Posted in Retro Gaming

King’s Quest III part 3: Free at last!


(This is part of my journey going checking out King’s Quest III. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)

With Manannan gone, I am free from both having to spell his name and the cursed time constraints. I guess I also inherit his entire house? Shouldn’t the game end here, with me becoming the new wizard and lord of the manor and king of the chickens? There’s no narrative push for a new objective, other than to keep exploring and solving puzzles.


Hey! That there looks like a place I totally don’t want to visit! No matter what the decade, there’s always going to be giant spiders in a fantasy video game. It’s law.


I know I haven’t been that complimentary toward the game so far, so here’s some faint praise: I thought this screen looked really pretty. Definitely a lot nicer than what you’d see in King’s Quest I (and that little waterfall is even animated).


The Medusa encounter is a bit tricky. I got turned into stone within seconds of entering this screen and had to figure out a way to deal with her. It’s a two-step process: You have to turn right quickly to avoid looking at her, and then when she comes close, you show her your mirror. Poof! You’re stone, baby!

With my pockets overflowing with a ridiculous number of random items — such as a thimbleful of dew — I head back to the wizard’s, er, my house to do some spell mixing. Nothing like staring at a picture of an open book for a half-hour while typing in commands to make these items one by one! In any case, now I have a bunch of hopefully helpful spells and a newfound dislike of this game’s creators. YOU MADE MAGIC HOMEWORK.


So I haven’t shown a lot of deaths thus far in the playthrough. It’s a Sierra game, so of course there are like a bazillion ways to die, but for some reason the deaths and game over messages feel a little lackluster this time around. Perhaps it’s because I’m used to the snark of the Space Quest series, I don’t know.

Anyway, here is me being devoured by a spider. It’s a little hard to see, but I’m halfway in his mouth. I was disappointed that the spider didn’t wrap me up in a cocoon and then suck my juices out, but the animators had a time crunch to consider.


So how to get rid of that spider? Well, let’s think logically here: What is a spider’s greatest enemy? An eagle, of course. That means I just needed to use one of my precious spells to transform into an eagle (which is 1/4th the size of said spider), pick up the arachnid in my beak, carry it out over the ocean, and let it drop in to presumably drown.

And yes, all of this is GLORIOUSLY animated and worth the price of admission alone. I’m dying to know what’s in this cave!


In here I find an oracle — probably bored stiff by waiting in a cave for all of these years without Netflix — and she (he?) kicks the plot into overdrive. Apparently I’m actually a prince, the son of King Graham, and my family’s in a lot of danger from a three-headed dragon (that’s the only thing scarier than a two-headed dragon). Even worse, the sister that I didn’t know I had is set to be sacrificed to the dragon for some reason.

This is all strangely yet amusingly animated in the crystal ball. After this light show, the oracle gives me an amber stone and (seriously) falls asleep. Time to go rescue my sis!

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