This article is about the development of King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride.
Roberta Williams had originally thought about dropping the numerals from this game, it was originally going to be called King's Quest: The Prince-less Bride. Other subtitles that they had thought about using included; "What's Lava Got to Do with It" and "Rosella Vs. The Volcano" before they decided on the The Princeless Bride.
Roberta came up with a new, icon-less interface that she introduced in both King's Quest VII and Phantasmagoria.
Lorelei: "I think King's Quest VII is so special because of it's quirky, lively characters. We had an incredible amount of time creating them, and Mark Hudgins' animation brought them fully to life. Roberta and I were actually sad when the plotting process for the game was over. We were on a roll, and I think we could have dreamed things up for another two years."
Attempt to get Pixar involvedEdit
- I wanted to do something really blow-away and decided to contact Pixar to see if they would be willing to do the opening for KQ7. Pixar was a company formed by Steve Jobs (formerly and currently of Apple) to do major animated films. My memory is that at the time Toy Story, their first film, had just been released or was nearing release.
- To my surprise, I got an almost immediate call back from Steve Jobs himself. We had met a few times back at the birth of the industry, but had never really said more than a few words. He was in a very talkative mood, and it wound up being a half hour chat about a wide range of topics. Unfortunately, Pixar was well beyond having any interest in charging me a few hundred grand to do a short animated film, so nothing ever came of it - but, it was fun getting a brief audience with one of the most creative and interesting people of our time.
King's Quest VII was designed by Roberta Williams and Lorelei Shannon working together out of the new corporate Sierra offices in Bellevue, Washington. Roberta has reportedly come up with a new, icon-less interface that will be introduced in both King's Quest VII and Phantasmagoria. King’s Quest VII featured an innovative chapter-based design, an intelligent bookmarking system for saving games, and an easy point-and-click interface, making the game more intuitive for the novice gamer, while still being challenging for those who had enjoyed the series for the past 10 years. This was the first King’s Quest game which could not be released on diskette, as the number of disks which would be required to hold the files would never fit in a game box, or even multiple game boxes! The graphics were breathtaking in scope, created by a team of animators who drew individual images, cel-style, and then digitally added color and sequenced the images to produce motion. The resulting animation not only set new standards for game graphics, but also rivaled or surpassed the animation available on TV or film.
With the success of King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, it was obvious that the King's Quest series still was Sierra's flagship. With the new and exciting possibilities opened up by the multimedia revolution, Roberta finally saw the possibility to design the kind of games she had already dreamed of for a long time. This would become her most busy period ever at Sierra, because she decided to develop two games in parallel, each one of a scale Sierra had not ever tried before. Her pet project was Phantasmagoria, a game she had already wanted to do for several years. The design of Phantasmagoria was incredibly ambitious and required huge investments for Sierra. Although overshadowed by this project, the other game- King's Quest VII- required a lot of resources as well. Right from the beginning, Roberta was concerned about how the series could stay alive and fresh. She wanted King's Quest VII to take a new approach and not become just another sequel. That approach would be to make the game much more light-hearted and cartoony than previous King's Quest games. Roberta was always inspired by the Disney movies, and wanted the next King's Quest game to be like them. With multimedia technology becoming the standard, movie-quality animation could finally be used in games. The whole gaming industry was looking at the movie industry for inspiration at the time. Phantasmagoria was going to use live actors and sets. But the same approach was not going to fit the King's Quest universe, as it was much more about fantasy and imagination and would be limited by the use of full-motion video.
With the rapid increase in computer sales it was also obvious that the market of novice computer users was expanding, and to grab hold of that market, King's Quest VII needed to be easy to play. Roberta devised a simplified interface with only one mouse cursor for all actions instead of the multiple action cursor system invented for King's Quest V. The cursor would flash whenever moved over an interesting area on the screen. This would simplify interaction with the game so much that even young children could easily understand it, and the cartoony approach was already bound to attract more children to the series. This new interface would later receive a lot of criticism for the way it reduced the user interaction to simply clicking on everything interesting on the screen without thinking much about how to interact with the game world to solve puzzles. However, the simplistic interface certainly made the game design easier. The same type of interface was used for Phantasmagoria. Both games would run on the new, multimedia-friendly, 32 bit version of Sierra's SCI interpreter: SCI-32. One of the features of this interpreter was support for Super VGA graphics at a resolution of 640x480 pixels.
The workload of two big game project at once was tough on Roberta, but she wouldn't accept any of the games to suffer from too much attention on the other. However, it was once again necessary with assistance, and this time Roberta co-designed the game with Lorelei Shannon, who had previously written the hint book for the King's Quest I remake and co-designed Pepper's Adventures in Time with Jane Jensen, co-writer of King's Quest VI. This continued the tradition of using King's Quest to train new game designers. Lorelei would later design the sequel to Phantasmagoria, which Roberta had no part in. Working out of Sierra's new Bellevue offices, Roberta and Lorelei created the story and characters for the game, a process which featured a lot of crazy ideas that sometimes ended up in the game and sometimes not. The approach was to create a game full of wacky humor and cartoony characters, and no idea was too wild to consider. This time, there would be not only one, but two main characters. This was not a new idea in adventure games, but it was the first time it was used in the King's Quest series. The characters would be Princess Rosella and, for the first time, Queen Valanice. Having female leads was not a controversial decision anymore, as Roberta had already proven that it was a successful concept in her previous games King's Quest IV and Colonel's Bequest. As the game would reach a new audience as well and not only old King's Quest fans, it was necessary to make it work as a stand-alone game for players who didn't know of the history of the characters from the previous King's Quest games.
But even with the help from Lorelei, Roberta had to work very hard to develop both games in parallel. She sacrificed much of her free time and personal life for the sake of the games. She has mentioned that it was sometimes hard to keep both games in her head at the same time, especially because they were so radically different. But she always managed to give one of them full attention at all of the critical moments.
Long-time Sierra musician Mark Seibert was appointed as producer for King's Quest VII. In the coming years he would be the producer of some of Sierra's biggest games.
Once the story and characters were developed, art director Andy Hoyos and animation director Marc Hudgins could start development of the artistic style of King's Quest VII. Marc did illustrations of all the characters in the game to base the animation on.
The amount of animation needed for the game could easily rival that of an animated feature film, and Sierra did not have such in-house resources. They required the help of several animation houses, and the in-house animation studio was only used for some of the animation in chapter 6. Four animation houses were contracted to do the rest:
- Animation Magic Inc. was an animation studio in St. Petersburg, Russia. They were given the responsibilities of doing the global animations and the animation for chapter 1.
- Dungeon Ink & Paint, based in South Carolina, did the animation for chapters 2, 3 and 5.
- LA West Film Production did the animation for chapters 4 and 6. They were based in Croatia. The political situation in the area at the time never created any problems though.
- Animotion, a New York studio, made some of the animation for chapter 5 and the opening and closing movies.
The animation was done with traditional animation techniques, where the animation frames are first drawn on paper and then scanned into computers where they were submitted to a digital touch-up and coloring process
Backgrounds were painted in-house, and a novelty of the game was the use of backgrounds bigger than the screen. When the player walked towards one of the sides of the screen at some locations, the background would scroll in the opposite direction, revealing more scenery. This was another part in the effort to make the game more cinematic. The inventory system also featured a novelty. All inventory objects were rendered in 3D and could be rotated by the user. This feature was utilized to make some of the inventory objects reveal important details that could only be discovered by close examination. All of the 3D artwork was done in-house at Sierra.
The voice acting, directed by Lorelei Shannon, featured a cast of professional voice actors. Although they were less famous than the King's Quest VI cast, going back to amateur voice acting like in King's Quest V was out of the question. The music was composed by four of Sierra's composers: Jay Usher, Neal Grandstaff, Dan Kehler and the producer Mark Seibert. Although moving towards full multimedia, the music still needed to be done with traditional synthesizer technology to make the game fit on one CD and run smoothly. The music was best suited for the Roland Sound Canvas, but support for General MIDI was naturally implemented.
A sneak preview of the game was released with the 15th Anniversary release The King's Quest Collection.
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride was released in November 1994 and ended up as a much-awaited Christmas present in many homes. Shipped on CD only, it set pretty bold system requirements. Deals with computer manufacturers like Compaq made King's Quest VII ship together with many new multimedia computers to show off the possibilities opened up by CD-ROM drives and digital sound cards. Much like with Cyan's mega-hit Myst, this made the game reach many people who would not have discovered it otherwise, and King's Quest VII sold very well, boosting the total sales figure of the series to over 3 million copies. In 1995, Sierra released a second version of the game with full support for Microsoft's much-awaited Windows 95.
An Interview with RobertaEdit
So the project was finally winding clown (at least in the design phase). I invited Roberta out to lunch to talk about the seventh King's Quest game. We were relaxing over pasta and iced lattes, talking about dogs and kids, movies, books and games. We caught up on our chatting (which we're wont to do whenever we get together—just ask Ken), and then it was time to get to work. I pulled out my handy-dandy pocket tape recorder and plunked it on the table. Roberta leaned back in her chair, smiling up at the (rarely) blue Seattle sky as I asked her the first question.
Lorelei: I can't believe the King's Quest series is up to seven! We've come a long way since Quest for the Crown. How would you say this King's Quest is different from the KQs that have come before it?
Roberta: This King's Quest has very different animation. I would call it feature-film style, which is a different thing for King's Quest. It also features two protagonists, which is different and unique for the series. Both of them happen to be female, winch I think is an interesting twist. I think having female protagonists added a softer, more whimsical approach to the game.
Lorelei: Less bashing and more thinking?
Roberta: Yeah. Less of the macho element. But I think players will find the puzzles just as challenging and fun. Let's see, how else is it different? Well, it's written in chapters, which you can play in any order. You can skip around, like a book. Although King's Quest VII has a continuous storyline, each chapter is complete in and of itself. They're almost like little mini-games within the larger game. You also alternate characters with the chapters: You're Valanice, then Rosetta, then Valanice, and so on. Of course, they do come together at the end...
Lorelei: So it's more conducive to people's active lifestyles. They're not faced with a huge, endless-looking game; they can actually see goals, and gauge their progress through the chapters.
Roberta: Yes. Absolutely. But It's still a complete, rich storyline, and a long, satisfying game. The story is more compelling than previous King's Quests, and the art is more like an animated feature film than what people think of as "computer art". I think this one will be a hit in the mass market.
Lorelei: One thing that people always seem to notice about King's Quest is that you put a lot of yourself into the game; plenty of fun and humor. What is your favorite part of the game design process?
Roberta: Hmm. I think my favorite part is coining up with the story at the beginning. You know, thinking about what is this story, who is the character, what are they going to do. It's almost like playing a game yourself. Sometimes when you start, you don't know how the design is going to end. It's kind of a weird, vicarious way of playing your own game before anybody else does. (laughs) In fact, after writing these games. I find it anticlimactic to play someone else's adventure game. I'd rather be designing!
Lorelei: Do you have a favorite part of King's Quest VII?
Roberta: Give me a minute. I've been so immersed in Phantasmagoria!* (laughs) Oh, gosh. I think the Troll Underground is so much fun. I like all the trolls; they have a lot of personality. I also like Ooga Booga a lot.
Lorelei: That's my favorite part.
Roberta: (laughs) That figures. I don't know. Maybe I just like the more sinister aspects of the game...
Lorelei: Do I sense a little Phantasmagoria creeping in here?
Roberta: That's what it is! Maybe I just got saturated with Phantasmagoria and I can't get it out of my head. (laughs) Anyway, those two areas seem to have a little more humor, and they're a little more tongue-in-cheek and quirky than the rest of the game.
*Footnote: In case you haven't heard, Phantasmagoria is Roberta's new adult horror game. With a 3-D rendered environment, live videotaped actors, and an ultra-spooky storyline, it's sure to make your hair stand on end and your skin crawl right off your back!
Lorelei: What do you think is the hardest part of game design?
Roberta: Probably coming up with the proper interface. That's the hardest part. The stories aren't that tough to come up with.
Lorelei: That's the good part.
Roberta: Yup. I would say the toughest things to deal with are the interface and the technical aspects of how you want the game to work. I'm not a technical person by any means, but I have enough of an understanding to know what I can and can't do on the machine. I put lot of thought into that before I start working on a game. There's a certain visionary aspect to that. If you're thinking about a game to be released two years front now, you have to take into account what the technological advances will be.
Lorelei: Do you ever have ideas that are just beyond the ability of the computer to execute?
Roberta: All the time. That's one reason some of my games are ahead of their time. I like to push the envelope. My ideas are bigger than reality, for the most part. I always have to take it down a little bit. Of course, I'm in a unique position there. It helps to be a co-founder of Sierra, and to be married to the company's president, Ken Williams.
Lorelei: So do you work with Ken during the design process, when you're trying to figure out if you actually can do something on the computer?
Roberta: Oh yeah. A lot of people don't realize this, but Ken was a programmer before he was the president of a company, and he was actually an extremely good programmer. He's worked with compiler development, language development, artificial intelligence, lots of things. There are probably very few people in the computer industry that are better than Ken in the areas of programming and technology. It's just that he doesn't get much time to do that any more.
Lorelei: Do you think he misses it?
Roberta: I know he does. We talk about "One of those days when we're retired, what will we do?" I talk about maybe writing books, he talks about going back to programming. He really loves it. I'm very lucky I can talk to Ken about these ideas.
Lorelei: Are you planning on doing King's Quest VIII?
Roberta: (grins) That's what they tell me.
Lorelei: That's great. What do you see in the future for King's Quest?
Roberta: Boy. At this point in time, I already have two games in my head, and I really don't want to think about a third! The possibilities are endless.
Lorelei: It'll just have to be a surprise.
Roberta: Sure will! (laughs)
So what was it like to work with Roberta? Well, it really wasn't bad. Other than the occasional severe beatings she gave me, and the cattle prod she keeps in her desk. MADE YOU LOOK! I'm just kidding. It was terrific. Roberta is a delightful, creative and intelligent person. There's no such thing as impossible when you're working with her. She has a wonderfully infectious laugh, just like a little girl. Sometimes when we were jamming on ideas, coming up with every possible solution we could think of for a puzzle, we'd get really silly and just crack each other up. We'd be there with our heads on the table giggling wildly, and Ken would come in and roll his eyes at us and say "Don't you have work to do?" That would only make us giggle harder. Let me tell you a secret, that's where great ideas come from: fun. The more you laugh and open your eyes and enjoy the world, the more your mind will open and ideas will flow. Don't get me wrong, designing King's Quest VII was hard work. Sometimes it was stay-up-all-night-and-drink-coffee-til-your-eyes-bug-out hard work. But it was always fun because Roberta made it fun. When you play, I think you'll feel it.
The Making of King's Quest VIIEdit
According to Lorelei Shannon the co-designer;
Let's face it. This game is downright gorgeous. From the glowing hand-painted backgrounds to the hilarious animation, King's Quest VII rocks. It took a lot of work, imagination and creativity to get that way.
"The look of Kitts's Quest VII," says Art Designer Andy Hoyos, is that of an intensely brilliant cartoon. It's different from anything we've done before in the series. We were inspired by the animated feature films of Disney and Don Bluth...particularly "Aladdin." The intensity of the palette used by the "Aladdin" artists was amazing."
Amazing is a good word for King's Quest VII's nearly one hundred hand-painted backgrounds. Each one is a stunning work of art, created by some of the finest artists in the gaining industry. Once completed, each painting was scanned into the computer, retaining all of its sharpness and detail thanks to high resolution.
When asked what his favorite area of the game might be, Andy had to think hard. He (quite understandably) likes the entire game, and all of its different regions. After a while, he answered, "Probably the troll area. I'm not sure exactly why...Well, actually I think it's the characters in that region that I really like. As for backgrounds. I'd have to say Ooga Booga is my favorite. I guess I'm just drawn to creepiness (laughs).
Ooga Booga is a wonderful region of the game, hut! suspect Andy's choice has been Influenced by all the long hours he's spent art directing Phantasmagoria simultaneously with Kulp Quest VII. If that doesn't impress you, it should! An art director has an awesome responsibility to the project. "As Art Director," says Andy, "I'm responsible for the overall look of the project—the directions it takes aesthetically. I supervise the artistic end of the project, and make sure there's consistency between the animation and the backgrounds and everything. I have to break down the script into its Individual constituent parts, analyze it, and figure out what art is needed. Keeping consistency throughout a game is very hard. But it's worth it. Coming up with the concepts for the environments is so much fun. Every time we do a new game, a whole new look is called for. I have such a lucky job. When I think about it, every aspect of what I do is so engrossing...even having to work on two projects simultaneously. The ability to switch gears and immerse myself in each project one after the other was a lot of fun."
I couldn't resist asking Andy if it was tiring. He just grinned at me and said, "What do you think?"
You've never seen animation like this in a Sierra game before. In fact, you've probably never seen it in any other computer game before. It's feature•film quality animation, with characters that are lively, funny, and altogether unique. Lead animator Marc Hudgins had this to say about them: "The characters in KQVII run the gamut, from very 'straight' characters such as Rosella and Valanice, to the very cartooned types like the jackalope or the ghoul kids. For a character designer, they provided a great range of character types to develop. I really got to stretch myself as an artist designing all of these different character types."
Every piece of animation in the game is traditional paper animation, where each individual frame or "cel" of animation is drawn in pencil by an artist. Says Marc Hudgins: "'the process is identical to the an process used by feature films and television. The only difference is that we scan the animation into the computer in its pencil phase, then color it digitally, then it is programmed into the game. The difference between game animation and traditional animation keeps getting more and more blurred. These days the traditional studios are using computers to scan and do their in I: and paint just as we do. They even use computers instead of cameras to actually film the animation. On the other hand, we are beginning to incorporate more cinematic techniques into our games. It's kind of funny."
You'll see lots of funny things as you play this game. But fun has a price, and that's a lot of grueling work. For Marc liudgins, coordinating a project this size was a Herculean task. "This was something new to all parties involved," he said. "To start with, the needs of this project were such that we used outside animation houses to help us. We had never gone outside our own art department for animation before. Second, most of the animation houses we were dealing with had little or no experience with making games. It was a bit of a challenge trying to communicate concepts unique to computer games, such as generic animation (animation that can happen anywhere) and the idea that three or four different actions could branch off of one animation. Just to make it a little more complex, some of the studios were in other parts of the world (St. Petersburg, Russia and Croatia), so we had language barriers to hurdle as well."
Despite the enormity of the task, Marc and the Sierra animators, with a little help from their friends around the world, created the most excellent an in a computer game to date.
Whenever I tested King's Quest VII in my office at Sierra, the music and sound effects would always draw people in from the halls. Once they got in and saw the art and animation, it was all over. I had an audience for the rest of the afternoon. But I really can't blame them. The music of this game is pretty irresistible, thanks to musicians Jay Usher, Mark Seibert, and Neal Grandstaff. When asked about creating the music for a game this size, Jay had this to say: "With a game like King's Quest VII having over 70 distinctly different characters and moving through a myriad of completely different areas of play, it becomes quite a feat to keep the music for two separate heroines and the characters they meet transitioning smoothly at all times. I feel it's my responsibility to compose a musical score that creates the emotion to carry the player along through the game. The last time I counted, it looked like we were up to about 120 different tunes to accomplish this goal."
And where does the inspiration for this much music come from? Both Jay and Mark agree. "It comes from the characters themselves," says Mark. "I'm always bugging the artists to give me a copy of their pencil sketches," says Jay. "Just seeing how a character carries himself, acts, or walks ultimately determines the outcome of the music. We've tried to give each character his or her own 'mini-theme.' Each character is unique, so the music should be as well."
This game has music from beginning to end, lust like a movie score. When the scene is scary, so is the music. When it's funny, the music is too. The hardware has finally caught up with the musician's ability to tell a musical story, to bring out the emotion of the action. "With the emergence of CD-ROM Multimedia computers," says Jay, "1 finally feel that some of the limitations we've had to deal with in the past have been lifted and we're able to write what we hear ill our hearts."
And all those sound effects! Every one had to be added into the game by the musicians, whether they looked them up in sound effect libraries, or created their own. Whenever I looked in on the sound studio, everybody seemed to be having way too much fun. Jay protests. "You don't realize how difficult it is to create a truly believable "raspberry" until you've had to record it yourself!"
After all ot this art, animation, music and sound is done, somebody has to pull it together. Those somebodies are the programmers. They are the people who weave the game together, making everything work in harmony as it should. This takes an enormous effort by a lot of people. Directing this effort are lead programmers Oliver Brelsford and I lenry Yu. Oliver had this to say about his job: "I can't imagine what I'd rather be doing than taking beautiful paintings, wonderfully animated characters, music, voices and sound effects, and bringing them all to life in one seamless, Interactive, cinematic experience. It's a thrill to think of the people who will enjoy what we've created."
Oliver makes it sound easy, but his job is a lot tougher than he lets on. The lead programmer must act as a liaison between programming and all of the other sub-teams, such as art and music. He also delegates programming tasks and schedules, synchronizing the flow of the workload to avoid bottlenecks. When you're dealing with a game this size, it's an astonishing feat. After all, King's Quest VII has at least five times as much animation as any other Sierra game ever created. Nope, that wasn't a misprint. Five times. No, really!
Says Quality Assurance lead Dan Woolard: "QA is the last hurdle to be leapt before shipping. By walking the fine line between the designers' conception and the programmers' implementation, we often end up making neither happy, but all that comes with the territory. We're not content until the game looks good, sounds good, and plays good. The proof is the final version and, as always, the public lets us know how well we did the job."
So you think it would be fun to play games all day long? HAH! You see, part of the designer's job is testing the game for consistency. Roberta and Iliad to play the game until our eyes hugged out of our heads. I love Valanice with all my heart, but so help me, about the zillionth time she landed in the desert and asked for RoseIla, I found my hand closing on a big, heavy edition of Roget's Thesaurus... But it was all worth it. That's what I keep telling myself anyway, as I sit in my lovely, clean, white cell and count my toes.
Pulling It All Together: The Project ManagementEdit
Yes, there is somebody who has to oversee the entire production of an adventure game. Someone who has to make sure that all of the development teams—design, art, programming, music and QA—are working together to produce the best game possible. That person on King's Quest VII is our project manager, Mark Seibert. Mark not only coordinated the efforts of an enormous number of people, he did the scheduling, budgeting, tracking, and all the icky paperwork that every game requires and no one wants to do. If you had a question for him, he was there. In fact, he was ALWAYS there. I have a sneaking suspicion that he was living under his desk for a while. He put in more hours than anyone should ever have to. As he said, in his understated fashion:
"King's Quest VII was a real challenge from the beginning. I've enjoyed working on the King's Quest series since KQW, as a musician; KQV as lead composer; KQVI, when I wrote "Girl in the Tower," and now producing the latest chapter In the saga, KQVII. The high resolution art and paper animation have made this, in my opinion, the most beautiful animated adventure yet. Take a look at the credits and consider the hundreds of people who worked on this project. It's been a real challenge trying to keep everyone going in the same direction."
I'll bet it was, too.
Changes and cutsEdit
Originally there was to be eight total chapters.There is evidence in the files that the game was then edited down to seven chapters long, plus the ending sequence. The finalized game has six chapters + the ending. The animation for Chapter 6 was done in-house by Sierra, this likely had to do with work at the other studios was not completed on time (so unfinished), or the completed material was not up to the quality that Sierra was looking for. This may have also lead to seventh chapter and and ending sequence with King Graham being cut (if not for sake of keeping the game on a single CD).
Inside the chapter menu was also an option for turning hotspots on and off, presumably to increase difficulty in the game.
Also inside the files are evidence of KQ5/KQ6 style control interface with icons such as the hand, eye, walk cursors. Which suggests that Roberta may have thought over the idea to add narrator to the game to add extra descriptions for things seen on screen. However, that idea may have been removed partially for space constraints, as well as to simplify the interface. There are also references to the Narrator in the script files, see 31.scr for example.
When the game in early production, there were plans to have six lands. At least one of the lands never made it into the game.
- In King's Quest VII, the player will travel to six lands, including Nonsense Land, the Rubber Jungle, Cloud Land, and Ooga Booga Land (home of the dreaded Boogeyman).
-Interaction Magazine, Fall 1994
Not much is known what the Rubber Jungle would have included, nor if any assets from it made it into the game files, perhaps it was a section of "Nonsense Land" beyond the city of Falderal.
The dialogue with Valanice and Rosella in the introduction was much longer.
The "Land Beyond Dreams" song had an extra verse;
- They tell me it's my duty, a princess must be wed,
- You'll learn to love the handsome prince, there's nothing you should dread
- But I'm not prepared to set my freedom on the shelf
- How can I trust with someone what I don't understand myself?"
The temple would have been a pyramid, but the top was cut off due to scaling issues with Valanice and the entrance.
Quite a bit of material was cut from the final released game including background stories for various characters One portion of the design documents were edited into a proper article in the official King's Quest: Hint Guide by Lorelei Shannon, Backstories and Legends. A copy of the original unedited design document can be found in the King's Quest Companion (4th edition) and King's Quest VII: The Authorized Guide by Peter Spear. In early design documents, Etheria was referred to as Cloudland (or Land of the Clouds), and Falderal is referred to as mainly Nonsense Land (although this name made it into later published material as well). According to an unused sound file The Desert's name would have been "Huitzilipopuatlateknahualimoatlicue Desert".
Valanice apparently would have been able to interact with the pile of sticks near the bridge in Bountiful Woods. She would mention she already had a stick and didn't need another.
There are a lot of extra animations, graphics and sound files hidden in the game files that that didn't make it into the finalized game, including a sound file for ending sequence with King Graham (after Rosella and Valanice's return to Daventry). The messages folder may offer more clues to how and where this scene takes place, it includes the message in the same folder as the introduction movie (with Valanice discussing Rosella's future in the woods/garden). Graham's message notes; "(DISTRACTED)Ladies, I was getting worried. You're fifteen minutes late for lunch." The KQ7 Authorized Guide (and King's Quest Companion, 4th Edition) notes that from Graham's perspective they hadn't been gone for less than a few hours, and that a day or two had passed in Eldritch while they were there. The fact that Graham was distracted may suggest that he may have also been in the garden, and lost track of his wife and daughter when they jumped into the portal to the other world. Enough time passed in Daventry though, for him to begin to worry.
Included are many alternate or additional lines for item trades with the Kangaroo Rat found throughout the game, including things only found and used in Vulcanix Underground. These include being able to trade Baked Beetles, the Moon, Count Tsepish's Skull, and the bone from Ghoul Kids' home.
There is a scene between Rosella and Attis set not long after her escape from the Were-Woods, and Valanice's journey into the Were-Woods (the scene was adapted into the novel in the King's Quest Companion and Authorized Guide). Attis discusses how Rosella just missed Valanice in the woods.
The Woods would have been larger, including a Ash Tree (Dryad), Bacchus' Grove (grape arbor), it may have been possible to get lost in the woods as well, as they would have apparently repeated.
The Troll Underground contained an additional area off from the mine shaft, that would have included a place called the Fire Town, and that was inhabited by the Flame Folk. Beyond it lie a fire flower guarded by a Smoke Beast (perhaps inspiration for the Shadow Beast in KQ8).
Ooga Booga would have contained another character named Jack O' Lantern.
After Valanice's arrest, the moon was not taken from her, and shooting the moon back into the sky does nothing at all to advance the plot other than set an extraneous trigger or two. The entire book/crook/moon sequence is left over from KQ7's original design, which was for a somewhat larger game than the final product. The moon-shot helped solve a problem then. But when KQ7's size was edited down and the original problem deleted, this particular series of events had to be left in so that there would be a cliff-hanger ending for Chapter 3.
Transcripts (cut material)Edit
Attis and RosellaEdit
"Hello, maiden. You look familiar to me."
"I...I am sure we have never met, sir. I am Rosella of Daventry."
"I am Attis, lord protector of this forest. I have seen your mother, Lady Rosella. She seeks you tirelessly."
"My...my...my MOTHER? How--Where--is my mother still here? Is she well?"
"She was quite well the last time I saw her. She was headed for the land of Ooga Booga, in search of you."
"(GUILTY)Oh, poor mama!"
"I feel your troubles are great, my friend. I wish I could help, but there is an urgent matter which demands my attention."
"(GENTLY)Do not worry over me, child. Whatever happens to me and mine is the will of the forest. I trust her wisdom. Farewell."
"(CONCERNED)Who could have cursed these lovely woods?"
"(SAD, LIKE HE DOESN'T CARE)I do not know."
"(AS A SCARAB)It was Malicia. It had to be."
"(ALARMED, ALERT, THEN DEJECTED)WHAT? Who spoke? I thought I heard a name, a terrible name...oh, my lady. I fear I am losing my mind."
"Friend stag, you have heard the name Malicia before?"
"Heard it? It was once the most reviled name in the Realm of Eldritch. She was the sister of Titania, but she was cast out of Etheria for treachery. It is dire news indeed if she has returned."
"(FULL OF BRAVADO)I'm not afraid of her!"
"(VERY GRAVE)You should be. Her power is almost unlimited. If you deal with her, little one, you take your life into your hands."
"Pardon me, my lord, but I must continue my journey. I must stop an evil faerie named Malicia before she causes terrible destruction to this land."
"(STUNNED)Malicia? The sister of Titania? She was banished from Etheria years ago--but it all makes sense! It was she who cursed these woods, I am sure of it!"
"(FULL OF BRAVADO, TRYING TO CONVINCE HERSELF)Once I get through with her, she won't be able to curse an ill-mannered street vendor!"
"(WORRIED)Be careful, Rosella. Malicia is one of the High Court of Etheria, and her power is practically boundless. Treat her as you would the most venomous of serpents."
"(POLITE BUT CAUTIOUS)Good day, sir. I am Rosella of Daventry."
"I am Attis, lord protector of this forest. I have seen your mother, Lady Rosella. She seeks you tirelessly.
"(SURPRISED, EXCITED, NERVOUS)My...my...my MOTHER? How--Where--is my mother still here? Is she well?"
"She was quite well when last I saw her. She was headed for the land of Ooga Booga, in search of you."
"(GUILTILY)Oh, poor mama!"
"(TRYING NOT TO SOUND TOO EAGER)Lord Attis, how can I get to Etheria?"
"(SADLY)I do not know, Rosella. My powers are too drained to send you there myself, and no one has heard from King Oberon and Queen Titania in quite some time. It is strange, and very unsettling."
"(CONCERNED)Take care, lady Rosella. Your mother waits for you."
"I have recently come from Ooga Booga, but my mother wasn't there. Do you know of any other place she might be, Lord Attis?"
"Your mother is wise and resourceful. It is entirely possible that she found her way up to Etheria to seek help from the High Court there."
"(CURIOUS, EXCITED)Etheria...is that a beautiful place, with lovely gardens and a castle in the clouds?"
"Indeed. Have you been there, my lady?"
"(DREAMILY)not exactly...but I have seen it, in my mind's eye."
"Many have. It is a place of great enchantment, and it calls to the hearts of mortals."
In the files there is an introduction for Rosella to the Kangeroot Rat (where she gives him her name, and then asks about the desert), and this leads to him naming the desert. However in the final game, all he talks about is being strictly business, and won't take any questions.
"What a lovely, gleaming bone. Will you take a ten-pound stone?"
"No thank you. I'm getting tired just carrying what I have."
"Aha! A large dismembered foot! Let me get a bag of soot."
"No, that's okay."
"What a splendid, grinning skull. How would you like a dead seagull?"
"Uh, no thank you."
"Such a handsome, stunning medal! How about a nice tea kettle?"
"Here now! That didn't exactly rhyme, did it!"
"I'd like to see YOU rhyme all day!"
"(EXCITED)The lady offers me the moon! I'll get my very best baboon!"
"Oh, I don't think so. I wouldn't know what to do with a baboon."
"I think I'll keep the bead."
"What a charming toasted bug! Will you take a nice fat slug?"
"(CHEERFUL)Hello my lady, how are you? Would you like to make a deal or two?"
"(A LITTLE OFF BALANCE)Well, I'm not sure...my name is Rosella of Daventry, sir. Does this desolate place have a name?"
"Yes. This is the Huitzilipopuatlateknahualimoatlicue Desert. And no, I'm not even going to TRY to make a rhyme out of that."
Among the files are several pieces of music that were not used. These include some that sound like they would fit within Etheria, and perhaps the desert as well. At least one piece was used later in Space Quest VI.
Designed by Lorelei Shannon, Roberta Williams
Co-designer Lorelei Shannon
Script Written by Lorelei Shannon
Story by Lorelei Shannon, Roberta Williams
Based on original characters created by Roberta Williams
Directors Andy Hoyos, Lorelei Shannon, Roberta Williams
Producer Mark Seibert
Art Director Andy Hoyos
Director of Animation Marc Hudgins
Lead Programmers Oliver Brelsford, Tom DeSalvo
Musicians Neal Grandstaf, Dan Kehler, Mark Seibert, Jay Usher
Voice Director (Voice Casting and Direction) Lorelei Shannon
Quality Assurance Lead Dan Woolard
In-House Animation - Chapter 6 Steven Gregory, Sherry Wheeler, Jason Zayas
- ↑ InterAction, Fall 1994, pg 21
- ↑ King's Quest: Mask of Eternity manual, pg 8,9
- ↑ http://www.oocities.org/petter_holmberg/kq7dev.html
- ↑ http://www.sierragamers.com/uploads/24082/Articles/Kings_Quest_7_Preview_StrategyPlus_94.pdf
- ↑ King's Quest Companion, 4th Edition, pg
- ↑ KQC4E, pg 601
- ↑ KQ7 Hintbook pg 1
- ↑ in-game credits
- ↑ in-game credits
- ↑ in-game credits