King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Is the game being a ROYAL pain? Need a hint? Got a problem? This is the place to discuss King's Quest!
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Tawmis
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King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:20 pm

Found this on Petter Holmberg's Geocities site:
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq1fun.html

Funny messages
Here's a list of things you could try out in the game just to get funny responses:
When standing outside of the castle: Try to pet alligators or pick flowers.
In the throne room: Try to kill king.
When you're down at the bottom of the well: try to raise bucket, raise rope (or lower any of the two). Also, see what happens if you swim for too long.
When you see the elf with the magic ring: Try to hug elf or kiss elf. You may also want to try to kill elf.
At any troll bridge, try these things out: throw dagger at troll, beg to troll, push troll or, if the troll isn't there, look troll. There are different messages at each troll bridge, some of them quite amusing. Also, you can try to walk into the river surrounding the gnome island at different locations for a number of interesting death messages.
If you come upon an ogre, try to kill ogre or talk to ogre.
Outside of the gingerbread house: look witch. You can also try to walk up to the fence and eat fence.
Inside the gingerbread house: Walk up to the kitchen table and look table.
At the mountain door leading up to the Land of the Clouds: Try to use key when you don't have it. Also, look in keyhole while not standing very close to the door.
After the giant has fallen asleep: Try to kill giant.
When standing in front of the big rat: look mouse. Also, after you've given him the cheese, you're told that you might want to count your fingers. Do so: count fingers.
If you're being attacked by a wolf, try to pet wolf. Also, see what happens if he catches you.
Be a little mean to the woodcutter and his wife! Try to kill people, break window (also try this outside the house) and steal fiddle. While you're at it, also try to eat stew after putting the empty bowl on their table. You can also try falling down through one of the holes in the floor.
There's a few funny of things you can do to the goat as well. Try to kill goat when you have the dagger. Very pointless. Also, try to talk to goat or call goat. You can even attempt to ride goat, both before and after you've tempted him with the carrot. Finally, try to eat carrot while you're tempting the goat with it.
Easter eggs
This game is pretty free of easter eggs. Maybe some of the funny messages above could be considered easter eggs. Anyway, I found the following interesting thing when looking at the logic code sources of the game in AGI Studio:
When the gnome asks you for his name, try writing Mikel or Mikel Knight, and you get a very strange and amusing answer from him. Some internal joke no doubt. Refers to the TV series Knight Rider.

Interesting Bugs
The maximum score possible in the game is supposed to be 158 points, but it's actually possible to get a final score of 159!
Otherwise, the game is surprisingly bug-free, but I found at least one more:

If you go to the screen with the cave entrance where the friendly bird sometimes appear and position yourself so that when you walk off the bottom of the screen, you get right in front of the small tree at the top of the screen in the goat pen area, you'll get stuck inside the small area that's supposed to be sealed off, making it impossible to walk right through the tree trunk. There might be more places where similar errors occur, but it's very hard to search for them.

Other things
The AGI system, used to run King's Quest: Quest for the Crown has its code encrypted, and the encryption key is "Avis Durgan". Apparently, this was the maiden name of programmer Jeff Stephenson's wife!
Also, the following three messages exists in the logic code for the throne room, but there's nothing you can do to make them appear in the actual game:

"Even as you are reaching for your medevial flamethrower, the King's agents descend upon you. You are taken away to be torched at dawn."
"Before exposing your flamethrower, you decide the King is just beyond the range of your obsolete flamethrower."
"As you are leaving, your agents remind you that you must remain here now, where it is safe."
Perhaps you could get these messages in some way in the original version, and while removing this feature in the 1987 disk version, the programmers forgot to remove the actual messages. I have no idea... Very funny though!

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Re: King's Quest 1 Fun Stuff

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:20 pm

Just since it's from the same site - Development info.
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq1dev.html

Development history
The IBM PCjrIn 1983, Sierra On-Line was still a pretty small company, but it was growing quickly. They had developed graphical adventure games, primarily for the Apple II, and numerous arcade games for a lot of different platforms. Many companies were competing to get a piece of the quickly growing and very lucrative home computing business. There was a great number of home computers made by a great number of companies available on the market.
IBM had launched the IBM PC in 1981. It was a business oriented microcomputer built with standard parts, making it easy to clone. They had not really expected it to be a big success. But it was, and it made them realize what a lucrative market they had entered. The IBM PC quickly became the #1 platform in the offices, but it was too expensive for the home market and didn't have the hardware to compete with computers such as the Apple II or the Commodore 64 in the graphics and sound department.
Trying to get their foot into the home computer market as well, IBM started designing a home oriented version of the PC, called the PCjr. Available for a much lower price than the regular PC and with 16-color graphic capabilities, three-channel sound and 128k of memory it was thought to take the home consumers by storm. Two cartridge ports would make it easy even for children to load and play their favorite games and a new wireless keyboard with rubber "chicklet" keys was thought to be a hit.

But impressive hardware was not going to be enough. They needed some software to show off the features of the IBM PCjr. They needed a computer game! Sierra On-Line, famous for their revolutionary Apple II games, seemed like the right company to create a cool game for the new computer, so they were contacted by the people at IBM.
Ken and Roberta was given a very interesting offer: IBM wanted a game for the PCjr. It was going to be distributed and sold by IBM, but they would pay royalties to Sierra On-Line, fund the entire development process and even feature the game in their TV advertisements! But of course, the game IBM wanted had to be not only good; they wanted something truly groundbreaking! Ken and Roberta, eager to take on new challenges, were extremely excited by the offer. They accepted it and immediately started to work on the project.

Roberta made up a game concept similar to Wizard and the Princess. Her interest in folklore and fairy-tales inspired her to create a classic story about a knight that had to find and recover three stolen treasures and return them to the king. She wanted the game to be just like an animated cartoon that the player was in complete control of. The name "King's Quest” was invented by either Ken or Roberta (they probably would disagree if you asked them).
In Roberta's design, your character in the game was going to be seen in a third-person view. He would be fully integrated into a pseudo-3D environment where he could walk freely, even behind or in front of objects. It would have fluent animation in 16 colors and 3-channel sound and music effects playing in the background. The text parser needed to be more "intelligent" than the ones in the old Sierra On-Line adventures, understanding much more complex commands. People were totally blown away when they saw Roberta's design specs and didn't think it was possible to actually program it. But Roberta was determined and didn't let go of her design.

The size and complexity of the game required special software tools to handle all of the text, graphics, sound and logic code of the game. For this, Sierra On-Line created AGI (Short for Adventure Game Interpreter), a system to bring all the data together and run the game.
The amount of graphics Roberta wanted was a problem. The memory limitations of the PCjr made it impossible to save everything as bitmaps. The solution was a very interesting one: To use vector graphics for the background pictures! Instead of bitmaps there was going to be a series of instructions to the AGI interpreter for every picture, telling it to draw lines, filled surfaces etc. to create the background graphics. (In the pre-1987 versions of the game you could actually see the screens getting "drawn" every time you entered a new screen because of this and the available CPU speeds at the time.) This made it possible to represent the background pictures with very little data. Animated details, such as the main character graphics, could not be represented in that way but were small enough to be saved as regular bitmaps. The PCjr had a 320x200 pixel resolution with 16 colors available, but for memory reasons the lower resolution of 160x200 had to be used instead. This resolution provided pixels nearly double as wide as they were high, but it still made a very impressive view for the game.
The sound hardware on the PCjr was much better than the one on the standard PC, but it was still pretty simple and although it was utilized in the game, very little music and sound effects could be heard in the game. It was not considered to be that important.
The AGI system stored all of the game data in "resource" packages. Text messages, graphics and sound was all stored separately. The code that tied everything together into a game was written in a specially designed script language, similar to a regular high-level programming language but designed exclusively for adventure game creation. The nice thing about this design was that King's Quest and any other AGI-based game could easily be ported to other systems. All you needed was a version of the interpreter written for the new system that would run the game code. The games themselves didn't need to be rewritten for the new system. Basically, all they needed to to was to transfer the old game data to the new system and compile it.

The visible background pictureThe invisible control pictureThe effect of walking behind or in front of objects on the screen and the possibility to have special actions assigned to special areas of the screen seems pretty advanced, but it's actually achieved in a very simple way: For each location in the game, there's not one but actually two pictures stored. One is the regular background picture that the player sees. The other picture is invisible to the player and controls what happens when the character walks around on that screen. Objects on the visible picture that should be able to obstruct the character graphics have their corresponding pixels in the invisible picture drawn in a solid color. Different colors give different "priorities" to the object, thus making it possible to have one object obstructing the character when he's at a specific location while at the same time another object further back in the picture is not. Also, a number of "control lines" are used in numerous ways. They can work as boundaries that the character cannot cross or they can set certain variables when crossed, making it easy to determine if the player is standing close enough to something to perform an action on it or if he's walked into a deadly spot.

It took Roberta and her small team of programmers eighteen months of work and a development cost of about $700,000 to create King's Quest, the first three-dimensional animated adventure game ever. The first version of the game was published and distributed by IBM. It was the first game released on the PCjr. It was packaged in a grey box with a cover picture of a knight in armor. (Quite interesting actually, as you never really wear an armor in the game. A part of the text on the front even says "Put on your armour - and your thinking cap". Apparently, IBM made the box before the game was finished and assumed that because the main character was a knight, he would wear a suit of armor in the game.) It had a manual written by IBM and a "chicklet" keyboard overlay with a scene from the game and markings of the commands to use on it. This was a pretty interesting idea: Different game developers could design different overlays for their games, showing the player what keys to press when playing the game.

In 1985, when IBM stopped production of the PCjr and the Tandy Corporation launched the PCjr-compatible Tandy 1000, Sierra On-Line was fast to release King's Quest: Quest for the Crown in a Tandy 1000 version. They also released an IBM PC version with CGA graphics and single-voice PC Speaker sound. All of the releases were booter versions with copy protection.

In 1987, the game was re-released in a DOS version that supported both CGA and EGA graphics on the PC, as well as supporting the PCjr and Tandy 1000. This time it was packaged in a slipcover box on one 5.25'' and one 3.5'' disk. This was the first time when the game was published with the Quest for the Crown subtitle. The previous versions had just been called King's Quest, but at the time of the re-release, the game already had two sequels and a third was in development, so the subtitle was added to distinguish the first game from the name King's Quest as a general description of the whole series.

King's Quest: Quest for the Crown was also released in a console version for the Sega Master System in 1989, designed by Microsmiths Inc. and published by Parker Brothers. It had totally different graphics and rewritten text, but the gameplay was almost identical to the original.King's Quest on the Sega Master System - Starting screenKing's Quest on the Sega Master System - The well

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Re: King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:22 pm

KQ2 Development:
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq2dev.html

Development history
King's Quest: Quest for the Crown was a revolutionary game and many people contacted Sierra On-Line asking for a sequel after finishing it. Roberta was also anxious to make another adventure game right away, this time with a bigger story than in her previous games. She also had lots of ideas left that didn't fit into the first game, so it wasn't hard for her to come up with the material for a sequel.
The outline of the story was pretty obvious this time. Graham was now king of Daventry, but he was a lonely king and was in need of a queen. So the subtitle of the sequel became Romancing the Throne, and the goal of the game was a classic fairy-tale theme: You had to travel to a faraway land and save a beautiful maiden in distress. She would make a perfect queen for Graham. The prospect of an entire royal family in the future started to form in Roberta's mind.

The game had to be bigger than its prequel, and feature more detailed graphics. It should also have more music than the first game.
Many famous Sierra On-Line names were involved in the production of the game: Ken Williams himself was one of the programmers. Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy, who would later become famous for their own highly successful adventure game series Space Quest, both worked on the game, Mark as an artist and Scott as a programmer. And Al Lowe, creator of the famous Leisure Suit Larry series, was responsible for the music. The credits list of this game proves that back in these days it was still possible to become responsible for any part of a Sierra On-Line game. This game started a very successful company tradition of using the King's Quest games as a sort of "training ground" for future game developers.

King's Quest: II: Romancing the Throne was made a bigger and better game than its prequel in almost every aspect. King's Quest: Quest for the Crown contained about 80 scenes. This game had over 90, and there were more puzzles in it. Al Lowe composed 14 musical themes for the game, including Tchaikovsky's love theme from Romeo and Juliet. It was considered a pretty impressive musical score for a computer game at the time.

The game was released in May 1985. The ill-fated PCjr was taken off the market in the same year. But instead, the PCjr-compatible Tandy 1000 quickly became popular and both King's Quest games sold like crazy on the new platform. On the PC, the game only had four-color CGA graphics and single-voice PC Speaker sound.

King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne was re-released in 1987, packaged in a new box on two 5.25'' disks and one 3.5'' disk. The new version supported 16-color EGA graphics on the PC.

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Re: King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:22 pm

KQ2 fun stuff:
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq2fun.html

Funny messages
Here's a list of things you could try out in the game just to get funny responses:
Anywhere in the game, type what is Graham last name?
Anywhere in the game, type say something.
Anywhere on the beach, try to dig in sand.
Inside Grandma's cottage, try to get Grandma, kiss Grandma or kill Grandma.
When standing outside of Hagatha's cave, try to get skull.
If Hagatha is in her cave when you enter it, try to get Hagatha or kiss Hagatha.
While you are in King Neptune's underwater kingdom, try to speak.
Also, Try to pat seahorse or speak to seahorse.
Before giving King Neptune his trident back, try to open the giant clam by saying abracadabra or open sesame.
Finally, try to get king or kill king while you're there.
In the antique shop, try to kill lady.
Try to ride carpet when standing in the opening of the cave where you find the second key. (Note: QA is short for Quality Assurance. A QA guy tries to do everything possible in a game in order to spot bugs.)
When meeting Dracula, try to talk to Dracula or even get Dracula.
In the room with Dracula's coffin, try to look at something.
If you catched the golden fish and it's dead, try to kiss fish.
At the top of the quartz tower, try to kill maiden.
Easter eggs
There are two easter eggs in this game that are definately worth a look. Try the follow things while playing it:
Walk two screens left of the screen where you see the island in the lake from a distance and look at trees. A sign appears to be attached to the back of one of the trees. read sign, for some blatant advertising.

If you thought that was something, think again! Outside the cave at the top of the mountains where you get the second key, there is a hole at the base of some rocks. look in hole to watch something really cool. This one is a must-see!

Interesting Bugs
There aren't many bugs to find in this game, but try pressing the arrow keys when King Graham recovers from tumbling off the golden fish onto the enchanted island near the end of the game. The programmers seem to have forgotten to turn off the ability to move the character during the animation, resulting in an amusing effect.
Other things
You can swim out into the ocean to the left of Kolyma and stay out there until you get tired of swimming and drown, but basically this is all a waste of time.
Try getting caught by the sorcerer or walk up to the shore of the poisoned lake and drink water for amusing death sequences.

Why does Count Dracula have a bedroom in one of the towers of his castle when he sleeps in his coffin in the basement anyway? I'm just asking...

Check out the people that are attending King Graham's wedding with Valanice at the end. They are key characters from both of the two first games in the series. But why would his enemies go there, what is the dolphin doing there and why are Count Dracula present, even when you've killed him earlier on in the game? Very peculiar...

The following is a list of every synonym for girl allowed in the game. You can use any of these names to refer to any female character in the game. (For example, calling grandma little red riding hood works just fine...) Warning: Not for the faint-hearted!

Contains a number of offensive female derogatory terms - so putting it in the spoiler tag.

bitch
cunt
damsel
fairy
girl
grandma
grandmother
hag
hagatha
her
hose bag
lady
little red riding hood
maiden
mermaid
old hag
old lady
old woman
red riding hood
riding hood
slut
sperm burping gutter slut
valanice
whore
witch
woman


Someone apparently got a little over-enthusiastic when working on the synonyms! It's amazing what dark secrets you can discover if you decode the sources of a game...
Even more off-color stuff: The following description of Valanice can be found in the logic code for the quartz tower room, but there's nothing you can do to make it appear appear in the actual game:

"She is even more lovely than she appeared in the mirror. Her long auburn hair tumbles down to cover her large firm breasts. Her erect nipples are one of the indications that her warm thighs would welcome your tender kisses."
And this game is supposed to be suitable for the whole family! ;-)
The subtitle of this game is a funny reference to the 1984 blockbuster movie Romancing the Stone, starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

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Re: King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:25 pm

KQ3 Development:
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq3dev.html

Development history
Roberta WilliamsKing's Quest: Quest for the Crown and King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne were two great adventure games and they sold very well. The natural thing to do was to make another sequel. Roberta always wanted more and more complex plot elements in her games, but memory limitations always limited her creativity. But as computers were getting better and better, she decided that the next King's Quest game would push the limits and be much bigger and more complex than any of her previous games. The first two games were very similar in many ways. The third game had to go further and bring new characters and story elements into the King's Quest series.
Roberta got together with a team consisting mainly of the same people that worked with her on the previous two games, but more people were involved in the production this time. Al Lowe, who made the music in King's Quest II, became the lead programmer of King's Quest III, while his wife Margaret made the music instead.

The AGI system had to be expanded a little to handle the game. Two elements not seen before; a clock displayed on the top of the screen and an automapping system were put into the game. The use of these features were important elements in the gameplay.

The plot of the game was very different from the plot in the previous ones. First of all, the main protagonist wasn't King Graham this time, but a 17 year old slave boy named Gwydion. Second, the game didn't start in Daventry. And third, the goal of the game wasn't obvious this time. All the player would know at the beginning of the game was that you were a slave of the evil wizard Manannan living in the land of Llewdor, and if you didn't come up with a way to escape from him you would soon be dead. What would happen if you actually managed to escape was unclear. The game manual came with the recipes for seven magical spells that could be useful to help you along, but you had to find the ingredients first. And if Manannan caught you stealing his stuff or practicing magic in his house you were in trouble for sure.

When the game was released in October 1986, it was the second biggest game ever released by Sierra On-Line. It could still not beat Roberta's old Apple II game Time Zone, but it was nearly as big as the two previous King's Quest games put together.

Right after the release, Sierra On-Line was bombarded with letters and telephone calls from King's Quest fans who complained that this game was not a true King's Quest game at all since it didn't have anything to do with King Graham, Queen Valanice or Daventry. At the time there were still no hint books available from Sierra On-Line, so it took a few months before people managed to finish the game and realized that it was indeed a true King's Quest game after all. The game was really hard and complex, but the most seasoned adventure game players still complained about the "automagic mapping" system (witch had been promoted a lot in the advertising for the game), claiming that it reduced the challenge of the game. But the game was still heralded by most people became a bestseller. The automapping system was later included in Roberta's 1987 game Mixed-Up Mother Goose, where it was much more appreciated.

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Re: King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:26 pm

KQ3 fun stuff:
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq3fun.html

Funny messages
Here's a list of things you could try out in the game just to get funny messages:
Anywhere in the game, say dirty word, (or say a dirty word).
When Manannan appears, try to kiss manannan.
Manannan's cat roams freely around his house. Try to pet cat, kick cat or even kill cat.
In Manannan's bedroom, look in chamber pot or use chamber pot.
Inside the chicken coop, try to eat chicken.
In the store in town try to jump or jump counter.
The dog's first name is Kenny, but what is his last name? Type dog last to find out.
While standing below the mistletoe, kiss below mistletoe.
At the waterfall near the mountain summit, try to drink water.
At the mountain summit, play in snow.
When the Abominable Snowman appears, try to capture snowman, kill snowman or embrace snowman.
At the screen where you arrive in Daventry, fall into the chasm at the bottom of the screen.
After you've untied Rosella, try to look at girl or touch girl.
Easter eggs
There are a few amusing easter eggs in this game that you shouldn't miss. Try the following things while playing it:
Walk over to the tapestry beside Gwydion's bedroom and look behind tapestry.

At the right-hand mountain summit screen, (the one above the cave maze) check out the valley. Doesn't that mountain look suspiciously like Half Dome? And maybe that's Bass Lake down there too... Type look at valley to confirm your suspicions.

Interesting bugs
When standing near the ladder at the screen with the pirate captain's cabin, type jump on ladder, but don't press Enter yet. Fall into the hole leading down to the cargo hold and instantly press Enter. You can now walk in thin air. You'll never be able to recover from this bug though, so don't do this without saving first!
Try to use the storm brew a second time after you've killed the dragon near the end of the game. During the second storm you will see its body rising again, but without any heads on it!

Other things
The moosehead in Manannan's dining room is a Sierra celebrity! It made a cameo appearance on the wall of Lefty's Bar in Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards and later on appeared on different locations in every single game in the Quest for Glory series.
A famous moosehead
If you feel exhausted during the game, go to your room and lie on bed to take a quick nap. Type wake up when you want to return to your adventuring.
Ignore doing Manannan's chores. He can punish you in different ways and the punishments are quite amusing to watch, although they might not have been so funny to experience first-hand...

Mess up any of the spells by mistyping any of the directions. There is an amusing death sequence for each spell.

Don't miss the opportunity to listen to what all of the animals in the game are saying once you have the magic dough pieces in your ears. There is the cat in Manannan's house, the chickens in the coop outside, birds and squirrels in the forest, lizards in the desert, fish in the ocean and the mice in the cargo hold of the pirate ship. They both know valuable secrets concerning your quest and are having quite amusing discussions about their own lives.

There are many fun things to do with the Three Bears and their house. Try to open door when they are at home or walk into Mama Bear's garden while she's working in it. When they are away, try sitting in all the chairs, eating from their porridge bowls and sleeping in their beds, just like in the fairy tale. The ending is the same too!

Buy a drink in the tavern if you got some money on you and watch Gwydion go drunk!

Transform into a fly and fly into the spider's web. Well, that wasn't very smart, was it?

Try to cast the Brewing a Storm spell while on the pirate ship. Stupid, but a nice death sequence.

Listen to the tune the withered old gnome in Daventry is whistling. Why, it sounds like the theme from The Smurfs!

The Apple II version of the game did not have the clock on the screen because of memory limitations. Game time passed just like in the other versions though, so an external clock could be used to keep track of the time.

There's an amusing story from the development of this game that demonstrates just how big a challenge it could be to draw graphics in the AGI system with only 16 colors: In a part of the game, a big blue spider is dropped into the ocean. But as the spider and the ocean water was drawn in the same blue color, the spider became "invisible" when displayed over the water. A meeting was held to resolve the spider problem. The natural solution was to change the color of the spider, but it turned out that no matter what other color was chosen the spider still went invisible at some point, because all the other colors were used at other parts of the screen where the spider was located at other times. Roberta finally decided to keep the blue color of the spider and instead enhance the splash animation displayed when it fell into the water...

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Re: King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:26 pm

KQ4 Development:
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq4dev.html

Development history
When Roberta was designing King's Quest III: To Heir is Human, she was confident that the series would have another sequel in the future. Therefore, she decided to make an ending that would pave the way for another King's Quest game later on. After seeing Princess Rosella getting rescued by her brother and brought back to their parents, she came up with the idea that the next King's Quest game could maybe have her as the main protagonist. This was a very controversial idea, as no notable computer game had ever had a female main character before. The reason was of course that the computer game market was so heavily dominated by men. But as the market grew, more and more women started using computers and Roberta thought that there ought to be games designed with them in mind as well.
Unsure of how this idea would turn out, the ending to King's Quest III was left with an open choice: As the game ends, King Graham realizes that it's time to pass on his adventurer's cap to younger blood, so he tosses it through the air towards Prince Alexander (Gwydion) and Princess Rosella. With the cap frozen in mid air between them, the game ends. Who will catch it? A very good ending to the game, since the symbolism of this action left the question open to who would be the main protagonist in the sequel and thus also made the demand for a sequel bigger. The fans could give their opinions and Roberta had some time to think about it.

In the meantime, Roberta designed Mixed Up Mother Goose, an educational game designed for young children. This game used the automapping system from King's Quest III.

The idea of Rosella as the main protagonist in King's Quest IV was presented to many people at Sierra. Some of them were extremely critical to the idea, claiming that it would destroy the customer base for the King's Quest series and indeed destroy the series itself, giving Sierra a bad reputation. Nevertheless, Roberta was getting more and more confident with the idea and finally decided to try it out.

Technical improvements had started to render the old AGI system outdated. Games with better graphics than AGI could produce was beginning to come out. Sierra had to keep up with the times and therefore decided to create a brand new system for their future adventure games. Developed mainly by the same people who made the AGI system, SCI (Short for the Sierra Creative Interpreter) was the new system that Sierra would use, and King's Quest IV would be the first game written in it.

SCI brought a number of major improvements to the Sierra adventures. First of all, it supported full 320x200 EGA graphics, doubling the resolution of the old games. Backgrounds were still drawn with vector graphics, but support of color patterns, not unlike those used in Sierra's old Apple II Hi-Res games several years earlier, made it possible to draw graphics much more impressive than in the AGI system. Mouse support was also introduced, allowing players to navigate on the screen by clicking the mouse instead of pressing the arrow keys on the keyboard. The programming language used to write the logic code for the game was also greatly improved. Using object-orientation techniques, the programmers could create much better code for the games. Although totally transparent for a player of the game, this was a revolutionary technique that was way ahead of its time. The SCI system was programmed in Assembler, C and itself.
A more obvious technological revolution of SCI was that it introduced sound card support. The first PC-compatible sound cards had just been introduced, but practically no one believed that they would be popular among game players because of their high price. Ken Williams thought otherwise, and King's Quest IV was to be the game that made people realize the advantages of owning a sound card. King's Quest IV would support the AdLib, IBM and Roland MT-32 music cards.

William GoldsteinBut supporting music hardware wouldn't be enough. To make sure that people would realize how much better the game experience became with a soundcard, Sierra went to Hollywood and hired William Goldstein, a professional composer, Emmy-nominated for his work on the Fame television series. With a video recording of the action in the game, he was asked to write a musical score for it.

Working with Goldstein was apperently not an easy process. Roberta had to sped a week at his house, practically "babysitting" him in order to get him to work on the music. But the stuff he made was great and really showed off the advantages of owning a sound card. With over 75 pieces of music (although many very short) including a theme for each one of the 35 most important characters in the game, it set new standards for music in adventure games. It was the first computer game for the PC to support sound cards, and Sierra used the game in a big marketing campaign that made lots of people go out and buy musical hardware for their PC:s.

Because of the great improvements of the SCI system, it wasn't sure that enough people would have the required hardware to play games written in it to make it profitable. Therefore, King's Quest IV was developed in an AGI version parallell to the SCI version. The SCI version required 384K of memory, while the AGI version only required 256K. The size of the game was really pushing the limits of the AGI system, and it didn't look (or sound) nearly as good as the SCI version, as can be observed in the pictures below:


King's Quest IV title screen in AGI King's Quest IV title screen in SCI
King's Quest IV starting screen in AGI King's Quest IV starting screen in SCI
King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella didn't have more areas to explore than King's Quest III: To Heir is Human, but in reality it did have more areas, since the story took place over a 24-hour period and most screens had to be drawn in two versions: One in daylight and one by night. Thus, the game can really be viewed as bigger than any of the previous games.

Sierra invited press and industry representatives to Oakhurst for special demonstrations of the game and the new system. Many of them didn't believe in the buzz about the game, but the demonstrations of the game totally blew them away. The introduction of the game was something previously unseen in a computer game. It was very cinematic, almost ten minutes long, with different camera angles, close-ups of the characters and William Goldstein's music playing on the Roland MT-32. It was such an impressive and moving experience to the audience that it's even been said that one woman in the crowd burst out into tears and started crying when she saw King Graham's heart attack.

King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella was first released in September of 1998 in two versions: One written in the old AGI system and one in SCI. It turned out that most people could actually run the SCI version on their computers, and almost no one bought the AGI version. It was therefore quickly removed from the shelves and quickly forgotten. The few people who still own a copy of the AGI version can be happy to have such a rare item in their game collection.

Roberta and Ken at the 1989 SPA awardsThe sales of the game were sensational, so it seemed like the choice of a female protagonist didn't hurt sales at all. Sierra did a survey to find out what men and women of different ages thought about the game and what they thought of playing a male or a female characters. The results were very unexpected/interesting. It turned out that the men didn't care at all about the sex of the main protagonist as long as the game had an interesting story and fun gameplay, while the women actually prefered to play with a female protagonist. It wasn't the other way around as one could have thought. Because of this, Roberta went on by introducing another female protagonist in her next project, the 1989 game Colonel’s Bequest: A Laura Bow Mystery.

With King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella, Roberta Williams was once again heralded as a visionary game designer. King's Quest IV even won the 1989 Best Adventure or Fantasy Role-Playing Game award (sort of the game industry equivalent of an Oscar) at the SPA Excellence in Software awards ceremony in May 1989, and it sold better than any of the previous King's Quest games.

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Re: King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:27 pm

KQ1 Remake:
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq1scidev.html

Development history
In celebration of their 10 years as a successful computer entertainment company, it was decided in 1989 that Sierra On-Line should make new,
enhanced versions of the first games in their five most popular game franchaises: King's Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Police Quest and
Quest for Glory. They would all use the new SCI system and the enhanced looks and sounds of the new versions would show how much tecnology
had improved over the years.
The first game to get this cosmetic makeover was King's Quest: Quest for the Crown. Put in charge of the production was Josh Mandel, a new
employee at Sierra On-Line who would later make important contributions to many other Sierra games. Roberta was very involved in other projects
at the time, (including the upcoming King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder) so she put Josh in charge of most of the design work of
the King's Quest remake and merely stayed as a creative consultant. Josh rewrote most of the text in the game, trying to make it more in the style
of King's Quest IV and V. The puzzles in the game were slightly altered in a few places (including the infamous name-guessing of the gnome), but
they basically stayed the same as in the original version.

The graphics, music and sound effects were completely remade, making it a completely different feeling to play the new version than the original
although it was basically the same game. The technological improvements and the polished details were thought to greatly improve the experience
of playing the game. The new version was named King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown as there were now already many sequels to the first game.
Being the first of the remade Sierra classics, this game was the only one to be made in 16 colors. Debuting in King's Quest V: Absence Makes the
Heart Go Yonder, SCI Version 1 allowed hand-painted 256-color backgrounds, and all of the other remakes used that system instead.

The game was first released in the same box as the 1987 version of the original game. The only difference was that the new version had a sticker
on it, saying that it had "enhanced graphics". It was soon realized that this was a bit too confusing for the customers, thus hurting sales. The game was therefore re-released later in a completely new box with redrawn art.

The five enhanced games were thought to be a success, as new players who wouldn't touch the original versions because of their outdated look
now could experience them in a new way, while the old players who loved the originals could re-discover the fun of playing them in these new,
improved versions. But it turned out that Sierra had greatly miscalculated how the market would receive these games. Every single one of them
flopped. It turned out that the people who loved the original versions didn't like the new ones because they didn't have the same feeling to them,
and the people who had never played the originals weren't impressed by the old-style gameplay and the simplicity in the storyline. They were
heavily critizised in most reviews and many people compared the release of these games to the coloring of classic black and white films: It was
simply not an improvement at all, and it was much more rewarding to watch the original, "accurate" version.

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Re: King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:28 pm

KQ5 Development:
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq5dev.html

Development history
After ten years in the business, the King's Quest series was still the flagship of the company. In order to keep ahead of its competitors it was necessary to employ the very latest in computer technology and make adventure games compelling to an even bigger audience. SCI 0, first used in King's Quest IV, had grown too old to satisfy this goal. Therefore, a new version of the interpreter was developed.
The new and updated version of the Sierra Creative Interpreter was named SCI 1, and the enhancements were big. First of all, the new version supported 256-color images. Improvements in hardware made the old polygon background technique unnecessary, so background scenes were now stored as regular bitmaps. This paved the way for a dramatic improvement in graphical quality of the games. The background scenes would no longer be drawn on a computer, but hand-painted in high detail and scanned into a computer for additional editing and touch-up. Also, a video recording studio was built next to the old Sierra facilities where captions of live actors were filmed and used as base material for the animations of in-game characters, enabling them to look more realistic. But the most dramatic technological change was the user interface. With possible future game applications such as CDI, a CD game device to be attached to a television set, thought to become the next big thing, computer gaming would be brought to non-computer users. The use of a keyboard to type in commands in the games was thought to make it too difficult for these people to play the games, so a new, non-keyboard interface had to be developed. Roberta thought about this and realized that the actions necessary in an adventure game could be reduced to a few basic commands. The new interpreter therefore scrapped the keyboard interface entirely and replaced it with a mouse-only interface where the user could select from a limited number of general action symbols, such as an eye for "look", a hand for "take" or "touch" and a mouth for "speak". By selecting one of these symbols, the mouse pointer would turn into that symbol and the player could click on any spot on the screen to perform the desired action on the thing or creature located there. This somewhat limited the options for the player, something that a few seasoned adventure game players complained about, but it also made the game easier to play, thus making it easier for inexperienced players to get into the game. It also made game design a lot easier as the game designers no longer had to figure out what type of commands the players would try to write in the game. After this change, the typing interface in graphical adventure games quickly died away, never to return. SCI 1 also improved the sound capabilities of Sierra games a lot. Support for digital sound samples were added, and this enabled for much greater sound effects than in previous SCI games. Another SCI 1 improvement was the "intelligent pathing" technique, a program function that calculated a path between two points on the screen with obstacles between them, so the player didn't have to direct the game character around the obstacles manually.

King's Quest V was the first Sierra adventure game to use hand-painted art Sierra composer Mark Seibert working on the King's Quest V soundtrack
Just like when SCI 0 was developed, it was time for a new King's Quest game to appear, and King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder was the first game to use the new system. It would be Sierra's biggest project ever, as completely new techniques were to be used in the development process and more people were needed to work on the game. For instance, it took about 30 artists to make the graphics for the game, compared to King's Quest IV that had only needed three. King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder was Sierra's first game to cost more than a million dollars to develop. With the nice wrap-up of the story in the previous game, Roberta had free hands to come up with a story for the game. She decided to bring King Graham, the popular hero from the first two King's Quest games, back into action and his quest would be of the ultimate importance, as his whole family, and in fact the entire Royal Castle of Daventry itself, would be stolen by an evil wizard.
The new graphic capabilities of SCI 1 enabled the game to look a lot better, in fact it was considered to look stunningly beautiful compared to most other games of its time. Apart from the hand-painted backgrounds and animation based on motion-captured actors, the game also featured close-ups of the faces of the game characters as they spoke.

King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder was initially released in two versions: one 16-color version supporting EGA, MCGA, VGA and Tandy graphics, and one 256-color version supporting MCGA and VGA only. The game was shipped on 3.5'' floppy disks as well as 5.25'' floppy disks and could be played entirely from the floppies, partly from the hard drive or entirely from the hard drive, resulting in a rather complicated installation procedure with multiple options. In an attempt to expand in Europe and the french-speaking part of Canada, a version of the game translated into french was also released. After King's Quest V, most of Sierra's adventure games would be translated into other languages.

King's Quest V pencil artwork: Crispins house King's Quest V pencil artwork: Cedric
Multimedia was a new buzz word in the early nineties, and Sierra was the first company to release a multimedia adventure game. It was a new and enhanced version of Mixed-Up Mother Goose, released on CD-ROM, and it had digitized speech instead of text. The second game to be released on CD was King's Quest V, in an enhanced multimedia version released in 1991. This version of the game also had digitized speech, featuring more dialogue than the original game, a longer soundtrack and more digital sound effects. The voices used in the game were not done by professional voice artists. It was Sierra employees themselves who were used in the recordings. The multimedia version of King's Quest V thus features voices from famous Sierra people such as Josh Mandel, Lori Ann Cole, Mark Seibert, Roberta Williams herself, and even D.J. Williams, one of her sons!
King's Quest V painted artwork: The Weeping Willow King's Quest V painted artwork: Queen Beetrice
The game was ahead of its time in graphics and sound quality, and the sales of King's Quest V were sensational. It was the first Sierra game to sell more than 500.000 copies! The game also won the 1991 Best Adventure Game of the Year awards from both the Software Publishers Association and Computer Gaming World Magazine.
Even before the release of King's Quest V, Roberta had come up with an idea for the next game in the series, so in the end of the game, the background setting for the next game in the series was made.

In 1991, Konami also made a conversion of the game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It had inferior graphics and control ability, but was still very true to the original game.

King's Quest V on the Nintendo Entertainment System - Starting screen King's Quest V on the Nintendo Entertainment System - The Gypsy camp

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Re: King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:29 pm

KQ6 Development:
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq6dev.html

Development history
After finishing King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder, Roberta spent about a year trying to evaluate the pros and cons of the new icon interface introduced in that game. Her goal was to find out how to preserve the ease of play that the fans of this new interface liked and still be able to make icon-based games challenging enough for the fans of the old parser system. At the same time, she felt that she had reached a point where most of her good ideas had been used in the series already and that it might be time to hand over the King's Quest series to other people. She also wanted the freedom to work on other projects. One of these projects was The Dagger of Amon Ra: A Laura Bow Mystery, the sequel to her best-selling mystery adventure Colonel's Bequest, a Laura Bow Mystery. For this sequel she worked on the basic plot and characters at an early stage, making sure the game was in the spirit of its predecessor, and then left the bulk of the game design for Bruce Balfour. She was credited as the Creative Consultant on this game. Roberta also started sketching on a project she called "Scary Tales", an idea that resulted in Phantasmagoria a couple of years later. But the King's Quest series proved harder to let go of than Roberta thought. She finally decided to make another sequel, but shared the writing, design and directing tasks with Jane Jensen and William D. Skirvin. Work on the game started in June 1991, and after setting up the basic plot, characters and locations, she worked together with Jane on all the plot details and puzzles in the game. Later on, Jane single-handedly took on the task of writing dialogue and narration text.
The result was a game layout that would give the player a lot more freedom than usual. With almost half of the gameplay optional, even an inexperience player could finish the game, while the more experienced one could try to solve some of the optional, harder puzzles and discover new sub-plots and other interesting twists in the story. Most importantly, at one point in the middle of the game it would branch out into two completely different paths, each one with unique puzzles and locations, making the replay value of the game great for any player. As producer, director and art director, William D. Skirvin worked together with Jane and Roberta to create the look and feel of the game.

King's Quest VI pencil artwork: The Ferryman King's Quest VI pencil artwork: The Bookworm King's Quest VI pencil artwork: The Beast
The game was developed in SCI 1, the same system used for King's Quest V, but a number of technical improvements enabled this game to look even better. These included a scaling technique, making the characters look smaller when standing far away while still using the same character graphics improved the illusion of depth on the screen, and extensive use of motion-captured live actors to base the game graphics on. This was done by filming live actors dressed up to look like the characters in the game in front of a blue screen and then transfer the video data into a program called Movie 256 that converted it into a computerized animation ready to be digitally edited by artists. The result was life-like character animations and beautiful, cinematic cutscenes.
A rough King's Quest VI storyboard
For the introduction to the game, Sierra wanted a 3D-rendered movie of Hollywood quality, so they hired Kronos, a company known from their special effects work on movies like Batman Returns and The Lawnmower Man. The result was a 1.5 gigabyte movie that was later reduced to a three-minute eight megabyte introduction movie of incredible quality for its day.
Although targeted for an initial release on floppy disks, it was decided right from the beginning that this game would also come out in a multimedia version on CD. Many critics had complained about the performances of the amateur voice acting cast in the multimedia version of King's Quest V, so professional voice actors were hired for all later projects. For the voices to be released on the multimedia version of King's Quest VI, Sierra went to Hollywood talent coordinator John Grayson and gave him the task of finding voice actors for the characters in the game. The result was an impressive cast, including Robby Benson, voice of the Beast in Disney's animated blockbuster Beauty and the Beast, as Prince Alexander. The theme song Girl in the Tower was also recorded by Sierra composer Mark Seibert in full digital audio, to be played during the ending credits of the game.

Composer Chris Braymen created an exciting soundtrack for the game and the hard work of a talented team of programmers, artists and quality assurance people resulted in a finished product after well over a year of work.

Game designers Jane Jensen and William Skirvin discuss the game storyboards Sierra's animation editor
Filming of live actors dressed like Alexander and Cassima Recording voices for the multimedia version of the game
In October 1992, the floppy version of King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow was released. It was shipped on eleven 3.5'' disks and was an instant sales hit. Eleven disks was a lot to handle, but this version still didn't have character voices and only a few seconds of the digitally recorded ending theme due to space limitations. It was first with the multimedia CD version, released in 1993, that the game's great features were really put to justice. The multimedia version, apart from being conveniently shipped on a single CD, featured voice acting, a greatly improved introduction movie, now about seven minutes long and 50 megabytes big, and the full Girl in the Tower song as a regular CD audio track that was played at the end of the game. In order to enhance the look of the character face close-ups, Sierra purchased Seattle-based company Bright Star Technologies, developers of a lip-synching technology used in their popular education product Alphabet Blocks. Their technology greatly enhanced the realism of the graphics. A Windows version of the game was also shipped on the CD, and it featured redrawn high-resolution graphics of all the character face close-ups, the inventory objects and the menus.
The Macintosh version of King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow won the Best Adventure Game Award at Mac World 1993 and was listed in the Mac World Game Hall of Fame.

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Re: King's Quest Stuff (found on Petter Holmberg's Geocities)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:29 pm

KQ7 Development:
http://www.geocities.ws/petter_holmberg/kq7dev.html

Development history
With the success of King's Quest VI: To Heir is Human, it was obvious that the King's Quest series still was Sierra's flagship. With the new and exciting possibilities opened up by the multimedia revolution, Roberta finally saw the possibility to design the kind of games she had already dreamed of for a long time. This would become her most busy period ever at Sierra, because she decided to develop two games in parallel, each one of a scale Sierra had not ever tried before. Her pet project was Phantasmagoria, a game she had already wanted to do for several years. The design of Phantasmagoria was incredibly ambitious and required huge investments for Sierra. Although overshadowed by this project, the other game- King's Quest VII- required a lot of resources as well. Right from the beginning, Roberta was concerned about how the series could stay alive and fresh. She wanted King's Quest VII to take a new approach and not become just another sequel.
That approach would be to make the game much more light-heared and cartoony than previous King's Quest games. Roberta was always inspired by the Disney movies, and wanted the next King's Quest game to be like them. With multimedia technology becoming the standard, movie-quality animation could finally be used in games. The whole gaming industry was looking at the movie industry for inspiration at the time. Phantasmagoria was going to use live actors and sets. But the same approach was not going to fit the King's Quest universe, as it was much more about fantasy and imagination and would be limited by the use of full-motion video.

With the rapid increase in computer sales it was also obvious that the market of novice computer users was expanding, and to grab hold of that market, King's Quest VII needed to be easy to play. Roberta devised a simplified interface with only one mouse cursor for all actions instead of the multiple action cursor system invented for King's Quest V. The cursor would flash whenever moved over an interesting area on the screen. This would simplify interaction with the game so much that even young children could easily understand it, and the cartoony approach was already bound to attract more children to the series. This new interface would later receive a lot of criticism for the way it reduced the user interaction to simply clicking on everything interesting on the screen without thinking much about how to interact with the game world to solve puzzles. However, the simplistic interface certainly made the game design easier. The same type of interface was used for Phantasmagoria. Both games would run on the new, multimedia-friendly, 32 bit version of Sierra's SCI interpreter: SCI-32. One of the features of this interpreter was support for Super VGA graphics at a resolution of 640x480 pixels.

Lorelei Shannon, King's Quest VII co-designerThe workload of two big game project at once was tough on Roberta, but she wouldn't accept any of the games to suffer from too much attention on the other. However, it was once again necessary with assistance, and this time Roberta co-designed the game with Lorelei Shannon, who had previously written the hint book for the King's Quest I remake and co-designed Pepper's Adventures in Time with Jane Jensen, co-writer of King's Quest VI. This continued the tradition of using King's Quest to train new game designers. Lorelei would later design the sequel to Phantasmagoria, which Roberta had no part in. Working out of Sierra's new Bellevue offices, Roberta and Lorelei created the story and characters for the game, a process which featured a lot of crazy ideas that sometimes ended up in the game and sometimes not. The approach was to create a game full of wacky humor and cartoony characters, and no idea was too wild to consider. This time, there would be not only one, but two main characters. This was not a new idea in adventure games, but it was the first time it was used in the King's Quest series. The characters would be Princess Rosella and, for the first time, Queen Valanice. Having female leads was not a controversial decision anymore, as Roberta had already proven that it was a successful concept in her previous games King's Quest IV and Colonel's Bequest. As the game would reach a new audience as well and not only old King's Quest fans, it was necessary to make it work as a stand-alone game for players who didn't know of the history of the characters from the previous King's Quest games.

But even with the help from Lorelei, Roberta had to work very hard to develop both games in parallel. She sacrificed much of her free time and personal life for the sake of the games. She has mentioned that it was sometimes hard to keep both games in her head at the same time, especially because they were so radically different. But she always managed to give one of them full attention at all of the critical moments.

Long-time Sierra musician Mark Seibert was appointed as producer for King's Quest VII. In the coming years he would be the producer of some of Sierra's biggest games.

Once the story and characters were developed, art director Andy Hoyos and animation director Marc Hudgins could start development of the artistic style of King's Quest VII. Marc did illustrations of all the characters in the game to base the animation on.

King's Quest VII concept art by Marc Hudgins - Oberon King's Quest VII concept art by Marc Hudgins - Badger Guard King's Quest VII concept art by Marc Hudgins - Dr. Mort Cadaver, unspined
The amount of animation needed for the game could easily rival that of an animated feature film, and Sierra did not have such in-house resources. They required the help of several animation houses, and the in-house animation studio was only used for some of the animation in chapter 6. Four animation houses were contracted to do the rest:
Animation Magic Inc. was an animation studio in St. Petersburg, Russia. They were given the responsibilities of doing the global animations and the animation for chapter 1.
Dungeon Ink & Paint, based in South Carolina, did the animation for chapters 2, 3 and 5.
LA West Film Production did the animation for chapters 4 and 6. They were based in Croatia. The political situation in the area at the time never created any problems though.
Animotion, a New York studio, made some of the animation for chapter 5 and the opening and closing movies.
Sierra was so pleased with the performances of LA West Film Production and Animotion that they later contracted them to do the animation in Torin's Passage and Leisure Suit Larry 7: Love for Sail as well.
King's Quest VII opening movie storyboard - ''Grow up young lady...'' King's Quest VII opening movie storyboard - ''I want to go to a land beyond dreams...'' King's Quest VII opening movie storyboard - Cloudland
The animation was done with traditional animation techniques, where the animation frames are first drawn on paper and then scanned into computers where they were submitted to a digital touch-up and coloring process.
A study of Rosella in different poses The painstaking process of scanning the animation frames
Backgrounds were painted in-house, and a novelty of the game was the use of backgrounds bigger than the screen. When the player walked towards one of the sides of the screen at some locations, the background would scroll in the opposite direction, revealing more scenery. This was another part in the effort to make the game more cinematic.
The inventory system also featured a novelty. All inventory objects were rendered in 3D and could be rotated by the user. This feature was utilized to make some of the inventory objects reveal important details that could only be discovered by close examination. All of the 3D artwork was done in-house at Sierra.

The voice acting, directed by Lorelei Shannon, featured a cast of professional voice actors. Although they were less famous than the King's Quest VI cast, going back to amateur voice acting like in King's Quest V was out of the question. The music was composed by four of Sierra's composers: Jay Usher, Neal Grandstaff, Dan Kehler and the producer Mark Seibert. Although moving towards full multimedia, the music still needed to be done with traditional synthesizer technology to make the game fit on one CD and run smoothly. The music was best suited for the Roland Sound Canvas, but support for General MIDI was naturally implemented.

A sneak preview of the game was released with the 15th Anniversary release The King's Quest Collection.

King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride was released in November 1994 and ended up as a much-awaited Christmas present in many homes. Shipped on CD only, it set pretty bold system requirements. Deals with computer manufacturers like Compaq made King's Quest VII ship together with many new multimedia computers to show off the possibilities opened up by CD-ROM drives and digital sound cards. Much like with Cyan's mega-hit Myst, this made the game reach many people who would not have discovered it otherwise, and King's Quest VII sold very well, boosting the total sales figure of the series to over 3 million copies. In 1995, Sierra released a second version of the game with full support for Microsoft's much-awaited Windows 95.

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