Back in 1984, Roberta Williams introduced the world to King’s Quest and began an era of roleplaying games that delighted and entertained me and my friends throughout much of our youth. I still remember my first King’s Quest adventure. My father and I had acquired a copy of King’s Quest V on a stack of 12 floppy disks. Unfortunately, our home computer was just not powerful enough to play the game. I would look forward to days that my father had to work weekends so that I could take trips with him to where they kept the super computers.

Even after all of these years, I have never gone back and played the original King’s Quest game. I’ve played a fair share of all that Sierra, and later Dynamix, had to offer, but not the one that started it all, until this last weekend. Thanks to AGDInteractive Studio and tons of diehard fans, the original game has been remade in full VGA!

Now VGA may sounds weak, but considering the original game was in 16 colors, it doesn’t take much to improve upon the original graphics. AGD’s version of the game keeps much of the story alive. This is the story about Sir Graham and his rise to power. It all begins with an ailing king with no heir. The kingdom is in trouble and you are chosen to seek out three mystical treasures that will save the land. In some versions of King’s Quest, the story is greatly expanded as to why these treasures are needed, but in AGD’s version, they stayed true to the original PCJr version, which lacked any real backstory.

AGD VGA Introduction Remake

However, to improve upon the original, AGD got rid of the text parser interface and upgraded the UI to use the point and click controls similar to King’s Quest IV and V. The graphics are greatly improved, but still remain primitive by today’s standards. By employing Direct3D routines and 4x Anti-aliasing graphic techniques, the game runs really well at 1280×800. The AGD remake version also employs a few small changes that makes the game flow smoother, as well as removes a few of the dead ends that previously existed in the game. After all, today’s gamers can’t handle such “hardcore” conventions where a bad decision could require a player to restore from a previous save point, or worse, from the beginning of the game.

comparisonOriginal 1984 version vs. Remake 1990 version vs. ADG’s 2009 version

In addition to the graphics upgrade, the game has had complete audio voiceovers and lip syncing added. Some of this was done in previous upgrades that existed over the years when the game was ported from one system to another, but AGD took it the next step in version 4.0 and received the official blessing from license owner Vivendi Universal to provide the game free of charge. What a great price!

kq1vga-2011-04-30-13-04-12-73Sir Graham takes on a sleeping dragon…

So if you’ve ever played a Sierra Online game, then this remake will feel right at home. The game remains true to its roots with complex puzzles and a point system that rewards you for solving them. It can be very challenging to complete the game with the complete 158 points, but it can be done, and for the weak-minded, numerous walkthroughs exist on the Internet for both the original and remakes of the game.

kq1vga-2011-04-30-13-03-55-33Plant beans to climb into the clouds!

The game is easily completed in a few hours, but if you are stuck, and stubborn, you can easily spend days saving Daventry. If you are successful, however, you will become king. Your reign has at least 8 more adventures ahead, and hopefully AGD will continue to bring us back to this mystical realm from our childhood. AGD has already remade King’s Quest II and King’s Quest III at the time of writing and Telltale Games has announced a reboot of the franchise. I’m also really interested in playing the remake of Quest for Glory II. Someone remind me that I’m 32 this month, okay?