View Full Version : LucasArts vs. Sierra OnLine

01-22-2002, 05:12 PM
I wonder how far this rivalry went. Sierra made thier living off adventures during the 80's and early 90's, but stopped to work on more profitable genres like shoot-em ups. They excel in that field, having made Half-Life. LucasArts, however, persevered and came up with Grim Fandango, GOTY 1998, and EMI, perhaps the most highly anticipated game of 2000.
Going back, there are many discrete pops at each other within the games. In the Secret of Monkey Island, Guybrush walks off a cliff, and a "you have died" style window pops up, identical to the one used in all Sierra games at that time. In LSL 6, you click on the bushes by the pool and larry says something like 'I don't want to spend ages lost in these woods hiding from pirates'. This appears to me like a pop at the melee island forest sequence in SOMI, which Sierra obviously thought was bad.
I wonder, if that sequence in Sam n Max with the virtual reality was another pop at Sierra? Sierra of course, were always at the forefront of technology (they never ever stopped going on and on about it - to make up for thier poor games?). In 1993, V-R was probably 'going to be' the next big thing. LucasArts could have been trying to say 'this is what kings quest 10 will be like' and to demonstrate how you could die easily, Sam could lose the fight with the dragon. I dunno though.
It seems to me that LucasArts are like bullies. Sierra were top of the class, and LucasArts stole thier homework and then corrected the spelling, thus improving the marks. Eventually, Sierras mom found out and took Sierra to another school - a 1st person shooter school, if you like. Now they are top of the class again. i know that metaphor makes it sound like LucasArts are the bad guys, but I don't think they are - loads of companies jumped on Sierras bandwagon, (Revolution, Adventure Soft etc) and LucasArts are just the best of them. Even if they are the bad guys who cares? Anyone who comes up with Monkey Island and Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max are never gonna be bad in my book. They are like Gods on the eternal plane ... - nah, that metaphor is silly. Make of this what you will, just tell me what you think - was the Sierra / LucasArts relationship friendly, good natured, hostile, respectful... you tell me.

01-22-2002, 08:42 PM
I don't think Sierra's adventures were poor. I really like the Space Quest ganes, and the Leisure Suit Larry series is too twisted not to like.
I don't think Sierra and LucasArts were very hostile towards each other, really. There were a couple satirical references but that's it as far as I can tell.

01-23-2002, 02:44 AM
Aye, they were both good software houses. Sierra made a lotta good stuff like Police Quest, Space Quest (didn't like Kings too much). And also the likes of Gold Rush!! :) And more recent games like Torin's Passage are great adventures.

I think Sierra could still have what it takes. Btw you mentioned Revolution, from Broken Sword? Hmm they we'rent really in the battle i think, BS came far later. But Delphine Software (Operation Stealth, Future Wars) was in it for a while.

01-23-2002, 05:45 AM
No contest Really. Sierra has to win, No i mean Lucas Arts. Altho Sierra now has a wider range of titles rather than just StarWars and the odd adventure ive not seen in ages.

Lemon Head
01-23-2002, 06:59 AM
i think it's a tad harsh to claim that revolution, adventure soft, etc were jumping on sierra's 'bandwagon'. That phrase implies that these companies simply tried to steal the fire with quick-fix identical titles. IMO broken sword and simon 1+2 are absolutely superb games, and better than most of sierra's adventures. To improve upon a genre doesn't mean that you're stealing someone's idea, i mean Adventure is a genre for goodness sake, you can't copyright a genre.

revolution and adventure soft felt they could ad something to this slipping game catagory and they were right.

01-23-2002, 11:18 AM
I didn't mean that they were copying as such, just that they were inspired by Sierras / LucasArts success. I have every Sierra game as the re-releases - Kings quest collection etc - I do like them. When I say poor, I mean that thier engine wasn't as developed as LucasArts. Police Quest was probably the first adventure I ever played, and one of the main reasons I got back into the habit, so to speak. However, the game punishes you for not using logic: example:
Kings Quest: You get out the car go inside a building. When you come out the car is gone, and its game over. It was stolen. If it was a LucasArts game it would either (a) tell you to close the door, or (b) offer you the chance to get your car back.
Even in the old manuals LucasArts used to say something like 'Our philosophy is that you don't need to get whacked round the head every time you make a mistake' - thats the only difference between Sierra and LucasArts games. The stories are a little worse, maybe, but Flight of the Amazon Queen had a bad story but a better game engine, so it worked out ok. I do like Sierra, but they aren't as good as the rest. When the going got tough, Sierra got going... LucasArts made Grim Fandango. Its self explanatory.

01-23-2002, 11:51 AM
the dont-get-your-car-stolen was Police Quest btw not Kings :)

Anyway as I said, Torin's Passage was good. The graphics couldve been a little bit better because it was a desktop game or whatever it was, somehow wrong amount of colours or so. But apart from that it was great. Came close to LucasArts quality.

And again again, Operation Stealth and Future Wars are classics, they definitly should be up there on the list of top adventure games..

01-23-2002, 01:52 PM
and going back even further, does anyone remember: Mad Dog Williams? that game was really weird!

01-23-2002, 02:56 PM
Yeah QueZ, it was Police Quest.

1.21 Jigawatts?
01-31-2002, 02:54 PM
i prefer Lucasarts,
but I love Sierra adventures too.

Such as the Police Quest series (except Swat onwards)
Laura Bow games
Fredy Pharkas
Gabriel Knight games - I love the original - one of my faves ever.