SANTA ANA, Calif. _ 'King's Quest: Mask of Eternity,' featuring the heroics of Connor, is the first of the eight-game series to include fighting.
It's just another day in medieval Daventry. Fair maidens and their widowed mothers prance and dote. Ye goode sun shineth on.
Suddenly a mysterious pox arrives and turns everyone to stone _ except you. Now you _ Connor, the dashing hero _ must find the missing pieces of the magical Mask of Eternity if ye hope to save yonder damsels.
According to marketers and psychologists, ``King's Quest: Mask of Eternity'' is just the type of computer game that women players love _ a world of beauty, magic and loss.
Except for one new element: blood. Connor must also fight zombies, ogres and sea serpents, severing heads and stealing booty.
Combat has never appealed to most women gamers, experts say. But increasingly it's all designers are offering, even in series that have always avoided fights, like ``King's Quest.''
Women's interest in computer games is at an all-time high, according to the Interactive Digital Software Association. But one of their favorite genres _ art-heavy, combat-free adventures _ is growing harder …