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King Graham's mustache

posted by ATMachine on - last edited - Viewed by 2.6K users
Back in the low-res days of KQ1 and KQ2, the art in game manuals and on the box covers provided a better look at video game characters than anything the actual games could include. So naturally, Sierra's earliest KQ manuals were illustrated...

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A vision of Graham appears in the Magic Mirror, KQ1 manual

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Graham sees Valanice in the Mirror, KQ2 manual

...and according to their pictures, King Graham had a mustache. Wow.

However, believe it or not, Graham's upper lip hair actually seems to be drawn from fairy-tale illustrations--and one particular source.

Namely, that venerable Victorian fairy tale collection, Andrew Lang's Green Fairy Book. (Out of which Roberta fished, among other things, the names Lolotte, Genesta, Rosella, and Valanice, the three-headed dragon that feeds on tasty princesses, and the magical white snake which when eaten allows speech with animals.)

The original editions of Lang's Fairy Books (he wrote 12 in all, each with a different color in the title) were illustrated by Henry Justice Ford. Ford's illustrations in the early volumes (including the Green Fairy Book) are quite notable for the magnificent mustaches sported by the heroes in these stories.

Examples of this mustached-hero tradition from the Green Fairy Book:

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King Kojata

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Prince Vivien and Princess Placida

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The Little Soldier

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Prince Narcissus and Princess Potentilla

Other examples of heroic mustaches from HJ Ford's illustrations for Andrew Lang fairy tale books:

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Bushy Bride, Red Fairy Book

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Graciosa and Percinet, Red Fairy Book

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The Master-Maid, Blue Fairy Book

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The Gold-Spinners, Blue Fairy Book

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The Iron Stove, Yellow Fairy Book

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The Princess in the Chest, Pink Fairy Book

So what should we make of this? Quite possibly Roberta liked the vintage Victorian HJ Ford illustrations in Lang's books and asked artists at Sierra to copy their style for the KQ manual drawings. And it seems this extended to Graham having facial hair.

Of course, the KQ1 re-release box cover turned Graham into Prince Valiant with a mullet. But that's another story.

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