King’s Quest: The Mask of Eternity
Preview by Al Giovetti, 09/24/96
Genre: animated graphic adventure
Release: 4Q 1997
Developer: Sierra Online
Producer: Roberta Williams
Publisher: Sierra Online
History: Since the summer of 1984, over 12 years, which marked the release of Kings Quest: Quest for the Crown, there have been seven King’s Quest games based on the royal family of Daventry and all created an nurtured by Roberta Williams. Roberta, the creator of the King’s Quest series and Sierra Online, has decided to "unload" King Graham, his family and the cute plot driven characters and game play which has characterized the long standing series. (see reviews below for King’s Quest V, VI, and VII - Ed.)
Plot: A new character emerges from the chaos of divesting ourselves of the minions of the Graham family. Connor, the destitute fisherman’s son, who is scarred at birth by a fragment of a magical fragment of an explosion of a Holy mask of ancient religious significance and power. The Mask of Eternity is said to be touched by God and given to man as a sign of his covenant.
Connor has just lived 20 boring years as a fisherman’s son only to discover that he is somehow special. So special in fact that when a spell turns every one in the land into stone, he is spared. Connor must find all the seven fragments of the mask to free his family, friends, even people he don’t like, and most probably his country, the world, and even the universe from extinction. Without conflict there is no story and most of the old stories are made up of the same old conflicts.
Game play: Everyone turned to stone is a divisive scheme allows Sierra to simplify the game by eliminating all the other characters and communication with those characters which King’s Questers have come to know and love. You see there is no one in this land moving around but Connor in this immense three dimensional (3D) landscape.
As the game player and alter ego of Connor who is represented in third person view, or optionally first person view, you are free to pursue a plot that is completely denuded of the normal King’s Quest plot elements. The plot is expected to be free form and flowing a kind of "go anywhere do anything" in an immense world. Mask of Eternity is a new, fresh, clean canvas on which Roberta is painting her revolutionary new concept in computer graphic adventure games.
Graphics: All the graphics in the game are based on polygonal graphics, with light-sourced, texture-mapped, shadow enabled, three-dimensional, high-resolution features to portray a huge world filled with buildings, trees, lakes, and of course all the non-mortal beings who have been spared by the evil spell
Al Giovetti, King’s Quest VII: The Princeless Bride, Electronic Entertainment, volume 2, number 4, April, 1995, pg. 70.
Al Giovetti, King’s Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow, Video Games & Computer Entertainment, volume 5, number 1, January, 1993,pg.136.
Al Giovetti, King’s Quest V: Multimedia, Compute, volume 14, number 11, issue 147, December, 1992, pg. S-14.
Chris Hudak, http://www.gamespot.com/previews/kingsque/index.html