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Lorfarius

Graphic Adventure Appreciation Thread

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Been a long week off work and after finishing Witcher 3 today (with over 60 hours on the clock!) I thought I'd try something a bit less intense and start digging through some of the older graphic adventure games. My first experience with the genre was way back in 1992, I used to hang in a printers shop which weirdly sold a range of computers, guitars and Amiga gear. Was friends with the assistant who would fire up a system until closing (even during summer hols!) and it was here I first met Monkey Island 2. It blew me away at the time, such a funny game with brilliant dialogue and the music was to die for. A little while later after pestering my poor folks for months on end I got an Amiga 600 with 20mb HD, dropped £30 of Xmas money on MI2 and installed away (think it was 15 disks!) which virtually filled the HD!

Of course with the Amiga came all the rampant piracy, said shop assistant didn't mind me taking copies of all the originals for the odd fiver shoved their way :lol: Wasn't long before I'd built up a sizeable collection of all the latest games. I started playing all the great GA's and the ones that still stick out in my mind is the original Indiana Jones Last Crusade, Full Throttle and the Simon the Sorceror titles. I was addicted, I'd come home after school set out all the disks on a small desk next to the Amiga one and lose hours!

I was still heavily invested in the genre come the late 90's when Grim Fandango was seen as the last hoorah. I loved it to bits but sadly it all sort of fizzled out and I moved onto other things. Over the years I've played the odd title but the only the first 3 Monkey Island games have had repeated play through. For a good 8 years I used to play through them completely every year without fail, loved everything about the series until it nose dived. Yes I liked the 3rd! I thought they did a great job without Ron Gilbert. He's done a Retronaughts podcast this week talking about the original 2 and even said that he would do a 3rd if Disney would sell the IP. They haven't done much with it for years but they don't seem the type of company to pass it on and he pretty much said he will never work with a publisher on it, he'd want full rights.

This led me on to looking at his latest work Thimbleweed Park which is 6 months or so in development. Made a great Kickstarter attempt and well over the funding goal. There's loads on the site but here's a quick snapshat of something they did recently:

Website

quickiepal1_zps72yf3wqu.png

He's also keeping a weekly development podcast where he goes over the older games including Maniac Mansion which this is a sequel of style to. Well worth a listen and I ended up donating to the course this afternoon to get a digital copy (was only $25).

Anyway I'm rambling! Apologies! I loved the genre as a kid, was a realy escape at the time and a lot of fond memories. I've been looking over something called the AGS engine which lets people build their own as they run regular competitions. There's been some pretty fantastic games done by their community over the years and loads have ended up for sale as pretty decent products, so the market is still there in its niche!

Anyone have any fond memories or experiences they want to share?

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When I was about 13 I went on the school German Exchange trip. The boy I stayed with had a C64 (actually, we were paired up as "we both had computers" - silly teachers not realising the issue of me having a superior Spectrum), and one of his games (which took 27 days to load from disk) was Maniac Mansion. In German.

My German was reasonable, but as my first introduction to graphical adventure games*? I kept getting "Gehen" (Go) and "Gaben" (Give) mixed up for a start. Still, I managed to cal the galactic police, get one of my kids out of the cellar, and get pretty far. It was bloody awesome.

Of course when I came home I realised I couldn't get it for my Spectrum. Or my Megadrive. And it was a few more years before I got a NES and a few more again before I got Maniac Mansion for it.

It's still probably my favourite graphical adventure game**, but some others:

Flunky (Spectrum) - so, so hard and so so fiddly. But so, so funny.

Ben There, Dan That (PC/Mac) - standard point and click with British nonsense. And it's about 5p. And the sequel is awesome too.

Blade Runner (PC) - captures the film without replicating (ha!) the film. If it wasn't for the rat bridge puzzle it'd be perfect. Dat music!

Machinarium (iPad) - Yeah, I know it's on every platform but on the iPad my 3 year old (at the time) could manage the controls. She completed it so many times. So cute, clever and fantastic to look at. "Robot game" got her into games.

* Technically, graphical adventure games are text adventure games with graphics - like The Hobbit. You're talking about point and click adventure games ;)

** Actually, my favourite graphical adventure game is probably Heavy on the Magick, but, y'know.

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They will always be graphic adventure games to me after this:

I think the above was my very first experience as I have vague memories of always sneaking round a friends house to play this and Batman. He had an Amiga 500 at the time and I had a spectrum +2, just blew me away how awesome it looked. Years later I became addicted to this Indy and did some crazy things like mastering all the ropey fighting scenes at the end on repeated playthroughs. Some were pretty tough.

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I'm not sure how that makes them graphic adventure games. They're still point and click :)

I came to point and click games from text adventures (Behind Closed Doors and Red Door where my favourites) through graphic adventures (the Scott Adams games, Heavy on the Magick, Double Agent) - so point and click can never be "graphical adventures" to me. Totally separate genre :)

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I remember buying Full Throttle as a present to myself for after I'd finished my exams and then staying up all night and completing it the night before my very 1st one.

Lucasarts were the masters of this genre, and they were at their height with Throttle. Shame about the crappy fighting bits shoehorned in.

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Loved them, still do. They were a natural progression from my days playing text adventures. Fave is Necromancer, but it's way more involved than most PnCrs of the time. Obv love all the lucasarts games and a fair chunk of Sierra's. I advise everyone to play the new king's quest. The telltale games are good too.

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Zak McKracken was the first one I played, then I tried a few others over the years - mostly Lucasarts ones. The only other one I really enjoyed was Full Throttle. I like the idea of them, but I don't have the patience for some of the obscure puzzles. I quite like watching them being played on YT these days though, so I can see the stories without having to suffer clicking on every object and trying every permutation of "use this on that". I've been chipping away at Dracula on the Atari Lynx recently, and while it's a bit of a technical showstopper it's the same old stuff.

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Easiest thing to do is print out a walkthrough if you haven't the patience :twisted:

Thinking back another thing that's changed when playing these today is screen size. My monitor is a 32" beast but back then I was lucky to be on a 15" monitor!

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Loved them, still do. They were a natural progression from my days playing text adventures. Fave is Necromancer, but it's way more involved than most PnCrs of the time. Obv love all the lucasarts games and a fair chunk of Sierra's. I advise everyone to play the new king's quest. The telltale games are good too.

Wait, what is this Necromancer game you speak of? I've not heard of it, and as its name is a generic noun it's bloody hard to search for without more detail. Can you shed a bit more light on it?

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Hang on.... you are the one that said graphical adventure :mellow: I said GRAPHIC adventure. It's in the title and my first post. That's what the genre was called.

Linky

They're not that graphic. I mean, some have cartoon blood, but that's about it.

Anyway, wiki says "the text parser interface associated with older interactive fiction games was phased out in favor of a point-and-click interface". There are more interactive fiction games produced each year than "graphic adventure games", so it certainly hasn't been "phased out in favor (urgh) of a point-and-click interface".

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That should have been Neuromancer, based on William Gibson's seminal cyberpunk novel.

Ah, I wondered if that might be it. I never actually played the game, though I love the novel. Still worth a go, d'you think?

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They're lovely little adventures, just be aware that the sound quality of the first game is a bit patchy - the quality goes up as the series progresses, as they're able to afford fancy things like "recording studios" ;)

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Just to add to the pointless semantics argument, "graphic adventure" to me still means a type-in text game with still (or limited animation, non interactive) images. This is because that's what the old mags like Your Sinclair called them when they started to appear. I remember the term "point and click" coming about when Leisure Suit Larry and Kings Quest started to appear on the scene.

Good timing with this thread by the way - I've just installed SCUMMVM on my Windows tablet and started playing through some of these. Blasted through the opening sections of Simon the Sorceror, Indie Last Crusade, Larry 3 and Maniac Mansion in the last few days. I don't have the patience to play them properly these days and have resorted to walkthroughs a couple of times. The interfaces - particularly on the early Sierra games, and pre-Monkey Island Scumm games, is too fiddly for me to want to spend hours walking around trying every combination of objects until something works, like I used to happily do.

Enjoying Indy Last Crusade most at the moment as it's the only one I haven't completed before.

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They're lovely little adventures, just be aware that the sound quality of the first game is a bit patchy - the quality goes up as the series progresses, as they're able to afford fancy things like "recording studios" ;)

Spent a good hour on it and I will say the voice acting is better than some triple A games :lol:

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I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is another good one which is often overlooked by people who love the Lucas/Sierra games. I've played it a couple of times in recent years but not finished it yet.

As mentioned in another thread I'm looking forward to playing Shadow of the Comet and Prisoner Of Ice soon, now they've been re-released by Good Old Games.

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Spent a good hour on it and I will say the voice acting is better than some triple A games :lol:

I've actually just looked them up - they remastered the early games with new voice acting (mostly the same cast I believe, just much more professionally done), so that'd be why! The originals are noticeably of poorer quality - the voice acting itself is actually pretty good, but the recording quality was abysmal; background noise, sibilance and pops in full effect. I'm glad to see they went to the effort of tidying them up when they had the money, good on them!

For modern point and clicks, Gemini Rue and Resonance are well worth a look, once you're done with the Blackwell series.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is another good one which is often overlooked by people who love the Lucas/Sierra games. I've played it a couple of times in recent years but not finished it yet.

As mentioned in another thread I'm looking forward to playing Shadow of the Comet and Prisoner Of Ice soon, now they've been re-released by Good Old Games.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is a brilliant, horrible adventure game, yeah. I remember reading about it at the time and being fascinated by the name and the descriptions of the setting, but it would only be years later that I'd actually get around to playing it.

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I've actually just looked them up - they remastered the early games with new voice acting (mostly the same cast I believe, just much more professionally done), so that'd be why! The originals are noticeably of poorer quality - the voice acting itself is actually pretty good, but the recording quality was abysmal; background noise, sibilance and pops in full effect. I'm glad to see they went to the effort of tidying them up when they had the money, good on them!

For modern point and clicks, Gemini Rue and Resonance are well worth a look, once you're done with the Blackwell series.

I'm really looking forward to finishing the first episode, glad I ended up with the good version of the voice acting!

Gemini Rue was something I picked up a year or two ago on my iPad but sadly I just couldn't get into it :( Strange really as it reminded me of Beneath A Steel Sky so much. Heard mixed things about Resonance but looks pretty good in trailers. I'd really love to go back to BASS but I always remember the VR world sections driving me mad. I tend to not use walkthroughs if I can help it as the frustration is usually part of the fun, as time has gone on I've got a really good knack of solving the puzzles and I enjoy thinking through rather than clicking everywhere like a mad man. I'd have a crack at creating my own if my art skills had progressed past stick men in MS Paint :lol:

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Ah, that's a shame - I guess it goes with the territory; adventure games are story-heavy enough that it's very easy to have wildly diverging opinions on any given game; my dislike of The Dig seems to have left a few people in the Multiplatform thread in discussion aghast, for example!

It's worth picking Resonance up if you see it at a good price - you may or may not enjoy it, but it's definitely worth a punt if only to get the chance to try one of those rare beasts, a multi-protagonist adventure game. It may not be Day of the Tentacle, but then what is!

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Don't think The Dig was a great game, but it was an interesting attempt at a serious, film-style adventure.

I used to be a sucker for these, back in the day, especially once I got a PC and VGA graphics became the norm. LucasArts games were the gold standard - I did Monkey Island 1 on the ST, and all the rest on the PC. Only one I have never played was Loom, I think. Indy and the Fate of Atlantis, Sam and Max, Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango were standouts, but all enjoyable to some degree. Even The Dig. And I don't recall using any cheats.

Did a few Sierra games, but random triggers and insta-deaths were always annoying in the likes of Space Quest - went south from the starting point? Dead. As well as one of the SQs, I did Manhunter: New York, which was weird, plus Leisure Suit Larry (natch). Never did a King's Quest, nor a Police Quest.

Other good shouts - Simon the Sorceror was a decent adventure with a couple of obscure puzzles; I remember dealing with their customer support to get replacement disks - I think it was the programmer's mum or other close relative. Delphine did a couple I played on the ST - Operation Stealth and Cruise for a Corpse.

Revolution did the Broken Sword series - I had missed Beneath a Steel Sky and Lure of the Temptress before then (but I went back to the second); atmospheric series, goat puzzle notwithstanding. I remember a talk by Charles Cecil around 2000, where he pointed out that these kinds of games got just too expensive to fund; so much content was developed that would never be used seen by most players.

Did anyone mention Westwood's Bladerunner? Great use of the license, and an amazing multiple-ended adventure.

Finally, a great 16-bit game was the Star Trek: 25th anniversary game from Interplay, I think before they did Fallout. Absolutely nailed the feel of being in a ToS episode - well worth tracking down if you haven't played it.

Edit: ooh, and the Discworld adventures. Hard as nails, that first one.

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I am going to have a crack at The Dig soon. Never played it before - don't even know what it's about, really, apart from a preview I remember reading in PC Zone or something 20-odd years ago, which talked about how it was based on a movie that wasn't getting produced, and is sci-fi themed. Looking forward to it.

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