King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne

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North American PCjr box art.

King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne is a graphical adventure game by Sierra On-Line, originally released in 1985 for the PCjr, but later ported to several other platforms. The game is the sequel to the first King's Quest. In the story, Graham, now the king of Daventry, laments his inability to find a bride, but his magic mirror shows him a beautiful woman in a far off land who he may rescue and marry.

I didn't play KQ2 until after the King's Quest Collection had been released. I played it for awhile, but quickly got bored with it. Later, in my 30s I finally hunkered down and beat it. Over all, I found it to be the weakest of the series.

Status

I own a digital release of the game through Steam. I have beaten it, but not with a full score.

Review

  • Overall: 3/10
  • Best Version: AGI Interactive remake.

Good

  • The graphic art, animation, and music all see a decent amount of improvement over the first game.
  • The art was more impressive than anything console games were capable of at the time.
  • Some of the jokes are pretty funny.
  • I like that the keys for swimming, ducking, and jumping have been removed.

Bad

  • There are far too many ways to die!
  • The story doesn't make any sense. If Graham is a king, why didn't he bring his army with him rather than show up on the shores of Kolyma alone and empty-handed? And suppose the woman didn't want to marry someone just because he rescued her? And why did the witch imprison her in the first place?
  • I didn't like the idea of collecting treasures simply for the sake of points. And why does Kolyma have so much jewelry in strange places?
  • It doesn't make sense for rooms to randomly become re-occupied each time you enter them. You can enter a house and see a wolf, then walk out and back in and grandma will be there.
  • The wrap-around world layout is dumb. It basically means the world is a tiny torus floating in space.
  • Several graphics and sounds are reused from the first game.
  • There is an annoying walking dead scenario with the rope bridge, but at least it's fairly obvious to avoid.
  • Some of the art is pretty bad, like the stairs in the tower. And why is everything giant-sized in the castle?

Ugly

  • Like the first game, too many of the puzzles are stupid walking hazards. Is Graham so inept that he blindly walks off cliffs and steps off ladders? This just slows the game down.

Box Art

Documentation

Maps

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