King’s Quest III Redux: To Heir Is Human

King's Quest III Redux: To Heir is Human Windows Main menu

Publisher: AGDInteractive
Developer: AGDInteractive
Year: 2011
Platform: Windows; Mac

Presumably the final remake from AGDInteractive, their retelling of King’s Quest III does a great job updating and enhancing the original game by Sierra while still honoring the primary plot and structure. They changed just enough to keep the game fresh and if you liked the original there’s little doubt you’ll enjoy this as well.

King's Quest III Redux: To Heir is Human Windows Sweeping the kitchen. Chores, chores!

One of the major annoyances from the original game is that casting spells was almost entirely a copyright protection puzzle (after you collected the ingredients). The process now is more streamlined (which makes sense given that it’s point and click) and while you can still get yourself turned into a cat or a pile of ashes, it won’t be because you made a typo while trying to transcribe cursive handwriting.

The other pain in the arse was everyone’s favorite windy cliff that Gwydion enjoyed swan-diving from every eight steps. The cliff is still there, but much easier to navigate; in other words you only need to save once instead of ten times on the way up and down.

The primary conflict, and no doubt the hardest part of the game, is still eluding Manannan’s prying eyes while also making sure the chores are done and his belly is full. In the original game, it was absolutely necessary to keep a close eye on the clock while also taking notes and ultimately restoring back a significant amount of game time to redo the same events even faster. Redux makes this easier in two ways. First, the timer changes color when Manannan’s about to return, giving you ample time to hide everything and wear your servile personality. Secondly, the game provides you unlimited food so that Manannan doesn’t up and kill you if you take too long to kill him. However, I’m not going to give this game credit for the second part as I had no way of knowing the food was unlimited when I started, so I restarted the game a couple of times when I made mistakes assuming I was about to starve my master. It seems this could have easily been laid out in the instruction manual, or even better be alluded to while playing the game, so that I didn’t get pointlessly frustrated.

While there are no dumb walking dead situations, there still exists several if you try to rush through the spell making process. None of them will set you back a significant amount of time, but copious saving is still required.

The aesthetic enhancements are very professional. The graphics overhaul makes this much more enjoyable. The narration by John Bell is solid. And the the voice acting is fine, though the dialogue scripting is generally lacking in nuance, leading to some painful emoting. The best work is done by John Bell as well in his depiction of Manannan. Josh Mandel reprises one final time as King Graham, though his few lines are delivered pretty coldly.

King's Quest III Redux: To Heir is Human Windows "As in real life", you'll find important information in the library

Most of the puzzles remain intact with only slight variations. The desert puzzle with Medusa has been greatly enhanced, with multiple ways of playing it out. The town has been made larger, changing one of the puzzles. Most of the plot enhancements occur during and after the voyage with the pirates. Obtaining the pirate’s treasure is the biggest addition as you’re presented with three logic puzzles to solve, highly reminiscent of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Heck, there’s even a dude at the end who tells you “Choose wisely,” during your final puzzle. This section wasn’t terribly difficult, but a welcome add-on nonetheless.

It is quite apparent that the ending is tied in to the additional plot elements of AGDI’s version of King’s Quest II, with allusion to bigger things to come in King’s Quest IV. Sadly, it appears the developers are strictly focusing on their commercial game development company Himalayan Studios. The Perils of Rosella is easily my favorite of the original series and I would be excited to see what they could do with it.

King's Quest III Redux: To Heir is Human Windows The Medusa is not as dangerous as she would seem

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