King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride
|King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride|
|MS-DOS, Windows and Apple Macintosh|
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King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride is an adventure game released in 1994 by Sierra On-Line. It featured high-resolution graphics in a style reminiscent of Disney animated films. It is also the only King's Quest game with multiple protagonists, and the only one to divide the story into "chapters."
King's Quest VII is the only game in the King's Quest series to feature Queen Valanice in a major role, and also the only one in which King Graham is not shown or mentioned at all. However, he is listed in the voice credits, so he may have been originally intended to appear in the game (the final game was much shortened from an earlier version). Despite the cartoonish graphics characteristic of family-friendly computer games, the game has several violent death scenes.
Name[edit | edit source]
The name of this sequel is a pun on the title of the novel and film The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Like most King's Quest titles, it is also a reference to the plot. Rosella is soon to be a bride, but ends up in another world shortly before her marriage.
Story[edit | edit source]
|This section requires expansion.|
As the game opens, Queen Valanice is lecturing her daughter, Princess Rosella about the importance of marriage. Rosella is somewhat rebellious, and dreams of adventure rather than marriage. She catches a glimpse of a magical seahorse-like creature momentarily jumping out and into a pond, leaving behind an image of a castle in clouds, and Rosella dives in. Valanice follows. They find themselves caught inside a gigantic magical whirlpool-like vortex. Rosella, who is being sucked down, and Valanice desperately try to reach each other, but suddenly, a troll-like arm sticks in from the side of the whirlpool, grabs Rosella, and snatches her away. Valanice is left staring helplessly in horror as the scene ends.
Valanice lands in a desert in the land of Eldritch, while Rosella finds herself transformed into a troll and engaged to be married to the King of the Trolls. As the two characters attempt to find each other, they discover that all of Eldritch is in danger. The evil sorceress Malicia has attacked or imprisoned the leaders of the different kingdoms of Eldritch, and plots to destroy the land.
The game[edit | edit source]
KQVII is very different from other King's Quest games in terms of structure. The action is separated into six chapters, each set primarily in a different region of Eldritch. The player alternates between Valanice and Rosella with each chapter. The two heroines travel through some of the same places during the course of the game, finally meeting up again in the end. Aside from the multi-chapter layout, the most significant change in game structure was the introduction of the "smart" pointer. When playing the game, the pointer lights up when passed over an object that can be used. Players can get or use objects and talk to characters by simply clicking on them. Previous games required the player to choose their actions by selecting Look, Talk, Use, etc., from the icon bar, and did not reveal the location of usable items with the pointer.
Although less linear than earlier King's Quest games, KQVII does not include as many different endings or optional tasks and plot threads as KQVI. Some puzzles do have multiple solutions, and there are two possible endings—one happy and one sad—depending on whether Rosella manages to rescue her love interest Edgar (introduced in King's Quest IV) at the very end of the game. Sierra marketed the game as an improvement in the series by stating that completion of earlier King's Quest adventures was not necessary to fully enjoy the game even though a character from a previous game was reintroduced in the final chapter, leaving players who did not complete that earlier adventure confused as to his relationship with Rosella (though both endings quickly sum up the events of KQIV to explain how they met).
One of the game's highlights was its graphics; King's Quest VII had very elaborate and colorful graphics for the time with painted backgrounds and animation techniques. Also included was areas that pan from one side to the other, rather than going from screen to screen.
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Valanice - After her daughter disappears, Valanice ends up in the desert with nothing but Rosella's comb, which she picked up before going after her. Now the Queen of Daventry is on a quest to find her daughter, bring peace to Eldritch, and return to her kingdom.
- Rosella - Not wanting to be married, Rosella believed she saw a castle in the reflection of a lake and jumped in, appearing in the Vulcanix Underground. She now must save Eldritch, stop her marriage to the Troll King, and return home with her mother.
- Mathilde - The old nursemaid to King Otar Fenris III. She is well versed in magic potions, and uses her knowledge to turn Rosella back into a human. She activates the Dragon Toad that tells them where the real Troll King is.
- Edgar - Not seen until Chapter 6, Edgar is the Prince of Eldritch. He was corrupted by the witch, Malicia, turned into the Troll King, and took the place of the real Troll King. Edgar plays an important role towards the end of this game; when he gets hit by Malicia's magic, Rosella has a few seconds to save him (by using the life a cat gave her as a reward for helping her during the game). Depending on her actions and choices, he either dies or lives, and his parents subsequently mourn his death or celebrate his return to Etheria.
- Malicia - The main villain of the game, Malicia wants to destroy all of Etheria, a land in the clouds above Eldritch, using the power of the Volcanix Underground and especially wants to get rid of Rosella. She kidnaps King Otar Fenris III and hides him in Ooga Booga Land, and transforms Edgar into King Otar's form and brainwashes him into doing her bidding.
- Attis - Lord of the hunt, he is first seen in the game in the form of a Stag, guarding the large tree that was once Ceres, goddess of Spring.
- Archduke Fifi le YipYap - A poodle in charge of the city of Falderal. He is celebrating his birthday the day Valanice appears in his town.
- Boogeyman - He can be accepted as a villain as he tries to capture/kill Rosella. He roams all of Ooga Booga Land. He is regarded by fans as among the more fearsome creatures in the series. He appears out of the ground with a theme song that ends as he's about to attack either Valanice or Rosella, and can only be stopped if Rosella disguises herself as the weeping woman. He seems to show feelings for the weeping woman. At some point in the game, if you disguise yourself as Lady Tsepish and stay in one place too long, the Boogeyman will appear just like all the other times you decide to stay in one place, and instead of giving you ten seconds to run (or else he'll jump and land on you, killing you) he'll talk to "Lady Tsepish" and ask if she'll stop grieving over Count Tsepish and "run away" with him. Rosella/Tsepish will tell him to go away and he does - by jumping like he would when attacking the main characters.
- Dr. Mort Cadaver - The resident coroner of Ooga Booga Land, Cadaver is in charge of the health of the citizens. His patients typically have very literal diagnoses, such as a broken heart. He even gave his spine to a patient before Rosella first met him, explaining his short height and inability to fend off the local hooligans. He returns to a formidable height after Rosella finds another spine for him.
- Count Tsepish - The former lord of Ooga Booga Land, Count Vladimir Tsepish was beheaded by Malicia and cursed to fly the skies on his horse Necromancer. The Tsepish manor was burned down, and the ghost of his dog, Black Valiant, remains to guard it. Valanice must break the curse on Count Tsepish by retrieving his head and giving it back to him. If Queen Valanice stands on the path near Count Tsephish's grave for too long, he will fly by on his horse and kill her by running her over.
- Lady Tsepish - The grieving widow of Count Tsepish, former lord of the land of Ooga Booga. Her face is unseen by the player, though if your character speaks to her, she will show them her face, which is so horrific it causes the character to die of fright (Unless Rosella is disguised as Lady Tsepish at the time). When Rosella visits Dr. Cadaver disguised as Lady Tsepish, he mentions having to replace her eyes, as she had "cried her eyes out" before. According to Black Valiant, the Tsepish's dog, she was once the most beautiful woman in all of Eldritch.
The Realm of Eldritch in King's Quest VII[edit | edit source]
Eldritch is the land explored in KQVII. Eldritch consists of the Desert, the Vulcanix Underground, Ooga Booga Land, the Bountiful Woods, the Were-Woods, Etheria and Falderal. The magical Realm of Eldritch includes several peoples and lands. It is a land of magic and everyone who resides within knows of the various beings and creatures who occupy the lands. Several of the residents that live in the land of Eldritch are Faeries, Gods and Goddesses. There are also spirits in the land and in the air. All of Eldritch is ruled by Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of the Faeries.
This is the first land that the player, as Valanice, encounters. She is deposited here by the whirlwind/vortex after Rosella is pulled through the mirror into the Vulcanix Underground. A barren, yet beautiful land, the Desert is home to a surprising variety of creatures, including the Jackalope and the Desert Spirit Colin Farwalker. Valanice must also decipher the mythologies of this land and investigate the secrets of the desert temple in order to continue her journey. Valanice can be killed by either being stung by a giant scorpion, getting lost in the desert and dying from exhaustion, drinking salt water while in the endless desert, drowning in the well after taking an object from the offering bowl without giving something first, and getting caught in a sandstorm in the endless desert after drinking fresh water.
The Bountiful Woods
The Bountiful Woods lie between the Desert and Falderal, and they shade off to the Were-Woods in the west. A beautiful and peaceful land, Malicia has placed some of its most important inhabitants—Lady Ceres, queen of the forest, and her husband Attis, lord of the hunt—under a curse and has caused the river to dry up. The Woods lie directly underneath Etheria. Despite its beauty, Valanice and Rosella both face dangers here; they can sink into the mud if they try to walk through it, or be carried away and drown in the river after it is refilled. Valanice can also be bitten by a poisonous spider while trying to rescue a hummingbird caught in the spider's web.
The Were-Woods are positioned due west of the Bountiful Woods, which they connect to Ooga Booga Land. This creepy, densely overgrown area is where Malicia has made her home, and it also includes a swamp with carnivorous plants. There are several dangers lurking here. Rosella and Valanice can be carried off to be eaten by a giant were-bear if they enter the woods without a certain item, zapped into oblivion by Malicia, eaten by the three headed plant if they get too close to it, or eaten by the swamp creature if they enter without either Rosella getting defoliant or Valanice helping Lord Attis. Rosella can also be caught by the Boogeyman here if she tries to leave Malicia's house without disguising herself in the black veil.
Floating on the clouds above the realm of Eldritch, Etheria is the colorful and enchanting home of Oberon and Titania, the rulers of Eldritch, the Three Fates, Maab, and the Dreamweaver. This seemingly peaceful place is also home to several deadly monsters. This is the area that is visited exclusively by Valanice. She can be eaten by a nightmare if she attempts to enter the Dreamweaver's cave without a certain item or eaten by a rogue wind spirit if she stands around too long on the mountain.
Located in Eldritch to the north of the Bountiful Woods, Falderal is a wacky and colorful town where everything is not truly as it seems and many of the physical laws are bent. The town is populated by animal-like creatures such as "mock turtles," mockingbirds (which really hurl insults), and others. The Mayor of town is Archduke Fifi le Yip-Yap III. The town includes a China Shop owned by a bull, Fernando, Ersatz's Faux Shop and the Snake Oil Salesman's cart. The only danger here is the salesman. Upon entering Falderal, one can see a Victorian-styled building, the China Shop, which is run by a formal bull, Fernando (like the cliché "bull in a china shop"). The Faux Shop is also one of Falderal’s prized places. Besides supplying the Town Hall with rubber trees, it is run by an eccentric mock turtle, Ersatz, who specializes in selling the most bizarre and unusual goods. Near the Faux Shop, there is also a small cart that is run by a snake oil salesman who likes to swindle as many people as he can meet. From the mockingbird in the tree to the guard at the door, every animal displays a unique personality. The most noted ones are the hippopotamus lady, Chicken Little, the British badger who guards the town hall, and a beaver who sits by Fifi Le Yip-Yap’s birthday cake. The only danger here is the salesman; if Valanice attempts to take the china bird without taking care of certain business first, he will sprinkle magic dust on her and turn her to stone.
Despite its wackiness, Falderal holds many deep secrets. It is said to hold a magic statuette which has the power to predict the future, and it is rumored that the passageway to the Vulcanix Underground is located somewhere in the town; more specifically, in Yip-Yap's parlor located in the Town Hall.
The Vulcanix Underground is populated by trolls and ruled by their Troll King. Like Falderal, this place also holds secrets of its own. The player learns that something is amiss with the king, and finds out that he is actually an impostor placed there by Malicia. The characters inhabiting the Vulcanix Underground consist primarily of trolls, including the king's nursemaid, various gossipers, a cook with a French accent, a polite gem maker, a blacksmith who flirts with Rosella, and a large troll that guards a bridge. A crystal dragon resides here as well, and Malicia also makes several appearances. This is the only area of the game exclusively visited by Rosella, and she can meet her doom through several events here. She can be killed after eating three baked beetles and getting poisoned, falling into a deep chasm if she attempts to jump across to the wrong rock, thrown into lava by the bridge troll, falling into lava if she attempts to ride the cart without fixing one of the wheels first, falling into lava after being warped into the volcano, being crushed by the dragon's tail while attempting to remove a scale, or being fatally cursed by Malicia.
Ooga Booga Land
Ooga Booga Land lies directly on top of the Vulcanix Underground; Rosella finds herself here after regaining her human form and climbing out of the Vulcanix Underground, and Valanice makes her way here through the swamp after leaving Falderal. Although all the residents of this land are dead, most of the residents of this town are harmless with the exception of the Boogeyman, who has been instructed by Malicia to capture Rosella (but will also go after Valanice if he encounters her); and Lady Tsepish, who will cause both women to die of fright when approached. The other inhabitants include Dr. Mort Cadaver, the gravedigger, and the mischievous Ghoul Kids, who will attack unwanted visitors but are otherwise harmless. This is probably the most dangerous area in the game. Both characters can die by falling into an empty grave, trying to climb the spider web into the pumpkin house only to get stuck and bitten by a big spider, being caught by the Boogeyman, being scared to death by Lady Tsepish if they disturb her mourning, being scared to death by the Ghoul Kids, being dragged into the ground by the Deadfall bones, or being pulled into a grave by a rogue corpse. There are some character specific deaths though. Rosella can be killed by not grabbing onto the gravedigger's shovel, which he offers her to grab on to, if she takes too long she will fall (it is not shown only implied) and the elevator will be buried along with her, taking too long to escape from the coffin and being impaled (also not shown) by the Deadfall bones, being crushed by Malicia's gargoyle if she turns the Troll King back to normal, being caught by the Boogeyman if she does not put on her black veil to disguise herself, or being pulled underground if she awakens a dead corpse with the gravedigger's horn. Valanice can be killed by being run over by the Headless Horseman, or being blown up by a lit firecracker if she stands around too long with it. (One of the most prominent and annoying glitches of the game has the firecracker exploding after just 5 seconds, forcing the player to repeatedly revive Valanice in order to get to the crypt).
Endings[edit | edit source]
This game has two different endings. The good ending results when the extra life is used to revive Prince Edgar, which results in thanksgiving and a grand ceremony and wedding. The bad ending results when the flower is used (symbolizing flowers placed atop a grave), and results in a memorial ceremony with a black chariot instead of the traditional white.
Reception[edit | edit source]
Reviews were mixed, but some considered the game to be a tremendous letdown after its predecessor's groundbreaking success, having received 5 out of 5 stars in a review by Dragon magazine. Critics and fans of the series felt betrayed by the use of Disney-style cartoon graphics and the elimination of the SCI interface in favor of an overly-simplistic interface which required players to do little more than click on hotspots on the screen throughout the game. To these critics King's Quest VII felt more like watching a cartoon movie catering to young children than playing a puzzle solving adventure game. Nonetheless, it was popular among children, many of whom fondly remember it as their first computer game.
[edit | edit source]
- King's Quest VII Technical Help on the Sierra Help Pages