In this Free For All the focus is on Adventure Gaming. Once a major PC genre with beloved games like Full Throttle, Grim Fandango, the Monkey Island series and the Space Quest series in its ranks, it’s now mostly limited to budgetware Nancy Drew and C.S.I. Titles aimed at the every-day Wal-Mart shopper. With the exception of Tell Tale’s very well done episodic approach to the genre it has otherwise been stagnant. Because of this I’ve decided to point you toward four classics that have been gussied up with redrawn graphics and updated user interfaces and released online as freeware.
The two studios bringing you these revamps are AGD Interactive and Infamous Adventures, both of which obviously have a genuine interest in the genre. All four games have completely redrawn artwork and new user interfaces that no longer require you to type in actions and control more like LucasArts adventure titles that many people are familiar with. In addition, voice and music packs are also included which further enhance the experience compared to the originals.
In Kings Quest I you play Sir Graham, a Knight sent on a quest to retrieve the three treasures of Daventry which have been stolen from the royal castle. The ailing King Edward the Benevolent has made you an offer; return the treasures and you will inherit his throne. The treasures in question are a Shield which protects the bearer from his enemies, a Mirror that foretells the future and a Treasure Chest with an infinite supply of riches.
Originally subtitled “Romancing the Throne”, Kings Quest II puts you back into the shoes of Sir Graham. After retrieving the three treasures of Daventry and inheriting the throne a new problem arises: loneliness. After failing to find a suitable wife within the Kingdom you turn to a magic mirror for help. The mirror points you toward a woman trapped in a tower in the land of Kolyma. Suffice to say, it’s not long before you set out on an adventure to retrieve the three keys needed to unlock the doors to her prison.
AGD Interactive has renamed the subtitle to “Romancing the Stones” due to their remake having “an added storyline, deeper plot, fleshed-out characters, clever puzzles, enhanced artwork, music, atmosphere, depth, culture, and more – basically, the whole nine yards!”
Having found himself a suitable wife in the second game, Sir Graham fathers two children – a son named Alexander and daughter Rosella. The kingdom of Daventry remained in a state of relative peace until the unthinkable happens: Alexander is taken from his crib. Years later the situation worsens, as a three-headed dragon shows up requiring the sacrifice of one maiden per year and your daughter Rosella just so happens to be the next chosen offering.
While bricks are being shat over in Daventry, the kidnapped Alexander – now named Gwydion and unaware of his lineage – toils away as the Evil sorcerer Manannan’s slave. Unbeknownst to Gwydion, the sorcerer plans to kill him on his 18th Birthday. Fearing that once reaching manhood he will try something rash and rebellious. Manannan’s previous slave had done something to that effect, reading the sorcerer spell books and attempting to practice magic – an act for which Manannan’s punishment was death as he assumed the magic would eventually be used against him to attain freedom.
Trial by Fire is the sequel to “Hero’s Quest: So You Want To Be A Hero,” later re-released as “Quest for Glory” with the same subtitle due to legal issues. Quest for Glory II takes place directly after the events of the first game with the newly-titled “Hero of Spielburg” and his companions Shameen, Abdulla Doo and Shema traveling to the dusty city of Shapeir. Unfortunately, Shapeir has become endangered by elemental spirits and its neighboring city Raseir has fallen under tyrannical rule which threatens to spread to Shapeir. You must explore the city and the surrounding desert, find out what’s going on and once again prove that you are worthy of your title as the “Hero of Spielburg.”