|Watch out for the crocodiles in the moat!|
It seems such random deaths began with the very first game. My search for a suitable screenshot to demonstrate such a death took me two screens away from the starting location: I pushed a funny-looking rock, which moved, but unfortunately it moved *downhill* and crushed my now-lifeless body. Now I'll know not to stand in that spot when I push the rock, but is that the sort of person you want to trust with your kingdom? I'd say Graham already failed the test of kingship, two screens away from where he started.
The story is simple and to the point. King Edward has lost the Three Treasures of Daventry to treachery and deceit, and now the kingdom is in poor shape. He needs a hero to find the Three Treasures and restore Daventry to its former glory. Perhaps that hero will be our character, Graham! Unless he crushes himself beneath a rock two screens from the start. I hear that can happen.
The Three Treasures are varied and interesting:
+ A chest that never empties of gold coins
+ A magic mirror that reveals the future
+ A shield that's really awesome
The instruction manual contains the story of the three separate villains who tricked King Edward into giving up the Treasures, and while the villains show up in the game, the story doesn't really give you any clues to finding them. The Treasures are just sort of there, not even in the possession of the villains that took them. It's like once the Witch got her hands on the Treasure she wanted, she stuck it in a random spot in Daventry somewhere and forgot about it. The sequels have a stronger connection between story and gameplay.
One interesting thing about King's Quest I is that many of the puzzles have multiple solutions. If there is a non-violent or generally more clever solution to a puzzle, that's the one that will give you the most points. On my first playthrough (which I just mistyped as 'okaythrough' ha! Appropriate) I did not achieve the maximum number of points, so clearly I missed out on some of the optimal solutions.
|On this merely Okaythrough, I didn't get the clue I needed for this until later. Whoops!|
|Graham's nemesis: stairs! Step carefully!|
On the whole, if you have the patience to reload earlier saved games and good-naturedly start over when you lose or get stuck, King's Quest I is still worth playing. My final score on this Okaythrough was 117/158, so I have lots of room for improvement. If you do load it up and try to beat my thoroughly average score, be sure to watch out for boulders... and stairs... and rats... and Leprechauns... and...