Sierra Oddities

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    • #21085 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

    • #21086 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      **Hmm. I Titled the thread Sierra Oddities, but it dropped the word Oddities… that’s odd.***

      Hi everyone! Like all of you here, I’ve been a Sierra fan for life but I just started getting into this site after using Sierra for a class project regarding the change in logo and how it reflects the image of a company’s technical documents. (everyone else was doing the BORING Cingular/AT&T merger) This is what got me back into re-discovering the games. This site, as well as many others like it have helped me learn a lot more about Sierra than I thought I knew!!

      Introductions aside, and not wanting to clutter the post with my personal reflections, I’ve noticed a few oddities lately when searching e-bay auctions to help fill holes in my Sierra collection. For one, I’ve always been a fan of the tan-colored disk labels with the picture of half-dome on them, but only really associated them with the 3.5″ low-density 720k disks. I’ve only ever seen the white lables with the color bands on high density disks for the newer 256-color games. (I associated this with the change from the old, 16-color, parser Sierra to the new, 256… well, you get the point)

      Much to my surprise, I noticed a version of Space Quest 4 – high density disks – with the tan labels! Now I assume this was during the transition period to the colorband labels, but it’s still cool to see them on black disks for a new(er) release.

      This leads me to my second oddity discovery: The “odd” version of King’s Quest 5. (with the goofy photo of King Graham dragging everything and the family dog into the game on the box) The 256-color versions I’ve seen of this release all had 8 disks on 3.5″ and the 9th (startup disk) on a 5.25″ What was the reason behind this? Seems to me this would cause some problems along the way somewhere. Later versions had all 9 disks on 3.5″

      While on the topic of disk colors, in both the Space Quest 4 and King’s Quest 5 listings I saw on eBay, the 3.5″ disks changed colors from black to blue for a couple of the disks. Now while this is not uncommon (We’ve all had that one “odball” colored disk, either white or blue, throw off our perfectly symmetrical Sierra sets!) it IS uncommon to see a high density disk that’s blue. (they’re all usually black unless it’s an AOL disk) So this leads me to my next question: Were these early releases of these games, on the tan mountain labels a mix of high and low density disks?

      Other disk label “oddities” include the picture of Half-Dome being glossy on some labels (like my QFG2 set) but not on later ones (like my Jones in the Fast Lane set). I assume the change in label design (to the color bands) was due to a cost issue. Those full color pics on each label were nice, but probably VERY expensive!!

      Had a few more oddities on my mind before I started writing, but they escape me right now. I’ll come back when I think of them! 😉

      Tom.

    • #21087 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      You got it. Pretty much, there are countless variations / oddities of Sierra releases. Here’s a fun one. I have two sets of 5.25″ Camelot disks. On one of them, the labels say version “1.001.000” and on the other set of disks, the labels say version “1.001” but the version file on those disks also say “1.001.000”. Weird eh?

      I remember having a bug before where post titles got truncated. I can’t remember what caused it at the moment though. I’ll see if I can fix that for you. By the way, welcome here and enjoy your stay! I’m sure some of us here would be interested to see / read your class project!

      Brandon Klassen, archivist ~ SierraGamers.com admin/dev team ~

    • #21088 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Quote:
      “… (by Tom Procyk)
      Much to my surprise, I noticed a version of Space Quest 4 – high density disks – with the tan labels! Now I assume this was during the transition period to the colorband labels, but it’s still cool to see them on black disks for a new(er) release. …”

      I think the transition to the colorband labels occured around 1992. So, the first versions of KQ5, SQ4, and probably others such as PQ3, QFG1VGA, SQ1VGA, etc. had the tan labels.

      Quote:
      “… This leads me to my second oddity discovery: The “odd” version of King’s Quest 5. (with the goofy photo of King Graham dragging everything and the family dog into the game on the box) The 256-color versions I’ve seen of this release all had 8 disks on 3.5″ and the 9th (startup disk) on a 5.25″ What was the reason behind this? Seems to me this would cause some problems along the way somewhere. Later versions had all 9 disks on 3.5″ …”

      This version is not so odd, it’s just the original release 😉
      At the time (1990), on the PC the standard was still 5.25″, but it was quickly transitionning to 3.5″ (HD). Many people (including myself) had their HD 5.25″ drive, but had also bought a HD 3.5″ drive because their prices had come down so much. Some people also either didn’t have a hard disk yet, or it was still very small (like 20-30MB) and fully occupied. Since KQ5 required 2 disk drives to run without a hard disk (you had to leave a single disk inserted in one of the drives, while the other had all the swaps), it was distributed with both formats, one of them only with the startup disk. You would insert the startup disk in your older 5.25″ drive (and leave it there for the whole playing time), and the other disks in your brand new 3.5″ drive.
      This time really didn’t last long. The Atari ST, Amiga and Apple 2/2GS quickly died, and people started buying new PCs like crazy. These new PCs (around 1992) always featured 3.5″ drives (gone were the days of 5.25″), at least a 386 processor, always VGA or Super-VGA, and at least a 40MB hard drive.

      Aah, those were the days! 😉

      In other oddities, the last versions of Sierra games were released with the new labels/boxes. I have an Apple 2 version of Mixed-Up Mother Goose in the same box as the 1990 VGA version. It’s usual to see the Apple 2GS version of King’s Quest 1 in the 1990 box.
      Also, KQ1-4, SQ1-3, etc. were released with the newer box sticker displaying a big “EGA” instead of the usual 4 or so small lines of text.

      Vincent.

    • #21089 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      >In other oddities, the last versions of Sierra games were released with the new labels/boxes.
      >I have an Apple 2 version of Mixed-Up Mother Goose in the same box as the 1990 VGA version.
      >It’s usual to see the Apple 2GS version of King’s Quest 1 in the 1990 box. Also, KQ1-4, SQ1-3,
      >etc. were released with the newer box sticker displaying a big “EGA” instead of the usual 4 or
      >so small lines of text.

      Oh yeah… and I recall the opposite happening too. My dad has a copy of SQ1VGA in the old EGA box and there’s a 256-color sticker on it.

    • #21090 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Brandon — I think the version number on Camelot was just them realizing that there wasn’t a need for the extra “.000” at the end.

      And I know what you mean about the VGA releases in the original boxes. There was a Leisure Suit Larry on ebay about a week ago (don’t know if it’s still there) that was the original pink box with the big VGA sticker in the corner. Contents of the box showed it was indeed the VGA version, on the colorband disks.

      I also collect LP Records, especially Beatles, so all of these label/cover/disk variations fascinate me. I think there’s over 20 different “issues” of the Sgt. Pepper album, the rarest being the original Mono issue with all of the cut-out inserts included. Kind of like the original Space Quest 3 issue with the mask in the box!

      I’ve often wondered if it played out like this in the Sierra factory: They have plenty of boxes and documentation, but no disks — copy more disks = new labels/reissue. OR They have plenty of documentation and disks but no boxes. Quick! Make a 3-title VALU-PACK! OR They have disks and boxes but no documentation — reproduce original docs cheeply and outsource tech support = ValuPriced Software!

      🙂 Tom.

    • #21091 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Camelot – yeah! Funny eh?

      About the Value-Priced software. These are interesting as they’re not really Slash. It appears that these releases do all have manuals / documentation of the proper quality – the only difference is that they have the Value-Priced sticker on them.

      As for Slash releases, there’s at least one interesting one – the first Manhunter game, I have two different versions of the Slash release, with crap disks and documentation, but both versions have nice, proper maps (I don’t own an original so I can’t compare, but the maps seem like they would be originals, nice paper and all in color).

      (PS in response to the other thread, cool! Let me know if you find anything in storage. We’d love to access that material.)

    • #21092 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Yes, the ValuPriced software did have nice documentation. Not original, but very high quality. (Example, the KQ5 book is not embossed, and the inside is greyscale instead of colored for the copy-protection symbols, but it still has a nice color cover.

      When you mention the “slash” releases, is that a specific company that Sierra gave license to to distribute the older titles after they were “obsolete”? My KQ2 version is probably the cheapest re-release I own with a photocopied manual and a dot-matrix-printed label on the disk. The slip cover of the box is slightly smaller and non-glossy. (The interior box was crap, so I tried to use an extra Sierra box I had and the slip cover wouldn’t fit.) I almost want to find a way to print a new label for it so that it at least APPEARS to match the rest of my collection! 🙂

      Back to the discussion on the labels, upon closer inspection of the tan/mountain ones I mentioned that some were matte, some had a glossy mountan pic but the label itself was matte, and then finally the full lablel had a gloss. I’ve noticed that the changes also reflect a change in copyright on the information on the back (or bottom for 5.25)… reason? The phone number on the disks changed. The changes occurred in 1987, 1989 and 1990. My KQ disks actually have a mix of the labels, so I guess whichever disk you grabbed gave you a 1 in 3 chance of a right number, haha.

      The archive project sounds awesome! I would love to be a part of it. I have a bunch of pristine Sierra catalogs which I wouldn’t mind scanning. After reading through them many times, AND the InterActions, Ken Williams is absolutley right… it would be almost redundant for him to write a book. 😉 Being on this board with that man brings back memories of when “word spread” around TSN/INN that either he or Roberta were online… it turned into a frenzy of people trying to find out or get into whichever area they were in! Aah, the years…

      Tom.

    • #21093 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      Quote:
      “…Oh yeah… and I recall the opposite happening too. My dad has a copy of SQ1VGA in the old EGA box and there’s a 256-color sticker on it.
      …”

      Forgive me if it’s against forum policies to post links to ebay (some boards view that as spam) so please disregard/delete this post if that’s the case.

      But here’s an example of what Brandon was talking about:
      http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&?ViewItem&item=8185918709 

      That big ugly VGA sticker is covering the title! 🙁

      Tom.

    • #21094 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I have been handed down an old Sierra Boxing Champions game. It is easy to use an old computer and play an old game but it is very hard to move that game from an old computer to a new computer. I have looked into connecting up a new hard drive to my PS/2 but the old thing uses a “scuzy” connection. I played an old “Alf” game on my 486 but lost the game once I started the game.

      It seems to me that Sierra went through a rough time with the release of a game where a woman was attached in the game. I don’t remember the name of the game but Roberta had some rough interviews over the game. I had a sample of the game in a group box with the old Kings Quest games, Mother Goose, and others. The big news now is the game NARC that has a player getting high. I remember a geni in Kings Quest VI that would get drunk eating candy.

      Kings Quest was a great collection of old fairy tails and could be made into a movie blockbuster. The music score was great with the Sound Blaster sound card. I don’t think the 3D games of today can compare to the games of yesteryear.

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