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King's Quest VI follows the adventures of Prince Alexander of Daventry. The game starts with a cinematic depicting Alexander pining for the girl he met briefly at the end of the previous game. After seeing a vision of the girl in his father's magic mirror, he realizes that he can find her by using the stars he saw outside her window. So he sets sail to find his potential romantic interest. Of course, a storm brews up and his ship sinks.
Conveniently enough, he washes up on the shore of the island where his objective resides. At this point, the cinematic ends and the game begins.
The setting of the game is The Land of the Green Isles, a small collection of islands in the middle of a very rough patch of ocean. The turbulent and stormy waters surrounding the islands makes travel between them difficult at the best of times. The isolation between the islands plays heavily into the plot of the game, and Alexander soon finds himself embroiled in misunderstandings born from the islands' limited communication with each other. The game came with an instruction booklet called "The Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles", detailing the fictitious account of a sailor marooned on the island much as the protagonist is. It reads far more like a storybook than a game manual, and the traditional copyright information is subtly hidden within the content.
King's Quest VI was written and produced by Roberta Williams and Jane Jensen. This is the first time in the King's Quest series that anyone other than Roberta Williams had a major hand in the creative vision.
The gameplay is largely typical for a Sierra-developed point-and-click adventure game. The game was originally designed for DOS, but was made compatible with Windows 95 before release. The screen graphics between the two versions are identical, but the Windows 95 version does feature a sharper and cleaner-looking user interface, as well as better cursor sprites. About a year after the game was initially released, Sierra re-issued a talkie upgrade version on CD-ROM (at the time it was released, CD-ROM had still not been widely adopted, and were considered rare for PC games). This upgraded version featured full voice acting throughout, and Sierra re-drew all of the character profiles in high resolution to accompany the new vocal track. The re-drawn profiles were animated using lip-sync technology that Sierra had acquired from Bright Star, an edutainment software house they had recently purchased.