Sunday, 29 March 2015

Game 52: King's Quest V - Stuck in Burkittsville Woods - Request for assistance!

Written by TBD

King Graham of Daventry Journal Entry #3: "I'm out of ideas. I defeated the witch in the forest and ransacked her home, but now I seem to be lost in the forest, unable to find an exit. I also helped a rat but suspect I should have done something to help the bird I saw running through the desert earlier. Am I doomed to stay here forever? I MUST find a way out – I CAN'T let Mordack keep my family prisoner while he tortures my son. There are some creatures here, but I don't know how to contact them."

I was right about the amulet working against the manwitch, but after meeting her in front of her house realised it's definitely a womanwitch. The beard I thought I saw was just a long witchy face. This time the witch didn't bother casting a spell at me, but she stood guard in front of her house. I offered her the bottle, which I knew to contain an evil genie. That worked well. The witch is now imprisoned for 500 years in the bottle and I had free access to her house.

Do witches sleep? I don't see a bed.

In it I found two items – a small key and a spinning wheel. I couldn't use the spinning wheel myself because I apparently lack the skills. I thought that giving the wheel to the tailor might help me. The key opened a small door in a tree in the forest which contained a heart – clearly the willow tree's heart.

So I now had two more ideas – give the heart to the willow tree and offer the wheel to the tailor, or perhaps the gnome if the tailor wasn't interested.

Problem – I couldn't leave the forest – the screen from which I entered was no longer available. So, I'm in a forest that is rumoured to contain a witch, I seem to be travelling in circles and am unable to leave and I'm sure there are eyes watching me from the darkness. I think I've seen this movie.

There is one screen that I seem to be able to do something with – a rock creature is there and blocks the way west, but I don't seem to be able to interact with it other than to look at it – there's also some eyes in the distance. When I tried using one of my items on the eyes, it said “The small creatures, whoever they are, don't seem to show any interest in it.” I tried every item I had (a boot, custard pie, small key, magic wand, amulet) but they didn't want anything I had.

Apparently the rock next to the frog is a creature, but I don't seem to be able to do anything with it

Convinced I had missed something, I reloaded and went back to some other areas to see if there was something new there. I tried the haystack again - nothing, checked out all the shops, offered everything new I'd picked up to the snake, tried everything but going back into the desert.

I was pretty sure I could give the boot to the shoemaker so he could either swap it for something or offer to fix it for me.

On the way from the baker back to the town with my boot, something new happened – I saw a rat running from a cat. I didn't have time to try anything before the cat caught the rat. I tried to talk to them as they left, but no luck. Oh well. I continued to the town. After unsuccessfully offering the boot to the shoemaker his wife and his dog, I decided to try going back into the bakery and leaving again to find another cat-rat scene, but it looked like that cat-rat scene was a one-off. I was pretty sure it was important so I reloaded my game from yesterday and tried going to and from the bakery again. I again saw the cat-rat scene, but immediately saved so I could try a few things. This time I tried talking to them both or picking them up – no luck. I tried my inventory items on them – first the boot – success! I threw the boot at the cat and the rat thanked me and offered my help. I assume the rat is king/queen of his tribe, as every other animal I've saved has been royalty. I'm a king myself and clearly won't lower myself to save a peasant - they can look after themselves – they're all dirty and they smell too much for my high-born nose anyway.

This is the first creature I've saved that wasn't wearing a crown.

So, another new idea - rats can eat through ropes. I got myself captured by the inn thugs again, and this time, as I'd hoped, King Rat came through the rat-hole and ate through my rope. I picked up the rope, which somehow looked like a full coil of rope despite having to have been eaten to threads by the rat (magic rope?) There didn't seem to be anything else I could do in the cellar though, and after a time I still got the same game over scene. The only items I seemed able to click on were the door (which had a rusty padlock) and the rat-hole (which had nothing in it.) I didn't seem to be able to do anything there, so I again reloaded to yesterday's save.

I tried to find the bird at the edge of the desert, but he seemed to be gone. I'm suspecting there's something I have to do with it, and it's one of those cat-rat only happens once deals, so next time I might try to reload an even earlier save and try things.

So, now I'm stuck. I have a few things I can try so hopefully I can figure it out.

One thing concerns me, the crying man that appeared on the bluebird screen the first time I was there and then left – maybe I needed to do something with him. I'll be very sad if that's the case, so I'll save that for after I try everything else.

Here's a list of things I can think of to try, in the likely order I'll try them...
  • Search the forest harder
  • Search the cellar harder
  • Reload and try to do something with the running bird by the desert
  • Try to do something with the bird in the tree
  • The one place I haven't been to for a while is Crispin's house – maybe there's something else I can do there
  • Buy the sled instead of the gypsy fortune and see if I can use that somewhere (perhaps the gnome child wants to swap his marionette for it)
  • Check out the tents in the desert to see if the bandits have left anything useful there
  • Restart the game and try to do something with the crying man before I talk to him. (I have kept backups of my original saves but this was literally the first thing I did in the game)

Session time: 45 minutes

UPDATE: Played for another 50 minutes for little progress. I now know a few more things about the forest and a few other places though...
  • If I don't kill the witch when I first meet her, she appears everywhere I do. Perhaps I should do something with her elsewhere instead. I tried killing her on the eye creature screen hoping that they'd see that I'm a witch killer and shower me with riches or an exit or something else useful. It didn't help.
  • I can also talk to the witch, which I didn't try before, and Graham argues with her like a 6-year-old.
Oh, I didn't know this was a PRIVATE forest. Do you OWN IT?
  • I can squeeze the honeycomb out onto the ground on the screen with eyes – I found this out by accident by attempting to give everything to a frog – it only let me do it on this screen so I I'm lucky I worked this out at all.
  • Leaving the honeycomb and doing a lap of the forest before coming back doesn't appear to do anything. I'm guessing I need bait to put on the honeycomb, but nothing I have seems to work.
  • There are small steps in the witch's house – they didn't look anything like steps in the graphics to me. I'm guessing the eye creatures are small and can get up those steps but I need to capture one with the honeycomb and some bait then I can force it to use the stairs to help me escape the forest.
  • After using the honeycomb I have sticky bees wax in my pocket instead – don't know what I can use this for.
  • I can walk into the moat of hellfire surrounding the witch's house.
I fell into a burnin' ring of fire. I went down, down, down, and the flames went higher
  • Walking past the ant castle makes me do a little dance, but I don't think that has a useful purpose other than giving me some more bad owl voice acting.
This was the moment the voice acting made me cringe
  • There was nothing to do around Crispin's house that I could find.

UPDATE 2: Played another two sessions of 25 minutes each and discovered some new but not useful things...
  • I missed a possible death early on – ENJOY!
Everyone's favourite kind of snake - Pooooiisonous
  • Talking to the willow tree before talking to the prince doesn't let me say “Hey, I think your fiancee turned into a tree. If the game's going to make me lose unless I don't talk to him at all until after I've re-humanized the princess, I'll hate it forever.
  • The running bird may just be an easter egg – I can't talk to it or throw a boot at it, but if I try to grab it it just says “BEEP BEEP” in a road runner cartoon style voice. The problem is, I can't 100% trust the game that this isn't important so I'm only 80% sure it's just an easter egg
  • I don't seem to be able to drop the honeycomb elsewhere (I only tried a few places, but it seems obvious that the one place I can use it is the one place it is useful.)
  • There's nothing new to do in the bandit tents after looting the desert temple.
  • I seem to be good at finding new ways to die. Here's another one.
Perhaps Graham should've paid attention when taking his daughter to her swimming lessons

UPDATE 3: Another 70 minutes, including starting the game from scratch, and discovered a few more things that don't help at all. I spent a lot of this time clicking on most parts of the background scenery in case something there is a clickable object rather than background decoration – didn't find anything useful though...
  • The willow tree sings a song if I talk to Cedric on her screen.
I found the song very moving
  • I can be killed by bees if I go to their screen before getting the fish (the bear doesn't appear if I don't have the fish apparently.)
As he was dying, Graham's last words were "I hope you all get killed by a bear..."
  • I can also use the golden needle to buy the toymaker's sled. So, golden needle or golden coin, both of which I can also use elsewhere.
  • I noticed that the toymaker's son, who comes into the room making seemingly-random comments, first mentions something about being out of wood and perhaps having to go to the sawmill. Is there a sawmill I missed? Or can I find wood for them somehow?
  • I fear there's an eighth useful screen in the desert – perhaps I didn't notice a clickable pixel on one of 210 similar screens while my eyes were glazing over during my 2 hour mapping session.
  • The hollow log in the “Enter at own risk” sign screen has a comment when I 'look' at it, but I don't seem to be able to do anything else with it. I'm pretty sure I also looked at it the first time I went to the screen.

UPDATE 4: I spent another 85 minutes achieving absolutely nothing. But again tried a few more things that didn't work...
  • I had a great idea that I was sure would work - throw a coin in the well that I found in the desert. Neither the gold nor the silver coin worked.
  • I also tried keeping the needle and the jeweled staff to open the cellar door (I was quite proud of myself when I came up with the idea of the staff) but neither of those worked.
  • I did some points-tests with the needle and gold coin, as they seem to have equivalent purchasing power - The gold piece gives me 5 points when given to the gypsy but no points with the tailor or toymaker. The golden needle gives me 4 points from the tailor, 2 points from the gypsy and no points from the toymaker. The baker gives 2 points for any of the silver coin, gold coin or gold needle - nobody wants to give me change if I pay too much - greedy peasants. This suggests that the tailor gets the needle, the gypsy gets the gold coin, and the toymaker gets something that I haven't found yet.

So, after 4 hours of no progress, I'm out of ideas. I'm officially putting in a request for assistance. Remember the rules for requests found here.

I'm stuck in either the forest or cellar, depending on which I choose to do first. I assume solving one of them will give me the item I need to solve the other.

Remember to code your hints/spoilers in ROT13, and start with a vague hint then get gradually more detailed. I think at least 3 hints before the flat-out solution spoiler works well.

Session time: 5 hours 00 minutes
Total time: 8 hours 35 minutes

Session deaths: 4
Total deaths: 14

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: There's a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I have made a request for assistance. Thanks!


  1. My first try. I hope it is OK.

    1. Gur fbyhgvba vf jvguva gur jvgpu sberfg nern

    2. Gurer vf na vgrz lbh zvffrq

    3. Vg vf jvguva gur jvgpu'f uhg

    4. Va gur qenjre

    1. Thanks, apprentice_fu.

      I've read the first clue and looking forward to trying again now that I know where my problem is.

    2. Oh, how bad am I? I've even got a screenshot of it here on the blog and still couldn't see it. :)

      Thanks, I've gotten past it now and made significant progress. Amazing how that one little item lead to me quickly solving about 10 other puzzles.

  2. And I did notice that Cedric does not like Gypsies. When one first visits that screen he states his mistrust for them.
    As they actually help Graham that lets Cedric look like a bad owl.

    1. I noticed that too, and actually mention it in the next post!

      From what I've seen of the game so far, if I was living in Serenia I'd be much more likely to have my stuff taken by a foreign King than the local gypsies.

  3. Well, there goes my bet.

    1. I'm guessing your bet had something to do with a cat and a rat, or perhaps some spilt honeycomb.

      The cat and rat one is likely why I never finished the game on my Amiga. I probably saw that screen and forgot about it, thinking it was backgroud atmosphere.

    2. That bet was a duplicate of one of mine anyway, so it wasn't valid. Seems like I won one of my other bets though. :->

    3. Actually I don't know if there's any rules against duplicating bets.

      The way I see it, if 12 people want to risk their CAPs on the same thing, I don't have a problem with it. They're all equally a chance of losing or winning.


      "Once a reader has made a bet regarding a particular puzzle, no other reader can replicate that bet (so one bet per puzzle)"

    5. I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing that out.

      In that case, Fry saves his CAPs!

      And Laukku's lack of faith in my adventuring ability has already been proven profitable :)

    6. I wonder if the betting rules should be modified somehow. With the current rules it's just so easy that someone makes all potential bets for a game and so monopolizes the whole thing. A more fair set of rules could be made by either a) allowing different people betting the same thing or b) forbidding one individual doing multiple bets on one game. Perhaps this is a suitable topic for a future poll.

  4. Geez. I hate those arbitrary puzzles that appear randomly. If it's an Easter Egg, sure. Put a Batmobile in there for all I care. But to make people 2nd-guessing, it's just bad. QFG also had that fox in bear-trap thing that might not even happen unless you accidentally bump into it after the CPU hit upon an integer to call up this coding but at least it was arbitrary if you can solve the next puzzle without the fox's hint (nobody could understand What Does The Fox Say anyway), so I'm cool with QFG but not with KQV.