Strange Things in Sierra's Adventure Game Demos The few demos Sierra released for its graphic adventures sometimes had odd differences from the final games. The most famous example is a Conquests of the Longbow demo with voice acting.

This page, however, focuses mainly on the graphical differences between selected Sierra demos and full games.

Conquests of the Longbow:
Although the most noticeable change is the digitized speech, there are also numerous graphical differences between the demo and the VGA version of the game.


Demo: The title screen. Robin's bowstring is a strange yellow color.


From the game: The bowstring is now a less striking shade of brown.


Demo: Robin's men capture the Sheriff of Nottingham. I don't recall seeing this background in the game; it looks like an early version of Watling Street.


From the game: The sequence is much longer, and a lot more amusing. Notice that Friar Tuck's robes are a dark brown here, not the light tan of the demo sprite.

Check out the differences between the character portraits in the demo and game, too.


From the game: This is a shot of Watling Street as it appears in the finished release. The twists and turns of it aren't visible, and the angle prohibits a view of the sky.


Demo: Animation from the scene in which Robin and Marian ...ahem!

For some reason Marian is wearing bright green slippers.


From the game: There's now a purple border surrounding the close-up shot of the kiss.

Also, Marian wears red shoes in the finished game.


Demo: Robin aims his longbow and wins the Golden Arrow archery tournament. He's standing awfully close to the target here.


From the game: Robin is a lot farther away from the target. Plus, his skin color is less reddish, and the close-up of the split arrow is less colorful.

It greatly amuses me that Robin, a famous literary trickster, would choose "Puck," the name of another famous literary trickster, as his alias.


Demo: Move your mouse to the top left-hand corner and you'll find a button to bring up the control panel.
Such bland gray buttons were featured on the icon bar in many Sierra games.


From the game: These icons are shaped like colorful jewels and scrolls on a black background. Very classy.


Demo: The control panel. Quite small, isn't it?


From the game: The full control panel has a nice wood-grain texture, and the buttons here too look like gemstones.


Demo: The text boxes have gold studs and a fringed bottom, like a real medieval tapestry.


From the game: The adornments on the text boxes were removed, perhaps because they were distracting.

Quest for Glory I VGA:


From the demo: Zara, the keeper of the Magic Shop. Her dialogue box doesn't have the final release's fancy style, and her character portrait has no backdrop.


Zara's line when you reenter the shop in the full game. Her close-up has been slightly modified (the eyes are different as well as the background), and her reply has been altered.


From the demo: The Spielburg graveyard at night is presented as a richly-colored background.


In the full game, the graveyard is a palette-shifted version of the daytime scene, with very pale colors.

Were separate night backgrounds, like the one above, tried and then dropped due to disk space constrants? I'm afraid I don't know.

Quest for Glory III: Wages of War:


Demo: As part of the title screen animation, lightning strikes the hero's sword, which then glows.


In the actual game, the animation of the lighting has been modified to look more impressive.


Demo: The character selection screen. Those yellow plaques are rather ugly-looking.


The actual game's selection screen; the plaques above the heroes are colored better.

Plus, the Heroes' heads have been redrawn, the Magic User's spell is slightly different, and the Thief's sign doesn't twinkle.


Demo: The Hero bids Harun al-Rashid, sultan of Shapeir and his adoptive father, goodbye as he departs for Tarna.


In the final game, Rakeesh and Uhura are present, and the Sultan's vizier Jafar has moved to the opposite side of the throne.


Demo: Rakeesh and the Hero speak with Rajah, the warmongering king of Tarna


From the full game: the Hero greets Rajah.

The hookah smoke is an animation now, as opposed to an unmoving painted element in the demo screen.


Demo: The Hero prepares to cross the waterfall near the entrance to the Lost City. Those vines in the foreground look rather out of place.

Incidentally, the demo prints the tagline "Experience the Excitement" as the Hero crosses the rope hand-over-hand.


The Fighter is about to cross the rope in this image from the game. The monkey Manu is now waiting on the other side, and the odd-looking vines are gone.


Demo: Kissing Johari outside the gate of the Leopardman village


From the game: The village gate has been redrawn, and the Hero and Johari are standing in a slightly different position.


Demo: As a Fighter, the Hero takes on a Demon within the Lost City


The finished release gives you the obligatory Health/Stamina/Mana bars and a control menu.

The first shot shows a Fighter, the second a Paladin with his flaming sword Soulforge.


Demo: The ending screen returns to the opening logo.

One other image, not from the demo but from an old Sierra catalog, caught my eye...


This seems to show the Hero wearing a medal, while standing at the gates of Tarna in front of what appear to be six Liontaur Warriors.

Was it first planned for the Hero to be teleported away during a reward ceremony? Was this celebration cut out and replaced with a brief ending due to disk space restrictions? I can only wonder.

Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness:
The most significant difference here is that the Hero is still wearing his QfG3 outfit. It makes more sense, actually, as he wouldn't have had time to change while being teleported...


Demo: The Sierra logo is standard, with alternating colors of white and black rolling across it.


From the game: A specialized logo has been created, with a more "eerie" feeling.


Demo: The title screen features a large stylized bat below the "Shadows of Darkness" logo.


From the game: The words "Quest for Glory" have been moved, and the bat's wings now fall behind the tips of letters in "Shadows of Darkness" instead of in front of them.


Demo: the Hero lights the torches on the Dark One altar in the Bone Cave with a torch he is carrying.

By the way, the demo plays some music here that in the final release is played in Baba Yaga's hut.


From the game: The cave is already well-lit, and you can't have both torches on the Altar lit while holding one of them at the same time.


Demo: The Hero exits the Bone Cave, whose doorway isn't blocked by the stone sphincter from the final game.


From the game: Opening the Bone Cave entrance, the Hero escapes into the Heart Chamber


From the game: The only time the two torches on the Altar are both lit is when you replace one prior to performing the Bone Ritual.


Demo: Running across the grassy hillocks to cross the swamp. To my knowledge, that's not possible in the final game.


From the game: The closest equivalent is the Thief's way of crossing the swamp by jumping from hillock to hillock.


Demo: Fighting a Wraith deep in the swamp. I guess there was originally supposed to be a Wraith guarding the Mad Monk's tomb, not two Chernovys.


From the game: Fighting a Chernovy at the Mad Monk's tomb deep in the swamp


From the game: This is what Wraiths look like in the finished release. No purple faces here!


Demo: The Hero returns to Borgov Castle to deliver the Dark One Rituals to Katrina...


Demo: ...who casts a spell, opening the castle gates...


Demo: ...which startles the Hero, so he sneaks the rest of the way inside.


From the game: the spell Katrina casts is less flashy, and the Hero doesn't sneak.


Demo: Dr. Cranium's laboratory


From the game: There's a lot more animation in the lab than there was in the demo.


Demo: Dr. Cranium, seen here in close-up, greets the Hero


From the game: The doctor's dialogue line has been extended, and his close-up is placed a little too high on the screen.


Demo: The three character classes, ready for selection (or they would be if this demo were playable!)


From the game: The Hero has inexplicably changed his pants.

Space Quest V:


From the demo: Roger on the Eureka's bridge. Notice the lack of an icon bar, or even of a black bar in its place.


From the demo: Flo's word balloons use a strange font and an ugly white background.

Plus, the EXIT button on the back of Roger's chair hasn't been added in yet.


Giving orders to Droole. Most of these commands are probably jokes.


From the demo: There's an extra FALL icon. Was that once intended as a joke for the final game, like the SMELL and TASTE icons of Space Quest IV?

Also, the title bar is written like the ones seen in SQ4, not as the normal SQ5 one with the points counter on it.


From the demo: The TALK cursor is strangely small...


From the demo: ...and it changes color when it's clicked on someone or something.


The final game: Selecting the TALK icon from the icon bar.


The final game: Word balloons are gray and contain all capital letters.


The final game: Giving Droole orders, with the right command list this time.


The final game: The TALK icon is already grey here, so it doesn't change colors when being clicked on something.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers:

This game actually had a playable demo released, with an oddly different icon bar and inventory.

If you're interested in playing it yourself, you can download it here, if you don't mind dealing with FilePlanet.


Demo: This charming skull cursor greets you as the demo is loading.


Demo: The opening menu. Unlike the final game, the demo returns you to this menu after showing the introduction video.


From the game: The start menu from the GK1 disk version, which bears a strong likeness with the demo menu.


This is the opening menu from the CD version of GK1. It doesn't have much resemblance to the two menus pictured above.


Demo: The Ritter talisman spins around in Gabriel's dream. For some reason the jewels hadn't been painted onto the talisman's 3D model yet.


From the game: The talisman is properly jewel-encrusted.


Demo: The Schattenjager talisman, stained with blood. The emerald on one side of the medallion has an odd blue tint to it.


From the game: The talisman, first clean, then covered with blood. It's bigger than the talisman shown at this point in the demo's intro.


Demo: Gabriel's face in close-up as he wakes from his nightmare.


From the game: The actor playing Gabe has had his face redrawn to match Gabriel's "look" better.


Demo: A quote from Yeats's poem "The Second Coming" opens Day 1.


From the game: A poem written by Gabriel himself now graces all ten days' beginnings. I wonder what the other nine literary quotes were to have been...


Demo: Grace and Gabriel banter, as usual. The WAIT "shield cursor" bears little resemblance to the final game's version.


From the game: Grace omits the "Mr. Social" piece of her dialogue line.


Demo: The icon bar. Notice the strange WALK icon, the ugly animal heads, and the special 25-point score meter.


From the game: The animal heads' eyes now light up, and the two sets of four icons have been switched in their positions.


Demo: Talking with Grace about herself.


From the game: The "Ask About" heading disappears. It's still visible on the main dialogue tree, though.


Demo: The RESTART dialog box is a bit funnier than in the actual release.


From the game: The RESTART option takes up a lot less space on screen than it did in the demo.


Demo: Map of the French Quarter. The signs on either side reading "To New Orleans Map" are missing.


From the game: The map as it normally appears. Here, the Dixieland Drug Store and Voodoo Museum are switched from their positions in the demo.


Demo: Saving a game as Gabriel stands in Jackson Square. What an ugly color combination for a text box!


From the game: The released game's SAVE text box is a dull gray.


Demo: The QUIT dialogue box takes a verbal jab at the player.


From the game: The final QUIT box saves space, but isn't as amusing.


Demo: Gabe arrives at the latest Voodoo Murder crime scene


From the game: Mosely's dialogue has been altered here, including the spelling of "wiener."


Demo: The options menu. It's a good thing this was changed in the final game... it's almost too dark to read here.


From the game: The final, easy-to-read options menu.


Demo: Restoring a game.


From the game: The RESTORE box, just like the SAVE box pictured earlier.


Demo: Gabriel's inventory. The snake scale is oddly large, and there's an extra OPERATE icon.


From the game: The snake scale is now the proper size compared with the other inventory items.


Demo: This message explains the demo's purpose.


From the game: The bizarre blue and gold message boxes have been given less gaudy coloring.

The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery

There was a rolling demo of GK2 released once, featuring a slideshow of the game's locations.

Here are some screenshots from it, contrasted with ones from the finished game.


Demo: A shot of the moon...


Demo: ...which morphs into the Sierra logo.


Demo: The Beast Within title screen


Demo: This is the demo's menu screen, featuring a silhouette of Castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria.


From the game: The finished release's menu screen. My screen-capture program just wouldn't show the GK2 cursor in any of my shots.


Demo: Schloss Neuschwanstein, wreathed ominously in mists


From the game: Neuschwanstein. From this angle it's far less imposing.


Demo: A nice view of the Marienplatz in Munich


From the game: This is as close as the final GK2 ever gets to an aerial view of Munich's Rathaus


Demo: King Ludwig's bedroom in Neuschwanstein


From the game: Ludwig's bedroom. Looks like the designers altered the photos a bit to fit important locations on fewer screens.


Demo: A portrait of King Ludwig II. AGDI based a certain Count Caldaur's looks on this King...


From the game: There are many portraits of Ludwig in GK2, but none matching the one featured in the demo


Demo: The Sangersaal in Neuschwanstein, based on a photograph of the real thing.


From the game: The real paintings in the Sangersaal have been replaced by fictional ones relating to the "lost Wagner opera."


Demo: Early version of the bar in the hunting lodge, with a conversation tree shown below.


From the game: Gabriel talks with two members of the hunt club at the bar


Demo: More of the hunting lodge. A score of 1300? Was that the original score value before the game was cut down to 6 CDs?


From the game: The hunt club's public and private trophies.


From the game: Dialogue choices are usually summarized in one word, unlike in the rolling demo.


Demo: The Wittelsbacher Theater. There are some odd icons surrounding the "selected inventory item" slot.


From the game: Wittelsbacher Theater, looking a lot less gloomy


Demo: A church built near the site of King Ludwig's mysterious death.


From the game: The same church.


Demo: The cross marking the water where Ludwig's body was found. I really like the effects and filters used on the backgrounds for the demo.


From the game: Ludwig's cross, with the word order changed. This particular image is nowhere near as good as the one just above, at least in my mind.


Demo: The Starnberger See church at night. As I recall, it's only seen in daylight in the full game.


Demo: An ominous image of a wolf howling.


Demo: The screen goes dark, except for the wolf's shining eyes. Creepy!


Demo: This hideous Beast Within logo comes at the end of the demo's slideshow.

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