Roberta Williams' King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown

For: Amiga, IBM PC/Compatibles

Genres

Main Genre:
Adventure
Perspective:
3rd-Person
Setting:
Fantasy

Overview

Roberta Williams' King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown is an adventure game developed by Sierra On-Line and released in 1990. It is a remake of Sierra's earlier game King's Quest featuring enhanced graphics and sound. As in the original game, players control Sir Graham on a quest to save the Kingom of Daventry; should he succeed, he will be named the new king of the land. The game utilizes Sierra's SCI game interpreter and the gameplay style is very similar to the many other adventure games the company produced.

Story and Gameplay

The story in this remake follows that of the original game; players control Sir Graham on a quest in the Kingdom of Daventry. After three magical treasures are stolen, the kingdom is in great trouble. The treasures are a mirror that tells the future, a shield that protects its wearer against danger, and a chest that is always full of gold. King Edward, the benevolent king of Daventry, calls his bravest knight, Sir Graham, to take on the quest of recovering the treasures. Since King Edward has no heirs, if Graham is successful in his quest he will be rewarded by becoming the new king of Daventry. Players begin the game outside the castle of Daventry after Graham has learned of his quest.

The interface in King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown is very similar to that used in many of Sierra's adventure games. Players control Sir Graham and can move him around the environment using a keyboard, joystick, or mouse. To interact with the environment (such as to pick up objects, open doors, or talk with characters) short commands or sentences can be typed in. The goal of the game is to locate all three lost treasures and return to the castle with them. Points are earned throughout by solving puzzles, locating items, and performing useful actions. Some puzzles in the game are optional or may have multiple solutions, so it is possible to complete the game without achieving the highest possible score. The game was intended to be replayable and this gave players an incentive to try again.

Remake Features

The original King's Quest was the first game Sierra created with their Adventure Game Interpretar game engine (commonly known as AGI). By the late 1980's, games created with the AGI engine were beginning to look dated. The 160x200 16 color graphics it allowed for were rather blocky and sound was limited with the PC versions supporting only the internal speaker or the TI sound chip featured in Tandy 1000 and PCjr computers. Beginning with King's Quest IV, Sierra created a new engine for their adventure games called Sierra Creative Interpreter, or SCI. SCI offered many improvements over its predecessor with the most visible changes being more detailed graphics with a 320x200 resolution (though still in 16 colors) and support for sound cards which allowed a stereo music score and sound effects to be included (Later revisions to SCI would further enhance the engine to allow for 256 color MCGA/VGA graphics and added a point and click interface instead of typed commands).

The King's Quest remake used the earlier SCI revision featuring 320x200 16 color graphics and a text parser interface. It was the only one of Sierra's remakes to do so, later ones used the newer SCI interpreter and featured 256 color MCGA/VGA graphics. The graphics in the game were completely redrawn to take advantage of the higher resolution available and a new musical score was added. While generally the gameplay was the same as the original, there were many subtle changes. This included some changes to text and conversations, slightly different solutions to some of the puzzles, objects in different places, and a few new characters.

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