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King's Quest - Chapter 5: The Good Knight
Score: 87%
Publisher: Sierra
Developer: The Odd Gentlemen
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/Classic/Retro/Puzzle

Previously on King’s Quest::

When we last left King Graham in King’s Quest – Chapter 4: Snow Place Like Home, he was telling the tale of how his son, Alexander, returned from his evil captor Manannan with a personality that the king didn’t envision in his dreams. Not surprisingly, King Graham decided that the best way to bond with his son was through an adventure. To his disgust, Alexander tended to take the easy way out when challenged with puzzles, so Graham attempted to use it as a teaching opportunity.

Thankfully, by the end of the chapter, Alexander had realized his mistakes and decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and solve puzzles the old fashioned way. By the end of the episode, all was well with the King and his family, finally reunited for the rest of their lives. But lives are not forever. We see this as Chapter 4 closes, with King Graham ailing.

Fuzzy Memories:

As we open on King’s Quest – Chapter 5: The Good Knight, King Graham is still feeling the effects of old age, but he assures granddaughter Gwendolyn of one last adventure that the magic mirror has promised him. As the story begins, we see Graham as an old adventurer and even see him interact with his old troll bridge friend one last time.

Without giving too much away, the gist of this final chapter is to show that the ailing king’s memory isn’t what it used to be as he has a hard time remembering the story as he relays it to Gwen. To get this across, the developers at The Odd Gentlemen resorted to in-game antics like causing part of the world to not exist or in other cases, causing the player to choose between options that help make sense of the puzzles in-game.

Manny’s Many Puzzles:

King’s Quest – Chapter 5: The Good Knight revolves around Manannan challenging Graham to a lot of puzzles to help prove that he is the best for the thrown. King Graham, however, is up to the challenge. While many of the puzzles that lay before him are relatively easy or have moderate difficulty, a couple of them do prove to be a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately, this wasn’t necessarily because of the difficulty itself as much as it was of some vagueness surrounding things.

That said, The Good Knight has a nice balance to it overall. It is true that there are again some fetch and retrieve scenarios lurking in the depths of the overall puzzle, but after playing four previous chapters in the same environment, it should be relatively straightforward to know where to go.

Passing Homage to a Long Time Ago:

Much of the game actually feels odd due to King Graham’s fuzzy memories and other ways to instill that Graham’s time may be near. As mentioned above, some of the environments that have been previously visited are no longer navigable and instead show as a blank white space. Some other times, Graham is simply trying to recall the correct version of a story and it plays a part as to how he retrieves items to solve puzzles.

One of the most interesting (if not still a bit weird) aspects of King’s Quest – Chapter 5: The Good Knight’s gameplay involves a tribute to past generations of the King’s Quest series by Sierra. For specific scenes, the graphics turn retro and go from 8-bit era visuals to 16-bit, and beyond.

When it comes time for the final challenge between Manny and Graham, another homage is played to The Princess Bride, which co-starred Wallace Shawn (who is also the voice of Manny) in a bid to a battle of wits by choosing the cup(s) without poison.

The Final Act:

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The Odd Gentlemen’s take on the King’s Quest series has been a very nice nod to the original, while still putting their own spin on the series and characters as a whole. The overall gameplay of the series has been well done, save for a few low points, and is definitely worth checking out whether you are familiar with the original series or not. The voice acting by Christopher Lloyd (King Graham) and Wallace Shawn (Manannan/Manny) was outstanding, and those voices by most of the other characters were well done too. Do yourself a favor and check this series out.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele
Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista/7/8; Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 @ 1.86GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ @ 2.4GHz; 1GB RAM; GeForce 8800 GT or Radeon HD 4770 with 512 MB Video RAM; DirectX v9.0c; 13GB Hard Drive Space; DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card
  Test System:

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit; Intel Core i7-5930K CPU @ 3.50GHz (12 CPUs); 32GB RAM; nVidia GeForce GTX 980; Xbox One Controller

Related Links:

Windows The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Episode 2 - Ties That Bind: Part 2 Microsoft Xbox One The Walking Dead: A New Frontier: Episode 2 - Ties That Bind: Part 2

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