King's Quest VII

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King's Quest VII
King's Quest VII - The Princeless Bride Coverart.jpg
Developer(s) Sierra
Publisher(s) Sierra
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 featured high-resolution graphics in a style reminiscent of Disney animated films. It is also the only King's Quest game with multiple protagonists, and the only one to divide the story into "chapters." .

Gameplay[edit]

KQVII 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 Eldritch. The player alternates between 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 was 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 clicking on the environment. Players can click on the enviornment without indicating which parts of the game could be interacted with.

Although less linear in terms of ending than earlier games of the King's Quest series, KQVII does not include as many different endings or optional tasks and plot threads as KQVI. Some puzzles do have multiple solutions, and there are two possible endings—one happy and one sad—depending on whether Rosella manages to rescue her love interest Edgar (introduced in King's Quest IV) at the very end of the game. Sierra marketed the game as an improvement in the series by stating that completion of earlier King's Quest adventures was not necessary to fully enjoy the game, even though the final chapter revealed a strong connection to the events of KQIV.

One of the game's highlights was its graphics; King's Quest VII had very elaborate and colorful graphics for the time with painted backgrounds and animation techniques. Also included were certain areas that panned from one side to the other, rather than going from screen to screen.

Plot[edit]

The name of this sequel is a pun on the title of the novel and film The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Like most King's Quest titles, it is also a reference to the plot. Rosella is soon to be a bride, but ends up in another world shortly before her marriage.

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 magical seahorse-like creature momentarily jumping out and into a pond, leaving behind an image of a castle in clouds, and Rosella dives in. Valanice follows. They find themselves caught inside a gigantic magical whirlpool-like vortex. Rosella, who is being sucked down, and Valanice desperately try to reach each other, 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 scene ends.

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 discover that all of Eldritch is in danger. The evil sorceress Malicia has attacked or imprisoned the leaders of the different kingdoms of Eldritch, and plots to destroy the land.

This game has two different endings. The good ending results when the extra life is used to revive Prince Edgar, which results in thanksgiving and a grand ceremony and wedding. The bad ending results when the flower is used (symbolizing flowers placed atop a grave), and results in a memorial ceremony with a black chariot instead of the traditional white. The bad ending also occurs if nothing is done.

King's Quest VII is the only game in the King's Quest 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). Despite the cartoonish graphics characteristic of family-friendly computer games, the game has several violent death scenes

One curious fact about the games plot is that the love interest of Rosella in Kings Quest III is not a part of this game, and apparently has been written out of the series' plot.

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 believed 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.
  • Mathilde - The old nursemaid to King Otar Fenris III. She is well versed in magic potions, and uses her knowledge to turn Rosella back into a human. She activates the Dragon Toad that tells them where the real Troll King is.
  • Edgar - Not seen until Chapter 6, Edgar is the Prince of Eldritch. He was corrupted by the witch, Malicia, turned into the Troll King, and took the place of the real Troll King. Edgar plays an important role towards the end of this game; when he gets hit by Malicia's magic, Rosella has a few seconds to save him (by using the life a cat gave her as a reward for helping her during the game). Depending on her actions and choices, he either dies or lives, and his parents subsequently mourn his death or celebrate his return to Etheria.
  • Malicia - The main villain of the game, Malicia wants to destroy all of Etheria, a land in the clouds above Eldritch, using the power of the Volcanix Underground and especially wants to get rid of Rosella. She kidnaps King Otar Fenris III and hides him in Ooga Booga Land, and transforms Edgar into King Otar's form and brainwashes him into doing her bidding.
  • Attis - Lord of the hunt, he is first seen in the game in the form of a Stag, guarding the large tree that was once Ceres, goddess of Spring.
  • Archduke Fifi le YipYap - A poodle in charge of the city of Falderal. He is celebrating his birthday the day Valanice appears in his town.
  • The Boogeyman - He is a villain that tries to capture/kill Rosella. He roams all of Ooga Booga Land. He is regarded by fans as among the more fearsome creatures in the series. He appears out of the ground with a theme song that ends as he's about to attack either Valanice or Rosella, and can only be stopped if Rosella disguises herself as the weeping woman. He seems to show feelings for the weeping woman. At some point in the game, if you disguise yourself as Lady Tsepish and stay in one place too long, the Boogeyman will appear just like all the other times you decide to stay in one place, and instead of giving you ten seconds to run (or else he'll jump and land on you, killing you) he'll talk to "Lady Tsepish" and ask if she'll stop grieving over Count Tsepish and "run away" with him. Rosella/Tsepish will tell him to go away and he does - by jumping like he would when attacking the main characters.
  • Dr. Mort Cadaver - The resident coroner of Ooga Booga Land, Cadaver is in charge of the health of the citizens. His patients typically have very literal diagnoses, such as a broken heart. He even gave his spine to a patient before Rosella first met him, explaining his short height and inability to fend off the local hooligans. He returns to a formidable height after Rosella finds another spine for him.
  • Count Tsepish - The former lord of Ooga Booga Land, Count Vladimir Tsepish was beheaded by Malicia and cursed to fly the skies on his horse Necromancer. The Tsepish manor was burned down, and the ghost of his dog, Black Valiant, remains to guard it. Valanice must break the curse on Count Tsepish by retrieving his head and giving it back to him. If Queen Valanice stands on the path near Count Tsephish's grave for too long, he will fly by on his horse and kill her by running her over.
  • Lady Tsepish - The grieving widow of Count Tsepish, former lord of the land of Ooga Booga. Her face is unseen by the player, though if your character speaks to her, she will show them her face, which is so horrific it causes the character to die of fright (Unless Rosella is disguised as Lady Tsepish at the time). When Rosella visits Dr. Cadaver disguised as Lady Tsepish, he mentions having to replace her eyes, as she had "cried her eyes out" before. According to Black Valiant, the Tsepish's dog, she was once the most beautiful woman in all of Eldritch.

Release[edit]

A 2.0 version was released which omits certain parts of the game, including Valanice continuously dying from carrying a lit firecracker with her (the game allows the user to continue where the character died) as well as 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 (KQ6 had received 5 out of 5 stars in a review by Dragon magazine).[1] 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 on the screen 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,[2] while Allgame gave it four-and-a-half stars for the Macintosh version,[3] and three-and-a-half stars for the PC version.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Greatest Games of All Time: King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow". GameSpot.com. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  2. ^ "King’s Quest VII review". AdventureGamers.com. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  3. ^ Karen, Lisa. "King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride - Review". allgame. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  4. ^ Roberts, Joshua (2010-10-03). "King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride - Review". allgame. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 

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