Skip to main content

Play Classic Sierra Adventure Games via Browser

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?

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • jeraldjunkmail
    Hero's Quest was my favorite....
    Reply
  • gamerk316
    Odd timing; a lot of the old Sierra games have had remakes for a while (Especially Kings Quest 1-III and the Space Quest series).
    Reply
  • solymnar
    Space quest 4
    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!!!

    SEVEN?!?!"

    Loved the mix of alice in wonderland with greek mythology. SQ series in general was scifi geek nervana in its time.
    Reply
  • Maxor127
    I still like the originals and in a lot of cases prefer the originals to the remakes. I still like the graphics and the gameplay. These game are timeless to me. Anyways, I checked out the site and I didn't hear any audio. Is that not implemented? If they can get the Apple IIgs sounds implemented, then it will be worth using.

    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.
    Reply
  • antilycus
    THANK GOD, i've been looking for these games forever:P
    Reply
  • zerapio
    Just remember: Ken sent me :)
    Reply
  • ta152h
    Incidentally, the PC jr. is what started these games, not the PC XT. King's Quest was written for it, because it had the graphics capability of finally displaying a pretty game. CGA offered 320 x 200 in four colors, or 640 x 200, on a discrete card, whereas the PC jr. actually was 320 x 200 in 16 colors, or 640 x 200 in four (which wasn't used for games). The negative is that the PC jr. used the main memory for this, which could take 32K.

    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.
    Reply
  • techtre2003
    I don't know about the other games, but Leisure Suit Larry doesn't work quite right. You still keep the items after you use them; so even after you drink the wine and it says the bottle is empty, the cab driver still takes wine from you and you crash and die. Plus you can do the same thing over and over and earn points every time.
    Also, there is no restore option so you'd have to play the whole thing through. :(
    Reply
  • HunterNIN
    Hero's Quest, later renamed to Quest for Glory. My favorite. I loved all these games. Even the more rare ones, Black Cauldron, Codename: Iceman, so many. This is great, and I hope they continue with it, but dosbox works GREAT for these classics. Heck I was just playing the original Master of Orion last night with dosbox. They really do not make games like they used to.
    Reply
  • techtre2003
    ^^ Yeah, I think if you're really interested in these games you need to check out DosBox and find a place to download the games! I think this site is doing a great thing, I just don't think they're quite there yet.
    Reply