King’s Quest VI – Knight of the Leaving Dead

From The Adventure Gamer

Written by TBD

When we left off last time, Alexander had just entered the castle using Beauty’s serving maid clothes and had gotten himself captured by attempting to enter the most obvious door.

Now, I played on for a little while and became stuck due to a dead-end that required me to reload to before entering the castle. I did reload, and did some extra exploring, and ended up finding the other way to enter the castle that the Oracle, Laukku and Michael had told me existed.

So let’s ignore my fruitless efforts in the castle for now, and deal with me finding a more circuitous route to the castle.


When I went back to town to swap my paintbrush for a nightingale (not having a nightingale was the dead-end I found in the castle) I saw a guy I hadn’t seen for quite a while.

You may look like a homeless Santa Claus with a paper boat for a hat, but I’ve missed you, man.

The lamp peddler is back, and I haven’t seen him since before I found my hunter’s lamp. Now that he’s back, and I have something he wants, he’ll trade with me.

Which lamp to take?

Whichever lamp I choose, the peddler tries to rub my old lamp, but is disappointed when no genie appears. I rub my new lamp, and no genie appears for me either. I reloaded and tried each lamp, but none of them seem of much use.

While in town, I also use Beast’s mirror on various things and people – the mirror’s supposed to show your true self or something. Creepy guy isn’t a fan of what he sees.

Well, maybe Alexander shouldn’t have held the mirror as far away from himself as possible.


When I visit chessboard land, the queens come back, which they haven’t since my first visit. As they return I realise why – the coal I found on the Isle of Mists is what they want as a wedding gift. I give them my coal so they can now each give the couple the perfect gift, and they bounce off after giving me a spoiled egg in return. I use the egg in my inventory, which opens it – a noxious smell comes out.

I’ll find a need for sulphur very soon.

I reload to before I opened the egg, and continued my exploring.


Outside Beast’s castle, I try collecting water and discover something that was probably ROT13’ed at me in the comments of a previous post.

Wait… What “Make Rain Spell”? There’s a “Make Rain Spell”?

I checked out my spellbook, which I had assumed only had one spell, and more carefully moved my mouse around. If I move my pointer to the edge of the book, I see an icon I hadn’t seen before, a ‘turn page’ icon.

Marvel at my complete lack of observation skills!

I turn the page a few times and find that the spellbook contains three spells in total.

This spell turns me into Ed Sheeran

This spell turns me into Sarah Michelle Gellar

Okay – just making sure!

I have, or can get, many of the ingredients for the other two spells.

I need boiling water for the “Make Rain” spell. I think of the pond on this island, but the description makes me realise it won’t work without help.

Damn. Did I need to finish that spell before passing this section?

I quickly realised that I was safe from a dead-end with the boiling water, as I’d have also needed the falling water from beyond the pond. I’m blaming my constant fear of being dead-ended while playing this game on King’s Quest V – that experience scarred me for life.


Outside the minotaur’s catacombs, I find I can crawl through the cave/hole next to the deadly nightshade bush, and also re-enter the catacombs through either the front or back door.

If I have the tinderbox in my inventory, I can enter the small cave and take some peppermint leaves from a tree on the other side. I remember the Vizier’s henchman’s weakness to mint earlier so keep that in mind.

Needing a skull for one of my spells, I go back through the back entrance to the minotaur’s lair, where I recall seeing some skulls before helping Celeste escape.

Look, game. Alexander desires a skull for his magic spell – take… the damn… skull!

Well, this doesn’t work so I revisit the front door and map the first level of the catacombs, which I neglected to do last time. In doing so, I notice a room I hadn’t visited in my previous expedition.

Alexander will happily take a skull, but has very particular tastes when it comes to deciding which skull he’ll actually take.


I try to use the oracle’s sacred water with my new lamp, but find that I’ve chosen poorly.

But… it’s short and stout!

After reloading back to when the lamp peddler was around and trying a few of the lamps, it hits me that the first lamp I found actually looks somewhat like a teapot. I ignore the peddler and pour the oracle’s water into my original lamp – it works!

I’m wondering if I ever needed to swap lamps at all. I may need a different lamp later, or perhaps the lamp that appears in the Isle of the Beast is randomly chosen from the potential lamps, and it just so happened that I’d gotten the only useful one.

Either way, I know where to get falling water, but I still need salt water NOT from the sea. I briefly wonder if I can get normal water and put salt in it, wondering if I’d seen salt anywhere, and the answer suddenly hits me – human tears – or in this specific case, baby tears.


I go to the Isle of Wonder’s garden and collect tears from the baby’s tear plants.


Back at Beast’s fountain, I collect some falling water. I now have all the ingredients in the lamp, and am ready to cast the spell. I use the spellbook to do so.

Now all I need is to bring the waters to the boil.


I go the the Isle of Mists and let the Druids capture me – this time they appeared on the beach to capture me instead of me having to go north to be killed.

Alexander will do anything to avoid having to wear a dress, including setting fire to the only disguise he has.

Nicholas continues to get hot, and Alexander pulls out his lamp, holding it in his hand as it starts to boil, completing the “Make Rain Spell”.

Ummm… shouldn’t a metal lamp that’s heated to boiling be impossible to hold? Has my hand melted and become part of the lamp?

A short thunderstorm puts out the fire, and the Archdruid now sees me as a powerful nature wizard, and lets me live.

I’d mention the way the Vizier’s obviously framed another island for theft, but I’m more interested in how the wicker cage survived the furious flames intact – I’m building my next house out of wicker!

The Archdruid offers to help, so I mention the oracle’s advice about freeing two souls from the Realm of the Dead.

I just deliberately got myself captured and set on fire? Of course I’m mad!

Um… you do realise you just tried to kill me yourself, right? Why the sudden concern?

Anyway, he tells me that any human has the right to challenge the Lord of the Dead in order to save the life of another already passed. To his knowledge only one has tried it. A knight once came to the Land of the Green Isles a long time ago and went to challenge the Lord for the soul of his lover.

What’s the bet I find this horse next time I visit the Isle of the Sacred Mountain’s nightshade plant?

The knight never returned, and his way of challenge is not known and likely lies with him.

Before leaving, I put the oak embers in my skull in order to begin my “Charm Creature of the Night Spell”.

Where am I carrying this skull, exactly? In my pants? Are my pants made of wicker?

I also put my rotten egg and strand of Cassima’s hair in the skull in order to complete the spell ingredients. Now all I need is a creature of the night. Let’s check out that nightshade bush…

As predicted, there’s now a pegasus eating some delicious and deadly nightshade. I open my spellbook and cast my spell.
A ghostly smoky hand leaves the skull and beckons to the Night Mare.


Night Mare takes me to my destination, and I immediately notice two ghosts walking together.

I know – I recognise you both from a painting I saw before I reloaded my game.
That’s more blatant than I expected. I thought he seemed like the type to get what he wanted through political maneuvering and deceit rather than simple murder – I’m disappointed in you, Alhazred – I thought you were subtle!

Allaria gives me her ticket to the Underworld so I can convince the Lord of the Dead to allow the three of us to leave. I’m a little disappointed that Cassima’s parents were the two spirits bent on revenge the oracle told me about – I was looking forward to the idea of reluctantly working with Mordack and Manannan. Oh well, another of my predictions is down the drain.

If I get too close to any of the other undead that wander the area, I turn to dust at their ghoulish touch, but they’re easy enough to avoid.

On the way to the Lord’s chamber, I agree to help a ghost mother reunite with her son by giving him her ghost handkerchief if I ever meet him, and realise I can talk to the random wandering zombies.

Alexander remains polite even when conversing with mindless zombies.

At the entrance to the Underworld, in a screen I’ve seen every time I died (i.e. a lot!) in this game, I see a xylophone made of bones – of course, I play it.

While dancing, one of the skeletons dropped a skeleton key, which I pocketed.

I hand Allaria’s ticket to the concierge, walk through the door I usually pass as a ghost, and arrive…

… here.

There is a dead knight on the path. He’s the knight that the Archdruid told me of. I actually didn’t remember the druids mentioning a knight while I played this part, so didn’t remember his story. I take his gauntlet, because that’s the only thing of his I can take.

The gauntlet apparently has an essay written on it.

After only once clicking on the wrong spot and drowning, I arrive at the River Styx. I take some water for my magic spell, and give Charon the crossing fee, which I assume correctly to be the two coins I found on a skeleton in the labyrinth. Though after checking out Charon on wikipedia, I think the bastard ripped me off.

Hey. Where’s my change – wikipedia told me the fare is supposed to be only ONE coin!

On the other side of the river I come to another gate – this one wants to talk, and its name is Gate.

How do you smell without a nose?

I ask Gate if there’s any task I can perform so that I may pass, and he decides that if I can solve his riddle I’ll be allowed to pass.

The Land of the Dead has recently decided to move away from the QWERTY keyboard.

The riddle is solved by simply picking the correct letter/s from each word.

  1. The first word in legally is L
  2. An O is a circle, and is the first letter in outwardly (okay, this one I don’t quite get but still guessed correctly)
  3. The first letter in victory is V
  4. The letter that comes last, twice, in nominee is E.

I plug in the answer, which I noticed was also the answer to the riddle that flew away when I took it from the black widow. L.O.V.E. Then Alexander drones on and on about love for a while.

Gee, Alexander. Can you get any more saccharine?

I walk through Gate, enter the final chamber, and talk to the guards

Why? Are you going to put on a show?

I’m escorted to the Lord of Death himself, who to my limited cultural knowledge looks somewhat Aztec.

Because it would be inappropriate of me to wear somebody else’s.

After trying a few things, Death gets impatient, and touches me.

But I didn’t even eat the Salmon Mousse?!

I start to offer Death my items. First, I tried using my skeleton key on his padlock, but the game thought I was offering it to him instead. I also try to make him drink my death-feigning potion or be moved by my love poetry. Eventually I give him the gauntlet I took from the dead knight.

Did I say ‘give it to him’. I meant ‘threw it near him in defiant challenge’

He asks which soul I wish to fight for, a dead maiden or perhaps myself. I reply that I wish to save both of Cassima’s parents AND myself.

You do realise you’re actually talking to DEATH, right, Alexander. As in, THE… DEATH!

Death offers a challenge worthy of such a reward – if I can make him cry, I will prevail. I decide he might like to look at himself so I show him Beast’s mirror.

Now that he’s distracted, I should kick him in the groin and make my escape!

After showing Death his true nature, the Mirror of Truth shatters and Death sheds a single tear.

Death grants my request/demand, and me and my potential parents-in-law ride the horsie back to the land of the living.


In other words, you want me to face all the danger so you can come in at the last moment in triumph.
Whoah there, lady. I met your daughter for two minutes one time – I don’t think you get to call me ‘son’ yet.

Having gotten the final spell ingredient from the Land of the Dead, I decide to paint a magic picture on the only canvas I’d found so far – the ferryman’s sail.

Paint on it with my magically charged paintbrush, of course.

With my original, and I thought – rather clever, plan not working, I go to plan B.

Meep. Meep!

My painted door turns into a proper door. I step through it, and end up in the castle, in a different place than I was when I went through the front door.

Four doors and two corridors – the possibilities are endless… … or six.

So, now that I’ve entered the castle two different ways, next time I’ll wander around the castle in two different ways.

Session time: 2 hours 40 minutes

Total time: 11 hours 05 minutes

Predictions made:
  1. Something will be in the tree hole later – BUSTED
  2. Some animal will need a flute song to be calmed  – just needed someone to dance – BUSTED
  3. I’ll need to distract someone with a fake nightingale – not a distraction – BUSTED 
  4. I’ll meet a painter without a brush or need to paint something myself – CONFIRMED
  5. I’ll need light, or a fire at some point. (actually, this prediction is valid for just about every single adventure game ever made) – CONFIRMED
  6. The pawn shop returns policy will be used to avoid the game having dead-ends – CONFIRMED
  7. I’ll be visiting the legendary fourth island (which is actually the fifth island) – CONFIRMED
  8. I’ll have to solve puzzles in order to meet the leaders of each of four islands – CONFIRMED 
  9. The bookseller’s free book is cursed – probably already proven wrong – BUSTED 
  10. The swimming kid had an ulterior motive – CONFIRMED 
  11. The death sequence area will be playable later – CONFIRMED
  12. I’ll need a plant growing potion or sticky substance to climb the vines – BUSTED
  13. The creepy guy has a glass eye which I’ll need to get – BUSTED 
  14. The pawn shop guy will throw out rubbish that I’ll take and use – CONFIRMED 
  15. The boring book will be used to put someone to sleep – CONFIRMED 
  16. I won’t meet Princess Cassima on my first visit to the castle – CONFIRMED 
  17. The shopping creepy guy is also the Vizier’s henchman – CONFIRMED
  18. I’ll be performing dentistry on a clam – CONFIRMED
  19. The hole-in-the-wall bug will allow me into the castle – I just got to look inside – BUSTED
  20. I’ll be crashing a wedding with or without Owen Wilson
  21. I’ll use a serving girl outfit to enter the castle (this is my third castle entering prediction) – CONFIRMED
  22. The Cinderella girl’s outfit will get me (or her) into the castle – CONFIRMED
  23. The Winged Ones’ golden fleece was stolen by the Vizier and I’ll find proof of this later
  24. I’ll be able to depose Azure and Aeriel as leaders of Sacred Mountain Land, possibly for their daughter – BUSTED
  25. The Vizier’s also stolen Beast’s coat of arms.
  26. I’ll have to work with dead wizards Mordack and Manannan to succeed in my quest – BUSTED
  27. The “Drink Me” potion will help me enter the Land of the Dead – BUSTED
  28. The animals with the glinting eyes that are just watching me are either the lure-me-to-death creature who’s decided to let me succeed instead, or someone else.
  29. In another of my bold predictions, the vizier’s also stolen the Druid’s sacred oak.
  30. The Night Mare will suddenly appear near the nightshade bush after I’ve been told I need him – CONFIRMED

PREDICTION NOTE: I was really disappointed when prediction 26 didn’t come true. I’d very much hoped I was going to meet Manannan and Mordack in the Land of the Dead. And I had started suspecting that the creature luring me to my death and/or the animals watching me succeed in my quest may also have been one of/both of the wizards rather than the Vizier’s henchman. I thought that would explain why they had been trying to kill me at first, but after realising I could help them escape death or achieve redemption, were just watching me succeed instead. I was looking forward to seeing Alexander having to decide if he was willing to work with the guy who’d kept him as a slave for the first 18 years of his life and the wizard who’d captured Alexander’s family and forced the woman he loved to be his slave, or if he would refuse their help at the risk of a less successful endgame.

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