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Royal Jam: Kings Quest III: Redux

Why can't they remake Police Quest II, eh?

It’s the era of the eight-year-long Kings Quest remake projects. With the Kings Quest episodic adventure, The Silver Lining, having recently released its third chapter, the peculiarly lenient Activision are also tolerating an even more overt reproduction of their IP – a complete remake of Kings Quest III: To Heir Is Human. And it’s completely free. They’ve ditched the text parser, brought the old 16 colour EGA graphics into something resembling the future, new background art, and even voice acting. Eight years of hard work. It’s slightly awkward that somebody already did it.

This remake contains new artwork and a voice cast. And they’ve even written new content, with extra side-quests and new puzzles. It’s a gargantuan task, and it is to be the last remake from the team, AGD Interactive. They’re going on to make commercial games now, it seems, which is great news. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some original adventure games from them, made in the classic, hand-painted style.

A compare and contrast with the previous remake by Infamous Adventures isn’t quite as striking as they may hope. Both are made in AGS. (Which means neither works on my desktop machine due to some completely mad conflict that means the cursor staggers to a stop whenever it passes over anything interactive – anyone know what that’s about?) Both run at a resolution smaller than a stamp. And both have insufferably long opening cutscenes. Take a look. (Oh, and for fun I thought I’d add in the original version too.)

Original (1986):

Previous remake (2004):

New remake (2011):

This new version certainly has better quality voice recording, and the backgrounds are painted with more detail. It seems to be the superior version. But the other one came out seven years ago, a year into the development of this newer remake. It does seem odd.

The full game is 232MB (or you can get Infamous Adventures’ seven-year-old remake of the twenty-five-year-old game in 127MB).

It only leaves the question: um, wasn’t Kings Quest III a bit rubbish?

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John Walker

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One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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