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The Silver Lining 1
The Silver Lining Episode 1: What is Decreed Must Be
Developer:Phoenix Online Studios
Publisher:Phoenix Online Studios
Release Date:July 2010
Article Posted:September 2011
System Requirements

What is Decreed Must Be is the first episode of The Silver Lining, the unofficial continuation of Sierra's Kings Quest series. It is a free indie 3D point-and-click adventure game, with obvious inspiration taken from the Kings Quest series. The development of The Silver Lining was started by Kings Quest fans almost ten years ago and has had a rocky history with two separate cease and desist notices from Vivendi and then Activision. But the game is now well into development and several of the planned episodes have already been released.

The game starts off in the Castle of the Crown with the wedding of princess Rosella, who is the daughter of king Graham, the series protagonist. But before the wedding concludes, a dark-robed character appears and casts a malevolent spell on both princess Rosella and her brother Alexander, causing them to fall into a magical sleep. King Graham must then don his traditional adventuring gear and head out to explore the Green Isles in search of a cure for his children.

What is Decreed Must Be is steeped in the lore and history of Daventry, which is the setting of the Kings Quest series. Even the most inconsequential items have long descriptions, obviously filled with affection by the developers. These descriptions and numerous humorous and informative statements are only made better by the wonderful narration of Amy Kurlyo. Another source of history and information are the conversations with NPCs, who also in general do a decent job voicing their roles.

What really brought me into the game is the atmosphere of classical adventure overhanging everything, but with more modern production values. The game has very good 3D graphics, if with somewhat less polygons then contemporary FPS games. Yet The Silver Lining is somehow still reminiscent of classical adventurer games. What really fortifies this feeling is the interface, which is similar to old adventures, particularly the past Kings Quest games. The in-game menu is a drop down on the top of the screen, with both the inventory and the interaction cursor types available. There are four different cursor types: walk, look, pickup/use, and talk. These are available either from the menu or iterated through using the right mouse button.

Another feature that really plays into the great atmosphere is the music. The music really strengthens the atmosphere and brings you into the game.

While it is an enjoyable game, one flaw of What is Decreed Must Be is its length. It is very short even using episodic standards. It can be completed in less then 30 minutes. Additionally, the game only features a single extremely simple puzzle. Not that you can really complain about the length with the game being free, but more content would be appreciated in subsequent episodes. Overall, I think The Silver Lining will be a great addition to the Kings Quest series, and will hopefully inspire more fan-made sequels to old, but not forgotten game series.

PC System Requirements:
OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
CPU: 1 GHz Intel or AMD Processor
RAM: 512 MB RAM (1GB recommended for Vista and 7)
DirectX: 9.0c+ compatible video card with 256 MB video RAM
Hard Drive: 447 MB