King's Quest Omnipedia

King's Quest Classic (aka The Original King's Quest[1] or simply King's Quest or in some later releases King's Quest: Quest for the Crown) refers to all AGI (or GAL in PCJR version, to booter AGI versions, and later non-booter versions of the original King's Quest I (aka King's Quest: Quest for the Crown on the box of later versions). These games are simply known as King's Quest (in-game and early boxes). The title "King's Quest Classic" differentiates it from the SCI remake King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown and the Sega Master System port.

King's Quest Classic

Here you will find links to each of the versions of Roberta William's original King's Quest.

King's Quest Ports[]

Original Version[]

"New Version"[]

King's Quest: Quest for the Crown[]

King's Quest (aka King's Quest Classic) is an adventure game developed and published by Sierra On-Line in 1984, and it serves as the first King's Quest game in the series. The original game was released on the PCjr as early as 1983, followed by the Tandy and CGA/Composite Dos (1984) versions, and Apple //c & //e version (not to be confused with the enhanced Apple IIGS version). It was later released with a new box with the subtitle as King's Quest: Quest for the Crown (with a few minor graphical changes, could be installed on a Harddrive, and had EGA support).

The game introduced the AGI (Advanced Graphics Interpreter) engine. The original was jointly produced by Sierra and IBM. It was ported over to IBM in CGA graphics (4 color RGB/16-color composite).

There are some differences with rereleases, but all later ports of KQ1 are based on the game as such this can be considered the first version of King's Quest: Quest for the Crown (though no subtitle exists at this point). All later ports can be considered improved or modified versions of this game as they use the same engine (with slightly different version numbers), but this topic discusses some of the more major differences between these and later versions.

But all versions of this game including the ports (and rereleases) can be referred to as "King's Quest Classic".

This game and the next few (with a noteable change around the release of KQ4 SCI) were intended to look like interactive 'cartoons'. In Roberta's own words it was 'it's the ultimate cartoon - a cartoon they can participate in.' (it was this style that may have influenced the look of later King's Quest 7.)


In the PCJR version Graham was originally known as Grahame. The quest text given by Edward is on a blue screen, and mention the name "Grahame". Tandy and PC Dos versions also use blue screen, but change his name to Graham.

The PCjr version has a manual with original color artwork (in a cartoon style), and has a short introduction The King's Appeal, and other details specific to the version of the game. The Tandy and PC Dos versions changed the manual to the version most people are aware of (King's Quest by Roberta Williams).

The original King's Quest on PCjr version has a different intro theme than later 1987 Dos/Tandy versions (greensleeves) or the completely original theme on the Apple IIGS (the KQ3 ending sequence is a variant on this theme, noticeable especially on the Apple IIGS version). The theme on the PCjr is theme is the same theme heard, when Graham/Grahame opens the doors to the castle, but played 'twice' (in most later ports of the game). In the PCJR version some of the musical cues such as when bad guys appear do not exist, and were added into later ports. There is no intro jingle to the Tandy or the Ibm 1984 versions.

In the PCJR version, crickets can be heard around Daventry, troll makes stomping noises across the bridge, the goat bleats, the ogre growls, river can be heard, splashes when Grahame falls into a river. Some of these sounds appear o the 1984 Tandy version. The wolf makes noises as well. Some of these sounds are in the 1984 PC version. However, the PC can only play 1 tone at a time, and not the 3 tone chirps of the Tandy or PCjr.

Many of these sounds also appear in the Amiga version, or were replaced with complete digital sound effects in the Apple II GS version.

The score system in these versions is different than in later releases/remakes. The score is accessed through the inventory screen via the Tab key (a screen with a blue background), and only lists the accumulated score (not the total possible score), this is similar to how the score system works in the Sega port/remake.

In the PCJR, Tandy and Dos versions the text descriptions including any warnings are displayed along the bottom of the screen in grey text, rather than in text boxes (as seen in later ports). The interface is different, such as save/restore options, and restart option. Almost every option is accessed through a keyboard command of some sort, rather than pull down menus. Instead to bring up options require various key presses either the numbers or the tab key (for score and inventory).

The items in the inventory are described through text, there are no closeup pictures like in later ports of the game.

Some of the ingame text is different than later versions of the game, see KQ1PCjr transcript. The Tandy and PC versions are closer to the modern games text, with Grahame's name being changed to Graham.

You can bow to the king after he dies; "You bow, but you are the only one who knows it." The king does an exaggerated spin before dieing. The animation was cut in later ports.

The alligators in the moat use the heads of the dragon rather than completely original alligator artwork in later versions.

The Sorcerer is clearly a different character in this edition, but became the same character as the Enchanter in later editions.

It's possible to drop items as in older Sierra adventure games, see Hi-Res Adventures. But this is not good, and the items become lost or broken.

Apple IIe/IIc version[]

Has the Sierra logo screen in white.

Text parser is white. The message from Edward is on a white screen, as are inventory/score system.

The Apple version lacks alligators in the moat, as the parser takes up that portion of the screen.

Release History[]

1983 Release (GAL[2])[]

  • (July 1983, IBM PCjr) - The original IBM-branded release for the PCjr came with a full keyboard overlay template. "King's Quest". It has some interesting differences with later ports (King's Quest (PCjr)), including different set of keyboard commands, save/restore functions, scoring system, different style text box (and different script in places), etc.  Has its own original soundtrack and sound effects (hear waterfalls, crickets, etc). It included its own original manual, with the story The King's Appeal. See King's Quest Classic. Note: Some do not consider this an official release as the PCjr wasn't officially released yet, only demonstration models were public.

1984 Releases (GAL[3]/AGI0[4][5]/AGI1[6])[]

  • (May, 1984, IBM PCjr) - A minor update to the original packaging. Includes a smaller function key template (this version was apparently converted to AGI0).
  • (1984, Tandy) - A port/release repackaged for the Tandy 1000.
  • (1984, PC) - A set of ports for IBM PC (this uses AGI0 or AGI1).
  • (1984, Apple IIe/IIc) - Port for Apple IIe/IIc computers.

1987 Releases ("Quest for the Crown", AGI2)[]

  • 1987, PC) - A full re-release adding support for the Enhanced Graphics Adaptor (EGA). Ran under DOS, unlike the 1983-1984 releases, which booted directly at startup. The subtitle "Quest for the Crown" appears on the packaging for the first time. These versions remove the 'PC Booter' copy protection.
  • (1987, Apple IIGS) - Fully enhanced version of King's Quest Classic with updated sound effects and music (including new intro).

Behind the scenes[]

  • "King's Quest Classic" is the term introduced in The King's Quest companion in reference to all the AGI versions of KQ1, originally released as just "King's Quest" (1983/1984) and updated in 1987 as King's Quest: Quest for the Crown.
  • An earlier version of the original PCJR copy has a 1983 release copyright[7]. But most have the 1984 date.
  • The 1985 releases of KQ2 uses a very similar interface and textbox method as KQ1.[8]
  • Despite all the cosmetic differences in text and appearance, certain interface differences, and missing features, and credits changes KQ1 (PCjr) is still based on the AGI engine, and all later AGI versions and ports were designed off of it.
  • PCGamer 5.10 cd had a copy of King's Quest released with the cover cd.
  • GOG's version of this game which is the later 1987 release lists this game as just King's Quest in the "Library" and just "King's Quest I" on the box art without the subtitle honoring the original name of this game.
  • This game is also known as "King's Quest: Quest for the Crown" on the boxes of later release versions released in 1987 and later.



  • Design / Writing / Dialogue / Story: Roberta Williams
  • Programming: Chris Iden, Ken MacNeill and Charles Tingley
  • Graphics / Artwork: Doug MacNeill and Greg Rowland
  • Original Version: Arthur Abraham
  • New Version: Sol Ackerman, Chris Iden, and Jeff Stephenson
  • Apple II Version: Jeff Stephenson
  • Apple IIgs Version: Juan Carlos Escobar
  • Apple IIgs Version: Al Lowe
  • Macintosh Version: Mark Langbehn
  • SEGA Version: Mark Lesser (Microsmiths Inc.)
  • Special Thanks to: Linda Ackerman, Mark Crowe, Robert Eric Heitman, and Scott Murphy
  • Thank you for playing King's Quest from: Ken Williams, Roberta Williams, Sol Ackerman, Chris Iden, Jeff Stephenson, Mark Crowe, Bob Ballew, Mikel Knight, Susan Lee, Russ Truelove, and Larry Weissenborn

Manuals and Guides[]

External Links[]