Designer and Sierra co-founder Roberta Williams had created in the original King's Quest a flawed but unique masterpiece, that managed to awe gamers throughout the 80s. Players, assuming the role of valiant Sir Graham, had to help the benevolent yet tragedy-stricken King of Daventry reclaim the three magical treasures that would help save the kingdom and suggest a proper heir. Hence the game's subtitle Quest for the Crown, which trivia lovers will be thrilled to know only attached itself to the game after 1987 and its Amiga release.
The game itself used the now classic, familiar and always limited Sierra parser, whereas King Graham could be moved around the screen with the help of the cursor keys. The puzzles were mostly tough, though admittedly solvable with the help of the more widely know fairy-tales, helping create a most whimsical atmosphere, despite the countless deathtraps awaiting for Graham. Then again, the animated 16-colour graphics, the dozens of screens, a passable -then impressive soundtrack- and the novelty of the whole thing made sure any limitations were overlooked.
King's Quest I spawned seven, mostly brilliant, sequels and went on to become one of the defining pillars of adventure gaming. As for its number of ports, well, that was also quite impressive, as KQI appeared -as far as I know- on the PC Jr, Tandy 1000, DOS PCs, Apple II, Amiga, Atari ST, Sega Master System, Mac and Apple IIgs. Then it got itself an official Sierra remake using the SCI engine and finally a brilliant, fan-made VGA re-imagining by AGD Interactive. Quite impressive, eh? Well, not so in CGA:
Where to get it:
King's Quest (all formats): eBay.com, eBay.co.uk, eBay.de, Steam
Remake: AGDI's amazing effort
More info on King's Quest:
More bargain.bin retro reviews:
Target Renegade (8-bits)
Berzerk (Atari 2600/VCS)
Sensible Soccer (Amiga)