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Ace Hardway ... what a guy


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Even so, I find King's Quest II+ by AGDI handled the material much better. Their take on the story was much deeper and walked the line between mature and fun perfectly.

 

I'm not a huge King's Quest fan either, apart from KQ6 which is fantastic. I do know that they're basically interactive fairy tales and that Roberta was a pioneer, but I do also think there was room for some stronger plots in there. That became particularly evident when Jane Jensen started designing games of her own that completely smoked Roberta's earlier efforts, in my opinion. And I'm not talking about the technical aspects.

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I enjoyed KQ2+ quite a lot. But a lot of others didn't at all because of the mature themes and because of the convolution of tying everything in the series together. A lot of people prefer it all separate. I can see their point, so I enjoy both. It's a legit view and there's nothing wrong with King's Quest's child fantasy approach. I love KQ5 more than KQ6 for that reason.

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I guess I should admit that I am a Man With Opinions when it comes to fairytales; which is to say, it's not really old-school fantasy either in the sense of following the giants of C20th fantasy writing or in the sense of having much of a basis in folk fairy stories. It's 19th century style sanitised upper middle class Victorian fantasy, which I just don't like much as a genre. I dislike the "thou gaineth a WOMAN" plot trope that makes the female character a barely-animate quest objective with no agency, and the original KQ2 ending is very, very definitely falling into that trap in my opinion. It's obviously a matter of personal preferences and I imagine it may be just me that thinks this, but I think a few simple changes to the portrayal could have made the whole thing feel a bit less bland and C19th-tacky whilst keeping the "this is a shiny fantasy story of shininess" theme wholly intact.

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I guess I just disagree that it has anything to do with female objectivity. From a child's or even family's point of view, that's not how it's viewed or presented. It's a love story. Self sacrifice for another. Yes it's unrealistic, but it's not about realism, it's fantasy. Not the fantasy of acquiring a woman who can't think for herself as a reward (this is a twisted fantasy from a mature perspective, not a child's), but a fantasy of a romatic story of true love. It's age-old, and yes probably cliche to some, but deep down that's what most everybody wants and that's why stories like it are still being made. And there's nothing wrong with that. There's also nothing wrong with variety either. I'm sure we can all agree that, opinions aside, it's not doing any damage and it's alright to let it continue to exist for those that enjoy it.

 

KQ2+ did do a fantastic job with fleshing it out, though! I don't even consider it more mature like some do, just augmented. Like KQ6.

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Yeah, I'm certainly not arguing that it should be banned, I'm just arguing it's kind of naff. I'm also not even arguing that it's not a true love story or that those are bad - just that it's a badly done and rather skewed true love story and the way it's presented grates on me personally. Also the specific bits I was getting annoyed at, as I was saying, aren't the bits that are age old or that everybody wants. I'd have no issue with you getting to the tower, using the amulet, and then having a cutscene that has a brief note that your relationship then blossoms and she later agrees to marry you- and rescuing someone from peril seems to me a not wholly unreasonable way of meeting prospective partners. I was solely focussing on the rather male-acquisitive way that tower scene is presented on screen (and I don't think you can draw a clear line that that's an adult twisted fantasy, whilst children may not be able yet to interpret that sexually yet they can certainly objectify gender differences, though I'd also clarify that I'm not doing the "games are a bad influence" argument which I think is crap - the game reflects the issue rather than causing it, but it's a reflection I don't much like).

 

Or as a tl;dr for that paragraph - you can have a true love romantic fantasy without placing an activity/passivity action/object romantic gender distinction into your gameplay. I'm not arguing it's going to bring about the downfall of civilisation, but I don't think it would have taken too much to improve the plot a tad there.

 

Also, self sacrifice? Which person are you arguing is being self-sacrificing? Because I'm pretty sure the mirror only told Graham about the princess when he decided he wanted a wife (which is pretty dickish on the part of the mirror, thinking about it, at least if we're going to be charitable to Graham and suggest that he presumably would have rescued her before he realised he needed a spouse).

 

I should look into KQ2+, I've not seen it (and should thus clarify that all my comments above only relate to the original).

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Thanks for the heads up :) But yeah, the fact people have wanted to do the add-ons probably underlines my point a tad.

 

 

Back to the OP topic which I haven't even mentioned yet, I'm very much looking forward to hearing more about Ace Hardaway. I suspect he's the kind of guy I wouldn't necessarily click with if we actually met, but I think he'll be a fun hero to play with and as I mentioned I like the everyman-heroism which has been such a feature of the Two Guys' work.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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