Before we had Syberia, before we had Sam & Max (both times), before we had Full Throttle, we had the old school adventure games from Sierra.
Those who have been playing PC games for a quarter century will remember classic Sierra On-Line titles such as King’s Quest, Police Quest, Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry.
While adventure gaming has progressed a long way from those days (and sadly nearly to the point of extinction), revisiting such titles provides a heaping dose of nostalgia.
Rather than digging up your XT and firing up the old DOS, those looking to take a stroll down memory lane can check out Sarien.net, which is currently offering Flash-based renditions of the following Sierra adventures:
- Space Quest I: The Sarien Encounter
- Space Quest II: Vohaul’s Revenge
- Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel
- Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards
- The Black Cauldron
Site creator Martin Kool has implemented several interface tweaks to enable mouse support and even some form of multiplayer where players can see each other while in the same location.
Activision Blizzard hasn’t commented on Sarien.net, but hopefully the publisher giant will recognize what a tribute this is to its Sierra properties, and perhaps even aid in the development of other classics into Flash.
Now, what about King’s Quest?
Kings quest VI
Were long time favorites of mine. I remember when I flipped out after opening the box for KQ6 "Kings quest VI takes SEVEN floppies?!?!?! This game is HUGE!!!
Loved the mix of alice in wonderland with greek mythology. SQ series in general was scifi geek nervana in its time.
Speaking of which, you can play all of those games on virtualapple.org. It has the Apple IIgs versions (which are the best versions of the old Sierra AGI games because of superior sound and interface). Emulation isn't perfect, but it's decent and I think only people who played the games to death like me back in the day would notice the imperfections.
The Tandy 1000 was later called a PC compatible, but it was actually developed to be compatible with the "Peanut" (as the PC jr. was called). Because of this, it had some incompatibilities, but it also had the sound and graphics capabilities of the PC jr., and strangely, the PC Jr. graphics became known as "TGA", or Tandy Graphics Adapter, because the line was so successful, and the PC Jr. was discontinued right before the Tandy 1000 was released, and was known as being a very unsuccessful machine.
So, for anyone wishing to play these games, I'd recommend a Tandy 1000 rather than a PC XT. You'll need EGA or higher on the XT, which is far from a given, and the sound will suck unless you get an Adlib card, or some other card they the games were compatible with. It's not easy to find. The Tandy has both taken care of, and they are cheap on eBay.
I would avoid the straight 1000 and 1000a, they are slow, an in my experience, unreliable. They also have more compatibility problems (again, they weren't made to be PC compatible, but PC Jr. compatible).
The 1000 SX is a nice machine, with five slots, more compatibility, and greater speed (7.16 MHz 8088). The 1000 SL and SL2 are updated versions, but using an 8086 at 8 MHz. The internal part of the OS also boots from ROM. The come with low density 5.25 floppy drives, but 3.5 inch drives were frequently added.
The 1000 TX/TL/TL2/TL3 are all 286 based machines and consequently much faster. The later three also can boot from ROM, and they have 3.5 inch drives.
The 1000 RL was a really small foot print version, also sporting a 8086, and having TGA graphics. The 1000 RLX uses a 286, and has VGA graphics. Both have only one slot.
I would recommend them for anyone wishing to play these games. They are easily bought, work with little or no effort on the games, and sold a lot. There is a lot of information on them. The PC/XT was not used primarily for games, and to get it to play them you might need some add-on cards that are very difficult to get. On top of that, the thing weighs a ton, and is generally quite expensive to buy. Tandy 1000s are relatively inexpensive on eBay.
Also, there is no restore option so you'd have to play the whole thing through. :(