King's Quest II: Romancing the Stones is the non-canon adaptation and retelling (remagining) of King's Quest II (rather than a true 'remake'), made by AGD Interactive (formerly Tierra ) fan company. Like the previous KQI remake, it is influenced by the official KQ5/KQ6 era, using VGA graphics and icon-driven interface. It is the second game in their trilogy of remakes.
The fan game includes a point and click interface, and also added VGA-like graphics and digital sound. Less of a true remake, but more of a retelling, the project altered many details from the original story. It removed a few characters and altered others, while it added new puzzles and story elements, including several side-stories, a town to visit, and references to future King's Quest games. As with most fan-made remakes, controversy remains over the copyright issues surrounding the game (with the developers having to obtain limited permission from the IP owners).
Because the game tried to keep the high sophistication and realism of the later games, the original scenario was 'fleshed out', a story background was developed, and some elements were added in order to improve realism, continuity, and for originality. For these reasons, since the game did evolve beyond the scope of a simple remake, and the 3 magic keys became 3 magic stones, bringing the spoofy title 'Romancing the Throne' closer to its original, the 1984 movie title 'Romancing the Stone'.
AGDI received a special fan license allowing them to make the game.
Stones introduced many new concepts, like the Kolyma Town in Kolyma, where some additional puzzles must be solved. Many locations are expanded upon, some locations are physically modified, some areas do not exist in their original locations, and some areas left out entirely. The map no longer loops. Due to the changes of the layout of the map, Kolyma's overworld is somewhat reduced compared to how it was in the original KQ2, 37 screens compared to the 49 of the original; the swamp has literally become its own zone, and is endless until you discover a way through it. However other locations such as under the sea have been greatly expanded. Item locations are changed, new items exist, and puzzles are often different.
In fact, the game manages to make several of the original characters completely opposite of who they are in the original game and King's Quest Companion. It places some of the benevolent characters into more villainous roles, while changing some of the villainous characters into sympathetic good guys. The concept of the Big Bad Wolf evolved into the brother of werewolves. The good monk Brother Fragola who previously helped Graham out, and officiated the wedding is now a villain named Llowh'wof. Count Dracula who was a villain that had to be destroyed in the original was turned into the Count Caldaur a benevolent ruler of Kolyma who Graham has to help reunite with his family of which Red Riding Hood (there known as Possum) and her grandmother are members. Gerwain became Gervain and his role was darkened. This is also the case with the old antique dealer Milvia, who was replaced with the character Angelina, who has a sinister past, unlike her innocent counterpart. Hagatha's role in the game is expanded, and she is given a fleshed background and is further tied into the rest of the history of the games (a role not unlike her expanded history in the King's Quest Companion).
- KQ2+ was never meant to be anything other than a "retelling", or a fanfic with a soundtrack and an interface attached to it. AGD2 even mentioned on the forums he'd probably have kept the game more 1:1 if he had known Vivendi was gonna grant us official permission so people wouldn't get the idea we were trying to create an alternative canon. (I'm personally happy that didn't happen)-Erpy
Notable are references to Graham's past and also future, showing his dilemmas and thoughts during KQ III, while his infant boy had been lost, his daughter abducted and Daventry was ravaged by the three-headed Dragon. Notable is the appearance of Connor, where the two characters establish a connection for a first time: Graham decides to knight him, and make him his heir.
It is also noteworthy that this version the game is quite a bit more violent than the original version of the game or the King's quest series in general(with the exception of MOE). For example one puzzle involves killing a pack of werewolves coming at Graham (although there is still a non violent way to solve the puzzle). In earlier KQ games while you could kill certain creatures violently, you usually got more points by an alternate solution to puzzles that eliminated enemies without violence.
With all the changes the game is more of a retelling of the story than a simple remake, in many ways a completely different story altogether. It is much different than official King's Quest 2 and the official adaptation of the 'Romancing the Throne' story in the King's Quest Companion.
- On the cliffs you can only reach through the magic carpet, you find a rock with a hole in it. Sticking your hand in will make a man come out that 'looks like an adventurer, like yourself'. After asking the man many questions, and not getting any answers, the man returns to the inside of the rock, but drops a piece of paper. The paper reads, "You have just witnessed a shameless plug for ADGI's Quest For Glory II: Trial by Fire.
- As you tell the story of your journey to The Count and Countess vampires. The Countess hears of the three gems you seek, and of how you're trying to rescue Valanice. The Countess remarks, "Romancing the stones", and smiles at the Count. Graham thinks they're sharing a private joke, when they're actually breaking the fourth wall, seeing as 'Romancing the Stones' is the game's title.
- At Graham and Valanice's wedding, the game's whole cast is present, including Batman.
Romancing the Stones Enhanced Edition (AGDI)
There is a bridge you must cross that will give you a point each time you do so, leading you to believe you can quickly get all the points. The bridge collapses after seven points, meaning that you can only cross it when necessary or else it will render the game unwinnable.
- Anastasia Salter: "Once more a kingly quest": Fan games and theclassic adventure genre, pg 15, 17 "Tierra's hands, King's Quest II becomes a different game froma later decade. Tierra made use of much of what Sierraprovided in sequels for imagery and interface but updated thegame in their own style.[5.6] A game that acts as a sequel or revisioning of aclassic adventure game is more likely to be played than anamateur effort without that grounding, although both worksare acts of fandom relative to the genre itself."
- King's Quest II+ Presentation and free download of the remake.