(Stabbin’ people in the showers since 1982)
It is unquestioned that Roberta Williams and Sierra Online are responsible for some of the most memorable adventure games ever created for the personal computer back in the 80’s and 90’s. When one thinks of classic Sierra adventure games, we are reminded of series like King’s Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest…basically, if you thought of a genre and inserted the word “Quest” after it, there’s a good chance Sierra made a game for it. However, Sierra Online also created some lesser known adventure games that did not fail when it came to raising the bar for adventure games. So in honor of these forgotten classics, Retro Unknown is showcasing many of them in a 5 part retrospective. So the first on our list is Sierra Online’s co-founder, Roberta Williams’ mystery classic, The Colonel’s Bequest: A Laura Bow Mystery.
A spiritual sequel to Roberta Williams first adventure game, Mystery House
, The Colonel’s Bequest ushers up a whole new gameplay style that had never been seen in a game before. Playing the role of Laura Bow, you are given the task of exploring a Louisiana Mansion thats located in the middle of the Bayou and solving a murder mystery that will eventually claim the lives of all the guests that dwell within.
What makes this game advanced for its time is that all of the NPC’s throughout the game actually move around naturally and are rarely found in the same place more than once. This means you have to search the estate figuring out where certain people have gone, follow character through multiple screens (a big first for the time) and predict where some might show up based on what you’ve heard them say. The game is very character driven and unlike most Sierra adventures, puzzles take a back-burner in this game. In fact, one can complete the game without ever completing one puzzle.
Another first for adventure games was the possiblity of multiple endings. Depending on clues you uncover, characters you talk to, conversations you eaves drop on, and so on will have an effect on how the game ends.
And perhaps one of the most memorable things about this game were the many ways your character could die, including the famous “shower scene” that obviously pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho
. See the video below for all of them!
If you have not played this game, you should really experience it for yourself. Great writing, terrific music, unforgettable scenes and an awesome twist. Don’t pass this one up.
Stay tuned for Part II – Codename: Iceman