View Thread : Rivals the best finds I've ever found


A Black Falcon
Quest for Glory Collection. $5. Same for QFGV, but that's a more common game. ... QFG Collection runs upwards of $50 on EBay... which would probably be worth it for this great series, but when you get a chance like this you take it immediately. And thank people in the community selling off their old games to game stores... :)

Dark Jaguar
What games are in that collection? Honestly, I certainly would have loved to find it. I've heard good things about that series.

A Black Falcon
Rivals and maybe bests, actually. The only comparisons I can think of are the $0.99 copy of Raptor for DOS (still sold over the web for like $20)... and maybe finding Ogre Battle 64 ($13).

DOS only - Quest for Glory: So You Want To Be A Hero: EGA, VGA Remakel QFG II: Trial By Fire (EGA only); QFG III: Wages of War (VGA; also French, German, and Spanish versions), and QFG IV: Shadows of Darkness (English CD talkie for Windows and DOS (though installing the DOS version of QFGV is a pain -- you have to use the DOS installer. The Windows one only lets you install the stupid Win95 version. Anyone who's played any of Sierra's early Win95 adventure games would know what I mean when I say it's stupid.); German floppy version).

It also includes the QFGV Soundtrack and Sneak Peek Demo. But not QFGV... that's why I got it seperately. :)

I've had QFGI for many years, and really, really loved it, and really wanted the rest, so this is incredible. Especially given how I doubted I'd ever get it given how much the collection goes for on EBay! Fantastic collection of one of Sierra's best series.

It's also a somewhat unique series (a few other PC RPG serieses do this) in that you can create a character in game one and then, as you complete each game, import it into the next title (only the special export save each game lets you make upon competion can be exported to the next title). Or any title -- QFGV lets you import a export character from any of the five previous versions (counting QFGI EGA and its remake seperately), for instance. Just with your abilities scaled up to compensate for the games you skipped. :)

So if you create a character in game one and then import into each later title you can really get a very good character... better than starting a new one in each game for sure. :) It uses a pointbased system where your abilities increase as you use them more. Climb more and you'll get better at climbing. And each of the later games adds one or two new abilities to the list... this is really where an import character has an advantage. You have to have put points into an ability at the start of the game to be able to use that ability, you see, and it's by far the cheapest to start new abilities in the first game or two. By game four it costs all of your points (that you are given at character creation to put into your character to increase the default stats) just to add put points into one new ability... but import and your fighter can also be an accomplished Mage and Theif if you wish. That's the three classes... well, except for Paladin. But you have to get Paladin ingame in game 2 or 3 by doing good deeds... can't just create a Paladin.

Obviously, there is a lot of continuity between the titles. Each one is in a new land, but characters and events connect the games.

Oh yeah, and they are quite funny. The writing, I mean... it's got a great script. The descriptions of things when you click on them are especially good... :)

Dark Jaguar
Yes, Sierra's early Win 95 games lacked a lot of really basic display features. Namely, many couldn't go true full screen (stupid window bar at the top), and they couldn't automatically set the display to what's needed for the game (meaning quickres is pretty much required unless you normally run your system in 640x480x256c).

This is due to them designing Win95 games like they made Win 3 games. That is, not all that well. KQ5-7 for example have black and white cursors. It's annoying... They EVENTUALLY got their act together regarding OS support, but by that time, other companies had already figured out exactly how to do things right, and hence why Monkey Island 3 is very "native" compared to most Sierra adventure games from the same time.

And oh yes, due to these weird half-recycling OS components that weren't really meant to be used for but the simplest games, you get a large chunk of problems running these things in XP. Now, their DOS games worked just fine, but in making stuff for Win 95, they were stuck in a Win 3 mentality for too long.

A Black Falcon
Actually, DJ, these are Win3.1 games, not Win95... none of the ones I have at least were out when Win95 was (the newest I have of these is KQ7, which is from '94). So these actually ARE Win3.1 games... not that that means much for XP compatibility. I have some Win95 games from 1997 and 1998 that will not run on my computer now (see: Pod (incompatible with Pentium 4's and not very compatible with modern NVidia cards) and [email protected] Race Pro (crashes upon race start with anything resembling a modern PC))... Some (though, for me, not that many -- generally the issues come from timer problems if I have any) DOS games have reliability issues as well, but at least for much of that we have DOSBox. :)

I have KQ5, KQ7, EcoQuest, and now Quest for Glory IV of Sierra's Windows games. They are all deeply, deeply flawed. All of them lack the ability to go to full screen -- windowed only. Only KQ7 will even RUN if you're above 256 colors and it doesn't run well. And all of them have one window size (of the actual viewable area). 640x480. It is truly horrible and I don't understand what they were thinking... not to mention, of course, how KQ5 will not run at all in Windows. And freezes upon launch in DOS. Great. :rolleyes:

Yeah, their DOS performance on my machine is somewhat questionable as well... KQ7 and QFG4 run fine, but KQ5 doesn't work and EcoQuest's voice doesn't work in DOS. Very strange, because all four of these are voice games and only this one has broken DOS voices, but that's how it is unfortunately...

Oh, and I forgot one more thing. Savegames are incompatible between the Windows and DOS versions of these games. One more great feature!

MI3 is from, I think, 1997. By then Sierra had gotten its act together. But their Win3.1 games... the horror... Lucasarts at this time of course wasn't trying for Windows modes. I think Sierra should have done the same.

There's a reason that when I play QFG4 or KQ7 I play the DOS version. And why I lament that EcoQuest's DOS voice acting doesn't work. :)

Oh, KQ5... I did get it running once. In DOSBox. The only problem is, it was running very slowly and was somewhat painful to play so I didn't get very far...


On another note... Sierra MIDI soundtracks, taken straight from the games. :)
http://queststudios.com/quest/Sierra1.html

A Black Falcon
Did I mention the great soundtracks? All five games have very good music... the QFGV soundtrack that came in the collection is great. And as for the first four, that site has midi full scores... cool...

I definitely know the main series theme (it shows up in a lot of tracks throughout the series...) well. Been listening to it for years and it's one of those tunes that I immediately remember whenever I hear... and you hear variations on it frequently in the series. :)

Dark Jaguar
If you want to get KQ5 working under XP, there's a bunch of hoops you gotta jump through. First, you MUST be running in 256 colors and 640x480 resolution. Sadly, XP's "automatic" switching via shortcut options won't work. You have to go into display properties, not that first one, since it doesn't go low enough, but deeper in "advanced", then go to the adapter tab of that level, and click the "all modes" button, THERE you'll finally be able to set things nice and low.

After THAT, ya gotta make sure the sound is working. That's VERY tricky in XP as you might imagine... There's a special program out there that does the trick from what I understand... Eh, anyway suffice it to say keeping 98 is a good move for retro gaming.

Oh and, yeah running in a window is a bit of an annoyance, but since the gameplay screens were never filling the moniter anyway, it's no big deal. Also, if you have the resolution set correctly, the gameplay area won't be a small box. It's a lot of work and all, but it can get to working. As far as DOS modes, well I never bothered with those, especially when I'd rather they use Windows sound instead of the SB16 DOS emulator sound for the midi's.

Anyway, fun games, but Win 3 was NOT a good system to design games for, and KQ7's 95 remake really didn't remake enough of the code... If MI3 came out then, then yes, Sierra was fine by then. Before then, Lucas was still doing DOS games, though honestly I've had a lot of trouble getting The Dig to work due to that. It's working now though, it's just sorta annoying that there's no way at all for me to change the save file directory (it'll ALWAYS be on drive C, when I want my DOS stuff on drive D). Oh well, it's fine.

Anyway, backwards compatibility for old win 3.x games as well as DOS games is a VERY tricky thing. Maybe it might be best to just build a "retro" computer system with the latest hardware that fully supported ye ol' DOS games, then an even slower machine for the REALLY old games that didn't have proper timing design, and thus blur by on today's machines.

Great Rumbler
That is a pretty good deal. I've only played one of the Quest games, the third one I think, but it was pretty fun and I used to play it a lot back when I still had DOS.

A Black Falcon
KQ1-4 are DOS games but all run just fine on my PC with no fiddling or modifications needed.. well, except for this one from this nice site I found that fixes some timing bugs. There is this one part in the first game that you couldn't do because it was timing-related and went too fast... but they run with sound. It's KQ5 and EcoQuest's DOS speech that don't work Sierra-wise, on my PC. ... but that's the one advantage I have of having WinME (and the Win98 SBLive! drivers that are installed, giving me the SB16 emulation). :)

This program didn't seem to work for me (for KQ5), but it's supposed to fix the speed problems for some old Sierra games. V3 is newer. :)
http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/cgi-bin/h-viewer?sh=1&fname=/pub/os2/apps/misc/gosierra.zip

And here's that page with various Sierra game timing bug fixes. Download these for the games you have.
http://geocities.com/belzorash/

KQ5... I've tried all the settings I can think of. It just does not run. It gets to the green Sierra logo, the fanfare plays,and it hangs there. And then if I want DOS sound I have to reboot -- the SB drivers only support it in one window at once and if you force-close a DOS window the DOS sound won't work again until I reboot.

As I said it only runs in DOSBox (the DOS emulator), and it runs too slowly to be fun there. The sound is also somewhat choppy...

If you want to get KQ5 working under XP, there's a bunch of hoops you gotta jump through. First, you MUST be running in 256 colors and 640x480 resolution. Sadly, XP's "automatic" switching via shortcut options won't work. You have to go into display properties, not that first one, since it doesn't go low enough, but deeper in "advanced", then go to the adapter tab of that level, and click the "all modes" button, THERE you'll finally be able to set things nice and low.


What a hassle! In ME if you have the Display Properties toolbar icon all you have to do is rightclick on it and you can choose any color/size mode available, from 640x480 256 color to 1600x1200 32 bit color...


After THAT, ya gotta make sure the sound is working. That's VERY tricky in XP as you might imagine... There's a special program out there that does the trick from what I understand... Eh, anyway suffice it to say keeping 98 is a good move for retro gaming.

VDMSound. Oh, and this thing I just found a link to yesterday... might want to try it, someone said they got all the Sierra game sound working between it and VDMSound (in XP/2000)...
http://www.softsystem.co.uk/page3.htm

Oh and, yeah running in a window is a bit of an annoyance, but since the gameplay screens were never filling the moniter anyway, it's no big deal. Also, if you have the resolution set correctly, the gameplay area won't be a small box. It's a lot of work and all, but it can get to working. As far as DOS modes, well I never bothered with those, especially when I'd rather they use Windows sound instead of the SB16 DOS emulator sound for the midi's.

True, they didn't fill the monitor, but I find that blue bar extremely annoying... 650x480 and it's fullscreen except for that bar, but the bar is really annoying and why deal with it when I can run the DOS version which is the same, except without it (for KQ7/QFG4)? :)

Oh, and my SB16-emulator thing also includes Roland and General MIDI support... I use General MIDI when I can, of course, because it sounds best by far. Roland is the second choice.


Anyway, fun games, but Win 3 was NOT a good system to design games for, and KQ7's 95 remake really didn't remake enough of the code... If MI3 came out then, then yes, Sierra was fine by then. Before then, Lucas was still doing DOS games, though honestly I've had a lot of trouble getting The Dig to work due to that. It's working now though, it's just sorta annoying that there's no way at all for me to change the save file directory (it'll ALWAYS be on drive C, when I want my DOS stuff on drive D). Oh well, it's fine.

SCUMMVM! It saves to whereever your SCUMMVM folder is, you know. The only catch is that the saves are not compatible with the original game saves... the emulator has its own save system and doesn't use the ones that the original games used.

Oh yeah... SCUMMVM now has three free adventure games it supports. Old once-retail ones, too... Revolution Software (the Broken Sword series)'s 'Lure of the Temptress' and 'Beneath a Steel Sky' and one from some other group called 'Flight of the Amazon Queen'.

www.scummvm.com

Oh, in case you didn't remember the address... VDMSound.
http://ntvdm.cjb.net/

And yeah, despite all these utilities I can't get KQ5 to run without freezing on the Sierra logo. Oh well... Of course I don't have XP so VDMSound and that other sound utility don't exactly help me any...


That is a pretty good deal. I've only played one of the Quest games, the third one I think, but it was pretty fun and I used to play it a lot back when I still had DOS.

Easy enough to tell which game it is. 1 is a German village and surrounding forest, 2 is in the desert, 3 in an African setting (with the main town full of stepped pyramids and lion-people), and 4 a Transylvanian-ish one. 5 is Greek. :)

Dark Jaguar
Lots of useful bits there, though I just tinkered with Win98's various configeration files to get a lot of games working. Wing Commander 4 is still giving me problems though...

About timing issues. Honestly, aside from running the first 3 KQ games in "very fast" mode (which will KILL you), the timing always worked just fine. I just ran the games in "fast" mode which was more than enough for pretty much anything I needed.

Actually, yes come to think of it, KQ1's SCI engine remake DID have bluringly fast credits. Just the credits themselves mind you. All other parts of the game ran at just the right pace, including the music during the credits, but yeah the credits themselves were pretty much unreadable. I slowed them down by accessing the in-game menu, but yeah it is a glitch. It's just not one I really care too much about :D.

Now this general midi support, yeah that'd do it well. I'll need to try that for WC4 some time. Ah, retro gaming... Sure is hard getting everything running well on today's machines...

(On another note, all the KQ games I have run just fine in my tweaked up Win98 SE OS.)

A Black Falcon
One of those timing patches slowed down the EVA part of Space Quest 5... I still can't beat that stupid, incredibly frusterating thing, but at least it doesn't move at the speed of light anymore. That was very nice... :)

As in, these aren't whole game timing issues. These are specific thing timing issues. Like as I said, in QFG1. Near the end there's a puzzle with a door that stays open for a specific amount of time. In newer computers it cannot be completed because the time runs way too fast. That page's patch for the game should fix that. The ones for Quest for Glory 3 and 4 also fix a bunch of other things... QFG4 shipped notoriously buggy and not all of them were fixed in the patches.

(On another note, all the KQ games I have run just fine in my tweaked up Win98 SE OS.)

Even the King's Quest V CD? If so, lucky...

Dark Jaguar
Yes, even KQ5. a 9x system runs the game fine if you have the settings correct. That is, I use the quickres utility built into the thing all the time when using that OS.

There is ONE issue in KQ5. In a few key parts, there can be "out of heap space" error. However, so long as the game is the FIRST thing you run when starting the system and there's nothing else using resources, you can go through just fine.

A Black Falcon
Wait, Windows KQ5, or DOS KQ5? For me, WinKQ5 crashes on launch with a 'your display driver is not supported' error on any display resolution and color depth. The other Sierra windows games work if you set it to the proper resolutions, but not that one... so I gave up on it and it's the DOS version I've been trying to get to run, unsuccessfully without DOSBox.

Dark Jaguar
Oh, there ya go. Yeah, I was using the Windows version, for the midi reasons I stated above pretty much... (Don't have that emulator you mentioned, but not really searching for anything new just yet as it is.)

Anyway, the windows version WILL run if you set it to 640x480 at 256 color, and ONLY at that mode too, at least in 98. It won't give that error anyway. If you are using XP, go up to one of my above posts to find out how to set your desktop to that resolution (remember, XP won't let you switch those display settings the "normal" way).

A Black Falcon
What I have is an offical emulator, I guess. :) The version of the SoundBlaster Live! drivers I have. They include SB16 emulation... as well as General MIDI and, by proxy, Roland. It's the Win98 drivers from the SBLive CD that came with my PC because the ME drivers seemed to not have DOS compatibility emulation.

I guess that that driver won't work in XP, only XP-only non-DOS compatible drivers, so you have to use those two 2000/XP sound utilities that I linked to get sound in most DOS games in XP.

Oh, and I don't know what it was (re-install? some settings changes I made? One of those other things?), but KQ5-Win worked when I set windows to 640x and 256 color. All I did was watch the intro and then save, but it worked... awesome! It's not perfect, because the sound is somewhat choppy (it pops and hesitates at times) and I really would rather run the DOS version because that doesn't have the stupid topbar and has the color cursors, but I'll take what I can get I guess for games with as many issues as these have...

Dark Jaguar
Oh, actually I do have the SB16 drivers for my Audigy sound card. That's what I have in 98. I was thinking you meant something else... Anyway, I'll mess with some sound options later on.

So you got it working eh? Yeah, color cursors are a nice thing (if you like halloween orange :D, well yes they are pretty nice looking). The other end of that is small cursors. I like the high res, and therefor smaller, cursors for various reasons. It's a bit of a tradeoff, but eh... And yes, that toolbar up there really doesn't help the mood. I tune it out, but yeah it would be better off if it was gone.

So then, the sound is choppy eh? Is it the midi or the wave? Okay I checked something and yes, there is ONE last issue regarding KQ5. If you have a really fast optical drive, the sound playback (except midi) will indeed skip. That sucks... The only answer is to install a slower drive to prevent this skipping. I actually have only a small handful of games that are "overread". I think it's just how the data is put on the disk using some outdated procedure. I think there are others, but the only other game I can think of right now with the same error is my original Starcraft CD (not brood wars). I have to try a few times, listening to my drive starting up and running down over and over again, to get it to install, and the audio playing the campaign skips. Brood Wars works fine though. Honestly, I think that current drives just aren't designed with really low speeds like 4x, 2x, and 1x, capabilites, or these games just aren't designed to tell the drives to lower to that speed, or something. Not all my old games do that though, only a few, suggesting it was only somewhat popular before the updated recording methods replaced it outright or whatever. I dunno, I'll just experiment with one of my really old drives I have somewhere around here to be sure.

A Black Falcon
By sound I mean voice. When they're talking, multiple times a sentence there are pauses in it... like it's loading the next piece or something... it's a bit choppy otherwise, but that's the big thing. I don't notice that in other games with voice, I believe... I don't think it's that problem. It could be, of course, but I don't notice lots of games having big problems starting... oh, the CD (well, it's a DVD-ROM drive, actually) makes funny noises, but excepting CDs which are too scratched to play they will all start if I wait enough. Though it is annoying when games access the CD a lot like in KQ5 because every time it accesses the CD it spins it up to find the voice and when it's spinning like that my CD drive gets quite loud... it's annoying! :)

Dark Jaguar
Yeah, it'll start, but what you are describing pretty much is exactly what I'm talking about. A lot of games don't have this problem, that's for sure, but this one does.

As I currently suspect, it's all a matter of the drive just taking too much time speeding up to a speed it really doesn't need to be at anyway, and then making the mistake of not just STAYING there. Your's is noisy, so I imagine you wouldn't like it if it did. The only solution would be some unofficial patch that lets the game control newer drive's speed. Anyway, again I'll be testing the game with an older drive to confirm my suspicions.

A Black Falcon
No, the solution is games installing everything to the harddrive and only accessing the disc for copy protection. That's what most PC games do these days, after all... the CDs are just data storage the game dumps on your HDD... and it's also why install sizes are so ridiculous. If newer games accessed the CD in short bursts constantly like KQ5 does I bet that it'd also do that annoying 'spin up, spin down' thing that gets so loud. :) But it's mostly older games that do that.

And yes, now that you mention it I've noticed this (the CD spinning, not the choppy sound... that isn't normal...) in a few other games... not most, certainly, but a few. And it definitely get irritating.

Dark Jaguar
Another problem may just be how it handles the data...

Thing is, Brood Wars, a game that also draws from the disk, has NO skipping problems. It might just be that it handles the data better.

A Black Falcon
Yeah, that's probable. Also if a game constantly uses the disc, and doesn't just use it in little chunks (like, say, pulling off sentence fragments... :D), I'm sure that it gets more consistent performance. It doesn't have to keep spinning up and down...

Like Civilization II, or most other games that stream redbook audio off the CDs. They don't spin super loud most of the time, I'd say... sometimes with some discs yes but not as the rule. And because the music's always playing it doesn't have to keep stopping, which seems to be good to help avoid this problem.

Dark Jaguar
You are right about one thing. Copying the entire game to the hard drive would fix the problem. In fact, I believe KQ5 wouldn't even notice it so long as the configeration file showing where the "disk" was is pointed at the folder you dumped it in.

You could give that a try if you have the space...

A Black Falcon
Is there a config file that points to "disk"? If so that would solve the problem, yes, but I don't know if it has one... I don't think the Sierra adventures have such a thing, unfortunately. ... wait, I might have found it. resource.cfg in the game directory... let's see! :)

A Black Falcon
Wow. What a difference! Seriously, it makes a HUGE difference. No sound quality issues. So, what do you do? For KQ5, it's simple. The sounds are in one file. Easlily found by its 90MB size. :D Copy that to somewhere on your HDD, like in the game folder. Then modify the line in the resource.cfg file to point to that folder instead of your CD drive. Done. Oh, and the game doesn't need the CD in to play anymore either... it doesn't check it for copywright protection, just assumes that you aren't smart enough to move the voice to the HDD. Oh, there are still breaks in the sound, but that's obviously where it's pausing to load the next sentence fragment... it doesn't do whole speeches at once.

Oh, I wonder how to turn on subtitles... I don't see an option to do it anywhere. It's just voice, not text... yes, I can understand all the words. But I'd still like to turn it on if I could.

And finally... all I wish I could do now is make it run with DOS. But that doesn't seem to be happening.

Now, to hope that I don't run into that crash bug you mentioned that seems to be unavoidable... :S

Dark Jaguar
Good! Good to see my hypothesis was correct. I'll be doing exactly that myself next time I mess with Win 98.

Here's the deal, those games didn't let you use text AND speech at the same time (KQ7 doesn't even HAVE text). They assumed people wanting to read the subtitles and hear voice at the same time were as common as people with perfect hearing watching TV with the subtitles on :D. Essentially, in options you can either have voice or text, but they didn't let you have both... Sorry there...

Oh, and allow me to apologize, even though I'm not responsible, for the terrible voice acting in KQ5 (not to mention recording quality :D). KQ6's voice acting was the best the KQ series ever had. Seriously, that narrator was PERFECT, and he should narrate EVERY adventure EVER for the rest of the life of the universe! :D KQ7, while still a LOT better than KQ5, just doesn't really come close. I know they were sorta going for a different feel for that game (more light hearted and comedic, sorta Disney-like (the art style was intended to mimic Disney actually), as opposed to wandering amongst the land of the dead with wailing spirits that can't find rest in their regret :D).

Anyway, KQ5 isn't the best in the series, or rank up there with the best adventure games anyway, but it's fun in it's own right.

Now then, as for that heap space error, let me explain what it is and how to deal with it. Essentially, the game was designed for DOS and Win 3.x. That means it used the low end memory, a VERY limited resource. Worked fine if the game and the needed components to let the game run were the only things running, but as OS's got more advanced, they started hogging it up. Of course, NT, Linux, what have you, don't even segment memory like that any more. However, 98 does. The deal is, that small section of memory MIGHT be too full. 98 CAN run with little enough of these key resources taken up that KQ5 will run without this error, but only if nothing else is running in the background (to be safe, run it first thing after a restart to avoid any memory leak issues). It didn't happen often at that though. Generally, a few parts of the game got a little greedy. Some effects took up too many of these resources (just a flaw in how DOS and DOS based systems handled memory, not that one didn't actually have enough). Namely, RIGHT near the end, during a particular incident involving magic, a machine, and cheese (a little comedic there actually, but this series isn't really TOTALLY serious, kinda like Zelda actually), you'll see a flashy show that will end in the error if there's not enough of these resources free. There are several things you can do. First, do what I suggested and shut down all extraneous background software and do a fresh boot. Second, lower the "detail" setting in the game to it's lowest point if that doesn't work. Third, and least favorable for obvious reasons, Sierra provides (well, not any more, they don't even provide a lot of their old game patches, how they have fallen...) a save file for just AFTER that sequence (as well as a few other areas where this might occur, though I only ever had a problem at the part I mentioned above). It'll have all the puzzles solved in the way that gives the best points up to THAT point in the game mind you, so if you solved something in a way that gave less points (like making someone reluctantly help you instead of helping them out so they really WANT to help you, generally the "right" way is the way that makes the most people happy), it won't be recorded there... It is a method of last resort... Anyway, there are your options.

Another thing, if you have the booklet, it has this key file translating various letters into the language of the land you are in. That was useful for the floppy version I hear, where the copyright protection was in the form of the game rarely popping up with a word you had to translate (apparently these old companies didn't think anyone had discovered the printer or the scanner). With the CD-ROM version, they took out the copyright protection, but left in that info for the sake of a little background info you'll never use :D.

Anyway, it's an interesting game and it at least hints at things to come. Still, KQ6 is my fave for so many reasons. It just has the best story, presentation, puzzles, and has a pretty open feel. One key point actually lets you go on two different puzzle paths (with unique locations and items and such) to reach the end of the game. The game actually tells you how to start this second path if you happen to beat it with full points on the "official" path.

Here's the deal, I know you don't generally like games where you have to worry about dying. I can see that. Honestly, I like playing the occasional adventure game where I don't have to sweat it that something I do could kill me. However, I also enjoy sometimes a little fear tossed in to spice things up. With a game like KQ, and the fantasy world that's as serious as Zelda might get, it wouldn't seem right to be able to slap an orge in the face without SOME sort of horrific consequence. I also like a sense of danger wandering into a pitch black cave or Dracula's Castle. Yes, I can see the annoyance at doing things over and over again though. I ALSO don't like it when I save AFTER doing some critical thing that will end up making me totally stuck so I can't progress (a lot of old adventure games suffered from this, simply bad design really, fortunatly Sierra eventually delt with it and their later adventure games are stuck-proof). Anyway, here's how you deal with it if it's still a bit annoying (though, ya know, I think in the scarier places, you should sorta let yourself be afraid of things :D), just save ALL THE TIME. Generally, save whenever you reach a new region is my rule. Also, yeah sometimes it's not obvious that something is dangerous, and that can be annoying, but a lot of the dangers are pretty obvious (for example, if there's a big sign before a dark forest saying "KEEP OUT!", well, I should hope you would take the needed precautions).

Anyway, enjoy the trip. Actually, it's more of a challenge to beat this game with a less than perfect score. The "right" solution is actually easier to figure out than the "not as good" solutions. I'll also warn you of a few places where if you aren't careful, you could create a dead end scenario. First rule, if you are saving often, also save multiple files. That way, you can go back a few steps. Second, the desert is ANNOYING until you memorize it. Really, not a single hint to where anything is. I like tough puzzles, but I like them to be fully solvable with attention to the hints, even if (preferably if :D) the hints are vague and sometimes hard to see as hints :D, oh, stars ABOVE!). Well, enjoy this little excursion.

A Black Falcon
Another thing, if you have the booklet, it has this key file translating various letters into the language of the land you are in. That was useful for the floppy version I hear, where the copyright protection was in the form of the game rarely popping up with a word you had to translate (apparently these old companies didn't think anyone had discovered the printer or the scanner). With the CD-ROM version, they took out the copyright protection, but left in that info for the sake of a little background info you'll never use .

Hmm... we have the box, so I'm sure I have the manual... somewhere in one in the box (well, box with these magazine holder-ish things in it full of manuals) full of pc game manuals... :) I could easily find the box, but the manual would be tougher.

Copy protection... huh, right, it would have it wouldn't it. I do not recall Quest for Glory I having any, and QFGII and III (also floppy games) also don't seem to have any that I have ever heard of, but the QFGIV floppy version does. But I've got the CD one so I don't have an issue there. The only Sierra adventure I have with copy protection is Space Quest 5... and it implements it really well. The protection is planet coordinates. You have to go to locations in your spaceship and only the coordinates, printed on a map in the center page of the manual, can get you there... :)

I have KQ1, 5, and 7. All not beyond the beginning. Space Quest 5, most of the way through but stuck at a extremely hard and extremely stupid timing/reflexes "puzzle". And Quest for Glory, which I have beaten the remake of 1 and now started on 3. I've said before hwy i don't want to play 2... :)

On that note, I could play 1 because I do own it so I could download that fanmade remake that adds the graphical interface... but I have too many choices. I need to just choose something... :D

I might play KQ5 just because it looks fun. ... that and QFG3.

Space Quest 5... it shows all of what is great and all of what is awful about the Sierra system of adventure games. It's very funny, has good graphics, the gameplay is great, the puzzles are interesting... it's simply a great game. But... the dying can be very, very annoying at times. Some parts are very hard because of it. You die random, meaningless deaths from doing things you'd never think would kill you. It gets very frusterating at times. There was a part fairly early on (maybe midway? It's really no that long) that had me stopped for years before I looked up how to do it... you beam down to this planet and have to escape a killer robot. Very challenging... thought it'd be the toughest part.

Then I found this idiotic EVA segment. ARGH!

Some danger... okay. Have occasional deaths. But make the reasons sane, not random and unexpected. And have a redo button so you don't potentially lose a lot of work. And don't make it annoyingly hard to complete!

Oh, and ideally, you have a way to get around it. Like Lucasarts did in Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Curse of Monkey Island -- there is combat. But it can be avoided if you wish. Now that's the way to do combat in games like this...

I will admit that having a game with dangerous situations and never being able to be hurt seems odd sometimes. But Lucasarts does their games so well that I usually am not left thinking 'why can't I die here'... where I have felt that is in The Longest Journey. There have been a couple of "fights", but each is winnable with a click or two of puzzle and you can't die... if the sequel's combat is infrequent it actually could improve the game, I think. I was skeptical at first, but as I got farther into TLJ I really noticed how having no danger makes it seem odd at times...

So, while I am not opposed to combat segments, I absolutely feel that if you must have random death (not combat, but Sierra-style 'mess up and die') it should be for things that you can actually see coming and should be easily reversed with not much chance of major time loss.

No clicking on wires in the (Jefferies-style) tube and instantly being electrocuted, for instance, to use another example from Space Quest 5.


Humor. Interesting subject in these games. It's interesting because all the Sierra adventures I've played have it to some extent... most to a good extent. But they also have real stories that are serious, and a good amount of non-humorous story as well. Quest for Glory is the perfect example here. The graphics can be humorous at times, sure, but when it wants to be darker it sure can (see QFGIV!). And the script is great and very funny with lots of funny descriptions of things, but there is also danger and stuff... I think they mix humor and seriousness well in those games with some doses of each. King's Quest does that as well but with less humor, I'd say... KQ7 looks like a cartoon and has humor in it, sure, but based just on the beginning I don't think it looks like it's as funny as a QFG game. But that series isn't meant to be, it's meant to be a semi-serious fantasy adventure series... which it is and succeeds at. But you'll never find me saying that it matches QFG. :)



Oh, one thing on that note. I note in KQ5 that in a lot of screens just a couple of things have descriptions. As in, when you click on them with the eye you get a description of what you are seeing. Many screens just have a couple of them... doesn't seem like many, compared to QFG... maybe that changes later (and admittedly QFG doesn't have as much in its numerous very similar "forest" (/desert/etc, depending on game) screens... but still, it seems like less. For instance you can't click on some tree and have a humorous thing pop up like happens in QFG... :)

Yes, so that means that Corey and Lori Cole are probably my favorite Sierra adventure designers for making that series... I don't think they made anything else, but QFG is brilliant. Gameplay, puzzles, script... best at Sierra, IMO.

Space Quest, of course, comes down squarely on the humor side every step of the way. And while the game is very frusterating at times, SQ5 is also a really, really good game.


Oh yeah, one last thing. Quest for Glory IV has voice, but also has text boxes. So does EcoQuest, I'm pretty sure. I wish KQ5 (and 7, if you were right about that... I think you are, come to think about it...) had that too! I always turn on subtitles in games like this and I wish I could here too.


... darnit, all this talk of adventure games made me want to go back and continue The Longest Journey again... fantastic game, but I'm at an annoying puzzle. Annoying in the hard sense, that is... :)

Dark Jaguar
Haha, I get ya. Indeed, KQ7 actually does let you continue from JUST before the horrible mistake you made. Whenever you die, you get the character mentioning a small hint at you (sometimes humerous stuff like "maybe I should AVOID the gargoyle"), and then it asks you if you want to try again. Just say "yes", and there you are, right at the start of that dangerous situation. KQ7 also doesn't let you get stuck. To finish off the convenience, they even let you choose, from the beginning, which chapter you want to start from. It'll assume you did things the easiest way possible if you skip parts, and of course most people playing the first time through won't want to skip anything, but it's there anyway.

KQ games really don't have combat. I mean, you really don't enter any sort of combat mode or phase or anything like you do in Monkey Island for example. The closest thing is when you are in a very dangerous situation and your goal is solving a puzzle surrounding some villian. There are a couple games that do in fact end in a combat situation against a final boss, come to think of it, but for the majority, all the enemies are handled exactly like any other puzzle, only if you take a wrong step, boom, you get stomped on by a giant.

Let me tell you, I learned the standard quick save and quick load buttons fairly early on :D (F5 and F7).

Yes, it can be annoying when something seems totally harmless, and really should be, and then suddenly you die. You didn't save for a while because, hey, you figured the fisherman's shack was a fairly safe place and never expected to have hot coffee kill you :D. Though, really for the most part KQ games do give logical threats and a sense of danger for most lethal situations. For example, expect to drown from exaustion if you swim around in the sea too long, and expect any monster to generally be dangerous unless you assume otherwise. If you save and make multiple files, you can generally do as you wish though.

And yes, KQ7 really makes it easy to get things done and still have that sense of danger in the right situations.

Monkey Island's lack of deaths is just fine, and in fact, I think it actually helps the comedy. Guybrush has always been this laid back pirate ya know, and honestly I love how everything just works out for him no matter WHAT, so it's perfect that there's no way to kill off the guy, plus the whole attitude of the game is comedic and just a calm little journey, so a sense of danger is really only a comedic tool at best. In a game like that, no deaths is perfect. I'd also go as far as to say games set in the current day, except in really dangerous settings, should be safe. I recently got Syberia, namely due to word of mouth. The whole setting of the game really doesn't cater to my character dying all the time, so really a threat of death wouldn't fit here. It's pretty fun so far, though I got stuck and haven't played in about a week. I'll go back though, I always do with these games :D.

Just suffice it to say in some games dying can work if done right, and in others, depending on my mood, I just want an adventure where I can just calmy sit back and solve puzzles. If all the PC adventure games with dying handled it like KQ7, I don't think anyone would have complaints about those types of adventure games. Also, regardless of how old it is, adventure games where you can get completely stuck ARE flawed in design. Yes, I understand that is realistic, but it's better to just let you know you made a mistake that ends the game somehow. For example, after making the mistake, simply showing a bad ending resulting from it. then do the KQ7 thing for handling bad ending situations. The other alternative is to make any mistake reversible, but that's a good move for ones where there's just no reasonable way to make the mistake reversible. Anyway, again in those old games that didn't handle these things well, saving multiple files is important :D.

A Black Falcon
Syberia is okay. Solid adventure game. I played the demo. It seemed like a very pretty, and very sterile, adventure game... it's like Myst -- it looks nice, but you don't interact with what you are looking at much. No descriptions of items, conversations seem strange and not quite right (sometimes just like it's there to be a block (to your path) and not to be a full conversation)... but the graphics are nice and it has a decent story. Solid and better than the other stuff from the last couple of years, but not exactly a classic. In short, it's just blown out of the water by The Longest Journey. Seriously, GET THAT GAME! Everyone with the slightest interest in adventure games should have that right about on top of their must-buy list. No question. NOW! :)

I'd say "get Quest for Glory Collection", but it's pretty hard to find in stores (:D) and somewhat expensive on EBay. :) Similar (only less so because I personally prefer QFG) for Space Quest. QFGV? It's okay, but ... contraversial... among the fanbase. It made the combat much faster and much more arcadish... and much more frequent... but it does have QFG humor and characters. The combat made a lot of fans dislike it though... a somewhat dissapointing end to the series, really. Still a good game, but not quite up to the level of the first four.

But at least it IS a QFG game, unlike KQ: MoE...

KQ7... right, it lets you continue. Forgot that, haven't played it in a while... yeah, it's a very nice option. But the rest of my Sierra adventures don't allow that... well, I don't know about EcoQuest. You can't die and I don't remember if you can even lose... maybe in a couple of places but it's not normal. But that's to be expected from a game aimed at a younger audience... it's a good adventure, but clearly aimed at a younger age group.

Monkey Island's lack of deaths is just fine, and in fact, I think it actually helps the comedy. Guybrush has always been this laid back pirate ya know, and honestly I love how everything just works out for him no matter WHAT, so it's perfect that there's no way to kill off the guy, plus the whole attitude of the game is comedic and just a calm little journey, so a sense of danger is really only a comedic tool at best. In a game like that, no deaths is perfect. I'd also go as far as to say games set in the current day, except in really dangerous settings, should be safe. I recently got Syberia, namely due to word of mouth. The whole setting of the game really doesn't cater to my character dying all the time, so really a threat of death wouldn't fit here. It's pretty fun so far, though I got stuck and haven't played in about a week. I'll go back though, I always do with these games .

As I said, Lucasarts makes you not miss death by their great game designs and styles.


KQ games really don't have combat. I mean, you really don't enter any sort of combat mode or phase or anything like you do in Monkey Island for example. The closest thing is when you are in a very dangerous situation and your goal is solving a puzzle surrounding some villian. There are a couple games that do in fact end in a combat situation against a final boss, come to think of it, but for the majority, all the enemies are handled exactly like any other puzzle, only if you take a wrong step, boom, you get stomped on by a giant.

'couple of clicks' puzzle "combat". Like the combat in TLJ, except you can die... not the same at all as Indy Fate, CoMI, or Full Throttle, no.

Of course I always use multiple save files! The problem is as you say that sometimes you don't see a dangerous part coming... that's happened in Space Quest, obviously... or you get complacent and don't save for a while... and then DIE in some stupid easy fight... like Quest for Glory sometimes... (remember, it's a Adventure-RPG, with stats and fighting and the rest... though heavier on the adventure than RPG (though the combat element gets more and more pronounced as the series continues), I'd say, it has definite elements of both.). It's funny, but I never fealt like the deaths were horribly unfair in QFG. I'm sure part of it is because it's an RPG and you expect to die in them, but also I think that they have less of the stupidly unfair deaths from puzzles. You can die from monsters and stuff, after all... though I am also sure that they have some stupid deaths, it isn't quite as noticable on that front.

As you can guess, if the deaths come from combat I don't mind nearly as much. It's to be expected, after all, that if you lose a fight you lose the game...

But I wish that whoever thought up the SQ5 EVA thing would have had some pretty serious second thoughts. Okay... so, a crew member is lost in space! Floating away. You take quick action and get in the rescue ship. It doesn't have much air, unfortunately, so you've got to be quick... now, wrestle with the controls! Even with the slowdown patch it still runs quickly and controlling it is hard. You use the mouse to click on and drag a joystick thing in one of the four directions to make it move/turn that way. Slow and cumbersome. The craft also has a arm to grab the guy with. Fortunately, it's also a pain to use and I haven't yet figured out how to actually pick the guy up. The one time I miraculously got in the exact right spot for the 'grab' symbol to appear on screen I couldn't figure out how to actually PICK UP the idiot... and then I ran out of air. I do that a lot, it doesn't last long...

ARGH!!! Roger Wilco to the rescue? Oh just let him die... :evil: ... :)

Go, Buy, start the long journey (because it's a pretty long adventure game... :)), and get excited for the upcoming sequel. :)
www.longestjourney.com

A Black Falcon
Utterly bizarre. I went to play KQ5 and decided to try the DOS version again (after going to 640x/256 color). I launched the Win version first then the DOS one... and it loaded! I was quite surprised, to say the least... I quit both and then ran it and it loaded again. So weird! And I do not remember changing anything except moving the voice file to the HDD... uh, weird, but hey, if it works...

Of course, the real test will be if it works after I reboot my PC. But I won't do that right now. :)

Okay... KQ5 for DOS. Have you played it? It's got nice color cursors. The cursor is a lot bigger (the Win cursors are really small in comparison!), but they're in color and look nice... Other differences? There are some. First, voices. In the DOS version, when you click on an object (for the description), if you click you will cancel the speech. This also works for some things people say (when Graham is talking, or anyone else whose voice shows up with a picture I think). This is EXTREMELY useful and a huge improvement over the Windows one where once you click you cannot cancel what is said. Tiresome and irritating when you are trying to find new things you can click on... as I'm sure you remember in the Windows version when you try clicking again it'll jus start the sound file again and cut off the old one, making it a jumbled mess. Not good at all. Oh, and I'm not sure if I am remembering wrong, but do those heads animate in windows (mouths move, etc?)? They do in DOS anyway.

There are other differences as well. In Windows, the voice sounds echoey to me... but in DOS it does not. No reverb or echo or whatever. Better. Okay, music. In Windows, I guess it's MIDI... in DOS I can use Roland or Adlib, but the Roland doesn't sound too good (it doesn't really have Roland support, but kind of emulates it with MIDI...) so I used Adlib. It sounds pretty similar to the MIDI in the Windows version... either I have the Win version installed using the lesser Win sound drivers or this game doesn't have a great quality MIDI soundtrack. Either way, I can't tell much of a difference with the game configured as it is. Which is good, I thought there would be a bigger sound quality difference going from MIDI to the SB emulation... :)

Oh, and of course it's fullscreen. Well, like the other DOS Sierra titles there's a black bar on top of the screen (where the topbar will drop down), but there is no black bar at the bottom of the screen, no blue menu bar... the graphics look different because it's a different window size of course, but that's fullscreen versus windowed... and full screen looks better for sure.

In short, I hope that the DOS version keeps working. Like all of Sierra's adventure games I've played that have DOS versions, the DOS version is better.

Only one downside to the DOS version. It crashed a couple of times. The Windows version didn't do that.

Dark Jaguar
Okay, actually you CAN click to exit conversations in KQ5 windows. Maybe there's some glitch happening with yours (not sure which version you have, I have the first collection (KQ1-6) version, which I understand had a few bug fixes... I mean, it skips that SECTION, and you just keep clicking until you got through all the sound bits, but it's there. Honestly, I couldn't imagine playing an adventure game where you couldn't skip the speech. Also, yep, the pictures lip synch with what's said.

Yep, I've played the DOS versions. I've basically outlined why I like windows more, but let's just clear up some things. Yes, the color cursors are nice, I like them, but they are a bit big for my tastes. The smaller cursors are easier to aim with for me (they don't block as much of the screen, making it easier to target the small stuff).

I don't play it fully windowed. Blue bar? I think you haven't told the bar to autohide or something... That WOULD shrink things down a bit. Make it autohide, and it's exactly as you describe, only there's the title bar at the top that's a bit annoying.

Maybe you didn't pick "extended midi" on install... sounds like it... It does sound better with extended, because it uses whatever instrument set is built into your sound card. So, the better that instrument set, the better the sound. In other words, the music gets better and better with newer sound cards. Well, the instrument samples anyway. This is very apparent in 6 actually.

Having both versions installed is always nice of course, but I lean towards the windows version if only for a few nitpicky reasons.

A Black Falcon
Okay, actually you CAN click to exit conversations in KQ5 windows. Maybe there's some glitch happening with yours (not sure which version you have, I have the first collection (KQ1-6) version, which I understand had a few bug fixes... I mean, it skips that SECTION, and you just keep clicking until you got through all the sound bits, but it's there. Honestly, I couldn't imagine playing an adventure game where you couldn't skip the speech. Also, yep, the pictures lip synch with what's said.

I have the original KQ5 CD, not the collection. And you cannot click to cancel the look actions (as in, when you click the eye and then on something and it starts with a description of the thing. In the Win version you can't do anything except listen... no cancelling. Clicking, as I said, just makes it cut in with a new look action at the end of that sentence fragment.

I'm not sure if in the Win version you can cancel the conversations, though. You might be able to click on portraits to cancel that line, yeah, but I'm talking about Looking, not Talking.

I don't play it fully windowed. Blue bar? I think you haven't told the bar to autohide or something... That WOULD shrink things down a bit. Make it autohide, and it's exactly as you describe, only there's the title bar at the top that's a bit annoying.

Blue bar. Top of the window. In every Windows program. Minimize, resize, quit, etc... Unless it's a different color in XP? But you can't go to fullscreen in these games, as you said too, so the blue bar on top cannot be removed. And as I said, the Windows version does not fill the screen -- there IS a black space on bottom and on top that are not there in the DOS version. Not to mention the taskbar, hidden at the bottom of the screen...



Maybe you didn't pick "extended midi" on install... sounds like it... It does sound better with extended, because it uses whatever instrument set is built into your sound card. So, the better that instrument set, the better the sound. In other words, the music gets better and better with newer sound cards. Well, the instrument samples anyway. This is very apparent in 6 actually.

I think it's set for extended MIDI (in the winres.cfg file it says for music 'MT32.DLL', which I think is the extended midi -- ADL.DLL is the normal one, I think. You should check in your version.)... but I don't notice a difference between ADL.DLL (Adlib) in DOS and MT32.DLL in Windows. Maybe it's an Adlib music board, not the standard Adlib soundcard? Or maybe it's playing normal MIDI no matter what choice I make...


Having both versions installed is always nice of course, but I lean towards the windows version if only for a few nitpicky reasons.

Actually, they are both installed. In the same folder. Yes, unlike KQ7, QFG4, or EcoQuest (for each of those I had to do seperate installs to get both versions installed...), KQ5 installs BOTH versions to the same folder when you install. Just run SIERRA.EXE for the DOS version or the icon with a crown for the Windows one. :)

You just need to make seperate save folders and write out the full path each time you start the game (to save or load), because as I said they do not have compatible save files... a minor hassle, but not a huge issue.

Dark Jaguar
Um, I KNOW how to run each version. I told you, I've played them both. On mine though, it puts the DOS version in it's own folder.

A Black Falcon
Weird... I would think that the KQ Collection would just take the games and put them together on a few discs, not make many or any gameplay changes...

So, can you cancel the Look command scene descriptions with a left mouse click?

Dark Jaguar
Right mouse click is what I used...

Anyway, only a couple bug fixes really from what I understand. They really didn't spend much time on anything that would have been hard to fix. For example, the collections never bothered fixing the KQ5 memory issue.

A Black Falcon
Right mouse, left mouse, I didn't notice anything working in Windows... left mouse just makes it start over at the next 'i'm loading from the voice file again' break. Which gets quite annoying quite fast as I try to see which parts of the screen have the different descriptions and which just use the same one as the rest of the screen...