Below are pictures and transcripts of the various versions of the KQ6 opening movie.
If you're interested in the differences in the interface of the PC CD and PC disk versions, visit this page as well.
First, the KQ6 CD version. I won't provide a transcript, since most of my readers are likely to be familiar with it.
I will, though, post images of all the shots, for contrast with the KQ6 PC floppy version's intro.
CD: the opening narrative text.
CD: Alexander broods at the foot of Graham's throne.
CD: Valanice tries to console Alexander; notably, we never see her face in this shot.
CD: narration describing Alex's feelings.
CD: a pan down from the throne room chandelier to the sitting Alexander.
CD: the Magic Mirror flashes
CD: Alex walks over to the Mirror
CD: the intro then fades to Alex standing before the swirling Mirror.
CD: the Mirror reveals Cassima
CD: Cassima on her balcony, far away in the Land of the Green Isles
CD: when that shot is done, there is a quick fade to Alexander and Valance walking towards each other.
CD: Alexander is resolved to sail to the Land of the Green Isles
CD: Narration describes Alexander's journey by ship
CD: At this point the intro follows some seagulls around for a while while light, airy music plays
CD: Alexander's ship follows closely behind the seagulls
CD: the same shot, with the ship farther along
CD: the ship, seen from the front
CD: Alexander is on deck staring out a telescope
CD: Now the camera zooms in on Alexander's face
CD: Alexander staring out the spyglass, as seen from behind. In this shot the ship bobs up and down, as ships are wont to do.
CD: sighting land at last
CD: the ship's crew rejoices. The deck moves up and down in this shot as well.
CD: more narration
Alexander's ship sails toward the sunset
The narrator describes the oncoming storm
Alexander's ship is tossed against the rocks
Now here's the KQ6 disk version intro, also presented shot-by-shot.
The dialogue is pretty much the same as in the CD version. The lines in the floppy intro are read by Sierra employees, and (as usual) they sound rather awful.
Opening narration. Yep, the same.
Alexander and Valanice are standing up now, with both their faces visible
The disk version skips over the bit of narration about Alex's feelings and the pan down from the chandelier
The Magic Mirror flashes
Alex walks to the Mirror. Unlike in the CD version, this shot does not gradually zoom in towards the Mirror.
Also, in the disk version there is no fade between Alexander walking and him standing in front of the Mirror.
Cassima. This shot is about the same.
This long pan, showing Valanice running into the throne room when Alexander calls, is omitted entirely from the CD version!
Alexander and Valanice discuss the vision in the Mirror. In the CD version the walls flicker with reflected firelight, but not in the floppy version.
This narrative text is exactly the same on disk and CD.
This is the original version of the shot of Alex's ship as seen from behind! For the CD the scene was graphically upgraded and placed after Alex sights land.
The ship bounds toward the camera. The CD version's pale blue, rolling waves have been replaced by a static dark blue ocean.
Alexander stands lookout on the bow
Alexander with a telescope. Unlike in the CD version of this shot, the deck doesn't roll up and down with the waves.
Also notice the areas where the waves' animation was crudely cut out, leaving light blue lines behind.
Spotting land on the horizon, with that ugly dark blue sea still there.
Alexander's crew rejoice at the sight. Again, in this shot the ship's deck stays firmly put.
Because the rear view of the ship comes earlier in the disk version intro, the text "Hours pass..." never appears.
The scene of the shipwreck has several seconds shaved off at either end in the floppy version, in order to conserve disk space.
If you select the EGA video driver (for the disk version) or the grayscale driver (for the CD version) during install, the intro plays out as a pure text narrative.
Below are a few screenshots from the grayscale version of the KQ6 text intro:
Alexander sits in Graham's throne room, head in hands
Valanice tries to reason with her lovestruck son
Alexander despairs over his inability to find the Land of the Green Isles
Alex spies Cassima in the magic mirror
This text appears just before the "Three long months..." narration.
More images from the text intro, this time viewed with the disk version's EGA driver:
The opening bit of text. It's so strange to see it in red!
Valanice asks about Alexander's efforts to track down Cassima's homeland
Sadly, Alex has learned nothing at all. Too bad he didn't read the Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles.
More text description.
Through the Mirror, Alex learns that Cassima still returns his affections
The image of Cassima disappears quickly. So how did Alexander memorize those star patterns?
Alexander excitedly tells his mother about the Mirror's revelation
This caption is in the past tense in the PC versions' 3D intros...so it conflicts with other captions in the PC CD that are in the present tense.
That's quite a lot of text!
Here is the complete transcript of the KQ6 text intro, typed by me.
Long ago, in the castle of a kingdom called Daventry....
A young prince sits in the throne room, head in hands, lost in melancholy.
His mother, Queen Valanice, enters, and hastens to his side.
"Alexander! Here you are! You're still not thinking about Cassima, are you?"
"Hmmm? I suppose I am."
"Son, it's been MONTHS. You've GOT to pull yourself together. After all, you only met her that once...."
"Have you discovered anything about the Land of the Green Isles?"
"No! No one's even heard of it! It's like she's just vanished!"
"I wish I could help. Please try to think about something else, dear."
"I'll try, Mother."
With a feeling of helplessness, the Queen turns and leaves her son to his thoughts.
Suddenly, the magic mirror on the wall flashes to life....
The prince leaps to his feet and runs to place his hand against the shimmering glass.
Beneath his fingers, the mirror dissolves into a scene of a beautiful girl in a tower's window, looking out on a starry night sky. It is Cassima!
"Alexander.... I feel so alone. I don't know what to do.... Alexander, I wish you were here...."
The picture fades to glass, the princess to the prince's own reflection.
But the image is gone! Prince Alexander turns toward the throne room's doors.
"MOTHER! MOTHER, COME QUICK!"
Queen Valanice rushes in, her face full of concern.
"Alexander, what on earth? You're white as a ghost!"
"Mother, I saw Cassima! She was in the mirror!"
"In the mirror? The magic mirror?"
"Yes! And it showed me how to find her!"
"The stars! I saw the stars outside her window! I can navigate by the stars!"
"Oh, Alexander.... If you really go...."
"It will be alright, Mother. I promise."
And so, the prince leaves his homeland, bound for a land he knows only by the stars.
Three long months Prince Alexander sails the known seas.... and beyond.
Until finally, on a day like every other day at sea, as the young prince searches through his spyglass.
He sights land!
"Land ho! LAND HO! LAND HO!"
Eagerly, the ship bounds towards the distant shore.
Day turns to night and the ship nears the shore. As the sky blackens, so too, does the sea. The ship is tossed amidst monstrous currents and whirlpools, as though the land itself were shoving the vessel away.
The battle is courageous, but the ship, and the prince, are drawn down and down....
Down into the sea....
The Amiga version of KQ6 has yet another variant intro. Some screenshots of it can be found on this page.
The dialogue is heavily condensed in the KQ6 Amiga cinematic. In fact, this port was done by Revolution Software, explaining Briticisms such as "no-one."
What follows is a transcript done by me; items in (parentheses) are my description of the visuals.
(Yellow text on a black background.)
Long, long ago, in the Castle of a kingdom called Daventry...
Prince Alexander sits alone in the throne room...
(Fade to profile view of Alexander, sitting on the steps of Graham's throne, as in the PC intro.)
Alex: Oh Cassima. If only I knew how to find you again. But no-one's ever heard of the Land of the Green Isles.
(The shot fades out and back in again, and then the Magic Mirror begins to flash.
Fade to Alexander standing in front of the mirror, gazing at an image of Cassima.)
Cassima: Oh, Alex, I wish you were here....
(The image of Cassima dissolves into a colored blob.)
Alex: Cassima, WAIT!
(Fade to black.)
Alex's dialogue text: MOTHER!! MOTHER, COME QUICK!!
(Fade to Alex and Valanice talking, as in the PC intro.)
Alex: I saw Cassima in the mirror, Mother, and I know how to find her....
Valanice: Are you certain? How, Alexander?
Alex: The stars, Mother - I saw the stars outside her window, and I can navigate by them!
Valanice: Oh Alexander - if you must go.... Be careful, my son.
(Fade to black. Fade to narrative text as before.)
Three long months, Alexander sailed the known seas.... and beyond.
(Fade to a shot from behind of Alex's ship sailing. The motion is very slow and jerky.
Then cut to a series of slides, with the ship sailing toward the camera, zooming in to show Alex on deck holding a telescope.
This is actually a smooth animation in the PC versions.
Cut to the view from Alex's telescope; land is already visible within it.)
Alex: Land ho! Land ho!!
Alex: Land ho! Land ho!!
(Yes, he says it again.
Fade to still shot of Alex and his crew rejoicing. Again, replacing the PC version's animation.
Fade to narrative text as before.)
As the ship nears the shore, day turns to night and the sea turns violent...
(Fade to a still shot of Alex's ship being dashed against rocks by the waves.)
That night, Prince Alexander was shipwrecked on the unknown island......
(Fade to black. No credits; fade directly into the gameplay.)
Still another different version of KQ6's intro comes from the Mac port.
Thanks to fov of AdventureGamers.com, I saw a video file of it, and managed to create this transcript.
(Fade in yellow text on a black background.)
Long ago, in the castle of a kingdom called Daventry...
(Fade this out, and replace it with green text.)
Prince Alexander was a young man obsessed.
(Fade this out. Cut to the pan from the PC CD intro, descending from the throne room chandelier down to a sitting Alexander. Cut to black. Fade in blue text.)
Night and day, he dreamed of the lovely face of Princess Cassima.
(These letters morph into:)
He languished, as the passing days brought no word of her.
(Fade this out. Fade into the scene where the magic mirror flashes and Alex walks over to it, as in the PC CD. The scene cuts to black before Cassima can speak, however. Fade in red text on black.)
She was there, revealed by the magic mirror, forlorn in a tower under distant stars.
(Morph these letters into green text.)
Alexander realized those stars could lead him to her.
(Cut to the disk version's pan around the throne room as Valanice runs in. Before we finish the zoom into their faces, though, cut to blue text on black.)
He made a passioned plea to his mother, the queen, and she granted him the royal flagship.
(Fade to black. Cut to the CD version's shot of Alex's ship, seen from behind, sailing into the sunset. Cut to green text on black.)
For months he sailed, searching for a land drawn on no map, but Alexander remained steadfast.
(Morph this text into:)
He kept his hope burning bravely in his heart.
(Cut to the PC CD's shot of the ship passing by the camera, just after the seagulls leave the frame. Cut to the PC CD shot of Alexander holding the telescope, seen from the front. Cut to the telescope's view of the sea as land rolls into sight.
Cut to narration: the first two words are huge, 3D, and yellow, like bad WordArt.)
(The rest is normal size and green.)
At last, the journey's end was in sight...
(Fade out. Fade in red text.)
But when night fell, the pride of Daventry's fleet sailed into tragedy.
(Cut to the shot of Alexander's ship being dashed against the rocks.)
Finally, I have found the original design document for the KQ6 intro, which was included as part of Sierra's now-defunct King's Quest collection box.
Intriguingly, it makes no mention of 3D: instead, action is intended to be portrayed via animated sprites on painted backgrounds, like the cutscenes in KQ5.
Also, the dialogue is a lot longer, and clearly meant to be read, not spoken. Plus, it contains several obscure references to earlier King's Quests that new players might not have understood.
Here it is:
The opening sequence introduces Alexander and Cassima and sets up the background and motivation for Alexander's quest in the Land of the Green Isles. Game credits can be displayed on the title screen before this cartoon, during this cartoon, or on a separate screen.
1. Alexander decides to leave Daventry.
After the titles, we fade in to the "Daventry Throne Room" screen. Alexander is sitting in the throne room of the castle in Daventry. His head is in his hands and he looks melancholy. The Magic Mirror hangs silently on the wall. Valanice comes into the room.
Valanice: "Alexander! You've been fretting about that lovely girl you met in Mordack's castle for too long now! You've got to get on with your life."
Walk Valanice up to Alexander.
Fade to the "Close-up of Alexander and Valanice" screen.
Alexander: "I can't get her out of my mind, Mother. One moment I'd found her and everything was different. The next she was being sent back home. Now it's like she's disappeared without a trace. I can't find anyone who's even heard of the Land of the Green Isles, much less knows where it is! Who would have thought that something like Geography could ruin my life?"
Valanice: "I understand how you feel, Alexander, but there are many beautiful girls right here in this kingdom. I only want you to be happy, Alex. I hate to see you so... purposeless. You've got to stand up and make a decision about your future."
Alexander: "I know you're right, Mother. It's just... Nothing else seems like it could possibly be right without her."
Valanice: " [sigh] Oh, Alex. I wish there were something I could do."
Alexander: "I'll be alright, Mother. I promise."
Fade back out to the "Daventry Throne Room" screen. Valanice pats Alexander's hand and then walks out of the room. Alexander, heartbroken, continues to brood in his chair.
Alexander: "I can't forget your face, Cassima. A face that could haunt a man forever. Cassima, where are you?"
Suddenly, the magic mirror begins to dazzle. We hear a far-away woman's voice calling Alexander's name. Alexander says "What...?" He gets up and walks over to the mirror.
Fade to the "Close-up of the Magic Mirror" screen.
The mirror dazzles for a moment, then clears. We see Cassima staring out a high stone window. It is nighttime and out the window we can see a number of star patterns clearly (these will serve as Alexander's clues for finding the isles). Cassima is crying.
Cassima: "Oh, Alexander, I need you. I have never been so unhappy. Why do you not come? Have you forgotten me so soon?"
The mirror fades back to a dazzle. Fade back to the "Daventry Throne Room" screen.
Alexander: "But... what?!"
Alexander: "Mother! Mother, come quick!"
Valanice rushes in. The two meet in the middle of the room and grab hands.
Fade to the "Close-up of Alexander and Valanice" screen.
Valanice: "Alexander! Your face is so white! What happened?"
Alexander: "I've just seen her - Cassima! She was in the magic mirror! Mother, she needs me!"
Valanice: "But... what about finding the isles?"
Alexander: "Stars, Mother! The magic mirror showed me the night sky and I can navigate by the stars!"
Valanice: "I can see that there's no talking you out of it. But I have a bad feeling, Son. Please be careful. If I lost you again, I don't know what I'd do."
Alexander: "Oh, Mother. Everything's going to be fine. I promise. Now I must go prepare my ship."
Alexander and Valanice hug. He leaves the room. Fade out to the "Ship's Voyage" screen.
Transition: Fade to Alexander at sea.
2. The journey to the Land of the Green Isles.
The journey is shown with a far shot of a ship on the "Ship's Voyage" screen. Use alterations in the weather and waves (night - stars matching magic mirror vision, day, calm, rocky) to indicate the passage of many days. Fade to the "Close-up of Alexander on ship" screen. Alexander is looking anxiously out to sea, as though urging the boat to fly faster to his love.
Print a message, "Three long months Alexander follows the stars to reach the other side of the world, where the mysterious Land of the Green Isles lie scattered on the ocean."
Show Alexander raise a spy glass. He looks in various directions through it. Fade to a black screen with a small, round inset that shows the distant ocean as seen through a telescope. The inset pans over ocean. Suddenly we see an island on the horizon. Zoom in to the island.
Fade back to the "Close-up of Alexander on ship" screen. Alexander, obviously excited, points and yells "Land Ho!". We see crewmen start to scramble.
Fade back out to the "Ship's Voyage" screen. The boat rocks and gets caught in the strong currents, reefs, and rocks that surround the island. They are obviously struggling.
Overlaid over this screen as we watch the ship struggle, we see text. A crewman shouts "Prince Alexander! We're barely holding against the currents! It's like a whirlpool here!" Another crewman shouts "Sir, the rocks!" Just then, use a screen shake to imply that the ship hits something. Show the boat start to sink. Iris to message screen. "...The next morning."
Fade to a shot of a beach. Alexander is lying face down on the sand, alone. It is morning. Slowly Alexander rises, staggers, and rights himself. He looks around. We'll print some text here about Alexander mourning the loss of his crew.
The game is now under player control.
Alexander's crew was to have died? Interesting... in the final game it's made quite clear that they all survived the wreck.
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