King's Quest VI – Frog Squish
 

Hi ho! King's Quest the Sixth here. Last year we revealed an ALT-click glitch that skips a puzzle and saves speedrunners (speedrunners?!) a few seconds. Since then, things have happened. I look forward to writing about them. But first I have to report a murder.

King's Quest VI is a big game but it doesn't have many easter eggs. The last one was only discovered in 2015. Top-tier fans collaborated to figure out a sequence of obscure clicks that makes Beauty's stepmother pop, lock & drop it. It all started when Akril, a Sierra expert, found a funny animation that she didn't recognize while browsing the game's graphics with a resource viewer. Akril posted this to the The Sierra Help Pages and the next day Omer Mor, another legendary expert, used SCI Companion's brand-new decompiler to find a reference in the scripts of the CD version. Omer posted this to SCIprogramming.com, an improbable subculture dedicated to creating their own wonderful Sierra games, and within hours he and the rest of the community* had reverse engineered the trigger. This is the classical trajectory of latter-day easter eggs. It's fun when it happens but that first artisanal step is difficult to replicate — it requires a rare combination of expertise, time, and luck.

The Sixth Extinction, on the other hand, is about bluntly wiping out all remaining Sierra secrets through reckless semi-automated script analysis. My software would have snapped up this egg in an instant, but that's an awfly gutsy alegation. Perhops that claim could use a lil padding.


Try to get a second bottle of milk five times and look at the tree five times

The swamp on the Isle of Wonder is alive with frogs and you can kill one in cold blood. Get a bottle of milk and click Do on the milk plant exactly five times as if you were attempting to get more. Then click Look on the dogwood tree exactly five times. A frog will hop onto the path and Alexander will wantonly squish it, complete with sound and bloody remains. This has been in every version since the beginning.

What a great egg! As with Beauty's stepmother, the trigger sequence isn't one that anyone would stumble upon. Click too many times on either area and it doesn't work. Alexander's dark side has gone unnoticed because the only evidence in the resources is a single frame of the squished corpse. Viewed out of context, that tiny pile of pixels doesn't leap out as significant, and that's assuming anyone finds it in the first place. Everything else is recycled: the swamp has frogs and the squish sound is from the ooze fight. It's the code that's not so stealthy. As soon as we entered a post-decompiler world, the walls started closing in. Once the authorities learn of a script named stepOnFrog, the jig is up.

The Queen Mum and her mustachioed yachtsman have just announced that they're making a game. Swell, but first we need to reconcile this crime against batrachology. Which powerful 1992 Sierra influence was responsible? Jane Jensen? The Queen Mum herself? A Wednesday's worth of Franzia? We may never know, and I'm not sure what the statute of limbitations are, but a Nordhavn is no haven for amphibicide.

I hope you've enjoyed the final King's Quest VI easter egg*. Which game is next? When will I give up and post the GIFs without any text at all?

Stick around and we'll both find out!