The return of King’s Quest has so far been a loving reimagining of the original adventure series, which makes it all the more delightful to see Chapter 3: Once Upon a Climb take a witty stance against its subject material.
Graham has earned his crown, set his kingdom on the right path, and now he’s looking for a special someone with whom he can share it all. According to the history books of King’s Quest old, King Graham rescued Princess Valanice from a tall tower, and the two were married soon after with little fuss. Sounds like a deal, and so our modern day Graham takes off to find his true love. He journeys tirelessly to the spire, which hovers in the distance of every shot – a tribute to Citizen Kane’s Xanadu.
Graham’s clearly been hitting the medieval gym, but still manages to be a living embodiment of lanky and makes his way up the tower with trademark goofiness. The stone wall has a few tricks up its sleeve, with shifting rocks that require some basic problem solving from the player.
Ascending the final stretch, Graham scans the room and spots a fair princess. And then another one. And, to be frank, he has no clue which is his destined true love. The maiden covered in gray, so far, seems the more intellectual and reserved of the two, while her effervescent counterpart enjoys jamming out on the lute. Decisions are hard, so Graham prays for a sign and a bird flutters gently onto the grey princess’ shoulder.
“Oh sweet, totally my wife then,” Graham’s face screams in relief. Until a squirrel runs in and similarly nestles up to lute princess. Thanks a lot, nature.
What historically has remained a simple fairy tale now unfolds with all the awkwardness an instant proposal would get you in the modern day. The rest of Graham’s third chapter will revolve around discovering his true love with all the confusion and chuckles of a classic romantic comedy.
Choices made throughout the story will weigh towards one princess over the other with varying strength, culminating in whatever ending your actions have earned. You won’t always be so aware how choices affect the final outcome, though, so follow your heart. *Rainbows flash across screen*
King’s Quest is tackling its own history with a fond wryness, and to noticeable success. As it has aimed to from the start, the game is carving its own tale into Graham’s storied books, bringing adventures with their own voice that fit well into the series’ personality.
King’s Quest Chapter 3: Once Upon a Climb is set to release April 26th on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.