King’s Quest VI – The Cliffs of RTFM

From The Adventure Gamer

Written by TBD

When we last left Alexander, he had just visited the edge of Chessboard Land, and was hanging out in the garden of pun-named flowers, being hugged to death by the clinging vines.

Reloading after being smothered by the clinging vines, I tried something I didn’t try earlier for no reason other than I hadn’t thought of it – I gave one of the baby’s tears some milk. This just made the other babies cry harder (and louder.) I try to take the bottle back to share it around, but that doesn’t work.

The baby has no teeth and no hands, this really shouldn’t be that hard, Alexander.
I go back to milk bottle brush so I can give each baby some milk, but Alexander won’t take more than one bottle of milk at a time and after returning to the garden with a new bottle, the milk bottle I’d given the baby earlier had disappeared.
After drowning in the swamp trying to get to an anthropomorphic stick, I thought it was time to try a different island.
Back in the Isle of the Crown, the creepy guy is upset that the shopkeeper is out of mints.
Me too, creepy guy – me too.
I also note a new sign in the market advertising the upcoming royal wedding. This angers and upsets Alexander.
I consider finding out Cassima’s thoughts on the matter, but then decide who she marries isn’t up to her and determine that I’ll marry her instead.

I think I can see where we’re going with this. Let’s crash this wedding.
I go straight to the castle, and I see some serving girls entering, but still find no way to enter the castle myself.
Will this be how I enter the castle? Will the Cinderella character help me by giving me her serving girl clothing or go in herself and help me from inside?
With no ideas on how to proceed, I go back to the Cliffs of Logic, where words had appeared on the cliffface. After some time of trying stuff, I click on the words for no reason and discover that clicking depresses the letter I’m clicking on. There doesn’t seem to be any indication either in-game or in the manual that I have to press individual letters, so I thank my accidental fortune and think about how to proceed.
The first test isn’t hard. The manual blatantly tells me the solution to the first challenge.
Only those pure of heart will be able to RISE the cliffs of logic.
I press the letters of R, I, S and E and a stone staircase appears that Alexander can take to the top of the screen.
The step-to-step animation is quite nice.
The next section has a similarly etched puzzle. This one contains symbols instead of letters.

… speak bocce?
The manual has a page with translations of the Ancient Ones’ Alphabet. My first thought in answer to the riddle is that a master of languages will READ, so I press the correct letters based on the translation.

Unfortunately READ doesn’t work. I try other words such as KNOW, LEARN, and STUDY, but none of them work.
Eventually I decide to read more of the manual. A few pages before the Logic Cliffs section is a section on the Ancient Ones. At one point in this section it says…

As cunning linguists, the masters of langage were great lovers.
I press S, O, A and R and another stone staircase appears. Well that was disappointing. I was looking to use logic to pass the Logic Cliff puzzles, but so far I’ve just had the answers handed to me by the manual, with no way to work out the answer myself using logic. Perhaps they should be renamed The Cliffs of Reading Comprehension.
The next puzzle gives us four circles, and the clue is given to us by the manual with a riddle…

Four men standing in a row,
Third from the left and down you go,
The rest, in order, move you on,
The Youngest, the Oldest, and the Second Son.

Taking cues from Wile E Coyote, Alexander looks at the player after his support stone disappears, waiting a moment before dropping to his death.
The solution is fairly straightforward. If the third one sends me to the ground the solution should be 4, 1, 2. It works.
I’ll note that if you ever miss-click on one of the stones while making your way up, you fall to your death as well, but if it’s one of the early steps you just fall to the beach and get up instead.
The next ‘puzzle’ states simply, “SACRED FOUR” with the symbols again.
Once again, I skim through the manual looking for the term “Sacred Four”. I find it, and go back to the alphabet table shown above, looking for tranquility, azure, caterpillar and air. I find the appropriate symbols, and proceed to the fifth test.
In case you haven’t worked out that all the answers are found in the manual, the game will constantly remind you.
The fifth test would be cryptic if the manual didn’t tell us the answer.
This isn’t even a question. How is anyone supposed to work this answer out using logic?

Now, I’m sure at this point that it can’t be as simple as pressing, ASCEND, so I look through the manual for further clues. The challenge suggests that only those of the highest order can ascend.
Looking at the manual section where we found the Sacred Four answer, it talks about emotion being ranked high or low. The sacred four are the highest on the theological scale, so I guess that those of the highest order are the sacred four. I once again use the alphabet translation table to convert the sacred four symbols into the Latin Alphabet, and work out that I should press D, O, Q and G. Being proud of my logic skills, I set out to press those letters but quickly find that there’s no Q, and no G for that matter. Thinking it can’t be as ridiculously simple as once again just pressing the letters that appeared in all CAPS in the manual, I attempt to press, ‘ASCEND’ anyway.

Sigh. Well – these ‘logic’ cliffs were a disappointment
Having used my powers of ‘logic’ to climb the Cliffs of Logic, I reach the top. There, I find an old woman with a glint in her eye (HINT! HINT!) who attempts to entice me to eat a magical flying berry.
Despite the obvious trap, I’m not one to resist saving the game and doing something dangerous.

The Vizier’s underling has all the subtlety of a 1960’s Batman villain.
If I ignore the old ‘lady’ for a while, she disappears in a puff of smoke and I take the path, after unsuccessfully trying to open the large doors to the left.
At the top of the path I find a gate and am greeted by people who are dressed like angels in a cheap school nativity play.
That’s only because nobody else had access to a .pdf of the King’s Quest VI manual.
The Roman Angels tell me that I’m the first visitor since the red and white queen’s spies stole their sacred golden fleece. I expect this fleece was actually stolen by the Vizier’s people to sow mistrust between the islands, and perhaps I’ll find proof of that later.
The angels fly me up to meet the king and queen of this island, making me wonder why they even have gate doors if everyone simply flies over them.
My trickery consisted of basic reading comprehension. Do they not teach English in the Green Isles’ schools?
Because I’ve fulfilled a prophecy by climbing the Logic Cliffs, Azure and Aeriel are inclined to ignore the Vizier’s orders to ‘dispose’ of me.
As a veteran computer game player, I’ve fulfilled more prophecies than I care to count – one more should be easy.
You two seem a lot more relaxed than I expect from people whose daughter is in immediate danger of being eaten by a bull-man.
Azure figures that sending me to the catacombs serves as both giving me a chance to defeat the minotaur and obeying the Vizier’s instruction that I should be disposed of. Before throwing me into the catacombs, the rulers give me a chance to prepare on the condition I don’t return to the island until I have all I need.

‘Hmph’ is his response to my promise to save his daughter – hopefully I’ll get the chance to depose these tools for someone more deserving.
Um… you guys perhaps couldn’t drop me off somewhere else? Princess Cassima’s tower window would be nice? Guys…

I travel back to the Isle of the Beast and find a new creature hanging from a tree.

A hanging creature who learned English at the same school as Yoda
The creature doesn’t trust me, but as he references the way he speaks I follow a hunch and show him my incomplete “Where are you going…” sentence.
So, this creature is a “TO”?
Now that I have a complete sentence (actually, isn’t “Where are you going” also valid as a complete sentence by itself?) I shove the creature in my jacket and go back to the bookworm to see if he wants the creature.


Not remembering my high school English, I look up dangling participle.

noun Grammar.

  1. a participle or participial phrase, often found at the beginning of a sentence, that appears from its position to modify an element of the sentence other than the one it was intended to modify, as plunging in Plunging hundreds of feet into the gorge, we saw Yosemite Falls.
Um… I can’t see how my now-complete sentence has any kind of participle, dangling or not. But not caring to argue with a green worm in a purple outfit, I let him have his weird friend. 
As promised, the bookworm gives me a rare book in return, but there is a page missing.

Even more importantly, what would be the point of an answer if I don’t know the question?
I know the answer is ‘Love’ based on the paper fragment I found in the black widow’s web and immediately lost. I briefly consider working out the question based on knowing the answer but after realising I’d need a supercomputer the size of a planet and 10 million years to work it out, I forget that plan and try to give the incomplete book to the bookseller, hoping he doesn’t notice the missing page.


Three cheers for unobservant booksellers!
The bookseller trades me the riddle book for the spellbook that had been sitting on his counter. The spellbook seemingly has one spell in it.

So, anything Alexander draws will come to life? Alexander suddenly regrets skipping the ‘painting the nude female form’ lectures in Daventry Art College.
That’s a good point Alexander. You survived King’s Quest III largely due to your spell-casting – some spells would have been mighty useful in this adventure.
Needing some River Styx Water increases my confidence in my earlier prediction that I’d be visiting the game over screen without remaining dead at some point – and I know how to do it as long as I can find Kevin Bacon and a CPR machine.


Going back in the Isle of Wonder to further explore the garden, I play my flute for the wallflowers. They dance with the snapdragons, and continue to dance after I finish playing, giving me the opportunity to reach for the hole-in-the-wall. ADMISSION: Actually, I hoped the flute might calm the babies down, but as long as someone likes my music, I’m not complaining.

Looking in more detail in the garden, I notice something else I missed the first time around. There is iceberg lettuce behind the tomatoes. I take one, which is very cold and immediately begins melting. I have an idea and take the shortest route to the Isle of the Beast’s boiling pond.


I throw my iceberg lettuce in the pond, and can now cross it despite it still being very hot.

On the other side of the hot pond, I take the lamp from the tree and continue north to the next screen.
I find a gate with a gardener behind it. He beckons me to join him, and his eyes glint like the creepy guy, the Vizier’s henchman and the old ‘woman’ on top of the Cliffs of Logic. Above the gate is a stone statue of an archer. He moves to follow me with his arrow as I move around the screen. It’s obvious to me that the archer will kill me if I attempt to pass through the gate. I therefore attempt to pass through the gate.

You know, if I still had my mint I’d perhaps be able to entice YOU to cross the gate and get killed instead.
If I ignore the gardener, he disappears after a while, exactly like the little boy at the dock and the old lady on top of the Logic Cliffs who also tried to lure me to my death.
I try a few things with the archer, hoping he’ll either let me pass or shoot something else instead of me, but nothing I try works.


I go back to the Isle of the Crown instead, and try to enter the castle using my newfound hole-in-the-wall.

I can see through the wall and find that dogs patrol the hallway, but the hole doesn’t seem to be big enough to crawl through myself, making another of my predictions false.
I haven’t seen the lamp seller in my last few visits to the market, but now that I have a lamp, I’m hoping he’s returned. Before checking, I made sure to rub the lamp, but no genie appeared.

As the saying goes, there’s never an old-lamps-for-new peddler around when you need one.
I explore many of the areas again, hoping to see something new. I’m rewarded in the Isle of Wonder garden, where I find something new on a chair.

I suspect this appeared after I got the spellbook that specified having a cup.
I’m not a big fan of things appearing in game areas for unrelated reasons like this, but I do like it when things change for plot-related reasons. For example, I liked that the sign declaring the impending wedding appeared in the market, driving home the urgency if I’m to properly declare my love to Cassima in time.
I also notice something else in that screen that had been there before but I hadn’t noticed – one of the tomatoes was darker and sadder than the others. I must have faced some kind of mental block about this screen – I seem to only notice one thing each time I go there.

Meet Rotten Tomato

I attempt to use my teacup to collect swamp ooze from the next screen, having previously unsuccessfully attempted to collect it in my lamp.
Meet Stick-in-the-mud
Stick-in-the-mud and Bump-on-a-log then have an argument.
I don’t just want but NEED to know what the hell your mother was.
It seems the only swamp OOZE is next to the stick, but he won’t give it to me, and I drown if I try to wade/swim to him.

Care to wager on that, stick. I’m fairly confident I can get you annoyed enough to throw some my way.
I try to throw Rotten Tomato at Stick-in-the-mud, but Bump-on-a-log points out that he’s the only one strong enough to throw it. I give him my tomato instead and he lines up his brother.

Stick-in-the-mud retaliates by throwing some ooze at Bump-on-a-log.

Like the wrap-up last few minutes of any old sitcom, they both realise fighting isn’t a good solution and they should be friends again. They take a nap along with Rotten Tomato. I fill my teacup with ooze from Bump-on-a-log, then leave.


Not having any better ideas at the moment, I go back to the Isle of the Sacred Mountain and allow the Roman Angels to lock me in the minotaur’s labyrinth.

After some quick exploring, I die.

Well perhaps Alexander should have looked through the doorway before walking blindly into the centre of the room like an idiot!
The death screen suggests I let my conscience be my Guide, and the capitalisation of the G in guide makes it clear to me it’s time to read another section of the manual. But I’ve read enough of the manual for this post so I’ll do that next time.

Session time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Total time: 5 hours 45 minutes

Predictions made:

  1. Something will be in the tree hole later 
  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 
  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) 
  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) 
  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
  12. I’ll need a plant growing potion or sticky substance to climb the vines 
  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)
  22. The Cinderella girl’s outfit will get me (or her) into the castle
  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

I also have a few current theories on the identity of the creature who keeps attempting to lure me to my death (swimming kid, old woman and gardener.)

Is it the Vizier’s henchman, who I suspect due to the glinting eyes, or is it someone else – did Manannan and Mordack have a third brother wizard who’s bent on revenge? Has it actually been multiple people who all hate me or my family for some other reason? I’m sure I’ll find out by the end of the game.

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