The Silver Lining is a free fan-made sequel series inspired by King's Quest. This episodic series of games is created by Phoenix Online Studios. Four episodes have been released. A fifth episode is under development, with the last major update given May 21, 2015. While there is no official release date for the fifth episode, the last update indicated the final episode is fully playable with some work remaining on logistics and polish.
Background and PlotEdit
The game begins approximately one year after the events of The Mask of Eternity, with Rosella and Edgar's wedding on the Isle of the Crown, in the land of the Green Isles where Alexander and Cassima are rulers. As Rosella is about to take her vow of marriage, a strange man in a black cloak comes from the crowd and casts a spell on her, which renders Rosella unconscious. As Edgar catches her, Alexander, her brother, suffers the same fate elsewhere in the castle. The stranger then vanishes from the wedding, leaving only his cloak behind.
Having picked up the cloak, Graham decides to ask around the castle in order to find out more clues about who its owner might be. Captain Saladin suggests to Graham to visit the Oracle who lives on the Isle of the Sacred Mountain in order to find out more. As Graham dresses up for an adventure and quits the castle, a storm begins and he is forced to take refuge in the ferryman's house, befriending Hassan. Eventually Hassan agrees to help Graham visit the Isle of the Sacred Mountain and lend his ferry to him. After some conversation with the Winged Ones, Graham is escorted to see the Oracle, but as she is unable to trace the source of magic from the cloak (knowing only that it is black magic), she sends Graham to see the druids living on the Isle of the Mists. Graham journeys there immediately, and talks to the Arch Druid. The latter informs Graham that he is aware of unusual events taking place, and while working on a reverse spell from black magic, proposes Graham tries to reach his wife and children in their dreams. At the same time Graham is given a list of ingredients that must be found throughout every consequent episode in order to help the Arch Druid counter black magic. As Graham prepares to leave the Isle, the storm becomes unusually violent, leaving him no other choice but to stay for the night.
Next morning, Graham sees the face of Shamir, the Court's genie, in the scroll, and rushes back to the Isle of the Crown. There, he visits the library and meets with Ali the book keeper as well as Jollo the royal jester. Ali tells Graham that he knows where to find one of the ingredients, but will require a map of the Isles in order to pin its location. As Jollo plays a trick on Graham, he is eventually able to gather one of the ingredients for the scroll (the lethal liquid). At the village square, Graham manages to get a map copy done for him, which he then shows to Ali to obtain the location of the item. Upon visiting Shamir at the Castle, Graham finds out that the genie once belonged to one of the members of the so-called "Black Cloak Society", who might be the owner of the cloak. Knowing that Valanice (and, thus, his own children) are descendants of the "Silver Cloaks", who were an ancient clan of magic protectors, Graham wonders if both are related. He then thanks Shamir and makes his way by sea to the location of the map given by Ali, in order to retrieve the second ingredient (a magical bag). Hassan suggests that the third ingredient might be found on the Isle of Wonders, but dares not step there after his quarrel with the Red Chess Queen. Graham journeys into the Isle alone and eventually makes his way to obtain the third ingredient (the animated vessel). At the same time a nameless cloaked man shows up in front of Graham and tells him to question Valanice about her druidic roots. As the man disappears, Graham runs back into the Castle in order to do so.
At the Castle, Valanice falls unconscious as Graham breaks into her room. She sees herself at 23 years of age, when she was forcedly taken away from her family by a certain wizard Shadrack. Shadrack keeps her in a deadly tower surrounded by her own nightmares. Back in the Castle, Graham, by her side, keeps a promise to help her. The list shows four new ingredients and Graham continues his adventure. Talking with Shamir the second time reveals to Graham that at least two of the ingredients, which he can use to revive the children, are found at the Isle of the Mists. Eventually Graham arrives there and meets again with the Arch Druid, who confirms the presence of the elements which can only be found in the depths of Mother Nature. In order to address it properly, Graham undergoes a ritual in which he proves that he is both a savior and a part of the Nature. Graham passes the guardians and accesses the Sanctuary within the Isle, usually only available to druids. There he meets and talks to the spirits of Nature, which explain that in order to obtain the requested items (a male subject's strength and a female subject's voice), Graham must enchant regular items with which he plans to do so. Graham touches the stones on an ancient tree to grant himself such power. Valanice is then shown to him by the spirits, and he understands that she was once a druid. At the same time, in her dream, Shadrack visits her in the tower and begins torturing her. Seeing all this, Graham rushes back into the Castle and reaches Valanice's crown, transporting himself inside her dream. After some fierce confrontation with the nightmares, he steps in and frees Valanice from the tower. As they are back in reality, a cutscene reveals that Shadrack was in fact the master of the Black Cloak Society, to which another prominent figure, Mannanan, once belonged. As Mannanan delivers young Valanice to Shadrack Shadrack, on the other hand, plans on tormenting Valanice In the present, Graham vows to destroy Shadrack whatever it takes. Having brought Valanice back into reality, he journeys to the Isle of the Mists once more and now asks for the items to be enchanted. Upon returning, he gets both ingredients from his children. He gets the third ingredient (a silver moon) from a crescent emerald shape he obtained from the druid tree, with the help of a blacksmith, and the fourth one (a pinch of lively shaken salt) from the druids at the Isle of the Mists. There, he sees Cassima in the scroll and travels back into the Castle to witness her give a speech of hope to her people.
Captain Saladin interrupts Graham's witnessing of the speech by telling him that Rosella is not well in her bed. At the same time, a dream sequence shows her venturing into a cave in which stands the Pandora's Box. Shadrack then shows up and orders her to open in. In the present, Graham sits next to her, then sees his list trace three more ingredients. Outside the castle, Graham starts seeing strange things occur in the Green Isles: a bird with eggs which he saw hatch before, water flowing backwards in the fountains, trees which were torn by the recent storm still undamaged. Graham decides to talk to the Arch Druid about these events, but voyaging back to the Isle of the Mists, he finds out that the Arch Druid is rather clueless. However, upon exiting his hut, Grahams meets once again with the nameless cloaked stranger, who now reveals that the secret of the events can be found in the gems of the spirit tree which stores the memories of the world. He also notes that one of the ingredients is located with the Winged Ones on the Isle of the Sacred Mountain, while the other one can be found at the mansion on the Isle of the Beast. As soon as Graham finds these two, the man hints he would know where to find the third one, and disappears again. Graham visits the tree as told and the memory stored in its gem reveals to him that Pandora's Box possesses a specific ability of being able to undo any deeds, good or bad, done by the powerful wizards, protectors of magic, by the hand of those who dare to open it. Graham understands that Shadrack must have found the Box and tries to open it, hence the unexplainable events. Seeing as meeting with the Winged Ones, who consider themselves superior to humans, has been forbidden to Graham after he visited to Oracle unless he "learns to fly like them", Graham continues his journey to the Isle of Beast first, where is meets with the Prince Cocteau, formerly a hideous beast, turned back human with the help of his beloved bride, as well as does the necessary in order to obtain another item for the list (this time, an ebony rose). Back at the Isle of the Crown, Graham meets one of sirens he got a magical bag from, and convinces her to give him flying shoes in exchange for a chance for her to fly, that he cleverly provides to her with the help of some locals. Having obtained the shoes, Graham ventures to the Sacred Mountain right by flight, much to the disdain of its rulers, where is henceforth granted access. By provoking the four Wind Gods to exercise their power onto a sacred spot in the Mountain, Graham eventually obtains the second ingredient (the richest fruit) from a golden tree located there. The list then hints Graham visits the Isle of Wonders where a chess tournament is being currently held. Upon arriving there, he is captured hostage by the guards and brought to the Queens who have an argument over the fact that the White Chess King has fled the chessboard. Graham proposes his help and is offered the third ingredient if he succeeds. All Graham then needs is to replace the king with a similar figure crafted by the best masters in the Land, which he does and finally obtains the third item (the evening glory). With the three more ingredients crossed out, Shamir appears once more in it, and Graham rushes into the Castle. Shamir then suggests that Graham visits the Arch Druid in order to bring all the obtained ingredients to use and have a possibility at stopping Shadrack. Back at the Isle of the Mists, the Arch Druid accepts the items and demands that Graham reunites with his spouse and children for the time being. Graham does so and promises that come the next day, they will all travel to Daventry in order to put an end to Shadrack's plans. That night Valanice once again witnesses a nightmare in which she helps Shadrack finally open the Box as he tortures Rosella. The final sequence of the dream shows the Silver Cloaks being defeated by the Black Cloaks in the past, and Valanice gets saved by the nameless stranger. The next day, Graham and the family prepare to travel back to Daventry along with Hassan and Edgar, but are caught in the unusual storm. Shadrack's projection appears and attacks Graham, who is saved at the last minute by the nameless stranger. The cloaked man grants Graham ability to enter dream world by his own will and hence control its time. Now facing the projection once more, Graham sacrifices his reality to chase it off and finally stops Shadrack from hurting his family.
To be continued...
- "Episode 1: What is Decreed Must Be" (July 10, 2010)
- "Episode 2: Two Households" (September 18, 2010)
- "Episode 3: My Only Love Sprung From My Only Hate" (February 17, 2011)
- "Episode 4: ‘Tis in My Memory Locked. And You Yourself Shall Hold The Key Of It" (November 6, 2011)
- "Episode 5: A Thousand Times Goodnight" (TBA)
Phoenix Online Studios had received a special fan license in November 2005 from Vivendi Universal (then owners of the Sierra brand and King's Quest IP), allowing them to make the game after being given a Cease and Desist by Vivendi that September. The game was however given a second Cease and Desist a year after Activision acquired Vivendi entertainment, in February 2010, but the team, through negotiations with Activision managed to secure a continuance of their fan license, which was announced on June 26th 2010.
On Feb. 28 2010, it is announced that Activision ordered the fan group to cease development of the game. An online petition to save The Silver Lining was subsequently launched and can be found here. On June 26 2010, it was announced that an agreement had been reached between Phoenix Online and Activision and that the first episode of TSL would be released on July 10 2010.
They were initially forced to remove the title King's Quest, and describe it as "The Silver Lining: A game inspired by the King's Quest series", but recent webpage updates simply call it The Silver Lining, but still say it is 'based on King's Quest".
The game was originally going to be released as a trilogy under the title King's Quest IX or 'KQIX: Every Cloak Has A Silver Lining, each part were to have the titles; Part I: Shadows, Part II: The Two That Are One, Part III: Eternities. Each part was to be three chapters long. However, due to various reasons production stopped on parts II, III, and chapter three of part I. it was decided to release only the finished work under the title The Silver Lining: a game inspired by the King's Quest series. The rest of the story may never be released. According to Cesar Bittar the game's producer: "Oh, and by the way, we still get to use "King's Quest" in our title. The full name is "The Silver Lining: A game inspired by the King's Quest Series".
The game has gone through many names, it was formerly known as King's Quest IX, then shortened to KQIX: Every Cloak Has A Silver Lining, but was finally shortened to The Silver Lining: a game inspired by the King's Quest series for its first release (due to fan licensing obligations put on them by Activision), but largely only in marketing, otherwise it only went by The Silver Lining. On Phoenix Online's currently updated website, it goes simply by The Silver Lining, but the website is clear that the game is 'based on the King's Quest' series, "...adventure game based on the classic King’s Quest series from Sierra".
- Roberta Williams has played the first chapter, and enjoyed it. She has as of yet, not given her opinion of the later chapters, nor is it known if she she has played them or not.
- Back when the game was intended to be three long chapters with three playable characters, there was originally plans to visit lands with the names such as Dreoria (Land of the Dragons), Dreamworld, Endless Forest, Maze of Infinity, and Astratos. Kolyma was also mentioned as a place visited briefly as well (the tower on the Enchanted Island appears briefly in a dream realm). Only Dreamworld has been visited briefly, and as of yet Astratos has only been mentioned. Early pictures have also shown darkworld type versions of the Green Islands areas, perhaps part of the Dreamworld. Other early screenshots showed scenes of Etheria, but those have most likely been cut. Most of the other areas will not be seen, as much of the story has been cut (including the Rosella and Alexander storylines). In addition Daventry was said to be visited as well (with several characters heading there at the end of the Episode 4). It seems this may be the case in Episode 5. Though a (dreamlike) version of Land of the Clouds can be seen at the end of Episode 4. A dream world version of Ooga Booga also appears.
- The Four Winds is the name of a newspaper published and distributed with the game, with the conceit that it is published in the Land of the Green Isles. In the game, its main publishing hub is located in the town square of the Village of the Crown.
- A fan timeline was created for this game by the The Silver Lining team. But was dropped in later versions of the website.
- For a comparison between official games and TSL game universes, see POP universe.
- The developers have said that The Silver Lining is inspired by the events seen in the official KQ games rather than the remakes, such as KQ2 remake. So expanded history, new characters, and altered characters from the remakes do not apply to the story. "No, our game and timeline are independent of the AGDI KQ2+", according to The Silver Lining chatlog.
- The title The Silver Lining is a reference to an artifact mentioned in the game, see Silver Lining (unofficial).
The Silver Lining's early episodes received mixed reviews ranging from negative to positive, to a mix of both negative and positive criticism. Mobigames and Metacritic two neutral third party review aggregate organizations, give scores listed as 'mixed' or 'mixed to average' based on the reviews they have listed.
Reviews for the first episode were generally positive, but with some criticism of the length and the lack of puzzles. Others criticized the cast voices, or the narrator. The reaction to the quality of the graphics and music was more mixed in nature. Later episodes received improved reviews.
For more detailed information, see The Silver Lining reviews, or follow the links below.
Episode 1: What is Decreed Must Be ReviewsEdit
The first episode of The Silver Lining was met with both praise and disappointment often in the same review. However, by July 19, 2010 (nine days after the initial release) episode 1 had been downloaded approximately 23,000 times. Most critics seem to criticize the narrator (and other voice acting), and the lack of puzzles, and the shortness. Though most say they will be giving the future episodes a try (and welcome to have the free game). Below are links to the reviews, and quotes of praise and criticism from the various reviews. Mobigames calculated an overall aggregate score of 68 based on eight reviews. marking it with 'orange' (meaning 'mixed to average') score. Another aggregate score based on five reviews on metacritic was calculated with overall score of 66 with 'yellow' which also means 'mixed to average' on its three grade system (positive (green), mixed (yellow), and negative (red)).
Episode 2: Two HouseholdsEdit
MobyGames gave the game an aggregate score based on six reviews of 73. It received an overall aggregate score of 73 (orange "mixed to average" designation). There is no ranking on metacritic.
MobiGames gave an aggregate score based on five reviews of 67 (orange color code of 'mixed to average' score). There is no score given on metacritic.
There is currently no aggregate scoring on Mobigames or Metacritic. Here are a few links to known external reviews.
- The Silver Lining - Official Site
- The Silver Lining - Wikipedia
- Phoenix Online Studios
- Official Online Petition to Save TSL
- ↑ Phoenix Online Publishing - The Silver Lining. Accessed June 5, 2015.
- ↑ Phoenix Online Publishing - About. Accessed June 5, 2015.
- ↑ Phoenix Online Studios Forum - TSL Updates. Accessed June 5, 2015.
- ↑ "All original content © 2007 Phoenix Online Studios LLC. "The Silver Lining" is inspired by the popular "King's Quest" series, which is wholly copyright of Sierra Entertainment, Inc. It is being produced with the expressed legal permission of Vivendi Games, Inc. For further information, visit our Legal page. " 
- ↑ http://archive.adventuregamers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12233&page=3
- ↑ http://www.vintage-sierra.net/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1655
- ↑ http://layonara.com/threads/1097211-kings-quest-ix-every-cloak-has-a-silver-lining
- ↑ http://www.keywordspy.com/overview/domain.aspx?q=tsl-game.com&m=au
- ↑ http://www.xmarks.com/s/site/www.tsl-game.com/
- ↑ http://archive.adventuregamers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12233&page=3
- ↑ http://www.postudios.com/company/games/thesilverlining/
- ↑ “Without the bravery and persistence of these volunteers, it is almost certain that King’s Quest would have been relegated to a forgotten obscurity—its story left untold. Now there is a chance to truly find out what happens to the royal family of the Kingdom of Daventry. I, like many other fans, would like to see how this story unfolds!”
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- ↑ http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/silver-lining-episode-three-my-only-love-sprung-from-my-only-hat/mobyrank