King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!

Platforms: Amiga, FM Towns, IBM PC/Compatibles, Macintosh, NES / Famicom, PC-9800 Series, Windows 3.x


Main Genre:
Gameplay Style:
Puzzle Elements


IBM MCGA/VGA version of King's Quest V
IBM MCGA/VGA version of King's Quest V
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! is an adventure game first released by Sierra On-Line, Inc. in 1990. It is the fifth game in the King's Quest series and the first game in the series to replace typed in commands with a point and click interface. Players interact with the game by using different icons to walk around, talk with other characters, examine or use objects, or interact with the environment. In addition to the updated interface, King's Quest V also features hand painted graphics with up to 256 colors depending on the version. Like other Sierra adventure games players need to solve puzzles to advance the story. Game progress can be saved allowing players to continue playing at a later point or to restore to a previous save point after their character dies.


At the beginning of the story Castle Daventry mysteriously disappears after an unknown wizard casts a spell; Shortly after King Graham returns to where his home used to be to find just an empty field. Graham is completely baffled by what happened, and soon encounters a talking owl named Cedric. Cedric informs Graham that his castle with his family in it has been stolen by the evil wizard Mordack. Cedrick helps out by bringing Graham to visit his master, the good wizard Crispin, who provides a magic wand, a piece of white snake which allows Graham to speak with animals, and some advice. From here Graham sets out on his quest to the land of Serenia to find Mordack's home island and save his family. After travelling through many varied lands Graham eventually finds the reason for Mordack stealing the castle is revenge for an event in King's Quest III when Graham's son Prince Alexander turned Mordack's brother Mannanan into a cat. The spell can only be broken by the one who cast it, and Mordack is attempting to pursuade Alexander to change him back (although, Alexander doesn't actually have the knowledge to do so). Graham eventually needs to sneak into Mordack's castle and defeat the evil wizard before everything is returned to normal.


The IBM PC version of King's Quest V was initially released in two different formats. The first was a 256 color version supporting MCGA/VGA graphics only; this version required an 80286 processor and was only available on high density disks. To accomodate users with slower computers or without a high density disk drive, a seperate 16 color version was also released. As would be expected, the graphics didn't look nearly as good however the game performed much better on slower computers and could be run with an 8088/8086 processor. A 256 color CD-ROM version followed later which featured spoken dialog.

King's Quest V was the first of Sierra's games to use their newer point-and-click SCI game engine and to be released in seperate 256 color and 16 color versions; several other of their adventure games that followed did so as well. It is also the last game in the series to support Tandy graphics or EGA graphics at 320x200 resolution; by the time King's Quest VI came out, Sierra had switched the SCI game engine to use 640x200 EGA graphics and dropped Tandy support entirely.

Versions for other systems were later released as well including a 32 color Amiga version, 256 color Macintosh and Windows 3.1 versions, and Japanese releases for the FM Towns and PC-98 computers. Development started on a version for the Atari ST, however it was cancelled and never released (the instruction manual for the game still includes Atari ST loading instructions though). A cartridge version for the Nintendo Entertainment System was released by Konami, however this version had significant changes made in order to meet Nintendo's content standards for the NES and due to the significant technical limitations of the system when compared with its computer counterparts.


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