KING'S QUEST 3: PART 7
When we left Gwydion, in stark contrast to his situation at the end of most of the other updates in this adventure, we had landed in Daventry and things were full of promise. At least, they had been until I walked on to a screen that resembled a special marathon edition of the awful pointless mountain path obstacle course that was the front path to our house. Shall we just hope that it doesn't go on too long?
It's already not looking good. It's impossible to see this due to the perspective, but if you fall off the edge of the path going towards the screen, then you don't plummet down a chasm - you fall to the path below and in front of it. This is just as bad because you then have to repeat a section.
The path looks like it goes behind a big rock here and that you'll have to cope with walking along a precarious line with your vision obscured, but instead Gwydion stops dead and there's no way around.
The solution is to retrace your steps and walk into the face of the rock, making Gwydion climb up it. The visual cue of having the rock a bit squiggly isn't all that great, but it's different from the surrounding rocks and as it doesn't involve typing anything to start climbing, it's not all that hard to do this by accident.
So here we are on the top layer. As we nudge ourselves tentatively around the top of the mountain...
Sigh. We're rewarded with this screen. Okay, let's continue - remembering to save every half-screen at least so that we don't have to do all this again.
Oh dear god make it stop. Well, it looks like we're pretty near the top now - once again, tiptoeing ever closed to the corner where the path goes around the mountain gives us...
A long drop followed by death. Yes, even though the same visual cue was used before to indicate that a path curves around the mountain, this time the path just stops dead (which coincidentally is what you've just done, too). So where do we go now? We've been doing nothing except walking a tightrope for the last five screens - there was no other way to go.
What you have to do is... no, not just walk in and out of the screen until somebody with a hang-glider appears. We walk back a bit again and use our newly-discovered climbing ability again by walking into the waterfall, which takes us to...
...a snow-capped mountain. This is already taking the record for the update that's been most varied in scenery. Hold on, who lives among the snow in King's Quest games?
OH, NO! And here I am without any custard pies. As a result...
OH MY GOD I DON'T WANT TO KNOW
The yeti has a chance of appearing on each of the three screens at the top of the mountain, and he's too fast to avoid - in fact he's also too fast to reasonably type in a command to do anything between his appearance and his grabbing Gwydion in a yeti-hug.
So we're going to have to get past him by turning into something less meaty beforehand.
As the fly (the eagle works too), you can buzz or swoop above the path and make it all the way to the right hand side of the mountain without the yeti bothering you - there's a screen between the two last ones I showed above, and it might have the best artwork in the game but you'll never know. You can either just avoid the yeti, or bump into him as your choice of flying creature, in which case...
The solitary hairy creature seems unjustifiably impressed by the presence of a small fly and goes home to post about it on Reddit. I think the text assumes that you transformed into a fly or eagle in front of him, but it's an order of magnitude easier to do it before heading on to any of these screens.
Out of curiosity, I tried going down the mountain and back up as a fly - it's much faster and skips all the precarious tightrope walking, and doesn't seem to have a time limit, making it a much better choice. This property would have been great for rewarding players who wanted to use their head to avoid the trip up to the wizard's house in Llewdor...
...if Sierra hadn't limited you to just three uses in the entire game. So there goes that nice idea.
Nevertheless, let's carry on. If you attempt to go off the bottom of the screen when transformed, you turn back into a human with the same message as if you dispelled the enchantment yourself (this is what I did above, instead of typing in the command). So the game forces you to be in your normal Gwydion-shaped form for this next screen, because it needs you to...
...FALL OFF THE MOUNTAIN AND DIE! This message appears immediately on entering this screen if you've taken the right-hand path - there's no way to anticipate that this route will be dangerous, it's just a complete guess on the part of the player. It's the beginning of what will be an absolutely hateful screen anyway.
Piss off, Sierra!
Okay. We've reloaded, we've taken the left path, we're on the safe side of the screen and we have a congratulatory message. Now we have to...
Okay, we're on the path. You do a lot of switching from climbing to walking on this screen and Gwydion does not pause when you switch between the two - as you can see, this means you have exactly four pixels to stop him before he happily blunders off the mountain. (Incidentally, I don't think I've explained this before - the AGI controls are fairly unusual, as you have to hit a key just once to start moving in a direction, rather than holding it down. You stop by pressing the key for the direction you're going again - hence, you need to actively press something to stop falling off, rather than just choosing not to move too far.) To avoid this, you could move further to the left, but if you stray off the narrow invisible safe section while climbing, Gwydion displays his usual ladder-climbing abilities and instantly falls to his death anyway.
So... there's a cave there. Just walking straight into it doesn't work.
All right. Breathe. Even though it isn't obvious from the angle at which the cave is drawn, you have to go a but further to the left than you're comfortable with, go under the overhang and walk into the cave heading rightwards.
While in the caves, you move automatically and will continue in the direction you're going - so you've got to make sure you hit the Right key again before you step off.
Climbing climbing climbing. Narrow ledge again...
And we're there.
The cave takes us around to the other opening to the left. We climb the wall again. (Incidentally I've removed about fifty screenshots of me falling off.)
We've reached a ledge again...
...and we're finally off this screen! What's next?
If this text box is anything to go by, typing LOOK on these screens gives you pretty detailed summaries of the locations. But I'm not going back to check them all now.
NO, WHAT NOW
OH THANK CHRIST
Okay. Entering this screen gives the "Whoops, you slipped!" message no matter what you do, but your fall doesn't kill you. The preposterously long tightrope walk is over and we're now in Daventry! Let's take a look in that cave to the right.