Note that these patches are intended only for the Vivendi 2006 collections. For the earlier Sierra collections, please use the appropriate Sierra Help Pages New Sierra Installer for your collection.
In 2006, Vivendi Games re-released new collections of four of Sierra's main adventure game series, however, the releases of these old classics were less than perfect. Most of the games were set to be run in DOSBox, the open source project that emulates an older PC with DOS. DOSBox is the perfect solution for Sierra's classic DOS games. It provides the environment that the games were written for. It shields you from the many timer bugs that plague these games on modern PCs and addresses hardware and Operating System incompatibilities by recreating the environment that the games were designed to run in, thereby bypassing many of the common problems such as sound issues, missing APIs, etc. It also "future proofs" the games against newer versions of Windows ®. This was reasonable approach, however, they shipped it with the older DOSBox 0.63, instead of the much improved 0.65 available at the time. Now several later versions of DOSBox have been released.
Some versions of Windows (64 bit) are not able to run 16 bit programs. This means that the Windows versions of most of the Sierra games will not run in natively in Windows XP 64 or Vista 64. The version of King's Quest 7: The Princeless Bride that comes with the new King's Quest Collection is the earlier version 1.4, which had no DOS interpreter. Many users with Vista will find that their copy of King's Quest 7 won't work. All that they would have needed to prevent this was to have used Version 2, which not only shipped with a DOS interpreter for the game, but had a number of bug fixes. The second King's Quest Collection used version 2.00b, which runs flawlessly in DOSBox and will bypass the infamous firecracker timer bug. The patch for the King's Quest collection upgrades the King's Quest VII version 1.4, Windows only interpreter to version 2.00b, with the DOS interpreter.
Though DOSBox is easy to use, many feel intimidated by the task of setting the games up in DOSBox. These patches will automatically set the games up to start in DOSBox from a Windows shortcut. They will preconfigure both game and DOSBox settings to what should be optimal settings for most users. They include a wizard to easily change a few basic DOSBox settings, such as display modes. Additional DOSBox settings can also be added/modified by editing the dosbox.conf in each game's respective folder.
While the game settings can also be changed by editing the RESOURCE.CFG file in each game's folder, Sierra originally provided a small program, INSTALL.EXE, with their games that allowed the user to easily configure the game for the PC's hardware. This program and its associated files were removed by the company that prepared the new collections. This patch restores these missing files. Selecting different hardware for each game can now be done by simply running INSTALL.EXE from each game's folder in DOSBox. Also included are all official patches and the wonderful timer patches created by NewRisingSun. These patches fix problems that have plagued Sierra gamers for years. These speed bugs were only getting worse as computers got faster.
Another major flaw of the new collections was the exclusion of some of the games. The original versions of King's Quest I, Space Quest I, Leisure Suit Larry I and Police Quest I were left out and only included the remakes of these games. The Leisure Suit Larry collection also was missing 7 and the talkie version of 6. For legal reasons these games cannot be included, however, if you own the original versions of King's Quest I, Space Quest I, Leisure Suit Larry I and Police Quest I the patchers can incorporate them into the collections if the game files are copied from the disks into a folder on your harddrive and running the patcher from that folder.
First install the your collection (Note for Vista users: Avoid installing these games in the "Program Files" folder. Write access to this folder is limited, which has proven to cause issues with older games) then run the patcher. You will be given a choice to let the installer download and install DOSBox.
Note: If you do not have DOSBox installed, let the patch setup install for you. DOSBox can be upgraded whenever future versions are released by installing it into the same folder. The shortcuts that the installer creates will then still work with the new DOSBox.
These updates are free for personal use. By downloading any of these updates you agree to not redistribute them or use them for commercial use without prior permission.
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