King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow is the sixth installment in the King's Quest series of adventure games produced by Sierra Entertainment. Written by Roberta Williams and Jane Jensen, KQVI is widely recognized as the high point in the series for its in-depth plot, landmark 3D graphic introduction movie (created by Kronos Digital Entertainment), and professional voice acting (Hollywood actor Robby Benson provided the voice for Prince Alexander, the game's protagonist). KQVI was programmed in Sierra's Creative Interpreter and was the last King's Quest game to be released on floppy disk. A CD-ROM version of the game was released in 1993, including more character voices, a slightly different opening movie and more detailed artwork and animation.
The name of this sequel is a pun on the common phrase "here today, gone tomorrow". This pun is related to the sudden disappearance of Prince Alexander, who is the heir of King Graham. King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human also contained the word "heir" in its title and also featured Prince Alexander (then known as the slave Gwydion) as the main character.
Prince Alexander is haunted and tormented by his memories of the beautiful Princess Cassima. They met at the end of King's Quest V when Alexander's father King Graham freed his family and the kidnapped princess from the wizard Mordack, but have not seen each other since. Alexander can't even find someone who's heard of the Green Isles let alone knows where it is. The magic mirror sends Alexander a vision of Cassima at her home in the far-off Land of the Green Isles, calling out for Alexander. Alexander sets sail for the Green Isles using the stars shown in the vision, but is shipwrecked in a storm. Alexander washes up onshore alone with nothing but the clothes on his back and some ship wreckage.
He soon learns that Cassima is being held prisoner in her castle by Abdul Alhazred, (named after the author of the fictional Necronomicon in the stories of H. P. Lovecraft) the evil Vizier of the Green Isles. Abdul has murdered the King and Queen and plans to force Cassima to marry him so that he can rule the Land of the Green Isles himself. Alexander must expose the Vizier's plot, stop the wedding, and free Cassima. Alexander also discovers that the islands of the kingdom are on the verge of war. Precious artifacts from each island have been stolen, and the different leaders all blame each other. Can he solve the mystery and restore peace to the kingdom? Among his travels Alexander can travel to the Realm of the Dead and resurrect the King and Queen as well as cast a few spells which he must gather ingredients for. In the end, Alexander and Cassima defeat the Vizier and get married.
Depending on what the player has done there are two possible endings: the genie is destroyed, the King and Queen aren't resurrected and Alexander and Cassima have a small wedding where Jollo the Clown speaks for Cassima and Captain Saladin speaks for Alexander on behalf of the people of the Land of the Green Isles and Saladin asks Alexander and Cassima to rule which they accept. In that ending they have much work to do including figuring out what Alhazarad did to start the feud, repair the ferry and bring peace back to the islands.
In the other ending (the best possible one), Alexander travels to the Land of the Dead and revives the King and Queen. The genie has been turned to good by Alexander's capture of him during the last battle and he repairs the ferry allowing travel between the islands again. Peace is restored as Alexander located the stolen island treasures which Alhazared took and blamed it on the various other islands creating a major feud. Alexander gets married with the leaders of all the islands there including his parents and sister, apparently brought there by the genie and the resurrected King and Queen. After the two get married the King and Queen ask them to rule as they feel that they cannot rule again and Cassima is loved by the people and Alexander gained the respect of everyone during his quest to save Cassima. King Graham and Queen Valanice support Alexander's decision and give him their blessings and he plans to use the genie's powers to visit often. It's also revealed that the crew of his ship somehow survived and made their way back to Daventry. Both endings end with everyone in attendance cheering the new King and Queen led by Captain Saladin who supported Alexander towards the end of his quest and married the two. There is also a third ending that occurs if you destroy the genie instead of turning him good again when you have that choice: its mostly the same as the best possible ending except there are fewer people as the genie never repaired the ferry and also couldn't bring Alexander's family.