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Humor can refer to two topics. The first is humor as a virtue, for example as it appears in KQ6's Ancient's alphabet. The second is the broader discussion of 'humor' in the King's Quest Series, what is intended to be 'funny' which is more of a game mechanic.

This topic is broken into two parts, the first is 'humor' as a virtue and the lore behind it. The second section found in the 'Behind the Scenes' section discusses humor as part of the King's Quest series as a whole.

BackgroundEdit

Humor is an important element of all the King's Quest games particularly in King's Quest 1 thorugh 7.[1] King's Quest 8 has some humor or whimsical characters but as it has no death puns it largely feels like the most 'serious' game in the entire series.[2] Roberta Williams once said that a King's Quest game without humor would never sell because she knew nobody who took King's Quest seriously and if the game tried to take itself seriously the illusion would be broken.[3] She also said she felt her 'comedy' felt more prominent in KQ5 due to the voice acting. She said that her games were never intended to be viewed as 'serious' (with Colonel's Bequest being her attempt at more mature themes).[4]

Ken Williams stated that a true King's Quest experience had to have cute, loveable characters:

Family oriented, with humor that works for all ages. We wanted adults and kids to play, and both have fun.[5]

The humor in the series is often of dry, slapstick/pratfall, musical, easter egg, or pun varieties since King's Quest 1, but it started to increase with each additional game release, culminating in KQ6 and KQ7 which had the most humor). Much of the humor (the series is remembered for) is often derived out of funny deaths[6], and funny death comments but the death comments mainly started to appear in King's Quest 3, and the games after.

For some humor encompasses what they consider the whimsy and the sillier aspects or even Cartoony aspects of the series. For many who who see the humor in the series, it is what makes the series more fun to them.

Several guides point out humor or comedy such as slapstick comedy in the series such as King's Quest V. A slapstick comedy compared to Soupy Sales routines is noted in the The Official Book of King's Quest.

Occasionally the humor might be done through a 4th wall breaking, or some other narrative joke. For example in KQ4, then narrator describes Lolotte as saying she is 'melting, melting' a reference to Wizard of Oz, before correcting 'herself' (the narrator is strongly implied to be Roberta Williams herself) to say its 'another story', before switching to the proper explanation of events.

Humor or what is considered funny is subjective, and different for each person. So for some King's Quest king's quest may not be amusing, and they take the series more seriously than it was intended. The two guys did not understand Roberta's style of humor and thought of the games and others made by sierra as too 'somber' or 'medieval', and serious. But many other reviewers made note of the series humor and whimsy.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

See alsoEdit

GalleryEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

Among some fans and including some developers like the Two Guys from Andromeda did not get the style of humor of the games, and interpret them as 'serious' and 'epic' or even 'heroic' in nature like a "High Fantasy" adventure, but they have completely missed the intent of the Roberta Williams and Ken Williams for the series, in which was intended to be influenced by Disney features including humor and animation. In some part the art style change in KQ5 made the game feel less humorous to some players although it was built upon the same styles as the previous games.[13] Certainly Sierra did advertise their games as 'epic' (advertising, marketing arm of Sierra was seperate from Designers themselves), but developers never shied away from fact that the series was intended to be humorous, comedic, and funny (though that humor might be dated by today's standards, or even 'not funny' by Two Guy's 'standards').

In 1996, Next Generation listed the series as number 79 on their "Top 100 Games of All Time", commenting that, "Humor, story telling, and classic puzzle implementation make the King's Quest series the most consistent top-quality line-up in computer gaming's history."

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Some players miss the humor and player that were so much a part of the earlier text-parser interface, while others appreciate the ease of the icon interface, where it's not as easy to overlook clues." http://www.sierragamers.com/uploads/24082/Articles/Kings_Quest_6_Strategy_Roberta_Williams_Interview_CGW.pdf
  2. https://adventuregamers.com/articles/view/17511 "His lines are short, stilted bits of medieval-sounding English, and he lacks the innocent humor you might expect from a King’s Quest hero"
  3. Compute interview, issue?
  4. Roberta Williams: I agree with the sentiment that most adventure games, at least up to now, have been not quite “serious” in their approach to the subject matter at hand.
  5. https://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2015/01/02/ken-williams-interview-kings-quest-sierra-game-informer.aspx
  6. http://sierrainteraction.wikidot.com/roberta-williams-on-the-king-s-quest
  7. http://starling.rinet.ru/gstarst/Sierra/kq2.htm
  8. https://kotaku.com/5310896/why-its-hard-to-make-todays-games-funny
  9. Sierra On-Line co-founder Roberta Williams in 1984 made her game a hit on personal computers with its unique visuals and irreverent humor. Seven sequels have followed. https://cumberlink.com/entertainment/games/meet-the-finalists-for-the-world-video-game-hall-of/collection_ff5f752f-a886-50b6-9cac-57fbf5ebf181.html#9
  10. https://www.tor.com/2013/06/13/kings-quest-30th-anniversary/
  11. https://dachusblot.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/stuff-i-love-kings-quest/
  12. http://engagedfamilygaming.com/console-pc-gaming/pc-games/console-game-review-kings-quest-a-knight-to-remember/
  13. http://www.sierragamers.com/uploads/24082/Articles/Kings_Quest_6_Strategy_Roberta_Williams_Interview_CGW.pdf
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