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posted by RAnthonyMahan on - last edited - Viewed by 307 users

As I'm sure you all know, the style of the old Sierra adventures like King's Quest is drastically different from the "Exploration shouldn't be punished" philosophy employed by LucasArts (and later Telltale). The slightest step out of line can easily kill you, or even worse, render the game unwinnable, usually with the game's narrator making snarky jokes about your suffering.

I'm not trying to be another one of those complainers going "Telltale can't make a proper King's Quest game because they've never done something like that before!" Instead my question is...how do you want the game to be done? Would you like a return to full-on Sierra sadism, or for Telltale to stick with the friendly approach they've always used so far?

I'd personally like if there can be a little bit of both. Don't get me wrong, I want this game to be frustratingly hard, but stuff like unwinnable situations are just too much. And in the era of auto-saving, I think death should be treated the same way as in The Tomb of Sammun-Mak: you're immediately taken back to where you were before.

What do you think?

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  • @Woodsyblue said: I'm not sure if the option "Sierra-style! If I'm not being tortured, it's not King's Quest!" is biased and written by a LucasArts style adventure game fanboy who doesn't understand the appeal of Sierra style adventure games* or if being tortured is something that an old-school Sierra-fan would consider a good thing and something to feel nostalgic and happy about.


    The use of the word "tortured" here proves that it's a LucasArts fan negatively biased against the Sierra form of play. There is this one-sided rivalry, where LucasArts fans absolutely despise Sierra and I've never met an analogous, opposite Sierra fan that hates LucasArts. A true Sierra fan would probably say "challenged", "held accountable", "face consequences", or something to that effect.

  • @Rather Dashing said: The use of the word "tortured" here proves that it's a LucasArts fan negatively biased against the Sierra form of play. There is this one-sided rivalry, where LucasArts fans absolutely despise Sierra and I've never met an analogous, opposite Sierra fan that hates LucasArts. A true Sierra fan would probably say "challenged", "held accountable", "face consequences", or something to that effect.



    That's what I suspected.

  • Sierra-style isn't as difficult as everyone makes it out to be, I think. The only real adjustment anyone had to make was to save a lot, which is probably a good idea anyway. I still save a lot at different points, even in Telltale games, which makes it easier to go back and do all the little dialog options you missed without having to start over.

    Old Sierra games were made to be played with one hand on the arrow keys (or mouse) and the other hovering above the F5 key. It's a different mindset, but it's certainly not torture. (Running into deadends was more painful, but I think Sierra got better at eliminating those, or at least making it obvious that you missed something, in later games.)

  • @Woodsyblue said: I'm not sure if the option "Sierra-style! If I'm not being tortured, it's not King's Quest!" is biased and written by a LucasArts style adventure game fanboy who doesn't understand the appeal of Sierra style adventure games* or if being tortured is something that an old-school Sierra-fan would consider a good thing and something to feel nostalgic and happy about.


    I really like the King's Quest series (even though I've always preferred LucasArts style), and I actually think that 'if I'm not being tortured, it's not King's Quest".

    KQ5 has tortured me for 20 years now, and I've had a love-hate relationship with this game for most of my life.

    As a kid I was stuck at the beginning of the game because I'd never have thought that a game would need you to Save - Go in the desert - Die - Restore - Start Again a number of times just to find 3 interesting places in a really big desert.
    Then when I tried it again as a teen, I got stuck due to the cat and mouse situation described earlier in the thread. It took me around 5 years to figure it out. With hindsight, yeah, it was not that hard, but the problem is that it happens at the beginning of the game, and by the time you are actually stuck, you don't even remember that incident.
    Then, when I finally got it, it was like the best day of my life... but only for a few minutes. I got the rope, tied it to a tree, started climbing and died. I was so pissed off I wasn't able to play the game for another couple of years.

    Now I'm stuck in the final castle, getting my ass kicked by a wizard and another cat. Maybe in five years I'll realize that you have to drink from the pound in the first screen in order to finish the game, or that you can't beat the evil wizard if you haven't talked to the cow outside of the town. Who knows? (well if you do, please don't spoil me, I've sworn that I would defeat this game without help)

    So basically, yes, "torture" is the word I'd use.

  • @Billy said: I really like the King's Quest series (even though I've always preferred LucasArts style), and I actually think that 'if I'm not being tortured, it's not King's Quest".

    KQ5 has tortured me for 20 years now, and I've had a love-hate relationship with this game for most of my life.



    I'm a Sierra fan, and I would use the word "tortured" because I'm capable of being snarky about things that I love. Plus, yes, I was tortured by KQ5 especially, and it was part of the experience.

    I think right off the bat, a tricky element of KQ5 for me was that the first place I explored was the witch's forest. Cedric didn't follow, and I died. Then, the first building I entered was the Swarthy Hog. Cedric didn't follow, and I died. Because of that, I was scared for a long time to go anywhere Cedric wouldn't. What can I say, I was a cautious kid. :P

    I definitely wouldn't have figured out that I needed to go into the desert without a hint guide. After all, KQ3 had a similar desert that you weren't supposed to enter past the outskirts. There was precedent!

  • @Rather Dashing said: The use of the word "tortured" here proves that it's a LucasArts fan negatively biased against the Sierra form of play. There is this one-sided rivalry, where LucasArts fans absolutely despise Sierra and I've never met an analogous, opposite Sierra fan that hates LucasArts. A true Sierra fan would probably say "challenged", "held accountable", "face consequences", or something to that effect.



    Dude, I generally agree with you, but this is ridiculous. A lot of people love both Sierra and Lucasarts games, and I'm one of them. It does absolutely no good to stereotype "Sierra fans" or "Lucasarts fans" nor to make statements like "Lucasarts fans absolutely despise Sierra." You're doing yourself and your broader argument a disservice.

  • When I was a kid we had what in retrospect must have been a beta copy of KQII for some reason. On each screen the colors would flood fill in seperately before you could move, all of the text appeared at the bottom where the cursor goes, and most importantly, you couldn't save the game! I still remember nights when all of the kids in my family would be huddled around our old Tandy, watching my oldest sister pick her way through the poison brambles around Dracula's castle (since we always killed the snake instead of giving it the bridle to get the invincibility sugar cube), cheering her on as she picked her way through, pixel by pixel, knowing that any single misstep would force us all to completely restart the game. And then, half of the time, if we made it through that, it was almost a sure thing that Graham would die falling down the stairs at the end of the game.

    THAT was torturous gameplay. KQV has nothing on that mess.

  • @MisterKerr said: When I was a kid we had what in retrospect must have been a beta copy of KQII for some reason. On each screen the colors would flood fill in seperately before you could move, all of the text appeared at the bottom where the cursor goes, and most importantly, you couldn't save the game! I still remember nights when all of the kids in my family would be huddled around our old Tandy, watching my oldest sister pick her way through the poison brambles around Dracula's castle (since we always killed the snake instead of giving it the bridle to get the invincibility sugar cube), cheering her on as she picked her way through, pixel by pixel, knowing that any single misstep would force us all to completely restart the game. And then, half of the time, if we made it through that, it was almost a sure thing that Graham would die falling down the stairs at the end of the game.

    THAT was torturous gameplay. KQV has nothing on that mess.


    You must have really had a beta version, indeed! All of the narrative text appearing in the black space at the bottom of the screen was also what happened in the original IBM PCjr release of KQ1, waaaaay back in 1984. 27 years ago now!

    The "modern" 16-color DOS version of KQ1 AGI, with white pop-up text boxes for narration, came out only in 1987; the first PC release, in 1984, was CGA 4-color and followed the mold of the PCjr version. Of course, by 1987, KQ2 had already been released, back in 1985. So it would seem KQ2 was the first Sierra game to use a separate, special pop-up window for narrative text, instead of cramming it down into the parser field.

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