King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne (AGI)

Released: 1985
Published by: Sierra On-Line, Inc.
Developed by: Sierra On-Line, Inc.
Credits: Roberta Williams, Ken Williams.

 


EGA graphics

CGA Composite mode

CGA RGB mode

 

System Requirements

System Requirements 8088 or 8086 and compatibles. 256K RAM required. DOS 2.11 or later. Hercules monochrome/CGA/EGA graphics supported. Audio support for PC speaker or Tandy only. *An unofficial "experimental" patch allows 3-voice music to be played from an MPU-401 interface*
Original Media Three 5.25" 360 KB (DD) disks (original version 1.01 and 2.00 version), Two 5.25" 360 KB (DD) disks (original version 2.2), or two 3.5" 720 KB (DD) disks (version 2.14).
Installed Size 1 to 1.5 MB

Following the success of King's Quest, Roberta Williams set out to create a sequel for Sir Graham (now King Graham).

Al Lowe composed the soundtrack for King's Quest II. In addition to the new songs, it uses some of the same songs from the first game, including the Title, Danger, and Dead tunes, as well as several sound effects. KQ2 has over twice the number of songs as KQ1.

From where can it be run?

From the original floppy disks only.

 

Game Audio/Video


AGIMIDI is after patching the PC speaker driver using the AGIMIDI utility to produce 3-voice sound.
PC Speaker (emulated) Intro 
Tandy 1000 (emulated) Intro 
AGIMIDI 3-voice Intro 

 

Copy Protection

Early versions of King's Quest II came on bootable 5.25" low-density disks which were commonly referred to as a "Booter" or "PC Booter". These did not require DOS to be loaded first before loading the game - just insert the first disk and power up the computer. This first bootable disk was a "Key" disk - an early copy protection method. Key disks used a track on the disk (usually track 0) that had a checksum error or used a non-standard sector size on that track. The main executable file (SIERRA.COM or KQ2.COM) would make a check for this non-standard track, and if found would read a decryption key from it and decrypt the real executable file, which is "AGI". This protection was called "SuperLok 3.2".

 

How to Setup

The game does not come with a setup program like later Sierra titles. All versions check the BIOS for an ID string that matches an IBM PCjr or Tandy 1000 and will initialise those systems' 3-voice PCG sound data and also load those graphics drivers. However, there are some command-line options to force the graphics mode. Simply run SIERRA.COM with:

  • -c Forces CGA Composite colour mode
  • -r Forces CGA RGB colour mode
  • -h Forces Hercules (HGC) mono mode for TTL monitors
  • -e Forces EGA mode
  • -v Forces MCGA/VGA mode
  • -t Forces Tandy 1000 graphics and/or sound
  • -p Forces "PC" mode (assumed to tell it you're running a PC not a PCjr or Tandy)
  • -s An unknown flag - not sure what this does

My version of this game has AGI interpreter version 2.917 (the most up-to-date interpreter released for this game), and by default it runs in EGA graphics mode. Running with the -c option worked well. -h wasn't tested as it requires a TTL (digital signal) monitor. -v I hoped would work but displayed corrupted EGA graphics.

The game doesn't require any extended memory (XMS) or expanded memory (EMS) drivers to be loaded.

Problems

Issue: Corrupted graphics or garbled text, unreadable.
Cause: This can occur if running the game with a modern graphics card under Windows 95, 98 or ME.
Resolution: Either run it on period-correct hardware (including the graphics card) or run it in DOSBox. There are also several third-party AGI interpreters that fix many bugs when running on more modern computers - try ScummVM, NAGI or Sarien.

 

To Quit the Game

Simply type the word "QUIT" and hit Enter. Then either hit Enter again to confirm or ESC to cancel.

 

Supporting Documents

Here are the original documents that came with the game:

And here are some aftermarket links:

 

Save Games

The location of save game files is entirely up to you! When you type the word "SAVE" you will be prompted for a directory where you wish the save game file to be stored. By default this will be the same directory in which the executable file was run.

Once you've chosen the location you are shown 12 'slots' in which save games can be stored. Any slots that have a save game already stored will display their description. Once the slot has been chosen, you are prompted to give a description for the save game. Once completed, the save game will be stored in a file called kq2sg.x where x is the slot number from 1 to 12.

This is actually a great way of storing save games, as you are not limited to 12 slots - if you need more you can create a directory anywhere and use that to store a further 12 save games.

 

Versions of the game known to exist

Version Date Comments
1.0W 1985 PC Booter on two 5.25" disks. AGI interpreter version 1.
1.0H 1985 PC Booter on two 5.25" disks. AGI interpreter version 1. Not sure what changed from 1.0W to this version.
1.00 1985 PC Booter on two 5.25" disks. Came with AGI interpreter 01.01.00. This was the version that was licenced to Tandy.
2.0J 1986(?) Unknown
2.1 10th Apr 1987 Key disk version (either two 5.25" 360 KB disks or one 3.5" 720 KB disk). Came with AGI2 interpreter version 2.411.
2.2 7th May 1987 Key disk version(either two 5.25" 360 KB disks or one 3.5" 720 KB disk).. Came with AGI2 interpreter version 2.426.
2.2 1st Dec 1987 Key disk version(either two 5.25" 360 KB disks or one 3.5" 720 KB disk).. Came with AGI2 interpreter version 2.917. This makes it able to support the third-party AGIMIDI.EXE patch that allows 3-voice sound via your MPU-401 interface.


Original Floppy Disk Contents

The floppy disks have a volume label of "KQ2". Here are each disk's contents:

    Disk 1 of 2 (5.25" 360 KB DS/DD):

     
                    
    Directory of A:\
    INSTALLH BAT         1,250  01/12/87  11:08
    _INSTALL BAT 750 01/12/87 11:08
    SIERRA COM 3,121 01/12/87 11:08
    AGI 39,424 01/12/87 11:09
    AGIDATA OVL 8,192 01/12/87 8:49
    CGA_GRAF OVL 1,024 01/12/87 8:48
    JR_GRAF OVL 512 01/12/87 8:48
    EGA_GRAF OVL 1,024 01/12/87 8:48
    HGC_GRAF OVL 1,536 01/12/87 8:48
    VG_GRAF OVL 512 01/12/87 8:48
    IBM_OBJS OVL 512 01/12/87 8:48
    HGC_OBJS OVL 1,024 01/12/87 8:48
    MAKEPATH COM 74 22/04/87 12:05
    HGC_FONT 3,072 26/01/87 15:47
    _KQ2 BAT 39 07/04/87 14:04
    VOL 0 47,769 07/05/87 12:54
    VOL 1 190,509 07/05/87 12:54
    OBJECT 601 07/04/87 14:40
    WORDS TOK 3,516 06/04/87 14:57
    VIEWDIR 705 07/05/87 12:55
    SNDDIR 135 07/05/87 12:55
    PICDIR 354 07/05/87 12:55
    LOGDIR 543 07/05/87 12:55
    KQ201088 QA 13 01/01/80 1:39
    24 file(s) 306,211 bytes
    0 dir(s) 30,720 bytes free

     

    Disk 2 of 2 (5.25" 360 KB DS/DD):

     
    Directory of A:\
    OBJECT                 601  07/04/87  14:40
    VOL 0 47,769 07/05/87 12:54
    VOL 2 247,952 07/05/87 12:55
    KQ201088 QA 13 01/01/80 1:39
    4 file(s) 296,335 bytes
    0 dir(s) 63,488 bytes free