Kings Quest VII

Posted by: oldmariner

Kings Quest VII - 06/15/07 02:00 PM

After a quick scan of the review listings here at Gameboomers I discovered this game had been overlooked and thought it should be included. This entry in the Kings Quest series is often dismissed as being a departure from its cousins. It is quite unlike the other six and hard core fans of the series did not warm up to it very well. In the hint book that accompanied my copy of the game, Roberta Williams discusses that in her view this game is very different. "Unlike previous games in the series it has movie style animation and two female protagonists which added a softer more whimsical approach." Beginning with the intro you immediately get the feel of a Disney movie, think Snow White. It is in cartoon format well drawn with excellent animation. It did in fact achieve that Disney quality and perhaps this is what upset many Kings Quest fans. Having played all the games I did not expect what was presented in KQ7. With that said I will rebel from the KQ purest view and say it played better, looked better and had a far richer story than any of its predecessors.

The game installed easily on my xp system using win 95 compatibility mode. I did have to tone down graphics settings to 800 x 600. The game begged for 256 graphics but it looked very good and ran without issue at the 8x6 noted above. Game play is the typical third person point and click mouse driven. You of course pick up everything you can, at some point you will use that object to advance your quest. I will warn you there is one particularly evil musical puzzle late in the game guaranteed to challenge you. The concluding scene requires some rapid mouse clicks to achieve final victory and can put some people off. Most puzzles are moderately difficult to easy. Voice acting is very good throughout from main characters to a multitude of off center supporting denizens. Well drawn with fluid movements the graphics stand up well when compared to more recent 2d games. The music is also well done with interesting themes coordinated to support each chapter's theme. As in all KQ games our heroines can die so save often.

The story is broken into six chapters which interestingly enough can be played in any order. In other words the start up screen allows you to play any of the six. So if by chance you could not resolve say chapter one and move naturally into chapter two you restart the game in chapter two and continue forward without penalty. You can simply start the game in any chapter you wish. I don't recall that feature in any other game. Each chapter is a continuation of the previous but you switch characters between Queen Valanice and her daughter, Princess Rosella. Beginning with the Queen in chapter one switching to the Princess in chapter two. You go back and forth through the six chapters being united in the end.

I am not going to be including any spoilers here in my attempt to provide a scaled down outline of the story chapter by chapter. The introductory scene shows Valanice trying to convince her daughter she should consider marriage. Rosella wants nothing to do with this and while her mother persist Rosella is attracted to a well. Pulled in by a troll she is kidnapped. Mother follows to save her daughter and the adventure begins. The intro song in this scene does an excellent imitation of a Disney movie song.

Chapter One "Where in the Blazes Am I" Valanice finds herself in the desert with no sign of Rosella. The most interesting character here is the Jackalope, something like Road Runner perhaps? How you get the Jackalope out of his hole is a riot. There is also a Desert Spirit and so on. Valanice has to navigate her way through this semi-desert area in her search for Rosella and the route to the next world. There is also some of that desert wandering KQ games are famous for.

Chapter Two "A Troll is as a Troll Does" Here Rosella discovers she is to be the bride of the troll king. Escape involves dealing with a witch, Seven Dwarf type workers and a troll guarding a bridge. Getting rid of that troll, well it is a funny scene requiring a unique use of inventory items and lots of laughing when you see the result. Excellent one liners and some delightful characters.

Chapter Three "The Sky is Falling" After exiting the desert Valanice finds herself in a fairy tale town where she interacts with a Stag who was human once, think evil spell, a rock spirit, a town run by people who seem to have escaped from some asylum. There is one staircase puzzle which is almost but not quite a maze.

Chapter Four "Will The Real Troll King Please Stand Up" After leaving the Troll world Rosella finds herself in an underworld full of gravediggers and zombie types. A dark world packed with offbeat humor and imaginative puzzles. The dimwitted grave digger is a joy to interact with.

Chapter Five "Nightmare in Ethera" Valanice finds herself in a world in the sky. This is where you find that evil musical puzzle. Well not so bad if you are not tone deaf.

Chapter Six "Ready Set Boom" Where it all comes together and we live happily ever after. The final scene can have two different outcomes. So save early and often as one ending is better than the other.

The game is like a well detailed fairy tale excellently crafted and very entertaining with many endearing and not so endearing characters. If you enjoy a wholesome story with great depth this one is a game not to miss. KQ 7 is a huge departure from the previous six. Roberta Williams turned the series on its ear to make a whimsical fairy tale game in the Disney genre. Was it successful? In my opinion it is the best of the series. While this is not universally shared by fans of the Kings Quest series the game stands on its own as fun to play.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/15/07 02:11 PM

Thanks Oldmariner. The ability to play any chapter at any time sounds quite unique. wave

Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/15/07 02:13 PM

I don't recall seeing that before. Think of the ease if you wanted to revisit a specific section.
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/15/07 02:16 PM

Or, in my case, skip the very evil musical puzzle puppy
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/15/07 02:31 PM

But of course the walk throughs give you the precise keys to hit avoiding the angst
Posted by: looney4labs

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/15/07 02:32 PM

Aha, then there might be hope! puppy
Posted by: Mad

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/15/07 11:01 PM

Hi oldmariner smile

Very nice review !! thanks

KQ 4,5,6 &7 are my favourites from the series and so the most re-played grin

And yes, KQ7 was different, but I liked it from the word go thumbsup

KQ8 ?? Aggghhhh !! eek


Mad wave
Posted by: syd

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/16/07 08:38 AM

Very nice review oldmariner. I loved KQVII - reminded me of Torin's Passage which is my son's all time favorite game. KQVII was just a fun, fun game.
Posted by: Marian

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/16/07 06:35 PM

Wow! That's the best review of this game I have ever read; it really gave me a feel for it. praise

This is the only KQ game I haven't played. blush I hope I can get it running on Windows XP.

And I hope you will write more reviews. wave
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/16/07 07:38 PM

Thank You Marian, Mad, Syd. Marian I have it presently installed on my XP and have to change the graphics setting down to 800x600. It is running without hitch ( so far ). I had to right click on the setup.exe file on the CD in windows explorer Selecting properties and then choosing win 95 compatibility mode. Then double clicking on the setup.exe file it installed from the disk. The run mode from desktop was not cooperative so I had to go in as described via the back door.

If you are adventurous Marian check out my review of Lost in Time. The only other one I wrote. That one generally requires Dosbox to run on xp systems but worth the effort.

Thanks again for the nice comments. Will do another review when I spot something that has not been overdone.
Posted by: Marian

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/16/07 08:07 PM

Hi OldMariner,

Thanks for the detailed instructions about getting KQ7 running in Windows XP!

I will read your review of Lost in Time; I actually played and finished that game a year or so ago--on Windows ME, no less. Strange, but true! A kind member of GameBoomers, along with selling me the game, included instructions on how to get the game to work in Windows ME.

But the strangeness doesn't end there--you see, I had no idea that Lost in Time had a reputation for being difficult, and completed the game without once looking at a walkthrough. This was indeed something that could be characterized as a fluke, as I don't believe there is any other adventure game, ever, where I DIDN'T have to look at the walkthrough at some point. Something about that game's puzzles and the designer's minds just clicked with me, I guess. woozy I really enjoyed the game, too. smile

Thanks again for the review and for the help with KQ7. wave
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/16/07 11:40 PM

Glad to hear that I really enjoyed Lost in Time as well. I think you will really like KQ7, There are lots of unforgettable characters.
Posted by: Mad

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/17/07 12:35 AM

Hi smile

Lost in Time and Torin's Passage - two more of my favourites happydance

I actually got Lost in Time to run in Win98SE quite recently - by using "some" of Mr Bill's instructions.
What a treat !! bravo

[Not tried DOSBox yet.]

There's just something about the old adventures that really gets to me. I'm badly addicted to them lol


Mad wave
Posted by: oldmariner

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/17/07 01:29 AM

I am down to two games in my collection I have not played yet. Broken Sword 4 and Nancy Drew Kapu Cave. Not sure which one I'll load up yet. Still dealing with new house and waiting for the power to be turned on and the flooring to be finished. This waiting is driving me crazy and making it difficult to focus on a game. And no tv in this temporary rental here. At least there is high speed internet.
Posted by: Becky

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/17/07 08:55 AM

A very fun review! You brought back a lot of memories. I still remember dying in the desert and walking around that odd staircase and laughing at where I'd reappear. I liked the fairy tale aspect of the game and remember one puzzle solution that was a bad pun. lol
Posted by: nickie

Re: Kings Quest VII - 06/28/07 02:12 AM

Thanks for a great review, oldmariner! You brought back so many wonderful moments for me with your descriptions. I loved the game, and also thought it best in the series.It and Quest for Glory 4 were my top favs for many years!