King's Quest III


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Rating: 4.7/5 (35 votes)
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PatrickYou are in for a treat. King's Quest III is a classic from the early age of graphic adventure games. Originally designed by Roberta Williams and published under Sierra Online, the game has been completely re-made by Infamous Adventures in the Adventure Game Studio engine and released as a free download. They even have a voice-pack! Somebody canonize these people as saints.

thish.pngIn the old days, adventure game interfaces involved typing messages and using keys to move. This remake offers a slick modern update where you can simply click around to move and interact with the environment. The right-mouse-button cycles through the Look, Move, Talk, Use and Item options, while the left button activates them, making interactions pretty simple. This is due to the virtue of the AGS engine's design, and it works nicely, like you'll use an item, click right, and then be able to immediately click left to move to the newly opened area because its right up next in the cycle. You'll also want to make note of the inventory, looks kind of like a suitcase, in the top-right section of the screen. The inventory lets you do useful stuff like grab items to use on the screen, or combine them, which you'll be doing a fair bit of. Infamous offers a privatized Social Security level of options in that they have an FAQ, a walkthrough and a hints section on their site, so you can get whatever degree of assistance you want in making your way.

Analysis: The game itself is one of the best in a series, which is like the Final Fantasy series for adventure games. The premise here is actually pretty clever, the first half of the game involves freeing yourself of the evil wizard that has raised you from infant-hood. He commands you do to chores for him and then goes out of town or takes naps. During these intervals you'll have between ten and thirty minutes to explore the secrets of the wizard's home and the surrounding country-side. Your quest then, is a quest for knowledge: knowledge about the world, knowledge about the nature of power (in this case, magic), and then knowledge about who you are. In other words, it's a somewhat meaningful, human psychological dynamic that we can all relate to, and it is expressed in gameplay. Did I mention this game was originally made in 1986?

Underscoring this journey of exploration and gathering is an underscore of the imminence of death. You may be used to games that don't kill your character or give you plentiful auto-saves. To Heir Is Human, like other games in the series, makes you save manually, and you'll want to do so often. A surly cat on an old stair can trip you to your death, as can a misstep on a mountain path. The greatest spectre of mortality in the early game is your own apathy or lack of care — if you fail to turn the tables on your enslaving oppressor he will kill you, and if you don't cover your tracks before his returns or awakenings, he will... also kill you. Its weird, maybe this is only noticeable because we've become so used to smooth rides and automatic saves, but there is a sense of self-responsibility and standing up against totalitarianism that comes out of this, as well as a sort of appreciation for the life you've got. Wandering the countryside of Llewyn, you put yourself in the character of a young man whose whole life has been cloistered servitude, and you appreciate the eagle, the moss growing on the rocks, the warmth of the barmaid, the friendliness of the shopkeeper. It is a literary experience that is at least on par with Harry Potter - that might not be saying much by Harold Bloom's standards, but it's pretty good considering the relative immaturity of this medium.

The latter half of the game is a journey back to your homeland, and a reconciliation with what has happened. Without spoiling the plot, the feeling you might get when you do return home, and find the place locked out and silent, is stirring. The cleverness you'll feel you when use your self-assembled magics to solve puzzles is, in an opposite way, cathartic.

In short, King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human is a classic because it makes you feel things well beyond the usual dopamine drip. It makes you feel human. And now its been made publicly available with excellent production values and a smoother interface. Please, have yourself a meaningful play of King's Quest III.

WindowsWindows:
Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

22 Comments

When these games were originally made, part of the draw was the text-based interface that allowed players to experiment and use their imagination and creativity. I understand the logic of getting rid of that element, but it seems like a poor decision in terms of aesthetic.

(I prefer Peasant's Quest anyway, lol)

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I love Sierra's adventure games! King's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, Quest for Glory, etcetcetc... they should make more remakes/modern updates of these classic games! Hooray for this one! :)

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I downloaded the game and the voicepack. After installing the game I tried installing the voicepack, but for some reason it refused, claiming a CRC Error in Speech.vox. I checked the game directory and there was no Speech.vox and also no readme.txt. Is something wrong with the game? It seems to work normally apart from the failed voicepack install.

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Ahhh, The Good old days....

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Just yesterday, my husband was going to throw away my King's Quest games. I know they are old but I enjoyed them so much that I just can't let them go. Some are on the 5.5 inch floppy disks. I don't have King's Quest I, but do have II, III, IV, and VI.

I wish I still had the Leisure Suit Larry series.

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Wow! I remember near when the KQ series was fairly new; I was working Windows 3.1. I hope they work on the others, because I've actually been looking for these games around (I lost the original boot-disks).
MEGAkudos to Infamous Adventures.

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For those of you who miss the old school goodness of the original series, King's Quest I - VI are available in their original glory on various abandonware sites. You just need a dos emulator and you're good to go.

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"The requested file does not exist."

This is what I get when I click on the download link that opens from the "free game" link by the Windows logo.

What am i doing wrong? Seems like others could download the file.

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(Forgot to add the if i get to the same page from the "King's Quest III" link it works fine. Strange...)

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The Windows version installs and runs fine on Linux using Wine. I had the same problem as Aldarion with the voicepack though.

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I bet you have to download the .vox voicepack separately. I don't have the time right now to look that up for you, but you might want to check this thread
http://new.bigbluecup.com/yabb/index.php?topic=27020.0
in the official (glorious) AGS forums.

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I played the original version, but this version's spells seem to be a bit buggy.

I keep getting an error while trying to cast the turning a human into a cat spell, but it keeps telling me I don't have all the items I need. I've got the jar of mandrake root powder, the wand, a wad of cat hair, and the jar of fish oil in my inventory.

Is there something else I need to do? The walkthrough on the IA boards doesn't imply that there is, and I'm confused. I'd really wanted to see the whole game redone, and I'm a bit dissapointed that I can't even get past the spellcasting part. :(

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Yahoo! The only King's Quest game I've ever played was the seventh one, and that already had the pointy-clicky interface. If I liked that one, I hope it means I'll like this one. The concept of saving often and finding new ways for the main character to snuff himself is fun if you do it right.

I've never played a Leisure Suit Larry game, mainly because I don't like lowbrow humour. Is there more to the series than just a short, ugly man hitting on every woman he sees? I've liked every other Sierra game I've played, but they were all different (and appropriate for the age that I was when I played them)

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alaira--

I had the same problem--it turns out that I didn't have the

large blue bowl from the kitchen shelf

You can also find more info about your problem at this forum thread:

http://www.infamous-adventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=1121.0

hope that helps!

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Ah, I didn't have that...it never said I needed it! *smacks head*

Thanks. :)

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page January 28, 2008 3:21 AM

I rembemer playing this yeeeeaars ago, was very young then. I liked KQ3 a lot. Its my 2nd best favorite of the KQ-series after "KQ5 Girl in the tower". KQ3,4,5 were the glorious peak, then it rapidly went down, with the rest getting only worser step after step.

Some special things about this game a hardly recognizable today. For example you know its part of the KQ series. But long time in the game it doesn't give you any hint how it fits into. I also remember having liked to play it a lot. It was more a "virtual reality" to me, than advanture, meaning I didn't play it goal oriented. A lot of time I hardly did any forbidden stuff, just not to be killed, and well just did my day work, and some exploring to the valley from time to time.

About this version you can tell it has been done with a lot of love. Look at the character portraits! How sweeet! They also did a lot to make casting easier, but I liked more the original version regarding this, were you actually had to perform the steps of a spell step by step.

Sometimes in the game, I feel a bit angered, because it wants you to get things done in a specific way, and not in a other. For example in the game you learn how to turn into an eagle. Yet on 90% of the pages it tells you when you want to cast this "Not here". You even have to walk the cliffs down, and I dunno if they specfically let this die a lot on false steps in to give you the special Sierra anti-arcade feeling. But I ask myself, why can't I just fly down as an eagle?

Still I find it remarkable what IA did here!

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Remakes of King's Quest I and II are also available from AGD Interactive. If you liked this you'll probably like those as well.

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Also available is Sierra's King's Quest collection that contains KQ 1-7 which you can download from Sierra's site for $20. It has been panned in some reviews, though, for not having high production quality. The remakes mentioned above are much better.

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I keep getting killed by that horrible wizard :( I think I like the Lucasarts adventure games more.

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dwwwwwwww March 6, 2008 2:10 AM

this game is making me sooo anooying ...at the start when you have to go down that cliff next to the giant rock is the stupidest thing ever. i dont know if this was a mstake or not but there is no way around it everywher ei click it falls donw every single little part that i click on...ther eis just no way aroudn it..if there is tell me.............i dont really find this thing amusing i find it very annoying. This game is good...things like thes emake people quit it.

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OK i need help, I have gotten through most of the game fairly easily..but when i go to cast all of my spells it only shows a few in the wizard book, and i can't figure out how to turn the pages or anything to view the other ones...HELP!!

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Jen,

I am pulling my hair out trying to turn the pages of the damn spellbook too! Please someone help!

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