After Hours

Questing before the age of WoW

World Of Warcraft is the top online destination for questing today, but long before Kil'jaeden the Deceiver ever dreamed up the Lich King, there was another quest to be had. Almost all modern questing games can be traced back to Sierra's King Quest. This video has a run through and here's a look back.

World of Warcraft is the top online destination for questing today, but long before Kil'jaeden the Deceiver ever dreamed up the Lich King, there was another quest to be had. Almost all modern questing games can be traced back to Sierra's King's Quest. This video has a walk-through, and here's a quick look back.

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World of Warcraft has gone from phenomenon to obsession for some people.  If nothing else, it is definitely the undisputed leader when it comes to online questing. With the addition of the latest expansion pack, The Wrath of the Lich King, WoW has once again captured the imagination of online gamers.

Questing games have long been a genre for computers. They started out being text adventure games like Zork, but as graphics improved eventually the games did as well. One of the most successful early questing games was King's Quest from Sierra.

The video shown here gives a complete walk-through of the first version of King's Quest — Quest for the Crown. This is the first half of the game. You can see how the quest concludes on Youtube.

Questing 80's style

King's Quest: Quest for the Crown was introduced in 1984. It was one of the first graphical questing games available for PCs. It debuted on the PC, PC jr, and the Tandy 1000. It became an instant sensation, inspiring other games like it, such as Space Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry.

King's Quest was the story of the brave Sir Graham, who was searching for magical items stolen from good King Edward. After finding all the items, Sir Graham would become king.

Graphics were very primitive. As you can see in the video, there were only 16 colors in the first version, and they were all 8-bit. Big, blocky, and with little detail, the games required you to use a lot of imagination to figure out what was going on. The maps didn't scroll with you. As you went to the edge of the screen, the game would snap and you'd appear on another screen.

Unlike WoW, which grows through the use of expansion packs, Sierra Online issued sequels of King's Quest, much like movies. Other versions included:

  • King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne
  • King's Quest III: To Heir Is Human
  • King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
  • King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!
  • King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
  • King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride
  • King's Quest VIII: Mask of Eternity

Mask of Eternity was the last version of the series. It came out in 1998. The graphics had improved tremendously by then. Throughout the series, however, King's Quest remained a single player game. Even though the name of the publisher of King's Quest was Sierra Online, you never actually could play the games online like you do with WoW.

You can find out more about King's Quest and other Sierra games by visiting Vintage Sierra.

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