10 user 1 critic

King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder (1990)

King Graham must travel from his kingdom of Daventry to Serenia and save both his family and castle from an evil wizard bent on revenge!


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Cast overview, first billed only:
Art Lewicki ...
Narrator (voice)
Josh Mandel ...
Leonard 'Ray' Bergeron ...
Crispin / Toymaker / Innkeeper (voice)
Richard Aronson ...
Cedric the Owl (voice)
Andy Hoyos ...
Mordack (voice)
Barry T. Smith ...
Dianah Pressley ...
Cassima (voice)
Diana Rose Wilson ...
Rosella / Alicia / Queen Beetrice / Willow (voice) (as Diana Wilson)
D.J. Williams ...
Tailor (voice)
Nancy Zdenek ...
Elf / Harpy (voice)
Lori Ann Cole ...
Queen Icebella (voice)
Mark Seibert ...
Roberta Williams ...
Kenny Long ...
Gypsy Man (voice)
Dick Roberts ...


After his family went through multiple adventures, King Graham has finally settled into enjoying the peace that envelops Daventry. However, one day when he is strolling through the woods, something envelops his own castle and family and whirls it away. A dark wizard named Mordack did this deed for revenge, but Graham doesn't know what he could've done to him to incite such hatred. Luckily, an owl named Cedric saw the whole thing and offers to take Graham to Serenia where he can seek help out from the kind wizard Crispin. Together, Graham and Cedric must travel through burning deserts, icy mountains, and across deep oceans to Mordack's fearsome castle to save his family! Use your brains instead of brawn, and perhaps Graham will succeed. Written by Kaze Taco

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

king | owl | wizard | woods | kingdom | See All (42) »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 November 1990 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


There is hidden Easter Egg in the game: after Graham rides the sled in the mountains and it breaks, using the cape on the broken sled cause the sea monster to appear and push Graham into the chasm. However, this Egg works only in the diskette version of the game, much to the disappointment of many King's Quest fans who own the CD version only. See more »


Graham can talk to Prince Herbert after talking to his fiancée, Alicia (the princess who was turned into a weeping willow). But Graham will still tell Herbert, regardless of having encountered Alicia and learning of her predicament, that he hasn't seen or heard of anyone like her. See more »


Narrator: Taking care to be very quiet, Graham reaches out and takes the staff into his possession.
See more »


Followed by King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow (1992) See more »


March Of The Ants
Music by Mark Seibert and Ken Allen
Performed by Mark Seibert
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Incredible Adventure; Too Many Glitches
5 March 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This fifth installment of the King's Quest Series marked the franchise shift from floppy disks (although you can still purchase KQ5 in that format) to CD-ROM. While this switch promulgated a new frontier for graphics, video, sound, and gameplay, it was not without its faux pas.

The plot of KQ5 is much in line with its four predecessors, that being rooted in the fantasy tale of the Royal Family of Daventry. When out on a stroll one day, King Graham comes back just in time to see his castle whooshed away by the evil wizard Mordack. Armed only (initially) with an old wand and a travelling partner (Cedric the Owl), Graham sets out to rescue his family and reclaim his home.

When not bugging up or screwing you over (I'll get to that in a minute), this is an incredibly fun adventure game that will have you puzzling through a multitude of scenarios using the traditional knapsack-method of adventuring (pick up an object, use it later). Plus, unlike the Myst series, King's Quest is much more low-key and silly, basing its puzzle scenarios on old fairy tales, animals, or funny puns, as well as allowing you (the player) to interact with many people/things in your environment. It is difficult to master (especially in the labyrinth-like desert and the final "end boss" task), but ultimately quite fulfilling in the quest.

Here is the big problem, though: There are too many scenarios in which the player can miss something at the beginning of the game (and something quite inconspicuous at that), then play for hours, only to discover that they have to start almost anew again. For example, there is a gameplay element in KQ5 involving Graham saving a rat from a cat. Unless the scenario plays out perfectly at the perfect time, there is absolutely no way to finish the game. While I had that knowledge coming into the gaming experience (pretty much just playing for nostalgia's sake), I can't imagine how frustrating it would be for the first-time player.

Also, the infamous "heap space" error may make the ending of the game rather torturous for you instead of thrilling. At the apex of the final puzzle/battle, your computer may give you an error regarding "not enough heap space" (I still don't know what that is!!). It may happen, it may not...it's just a frustrating crapshoot.

Thus, while with all my heart I wanted to give this classic game an overall five-star review, I just could not. In terms of overall "fun", it is easily a 5, but add in the no-win scenarios and glitches and the frustration begins to build up. However, if you (like I was) are nostalgic for the "good old days" of PC gaming, by all means come back to this gem. I was able to get things up and running easily on my Windows Vista operating system.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page