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King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder was the most innovative King's Quest since King's Quest I: Quest For The Crown in 1984. Released in November of 1990, its graphics were groundbreaking and it became the best-selling computer game in history at that time. It was later released as a "talkie" CD-ROM (King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder Multimedia).

The StoryEdit

The evil wizard Mordack, brother of Manannan, shrinks Daventry's castle and its inhabitants and imprisons them in a bottle. Mordack threatens to feed the royal family to Manannan, transformed into a cat during the events of KQIII, unless Prince Alexander can restore him to his human form. King Graham, out for a walk when Mordack shrank the castle, is the only one unaffected by the spell. With the help of the wizard Crispin and his familiar, Cedric the owl, Graham travels to Mordack's castle to free his family.

The GameEdit

The owl Cedric accompanies Graham through the entire game to provide commentary and advice. He has to be rescued from danger at several points, but the owl rarely says or does anything useful. He was designed to be a companion and story telling element, rather than a game mechanic.

The game KQV is infamous for, and designed to have a large amount of dead ends (which lead to special game over deaths) and difficult puzzles. Late in the game Graham must navigate a frustrating maze where each room is rotated according to the character's perspective rather than being shown with north always at the top of the screen. There are several actions the player can take that render the game impossible to finish if they are not careful. This makes KQV difficult to complete without resorting to hints if the gamer does not save often or uses items carelessly.


Interface and ContentEdit

The menu consists of two walk icons one for short distance and another that attempts to avoid obstacles (this was removed in some of the international releases such as the French/English release in Europe, and Amiga version).

The drop down menu also includes a 'stop' button for exiting the game, and a image of a floppy for saving and loading games. These options would be folded into seperate config menu in future SCIICON based games.

The game has a copy protection measure involving using the magic wand to cast spells at various points throughout the games. This requires using a spell book that came with the game to cast specific spells listed in the game.

Notably the copy protection is randomized, and it is possible save in a screen just before you enter a screen with a copy protection, and then keep loading until you can enter the tent, witch's house, move the boat, etc. Restoring only if you mess up the spell.

Antony, Beetrice and the Rat have huge expressive closeup imnages in which their hands move, or antennae in the case of the insects. Antony is even shown presenting the golden needle in one of these closeups (largely cropped and removed in the Multimedia version released a year later).

Most conversations have big pop up subtitle boxes with the character portraits appearing in the subtitle box itself.

The game includes a beautiful MT-32 sound track. There are some digital sound effects, that do not work with SoundBlaster setting (lightning, water drip, snake rattle, a low mooing from the ox, dog scratching/growling/barking, river water (on most screens), door opening/closing sounds for example). Adlib also has some of the sound effects but obviously not digital quality (such as a snake rattle). For some reason SoundBlaster setting lacks some of the sound effects (for example snake rattle of any type)

Easter Egg Edit

This version (along with the EGA version) contains an easter egg which doesn't appear in CD-Rom and later versions. If player places the cape on the broken sled a sea monster rises up of the snow and eats Graham.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The name of the wizard Manannan (named after a figure from Celtic mythology) is inconsistently spelled Manannan or Mannanan in this game (two times for each spelling).
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