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Opinions of KQ8: Mask of Eternity?

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 4.9K users
Personally, I actually really liked that game. Yes it had a bit too much violence, but then again violence was an option in the early KQ games. While KQ5 is my favorite KQ, I wouldn't have minded KQ going in that epic, Arthurian direction. KQ8's story and symbolism is much deeper than any of the previous games, and Connor isn't that bad of a character in retrospect. I personally find it a true KQ game and criminally underrated.
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  • Its been said by some at Sierra that many of things we consider Adventure game standby interfaces like parser, action, verb, or icon bar for actions were only used because of technological limitations to show many of those same actions on screen in a real time format. It added realism where action games of that time were too primitive to allow for any sophisticated interaction. That had they had access to more sophisticated technology they would have avoided using them.

    As game technology evolved to incorporate more realistic actions, on screen, the classic adventure game interfaces became largely obselete. Were replaced with real time action such as in the FPS genres or expansive Japanese style rpgs. Hence why Ken wanted to push towards those, as the 'future', while retiring classic adventure game genre.

    This of course overlooked that adventure games often had the user interacting in mundane way, such as interacting with everyday or mundane objects (like a stove or a toilet). As opposed to moving about like a ninja, or shooting guns! In some ways interactivity was downgraded in these more action oriented games.

    There are exceptions, such as the Thief series, Splinter Cell, or Deus Ex offered a large scope and multiple solutions to problems, and unique exploratory and adventure feel, but in a real time world! KQ8 was attempting to go to that direction (but fell short in a few ways). On the one hand, it did maintain some of the classic KQ/adventure interface in some ways (at least the KQ7 style interface), which some of these other games lacked.

    Most of those games actually were well received among the adventure game fans, as havign adventure game ethic, despite not being true adventure games, nor intended to be!
  • I've always liked MoE, just because it's a fun game. The puzzles are fairly simple, and the plot moreso, but as mentioned before, there's a certain "Zelda" feel to it. For what it is, it's not a bad game.

    But try to convince me it's a sequel to KQ7 and my brain does somersaults. I'd sooner believe it to be a "Quest for Glory" sequel. I think MoE should have been the beginning of it's own franchise. It would have been far better received if all that stigma wasn't attached to it.
  • All the plots in KQ games are simple, KQ6 and KQ8 probably as deep as the plots go in the official games... The latter games deepness comes from the symbolism imbedded in the story. That's not saying much as far as KQ games are concerned.

    There are actually some puzzles in KQ8 that requiring a little thinking outside the box. For example the pouring water into a slot, and freezing it to make a lever! These physical based puzzles were not simply fetch quests!

    For that matter most KQ games had few things connecting them together other than a few characters linking them together into small groupings.

    KQ2 has almost nothing to do with KQ1 plot wise.

    KQ3 brought the gnome back, but he had little to do with his first appearance. The game has almost little to do with KQ2 plotwise.

    KQ5 brought Manannan back, so is the first to partially build on a previous game in any meaningful way.. KQ6 took place were KQ5 left off in some ways (KQ5 and KQ6 are the two most clearly connected stories, with KQ3 following closely).

    KQ7 brought back Edgar, but the plot had little to do with KQ4's plot. Not even any Graham, which most would argue is a KQ staple (his scene was cut even). There is nothing linking it to KQ6 at all (it's not a very good sequel, some debate it might even take place before KQ6 chronologically).

    KQ4 begins where KQ3 left off but the stories have little connecting them together. He story has little to do with KQ3, except that they take place after each other. Again stand alone!

    KQ8 brought back Graham, and Valanice (or at least a painting) and the magic mirror. Plus a single reference to Graham's family, and ideas such as Castle Daventry, and a new location in he kingdom of Daventry. Like most KQ games it quickly goes into unrelated new territory/lands and characters. As far as thematically it has more in common with KQ1. If you remember Graham was just a knight becoming a hero, helping Edward. In KQ8 Connor becomes a knight and a hero, helping King Graham. It's almost as the series came full circle in themes.

    Only the fan games have tried to connect everything and the kitchen sink together in convoluted ways.
  • Maybe Datadog was talking more about the atmosphere or tone or "feel" of Mask, rather than the story or plot, being something of a departure from its predecessor. While all kinds of things about KQ varied from game to game, I think a case could be made that no two sequential titles in the series differ more than KQ7 and Mask, even if you don't count gameplay differences.
  • Well I think the tone and atmosphere is an intentional and essential part of the story being told! If everything was bright and happy the 'the cataclysm' wouldn't have been effectively portrayed.

    The game still has it's whimsical characters though!

    But you bring up a good point many of the critics that lambast KQ7 is because the tone and atmosphere was a major departure from KQ6. Which many consider the highlight of the series! It went from a serious story, to something overly silly.

    Actually Roberta was questioned why KQ6 had a much darker tone than any previous games in the series in one interview (Official Book of King's Quest VI). She admitted that was something Jane Jensen helped bring into the story.

    I always felt KQ8 moved back towards the more serious mood of KQ1 remake, KQ5, KQ6, and even KQ4.
  • I liked the game, but not as a KQ game.
    Maybe if it was a "sidegame" instead (Like Lufia & The Ruins of Lore) of a main series game.... And less buggy of course.
  • I think had Roberta made KQ9, the game world wouldn't have had such a dark atmosphere (that was there for the sake of the religiously apocalyptic storyline). But she said combat was probably there to stay (to bring in the widest audience)!

    She discussed the possibility of a love triangle between Connor, Rosella and Edgar. That she would have to choose between them. She believed it would add drama and humor! So perhaps the game would have been more of a fairy tale of romance and chivalry, a hero that slays an evil dragon to save a princess! I suppose whoever won her heart would win the kingdom. Would their have been two possible endings, depending on the player's choice?! So room for more French fairy tales and myth? A bit of Guinevere, Launceloy & Author and Maid Marian/Robin Hood?

    It's amusing but in KQ8 there are hints that why he liked Sarah, he also apparently liked Julia the town bartender, and the game kind of pokes fun that he might even be bit of a womanizer via certain Easter eggs!
  • In KQ1, you can kill:
    The goat
    The dragon
    The bridge troll
    The witch
    The giant (in Cloudland)

    in KQ1, you MUST kill:
    The Witch
    The Bridge Troll

    In KQ2, you can kill:
    The Monk
    The Lion
    The Snake

    In KQ2, you must kill:

    Now, KQ8 operates on a similar principle, except altered a bit:
    In the game, you encounter a lot of monsters. But you don't HAVE to kill them all. The only monsters you have to kill are the Bosses, and every level has a boss. You have to survive being around the various monsters yes, but you can easily run away.

    Consider the scenes in KQ1 and KQ2--The encounters with the random Enchanters and Dwarvish thieves. They're presented as "exciting" situations and you have to get out of there fast. A similar principle could go for the non-Boss monsters in KQ8--Just escape them as quick as you can.

    Every game required at least one death, usually two. A sub-boss and a boss. Think for example of the Yeti and Mordack in KQ5.

    I just don't see the action in KQ8 as being all that different than the previous games. It's just the perspective that's different--the 3D.
  • I wouldn't really count 'killing the monk' exactly. It's more an easter egg. Considering when you do it, the game developers step in to smite you dead! Infact, you are killed by the developers before you can kill the monk, for simply thinking about it! So technically you can't kill the monk!

    On a side note, in the earliest games. "kill dwarf', "kill wolf", "kill sorcerer/enchanter", "kill troll", "kill ogre", "push/kill hagatha", "kill rat" are all valid verb noun combinations in the games that return text responses. The response in most of these is that Graham would probably do it, if he wasn't so weak or unskilled! If he could, he would have no quelms of defeating them since they are all apparently evil beings! Even "kill leprechauns" garners a response that they are projected by magic preventing you from defeating them!

    Likewise if you push "kill man/woman" or "kill gnome", (in presence of characters in KQ1) or likewise "kill girl/women" (in presence of old lady/Grandma/Riding Hood/Valanice in KQ2) the game asks why Graham would be so cruel or variations there of! These characters represent good characters!

    If you try to 'kill mermaid" I think she just swims off, and if you try "kill neptune" he kills you for your troubles!

    In contrast in KQ3, if you try to 'kill anyone' the game pretty much says, it is not in your nature to be violent, or that you are not cruel like your master, or such variations. Even if you try to 'kill manannan' in his sleep!

    I forget what the game says in KQ4, if you try to type 'kill ____"(creature). But 'kill woman with arrowis a viable phrase at the end of the game IIRC, to shoot lolotte.
  • I cast the spell of necromancy, to face Anakin!

    The later KQ8 threads should be merged into this one;

    As per GuruGuru's thread policy;
    First off, please make sure a similar thread doesn't already exist. This forum isn't that large yet, so this shouldn't be too difficult, and we do have a search function. We mods have to track down and merge duplicate threads, so not only does not posting duplicate threads keep the forums less cluttered and running more smoothly, it makes it much easier for us to keep track of things
    The KQ8 Remake thread is good separate topoic though, but maybe the Bedouin Connor thread could be merged into that one.
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