King’s Quest II: Romancing the Throne Panorama’s
Some panorama’s from Kings Quest 2: , The KQ’s series are wonderful examples of how natural environment design evolved from the early bitmap 8/16 colour painting of Kq1-4 to the scanned/digitized intricate backgrounds of KQ5, 6 and 7 to the jump to 3D (and not so great looking) KQ8.
Similar to Kings Quest 1, KQ2 ‘solved’ the problems of constraining the player to the limited screen space by allowing the player to traverse the outer edges of the game world with one proviso; this would not open up additional areas but transport the player back to the opposite corresponding part of the map(i.e. moving past the Northern most limit would transport the player to the south most game screen)
This feature was integrated within the game world lore as the ‘magical law of containment’, linking the technological constraint(i.e. limited content/storage of the game world to the game world narrative.
The Kings Quest Companion: “Geographers say that the magical law of “containment” operates in the western part of the continent. For reasons forgotten, or perhaps it was whimsy on the part of the multiverse–movement to both the north and south in this part of Kolyma eventually turned back upon itself, contained as if inside some transparent cosmic donut. East and west, one could travel at will until confronted by more physical barriers–the sea or mountains for instance–but those that journeyed far enough north of south, would always get back to where they started.”
To the west the sea leads to Neptune’s Kingdom, a tranquil watery world filled with fish, sharks, mermaids, and giant seahorses. The east are blocked by giant mountains and the Bottomless Chasm. Only a magical doorway allows travel beyond, but only if they have the correct keys. At the summit of the mountains is the Top of the Mountain, a narrow plateau overlooking the kingdom. At the back of the plateau is desolate and empty cave where one of the three magical keys was hidden.
At the center of western Kolyma is the Poisonous Lake. In the center of the lake is an island. Castle Dracula rises from the island ominously, guarded by poisonous brambles and ghosts. The only way across is via the deteriorating boat of the Boatman. The castle itself looks largely abandoned, but its dark dungeons holds a secret.
The magical doorway is surrounded by the Bottomless Chasm, and the only way across is via a rickety old bridge, that will collapse if crossed one too many times. The door leads to one’s greatest desire, For Graham this was the Enchanted Isles.
The Enchanted Isles exist in another world or a remote section of the world of Daventry. Strange pink skies float above the islands, and a turbulent iridescent crimson sea lies in between. It is the home to large magical fish. On the second island, the Enchanted Island lies a strange jungle with oversized plants, a tranquil lagoon laps to one side of the island. In the center of the island is the Crystal Tower, a large quartz tower where Valanice is held.
Full resolution versiosn can be found in my min.us gallery