King’s Quest 8: Mask of Eternity – Royal with Rotten Cheese [RETRO-1999]

RETRO – „When Graham stepped next to the rock it disappears, when he goes behind the stone, his leg disappears” – this was one the technical marvels of the first King’s Quest in 1983. Roberta and Ken Williams were proud of their achievement, and they were rightfully so: the point and click technique was used for the first time, and ever since then has become its genre. After a decade later thanks to the development of graphical technology we can finally even zoom in on the heroes’ boot in full 3D in King’s Quest 8. However is this really what the advancement of adventure games is really about?


Time was not gracious to the adventure genre, and also to the protagonist of one of the most famous adventure games, who now is an old king in the Daventry realm. The peaceful reign is unfortunately not given to him, as suddenly his entire kingdom is struck by a magical storm that turns everyone into stone. Graham looks at the events from his magical mirror, until he is also turned into stone. The new protagonist is Connor, a young adventurer – he has to find the pieces of the Mask of Eternity – the mask was broken into five pieces by a mag wizard, and the people of Daventry will only be cured if the mask if is fixed and put together.

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3D Daventry

The kingdom of Daventry went through a massive change, and this will be especially noted by fans of the series: we now get to enjoy every detail of the land in 3D. We are quite used to the graphics in third person shooters, but here they add another twist in that the camera can be moved around just like in Myth. Sometimes we have to use this feature to find the necessary item to continue in our quest, as it may be behind a house or a bush. Sadly Connor does not only have to deal with puzzles but has to take care of monsters that try to take his life.

Due to this Mask Of Eternity is both a regular adventure game and a Tomb Raider clone. Our hero has now all the movement arsenal of the famous adventurer: he can run, jump, climb, crawl, fight, etc. In the beginning, he is forced to take care of the monsters with a right and left hook, but later down the line, we’ll be able to find weapons that help us dispose of the monsters

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A bit of an RPG

Connor develops just as in a regular RPG: at every level, he becomes tougher and agiler, also he will have more endurance to take damage. While at the beginning of the game it is advisable to run away from the tougher monsters, later we will be able to take multiple of them at the same time. Besides weapons, we can use different armors, shields and we’ll get to equip them to for hero RPG style. We’ll be lucky to get a lousy boot, or a leather glove, later you’ll be able to acquire real knightly gear and shield. The equipped armor appears on Connor – and this new way of showing the protagonist in armor reminded me of Return to Krondor.

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Adventure Time!

Even though it has 3D elements and action/ monster slaying parts, the game is still a King’s Quest game, and luckily not just in the name: we’ll find the usual puzzles in this sequel. Our item list can be accessed from the drop down menu – maybe the developers did not want to entirely alienate the fans with all the 3D engine, and the third person shooter rescue gameplay. Sometimes some of the puzzles will require our dexterity: it does not matter if we figure out that we have to climb the wall of the castle, we’ll only be able to climb it with a rope, and during that sequence, we will have to control Connor, unlike in the previous games. Thanks to the 3D engine Daventry became bigger: it can take a few hours while we explore a few villages entirely. At the same time, the explorable territory is not just limited to Daventry: we can explore seven different worlds, to find the pieces of the mask.

I think that every adventure game fan will think back with nostalgia to the old King’s Quest games. Maybe their stories were a bit cliché, and reminiscent of Hollywood movie twists, but they were still part of the Adventure game’s pillars back in the day. When the seventh game bombed Sierra decided to put the series to a bit of rest.

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King Raider? Yes, sadly…

When I heard that the eight-game would be an action/adventure game hybrid I was a bit saddened by the news ( Lara Croft mania even taints the classic adventure games ? ). Then Sierra started calming the fans and informed them that the adventure game part of the title is not lost with Mask of Eternity, with lots of puzzles, and other adventure type elements.

Regardless that there are puzzles in the title, King’s Quest 8 seems to have more of a Die by the Sword action elements. I do not understand why the Tomb Raider elements have to be forced into such genres. The engine is not the issue here; I think the third person mode works perfectly for the adventure game genre – the annoying part is that the action parts degrade the quality of King’s Quest 8 into a boring walking game. How awesome it would have been to immerse myself into a game filled with full of fun sidequests, and mystery instead of fighting zombie hordes and monsters….

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The monotony of the action parts hinder the game, and the story does not help either, as Roberta Williams wrote a pretty standard story that becomes generic. Connor is the usual Hollywood type: good looking, the heart of gold, really good kid. His monologs are really “great” for instance when he sees a villager turned into stone he’ll say: Oh poor soul! Do not worry I’ll help you and break the curse.” and other variants.

Sierra’s latest adventure game is filled with a generic story and monotonous action parts. Due to this, they weakened the series further; luckily LucasArts already proved that 3D engine adventure games have its place with Grim Fandango.

-BadSector- (1998)


+ King’s Quest faint ambiance still there
+ Some adventure still in it
+ Even SOME logical puzzles are there


– Action is lackluster
– Same goes for the story
– Graphics were crap even by 1998 standard

Publisher: Sierra Online

Developer: Sierra Online

Genres: Action-adventure

Publication: 1998

King's Quest 8

Gameplay - 5.8
Graphics (1998) - 6.2
Story - 4.8
Musci/audio - 6.4
Ambiance - 6.2



Sierra’s latest adventure game is filled with a generic story, and monotonous action parts. Due to this they weakened the series further, luckily LucasArts already proved that 3D engine adventure games have its place with Grim Fandango.

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines - including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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