Saturday, 11 April 2015

Game 52: King's Quest V - Time to Let the Cat Out of the Bag - Request for assistance!

Written by TBD

King Graham of Daventry Journal entry #5: My boat's shipwrecked on Mordack's island and I've explored his castle as thoroughly as I can think of, but I've no way to defeat the fiend or rescue my family. I've defeated a blue creature with the power of teleportation and the talking cat, Manannan. I've met a princess that I've sworn to rescue after saving my own family but I'm still no closer to my goal. There must be a way. I need only to find it...

This was all just supposed to be a three hour tour - a three hour tour!

From the looks of our boat, our chances of going back the way we came are gone - I'm sure I could repair it if only I wasn't all out of beeswax. Unfortunately, I didn't seem to be able to salvage any parts from the shipwreck. There was a rotting blue fish near the shipwreck though so of course, I picked it up. It may sound like just a piece of trash, but last time I picked up a rotting fish I ended up with honeycomb, a stick, beeswax, some green gems, a golden needle, some fine shoes and so on, until I eventually made my way here - none of which would have happened if I didn't pick up the rotting fish.

With a rotting wet fish in my pocket, I climbed the stairs, where I found two large snake statues. As I got closer, the eyes glowed brighter. I went through expecting exactly what I got - death!

Oh boy!

After a reload, I tried using my crystal shard on the snakes. It reflected the lightning back into the snake eyes and burned them out. Onward once again!

Moving forward, Cedric and I found the entrance to the castle, but because Mordack doesn't want to make it easy for his visitors, it was over a chasm. If I tried to cross I'd fall and die, so, despite Cedric's pleas that we turn back (turn back where, owl? Our boat is smashed to bits and we have nowhere else to go!) I went around to the side of the castle, where I found a grate. Again Cedric begged me to turn back - again I ignored him.

Prying up the grate with my metal rod and propping it up with the same, I dropped down into... a maze. Cedric had bravely offered to stay outside and be a lookout.

Once I go down, I can't do anything with the hole in the ceiling so it looks like I'm stuck down here in this labyrinth. This maze was hard to navigate at first but fairly easy to map once I got the hang of it. When I walk in any direction the next screen has me continuing to face that direction. I would have found it very difficult except I discovered accidentally (this is not the first time I discovered something important accidentally in this game) that if I clicked my 'look' icon on the blackness below the actual visible screen I got a compass - this makes no sense and I feel for anyone who didn't discover this trick.

This labyrinth is largely empty and another exercise in basic mapping skills - the dungeon hole doesn't exist until later when I escape the dungeon

Throughout the labyrinth creatures randomly walk on the walls, but I don't seem to be able to interact with them so I assume (hope?) they're just background atmosphere.

These yellow green or blue creatures quickly scurry along the walls and ceiling, vaguely resembling space invaders

In one dead end I found a furry monster whose only words are "Dink" and whose name is Dink. When I got close to him, Dink killed me.

I will name him George and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him

After a reload, I decided to try my rescued tambourine - I've had great luck so far playing music for animals. Dink loved the tambourine and ran off with it, dropping his hairpin as he left. I'm not certain but I think he recognised the tambourine and is off to return it to its rightful gypsy owner. I of course, rescued Dink's hairpin from the ground. I found nothing else of interest in the labyrinth apart from a door, which I could open with my new hairpin.

Now out of the only slightly annoying labyrinth, I took a bag of peas from a cupboard, then went to the next room to see a beautiful servant girl. I knew she was beautiful because the narrator points out that "though wearing rags her beauty nevertheless shines through"

When I try to talk to her she shies away. Knowing that all women value jewellery over their own safety, I give her the locket I found in the roc's nest. I'm rewarded with a cutscene.

She seems to be wearing a lot of eye shadow for someone who expected to be scrubbing floors all day for someone she hates

Her name is Princess Cassima and she's from the Kingdom of the Green Isles. Mordack wanted to marry her but when she refused he kidnapped her and told her she'd remain a scullery girl until she agreed to marriage.

Now that Graham knew she was royalty, he promised to save her as soon as he rescues his own royal family.

There seemed to be nothing else to do on this screen so I went east where I found a large organ.

The head above the organ creepily follows Graham as he traverses the room

Guessing that it probably wasn't a good idea, I attempted to play the organ. When I got close to it, it started playing music by itself. Surprised to still be alive, I went east to the dining room, where Mordack promptly killed me.

Apology accepted, King Graham

Deciding against drawing attention to my presence, I decided not to play the organ the second time. Instead of Mordack, a weird blue monster captured me and created some kind of portal to a dungeon, throwing me inside.

Looks like some kind of weird mix of an alien a tauntaun and a smurf

As soon as I entered the dungeon I saw a mouse go into a mouse hole - so I stole his mouldy cheese with my fish hook (Graham doesn't care about the quality of the items he steals, he just wants everything that isn't his.)

After a short while a rock in the dungeon wall moved. Princess Cassima was pushing aside the heavy brick and had come to rescue me.

She's stronger than she looks. Scrubbing floors is surprisingly good for upper body strength

She mentioned that she comes down into the labyrinth often and I should go with her. I followed her and she led me back out to the labyrinth's exit. With my trusty map, I could have navigated my own way out, but following her was easier.

If I get captured by the blue monster a second time, she doesn't rescue me - probably because I didn't give her a second piece of jewellery. The first time I escaped I deliberately got captured a second time because I didn't have time to get the cheese before Cassima rescued me. That was a mistake.

I like the way Graham's reflection in the water works quite realistically

I reloaded and this time used the fish hook on the cheese before she showed up.

Back in the castle, I went upstairs to find Mordack's bedroom. I found the cat there, but gave him a rotting fish to keep him busy and moved on to the library. In there I read a book that had some strange pictures and symbols on them. Graham wouldn't take the book, but memorized the symbols and, according to the narrator, they might be useful later.

Who needs to memorize when I have dosbox's screenshot capability

I also entered the laboratory, where I found my captured family - but couldn't help them. I also found a strange machine.

Witness the awesome power of randomly trying all my items on a machine I know nothing about

The machine seems to have three notabale parts - a platform on each side and a cauldron in the middle. It only counts as one item for the purpose of clicking, so if I use the wand anywhere on the machine, Graham puts the wand on the platform on the right hand side. I can also use the cheese on the machine, and Graham puts it into the liquid in the middle which activates the machine - after the machine fires off some electricity for a while, Mordack then comes and kills me.

I may be dead, but you have mouldy cheese in your cauldron - good luck getting over your fungal infection!

And... now I'm stuck. I'm pretty sure I'm missing the correct item to put on the left platform of the machine - I assume I need some kind of magical power source to power Crispin's wand that's been useless for the entire game.

The two things I clearly need to do are rescue my family and kill Mordack - one likely needs to be done before the other and the machine probably helps me do one or both of them.

Both the blue monster and the cat appear randomly but can usually be avoided by either reloading and entering the room again so they randomly don't appear, or immediately leaving the way I came.

I've played for a few hours since I was first stuck and discovered some other things by reloading to various points, but nothing that's actually helped me progress.
  • Dink the furry labyrinth dweller is not always in the same place - he can appear in other dead ends.
  • I can defeat the blue monster by throwing peas at him, which causes him to slip and fall. I don't seem to be able to do anything with his body
Cartoon sound effects play while he slips on the peas
  • I can capture Manannan the cat by giving him a fish and then shoving him into the empty bag of peas. I don't seem to be able to do anything with him after that. Talking to him before capturing him or ignoring him results in his leaving and Mordack appearing and killing me a screen or two later.
For a powerful wizard Manannan is extremely easy to outsmart
  • After dispatching the cat and monster, Mordack starts to appear randomly instead. I can't do anything with him as control is immediately taken away from me and he chokes me to death
  • When Cassima rescues me from the dungeon she mentions that she often comes to the labyrinth to play with her friends, Dink and Sam. Then makes a point of saying "I don't know if you ever saw Sam or not." This makes me think I may have missed seeing Sam in the labyrinth. The problem is, I went back to every possible square and he wasn't anywhere. Either he randomly shows up, he never shows up, or there was something in the labyrinth I missed.

So once again my lack of adventure game prowess results in me asking for assistance. I'm hoping this is one of Laukku's bets so at least my being stuck will help somebody earn some CAPs. I can think of  a number of likely reasons I'm stuck - I may be wrong but the things I can think of are...
  • There is something in the labyrinth - perhaps Sam or perhaps something I haven't tried with the small wall-walking creatures. I've been to every screen there at least five times but haven't noticed anything
  • Apart from the labyrinth, there are seven screens I've been to that I haven't been able to do anything in - the two Dining Room screens, the screens on both the bottom and top of the stairs, Mordack's bedroom, the organ room and the front door outside the castle. I might be missing something in one of those screens
  • There is possibly another screen I haven't been to because I've simply not noticed an exit - perhaps another screen outside the castle
  • I've once again failed in my pixel hunting skills and there's something somewhere I should have seen and clicked on
  • I dead-ended myself before entering the island. I don't think this is the case as I suspect someone would likely have mentioned it in the comments of the previous post
Remember to code your hints/spoilers in ROT13, and start with a vague hint then get gradually more detailed.

This is my current inventory - I feel I'm missing at least one important item

Session time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Total time: 15 hours 25 minutes

Session deaths: 5
Total deaths: 35
(I haven't been counting any falling deaths that don't give either new animations or dialogue)

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. So close to the end and you request assistance!

    1. Lbh unir NYZBFG rirelguvat erdhverq gb cebterff, lbh arrq whfg bar zntvpny vgrz.
    2. Guvf vgrz jvyy erpunetr lbhe jnaq, naq Zbeqnpx unf vg.
    3. N jvmneq fubhyq arire or jvgubhg n jnaq.
    4. Lbh arrq gb svaq n jnl gb fgrny Zbeqnpx'f jnaq.
    5. Orvat na rivy jvmneq fher vf gvevat, creuncf ur arrqf n erfg.
    6. Lbh nyfb arrq n cynpr gb uvqr, ur unf rlrf rireljurer.
    7. Vf gurer n cynpr lbh pna jnvg sbe uvz gb fyrrc, jvgubhg orvat frra?
    8. Lbh pna uvqr va gur yvoenel (va gur evtug cynpr), naq jnvg sbe Zbeqnpx gb neevir naq fyrrc. Gura uvf jnaq pna or lbhef!

    1. And... now I've finished.

      I thought this game had a few slightly unfair parts before - but this takes the cake.

      I can't imagine too many people working that out without doing so accidentally by going to the bathroom and leaving the game running or something.

    2. It's obvious how their precious ONE MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET was well spent in quality puzzle design.

  2. I absolutely love this part of the game, even if the puzzles are perhaps too difficult! The artwork and music create an amazingly creepy atmosphere. Mordack really goes all out for the evil wizard look, and you'd think that would be something the "good" wizards of this world might want to do something about, but perhaps there are no good wizards?

    1. Yeah, I agree that the atmosphere is really cool for this part of the game. And I really like the endgame that'll presumably be covered in the next post. The part where TBD is stuck is unfair, though. :/

    2. Crispin's probably a good wizard - but he's known about Mordack for years and just sat at home thinking it wasn't his problem.

      I think the only available people with enough skill and courage to defeat any evil wizards are Graham and his family.

  3. So, I regret to say that I haven't been able to follow along as I've planned. I've barely managed to start, in fact. Oh well.

    As I look at the end, I wonder if I never got this far when I was a kid. I thought I had beaten this game, but now I'm not so sure.

  4. Just a note that this post also seems to have misplaced the "Written by" credit. Just in case anyone didn't know who was writing...

  5. Replies
    1. Nice! Clearly what we can't see behind the stalagmite is the pile of used thumbtacks sticking up from the ground.

  6. Some great GOG sales...

    Lucasarts bundle (Indiana Jones and Fate of Atlantis, Secret of Monkey Island and Sam & Max Hit the Road for $6.57)

    Broken Sword saga (all 5 games for $13.20 - great deal)

  7. I am starting to think that King Graham's class is not a Rogue but a Bard.

  8. You know, I've been skimming a bit trying to catch up, but it just hit me: This games looks good. There is something about it that previous games didn't have. I don't know if the artists got used to VGA, or it is that we jumped up to VGA, but this is one of the few times I've looked at a screenshot and thought, hey, that doesn't look bad.

    That said, the sprites still don't look very good, but if you ignore them, the backgrounds look sweet.

    1. Funny you should say so, since we had that exact conversation couple of posts ago from your perspective. Corey Cole even explained why the sprites look so bad in comparison:

    2. Durrr, I read all of those as well, and even looked at the pictures.