by giving me a lift across the ocean. Not to complain about a free ride, but wasn’t I also the one who endangered your life?
I found this kind of amusing. The second I walk onto this screen, the game all but points to the amulet on the sand and says “PICK IT UP, DUMMY.” I guess the game is sensing that we’re almost to the end and it doesn’t want me to waste time doing a pixel hunt.
I find a tower in the middle of the island with another one of those very annoying King’s Quest II circular staircases. I can imagine the desginers thought that this looked all 3D and cool, but it’s a pain to try to navigate because you can fall off if you don’t walk on a very specific path. And then you die, of course.
Speaking of death, at the top of the stairs is a lion who is eager to kill me because no one is feeding the poor thing. I got a laugh out of the death animation, which is less “the lion leaps up to ravage me” and much more “I do a flying headdive down the lion’s gullet.”
I have a choice to feed it with the ham I found or kill it with my snake-sword, and since I haven’t gotten to kill anything in this game so far, I take the more brutal route. Now the internet’s going to hate me as a lion killer.
Now that Valanice and I have spent an entire minute together, our relationship has progressed to the point where we can get married. I ask her for her hand and she gives it to me, probably because she has no other way of getting off the island. Then we magically appear back in the chapel, where the monk marries us in front of a crowd of everyone from the game — including a shark and the supposed-to-be-dead Dracula. I like how Grandma and the wolf have decided to go to the wedding as a couple. Good for them.
The game concludes with us returning to my castle and a popup with a cheap plug for King’s Quest III. Stay classy, Sierra!
King’s Quest II is really an exercise in “more of the same.” While it is larger and boasts more characters and animations, it really doesn’t offer much over the first installment. The lack of any sort of narrative other than “find the girl, marry the girl” is disappointing, and some of the puzzles and game design is downright obtuse (the breakable rope bridge in particular). And the mish-mash of fantasy tropes and settings made this new land just as bewilderingly ambiguous as the one from the first game.
I heard that players who agreed with the game’s shortcomings made a fan remake of the game with more story and puzzle improvements.
Still, I will say that it’s not a bad game overall. The humor, when it comes in animation or text form, still has the ability to elicit a laugh or two. Several obstacles have a couple of different solutions, which is great.
I think I’m going to put a bookmark in my King’s Quest journey right there and start a new poll for the next game of this playthrough series. Thanks for reading!