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Old 08 March 2016, 14:09   #1
Elbaid
 
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Amiga/Dos differences

Hi all, LTL/FTP.
Just been playing around with different versions of Sierra's The Colonel's Bequest in various emulators and never realised until now that the hanging chandelier in the main hall is animated with additional sound effects in the DOS version, but not on the Amiga. I'm aiming to play/re-play the best versions of games from this era, as opposed to Simpy playing the Amiga version of everything, but I always had the Amiga down as the superior platform for Sierra SCI games. The music and SFX still sound much better on the Amiga, even compared to MT-32 emulation via munt IMO, now I'm reconsidering which is the superior version; Amiga with better sound effects or DOS with extra animations etc.
Can anyone think of other Sierra SCI games which had details reduced for the Amiga port?
 
Old 08 March 2016, 14:24   #2
vulture
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Well, most Sierra games were ported from PC to Amiga, they didn't even have 32 colours (other than later "enhanced" re-releases), but rather kept the 16 colours from the PC version. The amiga versions were expected to be playable from floppies as well, whereas the PC ones were only (?) playable from the HD. I suppose, some stuff could be omitted from miggy to allow for faster loading/less disks production. Now, of course amiga had the better sound. Imo, if the gfx differences are small, like an animated chandelier, I'd consider the Amiga version superior for the enhanced audio experience.
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Old 08 March 2016, 15:36   #3
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Yeah Sierra certainly made some lazy ports.
I think the wobbly chandelier works as a clue in this game (sorry for the minor spoiler), but overall I agree it doesn't constitute a superior gaming experience, but who knows what other small additions are missing?
Speaking of better versions; Prince of Persia on the Amiga uses a reverb effect on all the sound effects which adds much more atmosphere than the DOS version, given as the game is set in dungeons etc

Last edited by Elbaid; 08 March 2016 at 15:42.
 
Old 08 March 2016, 17:18   #4
Belgarath
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I remember some Sierra games had a level of detail setting, perhaps it's present on the Amiga version of Colonel's Bequest but set to lowest by default?
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Old 09 March 2016, 23:43   #5
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Good point, I'll look for a detail setting when I'm next home
 
Old 12 March 2016, 15:36   #6
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Just played around some more and realised the chandelier in the Amiga version does in fact wobble occasionally, but it's at random intervals, you may not see it the first time you pass it. The DOS version chandelier wobbles continuously which is much more unsubtle. The miggy version has buckets of more atmosphere
 
Old 14 February 2019, 23:02   #7
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Sierra was a weird and quirky company. Al Lowe even once explained that their games were a bit torturous in the beginning, because they didn't know better back then, there weren't established norms for adventure games, etc. I always thought, "There wasn't common sense back then?", but I digress.

Sierra didn't originally want to make any 'home computer' conversions for some reason that I forgot - but they were persuaded into finally making Amiga and ST ports of their games, probably for business reasons.

This means, they didn't really embrace the Amiga in their ports, they didn't really fit the games to take maximum advantage of the wonderful system, they had no love for Amiga. This led to some really peculiar decisions.

Look at these King's Quest screenshots - they are from the same, exact area, but you can see that they look almost as if a different artist did the two versions - of course these are from the PC DOS-version and the Amiga version. Can you guess, which is which?

https://postimg.cc/gallery/15rm7icfu/

In my opinion, neither looks necessarily immediately better or worse than the other, just 'different'. Some parts may look better, while others look worse. To me, this is very strange - why would they change the graphics this much seemingly without any good reason?

I mean, if the reason is to save memory by taking away color, it looks like the Amiga version actually had -added- stuff, like the bushes in one picture. Why didn't they just use the same, exact graphics?

I also noticed that in Space Quest III, the Amiga version has a couple of lines less graphics - this is because Amiga's text bar is a bit bigger, probably because of how AmigaOS, Intuition, etc. dictates it to be, whereas in DOS, Sierra was free to decide its own, arbitrary size for the text bar.

There are lots of subtle differences in things one wouldn't think there should be. It's a weird world.

Space Quest III has speech in the Amiga version, but not in the DOS Sound Blaster-version.. unless the MT-32-version or other versions have it, I don't know.

Sierra is an interesting company, because it supported such an enormous variety of things, both visually and aurally. So you can compare Amiga music to AdLib, MT-32, ST and even Apple music sometimes. And same goes for graphics - Tandy, Composite, RGB, Apple, CGA, EGA, VGA, Amiga.. I can only wish they had made a couple of those adventure games for the C64, too.
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Old 04 May 2019, 02:38   #8
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Quite an old thread you resurrected here.
King's Quest IV actually changed on the PC with revised versions. The later revision was ported to Amiga. But agreed, Sierra made some odd decisions. At least they took advantage of the Amiga's sampled audio for the speech in SP3
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Old 05 May 2019, 22:22   #9
gimbal
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SP3... do you mean SQ3 as in Space Quest 3?
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Old 06 May 2019, 22:30   #10
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Amiga games had better sound... except when plugging Roland MT32 device that most sierra games supported.

And old games were directly ported from 16 color EGA, not recolored.

Later PC games were 256 colors, but not sure that Amiga ports used 32 colors as it would have meant a double conversion for the Atari ST as well...
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Old 13 October 2019, 16:28   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilf View Post
Quite an old thread you resurrected here.
So what?

It's not like there's a time limit or deadline in casual conversations, geez!

Internet is 'timeless' and 'locationless' in this way - something can be somewhere, and then someone in the future sees it and replies it.

If it isn't meant to be replied to, then why is it still there? Do you mean if some arbitrary time limit has passed, I am only allowed to read and look, but not actually give my own perspective, share my knowledge, perhaps give an interesting insight to the topic that hasn't previously been discovered/discussed?

How petty and crazy is that? Just because of TIME, something is forbidden?

Come on, let all discussions florish regardless of ARBITRARY, external, imposed superficial, artificial limitations stop what, how, when and why we discuss things!

PLEASE refrain from trying to limit people's speech again, ok? I am for free speech, and that also means FREEDOM IN TIME!

I don't care about the little numbers that signify the 'date' construct in a post - if someone says something good, it doesn't matter WHEN they said it! If someone says something bad, it's equally meaningless when they did it - all that matters is that the words are there, and they can be replied to, and that's ALL there is to it!

I don't get you time polices... Maybe you shouldn't have watched Timecop or something.

In other words: SHEESH! Let people just talk without arbitrary limitations!
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Old 13 October 2019, 16:43   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jotd View Post
Amiga games had better sound... except when plugging Roland MT32 device that most sierra games supported.
That's debatable.

I don't enjoy the MT-32 necessarily that much in Sierra games, but some people absolutely praise it.

I actually PREFER the OPL2 / OPL3 sound to MT-32, which can sound 'multichannel' and 'orchestral', but also very 'dead' and 'boring', whereas OPL2/3 always sounds 'interesting' and 'alive' (because it's a living synth instead of dead samples).

Ok, let's do a honest comparison .. Let's take Space Quest III intro music, Amiga vs. OPL2 (well, I captured it from real OPL3, as well as real Amiga 1200):

https://www.sendspace.com/file/k657u6

First of all, the Amiga version sounds a bit out-of-tune.

Second of all, the Amiga version has too big a volume contrast compared to the more consistent and pleasant OPL2-version.

OPL2 sounds more orchestral, Amiga version more 'sample-based garage band', and samples are more 'dead', because they're completely the same every time, whereas a living synth sound is never 100% identical, it always 'lives' a bit, and so on.

The sampe used at the -very- beginning, is very dull in my opinion, compared to the more quirky OPL synth effect.

The drums sound more 'real' on the Amiga side, but they also overpower the actual song and melody a bit too much, whereas the quirky and unique, interesting synth-drums sound more interesting to the ear (exactly because you don't usually hear that kind of thing normally, but 'regular drums' you hear all the time).

The Amiga song also never properly ends, but instead, immediately starts playing the next song, which is a bit jarring. On the PC side, the song at least ends properly, gives your ears a chance to rest before moving on to the next segment.

There's no question about it; the Amiga does NOT have 'better sound' in this case, and in -every- case, in my opinion, it's at least debatable.

Amiga can have _more_ sound, like that speech in Space Quest III, but that's a different story.

Quote:
And old games were directly ported from 16 color EGA, not recolored.
Did you even LOOK at the screenshots?

https://i.postimg.cc/wg4NHXFv/Kingsd-Quest-IV-2.png
https://i.postimg.cc/s3tZG3kC/Kings-Quest-IV-03.png
https://i.postimg.cc/9X8Dm2dS/Kings-...C-vs-Amiga.png

Certainly just one glance proves your statement 100% wrong. They were definitely recolored BESIDES all the other major changes done to them.

Again, did you even look? I don't think you did, or you would not have posted this lie.

If Sierra didn't "recolor" and actually, HEAVILY EDIT the graphics between PC and Amiga versions, then _what_ is your explanation to why these pictures look so different?

Also, they HAD to change the colors heavily for certain ports, because there's even 160x200 resolution port for King's Quest IV: Perils of Rosella.

Quote:
Later PC games were 256 colors
Games can't be colors.

You meant to say, used 256-color graphics?

And .. really? You have to say that, as if no one knows how many colors VGA/MCGA games used? Come on, give us some slack here. It's not a revelation that Sierra used 256-color graphics in their games around Space Quest IV and afterwards.

Quote:
but not sure that Amiga ports used 32 colors as it would have meant a double conversion for the Atari ST as well...
I don't think anyone is claiming that, but just _LOOK_ at the screenshots and see for yourself. No one is talking about the amount of colors, we're talking about how Sierra was a quirky company that changed things that seemingly shouldn't have needed to be changed, and the motivation remains a mystery.

I did not claim Amiga ports used 32 colors, I just wonder _why_ Amiga versions were edited so much - different colors, different trees, removing/adding bushes, changing which parts are black and changing dithering and .. SO many changes! Just look at those three pictures I posted and you can just see it easily.
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Old 13 October 2019, 16:49   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilf View Post
King's Quest IV actually changed on the PC with revised versions.
What do you mean by 'revised versions'?

There were many different versions of that game, even 160x200 (the C64-style resolution).

However, I am not aware of what you mean by 'revised version'. Please specify.

Quote:
The later revision was ported to Amiga.
What do you mean, and what is your point? Everything I said still stands.

Quote:
At least they took advantage of the Amiga's sampled audio for the speech in SP3
SP3? Space Police?

Anyway, I take it you mean Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon.

That's one of the things I wonder about - they didn't love Amiga much, even cutting two lines from every single background so they fit, because they're too lazy to make their own text screen, like in DOS versions, so they use Amiga's intuition, which forces the graphics portion after the top bar to be two pixel lines smaller, so Amiga versions don't get the full 320x200, but something like 320x198, which is annoying, since they probably didn't give any discount on the price considering there's so much less data included in the Amiga version (it adds up quickly - after 100 screens, we're already missing a whole screenful of visuals on the Amiga side!).

They didn't want to make any Amiga versions of their games - but after being talked to reluctantly agreeing to do it, they still took the time and trouble to add the speech?

Maybe that speech was their way of putting back that data that was missing in the Amiga version, so they could charge the full price.
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Old 14 October 2019, 03:22   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nishicorn View Post
Did you even LOOK at the screenshots?

https://i.postimg.cc/wg4NHXFv/Kingsd-Quest-IV-2.png
https://i.postimg.cc/s3tZG3kC/Kings-Quest-IV-03.png
https://i.postimg.cc/9X8Dm2dS/Kings-...C-vs-Amiga.png

Certainly just one glance proves your statement 100% wrong. They were definitely recolored BESIDES all the other major changes done to them.
Did you look at them?

Look at the girl's face. Is that a skin colour? No, it's an EGA approximation of skin colour. The Amiga can reproduce skin colours, yet Sierra games don't, because they never bothered to recolour their games.
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Old 14 October 2019, 12:22   #15
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Sierra used a dithering technique in SCI that offered the artists total of 256 colors (16 color palette with combination of each color). ScummVM (and formerly FreeSCI) offer an undithering mode where these colors are blended and rendered as tones not found in the EGA palette.

Examples of the screenshots utilising this feature can be seen here.

Maybe there is something in the Amiga version of the interpreter itself that allowed – or required – for someone in the team to manually go through the background assets, modify them and then check the results on Amiga screen, which ultimately lead to this sort of inconsistency between the versions. :

Last edited by jizmo; 14 October 2019 at 23:02.
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Old 14 October 2019, 12:53   #16
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All Amiga ports of Sierra adventure games suck. I very much disagree that the Paula sounds better (or even anywhere NEAR as good) as the MT-32 for these games. The Roland hardware is what the music was originally produced for, the Amiga was nothing but an afterthought.
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Old 14 October 2019, 17:31   #17
gimbal
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Mm I judge adventure games by their story and puzzles, not so much the quality of their music.
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