King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown

Made by Sierra, released in 1984/1990

The Magic Chest



Current Zar note: I did this LP in 2006! I left my write-up mostly unchanged.




This part, in particular, will involve many of the extremely sadistic puzzles in King's Quest. You thought the first part was bad?

Oh yeah, if you're curious, you can download midis for King's Quest from here. The music is pretty nice, tho I don't think it's totally amazing or anything. Remember that the original KQ didn't really HAVE music, per se.

Ah, the clover patch. We'll be coming back here in a bit.

Yes, it IS important. In a way. I'll explain later.

Yes, those are carrots there.

I was wondering where this guy was earlier! He only shows up on this screen at random intervals apparently.

The Elf does, in fact, run around the screen like a hyper moron. Getting close enough to say hello and yet not close enough to scare him off is annoying.

On that note, I think you CAN try to stab the elf with your dagger, but I don't think the game looks kindly on that.

SAYING HELLO IS THE PEAK OF KINDNESS

Actually that book I mentioned had an explanation for this. Basically, a dwarf stole the Magic Chest originally, and therefore everyone in Daventry hated dwarves, elves, and the like. Graham was kind of unique in that he did say hello to an elf during that period.

Again, that's just in the book. Never mentioned in game. Could just be retconning. YOU DECIDE.

Whatever gets you off, buddy.

POOF

Aha, woodcutters hut. People were convinced for years that you could do SOMEthing with that axe and that water pump. You can't. They are just eye candy.

That just won't do!

Man, a bowl like that would be awesome.

Being nice always has a reward in King's Quest games.

You can kill that snake if you want. It costs you a point tho if I remember right.

Were you wondering what the purpose was of all those random gold bits I've been picking up here and there? You can use them to pay off this troll. Of course, there's always a better way.

Aha. A goat.

What will I do with this goat, you wonder? Come on, you know how the fairytale goes. Fairytales are huge in KQ games.

This is why it pays to look in everything.

A point.

More points. Yes, you need to LOOK in the pouch to get the points. Why? WHO KNOWS.

Yeah, that horrible troll, guarding that bridge like that.

HAHA HE DROWNED TO DEATH THAT'S GREAT

The goat apparently forgot about the carrot in his homicidal joy and wanders off.

Aha. The gnome. I want you to study this screen very carefully. This is, without question, the part that most gamers got stuck on. If you are playing this, I am almost positive that you will also get stuck here unless you know EXACTLY what to do.

Actually, before I did this I should have done the witch first so I could have gotten a clue to the solution. Oh well.

In case you're wondering, no, the manual doesn't mention this gnome. The only hints you have for this riddle are on the screen itself and I told you to pay attention. Do you have ANY idea what his name is? What's that, you remember what I said about King's Quest being all about the fairy tales? The spinning wheel and gold seems kind of telling? Well, let's give it a try.

Imagine this happens to you. Imagine that, with that out of the way, you have no idea what the answer is. It's not Rumpelstiltskin, as the evidence clearly points to. Who else could it be?

In fact, to be nice, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you DID do the witch first and therefore got the ONLY hint for this in the game other than what's on this screen.

It's a note that says "Sometimes it's wise to think backwards". In fact, I'm going to tell you, just like the game does not, that this note is related to this puzzle. It could be related to anything in the game as far as you know, but I'll tell you right now that the note in the entirely unrelated witch's house is about THIS riddle in particular.

Believe me, I've already given you more help than the game does. Got it yet?

Haha, think you're clever, do you? Think you've got it all figured out, ridiculous puzzle that it is? If we were playing the AGI version, you would STILL be wrong. How could you still be wrong, you ask? I'll frigging tell you how. It's not frigging BACKWARDS ENOUGH.

No, I'm not joking.

Sometimes the AGI version would show mercy on you and accept the Nikstlitslepmur answer. But not always.

The real answer to the puzzle is IFNKOVHGROGHPRM.

Yes, that's right. How do you get to that? Well, you take the alphabet and reverse it and set it against itself. So A becomes Z. B becomes Y. So on and so forth. Then you replace all the letters for Rumpelstiltskin using this method. You might actually have to reverse it to Nikstlitslepmur first THEN do the letter reversal, I can't remember.

Does this riddle seem ridiculously, stupidly hard to you? You're not alone. Almost EVERYONE got stuck here. What hints do you HAVE? You have a gnome sitting next to a spinning wheel with hay and gold. If you hadn't read the Rumpelstiltskin story TOO BAD. You have NO IDEA what that means. You then have to CONNECT the fairy tale to this random gnome and assume that that's his name. Not only that, but you have to guess, with the help of the inexplicable note in the witch's house which you are SOMEHOW supposed to know is related to THIS puzzle (this is, of course, assuming that you did the witch first which, as you can see here, I didn't do) that the name has to be turned backwards. And not only that, not turned backwards just once but with frigging LETTER INVERSION.

This puzzle is completely ridiculous. I'm so glad that I know it because I can't imagine how frigging frustrating this would be otherwise. I know it because of that King's Quest book I mentioned before. I was reading the foreword and the very first words in the book were "The gnome's name is IFNKOVHGROGHPRM, or sometimes NIKSTLITSLEPMUR if you're lucky." which thankfully gave me a free pass through this nightmare.

Did you try to play the game yourself? Did you get to this point? Did you give up? I wouldn't blame you.

Thankfully, the SCI version is a bit more forgiving and lets you get by with just Nikstlitslepmur.

Are you curious as to what happens if you don't get these beans? You get a key instead. This key can be used to open an alternate path to the magic chest that is infinitely more irritating and dangerous because of the most irritating enemy in this game, the dwarf. More on that in a bit.

Also, key is worth less points. WE WANT A PERFECT SCORE DON'T WE.

Better plant these beans.

Nice scenery.

Heh, I didn't mean to trigger this but this is the fairy screen. The fairy will almost always appear here.

Yes, this spell is useful. It means the random monsters that move very quickly can't eat me for a little while.

YOU KNOW WHAT LET'S HAVE SOME FUN

Yuk yuk yuk.

Witch's house! I shoulda done this earlier.

This gives you a point. Imagine going through the game and never being able to find that one last point for a perfect score and it's for EATING THE WITCH'S HOUSE.

Alright, this part sucks. Time to save.

If you try and play these yourself you will see this message a lot. I thought you COULD listen to the door. I guess you can only do that in Quest for Glory and such.

If the witch is home, she'll pop out and kill you if you do this. Actually, no, she'll give you a few seconds to run for your life. If you're not fast enough YOU DIE. I'm pretty sure my magic aura is what made her not be home this time.

Witch house. There's that note. Really, you should do this before the gnome thing. Like I said, I've just played this hundreds of times.

Your ONLY hint. However, back in the day, you could call Sierra's hintline, which they personally responded to, and they would give you the answer. You could also write them a letter and they'd personally write you one back with the answer to your question. Sierra was very customer focused back then, for all their sadistic games. I miss those days.

You can miss this if you're not paying attention, and if you do it will screw you over later.

OF COURSE I NEED CHEESE

Why did I let this happen? You'll see.

THE WITCH

There she is.

Something about this strikes me as hilarious. Maybe just how weird it sounds to just have her say this out loud to no one, or that she adds (yum) to it.

You can actually linger around and just listen to the witch ramble about the dinner she's going to make, but she'll eventually look around and find you if you do that. SO.

Nice observational skills, Elphaba.

YAY MURDER. You don't have to do this, actually. It's optional. It just gets the witch out of my hair and gives me points.

At this point I remembered that one of my favorite death scenes involves the witch, so I loaded to show you.

Yes, ducking will save you from the witch. But if you don't...

Graham's bugged out eyes make me laugh.

She drops you here.

No, you cannot get out of this cell. Period. Just to give you a false sense of hope, sometimes they give you the chance to type in commands. Nothing works.

YOU CAN'T TELL ME YOU DIDN'T SEE HIS NAME AND NOT THINK THE SAME THING

So anyway, back to the other game. Woops!

Sorceror has kind of a paunch apparently. If he catches you, he casts a spell that freezes you in place for a chunk of time. During this chunk of time other monsters can come and kill or rob you. You CAN survive the sorceror's attack, which makes it a bit unique.

Hahaha cut that kind of close.

Well dang. I told you these screens were bad news.

The ogre just plain kills you. Good thing he's pretty far away here.

UGH GOD

Okay, the dwarf here has my UNDYING HATRED from all of the King's Quest villains. Why, you ask? Because he STEALS from you. Do you know WHAT he steals? That's right, HE STEALS THE MAGIC TREASURES.

THAT'S RIGHT.

If you get caught by this STUPID dwarf (who moves VERY quickly) he can TAKE THE SHIELD, CHEST, OR MIRROR FROM YOU.

AND YOU CAN NEVER, NEVER GET THEM BACK. Basically YOU LOSE.

Not only that, if you don't KNOW that the dwarf robs you and if, when he does, you don't check your inventory, you can go through the ENTIRE GAME without realizing that WOOPS. MY MAGIC MIRROR GOT FRIGGING STOLEN. I JUST WASTED MY TIME. And if you saved afterwards? TOO BAD. YOU'RE SCREWED. HOPE YOU HAD ANOTHER SAVE GAME FROM BEFORE HE ROBBED YOU, PAL.

I hate that gnome so much. So frigging much.

Thankfully, I got away from him.

Woops, wandered through the woods stupidly and got jumped by an ogre.

OH WELL RESTORE

It took me entirely too long to find this screen. You have no idea. Those black dots on the beach there? It's not just decoration this time.

Could YOU tell they were pebbles? Would you pick them up?

Well, that's done anyway.

FRICK I shoulda known better than to dare to walk THROUGH THE CENTER OF THE SCREEN

Too fast for me. Darn it. Restore.

Alright, finally got here.

Any day now

You, of course, knew that those beans were magic beans that would grow a beanstalk, didn't you? Of course.

This next part SUCKS. This is why I'm glad the SCI version lets you use a mouse to move. Imagine doing this in the AGI version.

Yes, if you make ONE WRONG MOVE on the beanstalk, you will fall to your death. Imagine doing this by hand with the keyboard. The mouse makes it much easier.

Also, for fun, you can SAVE while you're falling! So if you're compulsively saving with each step (which is the most efficient way to do this), you can easily accidentally save just when you're beginning to fall, thus rendering your save game completely useless! Hurray!

Yes, that has happened to me.

Thank god for this mouse support.

Yes, there's more than one screen! Fun times!

If you walk in ANY direction from here EXCEPT to the right, you will fall to your death with the same hazard as detailed above of saving while doing so.

I foolishly thought that since there's a screen to the right of here that I could walk directly over to it.

WHOOPS

Oh Sierra.

Alright, restored. This screen looks much like the others, doesn't it? Nothing particularly unusual? Sorry, sucker. You better be looking at everything or you'll miss something.

I did not find out about this for SO long. You have no idea.

This will eventually be our way back down. Why not take the beanstalk? Because going down the mountain gives you points.

Aha, the giant! It has the chest under one arm, if you can't tell.

There are two ways to do this. I decided to try this way first.

"You can't do that" it tells me.

Okay why not.

WTF WHY ISN'T THIS WORKING

You've got to be frigging kidding me.

Apparently when I got jumped by that wolf and restored, I restored back to the point where I was standing by the pebbles on the beach, yet HADN'T PICKED THEM UP. So I continued blithely along, assuming I had picked the pebbles up until I got up here. Thank god this puzzle has two solutions or I would be screwed and have to backtrack some fifty points.

Future King's Quests will not be so forgiving. I'm just lucky I did this with THIS puzzle and not with something that wouldn't give me another way out.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention. You know that ring that elf gave me? Yeah, if you put it on and rub it, it turns you invisible. No, there's no hint that tells you to rub the ring. I guess you're just supposed to randomely try various verbs until something happens. The KQ book explained this as Graham twisting the ring when he was nervous and suddenly turning invisible, much to his surprise. NO SUCH LUCK HERE. IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW THIS RING WORKS TOO BAD, THE GAME WILL NEVER TELL YOU.

The non-violent solution! Strangely enough, I THINK this gives you the same amount of points as nailing him with the sling. I'm not sure though.

Bum ba da daaaaa!

Next up, the Magic Shield!

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