(This is part of my journey going checking out King’s Quest V. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
One major gripe that I haven’t mentioned yet about King’s Quest V is the land speed of a walking Graham — this is probably about a percentage of a mile an hour. The slow movements of just about every character, including the one you control, is probably a result of the increased graphics and animation, but sheesh is it annoying, particularly when you’re traversing several screens. And no, there’s no run button or command for Graham that I could find.
So we’re back at Mr. Snake, armed with our wits, a hammer, and a tambourine. Yup, all it takes to scare off a snake is the prelude to a cheesy hippie song. Although in all fairness, I would run from that too. “Begone, you slithery varmit!” Graham says. “Scat!”
Past the snake is a trail leading up into the mountains. Doesn’t that look like the most delicious mountain ever? Like chocolate cake covered in icing. Mmm. Graham starts shivering with the cold and Cedric falls over, frozen in death. Well, one of those things happened.
Oh yeah, Graham is now that guy at the renaissance faire that you desperately try not to make eye contact with. Men cannot pull off cloaks, I’m sorry.
Soon enough, he starts complaining about being hungry, so I shove a half a leg of lamb down his mouth-hole and continue on with the journey.
Graham falls to a gruesome death as Cedric is oh-so-helpfully telling him to be careful. Well, that’ll show him. But seriously, the falling scream here is quite intense. Makes me feel bad for doing it to him a second time just to get this screenshot.
Okay, I am very much doubled over in laughter here. If it’s hard for you to make out in the picture, a wolf lunges out of nowhere to grab Cedric in his mouth and carry him off, all while the bird screams for help. Considering how incredibly annoying and useless that owl has been for the bulk of the game so far, I find it both soothing to see his feathers ruffled and hilarious that the game thinks that I care if he’s being kidnapped or eaten or whatever. Bye bye, Cedric. I do not give a hoot about you.
To make a good gaming session even better, I finally get to use my sled! In perhaps the most spectacular moment in the King’s Quest series to date, Graham boards his sled and careens down a mountain while a cheery, catchy tune plays. Graham jumps the sled over a gap in slow-motion — “I can see my castle from up hereeeee!” — and then crashes it into tiny pieces.
Of course, it doesn’t take long before the fun is done and it’s back to being captured by ridiculous monarchs. This time it’s the snow queen Iceabella (Elsa? Is that you? Let me gooo… let me goooo… I am one with the wind and sky…).
Graham actually does bust out some music, courtesy of the tree princess’ harp. The ice queen is so touched (“My heart has melted… a little” groan) that she gives Graham a chance to live by ridding a cave of a yeti. Also, the ice queen said she’d let Cedric go too, but let’s not be too hasty, eh?
Because there is no depth to the abstract silliness that KQV is willing to plumb, Graham kills the yeti by throwing a pie in its face. Somewhere behind him, a half-frozen Luke Skywalker still is trying to reach his lightsaber with “the force.”
In any case, freedom attained, and Graham leaves the mountains a few inventory items lighter.