Sierra Adventure Games live on!
November 16, 2002 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Kings Quest 9, Leisure Suit Larry 8, and Space Quest 7. Sierra's legendary Adventure Gaming francises are stuck in vaporware purgatory. No new Larry according to Al Lowe, but KS9 goes on developed by fans without Roberta Williams, and Scott Murphy's (of The Two Guys from Andromeda) attempt at SQ7 got cancelled. No word from Jane Jenson on a new Gabriel Knight, Police Quest still lives on, although no longer in adventure format. Of course what I was REALLY researching for was the possiblity of a sequel to The Adventures of Willy Beamish. Oh well, at least you can still rock out to all the old Sierra Tunes. Overall, not a bad legacy for a company whose first adventure game was Softporn.
posted by Stan Chin (31 comments total)
And I'm playing softporn right now. (Download from the bottom of the Softporn link. On 50kb!!! Doesn't that freak you out?) Haven't gotten laid yet. I'll update later.
posted by Stan Chin at 2:06 PM on November 16, 2002

You missed Quest for Glory, which was the first game I ever bought on my 286.

Too bad QfG4 was the buggiest PoS I ever played. Ah well. Those were the days. Now back to my regularly scheduled Counter-Strike
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 2:15 PM on November 16, 2002

What shall I do? EAT BLONDE

She says, 'Me first!' She takes my throbbing tool into her mouth! She starts going to work... feels so good!! Then she smiles as she bites it off! She says, 'No oral sex in this game!! Suffer!!'


Something tells me I shouldn't go out to the clubs tonight.
posted by Stan Chin at 2:17 PM on November 16, 2002

The Sierra MIDI's are great...really takes me back. I remember when Sierra was located in Oakhurst, CA, I got the chance to take a tour of the facilities, and see Gabriel Knight in development (WOW!). Great post.
posted by iamck at 2:26 PM on November 16, 2002

Lord, I adored Leisure Suit Larry...the cruise ship one, where you win a cruise on a game show, get on board, and, eventually, I think die from eating old potato salad, was really a world all of its own--kept me busy for endless hours. And as a woman, I suppose it wasn't really meant for me, but I loved it anyway.
posted by GaelFC at 2:28 PM on November 16, 2002

Leisure Suit Larry was always one of my favorite games, even when I was at an age when I probably should not have been playing Leisure Suit Larry. (Ah, that explains me.)
posted by benjh at 2:28 PM on November 16, 2002

What am I doing wrong? When I type "IDDQDSPISPOPD", nothing happens!
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:34 PM on November 16, 2002

i remember my glee when I figured out how to take the taxi in LSL. I was 10.
posted by angry modem at 2:46 PM on November 16, 2002

PWA_BadBoy speaks the truth! The Quest for Glory series(previously known as Hero's Quest) were some of the best games ever created. The old Sierra text based interface helped me learn how to spell when I was a youngster :-) For those who are reading this, why not share your own favorite games?
posted by jdhodges at 3:13 PM on November 16, 2002

I've always thought that Gabriel Knight 2, was the best adventure game, Sierra ever produced. Surprisingly, the video sequences actually enhanced the game. It's hard to believe this, I know, but the acting and dialogue really enhanced the story line, to create a very immersive gaming experience. I positively loved this game, so forgive me for gushing.
posted by Beholder at 3:36 PM on November 16, 2002

The Laura Bow games were also a lot of fun, though the writers never quite figured out how to integrate the mystery and adventure game genres -- the characters would drop dead one by one, and the survivors other than Laura would either not notice or not fear for their own safety.

I loved adventure games. A lot of people did. Unfortunately, once computers were powerful enough to handle Doom and its successors, a new gaming market popped up that was so large and lucrative that the rest of us were forgotten. As with most other entertainment subindustries, everyone wants to be involved with big sellers and no one with more modest successes, so troubling gaps are appearing in our culture.
posted by Epenthesis at 3:40 PM on November 16, 2002

I loved the Larry games - boobies = haha. I once emailed Al Lowe to ask if he would be interested in web-ifying his games. He said he thought Flash would make it artistically sound, but a hell of a load hog.
posted by owillis at 3:59 PM on November 16, 2002

the first two games I ever got for my PC were Space Quest 4 and Kings Quest 6. needless to say, after that I was hooked on sierra. I've played through almost everything they've put out (even ecoquest!) but oddly enough I've never played a Police Quest game.

what do you guys reckon the greatest sierra game of all was? my vote goes to The Colonel's Bequest, but pay no mind to this negative reviewer. I doubt he'd be into any game that doesn't have a chaingun.
posted by mcsweetie at 4:32 PM on November 16, 2002

does anyone have any idea where to buy any of these games? particularly kings quest 6. where can i get this game? is it available for download anywhere or anything like that?
posted by ruwan at 5:23 PM on November 16, 2002

Ruwan: Back to the Roots has legal Amiga versions of Kings Quest 1-6 so all you need is an emulator.
posted by holloway at 7:02 PM on November 16, 2002

does anyone have any idea where to buy any of these games? particularly kings quest 6. where can i get this game? is it available for download anywhere or anything like that?

Hands down the best resource for old games is #oldwarez on EFNET. They run a few bots with just about every old game you can think of. The website pales in comparison to the channel.
posted by mad at 7:44 PM on November 16, 2002

Oh yes, Home of the Underdogs is also a great resource for "abandonware". Search by year, genre, etc, and you'll find some of your old favorites.

Lode runner? Dark Seed? Mean Streets? Ringworld? The Legend of Kyrandia? Oh the memories...
posted by mad at 7:56 PM on November 16, 2002

Honestly, I was always less of a fan of the Sierra adventure games than of LucasArts. And what's more, they're actually supporting the Monkey Island franchise!

A few links: Though I haven't really checked it out, there appears to be an open-source version of LucasArts' legendary SCUMM system (the one used for the earlier, 2D games like Maniac Mansion, Monkey Island 1 & 2, etc.) in the works.

Plus, if you liked Infocom games even more -- well, were you aware that there's an absolutely thriving fan-based interactive fiction development community? Some of these people are amazing authors, and most of the work put out recently is actually better than Infocom's games. Here's's beginner's guide to the genre. There's even a yearly IF authorship competition, in which about 50 new games are entered every year. Check it out, you won't be disappointed.
posted by tweebiscuit at 8:05 PM on November 16, 2002

I remember playing one of the Police Quest games and trying to pick something up and it would say "If you pick it, it won't heal." That always cracked me up.
posted by boost ventilator at 8:11 PM on November 16, 2002

now that we have links to the games, does anyone have any advice on getting these suckers to co-exist with windows 2000?
posted by mcsweetie at 8:22 PM on November 16, 2002

Both the Kings Quest and Space Quest games really started going downhill when they became click fests. Taking the typing out of the games really dumbed them down, so quite frankly I wouldn't expect much from new editions if they ever surfaced. The King's quest line also really started to suffer from what seemed to be pacifist leanings by Roberta Williams.

For a while, Sierra sold both of these as sets, but it looks like those may now be out of print. Maybe I should consider selling my sets based on the prices some of these people want for them on ebay.
posted by piper28 at 8:43 PM on November 16, 2002

mcsweetie... you can try, but it's very hard. I had all those probems too, because Win2000/XP doesn't use the DOS Memory and autoexec framework that runs the graphics, mouse, and sound drivers. Windows can emulate the DOS command shell, but its built-in-security won't directly access the hardware the way DOS let you back when these games were made. If you can get one of them to work, odds are it runs in hyper speed, in which case there are a few somewhat-hazardous utilities you can get that slow down your processor.

And yes, piper28, all the Sierra collections (KQ, SQ, early PQ, and LSL) are out of stock and out of print. Your best bet is eBay or Kazaa... but that would be wrong.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:22 PM on November 16, 2002

Does anybody remember that game that apparently was so long that nobody beat it? Some time travel game?
posted by crazy finger at 11:40 PM on November 16, 2002

Chronoquest? I think no one beat that because it sucked.
posted by holloway at 12:36 AM on November 17, 2002

Crazy Finger: Lost in Time was a great time travel game from Sierra, and quite long to boot. I downloaded a copy from who-knows-where, but unfortunately Win 2K won't let me run it.
posted by FissionChips at 12:42 AM on November 17, 2002

Piper28, what does this mean? "The King's quest line also really started to suffer from what seemed to be pacifist leanings by Roberta Williams."
posted by GaelFC at 1:23 AM on November 17, 2002

personal sierra faves would have to be gabriel knight 3 and (despite its bugginess) quest for glory 4.

home of the underdogs won't have sierra stuff, because they're pretty careful about respecting idsa protected stuff.

you might have some luck tracking down the games here though

i run win2k and have managed to get most of the later (non text command) stuff to run ok, but only with pc speaker sound.
posted by juv3nal at 1:46 AM on November 17, 2002

Played Police Quest I-IV, Quest for Glory I-IV, King's Quest I-VI, all of the Space Quests, both Laura Bow games, Willy Beamish, etc. Never really got into LSL.

I also loved the Kyrandia series, which were often superior to those turned out by Sierra.

Then I got into the Ultima universe, and quite happily played VI, VII (Parts 1 & 2; still my favorite games of all time), and VII. I still haven't gotten around to playing IX, sadly, though it was such a performance hog -- and so fraught with bugs -- that I'm not sure I ever will.

If you're looking for Win2K/NT/XP sound support, check out this entry from my site, which is coincidentally about abandonware et al.
posted by Danelope at 2:07 AM on November 17, 2002

also worth a shot, when you REALLY have to play Space Quest 4 talkie: Virtual PC
posted by mcsweetie at 8:31 AM on November 17, 2002

jones in the fast lane. i'm starting to lose faith in this place.
posted by the aloha at 9:12 AM on November 17, 2002

Jones in the fast lane is a wonderful game. It's also designed by one of Sierra's first programmers, a Mormon who often feared that writing early Sierra blast-fests went against his beliefs.

The crazy people making Kings Quest IX have apparently come up with a plot about some bad guy named Vizier Abdul on trial. I wonder if it's supposed to be a parable about Homeland Security and racial profiling, or if they're going for the Daryl Gates' Police Quest approach to ethnic sensitivity.
posted by inksyndicate at 4:33 PM on November 18, 2002

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