King's Quest VII

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King's Quest VII:
The Princeless Bride
King's Quest VII - The Princeless Bride Coverart.jpg
Cover art
Developer(s) Sierra
Publisher(s) Sierra
Producer(s) Mark Seibert
Designer(s) Roberta Williams
Lorelei Shannon
Programmer(s) Oliver Brelsford
Tom DeSalvo
Artist(s) Andy Hoyos
Writer(s) Lorelei Shannon
Composer(s) Neal Grandstaff
Dan Kehler
Mark Seibert
Series King's Quest
Engine SCI2
Platform(s) MS-DOS, Windows, Apple Macintosh
Release date(s) November 23, 1994
Genre(s) Adventure game
Mode(s) Single-player

King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride is an adventure game released in 1994 by Sierra On-Line. It features high-resolution graphics in a style reminiscent of Disney animated films. It is also the only King's Quest (KQ) game with multiple protagonists, and the only one to divide the story into chapters.

In King's Quest VII, the protagonists Queen Valanice and Princess Rosella are spirited away to the desert land of Eldritch and Rosella is transformed into a troll. They must find a way to return Rosella to normal and find her true love, save Eldritch from the threat of the evil sorceress Malicia, and get back to their kingdom Daventry.

Although less linear in terms of ending than earlier entries in the series, King's Quest VII does not include as many different endings or optional tasks and plot threads as King's Quest VI. Some puzzles do have multiple solutions, and there are two possible endings.

Gameplay[edit]

King's Quest VII is different from other King's Quest games in terms of structure. The action is separated into six chapters, each set primarily in a different region of the realm of Eldritch. The player alternates between two heroines, Valanice and Rosella, with each chapter. The two heroines travel through some of the same places during the course of the game, finally meeting up again in the end.

Aside from the multi-chapter layout, the most significant change in game structure is the introduction of the smart pointer. When playing the game, the pointer lights up when passed over an object that can be used. Players can get or use objects and talk to characters by directly clicking on them, whereas previous games required the player to select an action icon and then click on the environment. Players can click on the environment without indicating which parts of the game could be interacted with.

One of the game's highlights is its graphics; King's Quest VII has very elaborate and colorful graphics, compared to other games of the time, with painted backgrounds and animation techniques. The game makes use of SVGA graphics, new at the time, before The Dig and Space Quest 6. Also included are certain areas that pan from one side to the other, rather than going from screen to screen. Despite the cartoonish graphics characteristic of family-friendly computer games, the game has several violent death scenes.

Plot[edit]

The name of this entry, The Princeless Bride, is a pun on the title of the novel and film The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Like most KQ titles, it is also a reference to the plot: Princess Rosella is soon to be a bride, but ends up in another world shortly before her marriage. It is the only entry in the series to feature Queen Valanice in a major role, and also the only one in which King Graham is not shown or mentioned at all (with one minor exception in version 1.4); however, he is listed in the voice credits, so he may have been originally intended to appear in the game (the final game was much shortened from an earlier concept in order to fit the game on a single CD-ROM).

Story[edit]

As the game opens, Queen Valanice is lecturing her daughter, Princess Rosella about the importance of marriage. Rosella is somewhat rebellious, and dreams of adventure rather than marriage. She catches a glimpse of a seahorse-like creature momentarily jumping out of and into a pond, leaving behind an image of a castle in clouds. Rosella dives in and Valanice follows, and they find themselves caught inside a gigantic magical whirlpool-like vortex. Rosella and Valanice desperately try to reach each other while being being sucked down, but suddenly, a troll-like arm sticks in from the side of the whirlpool, grabs Rosella, and snatches her away. Valanice is left staring helplessly in horror as the introduction sequence ends.

When the actual game begins, Valanice lands in a desert in the land of Eldritch, while Rosella finds herself transformed into a troll and engaged to be married to the king of the trolls. As the two characters attempt to find each other, they eventually discover that all of Eldritch is in danger as the vengenful evil enchantress Malicia has imprisoned the leaders of its kingdoms and plots to destroy this world. Sierra marketed the game as an improvement in the series by stating that completion of earlier KQ adventures was not necessary to fully enjoy the game, even though the final chapter revealed a strong connection to the events of King's Quest IV.

The game offers two different endings after the final confrontation with Malicia. The good ending is triggered when the extra life is used to revive Rosella's love interest Prince Edgar (introduced in King's Quest IV) at the very end of the game, which results in a grand wedding ceremony. The bad ending occurs if nothing is done or is triggered when the flower is used.

Characters[edit]

  • Queen Valanice - After her daughter disappears, Valanice ends up in the desert with nothing but Rosella's comb, which she picked up before going after her. Now the Queen of Daventry is on a quest to find her daughter, bring peace to Eldritch, and return to her kingdom.
  • Princess Rosella - Not wanting to be married, Rosella believes she saw a castle in the reflection of a lake and jumped in, appearing in the Vulcanix Underground. She now must save Eldritch, stop her marriage to the Troll King, and return home with her mother.
  • Malicia - The main villain of the game, Malicia is a vain and powerful enchantress that has been banished from Etheria, a fairy land in the clouds above Eldritch, after attempting to overthrow her good sister of Titania, the good queen of Etheria and mother of Edgar. Now Malicia wants to destroy both Eldritch and Etheria in revenge, using the power of the Volcanix Underground. She has kidnapped the troll king Otar Fenris III and transformed Edgar into King Otar's form, brainwashing him into doing her bidding. During the game, Malicia is thwarted by Rosella and Valanice and ultimately defeated inside a volcano. In King's Quest III Redux, she is said to be a former consort of Lolotte, an evil witch killed by Rosella in King's Quest IV. Her name is a play on the word "malicious", similar to Maleficent's name being based on a word for "evil".
  • Edgar - Not seen until Chapter 6, Edgar is the Prince of Etheria who had previously appeared in King's Quest IV. He has been corrupted by Malicia and turned into the troll king, taking the place of the real king as her puppet. Edgar plays an important role towards the end of the game; when he gets hit by Malicia's magic, Rosella has a few seconds to revive him. Depending on Rosella's actions and choices, Edgar either dies or lives, and his parents subsequently mourn his death or celebrate his return to Etheria.
  • The Boogeyman - He is a villain that tries to capture and kill Rosella and is regarded by fans as among the most fearsome creatures in the King's Quest series. If Valencia or Rosella stays in one place for too long, the Boogeyman appears out of the ground with and kills her.
  • Attis - Depicted as the "lord of the hunt" and turned into a stag by Malicia. His wife Ceres, depicted as a nature goddess, was also cursed and turned into a tree. This caused the Realm of Eldrich to corrupt. After Valanice saves them, Attis returns his thanks by saving Valanice from a monster.

Release[edit]

Title Region Release date[1]
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride US 1994
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride EU 1994
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride (Version 2.0) US 1995
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride (Sierra Originals) EU 1998

The Version 2.0 release of King's Quest VII omits certain parts of the game. It omits Valanice continuously dying from carrying a lit firecracker with her (the game allows the user to continue where the character died), and it omits the volcano scene with Rosella in peril having the time limit removed (which would eventually have the volcano erupt).

Reception[edit]

Original reviews were mixed, but some considered the game to be a tremendous letdown after its predecessor's groundbreaking success (King's Quest VI had received five out of five stars in a review by Dragon magazine).[2] Adventure Classic Gaming, for instance, awarded it only two out of five stars in 1997.[3]

Some critics and fans of the series felt betrayed by the use of Disney-style cartoon graphics and the elimination of the SCI interface in favor of an overly-simplistic interface which required players to do little more than click on hotspots throughout the game. To these critics, King's Quest VII felt more like watching a cartoon movie catering to young children than playing a puzzle-solving adventure game.

In a 2003 retro review, Adventure Gamers gave the game three-and-a-half stars out of five.[4] Allgame gave it four-and-a-half stars for the Macintosh version,[5] and three-and-a-half stars for the PC version.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride". GameFaqs.com. Retrieved 2014-11-16. 
  2. ^ "The Greatest Games of All Time: King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  3. ^ http://www.adventureclassicgaming.com/index.php/site/reviews/14/
  4. ^ "King’s Quest VII review". AdventureGamers.com. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  5. ^ Karen, Lisa. "King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride - Review". allgame. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  6. ^ Roberts, Joshua (2010-10-03). "King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride - Review". allgame. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 

External links[edit]