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DoubleNegative
Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.



Back in 1979, husband and wife team Ken and Roberta Williams founded a company called On-Line Systems. The company was renamed to Sierra On-Line in the early '80s, and the company then started producing adventure games. In 1984, Sierra released a game that would revolutionize the adventure game genre and usher in a new golden era, paving the way for studios like Lucasarts to follow later on.

That game was King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown. The game was such a success that it received a makeover in 1990, fixing problems that many people had with the game and making the graphics look more modern.

Eleven years later, some independent developers with the blessing of the Williamses and presmably Activision, released another update. This time bringing King's Quest I into the "modern" era with VGA graphics and an interface similar to later games in the series.

Which brings me to...

About the LP

This is going to be a short screenshot LP where I take you all through the game and get all possible points. And I mean short, too. The game itself only lasts approximately an hour if you know what you're doing. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a classic adventure game that I'm pretty sure is older than most of us.

Oh and there's gonna be puns. If there's one thing this game loves more than dumb puzzles and death, it's puns.

The Updates

#1 - Introduction and Orientation
#2 - Looting the Realm
#3 - Bad Puns
#4 - Trolls, Goats, and Bad Puzzles
#5 - Graham and the Beanstalk
#6 - Bad Rats

Other King's Quest Titles

King's Quest II - Romancing the Throne
King's Quest III - To Heir is to Human
King's Quest IV - The Perils of Rosella
King's Quest V - Absence Makes the Heart go Yonder
King's Quest VI - Heir Today Gone Tomorrow

DoubleNegative fucked around with this message at 21:59 on Oct 29, 2017

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DoubleNegative
Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.



Welcome, everyone, to King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown. This is the SCI version from 1990. The game originally was released in 1984, but it had that Atari look about it.



Let's get things started by jumping right into the action. There's an introduction that explains the plot, but I'll cover that later. For now, all you need to know is we're Graham, and we're on a quest. A quest from our king. A King's Quest, you might say.



So here's the game's screen. We're the fellow with the blue hat in the middle of the screen, and we're outside the king's castle.



...and to get anything done we have to literally type in commands into a built-in text parser. No, no, no, no, no.

gently caress that. gently caress this.

We're gonna restart the game and we're gonna do this all over again, the right way.



Much better.



The menu screen is still much the same, but the underlying game has changed quite a bit. So let's actually hit that Introduction button and get going.



You probably noticed that things look distinctly less crappy. Welcome to the Sierra VGA engine, as seen in such hit titles as King's Quest V, and King's Quest VI. (You know, the two good ones in the series.)

The little crown in the bottom right corner is my mouse cursor. If a cutscene is happening, I try to relocate it down there to get it out of the way.

: This is Sir Graham, the bravest and most honorable knight in the troubled realm of Daventry.
: The feathered hat's kind of dumb, I know.
: King Edward the Benevolent, aged ruler of Daventry, has summoned him to the castle for reasons unknown.



: Greetings, Sir Graham. The King is expecting you. Allow me to escort you to His Majesty's throne room.
: Thank you, Sir Knight.



: Raise the portcullis!





: Graham walks up to the King and removes his hat as a sign of respect.
: I am at your service, my King.
: I am an old man, Sir Graham. Perhaps too old to carry the weight of this crown. My bones ache, my hands tremble. I'm afraid my time on earth grows short.
: Your Majesty, you still have many happy years ahead of you.
: Please don't say that. My kingdom is in shambles and I don't have enough money to pay the guards this week. If I'm lucky I'll die today and it will no longer be my problem.

: But enough about me. Great misfortunes have befallen Daventry since the loss, years ago, of the three magical treasures. I have chosen you, the finest knight in all of Daventry, to search for these lost treasures. Only then can this kingdom be restored to its former glory. And only then may I rest with the knowledge that my people are safe.



: The first treasure is a magic mirror that foretells the future.
: Funny how it never mentioned all of this when I used to look into its surface...



: The second is a magical shield that protects the bearer from all mortal harm.
: Even if you have it, you can still get sick, or trip and fall, or choke on a turkey leg. I also believe you need to actually be holding it for it to do anything.



: The third and last is an enchanted chest that is forever filled with gold.
: That sounds like it would cause an economic crisis the likes of which the realm has never before seen. Is that the reason why we've had such a lasting problem with inflation for decades?
: An eco-what now? And what's this about balloons?
: Graham wisely decides to keep his mouth shut and let the king continue talking.
: What? No I'm not. I have many more--
: I said Graham wisely keeps his mouth shut and lets the king finish.

: I know that what I ask is difficult... nay, perhaps impossible. The dangers are many. But you are brave and pure of heart. That is why I chose you to volunteer. If you succeed, you will inherit my crown, and rule the Realm of Daventry as her rightful king. Go, Sir Graham and know that the fate of Daventry lies in your hands.
: Take heart, my King. I shall not fail you.



: Graham rises, puts his cap back on, and struts out of the palace like he owns the place.





So let's get started. When you hit "Begin Game" in this version, you're asked an extremely important question. Sierra games were, at the best of times, considered notoriously hard. There are plenty of ways to gently caress up progression by doing, or in many cases not doing, something.

This text box is, essentially, asking if we want the game to take mercy on us, or if we want the original experience. Because I played through this somewhere on the order of 5 times to prepare for this LP, I'm playing with dead ends enabled. When you select no, the game says...

: You have selected to play with dead-ends enabled. The game will play exactly the same way as the EGA version of King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown.



And so finally, we're back here on this screen. Quite the difference, isn't it? In fact, let's take a quick look at the SCI version side by side with this one.





The only detail they didn't catch was Graham's reflection in the water. But that's nitpicking. Anyway, unlike the SCI version, we have some options for controlling Graham here. You can use the cursor and the little walking icon to move him around the screen, or you can also use the arrow keys.

Like...



Whoops!





This is actually one of the deaths with a unique little animation after you die. Oh yes, by the way, you can die in this game. Quite easily, in fact.

Anyway, the moat is filled with serpents, and walking into it causes them to eat Graham.



Here's the little animation that plays in the SCI version. This is the only such gif that I have, and it took me a very long time to make because I had to do it manually. So enjoy it while it lasts!



When you die, your nominal punishment is that you have to reload your last saved game. In the case you haven't saved, you have to restart the entire game from the beginning. In reality, though, your punishment is having to suffer through the awful, horrible puns the narrator comes up with.



So, I'm going to religiously save the game. While I may know all most of this game's trickery and dick moves, it's still a 1980s Sierra game. poo poo can go wrong at a moment's notice, and it's usually not my fault.



So, before we really get started, let me take some time to explain the VGA interface. Starting from the left...

: Moves Graham around the screen. He can maneuver around solid objects, but will blithely step off to his death if given half the chance.
: Lets you look at anything you can click on. Useful for finding several optional items that don't exist until you first look at their hiding spot.
: Use, or generally interact with, something you can click on. This is how you pick up all those wonderful items you need to solve the puzzles the designers came up with.
: Talk to someone nearby. This is used in exactly two, maybe three, puzzles in the entire game.
: This blank spot in the middle, minus the part of the cursor I accidentally captured, is where you can quick select the last item you were using. Like the talk command, it's more useful in later VGA titles.
: This bag is how you look at, and interact with, your entire inventory.
: Save your game, load your game, change volume, change walking speed, and quit: this is the options menu.
: Explains all of this again.



This is the options menu. You generally want to keep walking speed somewhere between 75% and 100%, as Graham moves at a snail's pace otherwise. There's also one puzzle that's made infinitely easier by changing walking speed.

Finally, below the sliders, and in the top right corner, we can see our points display. You can tell this is a short game, because it only has 158 points at maximum. Some later Sierra adventure titles have 999 or more!



Anyway, let's get moving. You can leave the previous screen by either the left or right sides, but I always go left first. There's several easy puzzles over this way, and no nasty surprises.

Also, this bridge. This bridge didn't exist in the initial EGA version of the game. In that version, it was a single plank that you had to successfully navigate Graham across. Let's just say that enough people fed the moat snakes in the EGA version to make Sierra add in guard rails for the SCI port. AGDI, the company that produced this VGA port, based it on the SCI version. Thus, the bridge has guard rails.

Don't worry if all of that went over your head. Just remember this: King's Quest I got less and less bullshit with each different port it received.



This screen has a nice easy puzzle to start us off with. There's two rocks, one of which is shaded differently enough to make it pop out. So let's investigate...

: The rock on the right is less distinctive than the one next to it.
: You see a large gray rock on the left.



: Graham stands in front of the rock and rolls it out of place.





Never forget that King's Quest I is a spiteful game and something as simple as being on the wrong side of an interactable object will kill you. Anyway, that's enough for this first update.

NEXT TIME: Treasure hunting and exploring the realm.

List of Points

Nothing yet!

Register of Deaths

Drowned in a moat
Crushed by a rock

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




Ah yes, the King's Quest. Some call it item chess.

Epsilon Moonshade
Nov 21, 2016

Not an excellent host.


I never did play this game back in the day, but I'm about this already.

Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

This series was definitely an interesting one. Here's to many... many deaths.

oldskool
Aug 9, 2010





Lipstick Apathy

DoubleNegative posted:

Just remember this: King's Quest I got less and less bullshit with each different port it received.

King's Quest posted:

kills you for standing on the wrong side of an interactive object with no visual cue to help you figure out which side this is

Sounds like it needed some more ports.

oldskool fucked around with this message at 14:25 on Jun 6, 2017

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I got so angry at these games as a kid. My dad loved them, but I never did beat any of them.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


oldskool posted:

Sounds like it needed some more ports.
Honestly, that counts as one of the less dickish things this game (and series) will subject you to. Even with the limited number and variety of games available back then, I have no idea how the King's Quest series survived. There was no point in time where they were ever anything but an exercise in futility and frustration.

mateo360
Mar 20, 2012

TOO MANY PEOPLE MERLOCK!
ONLY ONE DIJON!


This remake I am fine with. It's the next games remake I have... issues with.

DoubleNegative
Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

mateo360 posted:

This remake I am fine with. It's the next games remake I have... issues with.

Yeah, very much same here. The team took a few too many creative liberties with the KQ2 remake, to the point where it felt like I was playing through a King's Quest fanfiction instead.

Tiggum posted:

Honestly, that counts as one of the less dickish things this game (and series) will subject you to.

Yeeep. In this game and the next one there are screens where you have a random chance to die just for walking onto them. It's something I'm going to cover a little more in the next update, which I'll be posting on Thursday. I also have an entire rant prepared for that puzzle, the one that routinely tops "worst puzzles in adventure games" lists.

BDA
Dec 10, 2007

Extremely grim and evil.

DoubleNegative posted:

Yeah, very much same here. The team took a few too many creative liberties with the KQ2 remake, to the point where it felt like I was playing through a King's Quest fanfiction instead.
I haven't played the remake so I can't comment on it, but the original was such a scatterbrained mess that it felt pretty fanfiction-y on its own.

Charlett
Apr 2, 2011


I can't play adventure games. Like other people, I get frustrated when I think I've figured out a puzzle and I feel super happy with myself only to realize that it's not "the game's way" to figure out the puzzle. I have always wanted to see what King's Quest is like though, just because I enjoy Monkey Island and want to see where its roots are from, so thanks for this!

Mikl
Nov 8, 2009

Vote shit sandwich or the shit sandwich gets it!


I came into King's Quest late on, and I only played The Princeless Bride. One of the not-good ones, from what I gathered 'round the net. Looking forward to this!

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



Restore, Restart or Quit is pretty much the Sierra slogan.

One of the worst moments in these kind of games was one where you were a naval officer (I think) and the game had you sitting in the driver's seat of a submarine with the captain barking navigation orders at you. If you didn't type in the orders correctly and quickly enough, instant loss. These games were very clearly not intended for non-native english speakers.

DoubleNegative
Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

So here's some weird timing. GoG's summer sale started recently, and the entire original King's Quest series-- the first 7 games plus the... eighth... are all on sale for $10.

https://www.gog.com/game/kings_quest_1_2_3

Alternatively, if you want to try King's Quest 1 VGA and play along with the LP, it's also available for free through AGDI.

http://agdinteractive.com/games/kq1/

The screenshots on GoG make it look like it's the EGA version of KQ1, so be aware that if you buy the bundle it'll be the most bullshit version of the game.

Yeowch!!! My Balls!!!
May 31, 2006

by Cyrano4747


So you're aware, while Defias Pillager currently tops the list of all-time causes of death in PC gaming courtesy of World of Warcraft exploding and somebody not understanding how math worked, The Moat Of Castle Daventry claimed an easy victory for the first ~15 years of video game history.

Y'see, once upon a time, you pushed arrow button to move, and you needed to push arrow button in another direction to stop moving.

Leaving Castle Daventry, you had about a quarter of a second to press left, or else fall into the moat and die.

Entering Castle Daventry, you had about a quarter of a second to press up, or else fall into the moat and die.

These games defined PC gaming for a decade. Castle Daventry never stopped killing people.

OAquinas
Jan 27, 2008
Ye Olde Newb





Poil posted:

Restore, Restart or Quit is pretty much the Sierra slogan.

One of the worst moments in these kind of games was one where you were a naval officer (I think) and the game had you sitting in the driver's seat of a submarine with the captain barking navigation orders at you. If you didn't type in the orders correctly and quickly enough, instant loss. These games were very clearly not intended for non-native english speakers.

Codename: Iceman, made by Jim Walls, aka "ex-cop who thinks he knows how to design games." He's actually right, so long as he remembers to include "really, really bad" as a modifier in there somewhere.

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



Ze Pollack posted:

So you're aware, while Defias Pillager currently tops the list of all-time causes of death in PC gaming courtesy of World of Warcraft exploding and somebody not understanding how math worked, The Moat Of Castle Daventry claimed an easy victory for the first ~15 years of video game history.

Y'see, once upon a time, you pushed arrow button to move, and you needed to push arrow button in another direction to stop moving.

Leaving Castle Daventry, you had about a quarter of a second to press left, or else fall into the moat and die.

Entering Castle Daventry, you had about a quarter of a second to press up, or else fall into the moat and die.

These games defined PC gaming for a decade. Castle Daventry never stopped killing people.
Wasn't it the same arrow button? Or did it differ from game to game?


OAquinas posted:

Codename: Iceman, made by Jim Walls, aka "ex-cop who thinks he knows how to design games." He's actually right, so long as he remembers to include "really, really bad" as a modifier in there somewhere.
Yes, that's the one. It's pretty much the only thing I remember though.

OAquinas
Jan 27, 2008
Ye Olde Newb





Poil posted:

Wasn't it the same arrow button? Or did it differ from game to game?


You could also do that. Direction + same direction tap would stop the character....but you still had the same reaction time before you took a fatal swim.

The "Good News" that the OP omits is that even the earliest version of these games had variable game speeds. You could slow things down to a crawl before moving, which made those several-pixel-width bridges much more tolerable.

KQ1's moat was bad, but if you wanted the Maximum Sierra Bullshit puzzle involving movement, you needed Space Quest 2.



Look at that. Look at it.
Touching any of them is an instant game over.

Edit: and you had to go through it twice.

OAquinas fucked around with this message at 00:36 on Jun 7, 2017

DoubleNegative
Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

OAquinas posted:



Look at that. Look at it.
Touching any of them is an instant game over.

Whaaaat the fuuuuck

Gnoman
Feb 11, 2014

"What we therefore hath joined together, let Gnoman put asunder..."


These early games generally weren't playtested except by the dev team (Sierra was a bit progressive in that from the very beginning the game's designer wasn't also the programmer, writer, artist, etc - even Mystery House had the development divided between Ken and Roberta Williams) that built them. This created an echo chamber effect where tasks that seemed perfectly fine in-house (because the person that created a maze or puzzle usually finds it far easier than it actually is) were extremely difficult to the consumer.

Seyser Koze
Dec 15, 2013


Nap Ghost

DoubleNegative posted:

Whaaaat the fuuuuck

Oh, don't take our word for it. Here you go. (skip to 26:00 or so for the relevant section). It "only" took KillerEmcee 10-15 minutes to get through it.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


Charlett posted:

I can't play adventure games. Like other people, I get frustrated when I think I've figured out a puzzle and I feel super happy with myself only to realize that it's not "the game's way" to figure out the puzzle.
Not every adventure game is like this, but unfortunately there' still a demand for this type of bullshit for some reason, and it's basically impossible to know ahead of time whether any particular game is going to be big on adventure-game-logic or not. I'd recommend the Blackwell series, but the first game would probably put you off, so maybe try a let's play to see if it's the sort of thing you might otherwise enjoy and start actually playing with the second game.

I'd also recommend Journey of a Roach. It's not perfect, but it's simple enough that you're not likely to get frustrated.

Mikl posted:

I came into King's Quest late on, and I only played The Princeless Bride. One of the not-good ones, from what I gathered 'round the net.
That one (KQ7) is poo poo for other reasons. As far as dickish puzzles go, the worst I can remember is a tone-based audio puzzle, which I personally found impossible, but you can just look up a walkthrough for that. You can't actually lose progress or reach an unwinnable state in that one; there are still deaths, but the game just resets to right before you did the thing that killed you rather than making you reload a save.

The one that comes closest to being an actually OK game is KQ6 (Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow), but "best King's Quest game" is still damning with faint praise.

Zeniel
Oct 18, 2013


Although I never played it, I know Sierra released a lesser known adventure game called Gold Rush or something like that. It's probably got the single worst bullshit death out of everything they ever produced. You see you're character could just die of typhoid or some similar disease I'm not sure. But it would just randomly happen and be completely unavoidable. I have no idea what was going through their heads when they decided to do that.

^^^^ Oh no, you can absolutely end up in an unwinnable state for the very reason that you mentioned. KQ7 is the only one in the series I never finished(apart from 8 which I've only played the demo of), the reason being I got really far into the game and ended up with some lit dynamite in my inventory that would kill me and then the game would just reset with the lit dynamite still in my inventory, utter garbage.

Zeniel fucked around with this message at 08:43 on Jun 7, 2017

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



I think I actually prefer the EGA graphics. The VGA ones are a bit... drab.

Comstar
Apr 20, 2007

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Princess Celestia


I was just about to post that. The EGA graphics look nicer to me.

I never played KQ1, the first one I played was the one were his son and captured by an evil wizard who lived on another island. That bloody ledge you had to walk up and down (and in a time limit!) killed me more than anything else. There's places were you couldn't see your feet!

That and the damm cat who would kill you because, well, it's a cat.

MagusofStars
Mar 31, 2012




Tiggum posted:

Honestly, that counts as one of the less dickish things this game (and series) will subject you to. Even with the limited number and variety of games available back then, I have no idea how the King's Quest series survived. There was no point in time where they were ever anything but an exercise in futility and frustration.

oldskool posted:

Sounds like it needed some more ports.
Eh, the whole "you might die at any time from anything" is part of the classic adventure game motif. All the way back to when these were text parsers without graphics a'la Zork or Adventure. Sierra may have cranked it up, but it was part of the genre DNA long before King's Quest and its ilk. So players kinda knew what they were signing up for.

And really, the small deaths aren't an issue because you should be saving near constantly, so it's just a minute or so diversion. In fact, some deaths are actually kinda entertaining so it's worth screwing up intentionally.

The *real* dick moves are when you subtly screw up so you're secretly hosed but can't find out about it for a long while. The most common example AFAICT is an event which only happens once at a specified time but oh poo poo, you weren't there (because you-the-player didn't know about it), so it happened without you... and you only realize much much later that you're missing a critical item.

Charlett
Apr 2, 2011


Tiggum posted:

Not every adventure game is like this, but unfortunately there' still a demand for this type of bullshit for some reason, and it's basically impossible to know ahead of time whether any particular game is going to be big on adventure-game-logic or not. I'd recommend the Blackwell series, but the first game would probably put you off, so maybe try a let's play to see if it's the sort of thing you might otherwise enjoy and start actually playing with the second game.

I'd also recommend Journey of a Roach. It's not perfect, but it's simple enough that you're not likely to get frustrated.

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll check out Blackwell and see if it's for me. It looks vaguely noir-ish and I do love myself some trenchcoats.

DoubleNegative
Jan 27, 2010

The most virtuous child in the entire world.

Zeniel posted:

^^^^ Oh no, you can absolutely end up in an unwinnable state for the very reason that you mentioned. KQ7 is the only one in the series I never finished(apart from 8 which I've only played the demo of), the reason being I got really far into the game and ended up with some lit dynamite in my inventory that would kill me and then the game would just reset with the lit dynamite still in my inventory, utter garbage.

That puzzle is the worst point of an already bad game. Rather than do something intelligent like create a timer for the firecracker, they tied its fuse to your processor clock speed.

The Lone Badger posted:

I think I actually prefer the EGA graphics. The VGA ones are a bit... drab.



Here's a comparison of the three different graphics for KQ1. Minor spoilers, I guess, for a location in the game.

EGA on the bottom, SCI in the middle, VGA on top. Assuming you meant the SCI graphics look nicer, I do have to agree with you there. They look both detailed and colorful, making it quite easy to see what's going on. The EGA on the bottom, however, are a mix between bad MSPaint drawing and Atari. And, yes, Graham is Simpsons yellow in the original release of the game.

Honestly, this LP was very nearly done with the SCI version. I ran into a bug at the very tail end of the game that killed that idea dead, though.

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



DoubleNegative posted:

That puzzle is the worst point of an already bad game. Rather than do something intelligent like create a timer for the firecracker, they tied its fuse to your processor clock speed.
They did that crap in other games as well. For example in Ports of Call where the time to get your ship in or out of a port was very generous with a slow CPU or instant fail with a faster. Or in Highway Hunter where the entire game's speed was tied and trying to play on anything above very slow would make it impossible with a good computer back in those days. It's a good thing things has advanced enough that programmers aren't tying poo poo to the CPU or FPS speeds anymore so games don't break if you change them.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


Poil posted:

They did that crap in other games as well.
It was so common that there were programs specifically designed to do nothing but slow down your computer, and DOSBox has it as a built-in option.

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010


Zeniel posted:

KQ7 and the firecracker

I think KQ7 got patched so when the firecracker blew up and you had to continue, the continue point was right where you were standing when it exploded. You just had to endure a couple screens' worth of "(walk cycle) (explosion) (Valanice says something stupid) (Try Again)" to get the firecracker where it needed to be.

Poil posted:

why would Sierra tie in-game stuff to your processor speed

It could be worse. Leisure Suit Larry 3 required Larry to do a set number of reps on four exercise machines at a gym. The number of reps was tied to your processor speed.

Back in 1989 or so, you only had to do 10, maybe 20 before the game said that was enough. Unfortunately for me, I didn't play this game in DOS in 1989.

I played it through the Windows ME Command Prompt in 2005. If I remember right, I think each exercise required 359 reps before Larry felt like he got enough done. That's 359 repetitions of "Tap NumPad8, wait for Larry's arms to stop, tap NumPad2, wait for Larry's arms to stop, tap NumPad8..."

For four exercise machines.

Oh, and any time the counter incremented past 255, there was a chance that SCI (the game engine used by Sierra's games starting with King's Quest IV) would crash. So I had to save every few reps.

Yeah. Let's just say that there's reasons I prefer Space Quest and Quest For Glory over Leisure Suit Larry, and Fat City was the big one.

Waffleman_
Jan 20, 2011

I'm just goin' with the FLOW, baby.




If you're looking for adventure games without dick moves, the majority of Lucasarts' work is for you. They had a specific policy of never allowing their games to become unwinnable or including death states in the games.

Sorites
Sep 10, 2012



Snorb posted:

Leisure Suit Larry 3 required Larry to do a set number of reps on four exercise machines at a gym. The number of reps was tied to your processor speed.

How did that happen? What the hell?

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


Waffleman_ posted:

If you're looking for adventure games without dick moves, the majority of Lucasarts' work is for you. They had a specific policy of never allowing their games to become unwinnable or including death states in the games.

Or pretty much just avoid Sierra. Others might have done it, but I think Sierra's pretty much the only company to have made it a standard part of every game they made.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Tiggum posted:

Or pretty much just avoid Sierra. Others might have done it, but I think Sierra's pretty much the only company to have made it a standard part of every game they made.

One puzzle game I loved as a kid, Cydonia, took a middle ground: there's an item you can pick up in the first few screens of the game that you need much, MUCH later in the game in order to progress. The puzzle this item solves where you can first find it is optional. The puzzle it solves near the end of the game is not. Didn't pick it up? Hope you enjoy a fuckton of backtracking!

Reinbach
Jan 28, 2009


Kings Quest 5 nonsense was what drove me to Quest for Glory, and I never looked back.

Tiggum
Oct 23, 2007


Cythereal posted:

One puzzle game I loved as a kid, Cydonia, took a middle ground: there's an item you can pick up in the first few screens of the game that you need much, MUCH later in the game in order to progress. The puzzle this item solves where you can first find it is optional. The puzzle it solves near the end of the game is not. Didn't pick it up? Hope you enjoy a fuckton of backtracking!

King's Quest 5 contains a puzzle that you can solve in two different ways. Solving it the wrong way leads to being unable to solve a later puzzle at all. You won't realise this until you get to that later puzzle and possibly bash your head against it for hours trying to figure out what you missed.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Tiggum posted:

King's Quest 5 contains a puzzle that you can solve in two different ways. Solving it the wrong way leads to being unable to solve a later puzzle at all. You won't realise this until you get to that later puzzle and possibly bash your head against it for hours trying to figure out what you missed.

Cydonia's puzzle I'm thinking of, at least, you almost have to purposefully ignore. One of your fellow crew is trapped by a piece of debris that fell on him during the crash, and you can find a blowtorch to cut through the debris and free him. You don't actually have to save him, but he's about the first thing you see in the actual game so why wouldn't you save him?

Much later in the game, you need that blowtorch to cut through some giant vines blocking the way forward.

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OAquinas
Jan 27, 2008
Ye Olde Newb





One thing I was somewhat looking forward to (that's now 100% dead and will never happen) was the LSL remake of LSL2. That game had puzzles designed to be dead-man-walking that you had to iterate through multiple times. Not just one or two, but half the damned game. And it's not like they were the "choose a decision and immediately go back and choose the right one" (there were a few of those too) but the "get an item from the start of the game and take it with you the entire run" variety. Al Lowe was unhappy with how that one turned out and one of the goals of the remake was to severely cut down or remove those issues...which again, being as they were half the game meant that it would get a substantial rewrite. No more, now...welp.

Sierra was highly entertaining, but also high frustration--but as mentioned, this was during a far more masochistic era of gaming. When you look at the games, they're only a few hours long if you know how to beat the puzzles; having deathtraps, backtracks, and obfuscated puzzle solutions not only kept the helpline kitty full but it also padded the game to let people feel they got their $$ worth.

I'll bag on them all day, but only because this was my childhood. Terrible design decisions in retrospect, but I can clearly remember reading about how a new X Quest game was coming out and feeling excited and planning how to save to get a copy from the mall electronics store. So I guess they were doing something right, for the era they were in.

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