King’s Quest 5 Speedrun 100% (29:56:35)

We did a lot of experimenting with different versions (I’m convinced the French version would kill this time, but the finale is bugged and unwinnable for now), and the good ol’ GOG version ran the best despite the heap error at the ending.

I decided to start time at the first mouse movement, which includes moving the settings sliders around since it’s not technically the vanilla game anymore. Didn’t seem quite fair to set that beforehand.

Hitting the town up for the fish first and getting the coin later when we drop off everything to the shopkeeps saves us a screen transition waiting for the coin to appear. After that, I’m still not convinced the route through Serenia is perfect, but I’m very happy with the desert path.

You can go 5 screens (or Skareens for our Quest for Glory fans) before you get a warning to drink or die, and 2 Skareens after that to collapse in a vibrant red and blue heap on the sand. Drinking from the bandit’s water jug is lengthy, but required.

Having the gold coin out and ready while you’re walking out saves a second or two of Cedric whinging and madly clicking on the gypsy to end it. While I’m in the area, we get the ants and bear out of the way as the honey is necessary for the forest. Also good to point out here that right-clicking through dialogue skips the whole deal instead of one at a time. Comes in handy many a time.

Unsure of the forest path, but works for me! Running around that heart tree and going through another two Skareens to avoid it doesn’t seem like much of a difference. Also, the witch will ALWAYS appear in front of her house, maybe 70% of the time in the first screen, 10% on the screen with the elves. Pointless, but fun to mention.

Left clicking when you give Alicia her heart back only saves the transformation animation, so maybe a second at best. Whacking the cat with the stick on the way back doesn’t save any time I don’t think, but it’s there. Why not?

Once in the mountains, I get a giggle out of Graham’s shiver-walk to the next screen where it’s slightly easier to get the cloak on him since he’s a touch bigger. Mis-clicking wastes .5 seconds a pop. Nothing much else of note except Graham’s cruddy pathfinding which needs some babysitting from time to time.

I’ve seen the harpies cutscene skip once and I have no idea how that happened. Also, Cedric gets hurt and we all laugh. The French version of the game allows you to skip the cutscene at Carusoe’s which jumps you all the way to Mordack’s island after the crash. Single biggest time save ever. If only the ending worked in that version.

There’s also a fun glitch you can do if you have the crowbar at the ready to open the grate into the labyrinth and open it before Cedric opens his fat beak. It looks like the grate stays closed, yet you crawl down anyway. Saves a few seconds if it works. The labyrinth has Dink and the door right smack next to each other so optimization is easy.

Mordack’s castle (also known as the RND Castle or Mordack’s Castle of Utter Bullshit) is a run-killer. The guard appears whenever he wants, Mordack does the same and his damn cat/brother as well. If you’re feeling adventurous (as one would in an adventure game) you can skip picking up the fish and the peas and pray to whoever governs the laws of Serenia (Roberta?) that you don’t run into the cat or the guard the second time. Risky but it’s your life.

And of course, the infamous Heap bug that crashes when you start the machine. ScummVM fixes this but it’s much slower to run than DOSBox. Only way around it is to save, quit, and reload, and somehow that fixes it. Stupid, but necessary. Like college.

Another fun glitch is now Mordack’s portrait stays around in a look of utter fascination while the battle rages on. The pose is random ,the laughs are real.

I’m certain I could knock off 5-10 seconds without my misclicks and spacing out, but I’ll take it.

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