The Quest draws to an end 🙁
It comes with a heavy heart to see this will be the last episode in the King’s Quest series. The Good Knight was a perfect send off for Graham as a long standing character, ending in a way to pave way for a possible future series *hint hint*. A cleverly written series which pushed me into keeping my wits sharp and challenging my puzzle solving skills. There were puns, chocolate chip pancakes and a quest worthy of a King. Kudos to the Odd Gentleman and Sierra Games. Ok, I’m done kissing cheek now. Kind of.
Last review, I sort of decided the fourth episode wasn’t my favorite in regards to the never ending puzzles, though I did thoroughly in the enjoy the writing. It’s like that one song on an album you don’t really like or a film in a franchise which isn’t that good ( the Star Wars prequels…). In any case, I am sad to see King’s Quest come to end but happy to have experienced the rich retelling of classic video game story. Fingers crossed for another season though!
The Good Knight revolves around the story of Older King Graham trying to have one last adventure before his health completely fails. It details his last battle with Manny, the urge for him to be remembered as a good King and not be forgotten. The episode starts with Graham starting to tell a story from a few years back at the ripe old age of seventy-seven.
I genuinely felt sad during this episode as it is well written but the subject matter was upsetting. The theme of old age and sickness beginning to rob Graham of his memories is heavily played upon the first half of the game. Gwendelyn remains by her grandfather’s side to prompt his memories in an effort to keep the man she knew alive. It’s a hard topic which many people have dealt with and I think the writers handled it very well.
There are lashings of the old series in the episode as nod to original players, though the developers weren’t afraid to poke fun at themselves in regards to shoehorning them in. They didn’t leave new players in the dark, explaining what the new additions were in a fun manner. The game has always been light hearted, though making sure to be serious when necessary, where there are upsetting scenes, it counters with well-timed jokes.
The player revisits a puzzle from previous episodes as Graham tries to piece his adventures together, hoping to inspire his granddaughter to lead the Kingdom he put everything into to. I found the puzzles to be challenging though suffering from the boredom of repetition, a extra addition adding an interesting twist. There was a moment where the controls switch round to reflect Graham’s confusion. I liked it but have no sense of direction which added an extra challenge as I was now dealing with controls I am not used to.
Halfway during the game there is a beautiful callback to the old series when Graham is poisoned by Manny. He must use the strength in his mind to fight against the poison falling into a dreamlike state. When Graham begins to hallucinate, he does so in pixels very similar to the original game. When the player progresses, so does the design in game, upgrading to the previous designs. It’s a perfect journey for Graham travel on before reaching the end, closing the book on a long-standing character.
Each character gets their own send off depending on the which path you take though everyone gets a throw away line to explain what happened to them. There is a hilarious bit with Acorn and Whisper involving playing a skeleton xylophone. The last episode is obviously going to cameo central though it felt sad to revisit all the places from the start of game and them be abandoned. Again, the episode truly drives in the point that Graham’s time has come to an end. I really though the decision with the dragon from the first game was going to impact later episodes but nothing really happened there. I let it go and the second episode seemed to say it would come back. I can’t have it all I suppose, though I would have liked some clarification on that.
As King Graham’s health begins to deteriorate, the family is summoned to his room for the final story, handing over his beloved adventures cap on to his worthy candidate; Gwendolyn. I feel this story was as much Grahams as it was Gwendolyns. In each episode, she has been with Graham, sharing in his stories and traveling along the way to be set up as the new Queen.
The last battle with Manny involves a six puzzle stand off which finally draws the end told by Gwendolyn who finally expects King Graham will not make it. A lot of the puzzles involved maths which isn’t really my strong point so my housemates ended up chipping in to help me out. The episode closes with the overall villain defeated, Graham put rest and Gwendolyn taking up the adventures cap. There is a brief moment you control Gwendolyn but it doesn’t do much other restate the fact the adventures have haven’t ended with Graham.
In all in, it was a good episode which reminded me of the reasons why I loved the series and sad to see King Graham go. It was an excellent series which had me entertained all the way through. I hope this is not the end of and look forward to seeing what else Sierra and The Odd Gentleman have to offer.