LucasArts vs Sierra Part Two: The Remembering

The Secret of Monkey Island
Lucasfilm Games
Released: 1990

It’s no secret that The Secret of Monkey Island is one of the most cherished point-and-click adventure games of all time. You play as Guybrush Threepwood, a young man with aspirations to become a great pirate. Unlike many of the great Sierra games we’ve covered so far, The Secret of Monkey Island is still very playable today (nearly two decades after it was originally released!).

Above: We loved the way sword fighting sequences required you to counter and parry your opponent by selecting the perfect insult

Above: We even have fond memories of Monkey Island’s Dial-a-Pirate copy protection code wheels. Remember when DRM didn’t piss you off?

King’s Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!
Released: 1990

The game begins with King Graham picking flowers in the countryside (a common pastime for hardened adventurers and noblemen at the time), when the evil wizard Mordack casts an enchantment on his castle, which spirits it away.

What we remember most about this installment in the King’s Quest series was the quality of the graphics and the constant deaths. Although it felt like King Graham had an uncanny knack for dying every few minutes, the beautiful backgrounds and detailed animations kept our frustration in check throughout the adventure.

Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire
Released: 1990

Like its predecessor, Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire incorporated RPG elements and allowed you to play as a fighter, a caster, or a thief. If you had completed the first Quest for Glory, you could import your old hero before beginning a new game. Adventuring and leveling-up in Quest for Glory II was still fun, but at the time the visuals seemed a little dated. Was Sierra’s non-stop production of sequels to its popular series starting to show?


  • dacole78 - May 29, 2009 3:50 p.m.

    for a great lucasfilm game that wasn't mentioned here try loom great game that I wish my disks still worked on..
  • pinoklin - May 28, 2009 8:21 p.m.

  • CARLINNIT - May 28, 2009 6:45 p.m.

    Ah, Grim Fandango. The stuff dreams are made of...
  • solsunforge - May 28, 2009 9:19 a.m.

    Well I shake my head in a left and right fashion as I read your verdict. True scum vm was a awesome landmark achivement and you actually forgot to mention loom for lucas arts. But this argument is a toss up I suppose but you did forget a lot of sierra point and clicks such as torins passage(created by al lowe the maker of leisure suit larry) you forgot laura bowe murder mysteries . True monkey island is awesome and is stil lawesome but you can play the sierra games still but you said you couldnt. Ever hear of dosbox? Its how all old games are played. On a side note someone mentioned some game from westwood must not of read that this piece was on sierra vs lucas arts. Those 2 companies are not westwood/bullfrog/maxis/ea (I mentioned all of those because they were subsidiaries of each other who got bought out by ea. Anyways I still maintain sierra as the winner and fan favorite. Captcha: ceiling ranger
  • iggzy880 - May 27, 2009 9:30 p.m.

    I gotta say, what this shows me is that Sierra kinda flooded the market and Lucas Arts had a handful of truly memorable games
  • JohnnyMaverik - May 27, 2009 1:28 p.m.

    Lol, just cuz of this im now guna go hunt down my copy of Monkey Island 1, 2 and maybe even 3 nd re-install, try nd find a way to make em work on vista, and play the best adventure games ever. Monky Island was actually my first game which i picked up when i was six, nd i still blame it and Toomb Raider 1 & 2 for making me a gaming nut.
  • cookie23q - May 27, 2009 9:18 a.m.

    lucasarts ftw
  • Sandman89 - May 27, 2009 5:03 a.m.

    Shit...typo :-p
  • 435 - May 27, 2009 3:11 a.m.

    Neglect for the Laura Bow adventures saddens me, Mr. Nagata.
  • RedOutlive10 - May 27, 2009 3:02 a.m.

    I remember Grim Fandango, story and characters. That game was so awesome... Remake pretty please? Or maybe another adventure game with the same flavor.
  • usmovers_02 - May 27, 2009 12:40 a.m.

    It's Myst or bust for me. I wasn't a gamer in the 80's and was only just starting in the 90's. When it comes to adventure games, I've gotta have at LEAST the graphic quality of Myst. I just can't do old games anymore (except for you Prince of Persia! You'll always be #1!) reCAPTCHA: who outlines (not me)
  • Wizrai - May 26, 2009 10:59 p.m.

  • Starplatinum - May 26, 2009 10:47 p.m.

    Nice trip through memory lane. Almost makes me want to play through Monkey Island again. Great article but needs more Gabriel Knight!
  • Shartdragon - May 29, 2009 9:57 p.m.

    Lucas arts is with out a doubt the winner. The Monkey Island series and my favorite Grim Fandango were the shit. I am getting ready to load Fandango now for another run through the after life with Manny. My only wish is that they would still make games like these. Tim Schafer's Psychonauts is the closes thing any body has come to capturing these classic adventure games. And I hope that Brutal Legend will another great game from Schafer.
  • Master_Leep - May 29, 2009 8:04 p.m.

    Sierra wins in my book.
  • TanookiMan - May 28, 2009 9:41 p.m.

    Has anyone ever played I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream? That adventure was messed up!
  • cassadinechik - May 27, 2009 9:08 p.m.

    Ah - Phantasmagoria gave me such nightmares! I still get shivers. Thanks for the memories, this was my intro to gaming so many years ago...
  • GlassPants - May 27, 2009 6:55 p.m.

    I totally agree with the Lucas Arts choice. I still proudly wear my Monkey Island 2 T-shirt anytime I can
  • notthatgoodthanks - May 27, 2009 5:25 p.m.

    Yeah lucasarts deserve the win. The 90's were full of so many classic adventures that they can't not win. Monkey island 1+2, grim fandango, sam and max, day of the tentacle... just amazing games, that are tough and decent fun.
  • Bashar - May 27, 2009 4:12 p.m.

    Doesn't need thinking. Lucasarts are the best. Well were at least at the time :). Sierra did some good games, but they lost focus and they took pride in how many different ways you can die, missing the real point of the game. FUN!

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