King's Quest III

edited August 2011 in Kings Quest Game
So much talk about all these King's Quest games. But nothing about KQIII! The timer was one of the craziest, best innovations ever in a game, for me. Maniac Mansion and KQIII are on equal footing in this respect. Whenever I played MM I was always afraid I was going to take too long or run into Edna or do something to get thrown into the dungeon. There was always that sense of mild dread even in the midst of the humor. But KQIII had the same effect. I still feel terrified leaving the house and wandering down into town while Manannan is sleeping. That's something I really like about these games, was that feeling that something was waiting. I'm not a big fan of dead ends, but I'm fine with deaths for the most part. And I never minded if I blew it taking too much time wandering around because half the fun was having to put everything together in time.


  • edited August 2011
    I posted this in another forum...

    I like the game, its my second favorite of the AGI games after KQ2 (if mainly for the story). The story is compelling. It has a great villain, that really gets in your way. So there is always a sense of dread, when fighting the clock.

    But I find it the weakest KQ game as far as puzzles. The majority of the puzzles are explained in the manual, and involve finding spell ingredients for the spells in the manual.

    So most puzzles are nothing but fetch quests for those spells. Is picking up an item or acquiring it, really a puzzle in and of itself? I argue that most actions in the game basically involve 'thievery' from others. Once you have the spells, you also know what those spells are useful for again, according to the manual... So there is less thinking that needs to be done in the game.

    So with the spells making up a good 80 or 90% of the game, there are few puzzles that involve interactions with other characters. The few that still exist generally involve, 'paying gold" to get whatever items they sell, or to gain passage. So gold purse item gets used more than once (and people complain about using harp and tambourine in KQ5 twice)!

    Once you reach Daventry, most of the area has zero inventory puzzles (mostly involves climbing, and a maze puzzle), until you reach Daventry proper. There is an optional puzzle to get a treasure chest, but it really serves little point to the story (you can only get it if you overheard the mice in the ship's hold). Daventry proper is has no real puzzles... You talk to the gnome (maybe for a point or two), and then head up into the Cloudland. Cloudland again has no puzzles, except for the use of two spells which the manual tells you how to use, in just that kind of situation!

    I find the puzzles in KQ1 are much better, and more detailed than in KQ3.

    IMO, the puzzles in KQ8 are far more compelling than KQ3 (many in that game actually require you to think outside the box, even if it still has a few fetch quests)...

    I don't really mind the magic map, but its kinda too powerful, considering that generally the only type of puzzles in the game involve collecting items for the spells...So it makes things almost too easy.
  • edited August 2011
    I agree with those who would label KQ2 as "KQ1 part 2" as it really is rather short.

    KQ3 might have had fetch quests of a sort, but that looming fear of Manannan coming back at any time (as I hadn't originally figured out the timing of his appearances) made KQ3 quite fun, and especially rewarding when you turn him into a cat (yay!) and are suddenly able to travel at your own leisure.

    KQ4 was great with its transition between night and day.

    I detest KQ5. For all it's advancements in graphical quality and newly added voice acting, there was a glut of moon logic, and the voice acting was horrendous (especially on the part of Cedric and any other animals.) About the only thing I would replay KQ5 for is the theme music when Graham flies to Crispin's house.
  • edited August 2011
    Remember KQ5 was designed originally as a floppy game primarily. The cd-rom came later.

    Cedric was better on the floppy version :D.

    By the time they designed KQ6, they had plans for it to be a cd-rom game from the get go. Though they released a floppy first.

    KQ2 is actually somewhat larger than KQ1. It's interesting bit of trivial some of the content was actually originally intended to be part of KQ1, but the ideas were cut, and then reinterpreted for the second.

    Also 'glut of moon'? The Graham games are known for quite a bit of the really strange puzzles in the series... Who would think to toss a bridle on a snake, or throw water at a dragon?

    KQ5 is kinda like KQ1, part III...
  • edited August 2011
    BagginsKQ wrote: »
    Also 'glut of moon'? The Graham games are known for quite a bit of the really strange puzzles in the series... Who would think to toss a bridle on a snake, or throw water at a dragon?

    True, but KQ5 had quite a bit more moon-logic puzzles than the other games did. Perhaps that was primarily because it was larger...

    hmm... KQ4 (which was my first KQ game ever) didn't have that much moon-logic, that I recall. Certainly is did have some annoying dead-ends, but that's somewhat of a different issue.

    KQ5 is kinda like KQ1, part III...
    Perhaps. =p

    My first foray into KQ6 was on the diskette version at a neighbor kid's house. We played the game together, and I read the dialogue aloud. "Well, hoity-toity! Look who's Mr. Want-So-Much..." :D After that, I got KQ5CD for Christmas (having never played the diskette version) and I believe later bought KQ6CD for myself.
  • edited August 2011
    Out of the first three, KQ3 is easily my favourite. It has a nice plot and Manannan makes a great villain. From KQ1 and KQ2 my scale weights more to KQ1, as the puzzles and quests aren't as random as they feel in KQ2. I've always felt that KQ2 lacks a lot in plot as well.
  • edited August 2011
    hmm... KQ4 (which was my first KQ game ever) didn't have that much moon-logic, that I recall. Certainly is did have some annoying dead-ends, but that's somewhat of a different issue.

    It's also not a 'King Graham' game. The non king Graham games have less 'goofy/crazy' puzzle logic.

    It does have some diabolically hidden items though... Like that bridle hidden behind a ship...

    Shooting Lolette with a supposedly non-violent love arrow, does seem kinda of far fetched though. I suppose the idea was to make the player think they could change her to something good though?

    Also there is that whole, diamond pouch issue... There is nothing to tell you to return the diamonds to the dwarfs, so that they thank you and give you both the pouch and a lantern. That makes the cave maze even more challenging.

    About the most challenging puzzle in KQ5 for me was probably the cheese machine. Iironically I've found that in modern times they have found ways to use cheese to power machines though, including a cheese-fuel powered car, but I don't know if there was anything like that back then that Roberta may have based her puzzle idea on.

    I figured out the rest pretty easily... I remember watching old cartoons for example, where people threw boots at cats carooning on a fence post. You have a boot, and there is a cat chasing a rat... So hmm boots vs. cats seemed logical to me!

    The tambourine appears shortly after you have pretty much finished everything in Serenia and local lands. If you know that snakes in real life respond to shiny objects/sound (they actually can hear/feel vibrations through inner ears). Both of these suggest that its something to try!

    I knew not to eat the pie, because well you lose points for eating the pie (you may also lose points for eating the second half of the leg of lamb)! It took me a few tries to figure out it kills the Yeti. But considering you don't have alot of things to choose from, it fell into place pretty well.

    The game also has quite a few warnings not to enter areas, unless you are ready... You those are a good sign to save before entering...
    as the puzzles and quests aren't as random as they feel in KQ2. I've always felt that KQ2 lacks a lot in plot as well.

    Actually KQ2s plot is more linear than KQ1 and more detailed, especially if you compare KQ1 original to KQ2. The original KQ1 was mainly a super treasure hunt. You talk to the king (if you choose to enter the castle) and are sent out to find three treasures hidden around the kingdom. There was no introduction in the game. If you don't talk to the king you don't have a clear idea what your quest is supposed to be. Talking to the King is actually optional!

    Each of these items serve no actual in-game purpose, except you are told bringing them back to Daventry will save the kingdom. There are no clues to where the treasures might be hidden in the game.

    KQ2 there is an introduction video for the first time, past the credits. It gives you a firm idea what your quest is, if you choose to accept it. You know you must find three keys, and travel to an enchanted land to save a lovely maiden, who will be your wife.

    Once you get into the game, their is a linear progression connected by the Magic Door, that points you in the general direction of where each key is hidden. The door also affects the environment, in that characters will appear, or new locations open up to explore. The first riddle, leads you to the beach, where the mermaid appears, for example. The second riddle, opens up the Antique Shop, and the third riddle makes the Boatman appear. These were at the time a technological innovation over the first game. Since there was in a sense scripted events. The three treasures or keys in the case of the game, became direct part of the plot, and push the plot forward.

    Also KQ2 had twice the amount of narration/dialogue compared to KQ1 original. Another feat when it was released. There is a description for almost every room, and many objects seen on screen. There was more interaction with the characters, you could have slightly longer conversations with them (though this is shown only through narration). Most of the main characters would respond to you. Many of the characters had connections to other characters in the game, that you could discover through narration. The monk and Grandma both connect to Dracula for example. The ghosts and boatman also respond to image of Dracula (showing another connection). The shop owner, Hagatha and the nightengale were connected. Grandma, wolf and Little Red had connections to each other. I seem to recall Little Red even mentions that her basket of goodies was stolen by the wolf! Even the enchanter is connected to Pegasus, as explained when you save Pegasus, that he was turned into a snake by the Enchanter! There is a connection between the mermaid and neptune! If you make a mistake, the game tells you she returned to Neptune, and you will get killed if you try to visit him!

    These connections were alot to make the inhabitants of the land feel interconnected. The land feels slightly more lived in and alive because of it.

    Take a look back in KQ1 original and you find that almost every character had no connection to any other character. They didn't even mention any other character in the game... They were all pretty random and solitary.

    Yes the plot is simple by today's standards, but remember it was an upgrade to KQ1 when it was first released.

    Don't judge KQ2 by the KQ1 remake, which incorporated a deeper story onto the backbone of the original. But rather compare KQ2 to KQ1 original the way the series was developed, and see how the series evolved and the stories became more sophisticated with each entry.

    I don't know, other than the bandits and the pirates, interacting with the bar maid and Rumplestiltkin's and Rosella's connections to the Castle Daventry, there isn't much interconnectiveness between characters in KQ3. Nothing showing or explaining that the bandits are terrorizing the country, or even that Manannan is terrorizing the country (until you can overhear the animals). The Three Bears seem particurarly random and out of place, with no connections to other characters.

    KQ2 is easily my favorite of the AGI games, as it mostly real 'inventory' style puzzles (they are less fetch quests, since you have to actually figure out how to use the items). Whereas KQ3 the puzzles are just 'fetch quests' for items you are specifically told are needed as spell ingredientsand then beating the game with those spells, which the spells purpose is explained in the manual. Having everything including their purpose written down in the manual takes away from having to solve the game for yourself in many ways...

    About the best puzzle, that has elements of being a puzzle in KQ3 was the Cat Cookie puzzle. But you pretty much know its the only way to defeat Manannan, since descriptions in the manual show that its a powerful spell to defeat your 'victim, forever'. The only part of it that is a puzzle, is that you need something to hide the cookie in. But you also know you need to hide it because it's rather obvious and "unappetizing" with all the cat hairs sticking out of it. The only thing that makes it a better puzzle, is that you don't exactly know that you need a bowl of porridge to hide it in. So you have to figure that one detail out yourself.
  • edited August 2011
    You know playing the remake version is really interesting. The music especially adds to the experience. Manannan's theme is dreadful and the tune when you're in your room is pretty sorrowful or pitiful. Of course the graphics are lovely.

    However there's also a dread in the minimalism of the first place. I remember having a long discussion about how the closer games come to looking realistic, the less they retain their 'otherworldliness'. It's like when I post images from my favorite adventure game of all time, The Black Cauldron. There's such a fearful impression created by the distorted colors and images. Even in the original KQIII, the silence and Mannan's simple image still somehow struck me with otherworldly fright.
  • edited August 2011
    Please specify, which remake version? There are two.
  • edited August 2011
    Of course, a remake will never recapture the same spirit as the original. That's the whole point. For KQ3Redux's soundtrack I made a conscious decision not to "LucasArts" the whole world and have music for every single moment conceivable. I intentionally left most of Llewdor, Manannan's Mansion, and Daventry without looping themes to try and preserve that feeling. It works to a degree. But as you say, it's never going to be like the original.
  • edited August 2011
    AGD Interactive.
    And MI I think the choice not to have looping music is actually a really good choice for this game.

    Silence, as a tool and a way of evoking music, is underrated. The choice to simply have birds chirping, or seas roaring, creates environment, and I think it's a good move. I think there's a lot to be said for wandering the Mansion and to suddenly hear the dread sound of Manannan's music kick in. Especially because the vibe is so different for KQIII than say, Monkey Island. Their souls are different in what they're evoking, even if they're both adventure games.

    The music that's in the remake is really, really quite good in the mood it produces, and it's used in a timely fashion. The silence in the originals is a part of what made those games 'other worldly'. It was just you, the character and the world, and a lot of your own mind to make make up details and to imagine things. I don't think that's something we'll necessarily go back to again, and that's fine. It's like playing Mario 64 because it look so surreal. Sure it was right for time and it produced a mood, but we've moved on for the most part.

    For the remake the silence, you're right, doesn't produce the same effect, but its effect is all its own and its a very good one, especially because it gives the musical moments an extra punch.
  • edited August 2011
    Indeed, giving the music the right times to shine is quite effective. I think it made the whole game seem a lot more emotional that way.

    You should play Limbo (it was just released on Steam recently). It's more of a platformer and mild puzzle solver than an adventure, but it has a really spooky and creepy atmosphere and absolutely no music that I can recall.
  • edited August 2011
    Oooh I have and it's fantastic!

    I would like to say that I had a very visceral dislike of Manannan in the remake (which I'm playing right now). I just cattatized him, and there was a very emotional payoff to it.
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