Gwydion Picture

King’s Quest III was my first KQ. I remember watching my dad move this strangely attired, vaguely masculine character about, getting incinerated by the wizard, trying to outrun Medusa, opening the trapdoor to the secret lab, which housed that huge spell book. Unfortunately, this book didn’t help the character on his quest at all, since the computer KQ3 was on was a used one (I never could figure out what model it was – I just knew that it had DOS on it), and though we got all the games that the previous owner had installed on it (Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest, and one or two others), we didn’t get the copy protection that came with the games, which is essential if you want to complete KQ3. If only we had known…

Anyway, here’s a quick CG-colored sketch of that game’s protagonist, Gwydion – which, as it turns out, isn’t his real name. Interesting choice of clothing, eh? Well, you know what they say about men and color coordinating…

I was going for a look for the character that wasn’t the predictable, depressed, confused slave boy stereotype that some people tend to tack onto Gwydion. I ended up coming with an expression that is literally half-serious/moody, half mischievous/confident. It’s sort of a, “Okay, Manny, this is the last slave boy you’ll ever stick to your ceiling” look.

His outfit is copied from KQ3 almost entirely, with the exception of the crenulated* sleeve bottoms, which only appear in KQ4. And I always liked that waterfall in KQ3, especially the way it was depicted, with the waterfall in the foreground, with the “camera” behind it, looking through it, showing a cutaway view of the pools and rocks beneath it.

In closing, here are three possible answers to one of the main mysteries of KQ3:

1) Was Alexander named after Alexander Pope, who coined the phrase “To err is human, to forgive is divine” (the first half of which is parodied in the KQ3 subtitle)?

2) Was Alexander’s pseudonym borrowed from Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles, which feature a knight named Gwydion?

3) Were the names Alexander and Gwydion just pulled out of hats, with no reference to anyone or anything intended (aside from the possible origins of the names of Manannan and Gwydion, Welsh mythology)?


*Oooh, a ten-taler word!
Hydusa
I don't want to draw anymore
Gwydion
mythos
Perseus