OILD – Isabella’s Castle

Heck yeah! Let’s keep up the pace and make that donation total rise! You can do it! Trust me, there are much more difficult things I could ask you to do. And to prove it, here’s today’s ice level! It’s Isabella’s Castle, from King’s Quest 5!

Oh, King’s Quest. Oh, Sierra. Oh, Roberta Williams. There was a time when these notorious games would need no introduction, but now that I’m 50 billion years old I’d better explain. King’s Quest was a series of text/point-and-click adventure games, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth and computers were made of trees and rocks. The thing is, to get you to take longer to complete the game–and thus to justify the cost of making it–the developer Sierra made it so you could easily screw up and put the game into an unwinnable state. Not only could you get yourself killed simply by exploring the land, but you could easily use up, destroy, miss, or otherwise lose items that were necessary to proceed. The story in KQ5 follows Graham, a member of the royal family who witnesses his castle being taken away by a wizard. He teams up Cedric, the world’s most punchable owl, in his adventure to get it back.

Ok, so let’s get down to how unfair this level is. You start off on a snowy mountain, and the game tells you that Graham is hungry from the climb. This means “if you don’t eat something, you’ll die.” Well at this point in your inventory you have some lamb and a pie. You can eat either of them. But guess what? If you eat the pie, you’ve unwittingly doomed yourself, and the game does not give any indication that you need the pie later on. So you have a rope, and you can use it to climb higher. There’s a branch jutting out from one of the rocks. It’d make sense to use the rope on that, right? WRONG, AS THAT WILL KILL YOU. So you climb up the mountain and see a collection of small peaks to jump on. Some of them will break and cause you to plummet to your death. And if you thought the game would tell you which ones were safe to jump on, you would be sorely mistaken.  So anyway, eventually a wolf kidnaps your annoying owl buddy. Graham follows the wolf, and sees a hungry eagle on the way. You have to give the eagle the other half of your lamb, so if you ate all of the meat, GUESS WHAT YOU LOSE AND YOU HAVE NO IDEA THAT YOU LOST AS YOU HAVE NO IDEA THAT THE EAGLE IS RELEVANT. So anyway after you talk to Isabella, she says she’ll graciously NOT kill you if you can deal with a local… you guessed it… YETI. One of the wolves takes you to a cave and growls out “yonder is a crystal cave. There you will find a yeti” in the most brilliant display of voice acting ever. So you have to defeat the yeti. By… throwing a pie in his face. If you ate the pie then yeah, you can’t beat him and furthermore you have no idea that you can’t beat him. Oh, and if you saved AFTER you ate the pie? Well you’ll have to start the whole game over, won’t you? OH KING’S QUEST!

WOLVES AND YETIS. THAT’S WHAT THE SEASON’S ALL ABOUT. Want the full wallpaper? Get it here!

And you know what else you need to get? Today’s music! Yes, it’s Route 216, from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl! Most of you probably remember this route as being the one wherein your trainer was up to his/her eyeballs in snow.

And today’s remix! It’s none other than Select Start’s Route 216 mix! This was a song they did for the Obligatory Ice Level Day 2009 soundtrack, so the link goes to the whole soundtrack. And don’t forget to download the 2010 soundtrack!

Keep helping out BestFriends.org, people!

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