Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

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Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby NewRisingSun » 2015-12-21 @ 14:00

I have two PC versions of King's Quest V CD-ROM: one with AUDIO001.002 dated December 1991, and one dated April 1992. The December 1991 sounds sounds less muffled and has more siblant "s" sounds than the April 1992 version.

However, the Fujitsu FM-Towns version of the game, which has both English (AUDIO001.002) and Japanese (AUDIO081.002) audio, has AUDIO001.002 dated July 1991. It sounds as muffled as the April 1992 PC version, but with more reverb during the narrator lines. The FM-Towns version has the introduction and ending speech lines without music in the background --- playing the music on the FM synthesizer instead ---, while the PC versions have (low-fidely) recordings of the MT-32 music mixed into the speech audio.

Was there a July 1991 (or even earlier) version of King's Quest V CD-ROM on the PC? If so, does anyone have it? I find it hard to believe that the earliest-released CD-ROM version of a PC game would be for something other than a PC.

Both PC versions have a version string of 1.000.052 (the RESOURCE.* files are dated December 1991 even on the April 1992 version, in other words, only the audio files were changed), while the FM-Towns version has a version string of 1.000.000. All three versions have a High Sierra, rather than an ISO 9660, file system.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Great Hierophant » 2015-12-21 @ 16:47

NewRisingSun wrote:Was there a July 1991 (or even earlier) version of King's Quest V CD-ROM on the PC? If so, does anyone have it? I find it hard to believe that the earliest-released CD-ROM version of a PC game would be for something other than a PC.


I can believe it, the FM Towns was a popular testing ground for Western PC developers exploring CD-ROM technology. The FM Towns was not particularly foreign in terms of hardware and every one of them had a CD-ROM. The advantage of the FM Towns is that the CD interface and audio hardware was identical across models. I do not think it would have been unwise to use it as a test market to see how the games were received technically and critically. Maybe it took until December for Sierra to decide there were enough CD-ROMs in the market to release the PC CD version or to test it with the sound cards and interfaces available at that time.

Origin probably meant to release a CD version of Ultima VI with the voice acting done by its staff but later changed its mind. LucasArts did release a CD version of Loom for the PC after they did so for the FM Towns, although there were many changes the graphics were based off the FM Towns version. However, my FM Towns version of The Secret of Monkey Island has files dated 8/28/92 while my DOS CD has files dated 6/10/92, so there could conceivably be an earlier version of KQ5.

It is interesting that the English audio files are present on the FM Towns CD-ROM of KQ5, but that was not unheard of as demonstrated with Ultima VI. To select the English Voices, click on the Sierra logo on the sliders menu. I used to believe that there were only Japanese voices included. Thanks for this information, time to update the blog entry!
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby NewRisingSun » 2015-12-21 @ 19:19

The Japanese voice acting sounds even more amateurish than the English one. Given the high standards that the seiyuu tradition has set in Japan, I would assume that Sierra quite embarrassed themselves, for all Japanese PC Engine CD games I have seen and heard use professional voice acting.

On my ever-growing to-do list is a King's Quest V CD-ROM update as well. Things I want to do:
  • Add simultaneous text+speech capability;
  • Play MT-32 music during the introduction and ending instead of the low-fidely PCM recordings, by using the speech samples from the FM-Towns version which have the voices without the music in the background;
  • Fix the speed of some animation loops, for example, the walking animation of the prince, the male gypsy or the innkeeper. They look that ridiculous even on a slow system and even on the floppy disk version; I wonder if they switched the basis for the timing system (game cycles versus real-time clock) mid-project the way they switched it between the floppy disk and CD-ROM versions of Space Quest IV, albeit with less disastrous results?
  • Optional unlockable feature: play the AdLib version of the Town Theme at all times. ;)
I haven't even started yet, so I don't expect anything this decade.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby arablizzard2413 » 2016-1-16 @ 00:58

SWEET! The French/English Floppy copy of KQ5 from the 1994 collection is probably a good resource for this project as well if you're not already gonna use it.

Also, I'm not sure if this was an oversight or the result of a script bug, but it'd be nice to see that rotten blue monster that seems to come back even after you use the peas on it go away (it's especially worse on faster cpu's).
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Beegle » 2016-1-16 @ 01:03

I would be interested in this patch, when or ever it comes out :)
NewRisingSun wrote:[*]Optional unlockable feature: play the AdLib version of the Town Theme at all times. ;)[/list]

I love that video. Listen to it from time to time when I want to get a song out of my head. Love the squeaking and banging. And especially love the comments.
The more sound cards, the better.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby lukeman3000 » 2017-8-28 @ 06:24

Personally, I would really like to play the CD version with the ability to choose text only (and no voices). As I understand it, the CD version has certain features that the floppy does not (sound effects for the river, snake rattle, etc.), but the voice acting is.. difficult for me to handle.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-8-29 @ 08:02

Due to the FM Towns ability to auto-boot cds, there were a lot of weird experimental games made. Such as Indiana Jones and Last Crusade which has fancy redbook audio. The FM Towns version of Ultima Trilogy I, II, III is completely different then the DOS version. Wing Commander has Japanese voice-overs for the Kilrathi when they taunt you in game, etc. Not to mention weird games like Megamorph which was developed in Europe for Amiga CD32, but ended up being a Towns exclusive. Most Towns games used redbook audio, but others used the internal FM, and a few even supported MIDI. It's a complete mess of a system, and that's what makes it fun for me lol.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Osprey » 2017-8-29 @ 15:50

SuperDeadite wrote:Due to the FM Towns ability to auto-boot cds, there were a lot of weird experimental games made. Such as Indiana Jones and Last Crusade which has fancy redbook audio.

I didn't realize until just last week that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade even had a CD version... and in 1990, no less. CD-ROM games really didn't catch on in Western markets until 1993. Japan was 2 or 3 years ahead of the rest of the industry back in those days (and not just on the PC side, but consoles, too).
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Great Hierophant » 2017-8-29 @ 17:17

lukeman3000 wrote:Personally, I would really like to play the CD version with the ability to choose text only (and no voices). As I understand it, the CD version has certain features that the floppy does not (sound effects for the river, snake rattle, etc.), but the voice acting is.. difficult for me to handle.


The floppy disk version does have those sounds, you can hear the snake rattle with the Adlib or MT-32, but you will only be able to hear the river with the MT-32, and only on certain screens.

One neat effect in the floppy version is that when you are any of the desert brush screens (just to the right of the Gypsy Wagon, Anthill and Beehive), the ambient sound as you are on the right side of the screen is essentially the same as on the wooded Serenia screens, but as you walk toward to the left side of the screen, the desert sounds become louder and the wooded sounds become quieter.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby lukeman3000 » 2017-8-30 @ 09:21

Great Hierophant wrote:
lukeman3000 wrote:Personally, I would really like to play the CD version with the ability to choose text only (and no voices). As I understand it, the CD version has certain features that the floppy does not (sound effects for the river, snake rattle, etc.), but the voice acting is.. difficult for me to handle.


The floppy disk version does have those sounds, you can hear the snake rattle with the Adlib or MT-32, but you will only be able to hear the river with the MT-32, and only on certain screens.

One neat effect in the floppy version is that when you are any of the desert brush screens (just to the right of the Gypsy Wagon, Anthill and Beehive), the ambient sound as you are on the right side of the screen is essentially the same as on the wooded Serenia screens, but as you walk toward to the left side of the screen, the desert sounds become louder and the wooded sounds become quieter.

That is interesting; I didn't know that.

What other advantages/disadvantages of the floppy/CD versions exist that I might not be aware of? Knowing this, and knowing that I prefer to play without voices, is there any reason I might not want to use the floppy version? I know it has the copy protection, which at worst is probably somewhat annoying.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Great Hierophant » 2017-8-30 @ 22:17

lukeman3000 wrote:
Great Hierophant wrote:
lukeman3000 wrote:Personally, I would really like to play the CD version with the ability to choose text only (and no voices). As I understand it, the CD version has certain features that the floppy does not (sound effects for the river, snake rattle, etc.), but the voice acting is.. difficult for me to handle.


The floppy disk version does have those sounds, you can hear the snake rattle with the Adlib or MT-32, but you will only be able to hear the river with the MT-32, and only on certain screens.

One neat effect in the floppy version is that when you are any of the desert brush screens (just to the right of the Gypsy Wagon, Anthill and Beehive), the ambient sound as you are on the right side of the screen is essentially the same as on the wooded Serenia screens, but as you walk toward to the left side of the screen, the desert sounds become louder and the wooded sounds become quieter.

That is interesting; I didn't know that.

What other advantages/disadvantages of the floppy/CD versions exist that I might not be aware of? Knowing this, and knowing that I prefer to play without voices, is there any reason I might not want to use the floppy version? I know it has the copy protection, which at worst is probably somewhat annoying.


I can't think of any other advantages of the CD version over the floppy version except for the more streamlined interface in the CD and non-English floppy versions. A minor issue.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Spikey » 2017-9-04 @ 05:35

To be honest I prefer the copy protection in this game, similarly to SQ4. In this case Graham gets to use the wand and cast spells, off camera but still cool. And it is part of the narrative, not disjointed from the game like many copy protections.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Osprey » 2017-9-04 @ 21:12

Spikey wrote:To be honest I prefer the copy protection in this game, similarly to SQ4. In this case Graham gets to use the wand and cast spells, off camera but still cool. And it is part of the narrative, not disjointed from the game like many copy protections.

Are you daring to imply that the great Dial-A-Pirate, perhaps the greatest copy protection known to man (and monkey), is disjointed?

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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Spikey » 2017-9-10 @ 04:35

I'm sure you're joking, but I haven't played that one, so can't comment anyway. :)
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Osprey » 2017-10-04 @ 19:06

Spikey wrote:I'm sure you're joking, but I haven't played that one, so can't comment anyway. :)

It's the copy protection for The Secret of Monkey Island. Surely you've played that. Maybe you just didn't use the copy protection because you were a pirate, yourself :D.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby collector » 2017-10-05 @ 00:40

Osprey wrote:
Spikey wrote:I'm sure you're joking, but I haven't played that one, so can't comment anyway. :)

It's the copy protection for The Secret of Monkey Island. Surely you've played that. Maybe you just didn't use the copy protection because you were a pirate, yourself :D.

Or has the Monkey Madness CD, which had no CP.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Great Hierophant » 2017-10-05 @ 03:27

collector wrote:
Osprey wrote:
Spikey wrote:I'm sure you're joking, but I haven't played that one, so can't comment anyway. :)

It's the copy protection for The Secret of Monkey Island. Surely you've played that. Maybe you just didn't use the copy protection because you were a pirate, yourself :D.

Or has the Monkey Madness CD, which had no CP.


I have also seen some budget releases of The Secret of Monkey Island which either remove the copy protection or automatically input an answer to get past the protection. Or played the LucasArts Classic Adventures collection version, which also removed copy protection.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby collector » 2017-10-05 @ 14:51

In fact, it is because of these versions that the ScummVM team does not impose the CP when playing the game through SVM.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby Great Hierophant » 2017-10-06 @ 13:55

collector wrote:In fact, it is because of these versions that the ScummVM team does not impose the CP when playing the game through SVM.


The original full-price VGA disk release has the copy protection screen, but scummvm does not require you to get past it. It does require you to pass it for the EGA disk releases. The rationale is that scummvm will require copy protection on any game version that was not officially cracked at some point by the original developer. Fortunately, interpreter cracks still work in scummvm. I have never liked SCUMMVM and this is one of the reasons why.
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Re: Earliest PC version of King's Quest V CD-ROM?

Postby collector » 2017-10-06 @ 23:41

I agree. I only use SVM only for those games that there are no other good options, such as the Win16 games it supports. Yes KQ6 does have a DOS interpreter, but the Win version has the high-res dialog portraits.
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