The Magical World of King's Quest is an article from the InterAction Magazine (Fall 1992) written by Roberta Williams. It is the second part of a two articles as part of a feature called Inside King's Quest VI.
It consists of three parts, the first part is a short story telling of the destruction of Alexander's ship, and washing up onto the shore of the Isle of the Crown. The second part of the article consists of summaries of the King's Quest games up to King's Quest V (based on the summaries in the King's Quest V Hintbook). The third part consists of behind the scenes "making of KQ6" information.
Roberta Williams, creator of the King's Quest series, guides us through a history Daventry's Royal Family.
The Magical World of King's Quest: A look at the first family of Daventry with the Creator of King's QuestEdit
Eye to spyglass, sweeping it across the vast ocean, Prince Alexander desperately scans the distant horizon as his sailing ship, the Valanice, drunkenly rolls through heavy seas. Drat! nothing but distant whitecaps! He thinks of giving up when, out of the blue, a small speck is revealed within the lens. Could it be?--the Land of the Green Isles? Alexander's heart beats harder as visions of a beautiful, raven-haired girl flood his memories.
"Hey, wait a minute! This ain't another one of those mushy love stories, is it?"
"Well, yes, sort of...but, not really. Come on, let me finish, will you?
"Okay...but it better be good!"
A sharp cry shatters Alexander's reverie, "Ahoy! Reef to starboard!" Suddenly--CRASH!!--the wooden ship rams the edge of the unforgiving reef and begins to list crazily to one side. Huge groans and creaks rip through the splintering wood as the ship begins to break apart and sink slowly into the sea. Panicked, Alexander drops the spyglass and stumbles toward the lifeboats, the cries of his frenzied crew piercing his heart....
"Yeah! Now it's getting exciting! Does he save the ship? Does he live?"
"Please! Stop interrupting me!"
"Okay, okay...calm down. I was just asking. Sheesh!"
Too late! Men jump frantically into the pounding surf as the ship groans one last time, raises her bow straight out of the water as if to take one last breath--and then gives herself up, slipping silently into cold, blue deep. The sea reaches Alexander, grabbing him, and dragging him into its watery possession. He valiantly struggles to stay afloat in heavy waterlogged clothing--while, all around him, lose their battle and slip, one by one, under the sea. A piece of forward mast bobs nearby and Alexander swims toward it, desperate to reach it before an oncoming swell sweeps it further out of his grasp. His fingertips touch the mast--the swell is upon them--there, got it! Gratefully, he wraps his weakening arms around the wreckage and hangs on for dear life...
"Come on! Ain't you getting just a little melodramatic now? Just get on with it."
"Aren't you just a bit impatient?"
"Yeah. That's one of my better qualities. So...does Alexander live, or what?"
"I'm getting to it. Now, be quiet and listen!"
After what seems a bone-chilling eternity, Alexander begins to lose strength. His body, numb from the cold, will obey him no longer. His hold on the bobbing mast loosens. His mind wanders. He feels himself edging towards the blackness...
"So does a giant squid grab him and drag him down under the water and start to eat him before a huge whale comes along and fights with the squid while Alexander tries to swim away before a big shark starts to..."
"Do you want to tell this story, or shall I?"
"Sorry. Got carried away there."
Sunlight! It pierces Alexander's numb senses. It warms his cold body. It wraps itself around his body like a warm, life-giving blanket. Slowly, his eyes open. He blinks and squints; the bright light hurts! Am I alive? he wonders vaguely. Warm sand cradles his body while the gentle sound of lapping water lulls him back into a deep, restful sleep. Sometime later, the loud cries of seagulls awaken Alexander and he sits up, a bit dazed. He looks around in curiosity. Where am I? he wonders...
"Yeah, where is he? Is that girl he was thinkin' about around here somewhere?"
"As every aspiring adventurer knows, the answers are not easy, and the journey is difficult. You must be a true hero in order to survive and conquer the world of King's Quest. Do you think you're up to the task?"
"Are you kidding! The most macho dude of all time! But I wanna know about this place called Daventry."
"Okay, sit down and be quiet. Let me tell you a story..."
Once Upon a Time in a Land FarawayEdit
The chronicles of Daventry are retold, these centuries later, as the tales of "King's Quest." The first saga, known as "King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown," tells of a brave knight by the name of Sir Graham, who was the favored knight of Daventry's monarch, King Edward. One fine day, old King Edward, who was in poor health and had no heirs, called for his favorite knight. He told Sir Graham of his dilemma of having no one to inherit the throne should he die, which, he felt, would be soon.
Sir Graham learned of the theft, long ago, of three treasures belonging to Daventry: a magic mirror, which foretold the future; a magic chest, always filled with gold coins; and a magic shield, which protects its bearer from all harm. King Edward had a solution to his problem of an inheritor to the throne: if Sir Graham could return the three lost treasures of Daventry, he would be crowned king after King Edward's death.
Bravely, our hero took on the task, and after many adventures and tribulations, successfully returned the three lost treasures to his revered king. Soon thereafter, good King Edward died and Sir Graham was indeed crowned king of Daventry.
The story of "King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne," begins several years later. Thanks to the return of the three lost treasures, and King Graham's excellent leadership, Daventry's future looked bright indeed. There was only one small problem: the king was lonely. He wished for a wife to bring him love and happiness.
One day, through a vision in the magic mirror, King Graham learned of the plight of a beautiful girl imprisoned within a quartz tower in the faraway land of Kolyma. She seemed to be looking at him, calling for him. King Graham was impelled to go to her; to rescue her from her prison.
After many adventures, King Graham made his way to Kolyma where he eventually discovered the tower on an enchanted isle and successfully rescued the lovely girl. As soon as he saw her, he fell instantly and deeply in love with her, and she with him. Her name was Valanice and she told him she had been imprisoned by a jealous witch. Upon returning home, King Graham and Valanice wed, and Valanice became queen of Daventry.
The third King's Quest, "To Heir is Human," tells of the birth of twins one year later; a dark-haired boy, Alexander, and a golden-haired girl, Rosella. Six months after their birth, Alexander was kidnapped from the nursery at night by an unseen interloper. Every inch of Daventry was searched, but he had disappeared without a trace.
Eighteen years later, in the land of Llewdor, an unhappy lad named Gwydion was searching desperately for a way of escaping the slavery forced upon him by the evil wizard Manannan. The boy knew not from whence he came; all he knew was that he lived his entire life with the cruel wizard. But by learning magic on the sly, Gwydion was eventually able to overcome Manannan by turning him into a black cat. Unfortunately the "cat" vowed to someday, somehow, seek revenge.
During his subsequent travels, Gwydion learned his true identity; that he was really Prince Alexander of Daventry. With this news, Alexander was eager to find his way there. Once in Daventry, after a long journey, he learned that a terrible dragon had been terrorizing the kingdom for years. But by using his fledgling magical skills he was able to overpower it, and save his captive sister Rosella in the process. From there, the two went home to a joyful reunion with their parents.
The saga of "King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella," begins where King's Quest III" leaves off. As the whole family was rejoicing in the return of Alexander and Rosella, King Graham was suddenly stricken with a severe heart attack. Doubling up in pain, he then fell to the floor while his shocked family rushed to his aid.
As King Graham lay upon his bed, near death, his distraught daughter consulted her father's magic mirror for guidance. As Rosella tearfully gazed into it, a vision of a beautiful appeared and spoke to her. The fairy told of a magical healing fruit which grew in the distant land of Tamir -- but there was a catch! The fairy needed Rosella to do something for her first. Would she agree? Of course! Anything for her dear father! At that, Rosella was then magically transported to the balmy land of Tamir.
Upon arrival, Rosella was informed by the fairy -- Genesta, she learned -- of her task; to return the fairy's talisman from her archenemy, the evil fairy Lolotte. Without it, Genesta would soon die. Rosella's tasks were thus set. Not only mus she save her father by acquiring a magical fruit, but she must also save the life of Genesta by obtaining a talisman from an evil fairy! Of course our girl, being very resourceful, managed to successfully complete tasks, and save the lives of both.
The fifth King's Quest continues the saga after the return of Rosella from the land of Tamir. In "Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder," King Graham's family was kidnapped by the evil wizard Mordack and imprisoned inside of a glass bottle. This was done in revenge for Alexander having turned his brother Manannan into a cat sometime back.
King Graham enlisted the aid of a know-it-all owl named Cedric, and Cedric's kind master, the wizard Crispin, to help journey across the land of Serenia to Mordack's island stronghold, where Graham's family was kept hostage. After confronting Mordack, and beating him at his own game, King Graham, was able to rescue not only his family, but a beautiful, raven-haired girl who was also a captive of Mordack's.
Upon introductions, King Graham and his family learned that the beautiful girl hailed from the Land of the Green Isles, and that her name was Princess Cassima. Alexander was immediately captivated by her, and asked permission to visit her in her home kingdom. Readily, she agreed, as she was also intrigued by Alexander. And so, with magical help of the good wizard Crispin, everyone was transported home safe and sound.
And the saga continues in "King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow..."
"Okay, okay! You've peaked my interest. And now Alexander thinks he's in love with this gal...Cassima? They barely knew each other. Why would he risk his life and limb for her?"
"You've got to play King's Quest VI to find out."
"Tell me...what's so special about this game? Okay, so the other five games were phenomenal successes--selling millions of copies. How do I know this one is good...huh?"
"All right. I can see you're not the trusting sort. I'm going to have to convince you...."
The Land of the Green IslesEdit
All the King's Quest computer games have used increasingly sophisticated graphics and sound technology, greater detail, and more interactive story lines. King's Quest VI is no exception. Its central plot--a romantic quest--has much more depth than other games. For instance, Princess Cassima in love with Alexander--or does she really love the vizier? It isn't a question of whether Alexander can overcome all sorts of obstacles and rescue Cassima...but will it matter if she does?
"Okay, you've convinced me! Tell me what I need to get started."
"Well, you need a computer..."
"I know that! What do you think I am...stupid or something? I mean, where's my equipment; my sword, my knapsack, my gold coins...all that kind of stuff?"
"You'll have to find them yourself. I told you it wouldn't be easy."
"Aw, shucks! You're going to really make me work for this, ain't you?"
"Okay...but can you tell me if Alexander ever gets the girl?
"Oh, gosh! What time is it? I'm late for an appointment with Princess Rosella to talk about King's Quest VII. Good luck on your quest!"
Behind the scenesEdit
Beyond turning into 'advertisement' towards the end, the general style of the story itself is very much similar to the The Princess Bride, with Roberta narrating to a child or listener to her story, and being interrupted at various points.
The short story telling the events of crashing onto the Isle of the Crown, differs from the released version of the game.
In the story Alexander and his men fall into the sea. His men are pulled underwater and apparently die. In the released game, it is said that Alexander had helped his men into the lifeboats, before a rogue wave washed into the sea before he could get into a lifeboat himself. It is explained later on that they were able to take the lifeboats out of the Dangerous Currents and back to Daventry.
Another difference is that the name of the ship is said to be "the Valanice", in the King's Quest Companion it was given the name the Johannes Bey. It's interesting to note that traditionally ships are named after a deceased individual, which may imply that Valanice had died in this version of the story.