Am I the only one who dislikes the AGI games?

edited February 2013 in Discuss
Don't get me wrong, I love the content of them, and I know how important the first KQ games were to the adventure genre...But a large part of whether I'm going to like a game or not relies on the presentation; the gameplay, the interface, etc.

It's not that I have anything against typing or even the primitive graphics--I love SQ3 and KQ4 for example and those have non VGA graphics with typing--but I could just never bring myself to like any of the earliest games. I played through KQ1-3 fully, but I could never quite get into them the same way as I did the VGA-SVGA games.

But the AGI games did help my reading skills when I played them first as a Kindergarten age kid, I will give them that.

Perhaps it's the fact that I was introduced to the KQ series, adventure gaming, and PC gaming in general with KQ5--and thus with the VGA, Point N' Click games--But like I said, I've never been able to really get into the AGI games.

Anyone have similar feelings?

Comments

  • edited February 2013
    Yes, you are alone. AGI is awesome. :P

    Seriously, though. It's harder to appreciate the older games when you didn't grow up with them. My first Sierra games were all the AGI games. They taught me to read, spell, and type. And the graphics (especially those by Mark Crowe) were simply captivating for being merely 160x168. There was talent there. KQ1's graphics were abysmal, really, but anything after that was pretty well done.
  • edited February 2013
    Yes, you are alone. AGI is awesome. :P

    Seriously, though. It's harder to appreciate the older games when you didn't grow up with them. My first Sierra games were all the AGI games. They taught me to read, spell, and type. And the graphics (especially those by Mark Crowe) were simply captivating for being merely 160x168. There was talent there. KQ1's graphics were abysmal, really, but anything after that was pretty well done.

    Yes, they also helped me with typing and spelling as well. And I agree with you about Mark Crowe's graphics. I'd say of the AGI games, the AGI SQs had the best graphics. SQ2 still looks relatively good despite it's primitive nature.
  • edited February 2013
    I would happily devote time and energy to making AGI "demakes" of the VGA games.

    AGI graphics are awesome.
  • edited February 2013
    I've long wanted to turn KQ5 into an AGI game. Right down to the simplistic plot, treasure hunts, and dialogue.
  • edited February 2013
    I didn't start with the AGI games, I grew to appreciate them later. Probably because I partially learned to type on them.

    My first Sierra game (although I may have played one or two earlier without knowing it) was KQ5, which I played with a friend, and then bought my own copy, when I got my first IBM PC. Then I was trying hunt down all the older games after that point.

    Frankly, I like the concept of parser over full point and click. I like the amount of control it offered, if it had a robust parser. You could try things that wouldn't work, and still get a comment for it by the narrator. Like the 'dig' verb in KQ2, or 'undress' in KQ4. Many of these lead to 'easter egg' style comments. You also got really cool multip part puzzles based on a series of verbs, like in SQ2, "hold breath", and then "dive". Where as point and click generation generally simplified that kind of puzzle into a one or two click thing. Click to dive, and a character would already hold their breath automatically.

    A parser allowed for 'experimenation', that later simplifying and dumbing down of the interfaces lost. When they removed the narrators? By that time 90% of the interactivity was lost (you no longer had cool historical/geographical/etc background information, character thoughts/narrator thoughts on surroundings, etc). Just a few hotspots on the screen. Do modern games need 'narrators'? Not necessarily, however, I'd replace the narrator with a character's thoughts, and still keep the ability to look at almost everything! That really adds to the atmosphere and interactivity level. Telltale casual adventures really shows the end result of that direction of development.
    "I first experienced computer gaming through her early work...so I sort of grew up on her style of adventure game design. She has a clean and crisp style of design that states the goals of the game clearly and makes your challenges clear, which I find refreshing...I really do think "King's Quest I" was the finest adventure game ever written, and the most fun to play...I also liked "King's Quest II" a lot. I think both of these games are great examples of the kind of adventure games that I like to play and that started the whole adventure game following in the first place. "King's Quest I" and "King's Quest II" are unlike most computer games written nowadays. Frankly, they don't feature the deep, complex plots of games like "Police Quest III" and "Conquests of the Longbow". Instead, these games are basically treasure hunts with lots of fun puzzles thrown in to add challenge. They feature simple goals -- you know what it takes to win the contest with the computer. For me, adventure games have represented a pleasant diversion -- something I could boot up and get lost in for a few hours at the end of a long day. I view them the same way some people review Rubics Cube or a crossword puzzle. I want simple goals -- something I can jump into the middle of and go...I want hard puzzles -- real mind benders -- so that when I solve one I can sit smugly... with a sense of satisfaction. This straight forward "goals and puzzles" approach to adventuring represents the oldest and purest approach to the art form. Everyone at Sierra has their opinion about how adventure games should work, of course, but as for me, give me the old-time adventuring. Give me the early "King's Quests."-John Williams, Interaction Magazine, Spring 1992.
  • edited February 2013
    Yeah, I think for some, the original AGI games might be hard to appreciate. Me? That's what I knew first - that's what I grew up on.

    I can't tell you how epic it really was when I first played King's Quest. There was nothing like it... the thought of exploring whole.... worlds, or lands, in a computer/video game was just something that didn't exist. Now, here was a game, with what seemed like a hundred different rooms - with different things to do in each! In one, I pushed a rock and found a dagger! I could climb UP a tree and find a bird's nest in another! It was amazing.

    I definitely look at the games through those rose colored glasses, but when I think objectively..... Space Quest still rocks. MANHUNTER is one of the most amazing series in Sierra history, and it's only ever been made in AGI. Gold Rush was so colorful, and telling the history of the Gold Rush in the West of the US? AWESOME! It was an exciting time to grow up - we didn't take technology for granted. It was this miracle of engineering and genius when new technologies came out - higher color graphics adapters, better monitors, music/sound cards.... modems above 2400 BAUD.... it was amazing! The things that happened, in real time, in out lives! We weren't born into it... we watched it grow.


    Bt
  • edited February 2013
    The thing is while other companies were working with the newfangled EGA graphics, quite a few of them looked like crap, that is to say they looked like they went with CGA inspired vomit inspired combinations... Blue skin, fuschia skin, cyan skin... With combinations of those colors with maybe some new fangled true greens, and browns. Look at Bard's Tale I on DOS for example (it was released in true EGA hires 16 color (similar to SCI EGA in quality), but had puke CGA style coloring choices, poor contrasting colors)...

    But Sierra's King's Quest and later AGI games actually have pleasant color combinations in EGA. They maybe weren't as detailed as some of the later EGA artwork out there, but it made up for it with a good choice of colors.
  • JenniferJennifer Moderator
    edited February 2013
    One of my first computer games was Space Quest II, so I never had a problem with the AGI games. I do prefer the later point-and-click SCI games, but I still enjoy the AGI games and the earlier SCI games with keyboard control and a cursor (and I'll happily play both/all versions if and when they're available).
  • edited February 2013
    I too played my first adventure games in AGI (Mixed-Up Mother Goose and Black Cauldron), so I love that style. The only problem I'd have with going back to play games I never played (like Gold Rush - actually that's the only one) is dead-ends.
  • edited February 2013
    Oh yeah, Black Cauldron--I always forget about that one. That game had some great AGI art.
  • edited February 2013
    What was cool was on some of the computers, the early AGI games actually had mouse control.

    Apple IIGS version for example.
  • edited February 2013
    Amiga as well, no?
  • edited February 2013
    That sounds about right.

    Not sure if Tandy included it either? I'm guessing not since it was essentially same version as on dos, with slightly enhanced soundtrack.

    I know ScummVM gives the option but not sure if that's something they added.
  • edited February 2013
    There are only two "Tandy" versions. One for the Color Computer 3/TRS-80 (which has no mouse) and the other is just the regular DOS version we all have, since Tandy computers run on MS-DOS. Sarien (the interpreter ScummVM uses) is based to resemble the Amiga versions, which supports mouse, so mouse was added.
  • edited February 2013
    I love the Apple IIgs versions. I spent a lot of time playing them at my cousins. They had cool sound too - you can play them on-line for free at the Virtual Apple II site. It's cool to see the subtle differences and hear the sound.


    Bt
  • edited February 2013
    Shhh, don't point out that site, lest it it gets pulled down or has games removed like Sarien.net!

    On a related note, you can play the games on SCUMMVM as well but it takes some work unpacking the 2MG files.

    Unfortunately they haven't added apple's color palette into SCUMMVM yet. You can access PC and Amiga palettes so far IIRC. You also miss out on the apple IIGS interface as it basically accesses the dos style interface (with mostly the same options as on Apple).

    Of interesting thing that is shown because ScummVM accesses the AGI interface rather than Apple II GS interface is in KQ1 for example the quit option brings up a box in which exit quit is highlighted in green and continue is highlighted in red.

    Benefit to using ScummVM? Well you don't have worry about disk swapping.
  • edited February 2013
    Yeah, I have all the 2mg files - and KEGS, which is a nice emulator. It's just fun to see how the games ran on different hardware.

    I do love the AGI games. Like, Police Quest I, the original release, is definitely my preferred version. I don't care for the VGA remake.

    Bt
  • edited February 2013
    I have a difficulty getting Black Cauldron, and Manhunter series to work in emulators.

    Most of the other Sierra games seem to work better.
    I do love the AGI games. Like, Police Quest I, the original release, is definitely my preferred version. I don't care for the VGA remake.

    I agree, and I'm glad its finally been added into the GOG collection.

    It's also more consistent storywise to the PQ2 and PQ3.

    The whole sex change into a female for one of the characters in PQ1VGA just makes things more confusing (as the character appears in PQ2 as a man)! Plus the fact that the city is not consistent between PQ1VGA and PQ2. It's almost as if they based the city off of PQ3, and made it even even bigger more technologically advanced city than even in PQ3. Noting that PQ1VGA is set as far as dates in the game, a year after PQ3!

    THe original also has more puzzles, and more points. More characters to interact with.
  • edited February 2013
    Yeah, I also just prefer the look of the game too. I actually think the close up of the girl in the car is WAY better in AGI than in the remake.

    Bt
  • edited February 2013
    Helen Hots, ya, she's better than Tawnee Helmut. Tawnee looked like a crossdressing man!

    Helen_Hots.jpg

    Tawnee.jpg

    I think Art Serabian, the drunk programmer is better than the remake's replacement character;

    http://policequest.wikia.com/wiki/Art_Serabian

    The drunk gangster wannabe William Barnum, in the remake...

    http://policequest.wikia.com/wiki/William_J._Barnum
  • edited February 2013
    Seriously. Helen Hots was awesome! I don't know WHAT the mess is in the VGA game.

    And Art Serabian is way better. WAAAY better.


    Bt
  • exoexo
    edited February 2013
    celebrity deathmatch needs to be revived. agi vs sci.
  • edited February 2013
    I like both. Though, I can understand younger/newer gamers not liking the older stuff.

    I remember playing the text-based Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and I liked it, but I don't expect other people to.
  • edited February 2013
    Chyron8472 wrote: »
    I remember playing the text-based Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and I liked it, but I don't expect other people to.

    Didn't someone do an AGS graphical remake of that? I feel like I remember hearing about it a while back, and hearing that it was good. Gonna have to check into that.
  • edited February 2013
    I loved both AGI and SCI EGA. I felt like there was more freedom to roam and goof around than there was with the multiple icon interface. You could just take your time and do random stuff, like type in "undress" or "f*** so-and-so." I loved how these games were like animated film worlds where you could basically do or try anything you wanted. They plopped you in this cartoon world and let you loose without much of a safety net; if you walked off a cliff or ran into a deadly animal, then oh, well. Fooling around was a large part of the fun for me. With AGI games, in particular, it seemed like the backgrounds were more open and allowed you to walk on more of the screen, though maybe I'm remembering wrong. With many of the SCI EGA games it seemed like the walking paths were more limited or constrained.
  • edited February 2013
    You're not wrong. Many of the later VGA games used automatic pathfinding, at least for certain scenes. Additionally, the greater complexity in the background art usually meant more "scenery" and less walkable area. But yeah, in the AGI games, you could pretty much go anywhere that made sense in the context of the screen.
  • edited February 2013
    The open level of exploration, is one reason why I felt KQ8 as far as exploration felt more like a nod back to old KQ game worlds (1-4) than the later KQ games, that were more restrictive in exploration. Those games had alot of 'extra' rooms that had absolutely no purpose except to give you something to pass through to reach more important areas (they were not used in puzzles). They just looked cool, and in a few cases, might have some monster appear to try to kill/rob/curse you.

    I felt the enemies you encounter in KQ8, were similar to the pointless random encounters that were there to kill/rob/curse you in KQ1 and KQ2, but didn't offer anything in the way of puzzle solutions, except in KQ8, you can actually do something about them (rather than the game telling you you are too weak, or not skilled enough to take them on).

    Also felt there were other nods back to the original KQ (such as a lowly knight trying to save the king and kingdom much like Graham in the first game, lonely invaded daventry inhabited by few friends), but no need to go into detail here.

    If someone was to demake KQ8 into an AGI, EGA, or VGA-style game, it would probably be more like KQ1 mixed with QFG (1, 2 & 4), and absolutely huge if the game designers were to keep the scope and size of each indvidual land.

    The question would be would demake have random encounters more like KQ1 and KQ2, so that you have to just avoid them, or make combat something closer to QFG's early games, or The Adventures of Maddog Williams in the Dungeons of Duridian (if you haven't played this its more KQ-like than QFG, even with the few bits of combat, the sequel was to go more in the way of Space Quest).
  • edited February 2013
    The only AGI game I really disliked was KQ1 cause it took forever to go anywhere on normal speed and you went too fast on fast speed. I don't know if it works that way with ScummVM. Personally I always liked Hero's Quest or Quest for Glory I EGA better than it's VGA counterpart. There were a few dialogue pieces I never would have found without the VGA version, but the VGA version seems alot buggier and harder to control. Plus it's funny when you type in a swear word and the game responds "GADZOOKS!"
  • edited February 2013
    techie775 wrote: »
    There were a few dialogue pieces I never would have found without the VGA version

    Which is ironic, since there's actually quite a bit more dialog in the parser version! They cut out a lot of possible queries, responses, and narrator responses when they condensed everything into dialog trees and limited the interactions to the standard point and click verbs.
  • edited February 2013
    I noticed that with the KQ1SCI vs. the fan remake too. A bit of the more obscure narrative (and or easter egg comments) was not accessible. The things you could access by using certain verb noun combinations.

    Interestingly if you can also find places where the developers of the fan remake also changed some of the text as well.
  • edited February 2013
    Don't get me wrong, I love the content of them, and I know how important the first KQ games were to the adventure genre...But a large part of whether I'm going to like a game or not relies on the presentation; the gameplay, the interface, etc.

    It's not that I have anything against typing or even the primitive graphics--I love SQ3 and KQ4 for example and those have non VGA graphics with typing--but I could just never bring myself to like any of the earliest games. I played through KQ1-3 fully, but I could never quite get into them the same way as I did the VGA-SVGA games.

    But the AGI games did help my reading skills when I played them first as a Kindergarten age kid, I will give them that.

    Perhaps it's the fact that I was introduced to the KQ series, adventure gaming, and PC gaming in general with KQ5--and thus with the VGA, Point N' Click games--But like I said, I've never been able to really get into the AGI games.

    Anyone have similar feelings?

    You aren't alone. I dislike the second game. The first one was okay, so is the third one. In my opinion, I think it is because how they would go and add more to the story, which can come out being too dark or different than the rest of the King's Quest games by Sierra.
  • edited February 2013
    You aren't alone. I dislike the second game. The first one was okay, so is the third one. In my opinion, I think it is because how they would go and add more to the story, which can come out being too dark or different than the rest of the King's Quest games by Sierra.

    You do realize that the first game has less story than the second game right? There is almost twice as much text in the second game, and the 3rd is almost twice as large as the 2nd.

    The 2nd game added an intro cartoon which was push of the technology for the time (the original didn't have an introduction). The 2nd also added linear and changing events, that is characters that would only show up only if certain conditions were already met. This 'scripting' was also and advancement to the technology.

    Also if you pay attention and use the right commands, you learn that several characters in the game are connected to each other, and mention each other in the 2nd game. This was not done in the first, where every character you encounter was disconnected from every other character. By connecting characters to together gives a more 'living breathing world' where neighbors are seemingly interacting with each other. KQ3 takes this much further of course.
  • edited February 2013
    BagginsKQ wrote: »
    You do realize that the first game has less story than the second game right? There is almost twice as much text in the second game, and the 3rd is almost twice as large as the 2nd.

    I think he may be mistaking AGI for AGDI?

    By the way, looking over some of these AGI pics of women from Police Quest and LSL, I think it's interesting how prominent they made the nipple bump through the clothes. Quite risqué.
  • edited February 2013
    No I'm talking about the technical specs of the official AGI games.

    KQ2 by Sierra is about twice as large as KQ1, and KQ3 is almost twice as large as KQ3.

    The script and scripting became progressively more sophisticated in each. As far as limits in technology at the time would allow.

    Check out the KQ wiki for complete (or near) transcripts of each.
  • edited February 2013
    Right, I was referring to Doom Saber, not you. My comment was actually addressed to you. He mentioned KQ2 as having darker, added story components that seemed different than what was found in the games "by Sierra." But I could be totally misinterpreting what he was saying. FWIW, I love AGDI stuff and can't praise them enough for what they have done.
  • edited February 2013
    Personally I thought they were fun, but I don't like them anywhere near as much as the originals...

    The fan games including TSL are way to gimmicky and rely to much on similar plot ideas... Evil "black cloak" are behind nearly everything stereotype... 1000 year prophecies etc... Weird character changes. They take too many liberties to originals.

    It's almost the same reasons why I like PQ1 original over the remake.

    Personally I'm looking more forward to MusicallyInspired's lovingly nod to the SCIEGA games and the KQ1 remake/KQ4 SCI version of KQ2. Supposed to have enhanced script with improved soundtrack, and stay truer to the original series.
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