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KQ1: Was it released in 1983 or 1984?

posted by Anakin Skywalker on - last edited - Viewed by 955 users
One thing I'm unclear on is whether KQ1 was first released in 1983 or 1984...Some materials, including old Sierra bonus features, InterAction etc, indicate it was released in 1983, yet other resources (also from Sierra) say it came out in 1984...Which is it, does anyone know for sure?
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  • King's Quest PCJr may have been released as early as 1983. Maybe in limited numbers. That's the version with "Grahame" (with an "e") in the game.

    There may have been a 1984 reprint of the PCJr version. Minor box differences.

    The repackaged and edited standard Tandy/PC version was 1984 I think as well.

    But ya its unclear... I think they were at least showing it off as early as 1983.
  • Sierra had another release pre-King's Quest that was packaged and titled differently by IBM -- Sierra's Apple II (et al.) game was "The Wizard and the Princess", while IBM's later version of the same game (developed by Sierra but published by IBM for the PC) was titled "Adventure in Serenia." My understanding is that IBM approached Sierra to come up with something dramatically new for the PCJr., and the AGI engine was born, so the PCJr. version likely preceded the broader multi-platform releases.
  • Ya, and the Apple II Wizard and the Princess is the superior version (and Roberta's preferred and favorite version). IBM Adventure in Serenia, which was more of a port, has CGA colors (very ugly, and was Roberta's least favorite version)...

    The C64 version of Wizard and the Princess looks pretty good too, it may have a little more color than the apple version, buts its kinda bland and flat. It doesn't have artwork detail or illusion of more colors of the Apple II version with its 'dithering' effect. It had enhanced artwork for the inventory items though!

    Adventure in serenia has the best font work in the text though (it stick to block capitals, there are lower and upper case letters)...

    Case in point for visual detail compare the parrot in the Apple II version vs, the version in C64;

    image (check out about 4:37)

    Imo, the dithering adds more contrast, shading, and detail (things tend to look like they are jumping out of the screen a bit more). That's sorely lacking in the C64 version (with the flat solid colors).

    You can see Adventure in Serenia fonts here;

    I suppose C64's and Adventure in Serenia IBM have slightly better looking cactuses and treebark. As they were given color isntead of just being black and white dithering.
  • I also remember hearing 1983 but the version of KQ1AGI I got with my collection had a 1987 update.
  • The 1987 version is the version I think added "Quest for the Crown" to the box artwork. Not sure though.
  • The Birth of King's Quest

    Backtrack for a moment to 1983. Home computers were still a hot topic as major companies jockeyed for a forward position in the market. IBM gave Sierra On-Line a PC one full year before releasing them to the business world. With this head start, Sierra On-Line developed the first game for the new platform: The Wizard and The Princess. Then IBM began development on a personal computer for the home called the PCjr (nicknamed "Peanut"). In order to showcase this new product, IBM asked Sierra On-Line to come up with a game that would take advantage of the PCjr's 16-color palette, three-channel sound, and whopping (for the times) 128K of memory. Working with a small team of programmers and artists, Roberta lived up to the challenge. She designed a game in which the player would take on the persona of Sir Graham, a knight in the land of Daventry. The ailing King Edward sends Graham on a quest to recover three lost treasures. Should Graham succeed, he will become the heir to the throne. With its release in the summer of 1983, King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown becomes the first animated, three dimensional "interactive cartoon."

    Using the keyboard arrow keys, the player could now actually control the main character's movement, walking him around rocks and in front of buildings. Simple sentence commands input by way of the keyboard controlled the character's actions. Accompanying music and sound effects greatly enhanced the game.

    Unfortunately, the PCjr was not the success that IBM had hoped. Its incompatibility with the IBM PC and its user-unfriendly "chiclet" keyboard not only doomed the PCjr but almost spelled disaster for Sierra On-Line as well.

    Then suddenly, in 1984, riding into the home computer market like a knight on a white horse, the Tandy Corporation introduced the Tandy 1000. Otherwise known as "what the IBM PCjr should have been," this MS-DOS (and PCjr) compatible proved a lifesaver. King's Quest I sales skyrocketed as the Tandy 1000 became the leader in the home computer industry. Sierra On-Line dramatically regained its corporate footing and, using the momentum generated by the success of King's Quest I, prepared to propel computer game development to new heights.

    So in reality there are essentially three main computer versions of KQ. The PCJR version with Grahame from 1983, the Tandy/PC version from 1984 (with the New Version Credits), and later the SCI Remake.
  • Speaking of the 1983 edition, apparently it was released in July 1983, according to the KQ Collection manual. At that time it must have been released only to a few individuals, since at that time there were apparently only a few PCjr demonstration models... But Sierra was apparently selling those copies to the the public.

    The main public release of PCjr apparently wasn't until May 1984 (more or less coinciding with the minor package update release of KQ1).

    I don't know if the 1984 releases modified Graham's name or not from "Grahame" to Graham..
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    Keep in mind that in the early days Sierra sold games be sending salesman out on the road....
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