King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow (Amiga) is an adventure game developed by Revolution Software and published by Sierra On-Line on 1994. Serving as the sixth game in the King's Quest saga, the Amiga port was built from the ground up using the Virtual Theatre engine (used in other Revolution games) and it includes assets derived from the SCI versions.
Here At Last For The Amiga !
In this timeless tale,e you help the shipwrecked Prince Alexander make his way across a series of mysterious islands in search of a princess in peril. You'll need all your wits and imagination to overcome the gauntlet of baffling puzzles and fantastic creatures that block you on your quest. Every choice you make can affect your future options and the attitudes of the many characters you'll encounter. Depending on your skill and the the paths you follow, your adventure can end in many different ways...
- The biggest adventure game ever seen on the Amiga! Endless hours of gameplay guaranteed!
- Game fully adapted for the Amiga, offering exceptionally fluid animations.
- Beautiful graphics in 256 colours or 32 colours (two versions available).
- More puzzles and a greater variety of challenges than any King's Quest episode.
- Multiple paths: your choices determine the story's ending.
- 40% of the game is fully optional. An adventure so vast, you may never see it all!
- Very user-friendly point-and-click interfaace.
- Special music adapted for the Amiga.
Encounter unique characters liek the battling chess pieces. Help Prince Alexander rescue a kidnapped princess. Explore strange, wonderful and often dangerous worlds. Match wits with foes, bent on the Prince's destruction.
Behind the scenes
The Amiga version of KQ6 was outsourced by Sierra to Revolution Software in Britain (later known for the Broken Sword adventure game series). Rather than using SCI, revolution chose to recreate the game using their Virtual Theatre engine due to poor performance of Amiga SCI.
Besides using only 32 colors for its graphics, the Amiga port contains several game play differences from the PC version of the game. A number of puzzles, animations, and locations were cut out or altered, in order to reduce the number of disks the game used--which nonetheless clocked in at ten.
The title screen loads differently than in the SCI versions of the game, there are only two options, restore and new game, and has a different theme music (the Beast's Theme), and no Sierra Logo.
The game only utilizes a small portion of the entire screen.
KQ6 on Amiga has a different icon bar (consisting of touch, look, walk, talk, a point bubble, inventory, save, and restore), different inventory graphics, and a different text font than in any other version of the game. There is no option in the icon bar to select the last-chosen inventory item, nor is there a way to bring up an options menu. These buttons have been replaced by individual Save and Load buttons, and by a counter showing the player's score. The menu also changes different shades of color depending on the palette of the screen.
Although certain puzzles were removed, the game's maximum point total remains 231.
There originally was to be a 256 color version for the Amiga but this was cancelled, after Sierra saw how well the 32 color version by Revolution looked and performed. The back of the box still advertised the 256 color version strangely enough.
- The main menu consists of play (for new games) and restore. Starting a new game automatically goes into the game's opening. The opening is rewritten and different than the PC version floppy version, cd-rom (or other pc variations), as well as different than the mac version.
- Beasts theme is used as the main menu theme, and also used for generic music at the Crossroads, and Beauty's house.
- Elements of characters sprites change color depending on the main shades on the screen (for example Alexander's scarfs appear tan when climbing the Cliffs of Logic).
- Menus including the inventory, and inventory items palettes also change depending on the screen.
- The icon system menu is different than the PC release as mentioned above. One of the changes is the score system, which shows number of points accumulated, but not the total points possible.
- The inventory item graphics are modified recolored versions of many of the mouse cursor graphics from the SCI version of KQ6 (thus they are more or less original as far as use as inventory graphics). Like everything else, the inventory item graphics change depending on the palette of the screen.
- The genie appears as a snake upon the tree each time the player sends a gift to Cassima.
- There are no sails on the ferry.
- The magic map has to be physically used on Alexander, it cannot be manipulated from within the inventory. There is also no animation for the map.
- The Sense Gnomes appear when Alexander first teleports to the Isle of Wonder, instead of showing up when he tries to go further inland. Alex cannot use the magic map to escape from them either.
- Standing too close to the tree will cause the dogwood to bark over and over, until you walk away (in the original it only barked if you directly tried to interact with it).
- Text colors are different for chess piece characters depending on if they are red or white.
- Oxymoron and Diphthong are not in the game.
- The oyster close up loads onto a separate screen, rather than over the beach screen.
- Similarly, the Druid's wicker basket closeup also loads up onto a separate screen.
- The spider's web on the Isle of Wonder does not appear on its own close-up screen. Rather, the loose thread and the scrap of paper (which, in this version, only appears after Alexander obtains the rare book) are dealt with on the overall view of the spiderweb and Bookworm's home. Plus, we do not get a glimpse of the rare book's missing page, nor a close-up of the scrap of paper reading LOVE, in this version. Instead, extra narration added by Revolution describes the contents of these excised art assets. However, looking at the scrap serves no direct purpose (as the Door, and his riddle has been removed).
- The text of the spellbook is shown in narrative text boxes, not on a special close-up screen of the book's pages. Casting the spells is done by using the book on the inventory item to be enchanted.
- The Cliffs of Logic were reduced to three riddles, namely the Stones of Stealth ("four men standing in a row") button puzzle and the two riddles which use the Ancient Ones' alphabet. Incorrectly solving puzzles will not kill you, you get unlimited chances to try them.
- After solving each cliff puzzle, the stones pop out of the cliff face almost instantly, and Alexander climbs up the steps automatically (so there is no way to trip or fall off the first brick like in the pc versions, to elicit the 4th wall breaking message). It is still possible to fall off of the top most brick you make it too between puzzles, however, leading to death..
- The Stones of Stealth are the very first puzzle at the base of the cliff. So unlike the original versions of the game, you cannot be killed by clicking on the third from the left by falling ("down you go"). Instead, getting any three in the wrong order, gives the message: "The cliffs ignore Alexander."
- The second of the riddles is the Master of Languages will Soar puzzle, and the final puzzle is the Sacred Four puzzle.
- The Genie as old women does not appear on the Isle of the Sacred Mountain, and in place of the deadly nightshade bush is the peppermint leaf bush (thus, there is no dark cave which Alexander must traverse to get the mint leaf).
- The meeting with Winged Ones only shows the winged ones on screen. Alexander is not shown on screen. Azure is shown to be pointing the entire time with as static sprite, while Aeriel's hand is static sprite of an open palm.
- Some of the rooms of the catacombs are different. For example the room with the skull has no wall niche.
- The Genie as Celeste does not appear in the catacombs. There are no bats and rats in the catacombs either.
- The Minotaur's theme is used in the tile trap room.
- The brick stops the ceiling trap, but the danger music continues to play until you leave the room (still plays if you return).
- When dying, there is no cut-scene of Alexander passing through the Realm of the Dead, although the Underworld gate guard does appear on the death message screen.
- Shamir as gardener remains in the garden even if you walk away. He is there even after you return from the catacombs. He doesn't leave until you disarm the archer trap. To which the game responds that he mysteriously disappears.
- An original piece of music plays at the Isle of the Beast (at the Boiling Pond, Garden, and fountain).
- The Druids on the Isle of the Mists will not attempt to sacrifice Alexander until he enters their stone circle and disrupts their ceremony.
- The wandering zombies in the Land of the Dead which can kill Alexander if they get too close have all been removed.
- The screen overlooking the gate with the ghostly mother ghost is removed.
- The screen with the Riddle Gate in the Underworld was cut out entirely, as was the "Drink Me" potion from the Isle of Wonder. Instead of Shamir's lamp being shown to the player when Alexander fakes his death, it is visible when the Genie first reports to Alhazred about Alexander's purchase of the magic map.
- The close up of the lampseller's tradeable lamps has been replaced with an onscreen close up of just his stick and the lamps. the lampseller doesn't leave after trading for lamps as well, and continues to sit in his spot.
- Alexander automatically spills half the bottle of invisible ink on himself after obtaining it (this was optional in the original).
- Only one set of serving women arrive at the Castle of the Crown entrance, late in the game. It only plays the first description, rather than the second about the cook and the wine flowing like rivers of red.
- The Castle of the Crown sequence is very different from any other version of KQ6. Although Alexander can visit the Realm of the Dead and restore Cassima's parents, when he enters the castle via the magic-paint doorway, he is deposited in the foyer (by way of the kitchen). The puzzles that follow, until Alexander interrupts the wedding, are those of the short path in regular KQ6, wherein Alexander explores the castle's second floor.
- Because Alexander cannot visit the castle basement, several puzzles were deleted or changed. For instance, there is no female ghost in the Realm of the Dead (nor is the screen she was found in in the SCI version), since Alexander cannot visit the dungeon and give her handkerchief to the boy ghost. As well, since the portrait nail will always be available to players, Alexander cannot play the bone xylophone in the Land of the Dead and obtain the skeleton key. Nor are there any skeleton guards other than the Keymaster and Gatekeeper.
- Giving the replica of the Genie's lamp to Jollo must be done in Ali's bookstore (it is an automatic cutscene), where Jollo will return despite the fact that his dialogue (taken from the PC original) suggests otherwise. Inside the castle, being captured by the guards even once results in an instant "game over." Alexander cannot escape from the prison cell, because the prison cell is not included in this version!
- The two rooms in the west upstairs hallway both appear to be bedrooms. Looking into the keyhole of the back upstairs hallway shows what looks like a wardrobe and a green rug below it, and a green trim near the roof. A person is still said to be inside, most likely Abdul Alhazred, or the genie.
- Reading the 'ZEBU' message out of the trinket box serves no purpose in this version, and no points. As there is no way to get to the treasure room in this version of the game, there is no need for the spell. However in the best ending (long path), all the people of the islands show up still, so apparently all the treasures were still found.
- Alexander automatically hides behind the pillar (without putting the nail and painting back up) after returning from the hallway with both the note, and giving Cassima the dagger. Despite the painting resting on the ground the dogs do not notice anything amiss.
- In the Amiga finale, Alexander persues the fleeing Alhazred without being prompted by the player (a change which allowed Revolution to omit the backgrounds of the castle tower's lower staircases). During the sword fight, Alexander also knocks Alhazred out on his own, again unprompted.
- In several instances, the Amiga version has extra and alternate character dialogue which is not present in the PC version. Although some of this text was added by Revolution to replace art assets that were taken out, much of it is additional dialogue that simply did not make it into the final PC release.
- For instance, when questioned by Alexander, the Ferryman talks about how few visitors come to the Green Isles. The wanderer is a reference to Derek Karlavaegen from the guidebook.
- There is extra narration and dialogue in the endgame sequence, both when the Genie-as-Cassima orders Saladin to kill Alexander and when Alexander knocks out Alhazred at the very end of the games.
- The game has no credits, after the ending, and there is only a brief message telling how well the player has done either on short or long path.
- Written & Designed by: Roberta Williams, Jane Jensen
- Producer: William D. Skirvin
- Directors: Roberta Williams, William D. Skirvin, Jane Jensen
- Art Designer: William D. Skirvin
- Composer: Christopher Braymen
- Text & Dialogue: Jane Jensen
- Senior Artists: Michael Hutchison, John Shroades
- Team Artists: Russell Truelove, Deanna Yhalkee
- Senior Programmer: Robert W. Lindsley
- Team Programmers: Randy MacNeill, Robert L. Mallory, Victor Sadauskas
- Team Quality Assurance: Robin Bradley
- Guidebook Writer: Jane Jensen
- Guidebook Illustration: John Shroades
- Guidebook Designer: Mark Empey
- Additional Artists: Darlou Gams, Tim Loucks, Richard Morgan, Jennifer Shontz, Cindy Walker, Karin Ann Young
- Opening Cartoon by: (Kronos:), Stanley Liu, Albert Co
- Cinematography: Rod Fung, Robert Ballew
- Additional Music & Sound Effects: Dan Kehler, Mark Seibert, Richard Spurgeon, Nightingale Songs, 1992 All rights reserved, Library of Natural Sounds, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Ithaca New York
- Additional Programmers: Doug Oldfield, Juan Carlos Escobar
- Additional Quality Assurance: Michael Brosius, John Ratcliffe
- Technical Support: Robert Koeppel
- Special Thanks: Tammy Dargan, Rebecca Sebastian, Fresno State University
- KQ6 Transcript (Amiga)
- KQ6 Walkthrough (Amiga)
- KQ6 Amiga point list
- Narrator (KQ6 Amiga): "A bush with dark, shiny leaves grows against the east cliff wall.","Alexander takes a few leaves from the plant. As he does so, a strong smell of peppermint is released. Ah!"
- Ferryman (KQ6 Amiga): "The island's currents keep us pretty isolated. I can only recall three visitors in my lifetime. When I was a boy a wanderer came, Alhazred himself arrived many years ago, and now you. We have almost no contact with the outside world, but we're content with our little kingdom. At least, we always were in the past."