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The Royal Archives => Gaming Archives => Topic started by: TheReturnofDMD on August 01, 2010, 06:57:53 PM

Title: Buying Sierra.
Post by: TheReturnofDMD on August 01, 2010, 06:57:53 PM
DELETE THREAD PLEASE
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 01, 2010, 07:23:14 PM
I don't think you can just buy the rights to a brand name without having to buy the IP that comes with it.  If that were the case, someone could buy the Sierra name and then force Activision to stop distributing the old Sierra games that were branded with that name.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: TheReturnofDMD on August 01, 2010, 07:30:07 PM
I don't think you can just buy the rights to a brand name without having to buy the IP that comes with it.  If that were the case, someone could buy the Sierra name and then force Activision to stop distributing the old Sierra games that were branded with that name.

Sure you could. You can easily divest a brand name from it's products.
For example:

Davidson & Associates owned Blizzard. They also put out the games "Mathblaster", etc.
When CUC bought D & A, they also bought another educational company called "Knowledge Adventure." They folded Davidson as a company and transferred all of it's IP's to Knowledge Adventure.
However, Davidson & Associates, Inc., still legally exists--as a name. According to legal documents I've read,
Davidson & Associates, Inc. still exists--It's d/b/a (doing business as) Blizzard.

So the name Davidson was totally separated from all of it's IPs.

A similar thing could be done with Sierra. If someone just bought the name, Activision would simply sell the name and retain their own ownership (Remember, Activision owns the Sierra name now, which technically no longer exists in actuality, only the properties and IPs do) of the IPs.

It could be done.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 04, 2010, 06:05:23 PM
There are actually other "Sierra" brands, its not something that can be trademarked or copyrighted specifically, since its named after a place.

Now if those other Sierra brands were to use the Half Dome symbol they would have a problem ;).
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Haids1987 on August 04, 2010, 06:07:48 PM
Or the sweet music and twinkle: "buh buh da DAAAAA...ding...ding."
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: TheReturnofDMD on August 04, 2010, 06:21:21 PM
There are actually other "Sierra" brands, its not something that can be trademarked or copyrighted specifically, since its named after a place.

Now if those other Sierra brands were to use the Half Dome symbol they would have a problem ;).

True but wouldn't "Sierra On-Line, Inc." or "Sierra Entertainment, Inc." be brand names?
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 04, 2010, 06:23:06 PM
That would be the company name ya.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: TheReturnofDMD on August 04, 2010, 06:32:20 PM
That would be the company name ya.

That's what I'm talking about someone potentially acquiring--the company name and logo, without the IPs attached. Basically starting Sierra 'afresh' without the baggage attached so that at least the company name and logo are out there.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 04, 2010, 06:43:59 PM
I don't think the company name would mean much without its original IPs...

During its last few years under Vivendi when it was still creating the occasional new IP or games for other brands, it wasn't really doing well.

Had they chosen to make new games in the IPs they were historically known for maybe things would have been different :p... Sadly I think they shunned their best selling series...?
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: TheReturnofDMD on August 04, 2010, 07:19:49 PM
I don't think the company name would mean much without its original IPs...

During its last few years under Vivendi when it was still creating the occasional new IP or games for other brands, it wasn't really doing well.

Had they chosen to make new games in the IPs they were historically known for maybe things would have been different :p... Sadly I think they shunned their best selling series...?

You could invent new names and new IPs using the name.
Trying to start off the bat by resurrecting the Sierra IPs--and making them pure adventure games--will get you nowhere. Adventure games don't sell that well in today's market, and haven't for over a decade. They are a niche market today, and you can't create a company solely around little selling products and hope to be one of the ''Big Boys.''

The problem was that Vivendi gutted most of Sierra's talent and put in their people--And their people had none of the heart of Sierra's people.

Blizzard (then a subsidiary of Davidson & Associates) was acquired by CUC on the same day as Sierra, but all of their management (including the company President and co-founder) and creative minds still work there--they were given more creative freedom because they had a contract with Davidson (which was grandfathered in when they were acquired by CUC) which stipulated that they have total creative autonomy.

Sierra didn't have any such contract, and Ken Williams left Sierra as CEO literally the day the sale closed (as part of his deal with CUC), and his successor--Michael Brochu (whom he had appointed as President in charge of Sierra's day to day management in 1995)-was focused more on buying up smaller companies than on following Ken's business model.

And then Brochu's successor, David Grenewetzki, was focused on trying to save Sierra after most of it's profitability had been wiped out by the Cendant Scandal (CUC had been using Sierra's name to help illegally inflate their earnings, which crippled Sierra's own finances once the scandal broke) and had to ''tighten the belt'' by eliminating non-productive teams and groups, which included most of the adventure game groups.

My vision is for Sierra to once again be an ''empire.'' Ken himself said toward the end his vision was for Sierra to move away from adventure games, and that had he stayed on and Sierra been around today, Sierra probably wouldn't be doing adventure games at all. He proclaimed adventure games to be ''dead'' in 1996.

His dream was for Sierra to be 1/3rd Productivity software (Print Artist, Home Design software, Collier's Encyclopedia, Gardening Software), 1/3rd Educational games and software, and 1/3rd Perennial products (products which could be revamped every year like Caesar, NASCAR, Front Page Sports Football, etc.).

He also wanted to get Sierra to begin to focus on consoles and to have an intense focus on internet multiplayer gaming. If his vision had been followed--Particularly his insistence on focusing on internet MMO gaming and perennial franchises like NASCAR--Sierra would be HUGE today. I mean Sierra already in 1996 knew how to program games for a DVD drive.

I'd like to see the name back.

And, they did create two new LSL games, and both didn't do so well.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: kindofdoon on August 04, 2010, 07:45:59 PM
Or the sweet music and twinkle: "buh buh da DAAAAA...ding...ding."

I cue those two "dings" with my hands every time I hear this.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Haids1987 on August 04, 2010, 10:16:48 PM
I tap my fingers on the table when I hear the dings too. :)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 04, 2010, 11:15:30 PM
I think the main reason adventure games don't do particularly well in the market these days is because (for the most part) they aren't very good.  The true spirit of proper adventure games has been torn into two pieces: the "action" adventure - Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, Lego Harry Potter, LittleBigPlanet, etc. and RPG's - Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, Demon's Souls (which is absolutely incredible BTW), things like that.

Think about it - what was the last real adventure game you played?  Heavy Rain came pretty close for me, but that game was so heavy (no pun intended) on QTE's that it didn't really fit into the point-and-click type of adventure game I'm thinking of.  Honestly I'd probably say that the last real adventure game (that wasn't just a remake) I played was Dreamfall.  And that game did fairly well, though not as well as it should have.

I think there's a market out there for adventure games still - a lot of the people with serious game-buying power these days are those of us who literally grew up on adventure games.  We know what a good adventure game looks and feels like and when they come along we're more than happy to grab a copy off the shelf and take it home.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: kindofdoon on August 04, 2010, 11:19:00 PM
I think the main reason adventure games don't do particularly well in the market these days is because (for the most part) they aren't very good.  The true spirit of proper adventure games has been torn into two pieces: the "action" adventure - Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, Lego Harry Potter, LittleBigPlanet, etc. and RPG's - Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, Demon's Souls (which is absolutely incredible BTW), things like that.

Woah, woah. Assassin's Creed is a great series. Though I wouldn't really classify it as an adventure game, despite the fact that it does have you travel quite a bit.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: TheReturnofDMD on August 04, 2010, 11:31:08 PM
I personally think that in terms of mainstream success, Action-Adventures are the present, and the future. The earliest adventure games--Like Colossal Cave--had action and killing in them, it wasn't until Sierra came around that you couldn't really fight or kill things (And even in KQ1 and 2 you could kill things, though you were discouraged). Even in LucasArts games like the Indiana Jones adventures you could still fight characters.

I think the ''no action/violence whatsoever'' approach will only work for the cerebral gamer who is willing to spend hours solving puzzles or actually thinking---and that's a very small percentage of today's gamers.

Really Action-Adventures are a perfect marriage. I'm not a fan of pure Action games (FP Shooters), but really, outside of the Sierra adventure games, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Manhole and Myst, I've never been a big fan of pure Adventure Games either. I don't like LucasArts games really, and I've tried.

I actually love FMV games, like Phantasmagoria--I think THAT was the future--at one time. The format just needed refining, but they proved to be too costly to develop and fell off. With the technology of today, ''FMV'' or Interactive Movie games--with real actors, and with today's technology, no small screen--Could be awesome.

If Adventure Games (pure Adventure games) want to stay afloat, they should go the FMV route mixed with some action. I haven't played a good 'pure' adventure game that was released after 2001. The Longest Journey was good but didn't live up to the massive hype imo.

For now, I'll take RPGs and Action Adventure games as my modern games of choice.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 04, 2010, 11:42:57 PM
I think the main reason adventure games don't do particularly well in the market these days is because (for the most part) they aren't very good.  The true spirit of proper adventure games has been torn into two pieces: the "action" adventure - Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, Lego Harry Potter, LittleBigPlanet, etc. and RPG's - Final Fantasy, Star Ocean, Demon's Souls (which is absolutely incredible BTW), things like that.

Woah, woah. Assassin's Creed is a great series. Though I wouldn't really classify it as an adventure game, despite the fact that it does have you travel quite a bit.

Oh don't get me wrong - I love all of the games mentioned here, I just don't think they qualify as "adventure" games the same way games like King's Quest or Space Quest do.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 04, 2010, 11:51:16 PM
I think the ''no action/violence whatsoever'' approach will only work for the cerebral gamer who is willing to spend hours solving puzzles or actually thinking---and that's a very small percentage of today's gamers.

Wasn't Portal basically just that, and didn't it do extremely well the year it came out?  Also take a look at how popular games like Flower and LittleBigPlanet are.  Isn't the number of levels created for LBP into the millions these days?  I think gamers are more than happy to spend hours working on puzzles and very little violence as long as the game is good enough to manage that.  I've played my share of games where violence seemed to be the creators' main goal, and honestly for me that gets old after a while.

Even in games that offer multiple paths to a goal that include either violence or puzzle-solving, many gamers will take the puzzle route if it's adequately rewarding.  The Deus Ex games are an excellent example of this.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 05, 2010, 08:09:00 AM
Portal is full of action, :p... You can be injured in that game by guns, and you have a boss battle at the end.

Granted you can't directly attack the "enemies", have to find other ways to disable them.

For the most part it plays like a straight forward FPS (and was popular to that crowd because of it). It also got its big sells since because was attached to the Orange Box (Half Life II, Episode I, Episode II and Team Fortress II), for an incredible deal.

However, people are forgetting that traditional adventure games are alive and well in Tell Tale's market. Some of the best selling adventure  games in years. What makes them work and not traditional long adventure game? They broke up the long form adventure into multiple pieces, that each last 4-6 hours each.

All episodes together for each game is about equal a single adventure game of yesteryear, 20-30 hours.

Tales of Monkey Island even felt like old monkey island games (which were originally split into 4-5 chapters).

For some reason the Nancy Drew has a huge cult following... Not my cup of tea though. But they are popular, classic style myst type games.

Adventure games have been pretty popular on the Nintendo DS as well.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: kindofdoon on August 05, 2010, 03:11:18 PM
I personally think that in terms of mainstream success, Action-Adventures are the present, and the future. The earliest adventure games--Like Colossal Cave--had action and killing in them, it wasn't until Sierra came around that you couldn't really fight or kill things (And even in KQ1 and 2 you could kill things, though you were discouraged). Even in LucasArts games like the Indiana Jones adventures you could still fight characters.

I think the ''no action/violence whatsoever'' approach will only work for the cerebral gamer who is willing to spend hours solving puzzles or actually thinking---and that's a very small percentage of today's gamers.

Really Action-Adventures are a perfect marriage. I'm not a fan of pure Action games (FP Shooters), but really, outside of the Sierra adventure games, The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Manhole and Myst, I've never been a big fan of pure Adventure Games either. I don't like LucasArts games really, and I've tried.

I actually love FMV games, like Phantasmagoria--I think THAT was the future--at one time. The format just needed refining, but they proved to be too costly to develop and fell off. With the technology of today, ''FMV'' or Interactive Movie games--with real actors, and with today's technology, no small screen--Could be awesome.

If Adventure Games (pure Adventure games) want to stay afloat, they should go the FMV route mixed with some action. I haven't played a good 'pure' adventure game that was released after 2001. The Longest Journey was good but didn't live up to the massive hype imo.

For now, I'll take RPGs and Action Adventure games as my modern games of choice.

You've made a good argument here, though I personally don't like FMV games. Games without combat/action do feel a bit flat to me, and games that are just action craziness (CounterStrike, for example) are unplayable to me.

I recall that in "The Making of The Silver Lining" video, they alluded to a "full magic system" and "boss battles". I don't really see how either of these could be implemented without some action, so I think we'll see both action and adventure in TSL.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: B'rrr on August 05, 2010, 03:20:12 PM
you could argue that the end of KQ3 was a boss battle aswell  ::)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: kindofdoon on August 05, 2010, 03:24:53 PM
I've played it, but haven't gotten to that point yet. Apparently it's very hard as compared to other games in the series.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Tage7 on August 05, 2010, 11:10:40 PM
I've played it, but haven't gotten to that point yet. Apparently it's very hard as compared to other games in the series.
Took me forever to beat that because I lost the manual. One day, I just HAPPENED upon it. Oh what a happy day that was.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: kindofdoon on August 05, 2010, 11:12:26 PM
What exactly is in the manual that makes it easier to beat? I always thought it was backstory...I never owned a manual, sadly, so I don't really know what was in them.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 06, 2010, 12:51:19 AM
Are you referring to KQ3?

Uh, you can't beat the game without the manual. It has all the magic spells, needed for the Sorcerery of Old.

If you don't have the manual, you'd need one of the other books out there, like King's Quest Companion, or Official Book of King's Quest, that reprinted the spells.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 06, 2010, 09:11:14 AM
And even with the manual a lot of people still struggled because it had a typo or something.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: kindofdoon on August 06, 2010, 11:54:09 AM
I meant besides the copyright protection glyphs (Cliffs of Logic, Crispin's wand, etc.)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: KatieHal on August 06, 2010, 12:23:19 PM
Well...that's pretty much it. You can't answer the Cliffs of Logic or navigate the catacombs tile puzzle, or cast the spells in KQ3 without the manuals. KQ3 especially--KQ6, you could TRY trial and error, but that would be hellish with the Cliffs of Logic especially.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: kindofdoon on August 06, 2010, 12:38:45 PM
Indeed. My copy of KQVI came bundled when we bought a Windows 95 laptop, so it was just the disk (as far as I know, I was young then). I didn't get very far as a kid without the manual, but recently, with the awesome power of the Internet that didn't exist back in the early 90s, I was able to find a manual and finish the game!
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 06, 2010, 12:54:24 PM
KQ3, the manual basically told you everything you had to do in the game, every single item to find. It was 90% of the game. Most of the games puzzles surrounded the game's spells. Toss in the magic map that would take you pretty much everywhere, the game was "overlysimplified" (to paraphrase some of the contempory complaints about the game).

It wasn't really a very good "copy-protection"... Its also interesting to note that Sierra allowed said "copy-protection" to be printed inside several of Sierra authorized hintbooks, such as King's Quest Companion, and the Official Book of King's Quest. There were stories of people apparently pirating the game, and because the books were cheaper than the game ($17 or so), they would buy the book to beat the game, or check it out at a library.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: kindofdoon on August 06, 2010, 12:59:28 PM
Now we have DRM...much better... :(

It's funny how much copyright protection has changed in just 15ish years.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: KatieHal on August 06, 2010, 01:44:14 PM
I don't think I ever found the magic map, but even so, I wouldn't say KQ3 was over-simplified. Finding all of those ingredients, hiding them, avoiding Mannanan, getting up and down that damn mountain path! It was plenty challenging!
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 06, 2010, 01:47:50 PM
I think the issue that people were complaining about, if you had the magic map you could move around the world rather quickly. It took away some of the sense of danger from the Wizard coming and going. They got enough complaints that they decided to not include the feature in KQ4.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 06, 2010, 01:54:25 PM
The original KQ3 manual didn't have any typos, but the manual that came with the first KQ Collection didn't list any of the spellbook page numbers, so it was impossible to complete the game, because before you could cast a spell, you first had to turn to the correct page, which was ONLY listed in the manual.  I didn't know this at the time, so I spent countless hours typing every single possible iteration of "read table of contents" into that damn parser.  Years later, when bought the first KQ Companion, I realized what the problem had been.  How they let that get past the QA guys with that first Collection, I'll never know.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Tage7 on August 06, 2010, 02:28:19 PM
And even with the manual a lot of people still struggled because it had a typo or something.
There was no typo in the manual as far as I was aware; however, the ONLY walkthrough on the Internet at that moment in time DID have a typo. Specifically, and I remember with every ounce of my being, the walkthrough stated "put the dough into a cookie"; however, the correct spell step was "pat the dough into a cookie". I, however, could never figure out the correct word. (or it could have been the other way around, ugh)

RRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWRRRRRRRRR!!!!!
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 06, 2010, 02:37:25 PM
Hmm, ya, I think there was a bit of trivia in one of the King's Quest Collections that states that early version of KQ3 manual, did have a problem. It wasn't so much that it was a typo, but that the phrase in the book and the phrase used in the game were different.

Basically if you typed the spell exactly as it was stated in the manual, the game would think you made a mistake and kill you.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 06, 2010, 02:46:41 PM
So both the original KQ3 manual AND the manual for the original KQ Collection were insufficient to get past the spell-casting part of the game.  Terrible game design (and Quality Assurance with the manuals) at its finest.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Tage7 on August 06, 2010, 02:50:22 PM
If that were true, I wouldn't have beaten the game. ::)

Edit: Whoops. Didn't read closely enough. It's possible I had a later edition. :suffer:
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 06, 2010, 02:54:30 PM
If that were true, I wouldn't have beaten the game. ::)

Well, obviously you didn't have either the original release version of the KQ3 manual or the KQ Collection that ended with KQ6 (I don't know if it was the first version or not.)  ;)  Again though, I can't say with 100% certainty about the original KQ3 manual, but I know for a FACT that the Collection manual didn't have those pesky page numbers in it, rendering the spell section un-passable.  Either way, though, having an entire game designed around an elaborate copy protection scheme is unarguably bad design, nostalgia blinders or not.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 06, 2010, 03:24:01 PM
Hmm I thought the manual for the 15th Anniversery collection contained the corrected text (as in the directions)? I think it was the one that mentioned the trivia about the early version. It also had latest version of the game, 1.4 IIRC. You can tell if escape brings up menus. In earlier versions escape would pause the game.

come to think of it the page numbers might have been included on card packed in with the collection, or in one of the bonus features installed with the game.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 06, 2010, 03:47:12 PM
Believe me, if they had been included, I would have found them.   :P  It was an older Collection--the box was thinner than the standard-sized computer game boxes of the day, and was kind of a dark pinkish red with gold embossed lettering and a little King Graham symbol on it.

This was it, I believe.  It only included up through KQ6--KQ7 was still newly released at that point.  I'm not 100% sure it was the 15th Anniversary Edition or an earlier one with the same box art though.

The spell instructions were correct--it was just that the Roman numeral page numbers were missing from the spell pages in the manual.  Like I said, I didn't know there was even anything missing until I bought the Companion a year or so later.  I honestly couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong.  :)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 06, 2010, 04:02:14 PM
I've actually owned/own all versions of the collection (well except for the second one with the KQ7 demo). I'm pretty sure that 15th anniversery, the one you show there (I got it when it first came out), actually had a pack in card with the page numbers, and an apology that they didn't print it in the manual.

Looks like you somehow didn't get the card, :p...
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 06, 2010, 04:12:15 PM
Hmm...I certainly believe you--I wonder if I somehow lost mine without realizing it when I first opened the box (I was only a kid, so it's quite possible.)   :)  Oh well, thanks for clearing that up though!  Gotta love random old trivia like that.  :)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 06, 2010, 04:15:39 PM
Ya, I seriously love all the random trivia stuff. Alternate storyline stuff, stuff from the cutting room floor, etc.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Enchantermon on August 07, 2010, 06:51:47 PM
I don't think I ever found the magic map . . .
You never
looked behind the cloaks in Manannan's wardrobe?
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 07, 2010, 07:13:23 PM
I don't think I ever found the magic map . . .
You never
looked behind the cloaks in Manannan's wardrobe?

Ya that would definitely make that game a lot harder.  Walking up and down the mountain every single time?  Yikes.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Enchantermon on August 07, 2010, 08:23:58 PM
But...even with the map, you do walk up and down the mountain every time. It's only in the remake where you don't have to.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 07, 2010, 08:43:10 PM
For some reason I didn't think you had to traverse that path down and back up every single time in the original either, guess it's been too long since I've played that one.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: tessspoon on August 07, 2010, 09:00:01 PM
From what I remember, you could go down using the map, just not up.

At least that's the way it is in the companion; in the story he accidentally uses it to transport himself to the foot of the mountain with only a few minutes to go until Manannan returns, so he tries to make it transport him back up but it doesn't work, and he has to make a mad dash back up.

I'm so glad they changed that in the remake though, only time you have to deal with the path in that one is the very first trip down.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Enchantermon on August 07, 2010, 09:18:03 PM
From what I remember, you could go down using the map, just not up.
Yup, that's how it is.
I'm so glad they changed that in the remake though, only time you have to deal with the path in that one is the very first trip down.
Eh. I wasn't too happy about it. The only thing that really makes it hard is that you have to use the keyboard, and the remake eliminates that problem. Changing the function of the map forces the game to lose a little of its authenticity, imo.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: tessspoon on August 07, 2010, 09:30:16 PM
I can see that about the authenticity, although it doesn't really bother me as I rarely play any of the originals.

I find those path sequences - in any of the games - a bit annoying and not having to some of them is fine by me.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 08, 2010, 06:24:05 PM

Eh. I wasn't too happy about it. The only thing that really makes it hard is that you have to use the keyboard, and the remake eliminates that problem. Changing the function of the map forces the game to lose a little of its authenticity, imo.

Why remake the game at all?  Changing the graphics to VGA and the interface to point-&-click ruins the "authenticity."  Please.  There is a reason the remakes made changes--it's because they're just that: REMAKES.  Revising bits of the game that are dated and don't hold up anymore (like a keyboard controlled pathfinding "puzzle") is the whole point. 
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Enchantermon on August 08, 2010, 10:37:22 PM
I think we're confusing something here. I'm not upset that they eliminated only using the keyboard on the mountain path. What I don't understand is why they changed the map so it takes you to the top of the mountain. My point is that the mountain pathway isn't really all that hard with the mouse (though you still have to be careful where you click), so they could have left it in and let the map retain its original function, thus staying as true to the original as possible.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 08, 2010, 11:28:42 PM
But that's just it--the puzzle ceases to exist once the interface becomes point-and-click, because the original puzzle is just a basic keyboard dexterity puzzle (early graphic adventure games were rife with them, especially the Sierra games, as we all know.)  Now, that type of puzzle really can't exist in the same way in point-and-click.  It just doesn't work.  Sure you can click off the edge of the cliff and Alex will step off to his doom, but that's not really something you're going to do by accident--you have to purposefully move the mouse off the path and click.  I don't remember if IA put automatic pathfinding into that area or not--I wasn't part of the team when KQ3 was being developed, and it's frankly been ages since I've played the remake.  But I do know that we have a basic philosophy when it comes to translating obsolete keyboard-based dexterity puzzles into point-and-click in our games (there are a handful in SQ2 that we had to tangle with also)--and that's basically to scrap them completely and come up with something else in their place.  ;)  In the case of KQ3, once that screen loses its purpose (i.e. you walk down the mountain the first time) having to go back through that screen when you want to get back to the house is just a needless delay.

Now personally, had I been on the team back when we were doing KQ3, there are actually a number of other things in the game that I would have pushed to do differently--namely, I would have made it so the player has to physically combine items to create the spells, just like the KQ6 system, rather than having the spells be able to be automatically created once you had gathered the items--it would have allowed for more death opportunities if you combined the wrong items, and in my opinion would have been a little truer to the spirit of the original, while still removing the silly element of copy protection (typing the exact commands word for word from the manual.)  I also would have put in a command to bypass the waiting (because of the point-and-click interface, the clock pauses every time you access the command bar or inventory screen, so you can actually complete the needed tasks when Manannan is away much MUCH faster than you could in the original game--so if you want to see the extra easter egg scenes and stuff you have to do a LOT of waiting.)  ;)  

But anyway, as far as the mountain path thing and the map taking you straight to the top goes, it was done for expediency's sake, since the path screen loses its purpose after the first time you go through it.  I think it was a reasonable decision.  :)

I think a lot of people confuse the term "remake" for "graphics and sound upgrade," and expect only ONLY those two areas to change when a group undertakes one of these projects.  Personally, I think that sells the whole process short.  The point is to really improve the playability of these games in numerous different ways--yes, that means a graphics and sound upgrade, but also it means removing obsolete puzzles and functions, particularly those that don't work in point and click, and even in some cases expanding story elements to make for a fuller and richer experience with the same tone and atmosphere as the original.  1:1 remakes shouldn't even be called remakes, in my opinion.  It's just a facelift.  
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Enchantermon on August 09, 2010, 12:32:07 AM
Now, that type of puzzle really can't exist in the same way in point-and-click.  It just doesn't work.  Sure you can click off the edge of the cliff and Alex will step off to his doom, but that's not really something you're going to do by accident--you have to purposefully move the mouse off the path and click.
It's easy to do if you're not being careful. I know. I did it several times. It's still a pathfinding puzzle, just not as hard (though, really, the keyboard version is pretty easy itself once you've played the game a few times).
I don't remember if IA put automatic pathfinding into that area or not--I wasn't part of the team when KQ3 was being developed, and it's frankly been ages since I've played the remake.
Not in the sense that you can't click off the edge and fall, because you can. Sierra did the same thing with the beanstalk puzzle and mountain pathway puzzle in the SCI remake. You can click off the edge and fall.
But I do know that we have a basic philosophy when it comes to translating obsolete keyboard-based dexterity puzzles into point-and-click in our games (there are a handful in SQ2 that we had to tangle with also)--and that's basically to scrap them completely and come up with something else in their place.  ;)  In the case of KQ3, once that screen loses its purpose (i.e. you walk down the mountain the first time) having to go back through that screen when you want to get back to the house is just a needless delay.
Then it's simply a matter of opinion (as it was to begin with) as to whether they are truly obsolete or not. I don't think they are, you (and apparently the rest of the IA designers) do. I guess I'll not be seeing the weed monster maze in SQ2 either, unfortunately (it's been a while, but I seem to recall that being a little less forgiving than the mountain, though).
Now personally, had I been on the team back when we were doing KQ3, there are actually a number of other things in the game that I would have pushed to do differently--namely, I would have made it so the player has to physically combine items to create the spells, just like the KQ6 system, rather than having the spells be able to be automatically created once you had gathered the items . . .
Well, at least we can agree on something. ;)
I also would have put in a command to bypass the waiting (because of the point-and-click interface, the clock pauses every time you access the command bar or inventory screen, so you can actually complete the needed tasks when Manannan is away much MUCH faster than you could in the original game--so if you want to see the extra easter egg scenes and stuff you have to do a LOT of waiting.)  ;)
Yeah, that would have been nice. I got everything I needed for the cookie (and everything else I could get) in about 5 minutes after Manannan left. :P Granted, I knew where everything was, but still.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 09, 2010, 07:56:07 AM
Quote
For some reason I didn't think you had to traverse that path down and back up every single time in the original either, guess it's been too long since I've played that one.
The square on the map takes you to the foot of the mountain, from anywhere in Llewdor. It does not take you to the top of the mountain.

Quote
hen it's simply a matter of opinion (as it was to begin with) as to whether they are truly obsolete or not. I don't think they are, you (and apparently the rest of the IA designers) do. I guess I'll not be seeing the weed monster maze in SQ2 either, unfortunately (it's been a while, but I seem to recall that being a little less forgiving than the mountain, though).

Its interesting bit of trivia that these areas were considered to be "Arcade" sequence by the Sierra designers, and were intentionally supposed to be difficult.

It's 5x more difficult, it's up there with the thorn maze in KQ2.

Quote
I can see that about the authenticity, although it doesn't really bother me as I rarely play any of the originals.

This is somewhat amusing, since there is very little continuity between these remakes and the rest of the series. They each seem to exist within there own alternate universes. For example in KQ3 remake, places a few months between KQ3 and start of KQ4, but we are told in both KQ3 original and beginning of KQ4, that they start moments from each other. I.E. KQ4 states that Alexander has just returned to the castle moments before, and Graham has his heart attack due strain of almost losing his daughter and the joy of his family's return.

It's version of a gnome pretty much destroyed all nods back KQ1 gnome's appearance (I.E. crotchety bent old, bearded and wizened gnome who walked with a cane). 

IA's "new and improved" gnome seems to be completely distanced from the original gnome, and turned into a completely different character. Zero indication that it was the gnome from KQ1.

The continuity in the originals wasn't perfect, but at least they tried to have logical progression of events (and had nods back to what occured in previous games).

Essentially anyone trying to play the series in order only going by the fan games are going to be a bit confused by certain details :p.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: tessspoon on August 09, 2010, 10:04:42 AM
Which is why I did play the originals first, to get the original story. But replaying I much prefer the better graphics and point and click. The differences don't bother me so long as I know they are there.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 09, 2010, 10:50:54 AM
I may get my butt kicked for saying this, but the root monster puzzle IS in our SQ2 remake, we've just devised an alternate solution of sorts.   ;)  The main issue that makes the puzzle nearly unsolvable the old fashioned way is the size difference between a VGA Roger sprite (a la SQ4) and the old AGI one.

Our SQ2 is a remake much more in the vein of Sierra's SQ1, in that several areas of the game are reimagined quite a bit from the original.  We make no bones about it, though--we're not going totally 1:1 with it, but we don't really alter the story either.  We think that people will mostly enjoy the changes and additions we've made, which are definitely far more than cosmetic in several areas.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: KatieHal on August 09, 2010, 10:53:18 AM
If it involves being able to hack apart that damned annoying root monster, I'll be thrilled!  (alternatively, being able to get Roger to step OVER the vines like any normal person would, also a great improvement!)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 09, 2010, 10:56:47 AM
If it involves being able to hack apart that darned annoying root monster, I'll be thrilled!  (alternatively, being able to get Roger to step OVER the vines like any normal person would, also a great improvement!)

Lol...I won't reveal any specifics, but I will say that it's a solution that is 100% in the spirit of the series.  ;)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: snabbott on August 09, 2010, 12:06:43 PM
If it involves being able to hack apart that darned annoying root monster, I'll be thrilled!  (alternatively, being able to get Roger to step OVER the vines like any normal person would, also a great improvement!)

Lol...I won't reveal any specifics, but I will say that it's a solution that is 100% in the spirit of the series.  ;)
I know! They'll have arrow keys that you have to click on to move! :P
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 09, 2010, 12:12:44 PM
If it involves being able to hack apart that darned annoying root monster, I'll be thrilled!  (alternatively, being able to get Roger to step OVER the vines like any normal person would, also a great improvement!)

Lol...I won't reveal any specifics, but I will say that it's a solution that is 100% in the spirit of the series.  ;)
I know! They'll have arrow keys that you have to click on to move! :P

Oh kill me now.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 09, 2010, 12:14:50 PM
If it involves being able to hack apart that darned annoying root monster, I'll be thrilled!  (alternatively, being able to get Roger to step OVER the vines like any normal person would, also a great improvement!)

Lol...I won't reveal any specifics, but I will say that it's a solution that is 100% in the spirit of the series.  ;)
I know! They'll have arrow keys that you have to click on to move! :P

Lol...no, no.  In due time, people... ;)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Enchantermon on August 09, 2010, 06:07:35 PM
It's 5x more difficult, it's up there with the thorn maze in KQ2.
What, the mountain climb? That's way easier than trying to navigate the thorn maze (which is why you're not really supposed to navigate it at all)
I may get my butt kicked for saying this, but the root monster puzzle IS in our SQ2 remake, we've just devised an alternate solution of sorts.   ;)
Oh, nice. :)
The main issue that makes the puzzle nearly unsolvable the old fashioned way is the size difference between a VGA Roger sprite (a la SQ4) and the old AGI one.
Well, yeah, there is that...but the only instance I can think of where that might have been a problem is at the part in the maze where Roger has to duck under one of the roots. I would think you could circumvent that by just making him crawl under on his hands and knees when he got to that part. Of course, maybe there's something else that I'm missing. But I understand that you're not allowed to talk about it; I'm just speculating.
Our SQ2 is a remake much more in the vein of Sierra's SQ1, in that several areas of the game are reimagined quite a bit from the original.
I never played the original SQ1, so I can't comment on that. I do know from the plug in KQ2 that one of the ships (I'm guessing it's the Arcadia) looks radically different, but the bar and the desert, as well as the outside of the bar (which I saw in Time Rippers) seemed to be about the same.
We think that people will mostly enjoy the changes and additions we've made, which are definitely far more than cosmetic in several areas.
Hmm. Well, we'll see.
(alternatively, being able to get Roger to step OVER the vines like any normal person would, also a great improvement!)
I know, right? I always wondered why they didn't realize when making that puzzle that anyone else would just jump over them and be done with it. At least the mountains and stairs made more sense.
Then again, Space Quest is a giant parody.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 09, 2010, 06:46:14 PM
I'm pretty sure Baggins meant that the root puzzle was harder than the mountain, which I'd agree with.

I think I'm misspeaking a bit about the nature of our version of SQ2--while it does include a number of alternate puzzle solutions that weren't present in the original (so did the Sierra remake of SQ1--being able to get the widget and cheat the slot machine--which you couldn't do in the original; it was just up to chance--comes immediately to mind), it's not anything close to a reimagining in the sense of AGDI's KQ2+, where the story is basically rewritten from the ground up.  With the exception of a few new rooms added to various sections of the game, and some alternate puzzle solutions (and a LOT more dialogue because of the addition of the Taste and Smell icons, among other things) the game and puzzles unfold in exactly the same way.  Graphically, several scenes have been reimagined a bit, but they still play out the same way.  Anyway--it'll be good; we're excited about it.  If we can ever get the darn voice acting finished.  ;)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 10, 2010, 02:12:24 AM
Yes, the root puzzle is much harder than the mountain. The thorn maze is harder than the mountain puzzle. The bean stalk is much harder than the mountain. I'd even say the whale tongue is more difficult puzzle.

I wouldn't even really consider the mountain all that difficult, nor really a puzzle, its pretty simple to navigate, not really a maze. It takes less than a minute to reach the top. There is pretty much plenty of space to navigate within. Its actually not much different than those mountain paths into Daventry in the later half of the game.

BTW if you didn't know if you play KQ3 on Tandy or Apple II, there is mouse support in the game. Which makes it incredibly easy. Actually you can access that mouse support if you run KQ3 with Scumm VM, which activates the Tandy version of the game.

Quote
which is why you're not really supposed to navigate it at all)
It's actually considered an alternate puzzle solution, which the player is forced to do if they killed the snake.

Quote
never played the original SQ1, so I can't comment on that. I do know from the plug in KQ2 that one of the ships (I'm guessing it's the Arcadia) looks radically different, but the bar and the desert, as well as the outside of the bar (which I saw in Time Rippers) seemed to be about the same.
There are quite a handful of changes, in text and some story details.

Tiny's race is modified. Tiny was originaly part of  the joke, as he was actually a pretty large alien. In the remake he's actually tiny. The race of alien is described differently in both.

The Keronians were extensively modified. The Grell were extensively modified.

The descriptions for the world of Kerona are completely different. Different sky colors and what not. The giant skeleton are cliffs in the original. The way you solve the tentacle beast puzzle is quite a bit different.

While there is a plant in the original, its actually not sticky. Its a useless item IIRC.

I seem to recall the orat puzzle was a bit different. Various droids encountered in Ulence Flats were different.

The names of a couple of locations in Ulence Flats were different (the bar and Tiny's store had different names).

In the original the sector where the Sarien Battle Cruiser is located is always the same in every game, Sector HH. Its randomized in the remake.

The game is not a 1:1 remake. However it does contain the same amount of rooms, and overall map (although puzzles and characters and locations have changes).

However its not as extensivly changed as the changes in KQ3 to KQ3 VGA, and no where as changed as KQ2 to KQ2VGA.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 10, 2010, 04:59:51 AM
There's actually a ton more changes than you even mentioned, especially on the Sariens' ship at the end, but I don't feel like listing a point by point.  ;)

I'm actually a little surprised that you think that the KQ3 remake is MORE changed than Sierra's SQ1 remake--visually, that game is entirely redesigned from the ground up, not just VGA-ified but from an art direction standpoint, where most of KQ3's visuals were very close redraws (if not straight paint-overs) of the original AGI artwork.  I would say that a complete visual redesign and art direction change trumps a few added story scenes any day of the week.  

Plus, it's not just art--there's tons of added dialogue, items, and some alternate puzzle solutions/redesigns, etc. that go with the new visual design--and really, there are quite a few additional little scenes, like the Kerona caves Instant replays, the arrival of the timepod from SQ4, a more fleshed out ending, and numerous easter eggs, just to name a few.  

It seems to me like you're taking the fact that one of KQ3's additional scenes implies a slight canonical timeline change (the oft-mentioned ending scene with Graham and Alexander, implying a short passage of time before the beginning of KQ4) and giving it way too much weight.  Seeing as you're the resident KQ timeline expert, I suppose that makes sense.  ;)  

If you were to compare the games side by side though, I think you'd find that KQ3VGA is a lot closer to the original in almost every respect than SQ1VGA, even with the additional scenes and handful of puzzle changes, since SQ1VGA had nearly just as many of both, plus the aforementioned ground-up visual redesign.   :)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 10, 2010, 05:18:35 AM
I know there is a huge number of changes in SQ1, but I thought I'd toss in some examples, ;). It would be a bit difficult to liste all the changes from memory.

It really can't be called a 1:1 remake, and I never called it a 1:1 remake. Infact I think I said specifically that SQ1 remake is not a 1:1 remake.

I wouldn't call the KQ1 remake a 1:1 remake either. There were quite a few puzzle changes, redesign of Daventry's appearance, changes to the story, etc.

About the only Sierra remakes that remained 1:1 essentially, were the Mixed-Up Mother Goose, and possibly Leisure Suit Larry 1 (although it wasn't quite 1:1 either, it added a few extra things, and changed some of the dialogue) I don't know if there were any changes to the puzzles in LSL1 remake though.

I'm seriously a bit confused where this 1:1 remake terminology comes from even, because Sierra never claimed that their remakes were 1:1.
Quote
where most of KQ3's visuals were very close redraws (if not straight paint-overs) of the original AGI artwork.


Some of it ya. But the top of the mountain is different, two screens instead of 1. Southern and Northern edges of Llewdor are different (the original didn't have "edges"). They also changed a few locations of the items (and the names of the items). It also contains quite a bit of added diaologue over the original version, and descriptions in the screens.

Did you know that on the map in the original for example both the city and Three Bear's house are located south of the mountain. Yet you can see both the city and the bear's house to the north of the mountain. The game really plays with that continuas warping, and it literally does exist in the world. From the bear's house you are told that the mountain can be seen to the north.

(http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080110155206/kingsquest/images/e/ea/Llewdor.PNG)(http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080110155256/kingsquest/images/c/c6/Manannanhouse.PNG)

Once you get to Daventry, its filled with quite a few changes. Its more based on KQ5 type areas mixed with KQ1 remake areas, than the original KQ3. Plus its own changes to the map. For example you don't head directly north to get to the castle, you make a few turns from gnome's house before you reach the castle.

(http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080110155540/kingsquest/images/2/2b/KQ3Daventry.PNG)

Plus completly changing the function of the map, changing the intro, changing the ending (it no longer fits with KQ4). Changing the cutscene in the crystal ball. Changing the spell system, etc. Actually I have a more complete list of the changes between KQ3 remake and the original on the omnipedia (including differences between the two versions of the KQ3 remakes).

In comparison, as far as "counting the screens" both versions of SQ1 have about the same total, although the screens were completely different appearance in both versions. Although certain things got shifted around (for example that deadly hole in the cliffs/skeleton are on completely different screens in both versions). Overall, while extended, the intro and endings are more or less similar to the original. Roger gets his mop in both. Most of the puzzles remained about the same, although an extra puzzle solution or two were added (one puzzle slightly modified).
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 10, 2010, 06:05:34 AM
I guess it's all in how you look at it then.  ;)  I personally feel like the changes and story additions in the KQ3 remake help it fit MORE into the KQ canon, not less, since IA adds details and other bits that helped tie some of the other games together and fill in some series plot holes--length of time before the KQ4 intro aside (though we do still end on that note, naturally.)  Some argue that seeing the infant Alexander delivered to Manannan in the intro changes the tone of the game, since you know who Gwydion is from the beginning--but honestly, that was the worst kept secret in KQ history--it was never really this huge plot twist a lot of people made it out to be.  

Also, I think it's worth pointing out that changes like breaking the mountain top into two screens and removing continuous warping are really unavoidable and downright necessary when going into VGA because firstly, you have larger sprites, and so the backgrounds need to be tweaked to match in scale, and secondly, as you increase visual fidelity, you generally need to increase realism as well.  Even in the original, the exterior of Manannan's house, for example, is much MUCH smaller than the interior, and in VGA with a larger ego sprite, it's even more noticeably so.  It's not like we really added anything to the mountain top--everything's still in the same location between the too screens and has the same visual design.  So I hardly think it qualifies as the major design change you make it out to be.  ;)  Continuous warping--eh, that was certainly a design choice--it would not have been difficult to leave in--but I think the reasoning behind the change was pretty much the same--increase the realism of the world as you increase the realism of the graphics.  

Overall, regardless of how you feel about them, I think most of the changes in the KQ3 remake are definitely in the spirit of the Sierra remakes, which as you said, were never 1:1, and usually went to lengths to redesign and enhance much more than just recoloring the graphics and rerecording the sound.  I personally much prefer non 1:1 remakes--if I wanted to play something that was exactly like the original game, I'd just play the original game.  ;)

For me, redesigning the entire game's art direction from the ground up is about as big a change you can make, and as I said, in my opinion, really does change the whole tone of the game more than added scenes and other slightly altered functions.  I would actually argue that in SQ1VGA it is particularly jarring, because the art style of that game really stands out as being noticeably different from every other game in the series, including SQ4 and 5.  
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 10, 2010, 06:12:43 AM
I don't really have a problem with the changes so much, I just have a hard time agreeing that they changes are 1:1.

If I was looking at say Final Fantasy 1 and its remake, that was more or less 1:1, all they did was upgrade the graphics quality but maintained the original game, every tile (the maps were made up of various graphic tiles) was in its orignal location.

1:1 is really a poor description for any of Sierra's remakes.

On a side note there are actually other issues with KQ3 remake vs. 'canon' (continuity is a better description, they didn't really have a strict "canon"). In the original, and several of the later games (see About screens in KQ5 or 6), and by Roberta herself, its said that Manannan kidnapped the baby himself. There was no middle-maid so to speak. There are actually several quotes in KQ3 itself in the original version where its stated that Manannan kidnapped Alexander from his cradle himself.

So it actually broke 'canon' in several points.
Quote
but honestly, that was the worst kept secret in KQ history--it was never really this huge plot twist a lot of people made it out to be.  
Um, don't be a revisionist about this, actually it originally was.

Back in the day the box intentionally advertised him as a new character, and made no connection to previous game's stories. The manual itself intentionally avoided any reference to previous game.

According to Roberta she received alot of letters from disgruntled fans who thought that Gwydion had no connection to previous games. They hadn't made it to the oracle, or overheard any of the animals that explained Gwydion's identity. It wasn't until they got to the end they discovered the secret.

By now though we all know the secret, so that plot twist has lost its strength.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 10, 2010, 06:27:41 AM
I don't think I ever said that KQ3 was 1:1--I agree that it is definitely not, but I just feel like tonally it's closer to the original in most ways than Sierra's SQ1 remake.  For me, the look of the game is a major factor in defining its tone.  I love the stark visual design of the AGI SQ1, for example, and I feel like it puts me in the mood and shoes of the character better than its remade counterpart.  Even though the AGI version is still a comedy, it doesn't have nearly the silliness factor of the remake, and this is, in my opinion, largely due to the remake's over-the-top 1950s Flash Gordon-esque visual style.



(Posted on: August 10, 2010, 08:21:34 AM)


Um, don't be a revisionist about this, actually it originally was.

Back in the day the box intentionally advertised him as a new character, and made no connection to previous game's stories. The manual itself intentionally avoided any reference to previous game.

According to Roberta she received alot of letters from disgruntled fans who thought that Gwydion had no connection to previous games. They hadn't made it to the oracle, or overheard any of the animals that explained Gwydion's identity. It wasn't until they got to the end they discovered the secret.

By now though we all know the secret, so that plot twist has lost its strength.

Okay, perhaps I overstated that a bit.  :)  I do remember that statement by Roberta--wasn't it in an interview video that came with the Collection?  I guess what I meant was that the secret is hinted at, if not revealed, pretty early on in the game (the animal conversations, namely, like you said, and then the oracle.)  I can't help but think that most players would have it figured out well before the end of the game (or even the oracle conversation.)  As for advertising him as a new character--well, he was, wasn't he?  ;)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: KatieHal on August 10, 2010, 07:22:17 AM
I was so very proud of myself for figuring it out in an entirely different way when I was a kid. I had KQ3 and KQ4 at the same time, and hadn't gotten far enough in 3 to know the truth, but I eventually did notice that Alexander in the opening of KQ4 looked exactly like Gwydion in KQ3. Didn't put it all together, but I did at least realize it was the same person!
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Enchantermon on August 10, 2010, 07:11:52 PM
Yeah, but that's cheating. ;)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: KatieHal on August 10, 2010, 07:19:11 PM
Really ineffective cheating. It was still years before I beat either of those games!
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Enchantermon on August 10, 2010, 07:21:33 PM
I'm just teasing you. :)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 10, 2010, 07:22:53 PM
KQ4 was actually the last King's Quest game I beat, I just couldn't figure it out for the longest time.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: KatieHal on August 10, 2010, 07:34:47 PM
Even when I did win, I totally missed things like freeing the unicorn, getting the hen back, and re-locking Pandora's Box into the crypt. I had no idea you could do those until I watched a Let's Play of the game a little while ago, actually!
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 10, 2010, 07:37:24 PM
I wasn't aware that there was a better route and ending for KQ6 until like 2 years after I beat it the "bad" way.  I just thought it was weird that I had a bunch of extra items, a spell I never used, and didn't get even close to the max points.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: snabbott on August 10, 2010, 08:10:57 PM
I think I didn't know there was a "bad" way for a while. That could be because I "cheated" and bought the hint book, though.  :-[
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 11, 2010, 12:13:15 AM
You know it tells you just after you beat the game how much your score is, and "try the short path", or try the "long path" into the castle for more fun (depending on which ending you received). I can't remember if that's just after the ending cutscene before the credits, or after the credits though.

Plus the Oracle even talkes about the two paths into the castle during her prophecy.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: wilco64256 on August 11, 2010, 09:02:45 AM
Ya I just couldn't ever figure out the other path.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: KatieHal on August 11, 2010, 09:09:47 AM
It's after the credits, so it could be easy to miss if you didn't watch them. Or if your original copy like mine didn't play the credits because of some error trying to play Girl in the Tower (I was so ticked, I'd been looking forward to hearing that for the whole game!).
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 11, 2010, 11:17:28 AM
It's after the credits, so it could be easy to miss if you didn't watch them. Or if your original copy like mine didn't play the credits because of some error trying to play Girl in the Tower (I was so ticked, I'd been looking forward to hearing that for the whole game!).

As I recall, the credits would still roll, you just wouldn't hear any music.  Apparently they forgot to include the file for the song and other end credits music in the CD version.  Very disappointing, actually, given the extremely high quality of the rest of the game's music.  I personally have never been a huge fan of the actual recorded song version of Girl in the Tower--it hasn't aged well at all, steeped as it is in heavily reverbed drums and cheesy soft rock singing.  Still sounds right out of the late 80s/early 90s.  But it's certainly a matter of personal taste.  :)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: KatieHal on August 11, 2010, 11:31:39 AM
It's possible at that point I clicked and quit out of frustration alone, heh.

Agreed--I never got to hear it until YEARS later, and it had definitely aged a lot by then. Still it's got nostalgia. I probably also would've freakin' loved it if I'd heard it at the time, too. :)
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Baggins on August 11, 2010, 03:30:08 PM
It's just after the ending, but before the credits, I just checked.

Then it gives you a clue what to do to get into the other path.

"Congratulations on your excellent performance! If you want to go "beyond" the ultimate score, we recommend that you try the other, "easier" entrance to the castle. You can do so easily by restoring back to a point just before the Druid's rain storm. DON'T GO BACK TO SEE THE DRUIDS--instead, head to the castle. New puzzle challenges await you!"
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Enchantermon on August 12, 2010, 07:05:34 PM
It's just after the ending, but before the credits, I just checked.

Then it gives you a clue what to do to get into the other path.

"Congratulations on your excellent performance! If you want to go "beyond" the ultimate score, we recommend that you try the other, "easier" entrance to the castle. You can do so easily by restoring back to a point just before the Druid's rain storm. DON'T GO BACK TO SEE THE DRUIDS--instead, head to the castle. New puzzle challenges await you!"
I'm pretty sure, though, that it only gives you that message if you receive a perfect score in the game. The last time I played was the only time I got a perfect score and I don't remember ever seeing that specific message before, even though I always play the long path. I remember instead getting a message about them hoping I'll play again to try to get the full score.
I personally have never been a huge fan of the actual recorded song version of Girl in the Tower--it hasn't aged well at all, steeped as it is in heavily reverbed drums and cheesy soft rock singing.  Still sounds right out of the late 80s/early 90s.  But it's certainly a matter of personal taste.  :)
You're right, it hasn't aged very well, but I still love it. I'm betting it was all done with MIDI synthesizers, too. I'd love to hear someone cover it with real instrumentals and today's professional recording; I'm betting it would sound much better.
Title: Re: Buying Sierra.
Post by: Lambonius on August 12, 2010, 07:45:51 PM

You're right, it hasn't aged very well, but I still love it. I'm betting it was all done with MIDI synthesizers, too. I'd love to hear someone cover it with real instrumentals and today's professional recording; I'm betting it would sound much better.

I liked it when I heard it as a kid, too.  I was just making an observation--it'd be interesting to hear a modern cover of it though, now that you mention it.  :)