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King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder

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Title Screen

King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder

Developer: Sierra On-Line
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Platforms: DOS, Windows, Amiga, Mac OS Classic
Released in US: November 9, 1990

GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.

NotesIcon.png This game has a notes page

King's Quest V is an adventure game in which King Graham of Daventry must save his family and castle from the evil wizard Mordack. It utilized a new icon-based interface instead of the old parser, drawing much criticism from hardcore adventure gamers. The puzzles tended to be rather odd and difficult to figure out, and it was easy to get stuck through the illogical game puzzles.

Also, Cedric the owl is about as annoying as the one in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and perhaps moreso, although he does save Graham's life.

To do:
Document all the differences between the original "early MPC standard" CD release, the FM Towns release, the regular CD release, and the Windows CD release that uses General MIDI. There may be multiple variants, but the "early MPC" variant Cloudschatze has contains unfiltered audio, and support for the CompuAdd Multimedia card, which is removed in other versions.


Miscellaneous tidbits that are interesting enough to point out here.

Unused Graphics

Alternate Cursors


Early versions of some of the cursors found in the CD version of the game.

Placeholder Background


A rough placeholder for a screen of the endless desert, only present in the CD version. The red blob has no real in-game equivalent.

Presumably, this is a programmer-art version of the desert oasis screen.

(Source: http://www.akril15.com/sr/MiscRes.html)

Alternate Death Icons


An alternate death graphic for when you are locked in the Swarthy Hog Inn exists. It was replaced with the generic tombstone death graphic in the final game.

(Source: jtd786)

There is also an alternate death graphic which seems to be associated with drowning in the ocean. In the resource files, this is view file 130, loop 2; the other view loops appear during the actual death sequence. As with the innkeeper graphic, this is replaced with the tombstone graphic in the final game.

Unused Text

text.048 (Harpy Island Overview)

ID 2 is text describing the boat. Not used because this screen is only seen in cutscenes.

The boat seems to be seaworthy enough as it sails over the waves.

Similarly for ID 4, which describes the island.

Within the sheltering waters of a surrounding reef, a craggy island rises abruptly from the sea. Just inside an opening in the reef, Graham can see an inviting little bay.

ID 3 is some unused text for Graham being killed trying to swim away from the island. Although it's possible to do that, this message isn't used. The text also suggests this death might take a while to trigger rather than happening immediately as in-game.

Graham is growing tired from swimming in the icy water.

text.063 (Mordack's Bedroom)

ID 0 describes a fireplace in Mordack's bedroom. Probably cut because the background art doesn't show a fireplace.

A hot fire burns fiercely in the hideous fireplace near the bed.

text.082 (Elves' Tunnel)

ID 0 has some more text left unused because this area only appears during a scripted cutscene.

A narrow tunnel has been dug down into the ground. Weak sunlight brightens one end while a dim, eerie light beckons from the other end.

text.113 (Ocean/Rocky Islet)

ID 0 contains a placeholder description of the sailboat that Graham uses to go to Mordack's Castle.


text.216 (Bandit Camp)

ID 16 (0 in CD-ROM) contains early text mentioning a removed bandit character.

*** This guy really knows how to party!

In development builds of Space Quest IV, *** denoted text that should be rewritten.

text.220 (Mountain Shore with Boat)

ID 9 (0 in CD-ROM) mentions that Graham is unable to push the sailboat without additional equipment, giving assumptions that the sailboat presumably was larger. In the final release, it's small, and you can push it without help.

Graham is not strong enough to push the massive boat.

Unused Sounds

7771.aud (Harpy Island)

Judging by its position around the voices that belong to Harpy Island in the raw audio file, it would have been played when Graham picks up Cedric after being hurt by the Harpies.

Unseen Item Interaction

When encountering the cat chasing the rat outside the bakery, the leg of lamb is coded to be one of the items that can be thrown to save the rat, but because it's impossible to have the leg of lamb at that point (it's found inside the inn, which you need the rat's help to survive) this behavior goes unused.

(Source: sluicebox (code decomp), swimfan)

Easter Egg

A wacky one hidden in the floppy disk version that was removed from the CD-ROM release and other future versions: In the snowy mountains, play until you've destroyed the sled (you might want to save before going any further with this). Next, use the cloak on the broken sled, and the game will call a slightly altered version of the logic script used for the ocean, allowing you to sail around the screen. Using the cloak on the sled again will cause a sea monster to appear, along with a greeting from a programmer. "O" may refer to Oliver Brelsford, one of the game's programmers, while "Lisa" is unknown and uncredited.

Then, because this is King's Quest, the sea monster pushes Graham off the cliff, killing him instantly.