King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow

Platforms: Amiga, IBM PC/Compatibles, Macintosh, Windows 3.x


Main Genre:
Gameplay Style:
Puzzle Elements


King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow is an animated adventure game first released by Sierra On-Line in 1992. It is the sixth installment in the popular King's Quest Series and like it's predecessor uses an updated version of Sierra's SCI1 game engine to provide a point-and-click interface for players to interact with the game. As is typical for Sierra adventure games, players can progress through the story by solving puzzles, talking with other characters, acquiring and using items, searching and finding locations, and more. The interface provides a series of icons which can be used to move around, talk, or click on things to perform actions. The game combines hand painted background graphics with digitized real life actors, and features a stereo soundtrack with digitized sound effects; a CD-ROM version was released a year later which added spoken dialog and other enhancements.

The Story

King's Quest VI begins with Prince Alexander thinking of Princess Cassima whom he met at the concolusion of King's Quest V; finally, after seeing a vision of Cassima in a magical mirror, he decides he's going to find her and sets sail for The Land of the Green Isles, a fictional kingdom consisting of multiple islands. As he arrives, a terrible storm causes his ship to crash and Alexander is the only survivor. As he arrives at land, the quest begins; as it turns out, it will be tougher than expected for Alexander to find Cassima as the king and queen of the kingdom have passed away and Cassima is being held prisoner. As is typical for King's Quest games, the game world consists of many mythological locations and characters. Initially, Alexander is limited to a single island, however other islands can be reached after obtaining a magical map.

King's Quest VI is less linear than it's predecessors and has several possible endings; part way through the game players can head down one of two paths (a short path which has fewer puzzles and completes the game quicker, or a long path with more puzzles); also there are several minor variations in the ending for each path based on whether or not some optional puzzles were solved. At the end of the game clues are provided to indicate how the opposite path might be found. Almost half of the quests in the game are optional, some puzzles have multiple solutions, and many quests can be completed in any order.


King's Quest VI was initially released for IBM computers on 3.5" or 5.25" floppy disks. Sierra was no longer releasing seperate 16 color and 256 color versions of their games, so the package included both 16 color EGA in 640x200 resolution or 256 color MCGA/VGA in 320x200 (Tandy support was dropped). A year later a CD-ROM version was released featuring full voiceovers throughout the game, an extended intro sequence, and an extended soundtrack. The CD included both DOS and Windows 3.x versions with the Windows version utilizing a higher resolution for character closeups. Versions for the Amiga and Macintosh were also released.


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