King's Quest V was a landmark game, a big step forward for the series. While the previous game had been 16-colours and a text parser interface, Sierra really pushed the boat out with this one. The new 256-colour VGA graphics allowed them to create wonderfully detailed scenes, and the CD-ROM version gave them the space to use full voice-acting.
|Your lovely home, soon to be miniaturised and put in a glass bottle by an evil wizard. Typical day in the life of a King!|
It certainly amazed me at the time, and it was also a continuation of a series I had followed since the beginning. The story begins with King Graham finding his castle, and family, taken by a malevolent wizard by the name of Mordack. The motives for this are initially unclear, but a visit to a gypsy woman clues you in, it all links back to a previous entry in the series: King's Quest III. In this previous game, King Graham's son Alexander escapes from the clutches of an evil wizard by turning him into a cat. This wizard-turned-cat is named Manannan, and happens to be the brother of Mordack. It is up to you, taking control of the King, to save your family and defeat Mordack!
|The gypsy fortune teller, giving you all the information you need for your quest!|
|Cedric. Does anything more need to be said?|
|Crispin the wizard, apparently going as Gandalf for the office Halloween party.|
|The main town in the early game, filled with people, shops and an unreachable birds nest in the foreground|
This is also a game that comes into criticism for some of its puzzles. There are certainly a few occasions where repeated deaths are necessary to figure out how to continue, but these I would consider to be part of the Sierra experience! A good example here is the problem with the inn, where the criminally-inclined innkeeper locks you in the cellar. Firstly, avoiding the encounter will get you stuck later, and secondly it requires quite a lengthy puzzle chain to have the correct items to gain your freedom.
|King Graham is a little tied up at the moment.|
|I forgot to take a picture of the forest, but here's Graham escaping via some sort of elf-made tunnel.|
|Some life-giving water, in the middle of a desert.|
|The bandit's camp. Stealing from thieves is okay, two wrongs make a right?|
|A veritable King's ransom in gold (and then some), but we have what we need to better leave before we get trapped forever!|
|Beautiful snowy mountains!|
|Exotic Ice Palaces!|
|Meet interesting people!|
|See the Crystal Caverns! (paid for by the Serenia tourist board)|
There's not much to do on the beach, there's a crowbar to pick up (for some reason), and a partially deaf man with whom you can't communicate right now. The only thing to do is to take the boat, handily moored on the shore with nobody to claim it. The first time you take the little sail boat out, you drown because of a hole in the hull, but by this point you should be used to that! Thankfully since I know the game like the back of my hand, I know to patch it up with beeswax.
|A lovely island, surely no harm can come to me here!|
|Harpies, looking as horrible as they sound.|
|Mordack's island lair|
|A rather cheerful pair of statues|
|A creepy bedroom for a thoroughly creepy man.|
|Mordack's wand recharging station.|
|Your family's captor, the wizard Mordack! (he seems to be a little angry)|
It's at this point that Cedric wanders back in through a window, and inadvertently takes a (magical) bullet for you, redeeming himself entirely. Somehow this doesn't slow Mordack too much, and you end up in a shapeshifting battle. Each move he makes can be countered, until finally you douse his flame with a small rainstorm. Cue celebratory music, and your family is rescued (as is Cedric). Roll end credits!
|Some mystical spells|
|Dodging the dragon's breath as a nimble rabbit.|
|Graham, back with his loving family.|
|Game complete! With maximum points too.|