There are actually many medusas that live out in the desert, and which have turned many people into statues.
While there are hints that this Medusa is the same one Perseus killed, how she came to be alive again is not explained (during the series or literature).
Medusa was originally a beautiful girl who thought she was as lovely as the goddess Athena, especially her hair. As punishment, the goddess turned the girl's hair into snakes. Medusa was one of three gorgons, creatures with snakes for hair, boarlike tusks, claws of bronze, and golden wings. The other gorgons were named Stheno and Euryale. It was Medusa's flashing eyes that could turn both mortals and immortals to stone.
Medusa was destroyed by Perseus, who cut off her head while she slept, using a polished shield to guide his blow so he would not have to look directly at the monster's face. Medusa was remarkable even after death; from her neck was born the winged horse Pegasus, the blood from her left side was poison, and the blood from her right could restore dead to life.
Medusa's face is so hideous, so gruesome, that the horror of it is beyond description. People who look upon the face of Medusa, with her hair of writhing, live snakes, turn instantly to stone.
As he roamed the great desert of Llewdor, Alexander Gwydion was attacked by this grotesque monster. One glance at her face would have turned him to stone. He averted his face, though, and let the creature see her own reflection in Manannan's hand mirror, turning herself into a statue instead.
The Medusa that Alexander defeated was apparently the leader of her race, and the one from which her race took its name.
Whoever looked at her turned into a stone. Alexander had caught her from the corner of his eyes several times, but luckily never looked at her directly. Alexander had read the story of how she or one of the members of her race had been killed previously by use of a polished mirror-like shield, so he used a similar technique, while averting his eyes, he quickly showed the mirror to Medusa. He discovered a snake skin but did not think that it came from one of Medusa's pets. If it was the same Medusa from legend, it is unclear how she was resurrected into the world of Daventry.
Personality and traitsEdit
Medusa is a hideous old hag with live snakes for hair. She's so repulsive that she turns anyone instantly to stone if they loook in her direction. She lives in the desert. She is known as the woman so ugly that she turns mortal men to stone.
Behind the scenesEdit
Medusa is inspired from stories from the Greek mythology about a gorgon. Like Alexander, Perseus killed the creature by looking at her from a mirror. He cut her head and put it on his shield so that he could turn his enemies into stone.
Most Sierra hintbooks treat Medusa as being one of a kind character, and "Medusa" is her proper name. Having been derived from Greek myth, and she is intended to be an interpretation of the character from myth (much like other characters from fairy tales appear throughout the series).
According to the KQ3 novel/interview in the Companion, Alexander read the original story about Perseus killing Medusa in one of the books of Manannan's library. The same novel also mentions "Medusa" (capitalized) to be the creature in the desert's formal name (though there is a mention of other 'medusas' as well).
An Encyclopedia of Daventry goes into more detail about several of the ancient myths tied to the creature used for inspiration, and her relationship to Pegasus (which served as inspiration for a puzzle in KQ2).
The World of Daventry chapter discusses there being more, and calls the race 'medusas'.
While gorgon would be more accurate term to use, "medusas" is a plural term for the creatures within Daventry. Though An Encyclopedia of Daventry also uses the term 'gorgons' as well.
The medusa race spelled lower-case while the Medusa of legend, and the one Alexander killed is capitalized in the King's Quest Companion.
Medusa appears in the fan games see Medusa (unofficial).