Kings Quest 2: Romancing the Stones (AGDI Remake)

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

 

AGD Interactive seems to get a lot of coverage in my blog, some times to the point where it might almost seem like I have some sort of deal going with them, thanks to my ever glowing reviews and never ending appraisals of their releases, it might all seem, well…very chummy indeed.

But my reasons for giving AGDI so much coverage, really boil down to my never ending love of adventure games and the exceptional production standards that AGDI have incorporated in their releases over the years.

AGDI made a name for themselves by creating VGA releases of Kings Quest 1, Kings Quest 2 and most notably Quest for Glory 2 which was in development for around 7 years.

 

KQ2EGA5 KQ2EGA4 KQ2EGA3 KQ2EGA2

                                                          King’s Quest 2 (V1 1985 - V2 1987)  

 

All of these games where originally produced by Sierra Online back in the eighties and nineties in EGA and in the last few years began to look out of place when compared with their VGA sequels, even with well thought out story lines and great game play, interest had began to dwindle in some of these classic titles. In response to this need, a fan based development group called AGDI, created and released VGA remakes for both Kings Quest 1 & 2 back in 2000 & 2001.

These releases where then followed by speech and digital music packs to compliment the remakes. The additions added a level of detail that brought up the games music quality to the equivalent of most of the sequels in the series, in fact AGDI where able to secure the voice talents of Josh Mandel who originally did the voice acting for King Graham in King’s Quest 5.  

Kings Quest 1 & 2 where both AGDI initial releases and vey well received by the gaming community in general, but after working on Quest for Glory 2 for several years felt they need to go back and revisit these first two titles and give them a bit of an over haul.

So only a month after the re-release of King’s Quest 1, AGDI have now announced the re-release of King Quest 2.

If you happened to have missed my original coverage of the first King’s Quest remake, it can be found here: http://computerplusadventure.blogspot.com/2009/02/kings-quest-i-vga-enhanced-edition.html

 

King’s Quest 2 starts with a young King Graham sitting on his throne, deep in thought, dreaming of the possibility of a future bride to be, when he is disturbed by one of his advisors, who makes a subtle suggestion in regards to looking in the magic mirror hanging in his throne room, upon doing this Graham receives a vision……. and then sets about on a quest to the distant land of Kolyma, striving to find a beautiful maiden locked away in a mysterious tower. 

Kings Quest 2 VGA when it was first released back in 2001, it was not only a remake but it also incorporated additional story elements that expanded upon the original plot and added more depth with out significantly altering it. Some of these changes included adding additional characters such as the ‘father’, cut scenes and more puzzles and locations to help fill out the game. For those who where playing the game for the first time, the additional puzzles and extras would have seemed quite natural as they where tightly scripted to match the feel of the series in later editions and served to enhance the original story line.

Some of the major changes in this re-release are that all of the backgrounds have been re-edited with better colour balancing, more detail and at a higher resolution, All of the character dialogue portraits have been redone and lip-synced with character speech dialogue, there is now full narration for all dialogue in the game, the support of widescreen resolutions natively and is Vista Compatible from the outset.

Perhaps the games greatest change has been the re-edit of many of the backgrounds, with some areas receiving significant improvement, for example, the bridge over the chasm received a distinctive redraw and the town centre has been drawn with a much greatly expanded population. 

 

KQ2VGA206

                                                  King’s Quest 2 - Version 2.0 – 2001 Release

KQ2VGA311

                                                   King’s Quest 2 - Version 3.0 – 2009 Release

In terms of playability, King’s Quest 2 provides a good mix of story and puzzles to keep the player involved, ranging from some very easy puzzles, to some quite difficult and frustrating challenges along the way. The only downside is that the player will some times encounter a dead end, if a key item is missed or certain actions are not completed at the right time.

My opinion of this latest re-release is that it demonstrates the dedication of AGDI and lengths they are willing to go to ensure that they have delivered the finest product possible. This edition improves and polishes up a considerable number of small points from it’s previous incarnation. Combine this with improved visuals, an excellent story line and a collection of interesting and challenging puzzles and you have a winning game that every player should try.

King’s Quest 2 is available free and can be downloaded from: http://www.agdinteractive.com/games/kq2/

 

Overall Rating  88%

 

Comparison Shots 

                                     2001                                                                          2009

KQ2VGA217KQ2VGA308 KQ2VGA203KQ2VGA305 KQ2VGA216KQ2VGA301KQ2VGA215KQ2VGA302KQ2VGA212KQ2VGA309

Other projects

There is currently a remake underway for a SCI version of King’s Quest 2, which will use the equivalent of Medium/High Resolution EGA graphics.

This particular remake will retain the original plot with no enhancements and use the typing command console that most of the early sierra games had around that time, but adds SCI styled graphics which are slightly more detailed than its low-res EGA counterpart.

The remake is being produced by Brandon Blume and has no current time frame for completion, but from what is detailed on his website a considerable amount has already been done.

Here are some screenshots and two YouTube videos of the preproduction build.

intro1 3_small 12_small kq2sci

 

 

Website:          (It appears the site that was originally hosting KQ2 EGA development has been removed!)

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