'King's Quest' Chapter 5 Review: 'The Good Knight' Is A Wonderful Ending To A Great Reboot

kings-quest-chapter-5-review
King's Quest Chapter 5: The Good Knight is a fantastic conclusion to a great series The Odd Gentlemen

As a massive King’s Quest fan, the idea of an episodic reboot initially turned me off. How could five short episodes match the quality of some of my most beloved adventure games of all time? After the first chapter, I was immediately won over. Finally, the entire five-chapter saga of King’s Quest has come to a close, and it ends on a great note.

The Good Knight is an incredibly interesting look at what it’s like being around someone with deteriorating mental health. Because King Graham narrates his adventures, the narration often becomes unreliable, and you’ll find several instances of an area loading differently due to Graham’s faltering memory. There’s even an entire area that’s completely white, because Graham doesn’t remember anything important happening there.

The memory skewering peaks when Graham can’t even remember what game he’s in. There’s one sequence that pays amazing homage to the earlier King’s Quest games, with Graham thinking he’s in an ancient DOS-based game, then jumps to the FMV stylings of King’s Quest VI.

It’s also very touching and sad, and unfortunately something many of us can relate to. Personally, my grandmother has not been doing the greatest as of late. Seeing a grandparent dealing with these mental issues, and how it affects the rest of the family, these moments really hit home, especially in light of how much these characters love their grandfather, and how much he means to everyone.

The final moments also bring to mind The Princess Bride, in what must be a deliberate reference to the famous battle of wits between Vizzini and Westley. Seeing as how Graham and Manannan get into their own battle of wits over several different goblets of poison, and given that Manannan is voiced by Wallace Shawn (who played Vizzini), it’s all fun for fans of the classic 1987 movie.

As far as gameplay goes, the actual puzzles and adventuring are pretty light and easy in The Good Knight. Most of the time spent is watching cutscenes play out. This isn’t too much of a problem for me, seeing as how there are plenty of loose ends that need wrapping up in Chapter 5. That being said, some may be disappointed by how little there actually is to play here.

The other disappointment is that some of those loose ends don’t actually get wrapped up. It feels like several big decisions were made over the course of the five King’s Quest chapters, and the payoffs are in small lines of dialogue or a different prop to look at on a table. There doesn't seem to be many major ramifications from decisions, just small cosmetic changes. While missing out on a conversation or two of the excellent voice acting is a bit of a bummer, it doesn’t really make you want to play through again to see the results of other choices.

There was also a really strange moment where my controls became completely inverted. I’m not sure if this was a bug or another instance of integrating memory loss into the gameplay, but it was pretty jarring. Thankfully, the moment is fairly short and proper controls were restored once the next scene was loaded.

Outside of those small complaints, there’s not much to criticize with the entire King’s Quest saga. Animation and artwork are all great, the story is engaging and touching and the voice acting is seriously some of the best I’ve heard in gaming. Fans of the original King’s Quest games will find so much to love here, and those new to the franchise will still be treated to an excellent game, even if they don’t catch all of the small references.

So what do you think? Are you ready to complete your story in King’s Quest Chapter 5: The Good Knight? Do you want to go back and play through the original King’s Quest games now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Join the Discussion