King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride was released in 1994 by Sierra On-Line. It featured high-resolution graphics in a style reminiscent of Disney animated films. It is also the only King's quest game with multiple protagonists, and the only one to divide the story into "chapters."
King's Quest VII is the only game in the King's Quest series to feature Queen Valanice in a major role, and also the only one in which King Graham is not shown or mentioned at all. However, he is listed in the voice credits, so he may have been originally intended to appear in the game (the final game was much shortened from an earlier version). Despite the cartoonish graphics characteristic of family-friendly computer games, the game has several violent death scenes
Unfolding in book-like chapters The Princeless Bride begins when the Princess Rosella is lured into a magical pool and the enchanted world beyond. Her mother Queen Valanice plunges in after her and they find themselves in a land beyond dreams.
The Realm of Eldritch is inhabited by delightful and fantastic creatures, talking stags, friendly trolls, a magnificent crystal dragon, and many others. But Eldritch is in the darkest peril. An evil enchantress plots to destroy the magic Realm, forcing Rosella and Valanice to use their courage, wisdom and heart as they battle for the survival of the entire world.
This epic story takes you through a series of magical regions; a mystic and ancient desert, the volcanic crystal caverns of the trolls, a delightfully spooky land of surprises, and and so much more. As Rosella searches for the beautiful Etheria, Land of Clouds, Valanice searches for her daughter, and both become caught up in the adventure of their lives.
Match wits with an evil enchantress bent on a kingdom's destruction...travel through a series of remarkable worlds, from a dark land below ground, to a mysterious land in the clouds. Every turn yields both secret and salvation and every mystery you solve brings you closer to the fiery confrontation that determines the fate of an entire kingdom.
This epic story takes you through a series of magical regions; an ancient desert, the volcanic crystal caverns of the trolls, and and so much more. As Rosella searches for the beautiful Etheria, Land in the Clouds, Valanice searches for her daughter, and both become caught up in the adventure of their lives.
Note: This game didn't come with a prologue story or background information like previous and later King's Quest games did. The closest it has is on the back of the box, and on the cd case.
As the game opens, Queen Valanice is lecturing her daughter, Princess Rosella. Rosella is somewhat rebellious, and dreams of adventure rather than marriage. While listening to this lecture, Rosella sits down next to a pond to take off her comb and admire her reflection. Suddenly, a miniature dragon darts out of the water. After a few seconds of watching the dragonette, Rosella tries to grab it; unfortunately, she's too late and the dragonette dives back into the pond. Rosella's eyes dart to her mother and a mischievous smile spreads across her face. Rosella jumps in, determined to follow the magical creature. Valanice looks around, stunned to find her daughter nowhere, grabs Rosella's comb, and jumps into the pool after her. Valanice and Rosella both find themselves in a whirlwind of color, and traveling to another universe through the portal. King Otar's arm juts out from the side and Rosella is pulled out of the whirlwind.
Valanice lands in a desert in the land of Eldritch, while Rosella finds herself transformed into a troll and engaged to be married to the King of the Trolls. As the two characters attempt to find each other, they discover that all of Eldritch is in danger. The evil fairy Malicia has attacked or imprisoned the leaders of the different kingdoms of Eldritch, and plots to destroy the land.
The game takes place in the land of Eldritch.
- The Desert
- Falderall (Capitol of Nonsense Land)
- Bountiful Woods
- Malicia's Tower
- Vulcanix Underground
- Ooga Booga
KQVII is very different from other King's Quest games in terms of structure. The action is separated into six chapters, each set primarily in a different region of Eldritch.
Aside from the multi-chapter layout, the most significant change in game structure was the introduction of the "smart" pointer. When playing the game, the pointer lights up when passed over an object that can be used. Players can get or use objects and talk to characters by simply clicking on them. Previous games required the player to choose their actions by selecting Look, Talk, Use, etc., from the icon bar, and did not reveal the location of usable items with the pointer.
Although less linear than earlier King's Quest games, KQVII does not include as many different endings or optional tasks and plot threads as KQVI. Some puzzles do have multiple solutions, and there are two possible endings - one happy and one sad - depending on whether Rosella manages to rescue her love interest Edgar (introduced in KQIV) at the very end of the game.
KQVII was met with mixed reviews by longtime series fans, but sales were high despite a number of technical bugs that plagued the initial release of the game. Many fans complained that the animation was choppy.
Playable Characters Edit
Different from the previous games, in this one there are two playable characters who intersect pathways and plot-lines without meeting. The player alternates between Valanice and Rosella with each chapter. The two heroines travel through some of the same places during the course of the game, finally meeting up again in the end.
The game has two different endings: bad and good. For the good ending with celebrations and thanksgiving, you must use the extra life to revive the prince. If you use the flower (required to awaken King Otar), he will die, and will result in the bad ending (noted by the black chariot instead of the white victory chariot). This will also happen if you do nothing.
Behind the scenesEdit
- KQ7 development
- According to the backstory, and a few in-game references the game occurs in a parallel world/dimension to that of the regular King's Quest series, to which the protagonists crossed over into via magical portal. This is similar to the Narnia series (or general ideas of 'world of Fairies' in some mythologies). Like in Narnia very little time is supposed to have passed back in Daventry while they were their. This was the original intent by the developers according to Lorelei Shannon.
- KQ VII is the only game in the King's Quest series to feature Queen Valanice in a playable role, and also the only one in which King Graham is not shown or mentioned at all. However, he is listed in the game credits (in earlier versions of the game), and was originally intended to appear in the game. In fact there is a sound file for him in the audio resource file, where Graham states he had been waiting 15 minutes for Valanice and Rosella to return for lunch. He is also featured in the novelized account in King's Quest Companion. He was also briefly alluded to in a death scene in version 1.4 (death by crystal dragon tail), that was removed in version 2.0. Not specifically talking about Graham, the Mock Turtle has 'your father' jokes as well.
- Many of the chapters in the game are not in linear order, and often simultaneous and parallel to the other character's chapters. For example: When Rosella reaches Falderal in chapter 4, Valanice had already helped Falderal out (as shown in Chapter 5) and had left for Ooga Booga. Before Valanice leaves town (chapter 5), the nymph statuette points out that Rosella is still in Ooga Booga (chapter 4). The novelization points out where the two chapters cross is at the point where both enter the Were-Woods. It is suggested that both entered into woods about the same time, and had passed each other without even knowing it, in confusing dark woods. Similarly chapters 1+3 and 2 occur more or less simultaneously to each other. That is Rosella is in Vulcanix, and making her escape around the same time that Valanice is in the desert, and making her way into the Bountiful Woods/Falderal.
- In order to retrieve the moon from the fountain in Falderal, Valanice must trade the blank book for a sheperd's crook. Logically, one would simply lean over and grab it (or at least use the stick). This can confuse players as it is not explained in-game why Valanice cannot simply grab the cheese. The novelization describes the cheese as slippery and moving away from her everytime she tried to grab it for herself (thus why she needed the crook). In the game it kind of bobs away from her if you attempt to grab it.
- According to the credits, the animations (particularly the cutscenes) were done by the same people who worked on the infamous CDi.
- It is possible to play the game with subtitles by disabling the digital speech. It is not perfect however as some of the subtitles get cutoff at the side of the screen.
- There is a common misconception that this game was only developed by Lorelei Shannon (and Roberta only had very little to do with it) as she has a somewhat more prominent listing as being the writer of the game, as well as 'story and characters'. However Roberta and Lorelei Shannon actually worked on the game together, creating the story, characters, puzzles, environments etc. Like the previous game, Lorelei Shannon did actual script writing. Roberta herself was very busy working on both King's Quest VII and Phantasmagoria at the same time.
- King's Quest VII 1.4 (Win 3.1, very early versions Graham is mentioned in Credits)
- King's Quest VII 1.51 (Win 3.1, Graham is removed from the Credits)
- "King's Quest VII Version 2.0" 2.00b (Win/MS-Dos)
In a later release of the game, a few parts were omitted.
The game's credits screen in version 1.4 included a line referencing Graham in the game being played by Denny Delk, later versions removes this line, as there is no accessible scene with Graham in the game (there is an unused line from Graham which is of interest though).
The death from the dragon tail was removed. The timer-bug death involving Valanice and the firecracker was modified to make it easier to get through, as well as the time limit for the volcano scene with Rosella in peril which lead to some extra deaths.
In the first case, when Rosella is tasked to getting the scale from the sleeping crystal dragon, the dragon raises its tail occasionally as it sleeps, and then smashes it down. The scale could only be taken by timing the chisel when the tale first raises. If tail comes down while she is chiseling it would lead to this death message:
"(SIGHS)Father always told me to let sleeping dragons lie--or at least stay out of the way of their tails!"
2.0 version removes the extra puzzle element and simply lets Rosella take the scale, the tail remains stationary the entire time.
Another advantage that the all Windows versions (early windows only or later windows 2.0b releases) has over the DOS is the intro and ending cutscenes. The Windows interpreter uses AVIs for these cutscenes, while the DOS uses RBTs, which are not as of high of quality and have a jerky motion.
The 2.0 release added more saving and loading options than the original had, as well as a Dos mode (which adds more color cursors).
To summarize the 2.0 Version 's changes they are as follows:
The game can run in either Windows or DOS (the DOS version has neat colored arrows for the mouse when pointing at an exit)
- The walking speed of your character can be altered by holding the +/- keys (the = key resets to default speed)
- An improved, though somewhat awkward, save game menu (or "bookmark" menu) is added, as opposed to the Quit button simply saving the game and taking you back to the main menu.
- In older versions, the mouse cursor jumps to the lower middle of the screen above the inventory window whenever it turns into a crown. This has been removed for the most part.
- The crystal dragon tail puzzle, and related death has been removed.
- The ambrosia-on-the-dog puzzle has been removed/modified. *(but may depend on from what chapter you start from) So if you haven't seen that puzzle, then you probably haven't seen the associated death sequences either.
- Assorted timer puzzle deaths related to erupting volcano in the last act of the game were removed (digging out of the volcano, opening the gate in time).
KQ7 was considered one of the controversial King's Quest games, as the animation made a lot of people think the game was more geared toward kids than the King's Quest Games had been. It was criticized for choppy graphics (although this was probably a limitation of some of the systems that the game was played on), and having inconsistent graphics (due to the fact that different animation houses did the animation).
- As you are aware, "King's Quest VII" received some negative reviews. Do you pay attention to those reviews or do you take them lightly?
I never take any reviews or opinions of game players lightly. If I did, I would have been gone long ago! I pay very close attention to these opinions. As far as "King's Quest VII" receiving "negative reviews" - I really don't know what you are referring to. Perhaps some people didn't like it as well as others, but overall it has done very well. Some people actually think it was the best. True, it got some negative reviews, but it also received many very positive reviews. Some "veteran" game players perhaps didn't like it quite as well as many of the older-style adventure games, but many of the "newer" game players loved it. Therefore, if you're me, who do you listen to? How do you interpret the opinions? With "King's Quest VII," I've seen everything from horrible reviews to the most glowing reviews I've ever received. I've heard from many who didn't like it at all to those who felt it was the best game they've ever played. Also, it sold very well, and is still selling! When it comes to interpreting reviews and/or opinions, it's a very delicate business, and even though I do pay attention to these things, I try to remain objective and never let the "bad news" get me down, or the "good news" get me too self-assured.
Once it's all said and done, however, and it comes to the next game, even though I always keep in mind everybody's opinions, it ultimately comes down to my opinion...and what I find enjoyable. I must enjoy the game I'm working on and to ultimately trust my own judgment.
- ↑ Back of the original box (first two releases) Note: Minor change in second release box (1.4 Win 95 edition), Land of Clouds became "Land in the Clouds" much like in the CD case.
- ↑ From the back of the 2.0 third release (Win95/DOS) box.
- ↑ From the back of the cd case
- ↑ Talkspot Interview, part 2
- ↑ Private correspondence
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r36pswF9KDw&t=4m53s
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r36pswF9KDw&t=4m53s
- ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QcC_J4HiCI&fmt=22&t=8m29s
- ↑ Mask of Eternity Talkspot Interview, part 2.