King’s Quest Chapter V: The Good Knight. Versions Reviewed (PS3, PS4 and PC versions)
- 8.5/10 for the chapter.
- 7.8/10 for the entire season.
I continue my review series, this time reviewing the final chapter of the series Chapter 5: The Good Knight.
The chapter tells the final story with choices made in the earlier acts all coming together for the final time. This chapter comes full circle, returning to locations of the first chapter now with 70-80 years worth of time having passed by. Because this chapter makes callbacks to the first chapter, the story isn't nearly as 'stand-alone' as previous stories. But it one of the strongtest stories from a narrative stand point in the series. Like the previous chapter this one ends on a bittersweet note as well, but opens up hope for the 'future' adventures with new generation. Like previously big spoilers were will be avoided.
The premise of this story is Graham is telling more or less the final adventure he had in his life before he ended up retired and bedridden.
Graham decides to go outside into his kingdom and find an adventure, and discovers that there are mysterious fires starting up all over the kingdom. He attempts to stop the fires from destroying the treasures he has collected throughout his life.
In the present, Graham is starting to suffer from extreme dementia, and is forgetting details and this is reflected in the world as 'missing' scenery, or confusion on what is in a scene. These are used for some interesting puzzle design, as he attempts to 'fill' in gaps of his missing memories.
Graham is starting to feel the limits of time, and starting to worry that he won't have enough time to tell Gwendolyn all the little stories he has missed out on telling her up to this point. Gwen tries to convince him that the stories have been perfect, she doesn't need to know everything about his past, and wants to remember the stories as he first told them to her. She doesn't want them to be endlessly revised.
Graham returns to the village to find it abandoned, with the shops all up for sale. All his friends have passed away, and no one else has moved into the shops, and the town is abandoned. The kingdom has become a lonely place.
Graham returns to his story and quickly finds out who is behind the fires, after Manny returns for the final time to destroy his kingdom. The last half of the chapter is Graham setting up to have one final duel with his old nemesis. While in the present Graham is struggling to remember the details of what happened.
Length & Exploration
The chapter is still a bit short, but it feels longer than the last two chapters did. Thankfully the chapter brought back exploration so it does feel more like the classic adventure games again.
Sound/Voices & Characters
Not much to say here, there aren't alot of characters. It was nice to see Olfie again one final time. But overall the chapter is very lonely. Everything feels abandoned.
There is the ocassional 'memory' (hallucination) showing a character from the past, reusing old quotes form previous chapters, before they fade away. This is a nice touch, and helps to bring things full circle. In bittersweet 'final' way.
Christopher Lloyd does an admirable job playing both the story and the present parts in this chapter. It's nice to see him command one adventure for a change. Though Josh Keaton is missed. The banter between Lloyd and Manny is excellent.
Mostly the same cues we have heard since the beginning, but with some new sadder pieces. Same great quality as usual. But there isn't anything specific that I can point out that stood out to me.
Same quality as every previous chapter. I love old Graham's walking/running animation. He is not as limber as he used to be, and is getting a bit clumbsy, but he sure tries to give it a go.
As usual the art design is great, while this chapter doesn't add anything new per se. The fire effects look great, and so do some of the other special effects later in the chapter (with some of Manny's spells).
Some highlights though are the use of 8-bit AGI-style graphics in one sequence, and some SCIVGA style graphics in another part of the story as well. These looked great, and it was a great shock of nostalgia. I just spent much time just taking the time to examine the artwork!.
The overall presentation is great. It does a wonderful job of portraying faltering memories, and his own personal fears. The game returns back to a more exploratory method, allowing the player to pretty much go anywhere one could go in the first chapter, but areas are closed off with white missing memories, if he isn't supposed to go into those areas.
It does a good job of making Daventry seem a lonely place, nearing its end like Graham is in his own life.
There is a good mix of inventory based puzzles, and other logic puzzles. Although I found most of the puzzles to be a tad easy. Most of the inventory puzzles involve going from 'point a' to point b, there is almost no need for trial and error. But it at least felt like there was more choice going on than the previous two chapters.
There isn't a whole lot of bad, and the story is actually really good. But some minor complaints.
The first three chapters built up the character of Hornswaggle, and there was even a prediction in Chapter 2 showing the Dragon attacking Daventry around the time this story takes place. But the dragon does not appear in this story at all. The random fires appearing around the kingdom seem to suggest dragon fire, but its not every fully explained. Did they have to cut out Hornswaggle? What were the purposes of our choices, and outcome of Hornswaggle in Chapter 3 then? Early development said that choices we made with the dragon would have rippling consequences, throughout the series, and there was a discussion of how it would end up helping you or causing you problems in a future chapter.
It's also the proverbial Chekhov's gun. where a weapon is introduced in a scene in the first act, should 'go off' in a later scene.
There is just this feeling of a plot hole that got overlooked, and this is unfortunate. If feels very strange that the character disappeared with no explanation.
There are some other narrative stuff that got cut that would have added to flavor and backstories. Not really bad that these are missing, but its a little disappointing. More use of the narrator would be appreciated in future seasons if we get them.
What happened to the great action scenes like Chapter 1 and Chapter 3? QTE events chase scenes like with the dragon and the river? I liked those... Please bring them back if there is a second season.
Despite the fact that I felt there were some things that felt 'missing' that would have been nice if they had been included. I felt this was one of the strongest chapters, narrative wise.
It had a great final confrontation with the villain was well done. I had no remorse for him at the end. I especially liked the closure for the Mordon story line. He has grown to be one of my favorite characters in the entire Reboot series. The story ends on sad note, but its pulled off in such a respectful and hopeful way.
Slight Spoiler coming.... The surprise final act where the adventure's cap is passed on so to speak, and Gwendolyn helps tell the story was very heartwarming and cute.
Overall I have to say this is probably my second favorite chapter after Chapter 1. It is nice that it tried to be more open than previous chapters allowing for some exploration.
In this review I will give two scores, my score for the chapter as stand alone, and my score for the series as a whole.
Overall I give this chapter about an 8.5. I had to adjust my score on Chapter 1 retroactively acordingly (I rounded up to a 9, and kept chapter 3 at 8). This was to allow for this chapter to be roughly in the middle between them.
But I struggled on this, I almost thought about giving it a 7.5, because if felt like there are holes in the story (not so much figuratively since the story is partly about loss of memory, abut literally from the entire series as a whole), and this left it with loose ends that didn't get completed.
But from from entertainment stand point, and over all presentation of this chapter alone, I have to say it is an excellent chapter all the same, I really enjoyed how it brought themes from the first chapter full circle. I loved the retro sequences, and nods to AGI and VGA KQ eras.
And this this is a score for this chapter alone, not the whole entire series. If looking at the story as a stand-alone story, then the I believe it completes every thing the story set out to do, and in an excellent manner. So I think this chapter by itself rightfully deserves a higher score.
However, looking at the series as whole, with the number of plot points that never got explained, the amount of cut content and the like I have to give the series itself about a 7.8. I hope someday that a special edition can be made to restore some of the lost content, and bring closure and explain that prophecy with Hornswaggle back in Chapter 2.
But overall I say the series was great, I hope this game was successful, and hope that The Odd Gentlemen can continue, and create Season 2! Thanks everyone for the great work!