Living a Legend: King’s Quest on PS4

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Living a Legend: King’s Quest on PS4

With a bow, cape, and his trusty (perhaps iconic) cap, Sir Graham enters a cave riddled with spare beds and a slumbering dragon. This odd story is only one of many being told in King’s Quest, the ambitious rekindling of the decades-old adventure series.

King's Quest

Although the new King’s Quest is coming to PS4 and PS3 later this year, I was treated to an early look by none other than Matt Korba, the president and creative director of The Odd Gentlemen. Korba’s reverence of the original series resonates behind his every word, and that reverence translates into a charming, colorful adventure about an old king and a curious granddaughter.

Graham, the aging protagonist and storyteller, narrates the plot as he explains his past adventures to his granddaughter Gwendolyn. This allows the team at The Odd Gentlemen to skim across different timelines, exploring a narrative in the past and “present” simultaneously. And like its predecessors, King’s Quest remains a story-driven experience, in which players interact with the world around them, solve puzzles, and live out Graham’s adventures in comical (and touching) fashion.

While Korba never explained why there were a legion of discarded beds in the dragon’s cave, he hinted that everything would be revealed over time, even in small details like a discarded arrow nestled into the cave wall.

In the dragon’s lair, Graham is trying to reclaim a magic mirror from the dragon’s clutches. If he fails to hide in a bed on time, he plays a role in a light-hearted “death scene.” But of course, since King Graham is actually alive and well doing narration, he quips that he was just making sure Gwendolyn is still awake.

King's QuestKing's Quest

Later in the demo, Korba skipped ahead to a later section of the story which takes place before Sir Graham was even a knight. With a little less resolve and a lot less skill, Graham is attempting to cross a river in order to attend a knight’s tournament. This introduces yet more puzzles, tasking players with finding creative ways to ford the fast-flowing water and reach the arena.

Korba explained that their design is heavily inspired by Ken and Roberta Williams’ original philosophies, which form a pyramid of sorts between art, story, and gameplay. They strive for a balance between these three elements. This is clear in The Odd Gentlemen’s vision, as even simple gameplay animations showcase Graham’s personality; his pitiful attempts to fire an arrow, or a stumble while lifting a heavy gear into place.

While players can lead Graham to a variety of fictional deaths, there are no actual “dead ends” or fail states outside of “try it again.” Korba wants King’s Quest to click with families; not just children, not just adults, but the whole bunch. And with such a charming story and enticing artistic direction, the studio looks well poised to live up to the enormous expectations set by the project’s legacy.

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29 Comments

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  • Sounds interesting.

  • Any chance at all we could see some of the older KQ games come to PS4? I played the hell out of KQ V back on my parent’s PC as a kid, I’d love to curse that owl again as an adult on my PS4. ;)

  • “Korba explained that their design is heavily inspired by Ken and Roberta Williams’ original philosophies”

    I’m a huge fan of the original games. I don’t remember jumping in them.

  • Really looking forward to following this one.

    I have fond memories of the original King’s Quest on my Apple II.

    At least now we probably don’t have to worry about falling in a pond, and frantically trying to type ‘SWIM’ before he drowns.

  • The trailer for this game blew me away. It looks absolutely fantastic. Definitely on my list for most anticipated titles.

  • I never did play any of the Kings Quest games or any Point and Clicks when I was kid largely because the genre was practically dead by the time I played my first game ^^’ However I have recently played a lot of great ones like Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us, GrimFandango Remastered, Tales of Monkey Island, and thanks to my cousin Kings Quest 5 on his computer and I gotta say I’m sad to have missed out on this genre back in the day :D I am really looking forward to playing this game.

  • Sounds like what a garbage would be.

  • I want to play King’s Quest 7 again. Oh, the memories…

  • Buying this day one without a doubt. Sierra practically raised me (sorry, mom).

  • @3 Jumping is not a philosophy.

  • I love the details in the hair and the feather in the cap. I hope the animation/physics on the cape look good, and that collision with the cape actually works. (I hate seeing arms/legs passing through cloth in games.)

    These more cinematic screenshots look cool, and I hope that fixed camera angles are generally used like in the original games. I had heard that there’s platforming sections that in-between set pieces, and that is where the majority of the gameplay is. While I loved The Cave, that’s not the same gameplay I would want from a King’s Quest game.

    If new sequels are being thought of, I’d love to see the same concept of Alexander or Rosella telling their son/daughter about their adventures. Really a great way to weave in the original games with a new experience.

  • Pretty much sold on playing this game with my kids in audience. The last game I did that with was Ni No Kuni. It’s about time another game can offer that kind of family enjoyment for me and mine.

  • I remember playing Kings Quest 2 as a kid. It took 3 or 4 days to figure out how to cross the moat to dracula’s castle. I tried typing everything! It was “climb on boat” if I remember right. I could never figure out how to give the treasure to the king at the end of the game though!

  • YAAAASSSSSSSS!

  • @10 – Yes it is. Their philosophy was “no jumping in adventure games”. Pretty sure I heard them say that once.

  • @16 – I’m not saying that ‘They’ did or didn’t say, ‘No jumping in adventure games’ but I would like to point out that the original KQ game, for the PCjr, came with a keyboard overlay, which labeled one of the top keys ( I think it was F10) as ‘Jump.’ You had to use it to finish the game.

    That being said, this announcement is making my purchase of a PS4 just that much more urgent.

  • The graphics look MUCH improved over what I saw at E3. Can’t wait! Make sure it has a Platinum! :)

  • The art style reminds me of ni no kuni wrath of the white witch, i loved that game and I’m looking forward to this.

  • This looks pretty cool, even if some of those ground textures are downright gnarly.

  • Again, showing a game and not letting people know how it will be released. Love the original but if this is PSN only it’s a pass.

  • Graham watch out. A POISONOUS snake.

  • I’m excited for this! Let’s bring back all the Sierra games. Especially Space Quest.

  • The Quest series (King’s, Police, Space, even Leisure Suit Larry!) are among my most cherished gaming memories. All began with King’s Quest III on my uncle’s super old IBM back in ’87 or ’88 when I was only 6 years old. He loved Sierra games and my family would gather and put our brains together to try and get through the games. Some were incredibly hard for us (usually parts with riddles) but after my uncle upgraded to his 286/12mhz, we were able to sign up for the Prodigy internet service and were able to get help from other users on the good ol’ bulletin boards. Man, I really went way back on the internet! LOL

  • When news hit of King’s Quest on PS4, I immediately told my uncle about it and showed him. He got hit with a wave of nostalgia and reminisced about how good the times were back then and how those were the best games of all time due to how it helped teach us how to type and really got everyone to think. In “passing-of-the-torch” fashion, I’m waiting for my nephew (who’s 3 years old at the moment) to be about 4-5 years old and will have him play those same games, before he’s spoiled with all this next-gen stuff.

    I hope this reboot brings about the return of other Sierra games, namely Quest for Glory or the Conquests series, which we loved! The new King’s Quest will definitely be a day 1 buy, can’t wait to show/play it for my uncle, dad, and sister!

  • OMG YES! Sierra games were a big part of my childhood.

  • Kings Quest 3 was my very first adventure game back in 1991 / 1992 and I fell in love with the series… Finished them all and still hold them dear in my heart… I hope this does not ruin the gaming series I love.

  • really excited for this! I was sad when i heard telltale dropped… but now that its back in action i cant wait to pick this up! In the sad news of Sir Terry Pratchett’s death I wish we could get an updated version on Discworld for the ps1 or even blazing dragons!

  • Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but they seemed to have captured and updated the whimsical feeling of the original games there. This is going to be great.

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