Hi there! Today I’ve prepared a special Funskool GI Joe treat for you. I’m also going to wax nostalgic about a video game. I’ve never written about video games before, so we’ll see how that goes.
I have a full review coming up for you on Thursday. It’s a huge one, too, and is over three years in the making. It’s not GI Joe related, but I think most of you will be into it.
So let’s get to the reason why you’re here (Airtight) before the part you’ll skip over (King’s Quest).
Russian Funskool GI Joe Airtight
A few weeks ago, I was home for the weekend. This allowed me to take some photos. I seized the opportunity to continue my in-depth Russian Funskool profile series, and took some photos of Airtight.
He’s not glamorous, flashy, or whimsical, but he is a great version of Airtight. You can click the link below to check it out. It’s also linked from my main GI Joe page, in case you ever want to visit it again.
Doesn’t that page look nice, by the way? I’m quite proud of it.
Now, let’s get to the reason exactly none of you are here.
My King’s Quest VI Replay
If I had to pick one video game genre as a favorite, it would go to point and click adventure games. This is largely due to one of my mom’s friends. He got me into adventure games, which got me into the subject of today’s blog post– King’s Quest VI.
I like other types of video games to be sure– RPGs, tactical RPGs, puzzle games, simulation games, etc.– but I’ll never turn down a good adventure.
When I was a little kid, we had a tradition where we’d always attend a New Year’s Eve party at my mom’s friend’s house. Friends, I should say. While my mom was always eager to see Gaye, she was also friends with Gaye’s husband, Roy. And Roy loved three things more than anything else– NASCAR, microbrews, and video games.
I’d always bring my Game Boy and Tetris along to the party. Sometimes there were a few other kids to talk to, but mostly it was a pretty lonely affair. I’d sit in the basement and play Tetris while the adults got drunk and yelled about whatever adults yell about.
The second year we went to the party (probably 1990), Roy noticed me playing Tetris. This led him to show me his old Atari, where I played Superman, Dambusters, and a couple other games. Eventually, he’d let me play his PC.
I played one of the Quest for Glory games and loved it. Another kid and I also played one of the Police Quest games, where I remember us being able to flush the player character’s gun down the toilet. I played Prince of Persia and Wolfenstein 3D, too. My mom walked in on my playing Wolfenstein at a moment where I had to shoot a Nazi dog. My mom is fine with ultraviolence and never really cared about what I played or watched, but shooting a pixelated dog was a bridge too far for her. She banned me from Wolfenstein, and Roy loaded up The Secret of Monkey Island.
I feel in love instantly. It had pirates! And jokes! I could actually kind of get somewhere in it. Since he’d already played the game several times, he sent the game home with me– fancy box, Dial-A-Pirate wheel, and all.
My mom was going to school for computer programming at the time, so we had a decent IBM Compatible at home. I usually only got to play Reader Rabbit and Math Blaster on it, but she was happy enough to let me play Monkey Island.
I played it all the time.
Flash forward to New Year’s Eve of 1994. Roy gave me a CD-ROM copy of King’s Quest VI, which had been released by Sierra first in 1992, and then in 1993 on CD-ROM. He was done with it, so I took it home.
I feel like I spent all of 1995 trying to beat King’s Quest VI. Though the internet existed, it wasn’t a thing in our household just yet, so there were no walkthroughs. I just stumbled around and sometimes made progress. I visited the Land of the Dead A LOT, due to walking into boiling water, falling off of cliffs, or getting arrowed by magical archer statues.
It was a common occurrence for my stepdad (or mom) to yell at me to get off of the computer because I was “playing too much of that fruity fairy tale game.” Excuse my language, but those were my stepdad’s exact words. But I loved that fruity fairy tale game. It had the right amount of whimsy, humor, action, danger, and fun puzzles. It also had the voice of Exosquad‘s JT Marsh (Robby Benson, who also played a Disney Beast in a certain blockbuster movie from earlier in the decade), who I instantly recognized. It was perfect.
As I got stuck on the Cliffs of Logic on the Isle of the Sacred Mountain, I became obsessed with figuring out those word puzzles. I eventually struck up a conversation with a kid in my fifth grade class who was a bit of a bully because I knew his dad played the game. Despite the kid’s mean streak, he brought me his dads King’s Quest VI notes and I was able to pass the Cliffs of Logic.
And after that, what do you know? I actually beat the game! I think it was maybe the first game I ever beat by myself, and definitely the first point and click adventure game I ever beat.
So a couple weeks ago, inspired by this video by Cannot be Tamed, I decided to play it again.
As it turns out, I beat the game “the short way” as a kid. This time, I took the long path and got the better ending.
I remembered many of the puzzles, items, and solutions. But there was plenty of stuff I’d forgotten, like the great voice acting. GI Joe’s own Flint, Bill Ratner, is the narrator. I’d also forgotten how great the backgrounds and character animations are. And, despite its heavy reliance on puns and fairy tale tropes, the game made me laugh several times, as well. Some of the deaths and item descriptions are very funny.
It also had a surprising amount of darkness and scary imagery, which probably came from Jane Jensen, who would go on to create the Gabriel Knight series. It’s rad.
I’m currently taking care of my mom, so I’m living with her in my childhood home. It was great to replay King’s Quest VI in the same house I played it in as a kid. The three or four total hours I spent with it gave me a much needed boost to my mental health, and I was once again very grateful to Roberta Williams and Jane Jensen for bringing such joy into my life.
This house is full of memories, both good and bad. But over the last week, I got to reconnect with a good one.
What’s your favorite point and click adventure game? Which one should I play next? Also, do your Funskool Airtight’s hoses fit correctly? Let’s discuss all this and more in the comments!