Author Topic: King’s Quest: Chapter 1 – August 2015 [Score: 7.4]  (Read 24 times)

Offline bobdog

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King’s Quest: Chapter 1 – August 2015 [Score: 7.4]
« on: March 11, 2019, 11:21:40 AM »
Having played the original King’s Quest series numerous times back in the 1990s, it was with some interest that I played through King's Quest Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember. The first of a 5-part series is free to explore, so I figured there was no reason not to give it a shot.

In Chapter 1, we first see Graham going down a well, which long-time players will remember fondly. This section gives us a tutorial of sorts on how to maneuver Graham and interact with the objects on screen. It also brings us face to face with a dragon. Certainly the game has elements of the past series, although now translated to a modern-day aesthetic. The humor was there, and the action scenes, and the tricky (sometimes TOO tricky) puzzles.

After exiting the cave, we immediately revert to a bedroom where an elderly King Graham is talking to his granddaughter. This rebooted series makes clear that it will play as past remembrances of Graham’s exploits from BEFORE the first iteration of games. This was a strategic decision from the developers, to play on the nostalgia of the past while introducing something new, rather than just redoing all the previous games in a modern engine.

King Graham (brilliantly voice-acted by Christopher Lloyd) opts to share some life lessons with his granddaughter, so he tells her how he first became a knight. The story introduces the Kingdom of Daventry and several of its citizens. Unfortunately, the kingdom is in a pretty bad way as the story begins, with many bridges missing, not many people around, and attacks by wolves and goblins. To increase their strength, the kingdom has opened itself up to potential knights, with the understanding that the winner in the knight’s contest may eventually become king.

Graham, quite honestly, is pathetic as a knight. He is not necessarily fast, or strong, or capable with a bow or sword. He’s not particularly smart. But he does have heart, and maybe that’s enough to give him an edge over the other 4 knight contenders. Early on, he makes an alliance with fellow knight-to-be Manny that pays dividends. (Manny, by far, is the best bit of casting with Wallace Shawn (www.imdb.com/name/nm0001728/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm); you may know him better as Vizzini on The Princess Bride or even as Rex the dinosaur from Toy Story.)

The contests with the other knights include a diversity of puzzles and action scenes, including facing off against a familiar dragon, out-maneuvering a strongman (which requires some significant puzzle-solving on its own), and using a contender’s ego against him. Once past all of these, and making friends along the way, you must face off against Manny, and it’s one of the most hilarious scenes I’ve ever played through, since it strongly reflects The Princess Bride. At the end, of course, Graham manages to prevail.

I enjoyed Part 1, but honestly don’t think I’d want to invest in any of the further chapters myself. 7.4 out of 10