King’s Quest Is The Best PC Game of All Time

22Jul07

kings quest

May Myst rust, Half-Life be damned. Civilization I through IV? Pretty damn good, granted — but Civ never caused me no pre-pubescent psychosis. I can thank Ken and Roberta Williams and the rest of the Sierra crew exclusively for that. It’s still vividly hazy to me, a fever dream of youthful obsession that comes to me when least expected, similar to the way in which hippies must surely recall 1967. There I sit, cloistered in the den-cum-computer room of my parents’ house (R.I.P fair Den, stricken from the floorplan of every home since 1991 — you could not have known the changes that would come with cheap technology), entranced by the blocky EGA graphics (16 colours, bitches), crouched over the keys in a gamer’s pose that would make even an arthritic chiropractor’s mouth water with anticipation of future back problems. Mere screens from an assured victory I receive no other stimuli, ignoring the cramps in my right hand working the arrow keys like a virtuoso. My breath comes in short, rythmic rasps now. I can feel it. Drunk on entitlement, I start across the moat-spanning bridge. Two screens to go now. Routine.

I promptly fall off into the waiting jaws of a crocodile.

Shit.

The twelve-year-old version of myself failed to see the need for save games.

I saw red.

There came a gnashing of teeth and a soul-birthed howl of insanity. Papers cleared from desktop in one fell swoop, chairs overturned. Above it all rose a fierce wind in the east as the sun faded west, chased hither by an unstable young man with a turtleneck sweater and a bad haircut.

My parents, fearing for my mental health, promptly stripped me of my computer priveledges for one month. A travesty, but I suppose if Civilization has taken a couple years off my life, that one episode took at least five off my parents’.

So godspeed to you Kings Quest, as I raise a glass in honour of all the games that required of their participants a basic understanding of cause and effect, puzzle-solving skills and logic — in other words, all the games that have done more than merely train another generation to choose the right gun for killing Arabs.

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