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Unused Material from the original King's Quests (and other Sierra games)!

posted by Akril15 on - last edited - Viewed by 7.6K users
Hello all,

I plugged this site in another subforum, but with the recent announcement from Telltale that resulted in the addition of this nice new subforum, I figured that I'd advertise it again here.

Occasionally, I like to poke into the resource files of old adventure games to see if I can uncover anything interesting. Sometimes I find sprites, backgrounds and dialogue that never appear in the final product (sort of like deleted scenes on a DVD). I found so many interesting items in the files of Sierra On-Line's games that I decided to put together a small site to showcase them. Here's a trio of teaser backgrounds I found in King's Quest V, VI and VII:

Wow, the quality of King's Quest V's backgrounds sure improved a lot since this scene was made.

I don't remember this part of the Realm of the Dead...

...And I don't remember this part of Vulcanix either!

Here's a link to the page covering King's Quest V and VI[/URL] (along with several other Sierra games), and here are the first and second of King's Quest VII. I also have a page for "Inside the Chest" and "Behind the Developers' Shield", two programs that came with the first and second KQ Collections (but not the 2006 collections -- Thanks, Vivendi Universal). There's a lot of behind-the-scenes art shown in those programs, but there's even more of it hidden in the resource files. And it doesn't really need to be said at this point, but SPOILER ALERT!!! (And enjoy!)

(By the way, this whole site originally started out as a couple of pages full of stuff I'd found just in the resource files of King's Quest VII -- that game is bursting at the seams with unused material...including this. I don't know what the heck the story behind this picture is -- it looks like it's straight out of Space Quest 6!)
48 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • It's interesting to note that there are some siimilarities between the story of KQ6 and Prince of Thieves as well.
  • Thought I'd do a little thread necromancy here.

    Remember I mentioned how I surmised (based on close scrutiny of black-and-white character portrait drawings from Behind the Developer's Shield) that the Winged Ones of KQ6 were originally going to look like living statues?

    Well, today I watched KQ6ART.AVI, a movie file on the KQ6 CD which contains almost all the high-res background art from KQ6. It's a treasure trove of unused stuff, incidentally, and is really fascinating to look at. (However, I had to run it on Windows 3.1 emulated in DOSbox; the .avi file doesn't like modern media players, in which the picture tends to get glitchy.)

    So, look what I found:


    It's the background drawing of Lord Azure and Lady Aeriel as they originally looked--white-marble-esque, blank-eyed living statues.
  • Hmm glad they didn't do that. It's way to much grey in the scene.
  • Wow, that's amazing! Looks like your theory about the Winged Ones originally being statues has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. :)

    I actually found KQ6AVI.EXE on disk 2 of the Roberta Williams Anthology. I tried opening it in Windows 3.11 (whice I also have installed), but I kept getting the error message "Disk 1 is required. Please insert disk 1 to continue." I wonder if some files required for that program to run weren't transferred from the KQ6 CD to the RWA. :confused:

    EDIT: Oops -- I somehow got "KQ6AVI" confused with "KQ6ART". Sorry about that.
  • Just remember: Don't Blink!
  • Tinkerwrks;476328 said:
    Just remember: Don't Blink!
    Haha, yes, they do look rather Weeping Angels-esque, don't they?
  • As long as we're on the subject (sort of): I see that you've added a lot more pictures from KQ6ART.AVI on this page of the KQ Wiki, ATMachine. They're all pretty impressive, especially this one (top-down perspective? In KQ6??) The pictures showing just a few elements of a room or scene just floating in a void filled with nothing but strokes of paint are also pretty surreal.

    I thought this picture of Caliphim and Allaria was odd, not only because of the strange pictures and text framing it, but because I've already seen a variant of that picture before in one of the "behind the scenes" programs included with the KQ Collection, only that one hasn't been touched up yet (the actor playing Caliphim has brown hair, not gray). I wonder where this picture was going to be featured in the game (if it was meant to be used in the game at all).

    It's interesting to see how the City of the Winged Ones was moved away from the labyrinth -- and the beach of the Isle of the Sacred Mountain isn't blocked off on both sides like it is in the final game, either. The screen with the stone archer on the Isle of the Beast has a lot more trees on the right side in the final game. I also think it's odd that the hole in the large tree at the crossroads on the Isle of the Crown wasn't in the original painting -- it doesn't serve any purpose at all in the game other than being a slight red herring.
  • Akril, there are loads of other changes to the backgrounds which are also quite interesting:

    -The shape of the Isle of Wonder on the magic map closeup was originally less markedly a comma, and it was changed to be more obviously so for the final game.

    -The main entrance door of the Castle of the Crown was touched up a bit for the finished game.

    -The name of the bookshop on the Isle of the Crown was changed, but it's hard to make out the original name.

    -In the closeup of the lamp seller's lamps, the merchant's costume was changed for the actual game, and the background was mirrored.

    -There was an attempt to use an odd camera angle in the closeup of the spellbook. I can see why this was abandoned.

    -The items on the counter in the pawn shop originally did not include the flute.

    -You've mentioned how at first the Winged Ones city was clearly visible from the labyrinth entrance. But in that same background, it also looks like it might have originally been possible to walk eastward. In the final game there's a mountainous crag added to the east edge of the screen, blocking you from doing so.

    -The Winged Ones Oracle is wearing a blood-red medallion, which was later recolored to be less prominent.

    -The peppermint leaf cave had its entrances redrawn, possibly to look better when reduced to low-res and 256 colors.

    -The original version of the catacombs floor-tile puzzle background had the camera on the opposite wall. In this early version, Alex would enter the screen from the left and cross it from left to right. In the final game, he enters from the right and crosses from right to left. (Plus, the outline of the fourth wall has a notable blue glow, which isn't present in the final version.)

    -The starting screen in the Realm of the Dead has a large stone pillar in the foreground, which was later removed.

    -The mystery screen in the Realm of the Dead is present here too. From its position in the video, I wonder if this was originally where Night Mare left Alexander, so that he had to advance one screen to meet Allaria and Caliphim.

    -In the area in the Underworld at the bank of the River Styx, where Charon waits with his boat, originally the Styx water was full of waves, and had a purplish hue. In the final game it's a tranquil, solid black sea.

    -There were originally a couple of extra doors in the Castle of the Crown hallways, one in the basement and one on the second floor. The second-floor back hallway also later had a carving of Pegasus added to the wall.

    -The closeup of a paper in Alhazred's trunk, which in the final game says ZEBU, originally read SHAZA.

    -There's an ornate close-up of a keyhole. I have no clue where it was to be used.

    -The background of the west hall in the Castle of the Crown has the staircase banister in a different place.

    -This closeup of Alhazred and "Cassima" about to be married was later modified to include the figures of Alex and Saladin.
  • Whoa.. Can't wait to get home and view all that stuff
    .. I do not want to use my data plan on my phone
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