Why We Loved Sierra Games: 1984 Sierra fan reviews King's Quest 2015, Part 3

Why We Cherished Sierra Video games: 1984 Sierra fan evaluations King's Quest 2015, Half 3



Why We Cherished Sierra Video games (Half 3): King’s Quest 2015: An Opinionated Overview by a crotchety Sierra fan who remembers 1984
This as soon as in a life-time (I’m not doing this once more), mom of all recreation evaluations (there’s like 30+ video games right here), is:
– Celebration of all of the basic Sierra video games and their creators
– Sport design take a look at the connection between story and puzzles
– Overview of how KQ2015 measures as much as basic Sierra
– Tribute to Gary Owens

Synopsis: Traditional Sierra video games succeeded with stronger story telling in video games as a result of the intertwined relationship between story and puzzles is commonly missed and misunderstood by fashionable recreation design. Moreover, problem is vital for giving gamers significant experiences, however problem is misunderstood, misused, or averted.

(Principally) Spoiler free for KQ2015
Minor spoilers for traditional Sierra video games

Half 1:

Half 2:

Half 3:

Playlist:

Half 1
=====
– Intro/historical past/backstory
– Distinction between Journey Video games and different video games (Increased Order Interactions)
– Story vs. Interactivity
– Puzzles (How they’re utilized in journey video games)

Half 2
=====
– Deaths & Penalties
– The notion of Problem
– “Good Puzzle” examples
– KQ1
– KQ2015

Half 3
=====
– Technicals
– Graphics
– QTEs
– Music
– Tone
– Epilogue

Consists of:
– Clips from virtually all Sierra 3D journey video games
– Excerpts from interviews with
– Roberta Williams (King’s Quest)
– Jane Jenson (Gabriel Knight)
– Jim Partitions (Police Quest, Codename: Iceman)
– Josh Mandel (Freddy Pharkas, Area Quest 6),
– Al Lowe (Leisure Go well with Larry),
– Lori & Corey Cole (Quest For Glory),
– Christy Marx (Conquests of Camelot, Conquests of the Longbow)
– Scott Murphy & Mark Crowe (Area Quest)

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Sure it’s lengthy, however sit again and luxuriate in it. One thing like this doesn’t come round usually.

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44 thoughts on “Why We Cherished Sierra Video games: 1984 Sierra fan evaluations King's Quest 2015, Half 3

  1. Once, in child age i've played in Gold Rush! – it was change my vision of everything what links with adventure games… my taste in quest genre was being configured by Sierra's games.

    Also:
    Colonel's Bequest – great example of variable solutions that player can figure out to walkthrough…

    Music is must be created by real talented musicians), otherwise game gets proportional worst musical results of weakness that developing by ordinary "artist(s)".

    Excuse me for awkwardly generated ideas. :]]]]

  2. Thanks for putting this thing together! I’m back on a KQ kick and really wish someone would recreate the entire line up. Like….all the King, Space, Gabriel, Coloniel, Leasure Suit, Monkey Island and just all of them, reboot them with amazing new graphics, music and interfaces.

    I was so excited about KQ2015 and was just so sadly disappointed in it. I wanted to love it but it was missing so many things. I completely agree the forced cut scenes and many of the characters were big turn offs. I loved the throw back stuff and expansion on the lore and the graphics were pretty decent but the game was missing all the great puzzles. It was missing the fairytale nods and wacky Easter eggs (two that come to mind are when KQ4 where she ends up in Space Quest or in KQ2 when the Bat Mobile comes out of the cave) the insane deaths were far in between each other and they relied super heavily on click button for action stuff that was absolutely lazy and super boring. It made me miss the old games. King’s Quest 6 I feel really did the best job with the delivery of story, puzzle, the fairytale references, multiple endings depth of characters whole nine. I wish we could get a new one that plays in the same way as the old ones just with modern technology and some cool interface that doesn’t weigh heavily on the aspects that weren’t super great in the old games.

  3. This was a thought-provoking approach. Your use of theoretical concepts to guide your analysis makes it seem more convincing than an opinion piece. You carefully build a strong argument, while entertaining. Thanks!

  4. I don't think it's a conceit to want to drive everything with story. It's why I loved them myself. Your conceit is to presume we all enjoy those games like you did. Everyone is different.

  5. This was a fantastic and interesting series of videos. A lot of people have been pushing games as art for the past decade. What fascinates me is most of the examples provided like "The last of us"… don't really hold up as games as art. Because most of what people talk about is cutscene related… I think to be art the medium needs to tell it's story organically purely through it's own medium instead of crutching on other mediums. It's why I cringe everytime i hear the term "Cinematic gaming." Why are you aspiring to be like cinema when you should be aspiring to better your own medium. is this the most creative end-goal you can come up with developers?

    To answer some questions at the end:

    My favorite King's quest game was King's quest 5. I know people prefer 6 but 5 for me was intrinsicially linked to my childhood. So I have irrational bias. I know King's quest 6 is a better game but I didn't play it til well into my later teens. KQ5 however was one of the earliest video games I ever played. (I also think i'm one of the few people on earth who could tolerate cedric… I didn't realise he was so unanimously maligned until much later with the power of the internet)

    My favorite song comes from that very game. The willow's song… there's something so heartbreakingly beautiful to that. What's really brilliant about it is it inferred puzzle hints through song in a very magical way.

    I think my problem with the King's quest 2015 was the classic series had a sense of sincerity. Sure there was comedy sprinkled in… but there was kind of poe-faced wonder to it which I feel the reboot failed to capture because it went straight to "princess bride" comedy antics. It just didn't completely land for me.

  6. I watched all 3 parts, nice job man. i grew up with sierra & lucas arts games & loved them(mostly leisure suit larry,kings quest,police quest,space quest,quest for glory and indiana jones stuff) They HAD the formula mostly correct and when i used to play, i never wanted to get off the computer because i wanted to keep exploring the games,especially Leisure suit larry 2, for SOME reason,as a teenage boy, i loved those games 🙂 You hit on the right points with games only taking us along for their ride, games should have consequences but not be so hard you want to give up, I hope developers check out your videos before creating the next adventure game, especially another sierra game.

  7. To be fair, quite a lot of indie adventure games have been released in the recent years. Games released by Wadjet Eye come to mind in particular. What I do agree though is that no real advances have been made in the adventure game design. Even the aforementioned indie adventures are, mostly, just copies of the old ones, they don't bring anything new to the table, sadly.

    I also agree that Sierra-style adventure design definitely deserves more attention, and that outright dismissal of deaths and fail states is kinda stupid. Deaths can be really, really fun and there's a trivial solution (by no means the only one, of course) that comes from Sierra themselves – the ability to undo the action that caused your death, like in Torin's Quest. It completely solves the constant saving and loading that you have to do in order to play something like Space Quest, while keeping all those funny death sequences and snarky comments intact.

  8. Interesting point about the music. An old Sierra game (okay, made by Impressions) called Lords of Magic had a dynamic soundtrack which changed with the flow of combat. It clearly reflected whether or not one was winning or losing, and ended on either a high or a low note based on victory or defeat.

  9. I love this videos, it really moved me. I think this kind of games won´t stop to appear, wadjet games or Infamous adventures are creating awesome adventures, and all of us can support these new amazing creations. About the big companies, I´m sadly afraid that they won´t go back to the golden age of the adventure.
    Thank you to do these videos

  10. this was really awesome, and i'm glad i found it.

    i certainly hope you do more like it [though i imagine it must have been quite a job to edit all this footage and your comments together.] – this was certainly worth the time i took to listen to it.

    i completely understand where you're coming from, for what it's worth.

    semi-related: you played a lot of good music there. i love the erana theme from qfg1. it's just about my favourite piece of sierra music. and i agree. years later, i still recognize all those songs. i can't say the same for modern games at all.

  11. Excellent video, Eric! I agree wholeheartedly with the ideas you laid out across this 3 hour trip down memory lane. Thank you!

    As a small child, I too was amazed by Sierra games, and my very first experience with them was watching my older brother play King's Quest 1, though my favorite series has to be the Space Quest series.
    I never felt that dying in the game was especially frustrating. As you noted, it gave the gaming experience a much needed sense of immersion and urgency, and meant that every action had a consequence. Sometimes they overdid it a bit – especially in the Police Quest series where you were instantly penalized for not following every protocol to the letter (Though in most occasions it did made sense).

    Anyways, thanks again for this. I'm definitely adding these videos to my list of favorites. 🙂

  12. Thanks for making this series of videos! I think I need to hit gog.com and track down the rest of the Sierra games I never got to play back in the day. You articulated something I was never quite able to put my finger on all this time: why point and click games lost something over the ones where you had to type things in. On the surface, it seems like the typing (and moving with the keyboard, frequently falling off cliffs and stairs or into poisonous thorns or whatever else) was a nuisance that made the puzzles orders of magnitude more difficult many times, especially when you couldn't always tell what something on the screen was supposed to be with the old pixel graphics (finding the golden ball in King's Quest IV for the first time was both a moment of triumph and confusion, and that wasn't the only one in that game.) But when KQ5 switched to mouse movement, I couldn't help but feel it lacked something I couldn't put to words. That freedom to experiment, to play, to find your own solutions to things or even just to uncover some sort of silly easter egg, all became much more limited.

    The games also became a lot shorter, for me. The first handful of King's Quest games would take me weeks of getting stuck, exploring, maybe even walking away for a bit and having an aha! moment of something else I could try, that may or may not have worked (and how amazing did it feel when it did!) I could ask my dad for a new game and it would entertain me for weeks or months on end, playing and replaying it to see new things. I remember the day I brought home Return of the Phantom (not a Sierra game, but an adventure game from that era): the sound was great, the graphics were amazing for the time, it was an enjoyable game, but I finished the very linear game in under three hours and though I did play it more than once, there was little incentive to do so. To this day, there's little I remember about it, especially compared to the Sierra games I've played. That feeling pretty has pretty much been the tone of adventure games since then: short, linear, mostly forgettable. Telltale is actually doing a good job making games that are at least a little longer (over a season), are memorable, and have a little bit more choice than most games on offer these days. Who knows, maybe we'll eventually see a revival of the kind of freedom and imagination we had once upon a time!

  13. very well put. I loved the newest King's Quest game and probably was because of nostalgia. And for your questions:

    – My favorite Sierra moment was when I had to create the spells in KQ3. At first I was like: "who the fuck is this pussy! Where's King Graham?" But eventually, I liked the character for what we went together to set him free.
    – The puzzle I liked the most was actually, in KQ2015: the game against Manny, I wouldn't mind if they make a mobile game based on that alone.
    – My favorite Sierra song (not counting Girl in the Tower), the island of the harpees in KQ5.

    And as a bonus, my favorite character is Whisper, followed by Achaka, and the lord of the dead is in 3rd place (does the librarian from AGD's KQII count?).

  14. Quite a great video series. I agree with much of what you said. I will say, as far as recent games are considered, The Witcher series is the only franchise to remind me of the possibilities and magic of Quest for Glory, my personal favorite Sierra franchise. Worth a look perhaps.

  15. (Coming from a huge fan of these games.) In a defense of having arcade game sequences within exploration games, one thing to mention about the arcade games within Sierra games is that they all were very poorly executed. This mostly came from the lack of keyboard control due to the Sierra programmers not knowing how to disable the keyboard repeat. (It was not an easy thing to learn.) But even if this was taken care of the arcade games were generally poorly done and unfair challenges that often required slowing the game down to cheat past. My point is, the arcade games may have been better received had they been developed better.

  16. Even though I haven't played any Sierra adventure games besides the Gabriel Knight series (I'm afraid of the dead ends I guess), I found your "review" very very good. I don't agree with everything you said but videogames sadly lack this kind of deep analysis. I wish I could see more reviews like yours.

  17. I don't know if this is my favorite Quest scene or not, but when I eventually took out the "Terminator" (and could do so two different ways) was great. Loved the intro where you had to read the text backwards and when it shows its teeth. … Space Quest 1, 2, and 3 are my favorites.

  18. I just finished watching it all. Loved it. And learned a lot too. Even non-game stuff: I had no idea that Sierra was "the poor victim of a hostile takeover by criminals", for example! Or that they owed nearly 30% of the PC games market.

  19. Incredible videos.. you nailed a lot of great points. As unfortunate as it may be, I don't think adventure games are ever really going to be popular again.. no matter how "right" the studio gets it. They're always going to fill a niche, but they won't be mainstream again. King's Quest, Quest for Glory and the like.. they were fresh and innovative at the time. I think some of the more semi-modern adventures like Syberia and The Longest Journey have done a great service to the genre .. while they may not do everything the same as old Sierra games did, they certainly help to keep the genre alive without completely dumbing it down.

  20. Thanks for the video – informative, entertaining and thought provoking! Almost made me want to give KQ1 another chance until I remembered the reason I quit the first time – the need to map out the world. What can I say, I'm spoiled.

    I haven't actually made it through many Sierra games, the fear of dead ends (not deaths) scares me off, but Gabriel Knight 1 is possibly my favorite adventure game of all time.

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